Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alberto Contador Goes Down

For Now, That Is: yep, the verdict is in: Alberto Contador is officially banned from the sport til he hits puberty next year, and if he doesn't give Andy Schleck back the maillot jaune nicely he has to go straight to bed without any dessert. Burn! I gotta say, though, I *am* quite sad. If he tested poz 'cause he doped--zero sympathy. But if he *didn't* dope, and is getting busted over some stupid zero-tolerance policy that doesn't even consider whether someone did anything actually wrong, it's a year-long waste of a brilliant talent. And while both options suck, I'm sorry to concede--and I feel your pain here, dear reader PJ--it may well be option A at work.

Oh, and y'know that scene in "Alien" where that giant gooey face-sucker glommed itself onto some poor sap and rammed its tongue down down his throat until a little alien spawn burst out of his stomach in a big pile o' guts and went skittering across the floor? Yeah, that, except now Andy Schleck sez that whole slutty make-out scene with Contador on the Tourmalet was totally staged and not a truly authentic expression of his love at all. Oh, like post-break-up disses even *count*, Andy--and that's *before* you heard the news today!

As to Contador's threat to quit the sport if he's found guilty--no word yet, but I imagine his (1) manager-brother Fran or (2) attorney is tyin' his scrawny little bod to a chair and dope-smackin' him out of *that* righteous hallucination as we speak. The official word: due at Contador's press conference on the 28th. Screw that "I'll retire" bull!@#$--"I've made a principled decision to fight on," anyone?

Finally, let's take one last look at our wee little hero in his glory days, before the Spanish cattle association, the Schleck brothers, Denis Menchov, Pat "Dick" McQuaid *and* (worst of all) Alexander Vinokourov have a chance to go all hired-goon on his pretty, doomed !@#:

Alberto, we hardly knew ye!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blondes Have More Fun (At Least With Clenbuterol)

Blinded By the Light: yep, good news for the fairer members of the peloton: according to the head of a WADA-accredited lab in Germany, cycling's go-to snarf-o'-the-moment Clenbuterol is 20 times more detectable in brunette hair samples than in blond ones. Contador, if you got snipped, there's your basis for appeal--you've been framed, framed by your own hypersensitive hairdo, I say! Me, I'm thinkin' that there's gonna be a surfeit of Goldilocked riders just flocking to their nearest asthma-drug dealership for a truckload of the near-undetectable good stuff. Don't even think about it, Ricco' you little weasel--we're already *watchin'* you!

Law and Order: speaking of poor Alberto, rumors are a-swirlin' that, as the Spanish cycling fed tries desperately to strike that delicate balance between "totally gutless" and "just baaaaaaaaaaarely passin' the smell test", our boy is gonna get a 1-year ban as soon as Thursday, which effectively means that, as both sides inevitably appeal--and whether Contador actually doped or not--he's gonna be slumped over in his Laz-y-Boy serial-drinkin' Bud Light and suckin' down nachos in front of the TV come July. Bjarne Riis, of course, is taking it well,while, in an excess of caution, and out of due respect to the cycling prowess of his pal, Andy Schleck has reportedly been training extra-hard in case Contador does show up to try to steal his Tour de France: Good luck, Alberto--and I still do hope it ain't so!

Yer Nut-Kneeing Heartbreak o' the Week: no, not Cav denting that handsome face--though it's close--but am I the only one howling like a milkbone-deprived Basset hound whenever I read a perfectly nice Tweet from Robbie McEwen thanking his--aiiiiggghhhhhh!--RadioSkank teammates for a job well done? Aiiiiggghhhhhh! Oh, Robbie, how I miss those happy, lighthearted days of yore when you threatened to "fill [Armstrong's] face with [your] fist..."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's Carnage, Carnage I Tells Ya!

No, Not Armstrong at his Press Conference, the Tour Down Under: yep, it's our first big crashes of the season, as the sprinters hit the deck in two big balls o' spandex, titanium, helmets, and egos, wily Ben Swift gets the stage 2 win, general god Robbie McEwen snags the overall lead, and a tougher'n nails Cav stoutly sticks it out with a blood'n'guts head to finish the stage. Damn, guys, can't you just go back to safely punching each other into the barriers like you usually do? Here's how it unfolds--and feel better Cav!

