Friday, August 30, 2013

It's Yer Most 'a Week One Vuelta a Espana ('n' Nother Stuff) Roundup!

What Happened: yeah, you saw it: they rolled off a glass thingie, the uphills started almost instantaneously, Chris Horner redeemed RadioSkank's whole season grabbing the leader's jersey then lost it on some crap split to Nibali who really oughtn't have it so soon 'cause the last thing he needs is to squander the hell outta the squad's energy so early so he better hope Horner hasn't sought weight-stuffing solace in a giant McFlurry binge, Euskaltel is clearly waiting patiently to slaughter everyone this coming week (bite me! are too! and they're really stressed, so stuff it!), there's now officially at least two Saxo-Tinkoff riders Oleg Tinkov won't be breakin' their kneecaps before the end of the season so clearly there's some brains (and legs) left in that troubled operation, and there's been a buncha fast flat stages and I honestly do hope poor psyched out Tyler Farrar wins one 'cuz he really can do it but he's had an awful tough coupla years and has no lead-out to boot so cut him some freakin' slack !@#dammit. Yesterday: your early but clear winner of the 2013 Racejunkie Awards for Agonizing Almost Win o' the year in a truly soul-smooshing nail-biting finish after basically a 174.99k solo time trial by gutsy Tony Martin: Holy crap Tony you've got heart--one of the few performances I've seen of late that really, genuinely qualifies as "epic"!

What's Gonna Happen: this weekend, we finally hit some hills this weekend, baby, and it's time for (1) Samu' to take back some time, (2) Rodriguez to spit Horner off the podium like a glommy scrappy lougie; and (3) Valverde to either (a) make a spectacular move or (b) have a spectacular crack. Dear little retired-but-all-kindsa-into-youth-cycling-and-still-happy-riding-his-bike-and-hangin'-with-his-kids 2008 Tour de France champ Carlos Sastre's assessment: not really properly deferential to Sanchez's fabulousness, but bettin' on long-ago-and-admittedly-underrated ex-teammate Purito for an inevitable if-not-now-soon Grand Tour victory, and correctly pegging Euskaltel's Mikel Nieve as Spanish star o' the future. So we still love you Sastre!

'Nother Stuff Roundup: Cadel's not gonna ride the Tour anymore because he doesn't think he can win, but for a purported run at the Worlds Contador is drastically downscaling his expectations after a crap 2013, Wiggo has completely conceded defeat, Cav honestly misses the track, disgusting vindictive sycophant/enabler Pat "Dick" McQuaid continues to try to wreck the sport I can even believe he thinks he loves, and anyone who ever, *ever*, EVER uses the glorious Giro and/or Vuelta as also-rans to the Tour because they can't bag the Grand Boucle doesn't deserve to win those far-cooler races anyway. Oh, and Thomas "the Grimace" Voeckler nabbed a stage win after his indifferent July at the Tour-of-Sorry-I-Really-Suck-At-Spelling-Stuff-In-French-No-Diss-Intended, so right on to him, and here, his fine victory: Okay, it's on to Land o' No Blog Coverage for a coupla days, so Vuelta fans, enjoy the race!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

DS Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and (Almost) Love Johan Bruyneel

Johan (Kinda) Speaks: OK, he's the scourge of the sport. And let's face it, the man is nowhere near as darling as, say, ultimo guilty pleasure Alexandre Vinokourov. But I gotta say, his bangin' interview with the fine folks over at cyclingnews--replete with well-advised refusals to answer anything *really* fun--almost made me rethink my knee-jerk loathing of the dissembling weasel who masterminded the most successful, sophisticated, and omerta-enforcing systemic doping program in cycling history--and let's be honest, that's saying a *lot*. Why? Mainly, I must admit, because prima-donna extreme-co-dependent overrated-but-pretty-good-for-a-lazy-!@# Andy Schleck, and his wind-beneath-my-wings brother Frank, clearly annoyed the hell outta him. And yeah, why *didn't* anyone expect anything out of Andy's vaguely improved Tour de France form at say the Vuelta? Bombshell allegation: not that Alberto Contador was so pissed at his egomaniacally publicity-whoring hero Armstrong's comeback that he almost left on the spot, but that he was so pissed he almost signed for relentlessly clean zero-tolerance reformed-wah-wah-hiring-only *Garmin*, which apparently was ready to take him on despite his even then disgusting alleged (and totally unrepentant throughout) history. Still angry your voluntarily-doping ex-worker-bee Jonathan Vaughters got exalted as Clean Savior o' Cycling along with half yer other dirty boys while you got exiled from the sport you launched into heretofore-unheard-of (on our side of the pond) cash-cow world-famous cult worship? Uh, yep!

