Monday, December 31, 2012

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

Yes, the beauty, misery, glory, and serious skankdom of 2012 is past, and a brand spankin' New Year is about to begin! So, in the spirit of self-improvement with which we all begin the year, I helpfully offer these New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton:

Mark Cavendish: I am gonna beat that upstart little snot Peter Sagan *down.* *I'm* supposed to be the upstart little snot!

Tom Boonen: holy crap, I *can* win without partying. Honey--I'm running off to become a monk!

Pat "Dick" McQuaid: I'm gonna resign from UCI. *After* I nail every last mother!@#$er who's criticized me.

Brad Wiggins: I resolve to back Froomey at the Tour de France. *Without* fruitlessly knocking myself out at the Giro.

Chris Froome: I'm gonna man up and say it: I think I was better than Wiggo, I think I deserved it more'n Wiggo, and it completely pissed me off to have to bow to Wiggo. Happy New Year, Brad--this year, you're *my* beeyotch!

Alberto Contador: I resolve not to test positive. Not that I have any reason to. Aw, !@#$in' dope-snorting vegetables!

Joaquim Rodriguez: I resolve to sign with Movistar. Try beating me for the podium *now*, Valverde you punk!

Andy Schleck: I'll learn to ride without Frank. Because I'm sure as hell scr$wed if I don't!

The Tifosi: We resolve not to go for a stroll, set up a nice lunch, or let our dog go for a walk just as the peloton is going by at 50 kph. Bonus points if we don't let our clueless little rugrat hold a plastic bag right out next to your handlebars!

Marianne Vos: I resolve to take a few days off during the season, just to give someone else a chance. Considering the wins I've racked up already, they'll barely even be noticed!

Jens Voigt: I will ride in the ProTour through at least 2036. And probably like 100 years after I'm dead. Can I go yet? Can I go yet? Can I go yet?

Alexandre Vinokourov: Resolve? I resolve NOTHING! YOU will resolve to obey ME, you weakling worthless maggot!

Johan Bruyneel: I resolve to apologize. From my uncharted desert island, by untraceable message in a bottle, after I've cleaned out my extensive Swiss bank accounts. Suckers!

USADA: The next bull!@#$ artist who swears they stopped doping "in 2006", we're gonna ban for *life.* *And* thwap 'em upside the head with a copy of the Reasoned Decision. Dang, that's gonna hurt!

Team Sky: After we lose our first 637 races this season, we'll resolve to let ex-dopers who really, really feel bad about it be coaches again. Bobby, you got a new gig yet? We were just kidding, we promise!

Now get to self-improvin', I'll try to catch anyone I missed, and I'll see you when you fall off the wagon!

Friday, December 28, 2012

It's Yer 2013 Year in Preview (Yeah, You Read Right)!

Sure, Lance went down, Tom Boonen came back up, and Brad "I Hate Publicity" Wiggins played guitar on stage with Oasis--by golly, it's been a bitchin' 2012. But what will *2013* bring the riders, journalists, and ever-lovin' fans of this fabulous sport? Well, dear and curious reader(s), here it is: yer 100% accurate, 200% disreputable 2013 Year In Preview!

January: team-camp windup! Andy Schleck hones time-trial form by folding into energy-gel-sized packet, tucking into Fabian Cancellara's jersey pocket; Wiggo & Froomey in mano-a-mano combat for Tour supremacy; Astana, ex-Rabobank, Lampre join Movement for Credible Cycling, ban outside testing, promise to monitor own guys "real good."

February: Arbitration time! Johan Bruyneel rats out Armstrong, makes millions with new book "Douchebags: It's All Vaughters' Fault"; Peter Sagan loses Tour of Qatar to Cav when stops mid-sprint to mug for cameras with adoring fans.

March: Time for the Classics, baby! Cav takes Milano-Sanremo as Sagan distracted admiring own reflection in metal barrier; Boonen bags Gent-Wevelgem while actually at home taking nap; UCI "Truth and Reconciliation" Commission formed, issues lifetime ban against Greg LeMond.

April: It's the Hell of the North, honey! Thor Hushovd takes Paris-Roubaix as field marks Tom Boonen, shocked BMC says "dang, even *we* didn't realize he was riding"; Andy Schleck sweeps Ardennes Classics, credits Frank for "training advice," immediately surrounded by narcs for 367 contemporaneous drug tests.

May: what else, Il Grande Giro! Wiggins drops Giro bid, didn't realize there were "all these big mountain thingies in it"; Hesjedal misses key break politely helping chief rival change flat tire; Nibali takes maglia rosa after inspiring pep talk in which Vinokourov threatens to break Vincenzo's kneecaps if he blows it.

June: Tour de France prep time! UCI drops testing, sez "bio passport's already got it covered," peloton overwhelms flights, hotel rooms in Spain; RadioSkank team doctor successfully releases Andy Schleck's deathgrip on Frank's ankles, drags him screeching on flight to Paris; Alberto Contador packs on 18 kilos chowing on chips, soda since no one can beat him anyway.

July: Tour de France, baby! Guy drops harmless gum wrapper on course, enraged Cadel Evans plows him over with team bus; Froome personally offers to help Wiggins with bike-position adjustment, ride coincidentally disintegrates into carbon dust on stage 13 as Froome too far up road to hear desperate pleas for help; Contador gains 42-minute lead on 1st stage, everyone else just gives up and goes home.

August: it's the fabulous Vuelta! Valverde sets time-trial record, immediately removed from race; Euskaltel climbs wrong mountains, turns around to climb right ones, still takes sprinters' jersey despite extra week and a half in the saddle; Andy Schleck nails Guinness World Record for Post-Tour Whining.

September: It's the World Championships! Purito Rodriguez wraps up Vuelta a Espana as Contador misses start time on penultimate day practicing "pistolero" victory gesture; Marianne Vos takes women's road race, men's time trial, all U-23 events, the Stanley Cup, and two playoff spots in World Series; Paolo Bettini gives up on men's squadra azzurra, wins Worlds road race himself.

October: it's yer season finale, folks! Damiano Cunego shows up for "Race of the Falling Leaves" on wrong day, arrested whanging Pat "Dick" McQuaid over head with spoke wrench for changing the schedule; Tyler Hamilton corners Lance Armstrong outside Aspen restaurant men's room, noogies relentlessly; new Kazakh president Vinokourov buys whole peloton to domestique Nibali with pocket-change scraped up behind couch cushions on enormous yacht.

November: time for meaningless post-season doping bans! Jens admits last 20 years of "coffee" actually viscous liquid EPO, gets 10-minute ban and ticker-tape parade; Contador accidentally contaminated shaking Vinokourov's hand at charity event, gets 20 years breaking rocks on Craphole Island and lifetime exile from human society.

December: team camps again! Sky cancels entire 2014 season when no-one in organization can pass their doping-virginity test without lying through their teeth; Quick Step to Colosseum for gladiator training, Patrick Lefevere fired when Tony Martin eaten by released lions; Fabian Cancellara escapes from RadioSkank hotel by making rope from entire team's stash of bar tape.

Well, let's raise a glass and toast our sport--and hope none of these eejits do anything even worse next year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's the 2013 Racejunkie Awards!

Oops, 2012, Whatever: It's been a smashing, exciting, surprising, and periodically squick-inducing year in our beloved cycling, dear readers, and in honor of all our sweet peloton's done to entertain, thrill, and even annoy us, it's time to honor and thank the worthy (and un-)with our Official 2012 Racejunkie Awards! The prizes: glory, immortality, and, as I cannot afford the 40-foot marble statue of a three-horned six-eyed four-clawed forked-tail fire-breathing bike-riding beast-demon that you know who deserves plunked right down flat in the middle o' Texas, I swear if any of these guys even hear of their awards' existence, I'll throw in a beautiful custom-embroidered racejunkie cap to boot, so without further ado, here goes!

The Holy Crap I Think He Just Restored My Faith in Cycling Award: Ryder Hesjedal, taking the beautiful Giro d'Italia--and his country's first Grand Tour win--for noble Canada. Humble, grateful, hard-working, and most of all just obviously so very happy in his shining maglia rosa--Ryder, this one, and hopefully many more, are for you!

Aiiiiggggghhhhh! What the Hell Are You Doing? Oh My God He's Doing It! Ride of the Year: look, with his brilliant snatch of the Vuelta on the verge of stinging defeat, the now-wily veteran Alberto Contador's come a loooooong way tactically since he couldn't find his outta the team bus without a DS, but if your heart wasn't in your throat when Tom Boonen took off solo a bazillion fruitless kilometers from the line at Paris-Roubaix, you were clearly tranquilized like a runaway rhino during the race. Faaaan-tastic, Tommeke!

Comeback Kid of 2012: yes, it's a double for our Belgian studpuppy--everyone, us included, who thought your best days might be behind you were clearly permanent residents in Dumb!@# City. Congratulations--and next year, let's all !root for Thor or Philippe Gilbert to bag this one, shall we?

I Call Bull!@#$ Award: no doubt, Wiggo deserved to win his Tour de France, and a cheery salute to him and the justly-proud Brits for his great accomplishment. But *really*, what's next, o Tour de France organizers--20 straight days of flat time trialling and maybe a speed bump on the Champs Elysees? No, it's not supposed to be the fearsome Giro or Vuelta--but dang, it *is* still the Tour, you guys!

Shut Up Shut Up Shut *Up* Prize: Contador, Valverde--heck, damn near the whole Spanish peloton while we're at it--the less you self-destructive nimrods keep defending Lance Armstrong, the better. You *want* a GPS implanted in your !@# by the narcs all next season? Just keep it up, kids, keep it up!

Doping Excuse of 2012: well, Frank Schleck didn't exactly *claim* monthly lady cramps as the reason for his banned-diuretic use, and frankly there's been rather a dearth of high-profile drug pozes since as we all know only the broke-!@# Masters guys are cheating now, so for once, this 'un was a toughie. Ergo, this year, it's a group award for all o' USPostalDiscoverySkank, with their two-toned mantra of "I Never Saw It!" and "He Made Me Do It!" I mean, don't parents call bull!@#$ on their *toddlers* for this garbage?!

Scandal o' the Year: the late-December Hinault/Lemondesque Wiggo/Froome smackdown over who'll get Sky team leadership at next year's Tour de France. Close, but just kidding--it's you-know-who, and you-know-why!

