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!