Saturday, June 18, 2011

Watch Out, Alberto--Maybe!

So Is He or Isn't He?: okay, first Andy Schleck cracks spectacularly in the mountains of the Tour de Suisse, lookin' like Contador could've ridden a whole nother Giro since May and still kicked Andy's !@# at the Tour, but begging the question of whether he was (1) teabagging (sandbagging, whatever); (2) just sensibly riding his way into his form for July; or (3) completely, monstrously !@#$ed. But now, baby Schleck's fought back, looking less like a wind-whipped noodle and far more like the kind of guy who can whomp to the top of the podium a few weeks from now. Geez, pick a form, whydontcha--forget psyching out Contatwerp, yer rockin'n'rollin' is making *me* seasick! Here's the last few minutes:

Oh, !@#$!: well, thanks to new UCI rules, we can pretty much guarantee that the "Help Wanted" signs on ProTour team buses'll be up for a while: if ya doped as a rider, yer out of team management for good. Wisely, the UCI is *not* applying the rule retroactively, due, no doubt, not to actual justice or peloton cleanliness concerns, but because of the simple fact that if they did, the only staffer left in cycling tomorrow morning'd *maybe* be the BMC guy in charge of washing Cadel Evans' underpants. Anyhoo, while comely studmuffins like Ivan Basso or Alessandro Petacchi can certainly find post-riding gigs as runway models, inspirational speakers, or, y'know, male escorts, the rest of y'all are gonna have to find less glamorous careers. How do you say "No, the Value Meal comes with *small* fries" in Kazakh again?

It's a Small Worlds After All: meantime, the Italian cycling fed has taken a particularly strong stance on doping this year, ordering that any rider who has tested poz for drugs is automatically out of the World Championship squad this year. The problem: as commissario tecnico/we still miss from the gruppo we love Paolo Bettini delicately puts it, he is now stuck enouraging along a very, very, very young team. Oh, come on, Paolo--a little caffeine in their sippy cups, and yer boys'll be all right!

Injury Report: finally, in more serious news, as so much of the women's peloton hits the pavement in the Nature Valley Grand Prix that it caused a wholesale neutralization of the stage, the news on brilliant Colombian climber/former Tour de France polka-dot jersey winner Mauricio Soler luckily continues to slowly improve after his terrible crash in the Tour de Suisse, with latest reports from the team and elsewhere indicating that, while he remains in an induced coma, the swelling in his brain is coming down. Please, do get fully and speedily well, Mauricio--we're rooting for you, and thinking of you, your family, and your team!


Rosemary said...

Was the chain problem in the Tour de Suisse time trial part of Andy's bluffing? If so, it was brilliant!

Rosemary said...

Did you see the fence Soler hit? It was a chain link fence...although my guess is he may have hit the support post.

I hope the best for Soler.