Punk-!@# Move of the Year (Road): y'know, with their boundless braggadocio, smug smack-talk, and zeppelin-sized egos, sprinters are pretty annoying as it is, but there's a biiiiiiiig difference between the usual adrenaline-fueled argy-bargy at the barriers, and flying across the helpless field like a rubberband-shot spitball, and Roberto Ferrari spectacularly--and obnoxiously--crossed that line, taking the helpless Tyler Farrar and enraged Mark Cavendish right down. Your award? Apologize for real this time, or Cav gets ten minutes alone with you behind the podium!

Punk-!@# Move of the Year (Wussy Little Bureaucrat): really, Pat "Dick" and Hein at UCI? You're gonna threaten a broke-as-dirt true-fan journalist for doing his job with integrity and rightly calling your own disgusting actions and self-serving motives into question? Yeah, hide behind your lawyers' skirts you squalling babies--karma, I say!

Revenge of the Little Boy Who Called Wolf Award: congrats Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, it's a two-fer. Sure, you lied the first ten thousand times you spoke to the press and your trusting fans--but when you finally told the truth, you sure made it count!

Crash of the Year (Dog-Wielding Dimwit): to Philippe Gilbert, stage 18, Tour de France, taken out by a humongous canine whose owners apparently thought it was a dandy idea to let it wander into the road as the peloton passed through. Road Rage o' 2012 Corollary Award: Gilbert goes screaming nutwhack at the owner-dad and his sweet little daughter. Good thing John Lelangue was there to protect the guy!

Crash of the Year (I'm Sorry, Does This Look Like a !@#damn Bistro?): to the surely-well-meaning nice elderly gent who thoughtfully set up his lunch table and chair in the route of the Tour de France. You broke we love Samuel Sanchez' hand *and* made him cry, clueless sir!

Crash of the Year (Season-Screwing): honestly, I think this rightly goes to tough-guy Fabian Cancellars for his season-crushing crash at Tour of Flanders, but because it's Festivus, I'll give poor Andy Schleck the benefit of the doubt that his 'Skank-whipped mental fragility wouldn't have hosed him anyway and give 'im this one for his pure sorry suck of a pelvis-fracturing takedown at the Dauphine. Truly, get and stay strong, Andy--you're gonna need all you got next year!

What the !@#$? Head-Scratcher o' 2012: so lemme get this straight. Vande Velde, Dave Z, Hincapie, Vaughters, and Tommy D doped like fiends for years for their own personal bank accounts and glory, got a slap on the wrist for it--and at least two of 'em built freakin' retail empires thanks to it--and everyone still loves 'em. Meantime, Johan Bruyneel, who if nothing else generously helped make 'em the ill-gotten champs that they are, ends up desperate beleaguered and snarling in a dank mossy cave like a hound-cornered rabid wolverine. Jeez, Johan, maybe you shoulda been nicer to all those "douches" you called out, it mighta gotten you a few extra brownie points!

Rider Tweet o' the Year!: sure, Bruyneel's erratic see-saw of cheer and defiance was a lock--'til righteous (and righteously righteous!) car-victim Andy Jacques-Maines weighed in: "To the chickenshit motherfucker who rammed me from behind with their Black Chevrolet Impala, FUCK OFF. THEN DIE." And that's just him getting started. Oh, and nice work by 5-Hour Energy/Kenda to dump him from your roster via the press you clods--like he said, "I'm too drugged right now to deal with this shit."!

Dirty Dirty Dirty Award o' 2012: Alexander-freakin'-Vinokourov at the Olympics. Oh yeah, baby, cue the gross 70s blue-movie soundtrack, groom that porn-stache, and break out the gold chest-hair medallions. Clean sport, schmean sport--you loved it too, so man up and wallow in it!

I Swear To God I Feel Almost Really, Really Guilty About Being Delighted About This Award: oh, Roberto. As a faithful if slightly self-loathing Heras fan, and a devoted ween who still thinks fondly of Ivan Basso's peerless legal team from 2006, I've been whining for years that that undeserving freak Denis Menchov oughta give you back your Vuelta, and what happens just on the cusp of the New Year? That's right, this one's for the Spanish court that gave it to you--never has an act of technical if not factual justice been so sweet!

Saving Grace o' 2012: in an incredible year on the road for women's cycling, matched only by incredible disregard from the powers that be, Italy comes in to save the day: yep, it looks like the Giro Donne is back on. Thank you, thank you, whoever you are!

And Finally, Redemption Song of the Season: yeah, just *keep* complaining about Greg LeMond being a bitter ol' jealous once-was--aside from the fact that the man came back from a near-fatal gunshot wound back in the day for heck's sake, he was right all along, too, and a *bunch* of folks who ought to've known better were just too greedy, starstruck, glory-wh@ring, and dismissive to listen. Greg, vindication is yours--like you ever needed it!

Well, this year's sought-after and highly prestigious awards are out, the peloton's got the night off, and the champagne's popped--apologies to anyone whose accomplishments I've missed, and let the celebratory debauchery begin!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

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

Y'know, between testifying against Lance Armstrong, slogging through army exercises at team camp, desperately cutting deals with prosecutors, and oh right, riding their bikes, the peloton's worked darned hard this fine 2012, so to thank 'em for all their hard work, and to bring them the effervescent joys of the holidays, I hereby present to Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and anyone else who brings free stuff my Very Merry Festivus Wish List for the Peloton:

Tom Boonen: A fifth. Paris-Roubaix, I mean. Make it a fifth Hell of the North for our daring hardman on his flying machine!

Joaquim Rodriguez: First in the ProTour. Second at the Giro d'Italia. And oh, *so* achingly close at the Vuelta! Purito, a Grand Tour must be yours! Dang, I guess you better get a ProTour contract first though...

Katusha: speaking of whom, a ProTour license. Why should only the dirtbags at Astana and RadioSkank get invited to the party?

Andy Schleck: the 2013 Tour de France. Because heck knows only an imaginary guy in a furry red suit could possibly get it for him at this rate!

Peter Sagan: a big, green jersey with "Tour de France" in huge letters right on the front. Why paint your silly *bike* in podium colors when you can just cut right to the chase with the actual *kit*?

Alberto Contador: duct tape. 'Cause if anyone you ever worked with starts yappin', and you don't slap it on their kissers but quick, you're scr@#ed!

Mark Cavendish: sure, he's still the best sprinter on earth, but Renshaw's still gone, and Cav sure does love him some sprint train. A tough-as-nails domestique with an iron-clad 10 year contract--what better security blanket could he ask for?

Cadel and Thor: drugs, man. Cutting-edge drugs. No, not to dope with--so they don't get knocked out all next season with some crap virus again! Oh, come on, surely all the usual peloton pushers can come up with *something* helpful from their scuzzy sources...

Marianne Vos: !@#$, what *can* you give someone who's already outright taken everything for herself? I hereby invent and bequeath you a Women's Vuelta and a Women's Tour de France next season, so she can try winning a trophy she hasn't already gotten!

Brad Wiggins: you remember that cool invisible plane that Wonder Woman always tooled around in? Yeah, but an invisible suit of armor around his bike--'cause if he rides the Tour de France, he's gonna need it for when Froome tries to bushwhack his wheelset with a flying musette next year!

Phil Liggett: shut up. I still love him. Stuff it! So I can't continue to see him live in pain. Santa, bring this dear man a just *little* cynicism, so he's not so easily hurt by a doper-idol next time!

Chris Horner: so now Lance isn't guilty because he never tested poz? I swear, those weird chemicals in all the fast food he's eatin' must be affecting his brain. An organic diet and a Whole Foods gift card, pronto!

Pat "Dick" McQuaid: nuts. The nuts to step down. The nuts to admit you were a pathetic, star-struck, vindictive, hero-worshipping toady who damn near destroyed the sport you purport to love just to bask in the reflected glow of B-list celebrity for one who didn't deserve an iota of what you or anyone else so eagerly gave him. Nuts for Pat, I say!

Lance Armstrong: A big, fat, lucrative book deal about your career, and the methods you used to make it. The catch: everything you write has to be true, and all the proceeds go to Paul Kimmage. Now grab yer tablet and get to writin'!

Last But Not Least, My Dear Reader(s): May your favorite cyclists win every race they aim for, unless Samuel Sanchez wants it. May your favorite rider be ever-clean. May your favorite squad grab the team classification at every Grand Tour. May Lance block you from his Twitter feed, Sir Wiggo grant you a castle, Cav keep his mojo, Contador go veggie, Cancellara start winning again, Tommeke never stop winning again, and your idol throw an empty spit-covered water-bottle right at you at the Tour of California.

So Happy Festivus to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's Yer 2012 Year in Review!

Yes, beloved reader(s), scarily, there's still a good two weeks left for the peloton to top even the disgusting ridiculous and downright pervy excesses of this year, but, in a preemptive nod to the brilliant work the lads and ladesses have already done, it's time to honor 'em all with our 2012 Year In Review!

January: he's baaaaa-aacccck--Valverde returns from doping ban, disconcertingly expects startling improvement in time-trial; Chloe Hoskins calls Pat "Dick" McQuaid a !@#$; Andre Greipel whomps at Tour Down Under.

February: Andy Schleck sez he'll win the Tour--yep, for sure!; Franco Pellizotti brings his golden locks back to work; Contador gets "two-year"-but-actually-six-months doping ban, Lance celebrates his twerp-nemesis' downfall--enjoy it while you can, buddy!

March: Tommeke out of funk, takes Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem--game on, baby!; Cav demands bidon-tossing crash-causing peloton "dickhead" "get a license"; Grand Tour-hopeful carnage at Volta a Catalunya. Allez Allez guys--if you can recover in time!

April: Thor's season in toilet; Cancellara crashes out of Flanders; Boonen bags Roubaix in thrilling breakaway; Samuel Sanchez gets Tour of Basque Country; Schlecks in Suckville, panic at RadioSkank!

May: Holy crap Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro! back-bacon futures soar; Liquigas controls the peloton to no useful effect; Roberto Ferrari takes out half the sprinters with punk-!@# move, issues snarling !@#$-you non-apology; Schleck crashes as Purito gets his wings.

June: It's the Road to the Tour, honey! Ex-Lance-domestiques Dave Z, Hincapie, Vande Velde "don't feel like" doing Olympics--hmmm, that don't seem good; Horner kisses Johan Bruyneel's butt, gains RadioSkank team leadership; Wiggo strong at Dauphine'; Alberto thanks Bjarne with long-term contract. Now just get that boy some backup!

