Friday, July 08, 2011

Back In Action--But Not Some Guys!

Dang, take off for a coupla of 10-minutes-o'-interest sprint stages and all hell breaks loose--half of RadioSkank's hardworking GC is crashed out with busted whatsits or severely set back on the block, bitchin' Brit Wiggo is nursing a broken collarbone and heading back home, the race organizers go after Cav and Thor for ungentlemanly conduct--because we all know that's the worst problem plaguing the sport--and desperate stealth weapon Contador, now professing he's ready for the mountains, tries a classic left-hand-side uphill flyer on a milder stage only to be chased down and pipped by Cadel at the line without even gaining back a second. Save the drama for the mountains this weekend, whydontcha--or at least stay safely upright on the bikes for ten minutes you guys!

S.O.S. Please Someone Help Me: Speaking of our wee Giro king, I see sponsor Saxo Bank is freaking ou--um, generously handing Bjarne Riis the dough to pick up a bunch more support riders for Alberto, including, one hopes, at least one who can remind him of such crucial truisms as "front of the pack, good, !@#-end of nowhere, bad", and, equally utilitarian, pick up the squad's GC mantle for the future should the main man's doping case not go in his favor. I gotta say, I'm feeling sympathy for Bjarne on this one--having nursed such other talents as Basso and the Schlecks to huge success, it'd be a damn shame if he ended up in disgraced obscurity having to scramble to sign any kid with a halfway-decent speed on his daily newspaper route he can find. Anyway, who wants to domestique for Contador? Come on...a big fat signing bonus for new recruits with tactical sense!

Right Said Red: and, in a handsome reminder that the weakest man in the Tour de France can still beat the crap out of pretty well all but a 180 or so of the other 8 billion people on the planet with his legs tied behind his head like a trussed-up steer (hey, that reminds me, forget it, the boy's been through enough!), 2010 Lanterne Rouge Adriano Malori on Thursday was crowned Most Combative, which is not only an honor, but surely a useful tool as muscle-backup for his Lampre teammate Alessandro Petacchi the next time Cavendish (or some hired goon) tries to whang him off the tarmac in a tight sprint. Use him if you can, Ale-jet--ya can't count on your calendar pin-up photos defending you when you're mano-a-mano with the Manx Missile!

We Heart Capitalism: in souvenir news, the Tour itself is offering a smashing new bib on sale, not only ideal for brainwashing your little tot into a career in professional cyclist before s/he can even use the potty, but also for yer enterprising yet neat-freak grown-up contender who doesn't want his apres-stage...nutritional supplements getting on that nice team jersey. Also available for you-know-who's chef, a little maillot-jauneish reminder of what's at stake the next time there's a food-borne !@#$-up: Enjoy your dinners, gentlemen--carefully!

2 Legit, 2 Legit to Quit: finally, admiration and many thanks to Wall Street Journal sportswriter/cycling guru Reed Albergotti for his intriguing article on the present, past, and future legacy (and limits) of Alberto Contador, in which, I humbly note, racejunkie is briefly quoted, which means, I presume, that if I were really cool, and certain racers were interested in the trifecta of financial news, foreign sports pages, and cycling bloggers, I'd wake up some morning after the Tour de France to the sound of, say, Alberto's big brother whomping in my window with a crowbar, or, maybe, a set of giant white Cavish teeth trying to chew their way through my innocent doorjamb. Ah well, I'm not worried--it's not like some riders don't take criticism well!

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