Monday, December 30, 2013

It's Yer New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton!

Yes, it's been another shameful, glorious year of wallowing in our filthy cesspools o' sin, and now it's time for our annual promises, however insincere, to clean up our dirty, disgusting acts, so without further ado--and especially because these clowns are never gonna do it on their own--I bring you Yer New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton!

Tom Boonen: Remember my 2012 Classics season? Yeah, me too. Eat my dust, Fabian!

Fabian Cancellara: Two words, Boonen: You. !@#$in'. Wish!

Peter Sagan: I won't ever, *ever* grab anyone without their consent again. Except maybe I'll grab Mark Cavendish in a headlock and noogie 'im.

Chris Froome: I'll quit whining about all those doping insinuations that piss me off so much. My positi--uh, my palmares will speak for itself!

Brad Wiggins: I'll give up faking I'll ever win--or want to win--a Grand Tour again. But boy, wasn't it fun ticking off Froomey with all that press frenzy!

Vincenzo Nibali: I will win the Tour de France. Even though I know the Giro's really better.

Oleg Tinkov: I will be polite, even friendly, to Alberto Contador. Because come 2015, that lazy overpaid crybaby princess is Alonso's problem!

Alberto Contador: I will be polite, even friendly, to Oleg Tinkov. Because come 2015, I'm Alonso's problem!

Alejandro Valverde: Next freakin' mechanical I get, my domestiques can relax. I'm gonna whack the first poor sonofa!@#$% I see off his bike and take it!

Andy Schleck: Okay, I *won't* learn to ride without my big brother Frank. But I promise not to actually clutch his neck screaming with my eyes screwed shut on all the descents at least!

Andre Greipel: I'll demand a better nickname. I mean, who the hell's gonna root for "the Gorilla"?

Jens Voigt: I'll attack. Of course, I always attack. In fact, I'll attack right now. And later today. And tomorrow. And...

Samuel Sanchez: I'll bag a ProTour contract. Or else poor little racejunkie will cry.

Mauro Santambrogio: I'll never use EPO again. I'll join the big-boy dopers, and start using AICAR.

Filippo Pozzato: I'll stop posting gorgeous bronzed photos of myself on Twitter and start winning races. Ooooooooo, look....I can see my reflection on the back of Cunego's helmet!

Jonathan Vaughters: I'll quit yappin' on about anti-doping and just let my work speak for itself, like David Millar. Oh, wait...

Tour of California: We'll reschedule it. Because we're really, *really* sorry for screwing over the dear Giro.

Tifosi: we'll give *all* the riders beer on a hot climb. Hell, Contador fans, Froomey weighs like six ounces, do you *know* how quick he'll get loaded and stagger himself outta contention at the Tour?

Finally, Johan Bruyneel: I'm gonna write a tell-all, beeyotches! Hey kids, is that fear I smell, or just the foul miasma of your sweaty testosterone nut-patch?

All right you peninents--now shake off that hangover, get on yer team kit, and get to work being all moral for 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's Yer 2014 Year in Preview (Yeah, You Read Right)!

Oh sure, we know all about what happened in 2013--like that we love SAMUEL SANCHEZ FROM EUSKALTEL STILL DOESN'T HAVE A FREAKIN' CONTRACT, THANKS OLEG TINKOV YOU GOON!--but what's ahead for 2014? Here, in keeping with our ages-old grand tradition of 100% accuracy in predicting the year to come, yer Year In Preview:

January: Last-minute team camp tune-ups! Bjarne Riis preps Contador for July with relentless all-caps social media assault; 3/4 of peloton coincidentally retires to "spend more time with their families" on same day results of Johan Bruyneel arbitration hearing revealed; unknown fan assailant spray-paints Movistar squad's team kits black-and-orange, Movistar declared missing from ProTour as new "Euskaltel" squad steps in. Yay!

February: And, we're off! Kittel thrusts enormous hairdo past Mark Cavendish's wheel on final stage of Tour of Qatar, pips Cav for overall at line, crazed Cav punches Marcel off bike, shaves head; Pippo Pozzato blows crucial pre-Classics prep time by posting record 897 consecutive half-naked selfies on Instagram.