July: What else? Roadside assclown takes out tearful Samu'; psycho strews tacks on course, Cadel on rampage; Frank Schleck out, and positive for dope!; Chris Froome--uh, Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour; holy crap Vos and Vino take the gold!

August: it's the fabulous Vuelta a Espana, baby!; Lance officially down in flames, millions of delusional fan-boys continue support; Phil Liggett flips out (shut up! bite me! we still love him anyway!).

September: Contador rips Vuelta from Purito with One Great Day; Vaughters outs Dave Z, Vande Velde, Tommy D as dopers, and that ain't the half of it; Gilbert redeems blown season with smashing World Champ win; is there *any* race Vos can't grab when she wants to?

October: Swiss court rules Floyd Landis can't call UCI's Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen "terrorists" "full of !@#$" or "Muammar Gaddafi", but *can* call 'em every other foul name you can think of; scathing USADA report is out, but Lance sez his "conscience is clear"--easy when you ain't got one, I guess; Julich out at Sky as squad demands (1) lie about your doping history or (2) you're fired. And you thought omerta' was out of style!

November: ex-doper and harborer-of-dopers Vaughters is clean cycling's hero-darling, Johan Bruyneel in bunker mode; team camps send riders to special-ops boot camp and underground salt mines; smug Armstrong poses with Tour jerseys in man-cave; disgraced UCI takes the high road as chief enabler McQuaid excoriates Landis and Hamilton as "scumbags." Well, sure beats "wanker," Pat!

December: Greg LeMond saves the sport; Euskaltel, Giro Donne screwed *again*; Tour champ/press-hater Wiggo is British Sports Personality of the Year; Katusha sues for ProTour license. Like they've got any worse morals than Astana, for heck's sake?

Well, my dears, that's it for the year so far--let's hope they don't screw up any worse before New Year's!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Some Friendly Suggestions for Our Pals At UCI

Well folks, there's been a lot of controversy in the cycling world the last few months, and sad to say, poor ol' UCI, faithful arbiter of clean sport and benevolent blesser o' squads 'n' races, has cruelly borne the brunt of an awful wunk o' critique. So, in the spirit of love, forgiveness, and charity that characterizes the season, I kindly offer my 7 Friendly Suggestions For UCI This Year:

1. Don't even bother going after Armstrong now. Really. You just look like !@#es.

2. Awarding ProTour licenses so late in the year, after the squads have already blown their entire budgets, is bull!@#$. Just look what you've done to Purito! Of course, *he'll* get an invite to any race he wants. The smaller but still treasured personal ambitions of the poor domestiques who otherwise toil selflessly for him all year--screwed!

3. Okay, you didn't give Katusha a license because ex-Lance lieutenant/loyal apologist Eki fails the morals clause. So you give one to Bjarne Riis instead? For god's sake, man!

4. You wanna talk "4 pillars" of butt-covering snake oil with cycling's "stakeholders?" Include the whistleblowers and journalists you !@#$ed--and no killing the messenger this time!

5. Women's cycling. Lemme get this straight--the women already barely get paid enough to keep themselves in chamois creme and Tampax, much less the high-end designer dope the boys are using, and now you wanna make it so expensive for races to test 'em the only alternative is to cancel them entirely? Wah, wah, exceptions, wah--why not spend the dough *yourself* on someone you might actually bust, you cheapskate enabling freaks? Oh, wait....

6. Ask not what Greg LeMond's done for cycling the last 25 years. Ask what you've done to destroy it. Then, we can maybe get somewhere!

7. Resign. It's too late for rehab, Pat. You've disgraced the organization, the sport, and above all, the people who care about cleaning it up. Just...resign.

Well, them's my suggestions--but I'm sure Pat "Dick"'ll take (well, need, anyway) all the help he can get!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Cav Gets Clipped; Sagan Lifts Weights; And Euskaltel Is !@#$ed

Fine, Just Pimp the Riders Whydontcha!: yep, thanks again UCI you complete points-obsessed team-destroying sport-scr!@ing bean-counting suckwads--your dumb!@# points system has so hosed our darling Euskaltel-Euskadi that the team is down to selling their damn team bus to raise enough cash to pay off their riders through year's end! Great, just great you odious clowns. I'm happy to chip in to buy the Partridge Family Bus and all, if anyone else is game to pony up--if only 'cause it'd be bitchin' careering around the Basque country with it waving to the fans before they realize it there's just some dippy American driving it--but what the hell else are they supposed to sell next, their skivvies? I can't believe the scumlord teams you guys are still allowing to even *exist* in this sport, and *Euskaltel*'s going down? Y'know, home of Samu "Holy Crap He Was the Olympic Gold Medalist! And the Tour de France King of the Mountains! And..." Sanchez, unique squad of phenomenal Basque climbers--uh, okay, like two Basque climbers left now you've already decimated it, lucky beneficiaries of the most impassioned fans on the planet--well, they're all gonna need to scramble for a living now, so if yer lookin' for a deal on some souvenir sweaty 2012 team kit, I'm sure they'll take yer calls!

Cav Gets His Road Rage On: sure, he looks like a sweet elderly gent, but make no mistake: Mark Cavendish swears this guy's an evil reckless rider-hatin' speed-demon who darn near turned him to roadkill, and threatened to call the cops on 'im to boot. Dang, didn't the Brits just bag a whole buncha road glory this year--like, uh, the Tour de France--what gives with their drivers trying to take out half their own talent in the off-season?

Sagan Is Coming For You, Cavendish!: meantime, while Cav wastes his time with stuff like, well, "riding his bike", new Liquigas successor Cannondale isn't messing around--yessir, they've already got sprints-and-Classics challenger Peter Sagan lifting team captains for pre-season strength training. Y'know, I'm no Michele Ferrari--get yer hands outta my pockets, I said I didn't have any drugs!--but you might want to borrow say a Hushovd or a Boonen for that sort of thing instead. I mean, isn't Ivan Basso a bit lightweight to really Thighmaster Sagan up?

Monday, December 03, 2012

Greg LeMond for Prez! Cyclist T&A Update! Save the Giro Donne!

Greeegggggg!: just as Johan Bruyneel feared, that big pack o' "douches" who don't want cycling to be an open encouraged cesspool of stinkin' dopers met to talk sport, and, as Jonathan Vaughters made nice with Cofidis' Eric Boyer after Boyer accused Vaughters of not giving a crap as head honcho when the greed-enabler teams immediately snapped up post-ban drug-weasels as soon as Op Puerto was over, a new white knight has emerged: yes, none less than 3-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, routinely derided in Lanceville as a bitter, angry nobody (I mean, for !@#$'s sake, people), is gonna challenge impotent rump-kisser Pat "Dick" McQuaid for UCI supremacy. Frankly, clean as his rep is and sincere his desire to fix the sport he loves, LeMond could've beaten Hinault with a two-foot syringe stickin' right outta his shorts and I'd *still* love to see 'im on the job just to piss Lance off. Greg for President--woo-hoo!

A Philosophical Q: Look, I truly think doping's really, really bad. And given how pissed everyone is they couldn't afford to dope half so well as Armstrong force-fed his crew, I mean, how horrible everyone feels about the garbage-pail days and how eager they are to change things now for the young ones, I really think the teams all hoppin' on this Movement for Credible Cycling thing is great. But Rabobank, Lampre, Astana--all these disgusting clowns are now *begging* to join the kids they used to pick on at the nerds' table. Am I *really* the only one at all suspecting that clean new era, yap, yap, yap, this is just a bunch of kum-ba-yah s'mores-makin' campfire-singin' bull!@#$ and five years from now we're all going to be reading some "shocking" new expose' of their cutting-edge test-evading blood-doping practices? Okay you sweet little innocents, I guess it's just me then--at least, I hope so!

Save the Giro Donne, !@#dammit! Okay, the women already get paid squat, their teams dissolve every fifteen minutes, the glorious Giro Donne is under threat--and don't even get me *started* on why there's no women's Vuelta or Tour--and now, hot on the heels of Vino & Co partying with the newly-elected "Miss Ciclismo," a buncha cyclist babes are 'helping' the sport by posing for calendars straddling giant mountain-bike tires with electrical tape on their racks? Oh sure, it's usually Cipo or Pippo takin' it off for the cameras, and Petacchi can pose in a silk man-nightie with a hot model velcroed onto 'im and still retain his peloton cred--but really, can't we just give these women a *raise* and some *races* to ride in? Since the answer, sadly, appears to be "no," I hope you'll all join me in my new campaign, "Randomly Send Gobs o' Money to Marianne Vos, Mara Abbott and Giorgia Bronzini," c/o this post. *Please*, please save this phenomenal race--just *look* at what we'll all be missing!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Johan Bruyneel Freaks Out

Smart Thinkin' There, Johan!: yep, as even relentless fan-boy hero-worshipping love-rag Sports Illustrated gives up on a national idol and names Lance Armstrong its "Anti-Sportsman" of the Year, PostalDiscovery cohort-in-slime Johan Bruyneel, in a move seemingly calculated to court even more animosity and suspicion from the relevant governing bodies, has sagely tweeted his own commitment to the new era of clean cycling: "A bunch of douches r gonna meet in London 2 change cycling. But why is @vaughters not on the list? He should be leading that group...". Now *that's* a guy who's showing (1) humble Hincapian remorse and (2) Armstrongian class! Dang, I understand he's pissed that Jonathan Vaughters gets to tattoo "I TOOK TONS OF DOPE" on his forehead hire a pack of silent complicit former Armstrong henchmen still earning tons of money off their drug-wrought fame til forced to confess write a tearful op-ed in the paper apologize profusely change course and be internationally slobbered over as the Mr. Clean Savior o' Cycling and all--and far worse, natch, that Vaughters dissingly blocked Johan on his Twitter feed--but Johan, the solution to *your* personally going down in flames for essentially similar transgressions isn't to get all snitty that Vaughters figured a way out of his mess, but for you to either (1) shut the hell up and get out of the way of, heck, at least *some* small temporary progress in this glorious tainted wreck of a sport or (2) at least shut the hell up enough not to antagonize people who can get you canned for life and make your current travails even worse. Oh, Johan, just shed a few Millaresque tears for the cameras, write a slutty little tell-all for 'cycling's own good', totally coincidentally rake in the obscene loads o' dough and retire already...after all, you still get to keep the credit for your little buddy Contador's 2009 Tour de France win, right?

