All right, cycling fans, since my own personal capacity for virtue is severely limited, and of course what's far more important is our beloved pro cyclists' ever-sterling, ever-gracious demeanor both on, off, and cheating on the way to the bike, it seems to me it's up to us highly-qualified guardians of sporting morality to call for a brief list o' New Years Resolutions for the Peloton:
1. Lance Armstrong: I will retire. Really, *really*, REALLY retire. Because frankly, the rest of us are ready to beg McEwen to personally head-butt our skulls off our shoulders and bouncing into a ditch at 35,000 k an hour if you don't. Now let Levi Leipheimer ride, dammit!
2. Christian Vande Velde: I resolve to stay fully upright on my bike for at least one full Grand Tour plus the attendant and necessary pre-race training rides. Because the karma gods owe me one--who *doesn't* want me to win, or hell even make it off the team bus to the sign-in, in one piece?
3. Mark Cavendish: I am studly. I am even pretty. And I am undoubtedly the greatest sprinter of my era. But I am also a raging, obnoxious, ungrateful, tantruming whine-weenie with a total disregard for the sensitive feelings, respectable talents, and personal physical safety of others. And while that is while racejunkie loves you, Mark, and I hope you keep me at least intermittently entertained thereby, you also resolve to shut the hell up about how evilly oppressed you are by the Man by being paid barely a penny to go down into the deep, dark, airless coalmines of Appallach--um, yeah, RIDE A BIKE. Look, honey, most of us *do* work for the Man--shut yer yap about it already, alright?
4. Alberto Contador: okay, to be fair, Ivan Basso successfully milked that batted-eyelash-and-charming-smile thing from an idiotic excuse his own momma wouldn't buy on sale to a spectacular second Giro and, if he can pull it off against the drug-stoked rest of you freaks, possibly to his once-preordinained Tour. But you--if you even get to ride this season 'cause Bessie over-huffed the good stuff--you, boy wonder, resolve to cut that stupid arrogant "pistolero" crap whose smug untainted time has certainly passed. Ya basta!
5. Jeannie Longo: I'll pull over to the side of the road midway through the French nationals to enjoy a leisurely lunch with a nice white Burgundy, loosen up afterwards with a long massage, stop by Chanel for a three-hour fitting for a new blouse and perhaps peruse the new handbag collection for awhile, so that my young competitors don't feel *so* bad when I *still* nick them at the line by a good 5000 meters, *again.* So genteel!
6. Tyler Farrar: I resolve to win the green jersey and at least three flat sprints at the Tour de France. Not because I work hard, or want it, or even deserve it, but just to watch Cav cry like a squirming red-faced colicky baby in Paris. Sweet!
7. Floyd Landis: look, with all due sympathy, there's no redeeming yourself at this point to either your wounded former fans or the Lance freaks who moronically blame you for his own actions. I hereby resolve to cooperate quietly with the narcs to get back at every equally-culpable sonofabitch who so unfairly didn't go down in flames with me, I mean, redeem this beautiful sport from its own cesspoolian excess, and to otherwise put a plug in it and relax into pleasant obscurity. Please!
8. Philippe Gilbert: I resolve to take every single damn Classic this year except we love Thor Hushovd's. Cancellara my !@#!
9. Cadel Evans: I resolve to take the Tour this year even though I'll lose 80% of my domestique firepower before that selfish publicity whore Armstrong even remembers he's not actually racing. And as usual, I'll do it with class, so I won't even say, Schleck, your sorry butt is *mine*!
10. Last But Not Least, the Whole Disgusting Lot of You: My grandma snorts dope, I think it's a great idea to order unregulated crap off the internet from untraceable third-world crap-sellers, my DS told the team chef to buy steaks from the diner next to the AstraZeneca plant, I had no idea the drug I took for my bull!@#$ Therapeutic Use Exemption could help me if I mainlined it by the cooler-full at the start line--yes, you clowns, dumb as we are, we've heard it. Now come up with something original--and no, Pat "Dick" McQuaid promised he'd only test the peloton for EPO this season doesn't count!
Now, I figure we've got at least til the end of the Tour of Qatar before the first--well, probably the last--of these resolutions hits the skids, but tifosi, we can always hope. And if I missed any I oughtn't have, I imagine you'll fill me in on my failures. But hey, if you can't trust the very participants in this noble, glorious, morally superior sport to ride clean, fair, and all-round magnanimously, who in the world *can* you believe in? Happy New Year to all in our dear peloton--now don't !@#$ this up!