Saturday, September 18, 2010

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Especially Ivan Basso, I Bet: sure, he just tweeted a lovely "Grande vince!" for Liquigas teammate Vincenzo Nibali on his inevitable Vuelta win tomorrow, but if *I* were Ivan Basso, and *my* younger teammate had snagged a podium spot in the Giro d'Italia I'd just won *and* then grabbed the whole damn Vuelta while *I* struggled from post-Giro fatigue at the Tour, I'd be having paranoiac Ullrichian nightmares that *my* own little Vinokourov was gonna talk sweet all winter and then whack an iron crowbar right into my kneecaps over team leadership next year. But then again, certainly there's nothing to worry about--I'm sure an up-and-coming Giro podium finisher and new Grand Tour champ whose nickname is "the Shark" doesn't have any dreams whatsoever about ever winning the Tour de France, Ivan!

Talk Dirty To Me: meanwhile, as doping prosecutions heat up from the US to Italy to Switzerland, certain guardians of peloton morality are outraged, outraged! over Floyd Landis' little self-invite to an anti-doping conference, and for my money it's not entirely clear whether they're afraid he's gonna (1) give valuable tips to the current riders (2) remind the broader public yet again about the sordid past problems the now-spotless peloton has faced, or (3) make 'em look all like the incompetent oily status-quo-protecting scumwad enablers they actually are. Floyd, however, is sticking to his assertion--which may well, to be fair, be entirely true--that he's trying to use his shameful prior behavior to educate the whippersnappers and clean up the field, which does, of course, tangentially make one wonder why this didn't happen to occur to him until after he solicited and accepted tons of hard-earned cash from his trusting blogosphere-defending fans knowing full well the entire thing was a flat-out lie. Feelin' bad enough about it to give 'em a refund? Just checkin'!

Lookin' Good, Saxo Bank!: yep, things are lookin' better every day for Bjarne Riis' about-to-be-reincarnated Saxo Bank squad, as Fabian Cancellara kicks poor Frank Schleck square in the works and contemptuously bails out of the Vuelta with nary a word to anyone. Needless to say, a crushed and ill-used Bjarne has finally given up and freed our time-trial god's right to court suitors elsewhere. Geez, Alberto, favored-domestique buy-ups on your behalf or not, I might be a little concerned about next year if I were you--Bjarne Riis is starting to make Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel look good!

Mierda!: okay, I admit it: if Igor Anton couldn't do it (dammit!), I was seriously rooting for Ezequiel Mosquera to take the fabulous Vuelta, and watching Nibali claw back to him (aw, rats!) and almost take the stage on Bola del Mundo was a sailor-swear-fest 1 kilometer of couch-slumping misery. But Nibali earned the whole shebang fair and square, and Mosquera, to his everlasting credit, still valiantly took the stage. Congratulations to Nibali, and Mosquera--you still ought to be more than proud!


Rosemary said...

Exciting to watch!

PJ said...

More than exciting--too much for my poor nerves. But the outcome was good and I am glad for both Niboli and Mosquera. A win win as I see it.
I wonder what this stage would have looked like if Igor hadn't crashed?