Frank Rises Again: speaking of RadioSkank, poor innocent Frank Schleck is braving it out in team camp as he awaits his inevitable clearance on banned-diuretic charges, and I gotta say, much as I wish the best for ol' Frank--mainly because I think he really is a better cyclist than even his talented younger brother, at least, y'know, when he's, well, nutritionally up to date--I'm actually kinda worried if this stunt isn't just gonna make it worse for fragile Andy when his brother is torn from him *again.* C'mon, Andy, you know despite this week's sniping that Contador's still gonna get to ride the Tour--between the tenacious likes of him, Cadel, and Froome all physically and mentally poised to stalk you every turn of the pedals, you *really* better toughen up quick!

G.I. Joe is Back: finally, congrats to the fresh meat over at Quick Step for all surviving their special-ops boot camp this week! The big winner: new recruit Mark Cavendish, who as you can see here has decisively beat down Tom Boonen for team-leadership supremacy once and for all: Congrats Cav, and Tommeke, so sorry, but then, all's fair in love and war!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Time for Team Camps, Baby!

Yep, the brief off-season binge o' blissful relaxation, DS-enraging motor-sports indulging, and desperate squad-seeking is about over, folks, and it's time for the riders to bond, train, and smack down their potential intra-team rivals because it's Team Camp Season, baby! In: live or let die, sucker! Out: that pansy-!@# coddling massage-mani-pedi-and-'stache-grooming spa simpiness that's paid off only in total team implosion for places like Garmin and Lampre. First outta the blocks this year: ever-sadist Bjarne "Survivorman" Riis over at Saxo-Tinkoff, Patrick "You Better Not Screw Over Boonen" Lefevere at Omega Pharma Quick Step, and, in a scrappy little move, the always-underrated Vacansoleil. Here, Bjarne drops his boys into the Hunger Games, Lefevere throws his troops into bootcamp in Slovakia, and Vacansoleil...uh, sends the guys into a salt mine or something?:

Next in line: Purito breaks rocks with Katusha in Tuscany, Euskaltel teaches its managers how to fend off hails of rotten produce from enraged Orange Army fans, and RadioSkank--well, they all just slump in a fleabag-motel conference room somewhere, crying their poor little eyes out. Now drop and give me fifty, you worms, and thank me for signing your worthless carcass to our squad!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Racejunkie's Cycling Things I'm Thankful For This Year (And a Few I'm Not)

Yes, dear reader(s), it's time for Americans to remember the poor starving Pilgrims and express our gratitude for all our blessings by gorging ourselves sick watching hours of steroid-stuffed goons knocking each other over on football fields in a belt-popped stupor and stomping the hell outta each other at midnight for a few bucks off a big-screen TV at Crapmart, and, in due honor of Thanksgiving, here's some Cycling Things I'm Thankful For This Year:

(1) Tom Boonen. I'll admit it--I feared our beloved pin-up party-boy's best days were behind 'im when he got all kinds o' chastened laid off the clubs and blow and sank into a lead-legged funk for two seasons. It's great to be wrong. The Classics King is back--thanks for an amazing 2012 Tommeke!

(2) Mauricio Soler. He survived a near-death crash at the 2011 Tour de Suisse, coming back from a coma and an inability to even speak to a remarkable recovery this year. And yes, this brilliant climber had to retire, but he's o.k. Ditto the other less-seriously injured riders from this year's grim tally in the peloton or training on the road, from Schleck to Brad to Cav. Keep safe everyone!

(3) Ryder-freakin'-Hesjedal. Who knew quiet friendly Canada would absolutely take over proud Italy for its first-ever Giro win? Oh, Canada, you kicked the Giro's !@#!

(4) Marianne Vos. 'Cross. Road. Mountain. World Champion. Olympic gold. Is there *any* race this woman can't win?

(5) Alberto Contador. Whether you think he's a doping little weasel or doe-eyed angel, this kid can sure shake up a race. Really, do you think the Tour's gonna half so boring next year?

(6) Pat "Dick" McQuaid. Why's he on my "thankful" list? Because karma's a beeyotch, baby, and this time next year we can all be thankful when this incompetent butt-kissing jackwagon's been fired, or, y'know, "resigned" from UCI. Tick-tock Pat, you wanker!

(7) Chloe Hoskins. With Nostradamus-like accuracy, and no fear of inevitable retribution whatsoever, this seer-o'-the-peloton openly called out Pat McQuaid as a "dick." Bonus points for the next rider to call 'im a "tool"!

(8) Alexandre Vinokourov. Oh yes, it makes me feel dirty. *Really* dirty. But you *cannot* have watched that Olympic road-race without jumping outta your chair screaming like a 10-year-old at a Bieber concert. Ashamed as I am, we'll miss you Vino!

And a Few I Ain't:

(1) The World Tour. !@#$ you UCI for destroying my perfect Euskaltel and crushing domestiques into dog puckeys with your stupid dream-destroying points system you !@#$%ing !@#$ers!

(2) Lance Armstrong. About the only guy in cycling who could make Floyd "Fairness Fund" Landis look good. You still got all those yellow jerseys in your basement to chill with, though!

(3) Johan Bruyneel. up already, willya? Come on pal, you can't spend the rest of your life slapping people around for blocking you off their Twitter feed...

Well, that's this year's list o' gratitude, and I'm sure we'll have even bitchiner stuff to be thankful for next year. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's Yer Sissy-Boy Slap-Fight o' the Week!; and, Andy Schleck Puts on His Big-Boy Pants

Like Carlos Barredo Whanging Rui Costa Over the Head With a Bike Wheel, Only Bloodier: yes, the blame game for Lance Armstrong's monster--and happily abetted--fraud continues, with WADA tying UCI's Pat "Dick" McQuaid to a chair in a bare concrete cell lit by a single glaring lightbulb a for a two-day "well *we* ain't takin' the heat, you moron" smackdown, and Pat "Dick" shrieking that just because he's the most disgusting obsequious doping-enabler ever known don't mean it's not even worse that Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton are "scumbags," and he doesn't even like their haircuts to boot. Meantime, UCI continues to restore its credibility with it's new anti-doping hotline, whereby riders are helpfully encouraged to either (1) turn themselves in and wreck their own careers or (2) rat out other guys who are doping better than they are for slimeballian tactical advantage. Unfortunately, the only calls the hotline has received so far are a reported 253 voice mails from the Spanish peloton proclaiming that "Lance Armstrong is a great champion" and they "still support him 100%." Best of all, in UCI's strongest attempt yet to crack down on cheats, it's just invested over $1 million in cutting-edge lab equipme--uh, spent a huge wad of cash to hire itself a freakin' PR firm. Way to clean up the sport, Pat--damn, why not just *buy* everybody performance-enhancing drugs?

Out Here On My Own: meanwhile, it's a darn good thing Andy Schleck's starting his season extra-early at the Tour Down Under to build his form back and, way more importantly, learn to ride confidently on his own outta the guiding protective slipstream of his elder brother, 'cause Frank's proceeding on his 2012 Tour de France doping poz has been delayed again. If I've said it once, Frank, I've said it a hundred times, if yer gonna use a banned diuretic to ease those, uh, menstrual cramps, at least get a Therapeutic Use Exemption from yer ol' friend Dr. Eufemiano "Gyno to the Male Stars" Fuentes first! You *go* Andy, you can do it by yourself--at least til you start blaming Contador for something...

Yer Downright Disconcerting Headline o' the Week: lastly, a huge congrats to Velonews for its hugely squick-inducing story title "Astana finds trainer for Nibali as he aims at the 2013 Giro." Oh, come *on* Vinokourov, Vincenzo Nibali's *such* a nice hardworking kid--I don't care if you hired Santa Claus to help 'im, you *trying* to get him woken up out of his much-needed rest by the narcs for a needle attack at 2 am every night of the race?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lance Armstrong Is Still An !@@hole

That's Still *Seven*, You Jealous Weakling Mother!@#$ers!: yes, Lance may've been disgraced, exposed as a thuggish two-wheeled low-life, and publicly reviled basically everywhere on earth besides the USA, but he's still one happy boy--just 'cause some winky cycling mecca took his yellow jerseys down from *their* display don't mean *he's* gonna do it, and in fact, he is just a-chillin' right in his man-cave with his seven maillots jaune on his Unshakable Wall o' Ego above his head. Classy! So Lance--you gonna frame yer old syringes that you won 'em with on up there, too?

Playing Chicken: meanwhile, fellow (alleged!) miscreant Michael Rasmussen is still beyond ticked he was cheated out of the 2007 Tour de France win by Rabobank of all hypocrite squads yankin' him out of the race virtually within view of the Champs-Elysees, when natch they new perfectly well he'd lied about his whereabouts months earlier when he accidentally skipped a doping control, so, having won in court once, he's going back for even more dough. Michael, I feel your pain. But it still doesn't excuse this, from your Dancing with the Stars stint!

Tom Boonen Means Business: okay, he's had a week off to play, but comeback studmachine Tom Boonen is ready to get back to work, aiming to repeat his spectacular 2012 Classics season and telling new teammate/best bud Mark Cavendish he's not too interested in the Tour de France this year so Cav can, in the hunt for the green jersey derailed by Chris Fro--uh, Brad Wiggins' incredible performance this year over at Sky, stuff it in terms of his help at least. Here, Tom gives Quick Step a heart attack by testing out a new Ferrari in the rain: Forza 2013, Tommeke--just for god's sake try to save the speed for the bike!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Calm Down Everyone, Brad's Okay; and, Johan Starts a Twit-War

And He Has No Class: well, after skimming last night's twitter-war over whether news of Brad Wiggins' awful bike crash with a car was being with due solemnity--and I'm truly glad to report he's not nearly so badly damaged as initially feared--I'm also pleased to note he was in fact well enough to flash a healthy one-fingered salute to the anxious and sympathetic press corps on his way out the hospital doors. What the hell? Look, I know you *really* hate the spotlight--in which case, writing a new autobio which I assume you want people to buy probably wasn't the most discreet and self-effacing move, but whatever--and understandably, anyone, particularly a cyclist who makes a living off his bod, who's been in a frightening crash is gonna be both (1) in pain and (2) pretty pissy about being bothered. And to be sure, it's gotta be unbelievable pressure going from Really Great British Time Triallist to Athlete Hero-God of a Nation in 3 short weeks. But Bradley, you are an *idol* in Great Britain, the press and fans love and adore you and are *so* glad you're okay, why be such a wanker to them when they show they care? You hate the spotlight? I respect that--so take your book off the shelf, stop posing on thrones, and quit voluntarily yappin' to the press every five minutes how much you hate when anyone notices your existence. Now rest up, and get well soon--you wanna be at your best if you're gonna take on the noble Giro against the Italians, and besides, Froome'll really need you to support him in the Tour next year!