Euskaltel Doesn't Do Too Bad!: shut up, did not either: sure, Vincenzo Nibali already grabbed the leader's jersey (which I presume he'll ditch right soon), and gained nigh a minute on most of his rivals, but dear Euskaltel-Euskadi didn't do we love Samuel Sanchez *too* much damage on the ITT: despite basically being sorta slaughtered by Henao at Sky and Valverde at Movistar, Samu was still only about 15 seconds down on Joaquim Rodriguez, and a good 10 up on long-shot Ivan Basso after the first Vuelta stage, if you don't count the fact (as I naturally do not) that he got kinda dropped today too because HE IS CLEARLY INTENTIONALLY SAVING A VICIOUS BLAST OF PODIUM-BLITZING ENERGY FOR HIS WEAKLING GC COMPETITORS IN THE PYRENEES. Aupa Euskalteeeeeeeeeeeeellllll--now get up off the ground Igor and Mikel, and take those mountains *on*!

One Divine Hammer (Not Coming Down on SaxoBank): and, congrats to stage 2 Vuelta winner/SaxoBank great-hire Nicholas Roche, who not only grabbed a great stage on the first uphill finish of the race, but way beats dog-house-dwellin' Contador as one rider team boss Oleg Tinkov ain't gonna slag on Twitter, well, today. Great job Roche--maybe you could, y'know, share the secrets of today's success with yer team leader?

Sufferin' 'Til Suffrage: finally, colossal shout-out to officially-launched Women's Cycling Association, dedicated to promoting the women's sport and, one hopes, shortly inaugurating the first three-week women's Tour de France. Thank you to all at WCA--I look forward to seeing you and your mentees scorchin' the tarmac for many years to come!

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's Yer Vuelta a Espana in Preview, Part Dos!: The GC Contenders, and 'Nother Stuff

Yep, the glorious Vuelta is really nigh--woo-hoo! So now that we know all about the course--which, basically, is "!@#$ I hate team trials I already have to make up 59 seconds," "up," "more up," "seriously up," "Jesus can we get a !@#$in' rest day already?" and "ow, !@#$!"--who's our contenders for the coveted golden jersey of General Classification champ in Madrid? These 'uns:

Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel): shut up! will too! bite me! Fresh from skipping the Tour, and with the major pressure of both team leader and Carrying His Squad Off Into History (aaaiaaiiiiiigggghhhhh!) With a Noble Unforgettable Bang, Samu' is rested from skipping the Tour, kindly escorted dark horse rival/good bud Ivan Basso up the decisive climb barely a week past, and is trying hard to put the team's troubles aside to focus on his beloved home race. Plus, his squad is desperate to put on a serious farewell show for their screaming heartbroken local orange-army fans. Podium, dammit!

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar): screwed at the Tour by a crosswind and the Worst Timed Mechanical in All Human History, but still scrappy enough (and up against a depleted Contador enough) to handsomely come back, everyone's favorite blood ba--uh, catastrophically erratic powerhouse is interested in revenge, and to reclaim the Grand Tour that should've been his. Who's not here and who he doesn't have to nursemaid (to be fair, like the kid even needs it): mountain freak-o'-nature Nairo Quintana, so he's got the whole team at his disposal no matter what happens, like he forgets to eat and bonks spectacularly, he's really unhappy with the way "American Idol" is going, he develops an exceedingly distracting hangnail, or his bike spontaneously explodes when some hapless caring fan tosses water over Alejandro to cool 'im on a climb and it reacts badly with the rocket fuel leaking from a hidden canister in his top tube. Good luck, Alejandro--though let's be honest, it squicks out an awful lotta people when you win stuff!

