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!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Alberto Contador Wins Again; and, A Cautionary Tale for Dipwad Dope-heads

Bang Bang--As Usual!: yep, the charming yet lethal Alberto Contador continues to pay back Bjarne Riis for his faith'n'fidelity, bagging the venerable semi-classic Milano-Torino today against a field including Purito Rodriguez, Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali, and Franco "I Still Miss His Euromullet" Pellizotti, and, as you can see on the clip about 37 seconds in, it's so all over when he attacks on Superga that the news report don't even bother showing the rest: Big gentility points to Alberto for saying Italy is like a "second nationality" for him in the post-race interview, but boys, despite a very fine second from Diego Ulissi, you've still got the Giro di Lombardia Saturday to salvage your national pride, so good luck, and get your !@#es in gear!

It's the Race of the Falling Leaves, Baby!: so, speaking of which, it is indeed the beautiful Giro di Lombardia (now "Il Lombardia") this weekend, and here's the route: On tap so far: 2-time winner and newly-minted (and eager!) World Champ Philippe Gilbert, surprise defender Oliver Zaugg, Liquigas studmuffin Vincenzo Nibali, and a whole host o' Spaniards who know how to whack a climb--full start list to come. Forza Vincenzo--anything that'll start you off on a good footing with yer new boss Vinokourov now is just one more line of defense if you piss 'im off later!

And, Helpful Examples From the Pros: lastly, in an excess of masochism, and also because if I have to hear one more thing about Lance UCI or ASO this week I'm gonna hurl, I find myself randomly wondering what happened to that drug-snorting dopus Riccardo Ricco since his sad exile from the sport, and apparently, kids, it ain't too good: uh-huh, his flashy ol' website's former domain name's for sale, and I imagine it may come cheap. On the plus side, Roberto Heras looks to have a fine sports-training biz nowadays, and we can all see how well Tyler's done of late. So if you're *gonna* be a cheater, o aspiring young weasel--and I sincerely hope you're not-- at least study, study, study, and learn from the guys who get the redemption thing right before you hit the goods for heck's sake!

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's the Worlds Road Races, Baby!; and, UCI: Spineless Wussbags

Road Runners: yes, as Judith Arndt retires in a blaze o' striped-jersey glory and Tony Martin's still catching his breath after Taylor Phinney came within 5 seconds of kicking his !@# in the time trial, it's time for the men's and women's world road championship races, baby, and we've got a coupla smashing courses with drama to spare: in the Sunday men's race, the sprinters vs. the breakaway punchers slugging it out for control of the race up the Cauberg as the Italians hope to capitalize on the star-heavy Belgians and the Spaniards cannibalizing their own teams, and for the Saturday women's, Marianne Vos desperate to grab the ultimate prize after years o' second-bananadom vs. Georgia Bronzini suckmasterly whacked with the flu just days before she hits the course. As for Cav, he's estimating his personal chances as far south of the butt-end of nowhere, but to give him credit, he *has* hauled himself up the hills a bit better than in years past. No offense Cav, so here's a last pic of you in world champ kit--but I still hope Boonen or Freire stomps you in this one!

News From Planet Wussbag: and, just days after Pat "Dick" McQuaid daringly suggested UCI might be open to, y'know, examining its own cowardly enabling hypocrite rump-kissing Lance-groupie complicity in the disgusting doping that's plagued the sport, UCI's shockingly backtracked a bit on that one, opining that instead of letting any uncomfortable truths come out, it'd be much better for everyone if teams, riders, and governing bodies all kissed and made up and forgave each other and moved on in the spirit of reconciliation, optimism, and relentlessly gutless ass-covering. Of course, they still plan to beat the legal crap outta Paul Kimmage for blowing the lid on their repulsive conduct, but they *do* feel really, really, really bad about how they ruthlessly crushed Tyler, Floyd, and everyone else who blew the omerta on their creepily cozy relationship with their 7-time Tour-winner cash cow. Not enough to be honest about the sport's problems, though! Next up: Wile E. Coyote's press conference on how he deeply, deeply regrets always trying to catch the Road Runner, right after he successfully smashes him into roadkill with a 2-ton ACME anvil and spits'n'eats his meeping feathery carcass for breakfast. Touching, truly!