Johan Brings It On: so you think Armstrong collaborator Johan Bruyneel's gonna take any crap for enabling the most disgusting and insidious example of teamwide systemic doping in history? Hell, no, he isn't and, in explanation as promised of the whole tawdry alleged situation, he's--uh, all-caps lit into Garmin boss/reformed dopemeister Jonathan Vaughters for blocking him from Vaughters' Twitter feed. *Well*, Johan, *that* in-depth defense of your innocence sure puts everyone's concerns about you and the scummiest era in cycling to rest! Hey, since my opinion don't matter, just ask Hincapie, or Leipheimer, or Zabriskie, or Vaughters,, sorry, Johan, I guess you're *still* screwed!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

UCI, Opposing Doping "Since the Dark Period of Lance Armstrong"--Because It Sure Didn't Police It for !@#$ Back Then

Right On, UCI!: so in response to a cool $2 million lawsuit by a disgruntled cycling sponsor, UCI's come out swinging: sure, it was useless *then*, but boy oh boy, are they on the warpath against doping *now*! The proof? Yep, UCI's...uh, investigating Alexandre Vinokourov for allegedly buying the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege from Kolobnev. Take that, dopers! Y'know, leaving aside that UCI's got more important things to do at the moment--like, dissolve--I think you gotta *admire* Vino for his open-minded ability to change with the times. You can dope? You dope. You get accused of doping? You tell 'em to !@#$ off *and* threaten to rat 'em out. You can't dope anymore? You *buy* yourself a damn Monument! Look, not to get all political here, but isn't this the very essence of the free market we all know and love? So Kolobnev decides it's more in his economic self-interest to take a giant pile o' cash from Vinokourov than to wait and see if his Liege win pays off with a better contract next seas--um, notices that he's actually got a wicked leg cramp 6 centimeters from the line, big whoop! Oh, Vino, skeezebag of my heart, the peloton is gonna be *so* dull without you--Cav sending his goons up to bushwhack the competition just *can't* compare! Here, the fateful "win":

The Dumbest Freakin' Anti-Doping Idea *Ever*: and that's sayin' a *lot*, as Rabobank rider Juan Manuel Garate suggests that the peloton police itself, mainly by the deeply chastened elder riders thoroughly teaching the innocent younger tots what not to do. Like what, how not to safely store a bag o' yer own blood in the hotel-room mini-bar or how not to apply a drug patch to your nuts? Damn, between Indurain and Contador and Valverde and (sob!) Samu supporting Armstrong, and now Garate weighing in, the Spaniards are just *begging* to be brought down by the narcs nowadays...

Michele, My Belle: meantime, congrats to presumptive Giro champ Michele Scarponi, finally 'fessing up to taking two "training tests" with notorious doping doc Ferrari back in 2010 (and we all know the peloton had already stopped doping by then), but asking for some slack on the grounds that he didn't know Ferrari was on the banned list just because, oh, skywriters traced it in smoke over every !@#$in' race since like 2002, you idiot! I gotta say though, this mighta been plausible if (1) the authorities hadn't audiotaped Ferrari tellin' you you coulda won the Giro "with a bag" and (2)the Italian cycling fed were completely lobotomized...geez, just shut the hell up while you're ahead whydontcha?

You Suck, UCI!: finally, thanks again to UCI for wrecking the career of another hardworking domestique, this time the fine Joost Posthuma, with your dumb-!@# points system that's already destroyed my darling Euskaltel. Well, Froomey, at least with Wiggo's WorldTour points you've still got some backup left for the Tour de France next year--now can UCI fix this outrageous UCImess before it's just them and Contador for the grand tours?

Friday, November 02, 2012

Yer Handy Guide to the Brave New World o' Cycling--In Ten Easy Steps!

Well folks, the implications of the Armstrong scandal are finally starting to sink in to the teams, the managers, and the peloton, and since it's clearly a whole new world out there--and by "new," I include whatever "new" doping methods are already outwitting the bio passport and bypassing the doping control--it's time we all review the ground-rules, avoid any future screw-ups, and get the hell with the program. Ergo, I bring you:

1. If you doped years ago, never tested positive, and lied by omission, you are (1) a hero and (2) a victim.

2. If you doped years ago, tested positive, and lied by speaking, you are (1) a scumbag and (2) a perp.

3. If you doped years ago, and lie about it, you're hired. But you are *so* in the doghouse if you get busted 10 years from now, buddy!

4. If you doped years ago, and actually 'fess up to it, you're fired.

5. If you doped years ago, actually 'fess up to it, and are a devoted mentor to young riders, you are still fired. Or you get to run Garmin.

6. If you doped recently, didn't 'fess up, and are still riding, you're on Movistar, Lampre, or Saxo Bank.

7. If you prosecute dopers after a thorough and careful investigation, you are an evil, joyless witch-hunter who has destroyed the sport.

8. If you enable dopers through sustained incompetence, sporadic ennui, or outright complicity, you are head of a major international sporting union.

9. If you're Johan Bruyneel, you're pretty well !@#$ed.

10. If you perpetrated the worst sporting fraud in history, and kept it quiet through threats, intimidation, and hiding behind your charity work, you are still, and always will be, a multi, multi, multimillionaire. Ha ha!

All right, you two-wheeled speeding clowns, I've helped you all enough. Now crank up that Armstrong-in-effigy bonfire, toast up some marshmallows, and don't say I didn't warn you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Reality Check on the Great Doping Purge o' 2012; and, The Church Takes on Lance Armstrong

Out, Out, Damned Doper!: look, I'd love--*love*--to see anyone who ever took dope completely banned from the sport. And maybe that's the way it should be from today forward--one strike and you're out. And for my money, penalties should actually be stricter for (1) any dirtweasel, particularly a DS dirtweasel, aiding abetting and encouraging doping by any rider(s) and (2)that smug little hypocrite Millar. But realistically, you put these rules in place right this second like Sky, and you're not gonna have a DS or anyone else worth jack running the sport for a good 15 years. *Really*, De Jongh Yates and Julich are the *only* guys with skeletons in their (1998 for !@#$'s sake) closets? Frankly, I call bull!@#$--at best, they're ones who haven't kept lying about it and signed some dimwit pledge to keep their jobs. So if we do purge this sport--a laudable goal, considering the disgusting cesspool it's become--who the hell do we all expect to manage cycling, much less ride it, for the next decade, some soigneur's freakin' 5 year old? What's more, who *is* getting a pass right now from the fans and the governing bodies seems like total arbitrary crap, and as a loyal if deeply conflicted Heras Mayo and Ullrich fan, I should know from. I mean, I love Dave Z and all those guys too, but isn't it completely offensive that these guys are getting a pass for 'fessing up only when forced to and keeping utterly self-interestedly silent when Armstrong was character-assassinating guys like Landis and Hamilton for being lying pigs when they knew it wasn't true, as it pertained to Armstrong anyway? So if we're really all at peace with purging the sport of dopers completely, right now, that's cool--call me on board, so long as it applies to everyone. Just no whining when 2013 rolls around and there's like 3 guys left to ride and staff the races, you hear? Alternatively, we can do the whole truth-and-reconciliation thing, accept that a huge slew of skankwads will never be held accountable for their actions so long's they yap now, and start afresh with the zero-tolerance tomorrow. Anyone?

Okay, the Vatican It Ain't: but still, I see Lance has now managed to get all his yellow jerseys excommunicated from the Cappella Notre Dame des Cyclistes, visited by a cool 15,000 faithful a year and, though aware its action is merely symbolic, comforted by the knowledge that Lance Armstrong'll bur--uh, that it's the right and just thing to do. Oh well Lance--at least yer still a multimillionaire, what's a silly little soul in comparison?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Good News for Lance Armstrong, That Lying Sack of !@#$; And, In Defense of Bobby Julich

Fear No More, Desperate Lance Fanboys!: yep, dry your tears, o innocent (stupid, whatever) ones: your spotless hero's got good news today, straight from the rich-guy-analysts at the venerable New York Times--sure, Lance may've lost his 7 Tour de France wins, destroyed the lives of countless whistleblowers who were actually telling the truth about 'im, orchestrated one of the most repulsive and potentially physically dangerous doping schemes ever for himself and his totally-whipped teammate-beeyotches, and besmirched the name of the worthy cancer charity he founded, but he's still gonna be mother!@#$in' rich, baby! Now, that is just news to warm my frozen heart. Why? One, because I naturally root for underdogs, and who is more of an underdog than poor beseiged Lance, and why should *his* sainted name go down in infamy just 'cause T-Mobile and them couldn't systemically dope for !@#$? And two--and best of all--Tyler, Floyd, Frankie, Betsy, Greg, and especially Simeoni: *now* there's a point to suing his goon-thug concrete-shoe-makin' kneecap-busting !@#, 'cause he's clearly got the dough to pay your damages! Hey, maybe now Landis can start payin' back the people he ripped off with his "Fairness Fund"...

Owner of A Broken Heart: look, I'm getting !@#damn tired of defending everybody over their stupid doping confessions they only gave under subpoena, after they'd happily sucked in millions of bucks worth of contracts or sponsor deals, or when they got busted doping like a moron. But I'm gonna stretch my neck out one last time for dear Bobby Julich, and before I get any crap about he's no different than anyone else and it's grossly unfair to penalize someone just because they're not widely reviled throughout the peloton as a colossal d!@#, let me say this: when Bobby Julich strode right past me into a vineyard at the 2006 Giro d'Italia and I had to immediately avert my eyes in horror when it turned it he was goin' in for a wee, all I can say is, well, I didn't *see* nothin' suspicious. Of course, if I'd seen *anything*, I would have passed out flat on the roadside, as I am a delicate lady, but still, that's gotta count for something, right? One interesting note in his confession, in his defense of Bjarne Riis: how he says he didn't see any systemic doping in the CSC squad. So does that mean he observed it on an individual level? Oh, right, Frank Schleck was just running off to Switzerland during the Tour to track down his favorite Swiss beer, and Ivan only *attempted* to dope...

