Yes, Milan's behind us, Paris is ahead of us, and it's time for the coveted 2012 Giro d'Italia Racejunkie Awards! No trophy, but eternal glory and a bitchin' free racejunkie bike sticker to any awardee unfortunate enough to read this are theirs! So without further ado:
Punk-!@# Move of the Race: sprint-wank Roberto Ferrari's near-horizontal swing by the line, fruitlessly-begged-for apology by team management, and half-blase', half-snarling !@#$-you response. Classy!
Crash o' the Race: Frank Schleck's screw-your-brother last-minute draft as squad leader, subsequent retirement from a bike-crash boo-boo, and Johan's extremely public attack-dog dope-smack, including even a threat to his brother Andy and a disgusted slag that at this point only Cancellara's got a spot for the Tour. Oh, come on, Johan--I thought Oliver Zaugg pulled a pretty brave breakaway on the penultimate stage, at least give that guy a job in July!
More'n Just Beer and Back-Bacon Surprise o' the Giro: look, we all knew he was all kinds o' talented, but let's be honest--only Ryder Hesjedal called Ryder Hesjedal,and the rest of us were morons. Oh, Canada, [your] home and native land...you rock, Ryder!
Tifosi Award: to the unnamed Cavendish-dissing roadside wisenheimer, rewarded with this forgiving tweet: "Amongst incredible cheering from British & Italian fans today, 1 dude chuckles "ooh Cav's in trouble!"... I'd stopped for a piss, dickhead!"
Break Like the Wind Prize: theoretically wholly misplaced Belgian Thomas De Gendt, as the helpless GC field behind handed him a podium spot without even a whimper. Daaaaamn, did you see that?
Scalatore of 2012: indeed, Ryder was great--his body has no business whatsoever where he was when he was in the Alps and Dolomites. But Rodriguez is beautiful to watch, whether he's poking his rivals for weak spots or flying uphill on his own. Forza Purito--a nobler loss was never had!
Ghosts of Christmas Past Trophy: Damiano Cunego, soooo close on the Stelvio to a hint of the glory he so effortlessly nut-kneed Gilberto Simoni to steal so very long ago. See you at the Classics next year Damiano--do you *really* wanna be Scarponi's beeyotch at the Giro again?
Escape From New York (Well, Milan) Award: yes, just as Vinokourov's goons were measuring GC-!@#$up Roman Kreuziger for a pair o'cement shoes and a permanent date with the bottom o' Lake Garda, Roman--no idiot, it seems--ripped his guts out for the stage win to Pampeago and a temporary moratorium on his execution. Nice save, Roman--but pull this !@#$ again and you'll be sleeping with with the fishes for good!
Wake Me When It's Over Tactic o' the Race: Liquigas is in control of the peloton. Liquigas is in control of the peloton. Liquigas is in control of the peloton. Liquig...yeah, hell of a lot of good that did!
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Basso Award: am I the only one who remembers what a cool calculating Contadorian snot Ivan Basso was in his pre-Op Puerto days? Well, now he's just the most gracious, appreciative, humble guy on earth, equally tranquillo on good days and bad. Dang, I thought that crap back in the day just improved your performance--who knew it jerk-morphed your personality, too? Kudos Captain Civility!
Domestique o' the Giro: I'm callin' this a tie between the faithful Van de Velde, who as a former maglia rosa could've easily chosen to be a resentful lead weight and instead did the entire race proud, and Basso lieutenant Sylvester Szymd. At least it paid off for Christian--but Sylvester, you done your unheralded brethren (and sistren) good!
My Eyes! My Eyes! Award: y'know, what I *don't* need to see for a good half-minute in the live coverage is an AG2R guy fumbling around with the works down his bib shorts and swingin' out for an off-sides 30-kph on-the-fly nature break. What, like the moto's got nothin' better to do? Uh, there's this "general classification" thing that's kinda neat, dudes...
Unrelated Doping Hilarity o' the Month: Wim Vansevenant, ripped off by a dope dealer selling 'im a bogus banned product, and his career and legacy are ruined anyway. Ah, the old oregano-in-the-weed-bag trick...next time ask your team doc for 'nutritional help', you nit!
You're Fired You Mother!@#$er! Award: well, I hope that clown who brilliantly led time trial king Taylor Phinney off the course in Milan enjoyed his ride on the moto--even if Taylor don't come back and run 'im over with it, I'm sure it's his last trip anyway!
And Finally, Your Near-Miss of the Race: two-wheeled terror Mark Cavendish, gamely crawling up the mountains like a whacked-out turtle only to lose the red jersey on the final day by one lousy point to Purito. We still love you, Cav--even when you piss us off!
Well, them's mine, and if I missed anyone, I imagine I'll learn it but quick. Congrats to all our winners--and hey, there's always next year!