March: Time for the Classics, baby! Tom Boonen wins Milano-Sanremo after Sagan relegated when pops wheelie, accidentally squashes Brian Cookson; Quintana figures "I can so do that cobblestone !@#$", inadvertently propelled into outer space bouncing off first block of pave'; resurgent Thor Hushovd grabs Gent-Wevelgem because "damn, BMC's gotta win *something* this year."

April: It's the Hell o' the North, *and* the Ardennes! Boonen bags record fifth Paris-Roubaix after Fabian Cancellara mistakes race for day he's supposed to do hour record, burns self out in 59 minutes; Sagan evades new rule against riding on dirt paths adjacent to cobblestones by bunny-hopping entire Forest of Arenberg; Andy Schleck announces intent to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege, sets 3-season personal best making it to back of team bus for morning espresso before quitting.

May: What else, it's the fabulous Giro! Basso, Evans, Scarponi DQ'd on first day when delayed arguing with hotel front desk over applicability of senior-citizen discount; Wiggo bails in dejection after learning "Giro" isn't Italian for "21-day Time Trial"; Rodriguez takes new "more humane" Giro/first Grand Tour win by wrapping self up in squirming angry polar bears to survive absolute-zero degree stage up Zoncolan.

June: Run-up to the Tour!: Marianne Vos rides entire 2014 Tour de France route in 3 days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 8 seconds in protest, ASO chief pats arm, tells her to get him some coffee; Sky attributes record-smashing training performances to just "being way way cleaner than everybody else;" Tinkov claims threat to pitch Alberto Contador off Alpe d'Huez if he doesn't win is just "friendly encouragement."

July: It's the Tour de France, baby! Ted King awarded first maillot jaune because "man, we were !@#holes to kick him out last year over that 7-second time cut"; Vincenzo "the Shark" Nibali knocks at Chris Froome's hotel-room door, mutters "Land Shark," unsuccessful, sez "Candygram!", admitted entry, chomps Froomey, default Tour de France champ: Nibali!

August: Woo-hoo, time for the bangin' Vuelta a Espana! "Alberto Contador" goes for first Grand Tour win since clenbuterol ban when stocky bald guy in bad dark wig with American accent shows up at start line, Oleg Tinkov swears muffled yells coming from team-car trunk for three weeks is "just a bad muffler"; Wiggins sez he "always wanted to ride up 18 consecutive mountain stages with no domestique support," unfortunately forced to retire early due to catastrophic bit-of-popcorn-stuck-in-teeth injury; enraged Euskaltel fans pound entire Pyrenees to sea level with bare fists when Orange Army fails to ride by.

September: It's the World Championships! "Contador" defen--uh, wraps up Vuelta title, hits Spanish McDonalds for huge celebration; Marianne Vos wins Worlds in brutal conditions over all-star field, UCI congratulates, tells her how cute she looks in her little "pro rider team kit" costume; Rui Costa takes men's race again when Purito Rodriguez accidentally smashes Valverde's bike to smithereens in three-hour attack with ball peen hammer.

October: Time for final rider transfers! Contador to new Team Alonso, 2015 bikes revealed, media claims they look suspiciously like Formula 1 racecars 'til Alonso helpfully points out little brake levers on steering wheel; Jens Voigt claims legs won't shut up, forms own one-man squad, signs self til 2043; Andy Schleck swears he'll never ride again without Frank, Frank mysteriously fails to find new team.

November: Ready for a little R&R! Team Sky all vacations at same hosp--uh, "luxury resort"; Alexander Vinokourov sues newspaper over story he paid millions of euros for doping during his career, angrily protests "I always got that !@#$ for free"; Sagan constructs 86-foot monument to self out of sand on beach with little plastic pail and shovel, cries bitterly when learns even he can't order God to stop those silly "tides" from washing it away.

December: Back to work, boys and girls! Lampre determines 2015 team strategy will be to blind rest of peloton with glaring team kit, breaks out blue-and-pink Disney glitter pens, Swarovski crystals for crafty riders; Sky abandons wind-tunnel testing when star riders Wiggins, Froome sucked into fans, dissipated in building HVAC system; Lance Armstrong is--aw, who gives a !@#$!

