Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oh, For !@#$'s *Sake*: In Which I Solve All This Stupid Doping !@#$

Look, particularly now that it's *racing* season, I'm getting deeply irked with all the drug drama suckin' up the headlines. But it's so damn incessant you can't just ignore it--it almost feels dishonest, somehow. So here's one all-encompassing proposal, so we can all get back to loving actual cycling in peace:

1. No, *Indurain* doped? I *get* it. They almost all doped. They're almost all dirtbags, and frankly, Big Mig, Pantani, Cipo, Contador, and all those guys are *still* gonna stay national heroes no matter how much evidence you pile up in front of everybody, so quit wastin' yer breath, suck it up, and move *on* already! And yes, "just" doping *is* different from being a whistleblower-intimidating, bullying, omerta-enforcing goonmeister, so no, both remaining fanboys, Lance *doesn't* get a pass.

2. Still, that doesn't mean some sincere repentance isn't in order. You alive? You doped? You think you beat a clean guy? Give him some dough, hand over the jersey, and apologize. Same to anyone else who gets busted now, with the addition of handing over all the proceeds from yer ill-gotten lucrative endorsement deals. Bonus points if you offer to let 'im kick your !@#. There--done!

3. It's awesome that Mellow Johnny's is giving equal prize money to men and women's mountain bike race winners, and running a great race to boot. But Lance--you're still a !@#$.

4. Anyone who says they paid a doping doc, particularly a gyno, just for "medical" or "training advice" is presumptively a lying sack of crap. Next guy who claims it has to get a full-on annual gynecological exam to prove it's legit. Gentlemen, start your speculums!

5. Anyone who doped and admitted it--great. It's a true service to cycling. Now *shut the hell up* about your poor tormented soul !@#dammit!

6. Any !@#wad directeur sportif who arranged for his riders to dope with medically inept or negligent dip!@#$s gets to have the same procedure done to him/herself. Not to worry, it's all perfectly safe--right?

7. "I only doped until [exact date statute of limitations ran out or lucrative subsequent contract kicked in]." Give us a break already!

8. Face it, if we eliminate all the DSes doped, or had their riders dope, there won't be anyone who knows diddly-squat left to even run the sport. 'Fess up, then shut up--you're in. So Vaughters or (gack) Riis--congratulations. Eki and the rest of you clowns--you're fired.

9. Teams--you're just as disgusting. Rider gets punished, team gets punished. Bet you'll know who your boys are seeing in the off-season *then*!

10. Fellow fans--sadly, people are still doping. Hopefully not as much at the moment, but doping. The narcs *just* developed a new test to detect microdosing? Party on peloton! Am I the *only* one pissed in advance we're gonna have to go through all this 5 years from now, *again*?

So let it be written, so let it be done with. Now let's get on to the fabulous Strade Bianche, and Cancellara--time to show your form!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Woo-hoo, We're On the Cobbles, Baby!; and, Andy Schleck Dissed *Again*

Finally!: yes, it's time to kick off the venerable (and painful!) Belgian Classics season at last, baby! The races: the exciting (and cobblier) Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and the "infernal race with the heavenly finish," Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurnage. The players: a newly-healed Tom Boonen juuuuust testing his form at Omloop, Cav defending his Kuurne title, Thor desperate to show his season-opening win wasn't a one-off, ever-threat Juan Antonio Flecha, the dashing Pippo Pozzato, and, in its virgin appearance on the cobbles, intrepid new African squad MTN-Qhubeka. Most importantly, the weather forecast: bbbrrrrrrr, with a chance of snow for Kuurne on Sunday! Here, Sep Vanmarcke edges Tommeke for last year's Omloop win: Allez allez boys--and good luck staying uprightish!

