Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's the 2012 Tour de France in Preview!; and, a Programming Note

Yes, the Giro's past, the Vuelta's future, and it's time for the Grand Boucle--and first person to mention freakin' what's-his-name for any reason gets a giant colossal wedgie and an eternal noogiepalooza, so let's focus on the real action, everyone! The deal:

The Course: yep, time trial city, which will massively favor Cadel and Wiggo for GC and pretty well hose everyone else (we still love you, Samu)! 9 flats, a wunk of rollers, and 5 mountain stages w/2 summit finales. Watch for: Stage 16 to Bagneres-de-Luchon and Stage 17 to Payragudes to put on the serious hurt and separate the men from the mewling beaten bawling masses. See you in Paris--if you can get there!

The General Classification: who else? Wiggo. Cadel. Sanchez (bite me! go to hell!). And watch out for Garmin, with Vande Velde clearly more'n ready should Ryder (understandably) bonk. Horner? Good luck, with Klodi hatin' your guts. Valverde? I wish him well, but fear his annual mid-tour meltdown. As for the others, all I can say is, Menchov, I still irrationally resent you over the Heras thing, and Nibali, don't kick a gift horse in the nuts 'til *after* your major season objective's been achieved. Good luck and safe riding to all!

The Fast Men: has Mark Cavendish's new diet blown his pure power? We'll see, 'cause Sagan and Greipel are just rippin' the tarmac off the roadways, with Farrar, Petacchi, Freire, and Haedo to round out the mix. Sure you don't want to start bangin' back the protein drinks and get those kilos back before the startline, Cav?

The Hills: it's all about the Spaniards and the Basques, baby. The rest of you, except Hoogerland--why even bother?

The Flagbearers: Chavanel, Voeckler, Moncoutie, Casar. Me, I'll always admire Casar for soldiering on after some stupid mutt almost took him out that year. Sure, the French have blown the Tour pretty well for a while, but these guys sure don't suck--cue the "Marsellaise!"

The Descenders: more like who's not. Just keep an eye on Samu's wheel, and you'll all catch up to him next week...

The Missing: Thor--!@#$! Fuglsang--thanks Johan you !@#$!

The Wounded: Schleck: psychological. Levi, Voeckler: physical. But I'm bankin' on Levi to hang tough in the climbs and time trials, and the French'll be all over their dogged, grimacing boy. And of course, Freire's always likely to show with some bizarre ailment. For the rest of you, try not to bust anything important!

And Finally, the Freak Shows: Vino's "helping" Brajkovic at Astana. RadioSkank's eating its own young (gross!). But with Jens Voigt in possibly his last-ever Tour de France (aiiiggggghhhhhh! aiiiiiggggghhhh! aiigggghhhh!), and Vino exorcising (or exercising) his own demons, it's gonna be one thrilla attack-fest out there. Go, Jens, go!

Programming Note: well folk(s), I'm off to watch my first Gran Fondo, so lucky for you I likely won't be able to post the first week of the Tour, and will sadly miss Frank's cryin', Johan's long-distance bitching, and Cadel beating the crap out of a journalist. But I'll be back for a Week One Roundup, and 2 full weeks of wondrous, disastrous hijinks before we hit Paris--so au revoir for now, and make 'em cry Euskaltel! As for the annual Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest, it's on for August. Why? Because you-know-who is back, and it's the Vuelta dammit--bow, beeyotches!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ask And Ye Shall Receive: It's Yer Hit Parade of Cycling's Biggest !@#holes!

Okay, the national champions are being declared, the Tour de France rosters are out, and the Olympic teams are shaping up. But when a dear reader suggests a "Hit Parade" of the biggest wankers in cycling, who am I to refuse? Ergo, without further ado:

1. Lance Armstrong. One of the greatest cyclists of all time? Sure. An inspiration to millions for his triumph over cancer and awareness work? Yup. A grade-A primo !@#hole? Absolutely. Let's see. Your domestiques utterly bust their nuts for you all year, every year, at the complete expense of their own ambitions, so you can go down in history. And how do you thank 'em? Well, you spend the rest of your career ripping anyone who leaves your service; plow over anyone who breaks cycling's eternal shame of omerta; offer 1 single guy the chance for a Tour de France stage win after 7 seasons; and, the one time you're actually called on to play nice with a (now) better rider than you, slag him to the press, attack him on the road, and snub him on the podium. And that's just the people you're supposed to *like.* You're the most prolific Tour de France winner of all time, all right--too bad that don't win you class!

