Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cycling Things I'm Thankful For This Year

Yes, beloved reader(s), it's Thanksgiving for we Americans, and you know what that means: gorgin', fightin' with the relatives, football(not soccer--football!)-watchin', and stompin' each other like lion-chased wildebeests to get a $100 flat-screen at CrapMart. And maybe, just maybe, a little appreciation for our good fortune. So, with the pure love of cycling in my heart, here's what I'm thankful for this year:

1. Etiquette. Lance, if you hadn'a cornered Tyler Hamilton outside the toilet in that restaurant and been such a mean petty little beeyotch to Floyd Landis, you'd probably still be a 7-time Tour champ. On the other hand, the off-season'd be a lot more boring!

2. Marcel Kittel's Hair. Unless you lived through the 80s, honey, you don't know how much work (and mousse) that takes. Wah, six hours in the saddle on a mountain stage, wah!

3. Marianne Vos. This bad-!@#-of-all-trades is like the one person in the whole cycling universe even *I* can't be cynical about. You rock Marianne!

4. Oleg Tinkov. Some bosses can be ambiguous, nay downright obtuse, in their feedback. But not ol' Oleg--well before he dips your feet in concrete and sinks you to the bottom of Lake Baikal, he'll offer you--and the world--helpful twitter advice like "YOU SUCK YOU LAZY PRINCESS!" and "GET A PAYCUT AND A REAL JOB YOU WHINER!" Refreshing!

5. New Continental Team--honest!--Vino4Ever. Yap, doping, yap--you're diggin' it, just like I am, from the grimiest, shamefulliest depths of your filthy blackened guilty little heart. Oh, yeah, baby!

6. The Giro. Fine, let the publicity sluts swagger for the Tour. For my money, the most beautiful race of the year--followed by the forbidding Vuelta--is the Giro d'Italia. Italian language, Italian food, Italian scenery. And some of the most mind-bogglingly beautiful, and thrilling, racing on the planet. Grazie Italia!

7. Jens Voigt. Yeah, he's been taking some heat lately. But I don't care, because even if it were all true, those people are all going to Hell. We love you Jens!

8. The Call For a Women's Tour de France. Right on, sisters--next stop, the Vuelta Mujeres!

9. Fabian Cancellara. Sure, a tenure at RadioSkank'd darn near demoralize anybody. But not Spartacus--he's going for the hour record in 2014. Woo-hoo Fabs!

10. Dear Reader(s): True, half the time you think I'm an eejit, but no harm no foul. And tho' I don't get to twit much about others, I'm delighted to follow you too. Thanks for readin'!

Well, them's mine, and if I missed a whole buncha more important stuff or if you're thankful too, you can pile on in. Most of all, happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

An Ode To Pro-Team Cycling Staff

O cycling staff, how hard you work,
For some coddled prima-donna jerk,
Or kindly low-ranked domestique,
Too zonked from setting pace to speak,
Your constant efforts near unseen
While stars with stage-win jerseys preen.

You rub sore muscles, scrub their chamois,
You tuck them in their bedtime jammies,
You get them to and from the race,
and lug their crap from place to place,
And guide them, like to some foul mirage,
To Controle Anti-Dopage.

You lean outside of the team car,
A deader if you reach too far,
To patch up a leader's gross road rash,
Caused by some idiotic crash,
And as with fans they smirk and prance,
Stuff their drugs in your underpants.

You make them coffee, give them food,
You're placid if they're nice or rude,
You bear their misdirected rage,
When they're the chumps who blow the stage,
You get no praise, you get no dough,
When sponsors bail, you're first to go,
We fans owe you more than we know,
So thanks, y'all, on with the show!

Monday, November 18, 2013

99 Luftballons (And One Colossal Freakin' Paycheck); and, News From the Department of PR and Bodily Safety Disasters

War! Huh! Good God, Y'All! What Is It Good For? Uh, His Wallet: uh-huh, just as Lance Armstrong gets all righteous at everyone throwing him under the bus--because, y'know, he didn't benefit more'n anyone else from his 7 Tour wins, ginormous cult of personality, thuggish omerta enforcement, and constant slavering planetary hero-worshiping butt-kissing from legions of adoring fans and journalists--and accuses then-UCI prez Hein Verbruggen of covering up a 1999 cortisone poz (and frankly, I think he's just ticked UCI apparently tried to cover up ol' Astana nemesis/next-gen-superstar kingship-thieving twerp Alberto Contador's doping poz, too) here comes that stinging wasp-on-wheels/demonic ex-teammate Floyd Landis, using a law apparently developed for wartime use to try to extend the time (and coincidentally, by truly humungous buckets, money) he can go back and dig outta outta Armstrong for his Postal-era nefarious weaseldry. Bet you'll think twice *next* time you wanna make a rude gesture to someone on Brasstown Bald, Lancey-boy!

