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!

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