Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's the 2013 Giro d'Italia Racejunkie Awards!

Yep, three glorious weeks of rain, sleet, snow--and oh right, bike racing--are past, and before the overhyped Tour de France sucks the life outta the cycling universe, it's time to honor the best, the worst, and the just plain weirdest for the 2013 Giro d'Italia Racejunkie Awards! Yer winners:

M-M-M-M-M-M-My Poker Face Award: He wins. He's tranquillo. He loses. He's tranquillo. His rivals crack. He's tranquillo. His rivals surge. He's tranquillo. He's actually being chipped out of a giant block of ice on top of Tre Cime, he's tranquillo. Vincenzo Nibali, you ain't called the Shark for nothin'--anyway we can only *assume* you're actually happy today, so complimenti on a fabulous win!

Andy Schleck Memorial Whining Award: It's rainy. It's sunny. It's windy. It's descendy. I got caught out behind a crash. I got caught out in front of a crash. HOW DARE YOU NOTICE RIGOBERTO URAN INSTEAD OF ME FOR ONE SECOND YOU IGNORANT DIRT-DWELLING PEASANT! Oh shut *up*, Brad Wiggins--you cherry-picked your course, you still got beat, for chrissakes quit whinging already!

Total Tool o' the Race Auxiliary Prize: congrats, Brad, it's a two-fer! You lose your mojo, and you not only insult the iron-tough grievously-underpaid and distinctly-underpampered entire women's peloton in an effort to justify your own inadequacy, but you start being a merely tepid support to yer !@#-saving corsa-ripping Colombian domestiques and immediately spend the rest of the race--before you quit--trying to steal back the Tour defense you never even really cared about (uh, sure!) from Chris Froome. *Please*, Sky, don't let this spoiled princess screw your second straight Grand Tour this season...

American Idol Award: Ryder Hesjedal, this one's for you! Something bad--really, really bad--was going on out there, yet you doggedly honored the maglia rosa you were defending until there wasn't a single pedal stroke left in your legs. And *still* some misguided soulless goons gave you crap. Salute, Ryder, now rest up and get well soon--you done Canada, your entire swooning continent, and most of all the beautiful Giro d'Italia proud!

The Agony and the Ecstasy Prize: y'know, say what you want about John Degenkolb's chances had a hideous crash not taken 3/4 of the riders down without 'im, but Degenkolb's utter gutted exhaustion as he collapsed after the line was the epitome of what it takes to win. Geez, man, I hope you got your breath back by *now*!

French (Are) Toast Statuette: from Paolini to Visconti to Pirazzi to Santambrogio to, oh yeah, some "Nibali" character, the Italians were just *stompin'* in their home race this year. Could the French, in their home Grand Tour, say the same for, say, the entire last quarter-century? Step it up, kids--you've got til July not to shame your own country!

Divine Comedy Prize: oh, Danilo Di Luca. After your return from pipi-degli-angeli exile, it was awful fun of you to animate the race so frequently--tho' it was even skeeving out your own hometown journalists by the end of the first week. But when Lance-freakin'-Armstrong has the moral authority to call you an "idiot" for doping (well, getting caught anyway), you *know* you're a class-A chump. Che cretino, Danilo--you couldn't summon the brains to do this right just *once*?

Run! Run Away! Run Children! Run for Your Life! Award: Cadel Evans' mechanic--I don't know yer name, and if I were you I'd sure as hell change it, but this is a cash prize to buy a lifetime's worth of camping gear and a ticket to a remote landing strip in some deserted impenetrable craphole. Trust me, after Cadel's bike blew up on him on Tre Cime, you're better off there anyway!

Euromullet Award: not since the great days of Mario "the Chest" Cipollini have so many flowing locks taken so much aerodynamic advantage away from the GC contenders. But of all of 'em, Rigoberto Uran's take the hairspray. Welcome back 1980s--hell, half the squads already brought back the eye-gougingly flourescent team kits!

Twit-pic o' the Giro: okay, those snaps o' the riders covered in icicles *were* diverting. But in the midst of all the media hoopla about Pippo Pozzato's "mafioso" tactics and, well, leisurely approach to his profession, and in a scene straight outta some desperate 1960s "seduce yer man" playbook, Pippo wrapped himself in Saran Wrap for the cameras. Heck, that's twice as much as he usually wears--better luck next time I guess, fanboys 'n' girls!

Sweet Gesture Award: no snark, just admiration--for Cav's dedication of his stage win to the fallen Wouter Weylandt, and Benat Intxausti's to his lost friend Xavi Tondo. You done well by them, gentlemen--and such a kind gift to their families!

No-Show o' the Race: oh, sure, Cav never got his Petacchi, and poor Ivan Basso couldn't even start--but breathless near-daily team reports on the state of his ginormous nuttal cyst certainly kept us in the know. Nope, this win belongs to dark-horse pre-race press-darling Robert Gesink, finally bailing in total dejection (and obscurity) within the very sight of the finish line. Well, the boy is still a whipper-snapper--just bag a few short stage races, and they'll have your back again next year!

The Fine Colombian Award: geez, what a giant mark these few guys made in the race--between Betancur snagging the young rider's jersey on the penultimate day, to Henao's brave rides before he finally faded, to unexpected-team-leader-then-surprise-podium-runner-up Rigoberto Uran Uran, notice has formally been given to Sky and AG2R that they better waaaay-improve their contracts or lose 'em to greener pastures next year! Did we mention that if these wee climbers can halfway learn to time trial they'll be particularly hard to beat? Particular congrats to Uran for also taking this year's Diplomat o' the Race Award for (okay, maybe he did needlessly slag Froome a bit) remaining so discreetly humble in the face of Brad's increasingly-obnoxious desperation and his own increasingly-obvious supremacy!

Oh, Just Go *Home* You Wannabes Award: he won five--five!--sprint stages--with and without the lead-out train he so extravangantly credited--and, despite a little on-camera swearing amidst the argy-bargy at the intermediate sprint points, even snatched his red jersey back from the ravages of the cold snowy mountains--and Vincenzo Nibali--literally in the last few moments of the race. Mark Cavendish, you are simply unbeatable--well done, and Elia Viviani, there are way worse guys you (and every other helpless fast man in the peloton) can lose to!

Game-Changer o' the Race: yes, Nibali probably--almost certainly--had the maglia rosa tied up by the second-to-last mountain stage. But we'll never *really* know for certain, because the Gavia and Stelvio stage was cancelled, and even the Tre Cime stage took some serious kilometers outta the course. And in the Giro, as poor Cadel found out yesterday, and even considering Vincenzo's Abominable-Snowman imperviousness to snow, anything--from crash to mechanical to just plain bonk--could've happened. Damn, Mother Nature, if you wanna run the Giro in December instead just say so!

Class Move o' the Giro: finally, well done to 2013 champ Vincenzo Nibali, who generously gave his traditional victory show-off to the great, retiring 2000 winner Stefano Garzelli. No matter how anyone thinks you won this jersey, Vincenzo--and I'm not saying I'm among them, both because you're the current subject of a Rider Insult Moratorium and because Vino might break my kneecaps--they sure can't deny your grace!

Well, that's another great Giro d'Italia in the bag, some serious wine 'n' prosciutto in the stomach, and some major prosecco to suck down for our champions. Gentlemen, enjoy your trophies--may the Battle o' Brad'n'Froome begin!

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

yikes...just looking past Pozzato and wondering what is going on there.