Rider to Vino: Break My Kneecaps: well, *that* was a short-lived career: refreshingly outspoken--if perhaps not, well, brainiac--2nd-year American Astana protege Evan Huffman has just openly criticized erratic'n'ornery team boss Alexandre Vinokourov for his post-bio-passport-ban hiring of Franco-of-the-Euromullet Pellizotti. Oh well, kid, it's not like you needed those "unbroken bones" of yours anyhow--I'm sure Vino's goons won't put too much of a wrench into yer season! Now, upside yer *head* they might try to whack one...

!@#dammit Hire Samu' Already!: finally, as a truly galling number of cheating dirtwads continue to find gigs for 2014, most of dear departed Euskaltel-Euskadi continues to be hopelessly jacked for next season, including we love Samuel Sanchez, still trying to get a gig with Team Colombia or even Wanty but even allegedly considering a move to an advisory role with the growing world-o-cycling in Dubai. !@#$in' hell, World Tour, Horner I get but Sanchez? He's a spring chicken by comparison! And scandal-less! And--dag nabit, just hire 'im already! Look, look, remember when he was King o' the Mountains? Glory shall be yours, I tells ya!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Good News: The Vuelta's Clean! Bad News: You Still Can't Ride It!; and, Alberto Steps It Up

Dodgin' the (Green) Bullet: yes, we--even, say, Alejandro "Balaverde" Valverde--can all relax now: the Vuelta doping results are out, and the race was 100% no-holds-barred bucket-o'-integrity cutting-edge-testing clean. Woo-hoo! Does this mean everyone's suspicions are allayed and Chris Horner gets a million-euro contract now? Uh-huh, I thought I heard crickets chirping! Anyway, peloton, don't let this all go to your pretty little heads--if you're a female racer, you can apparently wait til you're older'n Horner is before there's a Vuelta a Espana with your name on it. Pigs! Oh well, at least we still got the Giro Donne--forza Italia, as usual!

I'm Sorry/So Sorry (For Me): and, Lance's regret for how he destroyed cycl--holy crap, he really *does* mean "regret for how mean and unfair everyone's been to me"--continues to warm the hearts of other sincere faux-repentants, as not only does he persist in claiming he's ready and willing to open up completely so long as he's in total control and gets exactly what he wants in every way--which hey, seems reasonable to me if I HAD A FRIGGIN' GOD COMPLEX--but he also claims he's delighted to accept any punishment, including the sport's "death penalty", as long as the dirty cowardly rats who helped him win 7 Tours de France bazillions of dollars worldwide adoration and ('til he dissed Floyd Landis once too often) the worlds' best-ever cycling omerta' are held to the exact same standard. Y'know, I do think most of those guys got off way too lightly, but really? You don't see any difference whatsoever in terms of who you were vs. who they were to the sport? No, I guess it's genuinely hard to see beyond the retina-scarring solar glare of one's own boundless ego...

Talkin' 'Bout My Generation: finally, if you thought Alberto Contador was finito after his disastrous 2013, you're wrong, baby--make room at the grownup's table again, Froomey, because he's already completely revamped his training regimen, gotten ready to hit the wind tunnel, and put in some high-altitude miles in Rio. As to those other headliners-of-yesteryear, the Schleck brothers? Well, I can't speak for Andy--though Frank certainly can--but big bro at least is ready to channel the anger and disappointment of 2013 into 2014 victories and is truly hungry to ride. If only you could reawaken the passion and confidence of your wee brother Andy once again, too...well, Alberto Froome & Nibali'd still kick his !@#, but it'd be nice to see some gumption back, anyway!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Uh, Maybe I *Won't* Dope Today...Tales From Cycling's Dark Underbelly (Well, Underpants)

