Sunday, November 20, 2011

Please, Can't They Just Start Racing Again?

The Hills Are Alive...With the Sound of Zabriskie: yes, the teams are rampin' up their official presentations for the year, and before Garmin's Dave "Muttonchop" Zabriskie heads off to a spa for some serious facial-hair management, here's his stellar rendition of "Proud JV": Tina Turner, watch yer back from now on!

Rope-a-Dope: yes, in the ongoing fight against doping, we've got three contradictory viewpoints today: CONI narc supremo Ettore Torri proudly saying that, despite the fact that amateurs are drugging themselves incoherent for a chance at "a salami", at the pro level cycling is "a lot cleaner" than it was in 2006 (tho' apparently he pulled a Sleeping Beauty for a couple years and missed, say, the even more disgusting 2008), bitter default Tour de France fair-n-square winner Oscar Pereiro claiming the whole system's mean because the soccer (sorry, football) players are even dirtier and no-one cares about that, and tennis great Yannick Noah saying the Spaniards are so high and the poor clean French so helpless against their illicit onslaught that the French oughta just quit testing entirely and give everyone a giant syringe full o' the Spaniards' chemical best. Me, I'm inclined to say we can all find a nice middle ground here and agree cheerfully that, if we weren't all raised to be ladies and gentlemen, it certainly wouldn't do the whole topic a disservice to gratuitously give, oh, Riccardo Ricco a swift steel-toed kick to the nuts. Harmony, people!

Riders I Like: Okay, it still really creeps me out that Chris Horner started being nice to Lance Armstrong. But you gotta love a guy who, long after most denizens of hte peloton have returned to their original training as carpenters or school-weens or joined the DS ranks, is more impassioned about the sport than he was as a youngster. And that, after that reckless selfish !@#hole Johan Bruyneel didn't even pull his bloodied head-whacked wreck of a bod from the Tour when he rode a bike for 2 hours without even realizing it! Chris, may you and Jens ride forever--but in one piece from now on, y'hear?

Pay Attention, Contatwerp!: righty-o, Alberto, remember how Alex Rasmussen accidentally evaded the doping vampires and asked to be punished for his shameful, if inadvertent, mistake? Well, you got one week to make a play for no mercy, honey, because the child just got off his "zero tolerance" punishment for his humility. You want to ride the Tour next season? Moo like a cow for the tribunal, Alberto, and beg for it!

Three Weeks In July: look, Eddy !@#$in' Merckx told the Schlecks what to do--essentially, you can't time trial for !@#$ so the Tour is fruitless, but if you work your !@#es off, you might be able to overcome Basso at the Giro. And though I bristle at (yes, everything, but also) any suggestion that winning the beautiful perfect Giro is any less a vicious masterwork than is the Tour--'cause it sure as hell wasn't this year, despite Contador's dominating performance throughout--I'll admit that the Giro tends to be rather, well, kinder on time-trial miles for its Italian homeboys than the Tour. Still, the Schlecks remain defiant, convinced that the loving attentions of Johan Bruyneel can nuzzle 'em up that final step of the podium and, mercifully, sparing us three solid weeks of whinging (did I get that right, dear Brit readers?) about Chaingate in March. Enjoy the Tour, boys--I'll sure as hell be enjoying the Giro a little more this year!

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