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!

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