Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Answer to My Dirty, Dirty Little Prayers

Look Who's Back!: oh, yeah, watch out, mother!@#$ers. It's Alexandre Vinokourov, and whatever his reasons, he's not done with you yet. A snapped femur is nothing to a man who'd rip it out and beat you over the head with it rather than retire from the peloton in ignominy. He's coming back for a final showdown at Lombardy, and this time, he's not landing in a !@#damn ditch until he's stood on the top of his final podium and he's pedaling home to his hotel at 60kph in a power-drunk haze. I know you want it too, Gilbert. So come and take it from him. If. You. Dare. See you in October, baby!

BMC Ya In Hell, Gilbert!: geez, from Cadel's sharp slap at Thor to know and keep his place, to Hushovd's very warm welcome of his good friend Gilbert to the squad on the condition that he sticks to the Ardennes classics and doesn't start dreaming of sugarplums and Paris-Roubaix til Thor's long been rockin' on the porch reminiscing about yesteryear, the fireworks just keep coming at now-superteam BMC, with Classics aspirant Greg Van Avermaet feeling just a tiiiiiiiiny bit suspicious of BMC's professed commitment to his own personal development with the addition of Philippe to his happy home. Oh, I'd not worry, Greg--between Thor, Cadel, and Philippe marking each other like dead enemies at every race, they won't even *notice* if you escape up the road for a win!

And We're Off!: yes, the fabulous Vuelta is on the road, and with the usual twitchy freak assortment of crashes, mechanicals, and disastrous bonks for the prologue in the rear-view, it's time to coddle the flatlanders before Tyler, Cav, and co. seriously start reconsidering bike-doping when the race starts hitting even its more modest hills. In the meantime, they're off to a surprisingly fine start, with Tommeke charging just a bit too early (but still looking great--come on Tom!) as that nasty little uphill bit in, and Chris Sutton capping a smashingly strong finish with a detailed individual shout-out to his teammates for the set-up as Benna-Jet of all folks bags the red jersey. Here's hot-off-the-presses spectator footage: Anyway, I'd just like to point out that Euskaltel-Euskadi did *not* lose as much time in the TTT as might've been well expected, and Menchov, you can just start shining Anton's bike shoes for him right now. He likes 'em nice and bright, so get started already, punk!

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