Oh, sure, Valentine's Day is long over, but you know what isn't? That's right, haters--the deep and abiding love within members of the peloton, ties drawn tight by long, lonely hours of training, the brother-or-sisterhood of shared exhaustion after a day's hard pursuit of a common goal, the exhausting, clandestine midnight road-trips to a magical, faraway clin--y'know, love of pure sport, I say! Anyway, for the secret chick-flick watcher that dwells deep within each one of you--and you know, however shamefully, o studly bike jockey, it's in there--I bring you some of Cycling's Greatest Loves:
1. Alberto Contador and Johan Bruyneel: He was the puppy-eyed Next Lance, a peerless climber with an impressive time-trial and the apparently seamless ability to turn them both into Grand Tour gold. The other he was the heartbroken hit-maker searching for his next little gleaming comet. And oh, was it beautiful for the like three months it lasted!
2. Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong: What happens when the star-struck Next Lance meets the fading resentful Current Lance? In the immortal words of Bette Davis, "fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!" Yep, that was one delightfully ugly Tour de France all right...
3. Alberto Contador and Oleg Tinkov: Dang, this kid gets around! So y'know when you've saved up for a really nice romantic dinner with your sweetie and one member of the couple two tables over is having an epic screaming public meltdown while the other one just sort of tries to calm things down by melting cringing into the tablecloth? Yeah, that. But they're getting along famously now--'til that damn Oleg started throwing new crush Sagan in Alberto's face the last couple of weeks, anyway!
4. Mark Cavendish and Roberto Ferrari: oh, sure, he's dallied with Andre and and Bernie and Marcel and Peter--but nothing's quite set off the sparks like the instant attraction between Mark Cavendish and Roberto Ferrari at the 2012 Giro. Yeah, Ferrari's bike was attracted right across the entire road into poor Cav's, that is! "
5. Rui Costa and Carlos Barredo: yes, tots, it's been relentlessly drilled into you since nursery school--be nice, and share. And what's nicer than sharing an expensive pro-level wheelset with a needy competitor's brain case? Carlos Barredo (whanger) and reigning World Champion Rui Costa (whangee), this one's for you!
6. And, Last But Not Least, Chris Froome and Brad Wiggins: Tracy and Hepburn, Bogie and Bacall, Kardashian and West--history is replete with examples of enduring love between formidable (or embarrassingly dimwitted) equals. Which is what protected Tour de France rider/eventual winner Brad Wiggins thought, anyway, 'til wingman Chris Froome attacked his own darling leader during the race whined about his own obvious superiority to the press and openly declared he'd'a won if he hadn't had to shepherd Brad around like a smart dog with a dumb sheep. Classy!
Well, there's certainly buckets more, but them's mine for now, and the rest of you, keep the lovers' quarrels under wraps next time--on the other hand, maybe don't!