Thursday, March 28, 2013

Peter Sagan vs. Mark Cavendish: Yer Handy Primer

Okay folks, there's been a loooottta flashy ridin' lately and a looooottta fan fightin' over who reigns supreme, upstart young Slovak Peter "Pop-a-Wheelie" Sagan or less upstart but still young Brit Mark "Colgate" Cavendish. And frankly, between the sprinterly arrogance, lightning-fast finishes and whack-job victory salutes, it's sometimes hard to tell who's who. So who are they, and who's the bitchinest of them all? Here, Yer Handy Racejunkie Primer:

Early History: Sagan: junior world mountain bike champ. Cav: gold-medal world madison champ trackie. And yes, they both rode everything else, too. Mountain bike's more beery 'n' fun, but track's just wicked cool. Advantage: Cavendish.

Palmares: Sagan: this year's Gent, possibly Sunday's Flanders, 5 stages and the green jersey at last year's Tour, points classification in basically everything else last year, too. Cav: 2011 world road champ, Milano-Sanremo, a mind-boggling couple dozen stages at the Tour de France, points classifications in the Tour and, miraculously, the fabulous Vuelta. Yes, Sagan's younger, but boy--you've got some more work to do!

Nickname: Sagan: the "Terminator." True, to be sure, but holy crap is that overused, and his sponsor should still be thwapped for that obnoxious green bike last year. Cav: the "Manx Missile." Cav takes it by a landslide!

Victory Salute: Cav: a clean, straightforward, chest-thumping, finger-flippin' "screw you!" Sagan: a masterpiece of arcane movie gestures, crowd-pleasing showmanship, and just plain goofy joy. Sagan, you charmer--sure, your elders are miffed, but then, they're jealous of you, too!

Strengths: Sagan: jack of all trades, master of...well, it's still a little too soon to tell where he's gonna really go, right? Cav: undisputed fastest man on two wheels in a pure sprint. Cav 'til Sagan gets a little more experience!

Weaknesses: Sagan: uh...I dunno...he's too darn big to be a Sastre-esque pure climber? Cav: can't climb for !@#$, but man, does he ever stick it out. Cav, we'll see if he out-chokes you at something!

Team: didja know Sagan's a Quick Step reject? Well, I didn't, you insufferable bike-stat snotwad! Lookin' a little green there, Lefevere? Anyway: Sagan's the better natural Classics rider, but Cav's got the better Classics squad. Sagan wins on the smashing Liquigas (Cannondale, whatever) team kit, which is almost as garish as he is, but Cav's already smacked his new Quick Step minions into a solid lead-out. Me, I love any team that's got Chavanel and Boonen, and Cannondale's still pissing me off for losing Nibali. Toss up!

Team Camp: sure, Liquigas is admirably sadistic, but it was Quick Step that had Cav and everyone else go special-ops Rambo on everyone's !@# this year. Drop and give me 20, Sagan you punk!

Argy-Bargy: there's still some debate about whether Sagan's De Panne win the other day was a bit of a punk-!@# move for changing his line, but did you know Cav once single-handedly flung Tyler Farrar over the border into the Spain by grabbing his bike jersey with his teeth? Yup, they still haven't found 'im! Gotta give Cav management points for delegating half his dirty work to his domestique goons, though. Sagan wins for cleanliness!

Smack-Talk: Sagan is relentlessly, heck, almost freakishly, polite. Cav, on the other hand, will not only blame the weather, the announcer, the race moto, and the other squads failure to support 'im for his loss, but will publicly rip into his own teammates to boot. Wait, do we give this to the diplomat, or the !@#$-you guy?

Eye-Candy Quotient: oh, gimme a break, you smug little purists--you think Mario "the Chest" Cipollini made his career on results alone? On this, I defer to my loyal reader(s). 'Cause it's not like you all hadn't thunk about it anyway!

Well, them's my assessment, and honestly, I'm surprised how Cav's more'n held his own against the Sagan hype machine. So slug it out on the road, boys, and let's see who earns the vulgar victory display at the end of the season!

No comments: