Saturday, December 31, 2011

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

Yes folks, the champagne's wearing off, the first batch o' pre-season microdosing is kicking in, and it's time for us all to make New Year's resolutions, and since we know none o' these gods or clowns are gonna do it, we are just gonna hafta do it for 'em:

1. Bernhard Eisel: I will kick Mark Cavendish's @# at least once this year. Of course, he's gonna be a bitch and snark that it's just a "!@#$ race", but at least I'm beating him at something. So !@#$ off, Cav!

2. Alberto Contador: I will ride my bicycle with the full force of my 20 kilos over Pat "Dick" McQuaid's crying carcass after I win the CAS appeal. Don't mess with the Contador!

3. Alexander Vinokourov: I don't have to make any "resolutions", you worm--I will take over Kazakhstan *and* the Tour de France by the force of my will!

4. Jens Voigt: I will attack at every race, on every stage, at every moment, whether I'm given the go-ahead or not. Oh wait, I already do that. Anyway, if I accidentally find myself in, say, China instead of France because of it, so what?

5. Andreas Kloden: I'll ride a race for myself this year. If Johan Bruyneel lets me. And one of the first-year domestiques doesn't need me to fold his laundry. And the luggage-wrangler can hold off on my doing his Starbucks run. And...

6. Giorgia Bronzini: I will wring a fair salary out of the sponsors next year if I have to use my Special Forces training to squeeze their wallets til they shoot out their abdomens like that gross facesucker-spawn from "Alien." So ya might as well pay up before I win the Worlds again!

7. Mark Cavendish: I will win the green jersey, the Olympics, the Worlds, and 86 consecutive sprint finishes. Did I tell you that Eisel sucks eggs?

8. Bjarne Riis: When Alberto Contador wins the CAS appeal, I will run over Pat "Dick" McQuaid's crying carcass with the full weight of all the trophies I and my minions doped to win during my entire rider and managerial career. Don't mess with the Bjarne!

9. Dave Zabriskie: I will shave. Daily. Because that whole facial-hair thing is just too porno. And Olympic time trial, you are *mine*!

10. Alejandro Valverde. I will scare the crap out of the entire field by taking the maillot jaune in the first week of the Tour. Then, I will have a catastrophic meltdown in week two. Then, I will scare the crap out of the entire field by taking the gold jersey in the first week of the Vuelta. Then, I will have a cata....

11. Philippe Gilbert: like I need to resolve what I'm already gonna do? Eat my dust, you hosers!

12. Cadel Evans: mine, it's all mine, mine, mine! Uh, what was the question again?

13. Andy Schleck: I will put up or shut up this year. And I won't ride the Giro just because I think I can't win the Tour, because it's a disgusting amoral blasphemy of a superior beautiful race. Dag nabit, second again!

14. Frank Schleck: !@#$, if Andy can't win the Tour without me, I might as well win it myself. See you below me on the podium in Paris, little bro!

Well, we'll see who lives up to what--me, I just resolve to enjoy the show, and bring my beloved reader(s) more o' the hack commentary, blind favoritism, and excruciatingly faulty analysis you've both come to know and slag me for, so Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012: The Year In Preview (Yeah, You Heard Me)

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!

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's the 2011 Racejunkie Awards!

Put on yer red-carpet gowns and spiffiest spats, dear reader(s), because it's the time of year to reward the sublime, the unsublime, and the just plain ridiculous in this magnificent sport of cycling, and therefore, without further ado, or cheesy Oscar-night dance routines, I hereby bestow the incredibly prestigious, passionately-sought-after, and potentially slanderous 2011 Racejunkie Awards:

The 2011 Doping Excuse o' the Year: okay, the transgression didn't actually *happen* in 2011. But let's face it, the droning "did not, either!"s coming outta the peloton for this year's pozes were a certifiable snoozefest. What wasn't? Michael "the Chicken" Rasmussen's "I Wasn't Cheating on My Bicycle, I Was Cheating on My Wife!" excuse for lyin' about his whereabouts to evade doping controls--uh, a major jealous-spouse nut-whack--before a way-old Tour de France. Geez, outta the frying pan and into the fire with that one, Michael--if she forgave you then, she probably ain't too happy you yapped her pain to cover your scrawny !@# with the narcs, I imagine!

Climber o' the Year: he's big. He's fast. He's Norwegian. And once he hits an incline bigger'n a speed bump, he's got no business being anywhere in the peloton but the !@#-end of the autobus. But yet, he took 2--count 'em, 2!--mountain stages in the Tour de France this year. Schleck, dreck--Thor Hushovd, this one's for you. You *go*, you big lug!

