Saturday, July 02, 2011

It's the 2011 Tour de France, Baby!

And We're Off!: Y'know, once you've seen Thor Hushovd dressed up like a chick holding a giant hammer over his head, it's hard to believe things could get any better, but yes, it's time for the glory, the folly, and class-A showmanship of the Tour de France, and what better way to start it than with a compact, handy guide to the festivities? Sure, some o' this'll be old hat to you veteran fanatics--but remember, at the Tour, anything can happen and most usually does!

The GC Contenders: look, Alberto Contador could pretty much stay in his hotel room for three weeks mainlining hard-core sedatives and he'd still win the thing, but should he and his lieutenants be truly thwapped from the Giro, ever-podium press-nemesis Cadel Evans, two-time Giro king Ivan Basso (still never quite the same after his ban), oh-so-close-to-last-year's-podium we love Samuel Sanchez, and perpetual second-banana (sorry, that's not to say he's not a very fine cyclist) Andy Schleck are on his tail. Andy in particular is still looking for revenge for a punk-!@# move he pulled on Contador early in last year's race that's he's conveniently blocked out of his memory before whining for 365 straight days about Alberto's stupid "Chaingate" attack, but since Contador in particular doesn't seem to hold a parallel grudge (or media weep-fest) over Andy, look for Andy and slightly-older evil twin Frank to bushwhack Alberto if they gets the chance. And yes, Levi Klodi Horner are in the slugfest, but !@#$ed. Fun for all!

The Climbers: Whatever don't go to the GC contenders and the tragically motivated Movistar, it's all about the orange-and-black, baby--go Euskalteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel!

The Fast Men: sure, this is a spectacularly crap course for these guys, but we got drama: Cav's still gotta prove his early-season suck-form was a fluke, the disconcertingly ageless Petacchi's out for blood because of the stupid Italian cycling fed's completely unfair decision to keep doping slime-weasels out of the Worlds squad, Boonen's gotta earn his keep with that oily smirk Patrick Lefevere at Quick Step, unhappy Thor wants a good show to up the dough in his next contract, and peloton nice-guy Tyler Farrar, after the terrible loss of his dear friend Wouter Weylandt, would like to win one for both of them. Me, I'm rooting for Tyler 'n' Thor. You go boys!

The Breakaway Artists: Oh, pack it up and go home. Philippe Gilbert just took it. And the next one. And the n--oh, just go the hell home!

Time Trial: is this even a question? The last guy to beat Fabian Cancellara tested poz for like 2 gallons of dope the next day. The man's a bionic freak! Or bike doping. Or just plain better'n you whiners. Or...

The Missing: total, unmitigated bull!@#$. We love dear little Tour de France champ Carlos Sastre (yeah, don't feel quite so bad about Menchov) and Robbie McEwen are out. You suck, race organizers and RadioSkank!

The Commentators: it's not Phil & Paul's fault that they're Lance fans, and they can still tell you all about the spectacular local brie they ate at that winery apres-stage 15 in '78. Kneel, swine!

And, a Bonus Feature for My Beloved Reader(s): Lance, Lance, Lance, Lance, Lance, Lance Lance Lance, Contador, Lance Lance, controversial, Lance Lance Lance Lance chain Lance Lance Lance Andy Schleck Lance Lance. There, I saved you two hours outta your life--you just watched every morning's TdF preview show!

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