It Just Keeps Getting Better: finally, bad news for crap-luck Fabian Cancellara, who apparently was desperate as everyone else to get the hell outta RadioSkank but has an ironclad contract binding him to Johan Bruyneel for at least another year. Jeez, Johan, you really *have* managed to alienate almost your entire stable of Class-A talent--now bow down to Jens Voigt for deigning to stay with you at all, and kiss his bike shoes 'til your lips fall off if he even lets you in his airspace, peon!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Victor Cabedo, 1989-2012

Victor Cabedo, a young cyclist in his first year with Euskaltel-Euskadi, died today during a training ride after being hit by a car. Although only 23 years of age, Cabedo was already building an impressive palmares. In 2011, he won a stage of the Vuelta a Asturias and placed 5th in the Klasica Primavera while with Orbea, Euskaltel's Pro Contential feeder squad. In 2012, Cabedo joined Euskaltel, where he placed well in the Vuelta a Asturias and made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d'Italia, placing 129th. He was also 8th in the Spanish national road championships. His last race was this year's Tour of Britain, from which he retired due to illness.

Euskaltel-Euskadi issued an open letter of condolence on its website here. Deepest sympathy to his family, friends, and team.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Worlds Are *On*, Baby!; And, Can Even Jens Save Andy?

Tommeke Tommeke Tommeke!: yes folks, the World Championships are underway, and it's time for the races o' truth to decide who will grace the noble striped jersey next year. Lookin' good there at the Tour o' Britain, Cav, but it still ain't your course! Today: the men's and women's first-ever team time trials, hailed by besieged and desperate Pat "Dick" "I never met Armstrong! He's a figment of your imagination!" McQuaid as a wild success. Victors: Specialized's all-star lineup of Ina Yoko "We Love You! Please Don't Kill Us!" Teutenberg, Amber Neben, Evelyn Stevens, and too many other bad-!@#es to count, making the most of a rolling course with a fine-tuned lineup, and, to even their own surprise, Quick Step, as BMC's Tejay was just a little too strong for his own damn good and inadvertently dropped Taylor Phinney in the screaming chaos on the Cauberg. But even though Phinney was mad, he's not mad--honest Tejay! Completely in the doghouse: Lampre, whose director slapped his helpless squad by saying he was waiting for at least "a show of pride." Ouch! Next up: The 24.3k women's individual time trial on Tuesday, with a flat finish after the top of the Cauberg, with Emma Pooley and unexpected London bronze medalist Olga Zabelinskaya looking for stripes. Oh, come on--like it wouldn't be fun to see Zabelinskaya come outta nowhere again!

Going to Schleck in a Handbasket: and, back in the 'normal' road world, Schleck-brothers guidance-counselor Kim Andersen has confirmed what's been so painfully obvious to us all: with the occasional exception of big bro Frank (who I always thought could've won a Grand Tour by *some* means if not stuck babysitting his more-hyped little sibling), the Schlecks just can't function without each other. So leaving aside how diplomatically Andersen just called Johan Bruyneel a !@#$head--and you gotta admire that--here's my question: so if Frank gets banned this year for using a masking agent for no doping-related reason whatsoever--a-yup!--how the !@#$ is Andy possibly gonna be able to win the Tour de France next year? Forget that he can't time trial or descend for dirt! Oh Andy, *so* fragile--I wonder, (forgive me Jens o great one!), can even Voigt save you next year as he hopes? Aw, the hell with that--Johan, you know you're gonna hose Andy anyway, just give 2013 to Jens right now!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's Yer Pre-Worlds (Beefcake) Roundup!