2011 Doug and Wendy Whiner Award: it's mountainy. It's descendy. It's time trially. I was supposed to win it. I'm still P.O.d about that chainy thing from two hundred years ago. Y'know, I've been a big advocate of both Schlecks in the past--particularly Frank, even tho' he's been alleged to make a few funny automotive detours during the Tour back in the day--but this !@## really ticked me off. Andy, the only thing Cadel oughta hear from you next July is "Congratulations!"

Soul-Crushing Transfer of 2011: need this even be put into words? 'Cuz it's already been scorched into my soul. Jens Voigt to RadioSkank. Whhhhhhyyyyyy? Whhhhhhyyyyyy? Whhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Punk-!@# Move o' the Year (Celebrity Intimidation Edition): rock-star Lance Armstrong corners newly-confessional Tyler Hamilton by the toilet like 11th-grade alpha-bitch on shy goth-girl at the Homecoming dance. What next, Lance, you gonna snap Floyd's !@# with a towel in the locker room?

Punk-!@# Move o' the Year (Total Management Diss Edition): Let's see. He's wearing the World Champion stripes with *your sponsor's* name all over 'em, he busts his works domestiquing yer other riders, he wins some pretty fine stages for you at the Tour de France, and what does he get? Right, squat, and the chance to be slapped around by Cadel & Gilbert at BMC all next year. Thor Hushovd deserves better. Bite me, Garmin/Vaughters!

Ow, @!#$! Hardman Award o' 2011: is this even a contest? Johnny Hoogerland's gruesome 45kph airborne date with a death-fence at the Tour--and he *still* powers through, to the just adoration of all cycling fandom. Get this boy a bottle o' pain pills and a coupla band-aids, stat!

Gee, Maybe the French *Don't* Suck So Bad Prize: Thomas Voeckler. Wow. Boy, did you make even Contador look like a putz!

What the !@#$ Is Wrong With You Freaks Award of 2011: lemme get this straight. Juanjo Cobo takes the Vuelta a Espana out of absolutely nowhere in an incredible show of heart and grit, and now even can't get a job wiping that blood-doping dirtbag Valverde's rear end? Cosmic justice, where art thou?

Dodgin' the Bullet Prize: sure, he may've shot himself full o' illicit crap in 2010, (or not! I'm sure it was the cow!) but hey, why let a little suspicion keep 'im from bagging two Grand Tours in the meantime? Alberto Contador, I guess that stupid "Pistolero" thing really *did* scare off the narcs!

Say It Ain't So Award o' the Year: Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie. You were a model elder stateswoman--but apparently not without help, tho' the sloppy French cops conveniently bungled the case against you quite nicely. Dang, you can't just use Botox or something to fake some youthful vigor?

Woo-Hoo! Moment of the Year: Cadel Evans wins the Tour. Nice guys (okay, he occasionally threatens to rip some journalist's arms off, but that ain't no nevermind) do finish first!

Disgusting Skankball o' 2011: in a wholly uncontested category, this goes to lying cheating pig Riccardo Ricco', who not only besmirched the name of a beloved, now late, trainer to the stars, but, on his triumphant and extremely clean return from a doping ban, managed to inject himself with a batch of bad old blood he apparently stored next to the moldering steak and expired yogurt in his fridge, making himself seriously ill in the process. I'm truly glad you're okay now, Riccardo--but please, go to back to whatever slime-pit you slithered from!

Complete Dumb!@# of 2011: d'oh! Ricco', it's a two-fer. You couldn't find *anyone* in the peloton to show you how to do that !@#$ right?

Rider Insult o' the Year: finally, in a related award, the hell with the Armstrong/Landis/Hamilton wars--by far the best (and most accurate) commentary o' 2011 came from Captain Discretion, Mark Cavendish himself, who not only called Riccardo Ricco' a "parasite," but charitably opined "I really do hope he becomes someone's bitch in prison." Well said, Cav--a fine sidenote to a spectacular season!

Well, congrats to all our lucky winners, and for those who missed the cut, better luck next year--I'm sure *some* of you guys will pull off something truly spectacular (in beauty or idiocy) next year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's a Very Merry Festivus Wish List for the Peloton!