Yer Doping Excuse o' the Week: and, I see the usually preternaturally-calm Lance Armstrong has gotten noticeably pissed over the Sports Illustrated doping allegations, including the claim that Italian authorities found texts and emails at Yaroslav Popovych's pad linking RadioSkank to notorious Dr. Michele "Ferrari? Oh, you'll race like a Ferrari all right!" Ferrari as recently as 2009. Leaving aside the fact that poor slavish acolyte Popo has had to run screaming for his life from Lance, more problematic, it seems to me, is the latest Ferrari link, which collusion Armstrong has in the past of course excused as being totally unrelated to anything more illicit than simple verbal training tips. Um, am I the only thinkin' this sounds an awful lot like, say, Valverde and Basso claiming they only saw Dr. Eufemiano "Gyno to the Male Stars" Fuentes because "I just didn't know...fresh?" Next week: Alberto Contador announces "it wasn't the steak, it was that crack-whore, clenbuterol-snorting side dish that did it." !@#$in' carrots!

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's Back to the Races, Baby!

Aussie Aussie Aussie Oy Oy Oy!: yes, cycling fans, after a long winter's layoff of rest, relaxation, and ludicrous doping appeals, it's the moment we've all been waiting for: we're back in business at the fabulous Tour Down Under! Sure, Armstrong's gonna hog all the press coverage for no reason, but for my money, what really matters is, who's taking the big game in the battle between Mark "the Jaw" Cavendish and BFF Andre "!@#$-Race" Greipel? Me, I'm sad to say the winner's clear, though Greipel can always hope that Cav'll get himself relegated by some spectacularly unnecessary act of wankerness and then still mock him for weeks for not even deserving the win. Oh, Cav, so young, so raw--where's the vicious finesse of a Robbie "Head-Butt" McEwen when this sport needs it?

Signed, Sealed, Delivered--I'm Hosed!: well, Contador, good luck with that appeal to CAS, 'cause the righteous protectors of due process over at UCI have already overruled any Spanish attempts to free your doe-eyed cow-doping carcass by declaring you the inevitable winner of a two-year ban. Way to keep the illusion of justice going, UCI! Y'know, if he *didn't* dope, you guys are just pathetic political frauds too cowardly to protect your once-beloved Next Lance Armstrong from an unfair result while you desperately look for another scandal-free pretty-boy to cover you with second-hand glory. And if he *did* dope, you've once again lost all your credibility from the one time you *didn't* act like rider-snuggling sycophants by tainting what should be a just proceeding with your venality. Can't you guys go back to doing something really dignified, like gutting the careers of hard-working third-tier unknowns for taking an illicit Advil for strained groin muscles?

You Suck, Tour de France!: all right, so Tour organizers ASO are indicating that Team Geox--home of 2008 Tour de France winner we love Carlos Sastre, and, much as it galls me to say it, that also-deserving Vuelta-thieving stealth-ferret Tour podium-finisher Denis Menchov--isn't gonna get an invite to the Tour de France this year, not because of anything having to do with Geox's stellar pedigree, or Sastre and Menchov's obvious qualifications to ride the race, but because, basically, French teams, despite some individually noble work by a coupla natives in recent years, blow, and it'd hurt their effete pate-slurping feelings and make the French look lame by not inviting them. What?! This is the Tour de France, not some pansy-!@# Barney the Dinosaur feel-good self-esteem exercise for uncoordinated helicopter-parented toddlers !@#dammit! If you want French teams to get a spot at their own damn Tour, then suck it up, let the French guys who aren't biting teach the squads some lessons, and make 'em earn their place like a big-boy squad. Free dear little Carlos you selfish goons!

You Suck, Schlecks!: meantime, bad enough that I actually like the Schlecks, and frankly would forgive them damn near anything short of puppy-kicking because Jens Voigt deigned to go with 'em, but now they've earned my undying enmity by smack-talking about Carlos Sastre and essentially calling him a complete troll. Wah, wah, he expected you to work for 'im--why didn't you guys settle it on the road if you could have taken him out and bagged the 2008 Tour so easily? Needless to say, I am exceedingly irked that now I have to actually root for Menchov to come up behind you clowns like a Predator drone and take out your Tour-win dreams in a blaze of sizzling sauteed unimaginative-team-kit spandex. Look, Andy--remember that you haven't actually done this yet?

Nut-Kneeing Heartbreak o' the Week: finally, this win's for LL Cool Sanchez, who's already denying to the Spanish press that he had recent, hot'n'heavy contacts with infamous Operacion Puerto and Op Galgo perp Dr. Eufemanio "Gyno to the Male Stars", and indeed never knew the man at all, which, given that if I'm not on crack I seem to recall him and a passel of fellow Liberty Seguros cribmates cheerfully receiving mystery skin patches from close Fuentes pal Manolo Saiz, seems both blindingly stupid and breathtakingly implausible. Fine, so Contatwerp goes down for Clenbuterol--you *have* to go down for a mere dipwad lack of discretion in doping providers? Aiiiggghhhh!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You Do It! No, *You* Do It! No, YOU Do It!