House of Pain: yes, it's almost time for the World Championships, dear reader(s), and with the Spaniards sending an obscenely talented squad that may simply crush itself under its own firepower, the Belgians sending Tom Boonen, and the Brits of course sending Mark Cavendish, my dilemma is, for the men's race (since Georgia Bronzini is taking the women's--is too!), do I root for multi-world champ/imminently retiring Oscar Freire, who seems to be at this moment miraculously free from whatever !@#-dissolving saddlesore, freak vertebral injury, fan-wielded buckshot wound, or spontaneous wrist combustion he's usually battling, or for dear redeemed Tommeke, back on top and ready to kick an already-nostalgic Cav's butt on the finish of the Cauberg if Gilbert didn't out-prep him doing the Vuelta? As a little reminder, I bring you Roubaix: Yap, Gilbert, yap--ya got two stages at the Vuelta, allez allez Tom!

Aw, *Suck*!: in other Worlds news, this year we're seeing for the first time the intro of the team time trial, which is sponsor-team, not national-team, based, which means I'm gonna sit there and mope while we love Euskaltel-Euskadi gets screwed, *again*. Geez, give these guys a chance, willya--at least make it one big straight uphill or something!

Fast Car: meantime, Filippo Pozzato and his fans are outraged over his vicious 3-month ban for paying (alleged!) Lance dope doc Dr. Michele Ferrari $50,000 over 6 years for "training advice," which also keeps him off the national squad for life (leaving Paolo Bettini with a pack of 23 year olds and the spotless Vincenzo Nibali for the Worlds, incidentally), and I gotta say, I really do sympathize with poor Pippo and this ridiculous suggestion of any possible wrongdoing on his part. After all, what else were all those Operacion Puerto boys doing visiting Dr. Eufemiano "Gyno to the Male Stars" Fuentes back in the day, if not to merely receive his "training advice" on, uh, how to perfect their valuable ladyparts Kegel exercises? Anyway, it seems Pippo is handling the stress of exile pretty well, and if he's not, who cares? He'll be back, um, training in no time!:

Lookin' Good, Alberto!: finally, good news for Alberto Contador: as thanks for taking the Vuelta a Espana right as Tyler Hamilton was throwing his ol' team boss to the sharks, Bjarne's rewarded Contador with contract extensions for two of his favorite domestiques. Keep it comin', Bjarne--surely you can convince Saxo and Tinkoff to toss you a little more dough to round out the roster *now*?

Sunday, September 09, 2012

It's the 2012 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Awards!; and, Yer Final Contest Winner

Well, Alberto Contador's returned (eventually) in triumph, a really smashing edge-o'-your-seat Vuelta a Espana is behind us, the Worlds are ahead of us, and it's time for the incredibly prestigious 2012 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Awards!

Tour, Schmour Award: let's get this outta the way first: in 2012, the Giro was great, the Tour was weak, but this year's Vuelta was the best Grand Tour we've seen in *years*. Sure, the riders are still curled up on the floor of their team buses in fetal positions clutching their quads and sobbing for mama--but what's not fun about that? Bravo to the organizers--and let's hope at least a few strong contenders aren't too scared out of their minds to participate again next year!

Well, *Somethin'* Ain't Right There Prize: don't say you weren't thinking it, Pinocchio--when Contador couldn't drop Purito on three consecutive Alberto-perfect mountain stages in week 2, it sure didn't look like just some out-of-practice racing legs were the glitch. Oh, come on, I like the flashy little twerp too--but really, you didn't wonder just a *little* bit?

Holy !@#$ Save o' the Vuelta: yep, it's a two-fer for our tranquillo doe-eyed Pistolero--his blazing attack on (dang, well before) Fuentes De'. Perfect tactics that will be minutely studied by wannabes in trouble for years to come. Don't tell me I alone remember how much this kid had to learn about strategery just a few short seasons ago!

Oh, *No*! Bawling Blubberin' Scenario o' Doom Prize: in a related award, poor, broken lord o' the climbs Purito, who even rode the time trial of his life for heck's sake, being so totally caught unawares by Alberto's freak attack on the fateful Fuentes De'. Was I the only one who wanted to run up to him afterwards with his teddy bear and a lollipop?

Punk-!@# Move o' the Race: Alejandro Valverde. Really? Attacking former leader/3d place finisher Rodriguez for the points jersey in the very last move of the race? Okay, technically he had the right. But why would he act on it, except to be a colossal !@#$? You already *got* second, Alejandro--drop on anvil on Purito's package too whydontcha?

Uh, He Was Riding? Prize: sorry, but former Vuelta champ (shut up! I'm still glum about Roberto Heras! shut up!) Denis Menchov. It was great he bagged a stage win tho!

Crash o' the Vuelta: no-one was even really hurt for once, and thank goodness for that, but for drama it's no contest, Alejandro Valverde's 50-odd second loss--by Sky attack or by accident--at Valdezcaray. Karma's a bitch, ain't it?--and quit cryin' already, you lost by more than that anyway!

Is There *Any* Sport Spain Don't Kick !@# In? Statuette o' Exasperation Award: two minutes between the top boys on the podium, then even the closest guy a cool ten--ten!--minutes back. !@#$in' insult moratorium--anyway, you know who you are!

Sticktoitveness Award: there's sprints at the Vuelta? Up to the very last day, that you have to ride over 8 bazillion mountains to get to? Well, he did grab a season's worth of wins in two weeks doin' it--well done John Degenkolb!

Wily Stealth Move o' the Race: Euskaltel-Euskadi, intentionally keepin' it low-key without even a single stage win, juuuuuuuust to take the unsuspecting peloton by surprise next year. Right on, Orange Armada--see you on top o' the podium in 2013!

!@#$-You Moment o' the Vuelta: take his Giro, take his Tour--AC's still takin' it to the bank, mother!@#$ers! Yep, in a perfect flashback to Armstrong at his last Tour de France, Alberto's 7-finger salute to UCI on the roll up to the line, one for each Grand Tour he's got and a couple they think he don't. Brilliant!

Class Act of the Race: Purito, every single damn day. Pride without braggadocio, defeat without blame, sportsmanship without pettiness--on that alone, Rodriguez gets the win, so I really hope we see him do it one day!

Well, them's my awards--so crack the champagne, hide the syringes, and let's get ready for next year!

And, Our Contest Winner: finally, with major bonus points to those of you who generously brown-nosed for Euskaltel and offered even more creative responses, our Part Tres contest winner, straight from the Holy Once-Eroski Cap-o'-Destiny is: Jez! Jez, check yer email, pick yer lucky rider-winner, and the rest of you--thanks ever so much for playing, and if Andy Schleck don't suck, I may even run this during the Tour next time! Naaaaaah....

Friday, September 07, 2012

Last Call at the GC Cafe'; and, 1 More Day to Enter to Win!

It's the Bola del Mundo, Baby!: I'll give this to Alejandro Valverde (along with whatever else he's been given): whether it's gaining 3 seconds on a stage, like today, or 30, he ain't going down without a fight, so I expect 'im to give even tomorrow's excruciating climb relentless whacks for time til he completely cracks while Purito, I hope, will at least go for one last stage win. Y'know those Escher drawings with the staircases that go up and up and up til suddenly you're impossibly upside down? Yeah, that's the Bola del Mundo. Here, the profile: Hope y'all got fingernails, boys, 'cause when your legs and gears fail you you're gonna need 'em to claw up to the finish line!

Bite Me! Thor Was Sick!: okay, so we finally got our explanation for BMC's all-season suckfest: Thor and Cadel had viruses, and are curled up on their couches with their teddy bears before coming back to kick Classics and Grand Tour !@# next year. Get well soon guys--now quiet down and take your naps already!

Thanks, Pat "Dick", You Pig: well, nice work hosing women's cycling, you officious weenie--as if Pat "Dick" McQuaid's totally coincidentally proposing amnesty for busted dopers (at least, amnesty for the ones he's still in love with, since I see he's also now interested in what Lance's former teammates Dave Z Tommy Danielson and Vande Velde have to say)as soon as it looked inevitable that Armstrong was jacked and UCI was completely discredited as a pack of sycophant glory-slut cheat-enablers weren't bad enough--now Brit cycling Amazon Emma Pooley, tired of the women being forced to play ignored loser Ken to men's cycling's spectacular Barbie, is taking not only a likely year's sabbatical but also, possibly, calling it a damn career. !@@#$, people, would a guy of her stature have to bag her career because no freakin' team has decent funding--I mean, the !@#$in' Schlecks have jobs next year for !@#$'s sake!

One More Time, Honey!: and, as Liquigas studpuppy/2010 Vuelta champ Vincenzo Nibali is declared the lucky winner of our Week 2 Contest Three-Week Rider Insult Moratorium, there's one last chance to call the Vuelta, gain immortality, and make me be nice to someone I hate. Look, here's Vincenzo: ain't he cute? Anyway, enter here to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Holy Fakeout, Contador!; And, Enter to Win Our Week Three Contest!

Come Sail Away/Come Sail Away/Come Sail Away With Me (If You Can): y'know, I honestly don't know which looks worse--Contador's just blowing after his ban, or Contador blowing Purito outta the water after his ban. And if weren't for the sheer strategic masterpiece that made this amazing result possible, frankly, I'd be diving desperately right now for my happy rainbow trusting place, which is still a smoking ruin from like 2006. But nice fakeout pimping the Bola del Mundo at the press conference yesterday Alberto, and dang, that must've been one hell of a rest day! Still, I'm quite crushed for Rodriguez, who really was earning this Vuelta bravely against Alberto's two-week-long string of fruitless ankle-nipper attacks, which apparently whacked 'im all at once today and who, of course, took his devastating loss with sportsmanship and grace. Say what the hell you want about Alberto and Bjarne (and I will), but this was just !@#$in' brilliant. So do the last five minutes if you must, but man, if you've got more time to burn, watch the incredible scene play out!:

News Shorts: meantime, I could go on with the in-depth analysis that the following items deserve, but because I love both my faithful readers I'll keep this mercifully short: Tyler's still wankin', Pat "Dick" McQuaid's still wussily proclaiming Armstrong-neutrality and screwing women's cycling, Andy Schleck's still out of commission and still needs to learn to (1) freakin' descend already and (2) ride without his brother, and, last but not least, clean-sport advocate Jonathan Vaughters has officially outed Tommy D, Christian Vande Velde, and Dave Zabriskie as ex-dopers, but *does* at least admit he won't work with Jorg Jaksche not because he's a doper, but because he's an !@#hole. Ugh, glad we got all that out on the table--please, can we get the women some !@#damn airtime for once and get back to actual bike racing now?

Name That Podium!: finally, enter here to win Part Tres of our contest--may eternal glory (and bitchin' prizes) be yours! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

It's Yer Vuelta-n-Other-Stuff Newsbites, Poetic-Like!

The time has come, the narcs all said,
To talk of many things;
Like why Alberto's lost his punch,
And from whence Purito's wings.
Valverde always creeps us out,
While Froome is justly slow;
But since they'll all test squeaky-clean,
I guess we'll never know.

Tyler's got a new book out,
In which he speaks his piece,
Of how Lance tried to buy him off,
And lessons learned from Riis.
USADA's got its witch-hunt on
With Lance's rocker chick,
Whose singing now could really help
Those doping charges stick.

So lesson learned for newbie pros
Turned off by all this crap:
If you're gonna do the drugs,
For God's sake, shut yer yap!

Monday, September 03, 2012

It's Yer Week 2 Contest Winner! and, Enter to Win the 2012 Vuelta a Espana Win Free Stuff Contest Part Tres!

Yes, it was an excellent group of entries for our week 2 contest, "Alejandro Valverde Is...", with the following wee jems: (1) going to crash and burn in week 3 (not literally of course; (2) no sammy sanchez; (3) not as good as Chris Froome...ha go to hell naysayers!; (4) balding; (5) an unrepentant, unapologetic doper who got everything he deserved on stage 4; (6) a big !@#$in' baby! and (7) El Hombre! And, your winner straight from the Holy Once-Eroski Cap o' Destiny is...jenzerwoman! Jenzer, check your email, send me your info (I won't share it or nothin'), pick the lucky recipient of your Three Week Rider Insult Moratorium, and your prizes'll be in the mail! Thanks to all for playing, and now, on to Week 3!

It's the 2012 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest Part Tres!: yes, despite all predictions, the fabulous Vuelta ain't quite over yet--so enter here to win!a Rafflecopter giveaway