Friday, October 04, 2013

Payback at the Giro di Lombardia! Andy Schleck's Big Plans! Contador's Wishful Thinking!

It's The Beautiful Giro di Lombardia!: yes, it's time for the last monument of the season, the glorious classica delle foglie morte, and what's usually a hotly-contested source o' local pride for the Italians is this year a rematch of last weekend's Worlds, with Rui Costa debuting his shining new rainbow kit (as Giovanni Visconti wistfully Twitted today, "In Rui Costa's room to admire his new maglia, shorts, gloves...I touch them delicately...they're a dream..."), Vincenzo Nibali to do what he was obviously perfectly capable of doing last weekend if he hadn't hit the deck, and Alejandro Valverde, if he's got any brains left in his legs whatsoever, staying the !@#$ away from a still-extremely-distraught (and this race's defending champ) Purito Rodriguez. Others on the hunt: twilight Italians Scarponi, Basso, and Cunego; climber supremo Rigoberto Uran; Basso teammate/wheelie-poppin' studpup Peter Sagan; and new-stripped Philippe Gilbert, with one hell of a gnarly lump on his knee. Ow, !@#$--heal up quick Philippe, looks like it's a good thing it's the end of the season already! Anyway, the course: perfect, with a trip up the Madonna del Ghisallo and later a sharp drop before the flat run to the finish. Forza ragazzi--I'm still just in awe you got anything left in the tank at all!

He's Baaaaa-aaaaaaaack (Uh-*Huh*): and, after an openly-conceded but still devastatingly crap season, Andy Schleck, his big brother and go-to trainer/nurturer both back to cocoon 'im in 2014, swears he's ready to come back blazing next year, all set to target (1) the Classics and (2) seriously, the Tour de France. What Andy Schleck *needs* to target first, frankly, is a finish line. Small steps, baby Schleck, small steps!

I Dream of Bertie: last but not least, in bocca al lupo in particular on Sunday to Alberto Contador, who's professed he's already blocked out his suckfest 2013 and is counting the Giro di Lombardia as a fresh start to a hopefully better 2014. So Bjarne told you he's got the dough to pay you next year after Tinkov slagged your overhyped butt and is gonna try to taunt you next year with a new, winninger, more cost-effective squad? I'd be pretending it's already 2014 too!

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