How Do You Say "Weasel" In Spanish, Again?: yes, in an exceedingly early win for the Master Evasion Move of 2011 Award, as the Spaniards invite WADA and UCI to essentially rule on Contador first to head off being kicked, stomped, thwapped, beaten and set on fire by outraged Spanish tifosi should they actually be forced to dope-ban a national icon, and UCI huffs hysterically that they can't do anything on "procedural grounds" to avoid being forced to dope-ban a photogenic international cash-cow, all parties have now managed to punt this hot little potato by Pat "Dick" McQuaid's claiming the thing's suddenly so damn complex they don't know *when* there's gonna be a ruling and, as a result--oops!--poor little Alberto may not be at the Tour by--not by any of our actions, you understand--mere default. Nice try, you spineless wussmeisters--if the Second Coming goes down, everyone's still gonna blame you anyway! Ah, I *love* the smell of napal--um, hypocrisy in the morning!

It's the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, Baby!: in far more important news, of course, the route for the 2011 Vuelta has been announced, and if you can't climb like a monkey, honey, you might as well stay home and cry like Mark Cavendish after a, well, win. Even better, the race is taking us into the Basque country, which means that screaming orange-and-black clad fans will be there to whack Nibali off his--that is, vociferously encourage we love Igor Anton and Samu Sanchez onto their inevitable and cleanly-earned podium perches. Aupa Euskalteeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllll!

Dirty Deeds and They're Done Dirt Cheap: over in the Italian peloton, meantime, odious bottom-dweller Riccardo Ricco' is claiming that it's possible to win the perfect Giro without cheating--which it possibly is, except for him--and Danilo "Il Killer" DiLuca, who recently redeemed himself by smashingly calling in an actual priest and confessing his sins to a room full of actual schoolchildren, has scored a possibly-free gig with Team Katusha, who are still apparently a bit iffy on risking a Giro invite over 'im but will allow him to desecrate the holy Vuelta instead. Oh yeah, forget that weak, old-school "kissing babies" Ivan Basso crap--call in the exorcists and first guy whose head spins around projectile vomiting while tied to a bedstead gets forgiveness for Satan's unwanted actions and a spectacular Grant Tour return! Look, here's poor sweet Danilo just last week:

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Oh, Yeah, Baby, It's Team Schle--um, Leopard Trek!

Which Don't Explain at All Their Boring As Hell Team Kit: yep, as no doubt every damn one of us gets ready to unleash an entire season's worth of uber-lame cat metaphors at every irrelevant opportunity, Frank 'n' Andy've formally announced their new Leopard-Trek squad, so cower, suckers! Sadly, for a sport that routinely dresses up its macho-men to look like the Little Mermaid, they've shown no sartorial stones whatsoever, bagging what could've been a truly gratifyingly eye-scorching leopard-hooker team kit in favor of a sedate white-blue-and-black. Dammit, first the argyle's gone from Garmin, now this? Anyway, here's the press conference:

and the bike porn:

The first big test of Team Leopard: an injured-as-usual we love Stuey O'Grady still beats the crap out of everyone at the Tour Down Under later this month. Do 'em proud, Stuey!

Dead Cows Tell No Tales: meantime, the Spaniards have announced they need extra time to dig through the massive wad o' documents in the Alberto Contador case to find an iron-clad, WADA-proof justification for letting that guilty little rat Contatwerp off the hoo--I mean, to reach a fair, thoughtful, and just determination in the controversial yet reasonably-disputed Tour de France doping matter. Lookin' forward to that objective decision, boys--but probably not as much as your golden idol Alberto is! Lucky for him his tainted dinner's no longer around to swear a cloven foot on a stack o' Bibles that it got off the drugs months and months ago thanks to his concerned barn-mates' last-ditch, tv-crew-recorded "Intervention"....

Hear, Hear!: over in racing news, the pro cyclists' union has released a key poll of its members in favor of continuing the use of race radios. Me, I'm conflicted--sure, it turns the riders into puppet automatons jerked around on strings by the brain trusts in the team cars, and kills the excitement and unpredictability of the riders actually thinking for themselves to shape a race--but really, can't we all think of at least one or two guys for whom that might actually be a benefit? Ah, well, thrills, shmills--so long as Jens gets let off the leash whenever he wants it, you can keep the dog collars I suppose!

Free Franco o' The Euromullet!: finally, I see former King of the Mountains Basso-rival Franco Pellizotti is at last ready to sue the pants off everyone for completely screwing his 2010 and 2011 seasons, and considering that clearly he has the flowingest locks in the peloton, in addition to being let's face it the least of that smashing seedy entity's problems, I say, unless you can prove something other than that you were really, really, desperate to nail anyone higher-level in the UCI rankings than--um, who *have* you nailed so far?--and until you can show he actually *is* on the juice, you really oughta let 'im ride. I mean, that writhing little ferret Riccardo Ricco' gets a team gig, and Pellizotti's left out to dry? You *suck*, UCI!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

It's Yer 2011 New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton!