Vincenzo Nibali: heralded as the likely winner as he rested up and sat out July, and also really, really wants Paolo Bettini to back him for the Worlds, but here's his prob: he put on a bucket o' lead weight on his !@# and didn't (and sorta couldn't) train during his obligatory post-Giro victory tours of Italy and Kazakhstan, had a sludgy Tour o' Poland, and has been psyched out being publicly lectured by his team management ever since. Major Plus: Alexandre Vinokourov will personally and with the bonus assistance of large hired goons break his !@#$in' legs into a million tiny toothpicks if he doesn't win anyway. There is nothing to fear but fear itself, Vincenzo--and Vino, so hunker down and ride like you mean it, or else!

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha): honest, what can't Purito do? Yes, he's tired like everyone else from the Tour, but he is consistent, he is tranquillo, he is wily, and even out of his mind with exhaustion he's still capable of a surprise punch. More, he is expert at gauging the relative weaknesses of his rivals and conserving or blowing his own resources accordingly. We love you Purito--but we still hope Samu' kicks your !@#!

Who the Hell Knowses: yep, there's Ivan all right, jacked out of his darling and reliable Giro and still the Tour with a disgusting golf-ball-sized cyst of the nether regions. Still, even as he ages like a fine preservative-stuffed cheese, our formerly amazingly arrogant Next Lance can sneak in under the radar with modest expectations, his slow-n'-steady rather'n showily (ex)Contadorian style, and some bizarrely !@#$ luck for the other GC guys. In bocca al lupo, Ivan--you're gonna need it! Other folks to watch: Sky's 2012 superdomestique climber Sergio Henao, Tour de France absolute Contador savior Roman Kreuziger, and even, it's rumored (hyped, whatever), Garmin and we love Ireland's Dan Martin. Chris Horner sez so too, but holy moly--have you *seen* who he's up against for heck's sake?

Who Ain't Here: the aforementioned Quintana, the broken dispirited totally-whipped utterly-in-hiding Contador, and Tour champ Chris Froome. What is he, an idiot he'd take the PR chance of chokin' on this gig after his fantabulous July?

Fun Stuff to Watch: can Philippe Gilbert finally break the Curse of the Rainbow Jersey and get a !@#damn stage already, or will it be left up to perpetual BMC cleanup-crew Marco Pinotti to take it home? Can Tyler Farrar get a win here before the mountains slaughter 'im or what? Have Bauke Mollema and Theo Bos recovered enough from July to inspire continued confidence that they can live up to their breathless bodice-ripper press-hype? Why the !@#$ is Cofidis even here besides the fact they have to be? And, keep yer eye on' Giro d'Italia Holy Crap I Can't Believe They Gave Contador's Victory to This Clown winner Michele Scarponi of all people, gettin' older, pissing off Lampre with his involvement in yet another systemic team doping scandal so why are they all mad at him those ludicrous hypocrites if they egged him on to do it, and dearly hoping for continued employment. Yep, as usual, all the real fun'll be in the sideshow--so let's keep our eyes on the main stage, but enjoy the freak show outside!

All right, dear reader: it's time for the along-with-the-Giro the bitchinest race of the year, and darling Euskaltel, time for the team TT of your lives!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's Yer Vuelta a Espana Preview, Part Uno!; and, Bonus Boonen Nut News!

Yes, despite the bone-crushing news of Euskaltel-Euskadi's season-end demise (aaaaaiiiiggghhhhhhh! aaaaaiiiigggggggh! aaaaiaiiigggghh!), we can console ourselves with this: it's the fabulous Vuelta a Espana, baby! Yer Part Un Preview:

