Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yer Racejunkie Hall o' Shame

Okay, aside from ex-cycling gadfly/newbie car racer Floyd Landis saying Alberto Contador's former coach is a "drug trafficker," Gilbert still deciding whether to screw over Boonen at Quick Step or tag-team Cadel doing it to Thor Hushovd at BMC, Horner recovering well (thank goodness) from a blood clot and Levi Leipheimer taking the Tour of Utah while new Sky signing Henao climbs like a monster, there's really not that much goin' on today, so that said, except for maybe Jens and Cav, it occurs to me lately that there's a certain "je ne sais quoi"--French for "total lack of entertainment value," of course--missing of late from the peloton. Oh, and before I get any crap, yes, although a *few* of these selections *may* have had issues with doping in the past, I'm against it. Extremely against it. So against it, in fact, that I'd rather listen to Andy Schleck wh--well, maybe not quite *that* against it, but trust me, *really* darn against it. Therefore, without further ado, Guys I Really Miss From the Peloton But Probably Shouldn't:

1. Jan Ullrich. say what you will about his strict fidelity to omerta' and the fact that he was a frustrated constant second fiddle to Lance Armstrong for the better part of a decade--and we all know why *that* was--but god love 'im, that man was a glorious mess. His power, undeniable; his performances, gorgeously erratic; his weight-piling off-season schnitzel binges, just plain lovable. At his best, as he chomped his way up a mountain in some ridiculous gear, he was simply a marvel to watch. And lest we forget, the man *did* take a Tour de France. Glad to see you back in action on the charity circuit, Jan!

2. Roberto Heras. like most climbers, Heras never yapped on much--no small part of why I tend to like them--but what you could count on, no matter what *he* was on, was his impeccable form on a climb, and drugs just can't buy that !@#$. And with no glory left in sight, the man's still riding his bike. Oh stuff it, like you don't think noone else at the time was any cleaner!

3. Alexander Vinokourov. Damn, it's barely been a month, and already the roads seem almost sane. And with Vino, you always knew to expect *some* race-course freak-show, whether it was a wholly pointless acceleration 70k from the finish line or his impish tendency to inflict sudden pain on an exhausted-but-inevitably-winning GC contender just because he could. Vino, please do get a handle on Iglinsky so he doesn't hurt anyone--but if you could imbue yer little Astana acolytes with your random torment, we'll all owe you big time!

4. Mario "the Chest" Cipollini. Look, it's no secret that I normally can't stand sprinters--their arrogance, their braggadocio, their squicky tendency to be caught making out with their own reflections in the men's-room mirror--but I gotta say, Cav excepted, the politesse of these guys lately is really getting on my nerves. But not only is Super Mario fielding a personal squad of exceedingly formidable female cyclists, you could always rely on him for, if not a sparkling quote or a brilliant finish (and he dished out plenty of those), a buck-nekkid photo of him around a bicycle. Damn, don't people think their mammas look at the internet?

5. Gilberto Simoni. Y'know, there's nothing I love more than to hear Cav go off on a teamful of guys who've just helped him take a win, Cadel snap on a posse of friendly press corps, or McEwen threaten to personally dissect anyone, on any basis, who !##$s with him. But these guys are frankly Amateur Hour next to the great two-time Giro d'Italia champ Gilberto Simoni, whose enormous capacity for vindictiveness and utter lack of self-editing led to some of the nastiest smack-talk of the last decade. Best of all, the man *can* back it up in the heights. Come back, Gibo--maybe your ol' pal Basso could use another DS to help him out over at Liquigas?

6. Erik Zabel. Don't tell me the sight of a hot-pink Telekom jersey didn't whack 14 or so years o' fear into the sprint kings! Oddly, there's rather a dearth of Zabel greatest-hits compilations on the web, though, in a disturbing harbinger of this past year's cow-carnage, I did find this interesting clip of poor Erik being clobbered by a pony. This isn't why I miss you Erik--but Phil and Paul's commentary *is* priceless!

Yes, I've left out many deserving greats, and you and they all know who they are. And no, Lance isn't one of 'em, 'cause frankly, we *still* hear too much about that !@#$. So back to the countdown to the Vuelta, and good luck Contador with your Landis response!


Jez Andrews said...

Haha I love your rants. Funniest bike blog by far......oh and informative......yeah I think that's enough niceties, I may make myself ill.


Tusher said...

racejunkie, you just get better and better.

The horse that knocked Zabel off has the look of a Shetland pony. And if ever there was a vindictive, twisted, positively evil little horse with a long memory and a sadistic streak, it's a Shetland.

Doug said...

I'm glad I jumped back in time for this post. Cunt'a said it better.