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: finally, congrats to the perfectly wisenheimer Italians, whose newly-unveiled 2013 Worlds mascot turns out to be the unforgettable Pinocchio. Am I the only one suspecting that no matter how clean the current peloton yells it's gonna be, his nose is *still* gonna gonna grow a good half-dozen times next Worlds? Oh, Geppetto, I thought you raised that boy better than that!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yer What the !@#$ Are They Thinking? Peloton Roundup

Yes, we've most of us made it through the apocalypse, and the survivors are, predictably, wiggin' the hell out, so I'm thinkin' it's time for us to take a *wee* step back and consider things rationally:

1. Christian Prudhomme. So Lance's Tours "have no winners?" Sure they do--Joseba, Ullrich, and Iban. Euskaltel and T-Mobile didn't have half the dough to do that !@#$ as well as Postal, so a level playing field it wasn't. As a bonus, those riders are, while clearly imperfect, also not colossal witness-intimidating !@#holes. Oh, bite me you Puritans!

2. Pat "Dick" McQuaid, Tyler Hamilton, Bjarne Riis. Okay, I'll solve this stupid war: *none* of you has any place in cycling. Tyler: you benefited, you got busted, you talked. It's great you finally did, and I hope the sport changes, too. But can't the book just stand on its own by now? Pat "Dick": you enabled it, either actively or incompetently failed to confront it, or all three. *Go* already! Bjarne: how the heck is *this* guy any better than Bruyneel? Am I the only one who remembers CSC? Damn!

3. Pat "Dick" Again. "UCI would accept donations from riders in the future." What?! Okay, maybe Millar'd just donate because he's a sanctimonious pain in the works, but like no-one else'd just be expecting a wink and a nod next time? Look, *I'll* freakin' donate if you actually prosecute someone besides Franco Pellizotti and some dimwit neo-pro buying toxic unregulated scam-garbage off the internet, how's that instead?

4. Michele Ferrari. You look like a *massive* tool for saying to tuttobici you only provided your riders with "dietary strategies." What the hell kind of "diet" involves stickin' an IV full of drugs in your !@#? On the plus side, it's swell you're still friends with Lance!

5. Cadel Evans. On a related note, holy crap, he may well *be* the only man in cycling who got just "training advice" from Ferrari. We believe in you Cadel!

6. Jens and Samu. I will always love and 100% back Jens Voigt and Samuel Sanchez. However, on the Armstrong issue, they both appear to have been taken over by aliens. Please, can't someone get those pod people outta their brains?

7. Tom Boonen. No matter what anyone else says about your own history, we still love you Tommeke--'cause we don't think you took all that coke to improve your performance!

8. Rabobank. Hilarious. *Now* they're pissed?

9. Philippe Gilbert. Am I the only one the least bit skeptical that the "new generation" everyone's yappin' about is really way cleaner? Look at all the amateur pozes this year for heck's sake! Yep, just as after Festina there was Puerto, after Puerto there was the Great CERA Scourge of 2008-2010, after that there was this, 5 years from now there'll be some vomitous scandal again...

10. And Finally, Some Kind Advice: Alberto Contador, for your own good I beg you, not a word. NOT A SINGLE 'NOTHER WORD ON THIS ENTIRE SUBJECT, EVER, YOU UNDERSTAND ME? Dang, someone's gotta protect these boys from themselves!

Okay, on to 2013. Hey, it can't be any more of a trainwreck than 2012, right? I know, famous last words...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Fantasy UCI/Pat "Dick" McQuaid Press Conference

Good morning. As you may know, I am Pat "Dick" McQuaid, proud president of UCI, the preeminent pro--uh, anti! anti!--doping organization in cycling. I apologize for the lousy audio feed, but as you can imagine, here in the unmapped rainforest in Borne--uh, I meant Brazil! I meant Brazil!--where I'm in hiding, there's not exactly primo cell phone coverage. So good luck tracking me down to face criminal charges, mother!@#$ers!

Anyway, I've called this press conference to address the very serious and upsetting USASA report on Lance Armstrong. First, I'd like to say what a privilege and pleasure it's been all these years of willfully blind slutty obsequiousness to ride to personal fame, glory, and untold wealth on Lance's golden-jersey anti-cancer-hero coattails. Now, of course, I'm gonna have to pull a Nike and completely throw his dirty doping !@# under the bus even though I absolutely knew--uh, heard! with shock and disbelief! through third-hand rumor and innuendo only!--he was a cheating scumwad the entire time. In that vein, I hereby blame everything on honorary UCI prez/former head honcho Hein Verbruggen, who, despite my personally grabbing Lance for a urine sample every six seconds which was then immediately tested in the half-million dollar testing machine that Lance bought for us and totally coincidentally very generously calibrated by hand himself prior to each test, totally thwarted my every sincere and noble effort to substitute pig urine for Lan--I mean, to catch that filthy druggy cheat every race. And naturally, we won't be appealing the decision on Lance to WADA, primarily because I won't be here to give a cra--uh, provide the in-depth commitment of time and analysis that a thorough pursuit of justice requires.

I next want to address the ridiculous allegations that UCI treated certain riders more favorably than others, which is not only offensive, but downright inaccurate. If you look carefully, you'll see that it's not the *riders* I treated unfairly, it's the *teams*. Look, did Tyler or Floyd or Heras ever come up positive while they were still riding for Lance? No! I only went after their sorry !@#es when Lance ordered me to after they left his service at USPostalDiscovery--I mean, when the testing protocols caught up to their nefarious actions! And that snotty little twerp Contador--when he was still smart enough to stay Lance's meek little beeyotch, uh, when he was just an innocent boy trying to navigate the treacherous roiling waters of the peloton, did I *ever* get on his case? Nyet again! Apropos of nothing, however, I think it's very interesting that a recent statistical analysis shows that Hein Verbruggen, by contrast, routinely nailed individual riders in direct proportion to their personal failure to provide him with piles of cocaine, conflict diamonds, spa weekends, and booze.

Despite the clear slanderousness of the unjust witch-hunt against me, and in order to protect the sanctity of my untraceable and ginormous Swiss bank account--uh, to spend more time with my friends and family! yeah, them!--I have decided to resign from my cherished position at UCI to accept a new gig as a DS-in-absentia for my fellow anti-doping advocates at Garmin-Sharp. Therefore, I hereby announce that my replacement at the reins of UCI will be Lance Armstrong himself. Just kidding!--it's Frank Schleck.

Well, I see this call is about to become traceable, so unfortunately, I won't be taking any questions. Thank you and goo--holy !@#$, is that a freakin' panther up there?!--(call ends with sounds of shrieks, chomping)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sky And Omerta, Sitting In a Tree/K-I-S-S-I-N-G; And, Don't !@#$ With Boonen, Cav!

I Heart Bull!@#$: so Team Sky, which only just recently let its own scumlordly doping-associated doc go because, apparently, they never heard of some obscure outfit called "Rabobank" before he was hired, has now nobly ordered all their current riders'n'staff to sign a pledge swearing they are not now--nor have they ever been--involved with doping, leading to the obvious question: are they (1) that dead set on staffing their whole squad with two freakin' 5-year-olds next year or (2) really telling everyone to completely lie out your !@# about your entire career or you're fired? Of *course* they're gonna !@#$in' lie, you enablers--if you're giving 'em a choice between a meaningless signature about their past practices elsewhere, much less while they've been with you clowns, and their ENTIRE LIVELIHOOD, yes you *are* encouraging the omerta that's wrecked the sport! So much for the teams driving the cleanup of cycling. Oh, well, at least this means Sky has to fire that irritating David Millar I guess...

Cavendish Finds a New Home: speaking of Sky, and now that Lefevere's freed up some serious cash by kicking Levi Leipheimer to the curb, Mark Cavendish has a fine new home at Quick Step, meaning (1) Tom Boonen is gonna remain the squad's Classics god and (2) Mark, you *better* not think o' suckin' away all Tommeke's resources for your own insatiable need for leadouts, you high-maintenance whippersnapper! Oh, come on, like you don't think they'll *ever* want the same race, just once? And jeez, forget the tension everyone swears won't even a tiny weeny bit even exist--how can one team *handle* so much man-candian babeliciousness?

Well I'm Sorry/I Can't Afford a Ferrari/But That Don't Mean I Can't Get You There: and, looks like the peloton's gonna have to go elsewhere for needle-borne "training advice", now that even the Italians are so pissed off at Michele Ferrari they're busting him a new one, which means, if we're all lucky, Ferrari's gonna react like a cornered rabid wolverine rip everyone's face off and take the whole damn group down with 'im. Uh, anyone else besides, y'know, the entire Lampre squad want to 'fess up before the horrorfest begins? And Menchov--I saw your name you sneak--give Heras back his Vuelta dammit, it's not like he made enough dough to do it any better'n you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In (Increasingly Frustrated) Defense of Phil Liggett, *Again* (Yeah, So Bite Me! Go to Hell!); and, Thor for Four, Baby!

Oh, *Phil*: okay, let's get the latest news outta the way: Levi's been sacked, Nike (allegedly!) paid Verbruggen a cool half-mil to cover a doping poz, Frank's gonna get off for his diuretic poz, everyone who benefited from joining in Lance's disgusting doping is SO RELIEVED to tell the truth now that they officially get to keep the millions they earned off it, and the peloton has traded its charming multiplicity of languages in for the harmonious and near-universal sound of crickets chirping. Now, on to Phil. As dear reader karl kindly pointed out, Phil now concedes Lance may have done it. But--BUT--Lance is still a bitchin' asset to the sport. Aiiiggghhhh! Phil, you tryin' to *kill* me here? Anyway, the twit-sphere is going nutwhack, and folks, here's why I'm calling on you all to lay off: Phil Liggett is an innocent lamb who is only *just* realizing that that big hairy razor-toothed bastard across the pasture is a mean, nasty wolf all ready to eat 'im. In short, Phil just cannot help it. Yes, the paranoid conspiracy theory bull!@#$ was beyond--way beyond--the pale. But tell me, any of you, since you first fell in love with this sport--as a cyclist, or as a mindblown armchair athlete--have you *really* never once had a sense of romance about it? And if the romance wasn't ever about Lance the Triumphal Hero, not even over its weird cult of suffering, its pursuit of perfection, the terrifying joy of a 70 mph descent, the thrill of seeing a lone rider emerging triumphant and wholly spent at the top of one of the highest peaks of Europe? Hell, I'm still willing to buy that Iban was framed, Ullrich benefited from fattening up over the winter, Heras improved like a freak in the time trial by tweaking his position, and Dave Z was just high off of Pop Rocks. Yap, money, yap, reflected glory, yap--Phil is *heartbroken*, I tell you, and it's gonna take time for our dear Voice of Cycling to heal. Me, I suggest Irish whiskey, in quantity. But if takes Phil another Tour de France reminiscing over the '68 Chateau Lafitte Effete he enjoyed when Lemond won his first Tour or the charming castle he stayed at with Paul the very eve of Hinault's final win, for mercy's sake, just let 'im--who the hell can't sympathize with that?!