2. Johan Bruyneel. You're a Tour champ in your own right, and you brilliantly guided--by whatever means--the winningest streak in Tour de France history. And you've never stopped punishing those who came after him for it, including actively publicly berated the man who won you the Tour de France *again.* But when motivation-by-dope-slap failed? *That's* when you really got mean. How's that karma comin' back atcha right about now?

3. Pat "Dick" McQuaid. Doping's bad. Really bad. Especially if you're a no-name rider. Unless I like the rider. Then it's just a momentary lapse of judgment. Or didn't happen. Oh heck, why hurt the sport with all this tawdry mess? And if you apologize--better, cry--only after you've been busted, then you are not only morally superior but an absolute ambassador for clean sport. This, Pat, is why one of the most policed sports on earth is also one of the most ridiculed. Just *fake* some freakin' objectivity if you have to, willya?

4. Riccardo Ricco'. Y'know, I almost left him off the list out of the goodness of my heart, because he did almost accidentally kill himself with his fecklessness. But then I thought of his snotty disregard for his loyal teammates, the way he disgraced the mentorship of the great Gilberto Simoni, how he hid behind his mamma's skirts like some spindly wussbag, how he (dang, we're not done *yet*?) immediately threw the mother of his child under the bus and literally fled for the hills when *she* got busted for doping, and finally, the way he betrayed the anti-doping legacy of the late, great Italian trainer Aldo Sassi, who tried to rehab the ungrateful little SOB in one of the last acts of his professional life, and I thought, screw that! The "Cobra"? Yeah, you're a snake all right--there, you've earned your place in cycling history, you jack!@#!

5. Floyd Landis. I must say, I *was* a big fan once, so it truly pains me to do this. And he's repented and paid his dues, which is good, *and* smacked Armstrong, which I heartily appreciate. But the Floyd Fairness Fund was one uncool scam, and you took advantage of some really, really nice people. Better to just pull a Vinokourov, admit you're a slimeball, but point out you're no worse'n anybody else and why the hell should *you* be the scapegoat--and *then* ask for the dough. Hisssssssssssss!

6. Raimundo Rumsas. Telling the narcs you tested poz for coke because your grandma accidentally bought you some tainted candy in South America? Hey, could happen to anybody. Telling the narcs the dope in your trunk was for your drug-snarfin' grandmother's personal use? Punk-!@#. I suppose she explains the testosterone works-patches in your bathroom, too?

7. Dr. Manolo "Gyno to the Male Stars" Saiz. You got busted with a suitcase full o' cash and 46 bloodbags at a cafe'. And Roberto Heras made you do it? Man up you greedy dope-dealing wuss!

8. Maurice Garin. It's the 1904 Tour de France. 2,429 kilometers. Six stages, one mountain, five flat. Attacks by masked men, mysterious flats, illegal food, nails spread on the road. And one *really* major wanker: 1903 and 1904 GC champ Maurice Garin, DQd along with the next 4 finishers for taking a train. You think Landis/Pereiro and Contador/Schleck were big deals? Two words, honey: amateur hour. After extensive evidentiary hearings, 5th place finisher Henri Cornet is awarded the win. Great precedent you started there, Garin!

And, Yer Bonus Gallery of !@#holian Gestures!
1. Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis, Brasstown Bald, "the Look." Is it *possible to win without being a jerk?
2. Dagnabit, Cav at the Tour de Romandie. Not sporting, old sport!
3. Alberto Contador. Every freakin' win. Do you *want* McQuaid to keep suckin' you dry like a vampire bat after every stage? Cut it with the "Pistolero" crap!

Well, folks, them's my picks, and I'm sure I missed *some* spectacular jerkwads. So 'til next week, when Johan throws someone under the bus again--that's all (mine) folks!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Holy Butt-Kiss, Batman--It's the RadioShack Tour de France Roster!