The Course: this ain't no wimpy Tour de France, baby--stage one we've got a 27k individual time trial to get someone into gold, then it's right into the mountains and some serious pain from there. 1 team time trial, 1 individual (and mercifully hilly) time trial, 6 pretty flat stages, and 13--count 'em, 13--medium to high mountain stages, with 11 leg-munching mountain-top finishes to send Euskaltel and the GC contenders soaring and pretty well everyone else crumbling like a pile of stale cookies. Some stages to watch: Stage 2's 177k schlep up the Cat 1 Alto do Monte de Groba. Stage 8: we pile on some serious high-altitude agony with finishes at, on consecutive days, the Cat 1 Alto de Penas Blancas and the hors categorie Alto de Hazallanas. Next up, a 38 k individual time trial to freak out the GC contenders, then it's right into the Pyrenees, with an epic schlep up to the Col de Peyragoudes, three more mountain top finishes, and, on the second to last day, the surely decisive Angliru'. Ouch for them--woo-hoo for us! Sprints?: really, it's not the Tour, who gives a crap? The official website: lavuelta com. Onwards and lots of upwards, beeyotches!

Bonus Boonen News!: and, in a totally irrelevant but still earth-shattering diversion--and no, I'm not ready to discuss Euskaltel transfers (aiiiigggghhhhhhh! aaaaaiiiigggghhhhh! aaaaiiiigggghhhh!) yet--poor Tom Boonen's crap 2013 season is officially over, tanked by a nut-crushing saddlesore and, gnarliest of all, fear that surgery on this tender area would cause a lumpy and distinctly saddle-uncomfortable scar in an extremely sensitive area. Rest up, whet away that excess energy on your Ferrari, and come back unsored and ready for revenge in 2014, Tommeke!

Part Dos: the GC contenders. And stage fighters. Aupa Samuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1994-2013: You Suck, Cycling Sponsors!

Yes, after years of horrid rumors and monstrous suggestions o' imminent doom, it's finally come true: dear Euskaltel-Euskadi can't come up with the dough (despite my offer to hold a bakesale, I might add), and is officially shutting down, with the fabulous Vuelta a Espana as its brave last stand. A mild and wholly inadequate plus: they'll be bringing one of their strongest teams ever, with loyal leader/Olympic gold medalist/HOW THE !@#$ COULD YOU LET THIS TEAM DIE YOU LOATHESOME BASTARDS/Tour de France KOM so stuff it we love Samuel Sanchez aiming for--and no doubt landing on--the podium, Tour 2013 revelation Mikel Nieve, the erratic but oh-so-close-to-recent-Vuelta-victory Igor Anton, Egoi, Gorka, Juanjo, Pablo, and 'nother Mikel Landa to leave all the other mountain wannabes piteously crawling in their wake and liven up every breakaway with an often-futile-if-ever-glorious show of bravado.

I gotta say, my heart's breaking. I mean !@#$, this is like the day Shea Stadium closed. Euskaltel is a key reason I fell in love with pro cycling in the first place, its wee featherweight climbers scaling unimaginable steeps with shocking tranquillity, the heaving hulking sprinters gacking helplessly two passes back in the autobus, their screaming orange fans always the best and most entertaining in the biz. Flawed, fragile Iban Mayo--shut up! bite me!--still remains one of my favorite climbers of all time, and it's been nice to see he's regained his happiness after an awful if self-inflicted tumultuous time, and it's been lovely to see the riders I began with graduate into DS and other roles in the team. And despite the disgusting cannibalism of the other teams often grasping the best of Euskaltel's talent with their fat gaudy checkbooks and vulgar Euskaltel-crushing budgets--and most notably in my opinion, dragging Haimar Zubeldia from a GC contender to a superdomestique, but what the hell, he picked RadioSkank--seeing the exes bloom at squads like Movistar was an acceptable, if still disappointing, alternative. The team's forced last-season flirtation with ditching its essential Basqueness in favor of WorldTour points from seemingly lesser riders is, to me, already forgotten, a bad hangover from a brilliant night out. Euskaltel could never time trial, either individually or as a charmingly wind-blown team but then, it never cared. And the first time it really took sprinting seriously--with Lobato, this season--the kid took a freakin' 4th in the Tour de France. But its fundamental characteristics--its unique regional focus, its astonishingly consistent and seemingly carefree ability to climb, its almost incestuous relationship with its fan base, the perpetual love of the riders, past and present, for the team--never once changed in a fickle, political sport. I guess nothing rhymes with orange after all, and I suppose nothing ever will. In sum there was something very sweet about the squad in a field of desperately lost or annoyingly swaggering counterparts, and for that I'll always be grateful. Aupa and thank you Euskaltel-Euskadi--now, let's take this show out with a bang!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Euskaltel-Euskadi Ain't Dead Yet; and, News From the Department of Who Gives a !@#$?

