Yap, the days of auld lang syne, yap, that Baby New Year animated show that's not nearly so great as the one with Heat Miser, yap--another fabulous, shameful year of cycling is almost upon us, baby, and it's time for our annual Year In Preview!
January: the verdict is in! Contador and Riis go on three-week liver-crunching rotgut bender, black out and forget if they're mourning or celebrating til too late to train for Tour anyway; RadioSkank goes to week-long training-camp "barbecue" at Michele Ferrari's, Andy Schleck beats world time trial record in training exercise;
Cadel, Thor, Philippe, starving lions to Colisseum for BMC leadership-supremacy deathmatch. Thooooooor!
February: soulless pig Pat "Dick" McQuaid reschedules Giro di Lombardia *again,* runs it as "the Race of the Where the !@#$ Are the !@#$ing Leaves!"; Boonen grabs Tour of Qatar, demands Leipheimer be rolled up for him on team bus for rest of season and used as footrest.
March: time for the Classics! Vino wins Paris-Nice, Tony Martin seen at afterparty with diamond grill, 14 feet of gold chains around neck, keys to platinum-plated Ferrari, entire world's supply of Kristal; Hushovd takes Ghent-Wevelgem, kicked in nuts and fired by BMC management.
April: it's the Hell o' the North, baby! Boonen back on top, orders Leipheimer shaped into carafe and used to pour him coffee every morning; Gilbert sweeps Ardennes classics while actually at home tucking in baby for afternoon nap.
May: it's Il Grande Giro, honey! Petacchi beats Cav in 7 consecutive sprint finishes, attributes to "damn good local espresso"; Contador takes queen stage three days, 11 hours and 23 minutes before it actually starts; Vinokourov buys overall victory from Ivan Basso in exchange for dictatorship of future Kazakhstan satellite states despite fact Vino doesn't even race it.
June: time for pre-Tour doping controls! UCI preemptively declares no doping positives at 2012 Tour de France, entire peloton heads to Spain for "a little R&R"; Vinokourov discovered to have paid Kazakh 8th-grader 2 million euros for three weeks' worth of urine, awarded National Medal of Honor; Ullrich tell-all autobiography out, Lance Armstrong corners Jan at local butcher's, clubs him with wienerschnitzel.
July: what else? Hoogerland winged into fence made of glass shards, sewing needles, razorblades, and thumbtacks, finishes Tour held together by 465 miles of scotch tape; Andy Schleck DQ'd for tiptoeing down Galibier holding Frank's hand for speed, stability; Cadel mistakenly tears Contador to pieces when Alberto attempts to give new baby cuddly binkie toy; holy crap Thor Hushovd is the polka dot jersey!
August: It's the start o' the Vuelta, baby! Juan Jose Cobo takes start line for Movistar after whacking Alejandro Valverde unconscious with wine bottle, fooling squad by explaining he's wearing mask over his face "to keep the dust off"; dull sprint stages livened up by making riders do them blindfolded; still-irked Spanish cow gores unsuspecting spectator Contador.
September: the Vuelta continues! Entire peloton swallowed by tar pits when roads melt after 21 consecutive 114 degree days; Igor Anton floats to GC win in Madrid as water-weight loss from sweating renders him lighter than air; Italian men's team spotted at Worlds course practicing losing *again*.
October: It's the World Championships! Giorgia Bronzini makes it three, runs over Pat "Dick" McQuaid with Army tank when refuses to guarantee women minimum salary of indentured third-world child laborers; Cav keeps World Champion stripes after British lead-out sets up "Indiana Jones" obstacle course, squashes entire pro sprint contingent with giant rolling spherical rock.
November: last-minute contracts! Bjarne Riis signs up top-flight nursery-school playground tricyclists as backup for Contador at 2013 Tour; Jens' legs won't shut up, convince him to keep riding through 2036; Vino appears at Astana press conference with 18 perfect clones. Like he was *ever* gonna really leave, suckers!
December: team camps again! Garmin tires of playing with facial hair, emerges with matching full-body tats instead; GreenEdge goes surfing off Aussie coast, nearly devoured by sharks 'til McEwen raises eyebrow in their general direction, scares off; Sky to Buckingham Palace for crumpets, Cav accidentally chews up priceless 15th-century royal tea set.
Well folks, them's my predictions for next year--I'm sure they're half wrong, but it oughta scare ya even more if they're half freakin' right!