Well, as my spot-on 2013 predictions clearly proved, 2014 promises to be a thrilling year indeed, so practice those cobbles, save yer places at the "Dutch corner" to hand out those frothy cold ones to the race leaders, grab yer neon mankinis and idiotic Viking hats for yer shameless TV time, and get ready for an exciting 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, Bangin' Solstice, and Buon Natale a Tutti!

Next up--Yer Year In Preview, and Yer New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton. 'Til then, let's break out the egg nog, and Merry Everything to you and yours!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's the 2013 Racejunkie Awards!

The Velo D'Or? Eh. The Paris-Roubaix cobblestone? Yawn. That big giant trophy you get for winning the Tour de France? Shrug. Yes, now it's time for the big awards show of the cycling season, the incredibly prestigious, highly anticipated (and universally ignored) 2013 Racejunkie Awards! Winners: if you claim it, enjoy a bitchin' custom racejunkie cap, as well as the eternal glory you've earned. Losers: well, you're probably better off not winning here anyway. Therefore, without further ado:

Cyclist o' 2013: Let's cut right to the chase: look, Nibali's bangin'. Froome's fab (okay, well Fabian's fab, but anyway). And Cav of course is awesome. But on road, mountain, cross, and trike, Marianne Vos is simply the best rider in the peloton today. Or yesterday. Or tomorrow. Or ever. Bow, bow before the Vos!

Kick In the Nuts/Punch In the Face/Wedgie of All Time Award: dear we love Euskaltel-Euskadi, really gone, brilliant wee climbers, unique Basque identity, smashing team kit, and fanatic Orange Army, and all. Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Good Deeds Never Go Unpunished Award: so impassioned (if ill-timed) Lance defender Chris Horner wins the Vuelta at age Moses, is immediately surrounded by doping suspicions, and what does he do? Yep, proudly releases his blood values. And what happens then? Nope, it sure wasn't pretty! Shoulda just hidden in your hotel room with a pile o' McNuggets 'til it all blew over, I guess...

Dope(r) of the Year: yep, Giro poz Mauro Santambrogio had this one in the bag, at least til Mick Rogers got taken out by a tainted Chinese cow not a week ago. Dammit, can't we at least keep it to riders I don't *like* for heck's sake?

Fan Antics o' 2013 Prize: yeah, there was that panda guy, and the usual contingent of screaming half-nekkid mankini banana-hammocks getting in the riders' way at the Tour, but this year, it was the rowdy beer-swillin'--and sharin'!--fans at the Dutch corner on the Alpe d'Huez. Here, Adam Hansen grabs a cold one:

TMI Award: Sure, dopers have pulled a lot of disgusting stunts in order to gain an edge. But what we *really* didn't need to hear was Michael "the Chicken" Rasmussen's claim that a then-Rabobank bus driver nestled a buncha EPO right up against his nuttal region to evade the narcs. Needless to say, successor squad Belkin quickly put the kibosh on to any further investigation into the matter. Thankfully!

Comeback o' the Year (Not) Award: Well, Wiggins was the 2012 Tour champ, so he didn't really have anything to come back from, which is good, because he didn't. But Andy Schleck? Oh, he was *so* taking the Tour! Or a stage. Or a one-day race. Or at least finishing one. Or maybe just getting to the start line sometime...

Over/Under, Over/Under Prize: oh, Orica-Greenedge. At the Tour de France, the team bus goes *under* the finish-line banner, not *over* it. D'oh!

Total Organizer !@#$up of 2013 Corollary Award: they're going to the original finish line. No, it's 2k back. No, it's the original finish again. The completely befoozled race organizers at the Tour. Make up your freakin' minds and convey it clearly to the teams already, so these boys even know if or when they're supposed to sprint!

Portrait of Dorian Grey Award: his dashing hipster facade belied the haggard, tortured trainwreck within. Brad Wiggins, this one's for you!

Icicle, Icicle, Icicle Race Award: Okay, we're used to the occasional freezefest in the Giro, even the Tour. But half the GC dropping out of the beautiful Vuelta coated in ice like grisly popsicles? I'm just glad any o' these guys survived!