Back in the High Life Again: man, even if they are about to fire 'im, it sure pays to kiss Johan Bruyneel's !@#--nary a week after Chris Horner was left off the preliminary RadioSkank short list, mere days after the canny oldster totally coincidentally came out howling in rabid defense of Lance Armstrong's honor, and just moments since Frank Schleck ran screaming from the prospect of GC team leadership like a--well, like a Schleck--Horner magically gets nominated to the RadioSkank Tour de France squad, with no other potential rival but the now-disfavored Andreas Kloden for road supremacy. More, he managed to pull it off, apparently, without even being forced to deal with Johan actually on-site in July. Damn, there ain't no flies on Horner! And what of ex-Giro headliner/hope-o'-the-future/clueless ingenue Jakob Fuglsang? Yep, vengefully consigned to oblivion,despite a full recovery, for his unforgivable nostalgia for the relative calm and actual, y'know, focus on cycling of Saxo Bank. Now *that's* how you build a harmonious, winning Tour de France squad, kids--dang, bring Armstrong back, find a way to throw Contador under the bus, but totally blow the podium, and it's 2009 all over again! Am I the only one who thinks that somewhere, even good sports Cadel and Wiggo are blitzed outta their minds on champagne right now?

Don't Even Think About It, Hoogerland: okay, Johnny "Barbed Wire" Hoogerland is one tenacious hard-man. And, in addition to continuing to ride when he'd been punched full of more holes than Armstrong's doping denials by a 30-mph flyer into a nest of razor wire, he did earn, and nobly wear, the polka-dot jersey for a hell of a stretch last year. But I got this to say: that's we love Samuel Sanchez' and Euskaltel's climber's jersey dammit, and podium or no podium it's gonna stay that way you punk! Here, let's replay: We love you Johnny, and wish you many stage wins--but aupa, Samu!

Nucular Waste: finally, good luck tomorrow to dashing Pippo Pozzato, who heads before the Italian narcs to defend himself against allegations he sought medical assistance from Lance's own right-hand-man Michele Ferrari. I wouldn't worry, Pippo--just tell 'em you attended a "party" at his offi--uh, "house," and I'm sure that'll work just fine! Oh, well, at least you didn't try to buy dope off the faked-out Vansevenant...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

How Do You Spell "Implode"? R-A-D-I-O-S-H-A-C-K

And, Armstrong Sics the Pit Bulls: yes, having sworn any further investigations into his alleged career-long systemic doping would be met with a shrug, a smirk, and wholly bored silence, Lance Armstrong has apparently changed his mind: not only has he changed his snarling mantra from a carefully-worded "I never tested positive" to a definitive "I never doped", but he's gonna find the "anonymous" !@#$er former teammates who ratted on him and make sure they, like Tyler Hamilton, never take a whiz in peace in a public men's room again. Dang, just when I thought we were done hearing from him about this !@#$! Anyway, the debate over whether USADA oughta go after him rages on, with former rivals like Simeoni and Andreu raising their heads blearily from their current gigs scrubbing floors to express surprise, the usual Lance-lovin' zombies leaping to his all-caps defense on every website, and his despised haters--you know, those bitter talentless loser miscreants who prefer clean cycling--conceding that while even they're sick of this stupid crap and would enjoy watching an actual race for once, openness and catharsis can only be good for the sport, its undoped practitioners, its fans, and its aspiring greats-of-tomorrow. Me--I'd rather the lid be blown off the whole dirty scene no matter who's done it and how disappointed we'd be to hear their names, on one condition--that everyone stop acting like it wholesale stopped in 2008, acknowledge that some stunning percentage of greedy cheatbags are still gonna try it and in fact are trying it right this very minute, and quit pretending that just admiring a few sunny squads and holding 'em up as moral examples justifies stickin' our heads back in the sands like we do after every Festina/Op Puerto/CERA variant/egregiously reckless Riccardo Ricco' fades under our excitement over the newest grand tour rock star. Can we all agree to at least try that?

So the question is, after Travis Tygart is done dodging rotten vegetables, what happens to Lance and his record-breaking seven maillots jaune? Let's face it, why bother with a formal stripping of titles--who the hell we gonna give 'em to, Ullrich? (Of course, if we want to give, say, his 2002 edition to Joseba Beloki, I'll concede the perfect wisdom of that point.) I'd say about all we can do this late in the game with one guy personally is to put a big fat asterisk next to all his victories in the history books, affirm unapologetically that being a genuinely inspirational and life-changing spokesperson on a crucial cause doesn't entitle anybody to claim overall sainthood for something else entirely, and, if he *does* go after guys who have been nothing but loyal and subservient to him for darn near a decade if they had the gall to finally draw a line at lying under oath, make sure they're treated fairly (if not incongruously lauded, either) for coming forward. Why the hell else would anybody bother in the future? On the broader front, the only solution I can see is holding the teams and their management responsible--because besides saying no to an icon and power-broker like Lance or even any rider bigwig, it's gotta be damn intimidating for some jailbait neo-pro Tour de France dreamer to even think of objecting to systemic dope-dealing by the DS who just gave them a job and can easily tank their incipient career. You hear that, Johan--one strike, and you're out for life! So good luck now and in the future, USADA--you know how history has treated the messengers!

