Saturday, September 17, 2011

And He's Off (the Hook Again)!

Too Little (But Not Too Late): yep, things are lookin' good for doe-eyed young Grand Tour savant Alberto Contador: WADA, apparently as reluctant as UC--um, everyone else--to lose the Greatest Cycling Ambassador/Cash-Cow Since Lance Armstrong, is totally coincidentally now on the threshold of Alberto's doping appeal considering instituting a minimum acceptable level--and bagging the zero-tolerance--for Clenbuterol. Yap, there's no guarantee this would influence Contador's appeal, yap--I got a bridge in Brooklyn needs buyin', chumps! Anyhoo, the only wrench in this gigantic gift is the pesky fact of all those alleged plasticizers also resident in Alberto's blood, but not only is the test juuuust undeveloped enough to give our hero's lawyers a bitchin' ground for smackdown, but I have it on extremely reliable authority--that is, my own--that 'Berto ingested that plastic !@#$ chewing on the new Lego set Bjarne Riis got 'im last Christmas. Damn, Bjarne--can't you at least get him something that's *not* a banned substance to teethe on?

A Modest Proposal To Solve Missed Doping Tests: first, skeletal Danish superstar Michael "the Chicken" Rasmussen gets busted by UCI and Rabobank after it becomes irksomely public that he blew off a doping controls fleeing to Mexico. Next, it's poor Jeannie Longo. Now, it's Danish (mmmmmm...Danish) trackie Alex Rasmussen of near-defunct HTC getting fired for not being where *he's* supposed to be. Now, me, I'm sure all these missed connections have nothing to do with any of 'em doping. Why? Because I'm an eejit. But while I'm no techno-whiz, either, it seems to me there's an easy, dignified solution to make sure cyclists are where they say they are when they say they are--(1) those lunky electronic collars you use to buzz pets with a "humane" wad o' voltage if they stray, and (2) one a' them GPS microchip thingies they implant into runaway-prone dogs, except maybe right under the sponsor logo on the shorts-butt for convenience. C'mon, just *think* about the broader possibilities--Andy Schleck, say, tries to sneak into Saxo territory to slash the tires on Alberto Contador's bike on the queen stage of the Tour de France, and ZAPPO--he's droppin' that naughty Swiss Army knife like a hot potato! Yes, thank you, you can nominate for me official UCI watchdog here....

Russian Roulette: meantime, in pinup transfer news, Classics stud-machine Pippo Pozzato has bailed out of the thankless Katusha--and why that is is beyond me, because as Contador can tell you, hangin' with a squad that ABSOLUTELY HATES YOU is a peach--for smaller tho' actually very fine Italian squad Farnese Vini, potentially screwing him out of Paris-Roubaix but most definitely allowing him to race--um, down the block to the gelateria? Well, this can only be a turn for the better, Pippo--and if Farnese don't let you race, you can always go back to modeling!

Ask and Ye Shall Receive, Baby!: dang, it's good to be the king: Philippe Gilbert's reportedly gotten the Tour de France 2012 to change the first stage for him because, well, he doesn't think he can win it and Philippe doesn't darn well *like* that! Y'know, I'm all for valued rider input on the courses--for example, "I don't want to get beat down by a bunch of political radicals when I'm just trying to ride a !@#damn bike race"--but for my money, this kind of !@#-kissing goes a *bit* too far. Hell, with all due respect to Thomas Voeckler, dear race organizers, if you're gonna rig the Tour de France course, at least rig the freakin' thing so a French guy can win the maillot jaune in Paris for once!

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