Euskaltel, American Squad?: yes, Euskaltel head honcho (and former rider) Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano has, in contrast to a rumored "today" deadline and earlier suggestions that the boys were free to fly outta the nest, confirmed that the riders aren't *yet* free to go--the team now plans to hold off on an announcement of its fate until (1) the start of the Vuelta or (2) September 1 at the latest. Great, way to psych our dear carrots out for their last potential major race (aaaiiiiggghhhhh!) in orange and black! Latest talk: merger with a freakin' *American* team, which means (1) if Euskaltel does this, and moves here, and ditches their kit, and destroys their philosophy, and hoses over Samuel Sanchez, I'll cry; and (2) uh....yeah, I'll cry. !@#dammit Euskaltel, just sort this out already--my tender innocent heart can't stand the suspense! Look, look, see what bitchin' bikes they ride--how can you *not* give them tons of dough?

No Way! *Way*!: look, in an ideal world, I think everyone who ever doped should be barred from cycling for life. In fact, any obnoxious self-serving asshat who makes a big sanctimonious snake-oil wah-wah after they got popped and themselves had to compete against dirty people or justify their sick Swiss bank accounts should be banned for life *twice*. And for anyone who did that *and* claims they totally coincidentally stopped doping right when the statute of limitations on getting in trouble ran out in 2006--which is funny 'cause I seem to recall like 8000 !@#$in' positives in the 2008 Tour alone--they oughta get a bonus giant kick in the nuts. But realistically back here on Planet Earth, if we did all that, the only people we'd have left to run the whole show'd be like one soigneur a coupla mechanics and a towel boy. So, in the spirit of anti-doping in which I firmly believe, can I say in all honesty I actually don't give a !@#$ that Andreas Klier--what? a rider from Telekom? nuh-*uh*, you liars!--doped in 2005? Did he win 7 Tours? Orchestrate one of the most successful and lucrative systemic doping programs in history? Make it his golden-hero hypocrite life's work to go all destroyer-thug on anyone who fairly called bull!@#$ and threatened his power? No? Then congratulations, we've got a garden-variety jerkface in the house--bad, bad boy Andreas, can we get back to anti-doping efforts that matter *now*?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Four Days Til Decision Time for Euskaltel; the Vuelta Shapes Up; and, Thoooooooooooooor!

T minus Four for the Carrots!: yes, as sick, perverted rumors of Euskaltel riders signing for other, crappy, non-Euskaltel squads continue to pollute the cycling world, our beloved team's reportedly set to announce a decision on its future--one way or the other--on Thursday, which means either (1) party's at my place! or (2) you can peel my drunken, sobbing !@# off the booze-sticky bar of my local dive watering hole. In the meantime, loyal riders are denying ready contracts with other teams, and they're tearing up the tarmac in possible farewell to boot. !@#dammit, the sucky French squads that continue to get funded in this sport, and *these* guys can't find a sponsor--aiiiggghhhhhhhhh!

The Vuelta Contenders Tune Up: sure, featherweight climbing genius Nairo Quintana took the final stage and the whole Tour of Burgos, but he ain't riding the Vuelta, so for my money it's all about the contenders--and Vincenzo Nibali (just using it for Worlds training, he sez), Ivan Basso (just aiming for a podium, he sez), and Samuel Sanchez (too polite to speculate) are all lookin' pretty well even, tho' Vincenzo just tweeted he's ready 'n' rarin. Alejandro Valverde? On vacation, so he's still got a few days more to rest up get his legs in order--and learn to pay attention to the !@#$in' crosswinds I hope!