House of Pain: speaking of Bruyneel, who absolutely proclaims his complete purity, the all-star 70s disaster movie that is Team RadioSkank continues to steamroll onwards, with current team sponsors and their Schleck-lovin' boss already throwing Johan under the bus, the normally-quiet man-o'-experience (and as Ullrich's ex-right-hand-man, he sure is experienced) Andreas Kloden breaking his self-imposed silence to opine that teams who don't all actively hate each other tend to perform at a wee bit higher level, and Chris Horner, of all people, aggressively waiving the flag for Lance's total innocence and smacking back at Klodi for unprofessionalism for, y'know, stating the truth. Jeez, even *I* don't know whether to buy another box of popcorn or look away in horror at this point!

Uh, I'm Riding! Over Here! On My Bike! You've Heard of These Things, Like In a Race?: finally, as the Tour de France shapes up and the Olympic rosters are announced, I gotta say, Taylor Phinney is a fantastic young rider, will undoubtedly figure prominently in the history books, and has surely earned all the accolades he gets--but just as I was gonna go on a rant how Dave Zabriskie's getting completely screwed being denied the single time trial slot, comes USA Cycling's press release that Dave, along with Hincapie, Leipheimer, and Vande Velde, all former teammates of guess-who--asked to be left out of the Olympic team. Holy !@#$, Dave--I know you're riding the Tour and will be justifiably knocked out and all--but really, is that assclown Armstrong worth *this*? You *blow*, Lance--just *look* at all the havoc you've wreaked with your selfishness!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Second Thought...Tell 'Im To Stuff It, Horner!

Uh, Sorry Dude: well, that didn't last long: poor Andy Schleck has been diagnosed with a sacral pelvic fracture from his worse-than-thought crash in the Dauphine', and is officially out of the Tour de France. On the plus side, Andy'll be back in action just in time for a showdown-o'-truth at the Vuelta a Espana with returning Tour de France rival Alberto Contador. Y'know, aside from the fact that Horner deserves to go anyway, based on his own palmares if big brother Frank weren't so busy keeling himself over shlepping Golden Boy around, Frank'd actually be able to come up pretty strong in his own right--after all, he has. So I say, let Chris and Frank duel it out for supremacy. Horner always rocks, but Frank's got him on actual grand tour GC results, and actually didn't look like such crap at the Tour de Suisse this week. Of course, swords or those clunky ol' pistols are hard to come by these days, but if they won't agree to do it the gentlemanly way, I suppose slugging it out on the bike is a reasonable alternative. Go Chris--and alternately, if it's just classic mano-a-mano, I bet 50 bucks that scrappy Horner takes down that gangly aristocrat like a ton (well, half-ounce) o' bricks! Here, the x-rays: Sincerely, get well soon Andy--and Johan, nice work the last couple days you soulless goon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Johan Bruyneel Is A Complete And Total Tool

Punk-!@# Move of the Year: look, Johan, I know you've got to justify the truly sick wad of dough you've had to spend on those enormous cash-sucking 2012 disappointments, the Schlecks. And sure, Chris Horner's older'n Moses. But what he's not, and what you are, is a total backstabbing bitch. What kind of bull!@#$ move is that to let someone who's busted his !@# for you, someone who's been nice to Lance Armstrong for you, someone who rode through a potentially catastrophic concussion on a stage he doesn't even remember for you, know that you're keeping him off the Tour team by his wife freakin' reading it on the internet? What a !@#damn wuss you are! Worse, you didn't even man up enough to say you didn't think he was strategically not the best choice for the team, the sponsor threatened to rip your nuts off--whatever was true, it might've been disagreed with, but anybody can respect honesty--so why, especially when you've been publicly dope-slapping the Schlecks every five minutes for being boo-boo-whinging crybaby simp-toddlers, are you gonna blame Horner from having a back problem he says he's been riding a century every damn day through? Oh, sure, Johan heard the hate and "clarified" that Horner was told to be at the Tour de Suisse or stay home--but you've been telling the Schlecks all season to quit sucking, and you're still still letting *them* go! You *blow* Johan--now own your mind-boggling low-class crappiness to a stand-up guy before he supersizes himself at McDonald's the rest of the season in gloomy self-pity, and apologize you tool!