All right, cycling fans, since my own personal capacity for virtue is severely limited, and of course what's far more important is our beloved pro cyclists' ever-sterling, ever-gracious demeanor both on, off, and cheating on the way to the bike, it seems to me it's up to us highly-qualified guardians of sporting morality to call for a brief list o' New Years Resolutions for the Peloton:

1. Lance Armstrong: I will retire. Really, *really*, REALLY retire. Because frankly, the rest of us are ready to beg McEwen to personally head-butt our skulls off our shoulders and bouncing into a ditch at 35,000 k an hour if you don't. Now let Levi Leipheimer ride, dammit!

2. Christian Vande Velde: I resolve to stay fully upright on my bike for at least one full Grand Tour plus the attendant and necessary pre-race training rides. Because the karma gods owe me one--who *doesn't* want me to win, or hell even make it off the team bus to the sign-in, in one piece?

3. Mark Cavendish: I am studly. I am even pretty. And I am undoubtedly the greatest sprinter of my era. But I am also a raging, obnoxious, ungrateful, tantruming whine-weenie with a total disregard for the sensitive feelings, respectable talents, and personal physical safety of others. And while that is while racejunkie loves you, Mark, and I hope you keep me at least intermittently entertained thereby, you also resolve to shut the hell up about how evilly oppressed you are by the Man by being paid barely a penny to go down into the deep, dark, airless coalmines of Appallach--um, yeah, RIDE A BIKE. Look, honey, most of us *do* work for the Man--shut yer yap about it already, alright?

4. Alberto Contador: okay, to be fair, Ivan Basso successfully milked that batted-eyelash-and-charming-smile thing from an idiotic excuse his own momma wouldn't buy on sale to a spectacular second Giro and, if he can pull it off against the drug-stoked rest of you freaks, possibly to his once-preordinained Tour. But you--if you even get to ride this season 'cause Bessie over-huffed the good stuff--you, boy wonder, resolve to cut that stupid arrogant "pistolero" crap whose smug untainted time has certainly passed. Ya basta!

5. Jeannie Longo: I'll pull over to the side of the road midway through the French nationals to enjoy a leisurely lunch with a nice white Burgundy, loosen up afterwards with a long massage, stop by Chanel for a three-hour fitting for a new blouse and perhaps peruse the new handbag collection for awhile, so that my young competitors don't feel *so* bad when I *still* nick them at the line by a good 5000 meters, *again.* So genteel!

6. Tyler Farrar: I resolve to win the green jersey and at least three flat sprints at the Tour de France. Not because I work hard, or want it, or even deserve it, but just to watch Cav cry like a squirming red-faced colicky baby in Paris. Sweet!

7. Floyd Landis: look, with all due sympathy, there's no redeeming yourself at this point to either your wounded former fans or the Lance freaks who moronically blame you for his own actions. I hereby resolve to cooperate quietly with the narcs to get back at every equally-culpable sonofabitch who so unfairly didn't go down in flames with me, I mean, redeem this beautiful sport from its own cesspoolian excess, and to otherwise put a plug in it and relax into pleasant obscurity. Please!

8. Philippe Gilbert: I resolve to take every single damn Classic this year except we love Thor Hushovd's. Cancellara my !@#!

9. Cadel Evans: I resolve to take the Tour this year even though I'll lose 80% of my domestique firepower before that selfish publicity whore Armstrong even remembers he's not actually racing. And as usual, I'll do it with class, so I won't even say, Schleck, your sorry butt is *mine*!

10. Last But Not Least, the Whole Disgusting Lot of You: My grandma snorts dope, I think it's a great idea to order unregulated crap off the internet from untraceable third-world crap-sellers, my DS told the team chef to buy steaks from the diner next to the AstraZeneca plant, I had no idea the drug I took for my bull!@#$ Therapeutic Use Exemption could help me if I mainlined it by the cooler-full at the start line--yes, you clowns, dumb as we are, we've heard it. Now come up with something original--and no, Pat "Dick" McQuaid promised he'd only test the peloton for EPO this season doesn't count!

Now, I figure we've got at least til the end of the Tour of Qatar before the first--well, probably the last--of these resolutions hits the skids, but tifosi, we can always hope. And if I missed any I oughtn't have, I imagine you'll fill me in on my failures. But hey, if you can't trust the very participants in this noble, glorious, morally superior sport to ride clean, fair, and all-round magnanimously, who in the world *can* you believe in? Happy New Year to all in our dear peloton--now don't !@#$ this up!