Wiggo, Wherefore Art Thou (for 2014) Wiggo?: and, as the Eneco Tour rolls underway this week, none other'n Sir Brad Wiggins is gracing the peloton with his presence, and if he's not too distracted jamming with whatever of-the-moment band has caught his fancy, perhaps he might weigh in on this: if domestique-o'-the-millenium Richie Porte is ready to take on GC at the Giro next year, and Froome of course will be defending (if he even has to, considering the results) his Tour de France, and Brad completely unable to keep up with Euskaltel in the vicious Vuelta mountains even if the squad's freakin' dissolved and not even there by then, what the hell *is* our first British Tour winner gonna do for a 2014 razzle-dazzle encore? Oh, *Cav's* got the grace to be a water boy with his unquestioned supremacy in other areas--but really, a Tour de France winner? Ah well, I suppose that sort of sportsmanship is something they teach 'im in knight school anyway....

I Can't Even Think of a Stupid Thor's Hammer Metaphor Right Now: last but not least, after a complete blow of a season, new Norwegian champ Thor Hushovd's finally officially got his groove back, nailing two sprints and the overall at the Arctic Tour of Norway. Hey, if lovable big lugs are on the upswing again, can Tom Boonen get his poor nuttal sanctity in order and stop this terrifying and disgusting suggestion of retirement already? Anyway, here, despite a notable lack of the typical annoying club music on the clip, hardy Thor just nips the win on the line: Welcome back Thor--I'm sure this bodes well for a bangin' 2014!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Let's Build Giorgia Bronzini a Giant Gleaming Golden Monument to Her Brilliance!

A.goddam.mazing: One sprint is boss. Two is great. Three is awesome. Four is astonishing. Five--well, for my money, five in a row is enough to enshrine you as the greatest sprinter of all time. What's more, she always, always compliments her rivals and thanks her great team. Yep, Emma Johansson's still in the lead at the Route de France, but moly, Giorgia is truly unstoppable. Bow, bow before la Bronzini, you (well, we) peasants! Here, some stage 4 highlights: Forzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Blinded By the Light: in "oh my god!" merger news, a Basque newspaper's reported that Lampre "Home of a Thousand Mantova Investigations" Merida is interested in merging with our beloved Euskaltel, which I suppose I can accept without having a total breakdown under a just couple of minor conditions: (1) everyone at Euskaltel gets to stay; (2) anyone who's ever left Euskaltel (you know who you are!) gets to come back; (3) the team kit remains orange and black; and (4) the team still gets to be called Euskaltel. Still, I do rather love Lampre for not only its Bedazzlered Disney-princess team kit, but the delicious irony of Michele Scarponi getting awarded Alberto Contador's Giro after his later-season doping DQ a ways back. Just don't bring any of yer poison into my beloved orange army, you heathens! Oh, for heck's sake, can't you guys just sell off a few assets to save some money *and* save the team in its own right, y'know, maybe a team "donkey cart" instead of a fancy team "bus" or somethin'll do....

Welcome Back, Manolo!: and, for those of you too morally superior to hire reprehensible outcasts like Bobby Julich or Eric Zabel, but who now inconveniently can't find anyone cleaner to fill the management ranks, the great ONCE-Eroski/Liberty Seguros mastermind Manolo "Briefcase" Saiz has announced he's interested in being back in the game, perhaps in such a tender role as mentoring innocent young riders in their starry-eyed journey to cycling superstardom. Y'know, to be fair, he's right to point out he did a darn good job with a jailbait Alberto Contador and a spring-chicken Rodriguez--and heck, his palmares-o-sleaze isn't *so* too much the worst of the bunch, amiright?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Giorgia! Tommeke! A Whole Buncha Races! Euskaltel!

Third Time's a--Holy !@#$ She's Fast!: yes, while the women's peloton fights for its Tour de France, right now it's at least got its Route de France, except that it pretty much belongs to Wiggle-Honda speeding bullet Giorgia Bronzini, who bagged her third straight stage win today as Emma Johansson somehow kept the GC. Tomorrow: the rest of the peloton kicks back with a beer and some nachos just shakin' their heads as she takes it, *again*. Brava Giorgia you bad-!@#!

Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay ('Cause He Sure Can't Sit on His Saddle): and, erstwhile Belgian studpup dear Tom Boonen, already beset with freak infections and other injuries all season, has been stricken *again*, now nutwhacked (literally) for at least a month by a vicious groinal saddle cyst. Reached for comment at home, Boonen reportedly said, "ow, !@#$!" Dang, first Basso, now Tommeke--good luck airing out the works Tom, and maybe think about changing yer chamois (and/or cremes) ahead of next season if yours ain't hitting you right!