George Hincapie and the One That Got Away: in other bummers, ever-underrated strongman George Hincapie is retiring, and while certainly his rock-solid ever-grateful Lanceian loyalty has always been a puzzlement to me anyway since it took LA like 14 seasons to even allow the man a Tour stage, I gotta say, it may be time, but it's the peloton's, and tifosi's, loss. He's totally sacrificed his own ambitions for others despite a huge natural (and hard-trained) personal talent, he's aggressively mentored younger riders, and he's remained optimistic, polite, and discreet in the face of a lot of crap he didn't cause. George, I'm sorry your bike exploded, 8 billion yokels crashed ahead of you and held you up, and you got devoured by a pack of snarling wolverines so that you never actually got to win Paris-Roubaix--but thanks for some pretty stellar memories!

Cav Hits the Slimfast: finally, Mark Cavendish apparently isn't satisfied merely being one of the great sprinters of all time, because now he's decided that his butt's too big to drag up the climbs, as well, and is perusing a lifetime supply of insecurity-inducing women's mags for weight-loss tips. Is it me, or is he already (1) not that big for a sprinter already; and (2) whatever-many kilos of solid muscle as it is? Don't sacrifice your power for lightness, Cav--like Petacchi and Hushovd before you, you may just age-and-experience into being a better mountain man anyway, so why not enjoy what even I've gotta salute as pretty darn perfect as long as you can?

Yer Holy !@#$ of the Week: Peter Sagan at the Tour de Suisse. Am I the only person thinkin' there's a whoooooole lotta guys on competing teams just wetting their chamois at the thought of this guy up against 'em all season?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stand By Your Man/ And Tell the World You Love Him ('Cause It's Not Like You Have a Choice)

I Need An Everlasting Love: yes, Alberto Contador has rewarded Bjarne Riis richly for his faith and loyalty with a long-term contract, Johan Bruyneel has apparently finished (publicly) bawling into his coffee and Cheerios clutching his teddy bear, and Andy Schleck has--yep, inspired his boss' confidence still further by dropping out of the Dauphine'. Still, Johan seems to be reasonably convinced Andy's got maybe a plausibly half-!@#ed excuse for his crap performance this time, or at least is putting on his Tour game face and politesse enough in the wake of his catastrophic failure to snag and keep Contador to not call a humongous press conference to say again how Andy's A Colossal Whining Wuss Compared to Lance and A !@#damn Two Year Old Can Take Pain Better Than This Big Baby and I Can Guarantee You He'll Be Lucky To Wash My Dirty Underwear in July. Now *that's* grace in the face of defeat--enjoy it while it lasts, Andy, 'cause the second you choke at the Tour he's gonna be back on you with a horsewhip!

We're Not Catching You Means It's Working: in anti-doping news, random attack dog/doper-apologist Pat "Dick" McQuaid has touted the success of the bio passport program, claiming the fact that they haven't busted anybody for years except Franco Pellizotti a coupla neo-pros and a coupla Masters riders means that none of the riders are doping at all. Boy, what a relief that is--so, Pat "Dick", you giving Contador the all-clear and a sincere apology for his clenbuterol poz in 2010? Andy, get ready to give back your spankin' new maillot jaune--d'oh, *that* was a good five seconds of kingship!

Yer Gratuitous Tom Boonen Reference o' the Week: no, he's not riding the Tour de France, which blows--but dear Tommeke *is* revving up for the Olympic road race, so Cav, you'll have to watch yer butt on your home turf instead! Here, a reminder of what Cav has to fear this year: Allez allez Tooooooommmmm!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I Just Said You *Suck*, Not That I Don't Need Your Worthless Lazy Carcass on a Bike in July

Naughty Number Nine: don't worry about that purported "bad blood" between the Schleck brothers and Johan Bruyneel: one, it ain't just "purported," but two, they're stuck together in a contract through 2014 anyway! Bruyneel has, however, in a goodwill gesture to Andy Schleck, clarified his earlier remark that Fabian Cancellara's the only one guaranteed a Tour spot in July--due to a "mistranslation," what he *meant* was Andy blows, but RadioSkank needs any dead weight they can get on the tarmac to meet the Tour-squad minimum of nine men in July. Well, apparently that "wounded knee" bull!@#$ ain't getting much sympathy! Geez, Johan, this "tough love" thing is clearly just not working with a sensitive guy like Andy who's so used to being coddled, snuggled, wheedled and adored by his swooning entourage--why not just toss 'im to the curb for the Tour and let Jens Voigt take his place instead, doesn't Jens personally qualify as like 8 normal riders under the official UCI guidelines anyway?