PR Disaster of 2013: jeez, Lance, I didn't think it was *possible* for you to be more of an unctuous, self-serving tool than you already were. But then, you blabbed on Oprah. My bad!

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar: Women's cycling is *done* taking any !@#$, honey, and now, they demand the Tour de France, and every other race--from sponsorship to paychecks to organization to sheer kilometers--they deserve. Women's Cycling Association, this one's for you!

My Boss is a Bigger Nutwhack Than Your Boss Award: sure, Vino's crazy, which is why, among many other reasons, we still love him. But Oleg Tinkov, man--that's a whole 'nother level of wingnut. Am I the only one really psyched for 2014?

Crap Mechanical of All Time Award: Alejandro Valverde, absolutely blown outta the water on a crosswindy stage at the Tour. Still, he does get major class-act points for subsequently throwing his considerable power behind young untested Nairo Quintana. At least 'til he bushwhacked Purito Rodriguez at the Worlds!

Ride o' the Year (Thrill o' Victory Edition): yes, Fabian Cancellara's win at Paris-Roubaix was a beautiful--if almost inevitable--thing. But for sheer passion and love of the sport--even if he did have a huge crash near the line to partially thank for it--John Degenkolb's stage 5 win at the Giro, and subsequent collapse, was a jump-outta-yer-seater. Complimenti!

Ride o' the Year (Agony of Defeat Edition): a desperate Tony Martin, caught seconds before the line at stage 6 of the Vuelta. Valiant--but *so* agonizing to watch!

And, Last But Not Least, Lovable Legal Nitpick o' 2013 Prize: no, not that dissembling wanker Lance--it's our swoonworthy wreck-on-wheels Alexander Vinokourov, not so much taking issue with the allegations that he bribed himself his 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege win from Kolobnev, but pissed as hell that some thieving amoral jackwagon apparently hacked his personal e-mail to get the proof. Oh Vino--I don't know if you're best or worst thing to happen to cycling in this generation, but dang, you are by far the most fun!

Well, them's mine, and if I missed anything that ought've been include, feel free to write it in. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the hijinks of 2014--the new season's sure got a lot to aspire to!

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's a Very Merry Festivus Gift List For the Peloton!

Yes, dear reader(s), no matter what holiday(s) we may celebrate, it's that beautiful time o' year when we set aside our own selfish, petty desires and set ourselves instead to fulfilling those of others, and let's face it, after the year they've had, our beloved riders need all the good things they can get. Ergo, it's Yer Very Merry Festivus Gift List for the Peloton!

Chris Horner: a WorldTour contract. Because otherwise, those Masters guys who keep gettin' popped will have to start doping a hell of a lot harder!

Samuel Sanchez: ditto: a WorldTour contract. Yeah, I heard the rumors too, but I mean a real, announced, signed, dated, chiseled-in-stone contract. Damn, he's like fifty years younger than Horner, ain't he?

Johan Bruyneel: a prayer. 'Cause right now, he ain't got one!

Chris Froome: a good light set. Because if Brad Wiggins quits playing nice, and decides to bushwhack 'im, Froomey better be able to see it coming!

Alberto Contador: the Tour de France. Because Oleg Tinkov is gonna do a lot more than tweet at 'im if he !@#$s it up this year!

Vincenzo Nibali: the Tour de France. Because Alexandre Vinokourov is gonna do a lot more than yell at 'im if he !@#$s it up this year!

Alberto Contador Auxiliary Stocking Stuffer: Wings. 'Cause judging by his 2013, "pedals" sure ain't working for him!

Purito Rodriguez: a Grand Tour. *Any* Grand Tour. Just because we love him.

Tom Boonen: Paris-Roubaix. Our gun-shy boy needs his confidence back!

Fabian Cancellara: the hour record. One, because he's Spartacus, and two, because it'll make him feel better when Tommeke takes back Roubaix. See, now everyone's happy!

Peter Sagan: A pretty pair of red yarn mittens. So from now on he can keep his filthy mitts to himself!

Lance Armstrong: a year of total media silence. For *our* sakes as much as his!