Yes, as we ponder the deeper spiritual meaning of the holidays by waiting in line outside stores for 36 consecutive hours for a 6am crack at a 684-inch flat-screen, gorging ourselves to excess on marshmallow Santas, and shoving little old ladies outta the way in a toy-store death-match to grab the latest Teach-Me-To-Curse Elmo, it seems to me our beloved cyclists deserve a treat this year, so I hereby bring you my Merry Everything Gift List for the Peloton:

Tom Boonen: Paris-Roubaix, the great Hell of the North. 'Cause not only will it prove he's still got it, he can whack all his foolish naysayers upside the head with that bad-!@# cobblestone. Better quit pickin' on him, Lefevere!

Juan Jose Cobo: a contract. A freakin' contract. How can the freakin' winner of the freakin' Vuelta a Espana not have a freakin' contract!

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen: a network. A freakin' network. How can they stick you guys on the butt-end of 3am on the schedule after bass-fishing on their crappy network!

Johnny Hoogerland: a teflon coating for his entire bod. Try scorchin' me with razor wire through *this* !@#$, suckers!

Jens Voigt: a gilt-and-marble statue so huge it can easily be seen from outer space; immortality; and the title, duties, and aggregate powers of Supreme Ruler of the Universe. A bonus lifetime supply of coffee if you bail on your contract with RadioSkank, Jens!

Andy Schleck: May the Time Trial Fairy descend in a flutter of glitter as you peacefully sleep on your pillow and, with a flick of her golden wand, give you wings for that most troublesome of disciplines. That, or the Giro, 'cause even *she* don't have the power to grant you the Tour!

Alberto Contador: a year-long membership to the Organic Meat of the Month Club. Oh sure, mock it now--but can you say "paper trail"?

Bjarne Riis: a career. 'Cause if Alberto goes down, he ain't gonna have one. See, I can be nice!

Thor Hushovd: a shining suit of armor. Why? Between Gilbert and Cadel, your !@# is gonna get beat on this season, and you're gonna need all the protection you can get!

Jeannie Longo: honey, after that doping scam you pulled on the cowardly enabler French, just be glad it ain't still the French Revolution--you remember what happened to those clowns, right?

Floyd Landis: a cloak of invisibility. Come to think of it, that's actually more a present for *us*. Can't hurt next time you're anywhere near Lance Armstrong though, I guess!

Ivan Basso: what do you give a guy who's already the patriarch of the Cutest Family on the Face of the Planet, the winner of two Giros, and looking forward to a wholesome retirement to the family blueberry farm? I'm gonna go big here, and wish him the Tour. Redeem yourself once and for all, Ivan--it's your last chance to prove it shoulda always been yours anyway!

Riccardo Ricco': lucky for you, Santa don't do beat-downs. You wanna be a bartender, have at--a Mixmaster's Guide, and be grateful for it!

Alexandre Vinokourov: whatever he wants. Or he'll sink your !@@damn feet in concrete and toss you to the bottom of the harbor, you peon!

Mark Cavendish: this semi-civilized diplomacy !@#$ you've adopted of late is, to be frank, dull as dirt. You got one free day to bushwhack your rivals, insult yer leadout train, and dope-smack everyone who's ever dared to do you a kindness. Have at, Cav--and don't forget to shove yer best buddy into the barriers!

Last But Not Least, My Dear Reader(s): may your favorite rider score a blazing and wholly unexpected victory against the best of the best at their dream race, and do so entirely, genuinely, and unimpeachably clean. Allez allez, you studpuppy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011: the Year in Review

All right folks, the curtain's about to drop on another year of cycling, and before we all get perma-blotto on too much good cheer and bad eggnog, it's time to recall the sublime, the ridiculous, and the downright disgusting that make this sport so easy to love:

January: Contador's banned! No, he's not! Yes, he is! make up your minds, you clowns!; Tour screws former champ dear little Sastre out of invite, nice work Geox!; Team LeopardSchleck debuts--what, a name like that and *still* your team kit's lame?

February: Floyd Landis interview out, cycling world hit by curious double-attack of projectile vomiting and ennui; Schleck's still bitching about Chaingate; Riccardo Ricco waaaaaaaaay too stupid to dope correctly; Jens says race radios are good, so it must be true. Forgive me for doubting, o Jens!

March: it's the Classics, baby! Boonen roars back at Gent-Wevelgem; Goss surprises at Milano-Sanremo; Gilbert gets ready to start all-year reign of terror; UCI's a buncha crybaby !@#holes. So what else is new?