Thor for Four, Honey!: in *happy* news, meantime, we love Thor Hushovd is swearing to come back from his excruciating suckfest of a 2012 to take his dream Paris-Roubaix in 2013, and 2014, and 2015, *and* 2016, and no, he's not a decaying old mummy you haters, he had a virus !@#dammit! Hey, Gilbert came back, right?--allez allez Thor! Challenging Thor on the cobbles, however, is new World Champ/serious bad-!@# Marianne Vos, who's calling for all the Classics, Hell of the North of course included, to have women's races, since there's certainly no question she and a heck of a lot of other smashing riders can more'n conquer the long bone-rattling mudfests o' the cobblestones. Or I suppose Marianne could just "handle" a freakin' cobblestone right upside the race organizers' heads if they say no...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sure, I Can Bull!@#$ A Lie Detector Test; and, No-One Cares if I Did It Anyway!

Lance Just Keeps Getting Classier: yes, as official confirmation of what pretty well everyone except dear Phil Liggett already thought for years continues to sink in to the pure and innocent peloton--the two USPostalDiscovery riders who weren't deemed important enough to be Lance's beeyotch anyway--Lance's defense keeps gettin' more weird and skeezy, with his attack-team now saying (1) Lance'd probably be perfectly willing to take a lie detector test, since if yer garden-variety in-bred criminal sociopath can pass one due to lack of a recognizable moral compass, the far superior Lance could totally do it even better, and (2) nobody in hero-worship-central--y'know, AMERICA, which hates cancer and commies unlike those effete spandex-wearin' wussies over in Europe--even cares that he *did* dope, anyway. Ha-ha! Yep, it just proves that we here in AMERICA do it better'n everybody else--again! It ain't *our* fault those mo-rons in Franceland or Spainville or whatever can't do nothin' right--now pass me some Bud, gimme them nachos, and turn the TV on to a *real* sport, like FOOTBALL!

Your "No !@#$, Sherlock!" Comment o' the Week: and, many thanks to former WADA prez Dick "Dick" Pound for his sage observation that UCI *must've* known something was going on with Lance and Postal for years on end, mainly because, y'know, it's funny how Postal riders in particular were left alone for 18 hours before and after they won a race before they were escorted to doping controls, or, uh, nobody questioned the pack mules carrying large boxes labeled "EPO" to the team bus in the Alps, or, well, it *was* maybe a little odd that "room service" was dressed in lab coats every time they delivered IV bottles full of "champagne" and "condiments" contained in little syringes that apparently got injected into the "hamburgers" with long sharp needles. Jeez, no *wonder* the poor bastids who had some narc lookin' over their shoulder every time they had to get up to pee in the middle o' night their whole careers are so outraged! Man, next thing you'll be saying the anti-doping agencies found nothin' weird about all those bags of medical waste being found in team musettes in the hotel dumpster after every Tour stage...

Oh, Right, We Watch This For the *Racing*: last but not least, many compliments after a hugely crap week for the sport to we love Joaquim Rodriguez, Chris Froome's--uh, Brad Wiggins'--Team Sky, and the fabulous nation of Spain for their officially-awarded (if previously-actually-known) UCI WorldTour wins. Am I the only one just slightly, slightly, slightly rooting for Astana to kick everyone's !@#es next season? Oh, yeah, forza Vinokourov--even if you aren't pulling all that crazy !@#$ on the actual bike any more!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Deflection, Denial, Duhs, and "D'oh!"s: Cycling Reacts to the Armstrong Report

Deflection!: well, now that we know straight from the man himself that Armstrong henchman Johan Bruyneel wasn't sacked by RadioSkank--he just decided to leave to protect the team, the sweetheart--it's time for him to address the *real* victim here: yep, Johan himself, whose own quest for well-deserved vindication for these terrible lies by EVERYONE WHO EVER WORKED FOR HIM BUT LANCE has been severely compromised, not by the fact that basically any defense he could make is bull!@#$, but by USADA's meanie tactics. Please, can't *someone* make this go away? Oh, wait, Johan could, if he dropped this farce--well, the heck with that then I guess! And then of course there's doper-enabler sourpuss Pat "Dick" McQuaid, who unfortunately is too busy with the Tour of Beijing at the moment to pay attention to such trivialities, but who promises to take a looooooong, sloooooooooow, caaaaaaaareful read of the incredibly long and detailed USADA report as soon as hell freezes ov--uh, as soon as he gets a few minutes' break from his brutal mid-October schedule. Looking forward to what you have to say, Pat--though I imagine it ain't gonna be much without your lawyers present!

Denial!: meantime, I remain impressed that at a time when Lance was basically jammin' needles into his teammates !@#es at the dinner table, when he deigned to dine with them that is, so many of the guys who worked for him at the time--like, say, Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Classics maven Stijn Devolder, or Sean Yates--had no idea anything doping-related was remotely going on at USPostalDiscoveryRadioSkank. What's more, no one else in other teams associated with doping, like Fabian Cancellara at Bjarne Riis' CSC in 2006 when Basso was busted, or Brad Wiggins whose own team had to fire a doc closely associated with doping this season, or basically anyone who ever went to Michele Ferrari for training advice, or, well, every other team on the planet, had any idea what was going on anywhere either, even though they're intimately familiar with related slang terms and are pretty sure that everyone but them was doing it. Well, to be fair, there was no reason to think anyone was doping, since only the guilty ones ever turned up poz--oh, you almost have to feel kindly towards anyone who actually *believes* it when they suggest such things!

Duhs!: by contrast, all the smug little s.o.b.s who called for strict anti-doping controls only after they'd been caught and couldn't personally benefit from it anymore since they had to race clean--hi, St. David Millar!--are again calling for everyone else's head, presumably because Pat "Dick" and Hein Verbruggen didn't pull an Armstrong and cover *their* dirty doping carcasses when *they* could've used it. Way to pursue justice, you vengeful little hypocrites! Me, I'm ready to *call* for forced omerta on any whinging wanker who doesn't just shut the hell up umpteen years later after an initial mea culpa and then *quietly* just leading by example. Leave it to people who actually voluntarily raced clean in the 1st place and who you screwed too the 1st time around, you crybabies!

D'ohs!: last but not least, a moment of silence, please, for the guys still left on RadioSkank (at least til the whole team collapses tomorrow), not only the stellar Jens and Fabian and Andy (as Frank, I imagine, was already outta the picture), who at least have a chance of finding another home by virtue of their star power even if most teams' budgets are already blown elsewhere, but most particularly the poor remaining domestiques, who have possibly no chance of finding another home this late in the transfer season, and the staff, who are likewise gonna have a hard time finding new homes. !@#dammit Johan, you want to hose the bazillionaire dopers you created, fine--do you have to drag down the rider-and-staff minions down with you too?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Yer Point/Counterpoint on the Lance Armstrong Doping Report; Including, the Hincapie Conundrum

Jane, You Ignorant Slut: yep, the USADA report is out, the links are here, and let's get straight to the arguments (and counterarguments) flooding the twitsphere with outrage:

1. It's Hearsay From a Bunch of Lying D!@#chebags!: No, it isn't. It's *direct observations* from a bunch of lying d!@#chebags. And USADA made it perfectly clear which d!@#chebags they believed. Move on.

2. USADA's Lawyers are Tangentially Associated With Big Tobacco!: Frankly, who gives a !@#$? It's not like they're personally dressed in a cute cartoon-character costume named "Smoky" passing out cigs to 10-year-olds. And no, Lance, it *doesn't* mean they're bad because they "defend cancer" and you're good 'cause you fight it. Really, taking legitimately life-saving (or life-extending) drugs for a banned purpose just to win a !@#$in' bike race is any *less* morally reprehensible?

3. He's a Hero to Millions!: Noted and duly appreciated. Everyone knows someone who's been touched by cancer, and inspiration for people who need it is good. It's still not cool to use your advocacy for a noble cause as both a shield and a weapon against your wrongdoing. It also doesn't mean that as athlete, you're not a cheat and an ass.

4. Everyone Else Was Doing It!: Not as well, they weren't, so yes, it still matters. Honestly, does anyone think a magnificent train wreck like Jan Ullrich could've held it together to do this !@#$ so well? And don't *make* me make some priggish analogy about jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge just because your friends all did it, you lemming!

5. The French Are Just A Whiny Pack o' Whiny Elitist Socialists Pissed Off That an American Kicked Their !@# for 7 Years!: Yes, they are. They drink wine instead of p!@#-water beer, they eat cheese instead of "cheez," and they haven't won their own Tour in a generation despite having their own disgusting cheat-weasels in the ranks. Lance is still a cheating thieving jerk, so what's your point?

6. Hincapie and Those Guys Did It Too!: Yes, it seems they did. And everyone loves them, and it sucks. Who doesn't want to root for a time-trial genius who still plays with action figures at age 35 or a guy who was *so close* to the GC at the Tour de France or a really, really humble and dog-loyal mentor to a whole younger generation of cyclists? The question is, though, what becomes of them now. And I don't actually think it's crap they got *some* sort of a deal for talking. Strip their wins from them? Sure, why not, especially since most are on the verge of retirement anyway, some of 'em managed to pile up some pretty stellar palmares in their own rights (or wrongs), and a simple ban now won't mean that much. But punish 'em as hard as Lance? No. Lance was offered a deal. He rejected it, as is his right, he actively fought the charges, as is his right--hey, no hard feelings. But he also openly--and really quite viciously--tried to destroy anyone who tried to tell the truth, which is completely !@#holian. Omerta exists for more than one reason, greed and the desire for personal glory among them. Fear, though, is an even greater reason, and *that* is what has damn near destroyed this sport. If Lance was its worst enforcer and its greatest beneficiary, why *shouldn't* he go down the hardest?

7. He Never Tested Positive!: Yes, he did. Just not the way that holds up a ban. And while I generally think that total stupidity *should* be a jailable offense, I don't think you give a guy bonus points for being a cheating dirty pig really, really well.