Races!: meantime, as save-Euskaltel-dammit's Samuel Sanchez gets ready to slug it out with some other Vuelta faves at the Tour of Burgos, Thor Hushovd, hot off his two wins at the Tour of Poland, is now ready to take on the Arctic Race of Norway. Race highlight: the riders and hungry local polar bears go mano-a-claw for musettes in the midday feed zone on the clearly decisive Stage 2. Ride fast, boys--or else! Back here in the US, the Tour of Utah's already underway as Andy Schleck gets ready to be lionized for just hangin' in there at the upcoming USA Pro Challenge. Oh, come on, just let Jensie off the leash and let baby Schleck fend for himself--he'll be fine next season when he's got Frank back anyway!

Cannibals! Cannibals I Tells Ya!: finally, despite Euskaltel's smashing late season performance, rumors are increasing by the day as to where stars like Mikel Nieve and Igor Anton are gonna head next season, and frankly, if you're all too damn cheap to chip in with me to save the team, I say we just take the money buy a !@#$load of Basque wine and get freakin' loaded til the end of transfer season and all the WorldTour contracts are signed 'cause I for one simply can't take the pain. And at least we'll have something to toast the squad's fabulous farewell performance in the Vuelta! Oh, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Oleg Tinkov, *somebody*--save us loyal Carrot fans from this horrid fate and keep Euskaltel alive!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Enough With the Bull!@#$ Already!: An Official, *Honest* Script for Doping Confessions

Good morning. I've called you here today to address my recent and profoundly patronizing statement that I doped once in (insert year) after an all-day game of beer pong with Lance Armstrong. It's crap. In fact, I doped my entire professional career, I liked it, and I did it as often as I could. Oh, I didn't enjoy the needles in my butt or the adhesive hormone patches I had to rip off my nuts or that time I p*ssed black and almost croaked in the men's room, but I sure did like the results! Like I became a pro cyclist to *lose* races, you nimrod?

As to my Therapeutic Use Exemption for (insert banned substance), it's also crap. You ever notice no-one ever needs to take any !@#$ that *hurts* their performance? Not to call out those 80 other guys who suddenly medically need a giant hit of oxygen-carrying drugs right before a sprint or a huge mountain stage, though!

Next, I'll discuss my earlier insistence that no-one else ever helped or encouraged me to dope. What are you, idiots? (Insert name of sponsor) condoned it, (insert name of Directeur Sportif) expected it,(insert name of team doctor) administered it, and *everyone* was happy to rake in the dough. I didn't just conjure this crap up from some back-yard home-made meth lab! Hell, even we riders can distinguish a blood bag from a freakin' Pepsi in the ol' team-bus fridge, not to mention those coolers full of syringes and briefcases of cash in the DS's grandmother's trunk.

I'd also like to say why I am making this confession today. Frankly, I got popped. And if I didn't already *get* popped, I was *about* to get popped, so I had no other choice. Yep, it's completely self-serving, all right! I mean, one, I obviously didn't care enough to break omerta when I was winning with it, and two, no !@#$in' way am I competing clean now when every jackhole around me is still takin' it and beating my !@#!

Finally, I'd like to extend my full support to the new "clean" generation of cycling. Not only are you admirably continuing our old-skool tradition of beating the tests for a good five or ten years before you're busted, and hosing those truly unmedicated riders who actually buy into that unicorns-n-rainbows fantasy, but you've also managed to convince everyone that a handful of eejits getting nailed for cheap outdated !@#$ this year somehow means that everyone else with huge wallets access to more sophisticated practices and the power statistics of a prey-hungry cheetah is now absolutely clean. Chapeau!

I'll now proceed to rat out to the narcs out all the doping hypocrites who openly remain in the peloton, team management, or coaching roles who are silently and self-righteously watching me go down in flames as some loser scapegoat while you cash in for the rest of your lives off your ill-amassed fame and fortune. Knock-knock, mother!@@#$%s!