April: Jonathan Vaughters squanders the great Thor Hushovd; Quick Step dumps on Boonen; Versus relegates Phil and Paul to Obscurity Hour; what's next, you freaks all gonna kick the Easter Bunny?

May: May wasn't funny.

June: class act Lance Armstrong corners Tyler Hamilton by the toilets; French bust Contador for--um, riding down the Galibier without a tail-light? yeah, that'll learn 'im!; RadioSkank announces four GC contenders for Tour de France, might as well pack it up and go home now. Good luck with that podium, Johan!

July: it's the Tour de France, baby! Hoogerland winged into razor wire, gamely finishes Tour; Hushovd turns mountain goat, *still* dissed by Garmin; Schlecks !@#$ up, *again*; holy crap we love Samuel Sanchez is the polka dot jersey!; Cadeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel!

August: the fabulous Vuelta gets underway; Levi and George raise hell in Colorado; Cav teases about his team choice; ham-fisted goon Vinokourov "nicely" asks junior team member to retire from cycling to make room for him on Astana. Or else!

September: Euskaltel rules, of course; unheralded Cobo takes the Vuelta, you better not break my trusting heart !@#dammit; Cav grabs Worlds, 2500 spectators blinded by teeth on podium; Georgia Bronzini makes it 2, outrages sport by asking to be paid as much as that horrible off-key ukelele guy in the subway who plays for pocket change. The nerve of some people!

October: Bjarne leaves Contador with no support for 2012 at Saxo Bank, but then, that's what cows are for; Hushovd goes from being screwed at Garmin to being screwed at BMC; Tour announces 2012 route, Andy Schleck starts cryi--uh, learning to time trial. Allez allez Andy!

November: Merckx tells Schlecks to aim for the Giro; Jan Ullrich threatens to talk--watch out, Lance!; Zabriskie croons for Vaughters; WADA gives Contador a pass on plasticizers. IV-suckin' dirtbags o' the peloton, unite!

December: Vino accused of buying win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege for 134k big ones, which is still better'n 98% of the !@#$ he usually does; riders lay out plans for upcoming season; Bjarne Riis tosses Contador out of airplane. Ya got two weeks left in the year--the rest of you guys, don't !@#$ this up!

Well, sadly for me (but luckily for you), I couldn't cram it all in--but let's hope for a lively 2012!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Alexander Vinokourov: One Wily, Dirty Mother!@#$er

I Love You, Vino!: y'know, I was actually planning to post today about Vinokourov bitching how someone, probably that techno-geek mastermind Floyd Landis, hacked into his email accounts and apparently uncovered his plot to buy out the Tour de France turn the Tour into a results-guaranteed fascist fiefdom take over Kazakhstan when he gets elected to office and throw any dissenters into some rock-breaking commie gulag, when Vino actually outdoes even himself: yes, the boy is accused of paying off Alexander Kolobnev a handsome $134,000 to throw Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which, Vinokourov quite reasonably explains in his own defense, was merely a "loan" which he totally coincidentally happened to offer Kolobnev on the run to the LBL finish line. Folks, if nothing else proves those wanker fans who hissed Vino as he won weren't a bunch of unfair doubting bitter meanie miscreants, this does. !@#$, Vino, it wasn't enough you pumped all that !@#$ into your veins, you had to buy out Kolobnev--Kolobnev?--at least show some !@#damn dignity and buy a race from Gilbert or Boonen! Oh look, here's the "win":

Just Because He's a Lying, Cheating Dirtball Doesn't Mean He's Not Right: meantime, hilarity no doubt ensues at UCI this very moment as Floyd Landis' allegation that the lab monkeys, dope testers, and entire "anti"-doping community are a bunch of favorites-playing hypocrite scum-weasels is backed up as "probable" by none other than the WADA head honcho himself, which has been a big 10-outta-10 on the "No !@#$, Sherlock"-o-meter to most of us, but still hasn't been publicly acknowledged by someone who wasn't a sore-loser whiner just pissed everyone else didn't go down with the ship besides him. Pat "Dick" McQuaid, lookin' forward to the standard denials!

Backtrack Alert!: finally, it's good luck to Andy Schleck for 2012 as he avers he might too in fact ride the Giro this coming year, which, one presumes, is not only a statement to Cadel Evans that he's not either a wuss, but also a convenient excuse for a massive meltdown choke at the 2012 Tour de France (should he need it). Well played, baby Schleck--but don't you feel kinda funny taking a page from Contador's 2011 playbook?