Andy Schleck: a magic, unbreakable, indestructible chain. Geez, I can't believe you were at it *again* today. *Now* will you finally stop whinging about the 2010 Tour?

UCI: nothin'. We already *got* our wish for you--how're you enjoying retirement, Pat "Dick" McQuaid?

Alexander Vinokourov: the title, powers, and all attendant trappings of Supreme Ruler of the Universe. It's only a matter of time before it happens anyway. Vino4Ever!

Marianne Vos: Yep, again this year, she already *has* everything. Maybe a day off, if only to give someone else a chance next season?

Mick Rogers (and it kicks me in the nuts to say this): a lump of coal. Naughty, naughty, naughty cyclist!

And Last But Not Ever Ever Least, Dear Reader(s): may your road rides be ever sunny, smooth, and dry, unless you're Belgian, in which case may they be ever rainy, muddy, and cobbly. May your saddle never sore, your tire never flat, your chain never suck, and your bidon be ever full. And no matter the vagaries of this wonderful, messed-up sport, may your joy in its glories never fail--Merry Festivus to all!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We Are the Knights Who Say (I) Ni(ver Want to Win the Tour Again)!; Tinkov Makes Amends; and, Yay, It's Euskistar!

That's *Sir* Brad, You Serf!: hearty congrats to 2012 Tour de France champ Brad Wiggins, knighted today by Queen Elizabeth and, with the newfound gallantry appropriate to his rank, all kindsa "I Heart Froomey" and "Nope, Still Don't Want the Tour Again." Froome, for his part, graciously allowed that the hatchet is indeed buried between the two, not only, he swears, because Brad can now have him beheaded. Brad, from your former rabble subjects across the pond, we doff our hats--now *don't* diss the beautiful Giro d'Italia again by claiming you really want that win either!

I'm Sorry, You Lazy Hack!: in other olive-branch news, enjoyably unstable cycling oligarch Oleg Tinkov has sorta apologized to Alberto Contador for last Tour's blizzard of humiliation tweets, offering that he was only doing it to "provoke" the demoralized boy into some positive action. Next up--Tinkov throws our hero's !@# into 10 years of hard labor in some miserable rock-breaking hellhole to "encourage" him. Awww, that's sweet he cares so much!

That's *Eye*-gor!: last but not least, much as I've admittedly hated team Movistar's fat-cat thieving Euskaltel-poaching guts for contributing to the downfall of the squad by persisting snatching some of their best talent, now that our beloved Carrots are indeed no more (except for the new development team--in five years, watch out suckers!), I gotta concede I'm pretty stoked that frighteningly jobless erstwhile Igor Anton has been signed by the team, along with the previously-snagged alums climber-duo Ion and Gorka Izaguirre and sprinter Juanjo Lobato. All right, the hell with Valverde, you *seen* these boys in the high passes?--change those blue jerseys to orange already, and make Piti fight for it next year!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

It's Yer 2013 Year in Review!

Yep, we've still got a sweet 3 weeks for some ludicrous scandal to enliven the sleepy end of the year, but still, it's been a bangin' 2013, with enough scandal, sleaze, and yes, even racing, to delight and horrify the most dedicated cycling freak. Ergo, yer Year in Review:

January: Pat "Dick" McQuaid shuts down UCI Independent Commission on Why We're Scumbags; Wiggo really, honestly doesn't want the Tour, delusionally targets Giro; Lance cluelessly blows ratings-busting Oprah wah-wah. But I'm *sorry* I called Betsy Andreu a !@# !@#$%!

February: Rabobank shocked that everyone on squad doped when team told them to; Wiggo still really, honestly doesn't want the Tour; Thor redeems crap 2012 with win at Haut Var; Andy Schleck vows return. Uh huh, still waitin'!

March: It's the Classics, baby! Tom Boonen crashes out of suck Flanders, Classics !@#$ed; Sagan grabs Gent-Wevelgem; pig Sagan acts like, and grabs, an !@#; enraged Mark Cavendish blasts teammates for Tirreno-Adriatico loss. Nice to have your real personality back, Cav!