Sturm und Schleck: last but not least, yap, Vicioso tried to hide from the Op Puerto trial and Eki had to suspend him to keep Katusha's new WorldTour spot, yap, Tyler terrifyingly weed black after Fuentes mangled him, yap--nope, the big news is poor ol' (well, young) Andy Schleck again, as his Grand Tour rivals are already showing impressive form and, cringingly, even his own country writes him off as a hopeless lumpen slacker before the season hardly gets going. Damn, Andy, get your act together already--remember, if you don't, you won't be able to blame scumlord rival tactics or unfortunate equipment failures when you blow it this year!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wiggo In Denial, *Again*; Thoooooooooor!; and, Quick Step Goes All "Gangnam Style"

We *Get* It, Bradley, *Jaysus*!: All *right*, Wiggo. You're the only Tour de France winner in history never to want to win it again the least teeny tiny super-miniscule damn-near-invisible sub-atomic bit *ever*. And of course, we are convinced 100% that it has absolutely nothing with the 2012 Tour being a once-in-a-century course seemingly tailor-made just for you, the 2013 Tour being back to its usual hilly self once again, and the 2013 Vuelta set to be even more sadistic, if that's humanly possible, than last year's. Which is why you're so much happier maybe committing to help your TdF team captain/resentful ex-backup man Froome win the big maillot jaune if you feel like it and if you don't have something better to do like mow the lawn or trim your toenails or sit around in a pub crying your eyes out over a beer for three straight weeks in July. We *hear* you, we *believe* you, we swear it--now run off to Jan Ullrich for some tips on safely losing that surprisingly big off-season weight gain, and prove how much you want the Giro by laying it down on the tarmac in May, already!

It's Race Roundup Sunday!: and, suck it Hushovd haters--as if such an undead mutant twisted freak could actually walk the earth, but I digress--as Thor clearly puts his miserable 2012 in the past with a bangin' win at this weekend's Tour de Haut Var, the triumphant Froome exceedingly ticks off Contador, Tony Martin aims to scare the time trial right outta Cancellara this season, and, creepily disconcerting as always, Alejandro "How I Got Out of Yappin' Blood Bags at the Fuentes Trial Sure Beats the Hell Out Of Me, Too" Valverde himself taking the time trial at the Vuelta a Andalucia. Not that I'm suggesting anything here, Alejandro, but remember what happened to Schumacher when he started with that !@#$--dial it back a little, would ya, even if it *is* (as it certainly is) totally legit! And no, it weren't flashy, but here's Thor: Allez allez, big guy!

"Harlem Shake," Whatever: well, newly-serious Belgian studmuffin Tom Boonen may not be doing nekkid shower scenes or posting apres-race massages to porn music on-line anymore, but his Quick Step ("OPQS", whatever) squad has gamely taken up the mantle for him, with a surely prize-winning Dance Fever-worthy performance of their own. Well done, gentlemen--but don't you clowns even *think* of pulling a quad and hosing over Boonen or Cav unless it's during a race this season, you hear!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It's Yer Valentine's Day Gift List for the Peloton!

The hell with flowers, chocolates, an overpriced dinner at an overpriced restaurant, or that Naughty Nurse outfit you saw in a catalog--our darling peloton could use a *real* token of affection for St. Valentine's Day, and it's up to us to give it to 'em! Ergo:

1. Lance Armstrong: a heart. 'Cause someone's gonna piss 'im off again sometime, and we all know what he does when *that* happens. For the sake of everyone else, someone, give him a heart!

2. Andy Schleck: mojo. The poor boy really, really needs his mojo back. How else can Contador take any pride in kicking his !@# in July?

3. Pat "Dick" McQuaid: a spine. The spine to own up to what he did, whatever it was. The spine to step down. And the spine to respect the sport, the riders, and the fans enough to do it.

4. Marianne Vos: dang, what *do* you give someone who's already won everything she could possibly want? Well then, equal podium babes for the ladies, I say!

5. Johnny Hoogerland: body armor. A light, flexible, comfortable, impenetrable set of full team kit. Nothing says "I love you" like a gift that keeps you in one piece!

6. Purito Rodriguez: a lovely new team and a bangin' new contract. Unless Katusha gets its ProTour license Friday. In which case, Ekimov has to strew rose petals in his path for every single step Rodriguez takes next season. Show him the appreciation he deigned to show you guys this whole time, Eki!