Playing Chicken: that's right, the hits just keep on coming from Michael Rasmussen's tell-all about the gory, glory days of Team Raboskank: having already hastily retracted, under threat of lawsuit, suggestions that we still love so bite me Oscar Freire and Juan Antonio Flecha were doping, when in fact he didn't actually personally *see* them doping--which I'm sure means they didn't--and admitted in a truly gnarly act of filial (im)piety that he asked his dad to literally roll up his sleeves and hand over some nice compatible blood for his own vampire benefit, he's now wittily recounted the tale of how his team bus driver packed a buncha EPO into his underwear in order to evade the skeptical invading narcs. Y'know, I don't care *which* business end those vials were nestled up against, I am *losing* the Tour de France and shattering my lifelong dreams and the whole purpose of my puny human existence rather'n use that !@#$ afterwards. Fine, eat your own twin, store a pint o' yerself next to the moldy yogurt in the defective minifridge, p!@# black for a week while your internal organs freak out from what you've ingested--but using the bus driver's nut-nestled stash? Ewwwwwwww!

The Trials of Being Alberto: and, pity poor wee former Rider of His Generation Alberto Contador: despite winning a bucket of Grand Tours and being still at the tender and primo winning age of 30, two straight DSes have now pegged Chris Froome as the boy to beat for years to come, with sad-sack Pistolero apparently perceived to have Wigginsed off into the sunset. Add to that the beastly threat of Oleg "You Blow, You Overpaid Lazy Worm!" Tinkov reportedly considering buying Saxo Bank and Alberto's sorry butt outright, and I think he's got pretty well one option left: jump into Bjarne's arms, grab 'im in a death grip, and start bawling at the top of his lungs. Glad to see you're remaining tranquillo though, Alberto--just switch yer training plan back to whatever worked for you before, and hope it's (1) undetectable and (2) enough!

The Cit(ies) of Brotherly Love: meantime, cycling's greatest (or hell, even just past marginal) dopers continue to slag each other, with Tyler Hamilton reacting to Lance's latest bull!@#$ I wanna-help-cycling oppressed-victim pity-party on cyclingnews with the friendly Twitter invite "Hey @lancearmstrong - If you're sincere about wanting to talk, jump on your jet and fly to Missoula, Montana. Your posse is not invited." and angry scapegoat Joerg Jaksche musing, as he also commented on Lance's interview, "My last tweet brought me to the question is 'being more honest than [Jonathan Vaughters] a benchmark? Fuck..NO!!" Y'know, it's heartening to see all these guys bonding over how to fix the sport...

Hire Samu' Dammit! Hire Samu'!: finally, eager as I am to start my campaign to Make Patrick Lefevre Let Tom Boonen Ride the Tour de France, I gotta say, Luis Leon Sanchez is about to ink a new gig right after he got dumped over (perhaps, to be fair, unjustified) doping accusations, and Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez freakin' remains without a contract? Look, look what the boy can do!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

My Fantasy Doper Bull!@#$/Reality Press Conference

Good morning. I've called you all here today because I've had a sincere crisis of conscience/some bitter !@#hole I used to ride with just outed me to everyone. I'm deeply ashamed to say that a very long time ago/until very recently, I once/damn near daily used a banned substance/cheated like a thieving scumbag. However, I felt deeply ashamed/deeply paranoid about my actions, and immediately stopped/called my team doctor for reassurance I wouldn't be caught taking this !@#$. Furthermore, as an athlete wholly dedicated to pushing my body to its god-given, natural limit/taking any crap I could to get an edge on my competitors, I detested putting these drugs in my body/the thought that any of them could be doing it better than I was. Therefore, I deeply regret the choices I made early in my career/until yesterday. And, I'd like to point out that it is a total and complete coincidence that, as I say in all honesty/in a ridiculous excuse not even my grandma would buy, I stopped doping just before the statute of limitations ran out/before Pat "Dick" McQuaid called me from an untraceable disposable cell phone that the narcs were about to catch on to my act.

I know you'll find it hard to forgive me/let me totally off the hook anyway because I'm so much more likeable than Riccardo Ricco'. And I know I'll have to work hard to regain that trust/find a ghostwriter some other dope fiend hasn't already used to write my tell-all to make even more money off you suckers. In sum, I'd like to honestly apologize to my sponsors, team directors, fellow riders, family and friends/everyone I'm now gonna rat out in an effort to divert attention from myself for my inexcusable actions/for not being as ruthless as Lance Armstrong in shutting my enemies the hell up in the first place. Now that the truth has thankfully been revealed/has tragically been revealed totally against my will, I swear to join the fight against doping/the fight against anyone else doping while I have to ride clean. Thank you for your understanding and support/not hunting me down like a plague-spreading medieval bubonic rat if you're one of the guys I cheated out of a career.