8. It's a Witch-Hunt!: no, it's not. It's a buncha people doing the job that those disgusting glory-whore enablers at UCI completely failed, or were unable, to do. Justice is often messy, dirty, lengthy, and complicated. And yes, you're going after Lance over anyone else. You glorify yourself as a hero and a saint and just the bestest bestest athlete ever to walk the planet, you go for blood on everyone who correctly called you out, you lose your right to bitch about it when people reasonably ask questions. Really--the witch hunt was *against* Lance, not *by* him? Tell that to Frankie Andreu!

9. It's Too Far in the Past! There's No Point!: yes, there is. Somewhere, right now, in the !@#-end of the autobus, is a really talented rider who dreams of winning races but knows he can't because the sport is *still*--however improved, if it even is--tainted, and he doesn't want to, or is just afraid to, dope playing a buncha life-threatening games with his body. And it would be awful, awful nice too, if you could count on the governing bodies that are supposed to police the sport weren't sticking their noses so far up the butts of their favored riders that their noses are pokin' out the other end. So if *this* blows over, why would that rider think all the little stupid things that add up poison the sport *now* won't blow over?

Okay, fanboys 'n' girls, cynics and romantics, deniers and paranoid conspiracy theorists--have at. Me, I'm gonna go back to wondering where that dreamy Cav is gonna end up!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

'My Conscience Is Clear': Of Course, It Helps Not to Have One...

And Hell, I Let Hincapie Ferry the Drugs, Anyway: well, *that* settles it: Lance Armstrong has moved on from screwing the entire sport of cycling of an intimidating double-barreled assault o' power-mongering and martyrdom for over a decade, and he, for one, thinks that's more than enough for everyone. I'm sure the clean (and dirty) riders who tried to break omerta you !@#$ed feel much much better knowing you sleep so well at night! So let's leave aside the drama of the spurned-lover disillusioned fans, the relentlessly in-denial tinfoil-hat fans, and the desperate ass-covering of his reflected-glory-basking enablers to ask this: really, Mr. Armstrong? You don't think it's somehow a *good* thing that we do what we need to to learn from our wrongdoing, to analyze how cycling descended into such a money-soaked rigged-game pit, in order to figure out how to minimize--because we get that 'eliminate' is impossible--the impact of competitive athletes' basest and most selfish human instincts on this beautiful sport? You don't think there's something to be said for figuring out what, individually or systemically, helped precipitate or worsen the terrible downward spirals that took down fragile guys like Pantani and a host of others? I mean, maybe--probably--you *were* the best cyclist in history. You certainly revolutionized, for better or worse, the way riders train, focus, and specialize, to the exclusion of the style of the legendary all-rounders that came before you. But we'll never know it for sure. Why? Because people dope because it *works*, natch, and the more money and personnel and medical support you spend on it, the better and less-detectable doping you get. And if you're the team and best of all the guy at the top of that pyramid, then you're *not* playing on a level playing field and your doping *did* throw the results. And don't bull!@##=$ that it didn't matter to you--you built a damn bazillion-dollar cult around it, and an ostentatious Hollywood one at that. And sure, everyone assumes dopers'll lie to defend themselves. But to lie *and* to actively hunt down and destroy other people who tell the truth--unlike, say, Iban or Jan or Roberto, who at least didn't take it out on anybody else--is really !@#$ty. So it's nice you have a clear conscience, Lance. Just don't pretend it's good for the sport and everyone else. Please, haven't we all had enough total crap already with this farce?

We're Still Racing, Baby!: nope, we ain't done yet kids--there's still today's Giro d'Emilia, tomorrow's Paris-Tours, and oh right, the upcoming Tour of Beijing. So enjoy Nibali's last race in neon Liquigas--and he better make Vinokourov think he's worth it, since Francesco Moser just called him an overpaid mediocrity--good luck Sunday to the sprinters, and baby Schleck, have a good ride in Beijing--hell, you could use it!

Adios, Oscar!: last but not least, with Oscar Freire apparently turning down management offers to really call it a cycling career, I'd be sorely remiss in not paying tribute to a rider who not only triumphed over !@@-chomping saddlesores, weird sinus problems, constant neck and back pain, and freakin' buckshot from some crazed Tour de France spectator, but captured three World Championships, three Milano-Sanremos, a bucket of Grand Tour stages, and damn near everything else on the road to boot. Thanks for a great career Oscar--now, won't you reconsider joining dear Euskaltel?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

UCI Wins Big Against Landis! Too Bad They Still Look Like !@#holes

It's a Brand New Drinking Game!: yes, a Swiss court has issued a stinging ruling in a defamation case by noble defenders o' cyclist virtue UCI against vocal critic/remorseful ex-doper Floyd Landis: Landis is now and forever strictly barred from calling UCI, crusading prez Pat "Dick" McQuaid, or former ruler Hein Verbruggen, "corrupt", "terrorists", "fools", "full of shit", and "clowns", or saying they're no different than "Colonel Muammar Gaddafi." That's OK Floyd--if it makes you feel any better, by my crack legal reckoning, you *can* still call 'em "d**chebags," "wankers," "tools," "putzes," and "mimes," and say they're no different than "Mitt Romney!" Best of all, since Landis has to take out ads apologizing in the Wall Street Journal (along with, for some odd reason, some cycling publications), he gets to repeat all his accusations all over again so long as they're simply preceded by the word "aren't." Oh, sure, he's already gonna appeal--but in the meantime, I call next person who comes up with a new name you *can* call Pat "Dick" has to drink--last one upright wins!

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Ride the Tour de France: yeah, watch out Sandy Casar and Philippe Gilbert: according to CNN, and thanks to some scumwad owners who oughta have their pets taken away, that Golden Retriever or Newfoundland wandering out on the course while you're going 60k an hour ain't just stupid, it's high as a kite, and god forbid it hallucinates you're a cat or some !@#$, 'cause now it'll go all Cujo on your !@#! Oh, man, now we gotta get the *spectators* off the drugs, too--ain't UCI overwhelmed enough *already*?

No, Giro, No!: in total suck news, one of the most exciting underdog GC contenders we've seen in years, Purito Rodriguez, has apparently decided to bag the Giro d'Italia in favor of the Tour this year because the Giro's crappy excess of time trial kilometers makes it a fruitless waste of his time. Hey, I understand wanting to intentionally exclude, say, the Schlecks with those shenanigans, but we love Purito? Really? Oh, Giro, you will always be my first true Grand Tour love--don't break my trusting innocent heart this way, please!

Back in Black: finally, and speaking of whom, there's *some* good news for the injury-plagued Andy Schleck and his lost season: he's already been back in action in the peloton (however briefly) this week, and is now set to take on the Tour of Beijing. Don't sweat it, Andy, at least Jen, Fabian, and your big brother Fra--uh, at least Jens & Fabian'll be there to help you next year!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's the 2013 Giro d'It--Uh, Tour de Fr--Hey, What the !@#$?

Why Not Just Bash the Mountains Into Smithereens and Give Brad the Vuelta, Too, While We're At It?: all right, I get that Wiggo has the coolest sideburns since that high-tech "VHS" machine came out right around the same era as cheesy macho-man mustachoied video-porno-by-mail and all, and that it's great publicity having him at your race and all--but really, including 8 thousand k of (mostly flat) time trial in the Giro d'Italia for chrissakes? Am I hallucinating here that the Italians don't want one of their own to win their beautiful, historic race *again*? You ain't gonna keep Vincenzo Nibali from losing 20 freakin' hours of time next year unless you shove a rocket up his !@# at the start! And really, was anything more of a snoozefest this year than than watching Froome have to take a detour off the side of the mountains to have a relaxing meal and a mani-pedi til Wiggins finally caught up to him the next freakin' stage all July? Look, Giro--I get you don't want to be the masochist vertical-hell thin-air martyr-fest that is the Vuelta. And no-one's saying you should be--as the Giro d' Italia, you are perforce perfect as you are. And the mountain stages *are* pretty cool--if you weren't so hell-bent wiping out the advantage they'll give. But really, you want Wiggo so bad you're gonna screw everyone else but maaaaybe Contador? Aiiiggggggghhhhhhhhh! Well, if it makes you feel any better, at least Nibali'll have Vinokourov threatening to rip his legs off and toss 'em over the side of the Stelvio if he doesn't deliver--maybe that, if not the hopeless desire for the maglia rose on this course anyway, will give him wings!

George Hincapie, Drug Mule: aw, heck, if Hincapie's legacy weren't already presumed tainted enough, now comes reports that loyal Lanceian lieutenant/fall-guy Hincapie lied his way with a bucket o' EPO through Customs, which makes me not question the amorality nor sheer remorseless of Lance's (alleged!) cheatin' scheme, but, more importantly, your teammates took all these potentially career-destroying risks to cover *your* !@#, and all you would do for the guys was give George one lousy stage win? Forget (allegedly!) stealing 7 Tour de France victories from less well-connected, moneyed and organized squads--you're one cheap sonofabitch, Armstrong! Oh, George, you shoulda at least held out for one stage every Tour, you self-effacingly generous guy...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pouring Rain! Purito! The New World Champ in Tatters! Samu's Hat Trick!: The Giro di Lombardia Just Rocks

Okay Italy, you guys rode well--with Basso, Pellizotti, and Nibali all making some serious digs--but today belonged to the Spaniards (and one Colombian, Rigoberto Uran), as Purito made a daring attack on the final climb, half his country chased him down, and Euskaltel-Euskadi's great Samuel Sanchez pulled off his third--third!--second place in six years at the Race of the Falling Leaves. And what about that little Ag2R neo-pro Romain Bardet sticking it out for that long solo attack after the break got swept up (and being frankly just about the only good news Ag2R's had all season)? And, of course, there was the rain-soaked carnage: new world champ Philippe Gilbert bloodily baptizing his spankin' new stripes with an ugly (but fortunately not too damaging) crash-out on the course, and Alessandro Ballan posting a grateful shout-out to and picture of his scraped-up helmet. Yer surprising political wrangling: the ever-polite Samu subtly calling out his team boss for this year's controversial retooling of the team and bagging some key lieutenants in his desperate quest for WorldTour points (you *suck*, UCI!). Here, the final k: As for Joaquim Rodriguez, congratulations on being the first Spaniard ever to take the race, gotta dig your kickin' Brad Wiggins outta the season-ender 1st place rider WorldTour standings, and Italy--you got exactly twelve--twelve!--measly months to get your !@#$ together!