7. Jesus Manzano: a clean bill of health. Jeez, did you *read* that !@#$ he went through at Kelme--no-one, dirty doper or not, deserves that!

8. Mark Cavendish: y'know, he *did* step in for Tom Boonen at the last minute in Qatar, to quite brilliant effect. I mean, the race don't ride itself. Give Cav the green jersey at the Tour!

Well, dear reader(s), them's my sweet wishes for the sport we hold so dear. So pop yourselves some champagne, feel the love, and enjoy the season ahead!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A UCI Love-In! A Spanish/Italian Bloodbagapalooza! A Saganarama!

Age of Aquarius: yes, it's just all peace, love, and--surprise!--total impotence at UCI, as they finally confront on the hard questions like, how much exactly did you cover for Armstrong? why do you only go after cyclists who piss you off? and, how come you haven't caught anyone higher'n a cul-de-sac tricycle rider for the last five years? with this scorched-earth, once-and-for-all solution to the scourge of doping in cycling: come bang on a snare drum in the woods chanting around a campfire wearing a loincloth, and, like, share your innermost feelings with us, man! Gee, *thanks*, Captain Love-In, *that* oughta solve all our problems! Oh, fine, break out the body paint Pat "Dick", we can all just paint flowers and peace signs on each others' torsos while you ignore everyone who could possibly change cycling for the better, *again*...

"Danger" to Public Health? But Fuentes Doped Me Up Just *Dandy*, Thank You Very Much!: and, as Ivan "So Close, But Yet So Far" Basso tries to sell the same ol' "I only attempted to dope" snake oil again, and the far more plausible we love (shut up! is too! I'm in my happy place!) Joseba Beloki claims never to have met Dr. Eufemiano "Gyno to the Male Stars" Fuentes at all, legendary pin-up/sprint icon Mario Cipollini has just dodged a close one: apparently, the Italian narcs are already calling off their new investigation into his highly suspicious links to Fuentes because, the good Dr. has reportedly testified, the 70,000 euros Cipo gave to him was not for blood doping, or even the notoriously bull!@#$ "training advice," but for a strict and highly complicated regime of chest-hair waxing. Saved by the manscaping, Lion King--now cough up who frosted your highlights, or we're gonna slap your !@# in prison!

Hasta la Vista, Baby!: finally, in actual race news, it sure looks like Peter "The Terminator" Sagan is getting ready to whomp on his fast-men competitors in the big races, as he starts his season off with a sharp attack and the lead at the Tour of Oman. Watch out, Cav, and don't get too smug, Classics men--swooning fan club or not, this flashy kid's set to take you *on*! Here, the win on the day:

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Cav! Fabian! Schleck! Hoogerland! and, Get Yer Red-Hot Lance Memorabilia Here

The Fast 'n' the Furious: yep, this season's sprint wars are already heating up, with Mark Cavendish already bagging Tom Boonen's wins at the Tour of Qatar and happily snarking about leaving the soulless lying corporate robots at Sky behind for the beer-snarfin' Belgian party-boys at Quick Step, Andre Greipel winning pretty much every race he's entered this season, and ever-good-guy Tyler Farrar nearly recovered physically and mentally from his bloody, miserable 2012. A small gripe: I gotta say, we're already kinda putting poor Greipel at an automatic fan disadvantage here in the who-you-gonna-root-for psychological-warfare contest. I mean, Mark "the Manx Missile" just sounds cool, but all Andre gets is the "German Gorilla"? Dang, why not just call him the Big Ol' Leaden Lumpwad whydontcha...

Andy Schleck Is Scr*wed! (So What Else is New): and, no luck *again* for the perpetually-hosed Andy "Jaysus, Can't I Finish Just *One F!@#$in' Race*" Schleck, now thwapped by a respiratory infection outta the Tour of the Mediterranean, tho' there may be some saving grace in that, having apparently threatened to whine Cancellara to death, Spartacus now sez he's still considering riding shotgun for the boy at the Tour de France. Andy, you're a great rider, but even Cancellara can't hold on to your handlebars on the downhills...anyway, feel better quick, so at least you've got a fighting chance in July!

