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!