Trade Ya! (Don't Do It Alberto!): of course, this could all be a moot point if the reports in the Italian mediaare true that Bjarne Riis and Johan might be swapping out Alberto for the Schlecks on each others' squad, and while I appreciate Bjarne's sentimentality towards his old charges on the one hand and Alberto's understandable desire for more backup firepower on the other, I gotta call bull!@#$--are you freakin' *nuts*, Alberto? Why not ask Bruyneel to kick your !@# off the peak of Mont Ventoux and get the inevitable end to this theoretical nightmare over with now? And Johan, while we're at it, get over it. You will never, never, never find another Lance. Not even Alberto, who had the incredible temerity to not want to be treated like garbage when he was winning you the Tour and probably could've been your next immortal perfect love if you hadn't botched it so badly when your ex came waltzing back to the peloton. So live with the options you got now, and treat your current GC prospects like they're a step above dog--y'know--already!

Wiggo Lays It Down: meantime, over at the Dauphine, as a polite Cadel plays down his chances and even Miguel Indurain can't peg a favorite for July, Evans and Wiggo are still looking like the biggest threats for the Tour de France, and Samuel "holy crap he's the defending polka-dot jersey!" Sanchez, I note, is clearly going to be in a perfect position to take it again this year despite his rib-smushing earlier crash (shut up! go to hell!), because he still managed to come in only a half-minute down or so on Andy Schleck on that last stage. Oh man, it *is* lookin' sad for that boy, isn't it...maybe he *oughta* go back to Bjarne after all! Here, Samu' toughs it out: Bow before him and Euskaltel, you weaklings!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

It's the Try-Out for the Tour de France, Baby!

Lookin' Good...Uh, Some of You: yes, the traditional Tour de France trying grounds, the Dauphine', is upon us, the brief prologue is complete, and a few things are clear: Wiggo (second at 1 second back) and Cadel (a respectable 9th at 5) look mighty fine, and Andy Schleck...well, let's just suggest that at 102nd at 28 back, and with all the time trial miles at the upcoming Tour, Johan Bruyneel's not exactly gonna be crackin' a champagne bottle for his maillot jaune hopeful unless it's over his !@#damn head. Add to that this race's parcours including a 53k time trial on stage 4 and a weird downhill finish on what could otherwise be an Andy-friendly stage to Morzine, and Schleckino's boss-man ain't likely to be happy ahead of July. Head for the hills, Andy, *now*--at least in those, you're supposed to be able to outrun 'im!

A Humble Proposal: and, I see there's been just a raft of UCI "whereabouts violations" this year, and for the simple error of intentionally avoiding a wholly-deserved drug te--uh, accidentally forgetting to call into their nannies every six seconds--it seems to me a lot of people are getting awa--uh, wrongfully accused of nefarious acts against morality. My solution: the Official Racejunkie Electric Dog-Collar Tracking Machine! Yes, under the fair and sensible control of Noble Crusader and Exemplar of All Fairness Pat "Dick" McQuaid himself, strap one of these puppies on the latest crop o' suspect riders, let 'em just try one impromptu secret trip to, say, Dr. Ferrari's place for a "barbecue", and zappo!--your rider stays safely put under the known, tender and entirely lawful ministrations of his own team docs. Wait a minute...

Yer Heartwarming Sacrifice of the Week: finally, big thanks to fervent anti-cheating advocate David Millar, who, despite some petty suggestions that a single silly doping poz you're ever so grateful occurred to cleanse your conscience oughta nonetheless keep one outta the unimpeachable Olympics, has announced himself reluctantly at the British Olympics team's disposal, if only to help Cav and set an example for the impressionable kiddies. Y'know, it's things like this that restore my faith in humanity. Landis, maybe we'll finally see you back in action this year!