April: Dan Martin takes his first--and Ireland's second!--Liege-Waffle-Liege--slainte Dan!; frustrated Wiggo still really, honestly doesn't want the Tour, makes Wussiest Bike Toss Ever at Trentino; Fabian Cancellara takes Roubaix. Dammit I still miss Tommeke!

May: What else? It's the fabulous Giro, baby! Vincenzo "the Shark" Nibali slaughters the competition; Wiggo really, honestly doesn't want the Tour--and can't win the Giro, either; gutted John Degenkolb collapses after spectacular stage win. Now *that* is cycling!

June: It's the Tour de France, baby? Greenedge driver jams bus under finish-line banner, entire peloton crashes hard as dipwad race organizers confuse sprinters by repeatedly changing finish line; dopus Santambrogio a doping poz at Giro; the Giro Rosa is *on*, honey!

July: The Tour continues! Euskaltel announces they're goners, who gives about the stupid race?!; Froome slaughters rivals on Mont Ventoux, game over; Oleg Tinkov twitter-crushes demoralized Contador; Marcel Kittel dethrones Cav as sprint king. Better luck next year!

August: It's the smashing Vuelta a Espana, baby! Some old "Horner" guy ridiculously aims for podium; miserable Boonen's miserable season over with epic saddlesore; record-smashing Giorgia Bronzini takes 5--5!--consecutive sprints at Giro Rosa; new Women's Cycling Union demands Tour de France. Damn, haven't they earned it already?

September: More Vuelta, *and* the Worlds! poor wee Euskies mostly jobless; Horner wins Vuelta at age 94 on diet of Big Macs and McRibs; Vos takes Worlds and everything else all year Bronzini didn't win this year; Rui Costa bags men's race in controversial finish as defiant Valverde screws bitter Purito Rodriguez outta silver. Well there goes *that* bromance I guess!

October: Cleansters at Team Sky wants opioid its gives its own boys banned for everyone else; LL Cool Sanchez outta RaboBelkin; outraged jobless Horner goes nutwhack on Twitter. Not helping the cause, kiddo!

November: whistleblower Landis seeks the big bucks, but Lance already said he's SORRY gosh darn it; Samuel Sanchez, Igor Anton still teamless; Contador changes training regimen, optimistically plans return. Good luck with that Alberto!

December: Oleg Tinkov buys out Bjarne Riis at Saxo Bank, Contador cries self to sleep; desperate riders scramble for jobs on Pro-Kindergarten squads; Lance Armstrong sez he's gonna--oh, who gives a !@#$!

Well cycling fans, them's mine, and for every amazing incident I choked and didn't put in, apologies. Now can we *get* through the rest of the year without some epic nightmare screwup? Nope, I don't think so either!

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Lament of Alberto Contador

Once I was a rising star,
Heralded both near and far,
As they said, in bike parlance,
"I think that kid is the next Lance."
For several years I proved it true,
Bagging wins upon Ventoux,
Taking Vuelta, Tour, and Giro,
Spanish cycling's doe-eyed hero.
Then came my turn with Johan Bruyneel,
That duplicitous deceptive eel,
Ripping off my captain's pants,
And handing them straight off to Lance.
Tho' I then smacked him down and all,
I got popped for clenbuterol,
Which I quickly blamed, for all to hear,
On some stoked-up crackhead steer.
So I was banned, if not for long,
Soon I rejoined the cycling throng,
Tried my best in all the races,
And put my body through its paces.
I could not ride as once I had,
My Grand Tours, once great, were bad,
Pounded by some gangly geek,
Like a two-bit last-chance domestique.
I still enjoyed my job with Riis,
Sure, I bit, but rode with peace,
And knew deep down in my heart,
I'd once more play the winner's part.
But boss Tinkov was not impressed,
Even though I did my best,
Tweeting I was overpaid and lazy,
(Which frankly beats just bat-!@#$ crazy)
Ensuring with every dope-slap tweet,
I was both in mind and body beat.
So here I am at this event,
With Oleg on World Tour domination bent,
Standing stock-still like some frightened schmo,
Cowed by Oleg Tinkov's dough.
Now I'm stuck here til 2015,
When my bud Alonso starts his team,
Til then I better freakin' win,
And turn Oleg's wrath into a grin!