Hoogerland Report: meantime, Johnny "Barbed Wire" Hoogerland is now close to hearing when he's gonna be free from the hospital after his vicious training crash with a car, and, while he's still got five broken ribs, some fractured vertebrae, and a host of other unpleasant wounds, it thankfully appears his liver is not actually as hard-hit as initially thought. Thank goodness for (very) small mercies, Hoogerland--now rest up, get well, and we'll see you back on the bike when you're ready!

And, If You Order Now, We'll Send You a Second One *Free*!: finally, as (insert acronym here) threatens to investigate/not investigate Lance Armstrong if he doesn't/does cooperate with (insert name of guy delusional LA fanboys still hate), it occurred to me, in the midst of the most notorious doping scandal in history, that you might wanna get yer Lance memorabilia before it skyrockets in value, which led me to this: yep, a genuine signed LA magazine is already gonna run you a brutal 8 buckaroos, my friend, so buy now to ensure yer comfortable retirement later! See, Lance, we *do* still care....

Saturday, February 02, 2013

It's Operacion Bull!@#$! LL Cool Sanchez Just Busted! And, Yer Race News Roundup

If You're Gonna Do It, Do It Right (Do It With Me): look, we all know the Spanish have long held a, well, business-like view of doping. Which is why it seems particularly ridiculous to have a whole !@#damn tribunal just to establish that--prior to the enactment of actual *anti*-doping legislation in the wake of the Operacion Puerto scandal--they basically did it really well. I mean, you've got Dr. Eufemiano "Gyno to the Male Stars" Fuentes swearing he drugged his clients to the highest standards of cleanliness, sniffing he wouldn't even treat lying rat-witness Jesus Manzano because he did coke for fun which unlike cheating honest athletes out of race wins by stuffing riders full of banned drugs is morally wrong, offering to name names and being shut up by the judge, you've got ONCE/Liberty Seguros mastermind Manolo Saiz saying sure he gave his riders express permission to see Fuentes and happened to be carrying 60,000 euro to pay him at a cafe but it's not like he thought the boys'd actually take him up on it, and the worst-case scenario here is "Naughty Fuentes, you oughta have doped 'em better?" No, we don't want any rider pulling a Riccardo Ricco' and damn near killing themselves with their own stupidity, and yes, it's important that the full story of cycling's shameful history comes out--but now that doping's actually legally *bad* in Spain, why not focus on those more recent scenarios instead? Oh, wait....

Oh, Give It *Up*, Rabobank!: meantime, I wholly believe that Rabobank--which was surely, like UCI, already aware that near-Tour de France winner Michael Rasmussen had missed pre-Tour doping controls before righteously yankin' him outta the race only when everybody else found about it--was shocked to find out that he'd been doping ALONG WITH EVERY OTHER FREAKIN' RIDER ON THEIR TEAM. But what strikes me as particularly moronic is that *today* it's gone and suspended former ONCE/Liberty Seguros prodigy LL Cool Sanchez, who was publicly linked to Operacion Puerto back in 2006 for chrissakes but is only now being found out by a team management who's apparently been reading their newspapers in reverse order for the last 7 years. Not to excuse him for being just an impressionable, bright-eyed kid at the time--which he was, right along with then-fellow nobody Alberto Contador--but can we all quit this idiot fakery where we all buy that no-one's been doping since 2006? Except the Chicken. And Armstrong. And Schleck. And Contador. And...

Wait, People "Race Bikes" In This Sport?: and, in actual riding news this week, Fabian Cancellara's decided to bail on the Tour de France--leaving, if humanly possible, the already Frank-less Andy Schleck even more screwed in July--the 'crossers don their scuba gear for today's flood-ravaged Worlds in Kentucky, Kirsten Wild tore up the tarmac and scared the crap outta her fellow sprinters the whole Ladies Tour of Qatar, and the menfolk get ready to head out on the desert tomorrow. Wow Cav, you're pretty sharp, but even you don't always whale on 'em like this: