Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cobbles! Mountains! The Giro d'Italia Sings! and, Xtreme Warming Methods: Yer Cycling Roundup

It's the Pave', Beeyotches!: yep, it's time for the E3 Harelbeke, with 3x winner Fabian Cancellara, 5x champ Tom Boonen, just coming back from an awful personal tragedy, and Peter Sagan, hungry for a win after a disappointing few weeks, all lookin' to put the fear into the rest of the Classics contenders ahead of Flanders. Also in: Dwars der Vlaanderen bad!@# Niki Terpstra, Sep Vanmarcke, John Degenkolb, and come to think of it, pretty much everyone in Belgium whether they're actually pro cyclists or not. The course: cobbles, baby! 17 climbs, including the Taaienberg, Kapelberg, the fateful Oude Kwaremont, and the Boigneberg, which was even cooler when I thought it was called the "Boingenberg." Yes, we love you Fabian--but c'mon, like you all aren't rooting for Tommeke! Here, Fab's last-year's win:

The Tour Shapes Up at the Volta!: and, it was survival-of-the-fittest carnage again today at the freezing queen stage of the Volta a Catalunya, with Teejay van Garderen grabbing the stage after a pounding attack, Purito Rodriguez in the GC lead, and Alberto Contador dragging yet another few precious seconds--though I bet he wishes it were more, for psychological warfare purposes--out of Chris Froome. Also making it in: Nairo Quintana, coolly responding to a question about the performance of the other Colombians by suggesting the press'd have to ask 'em how they did when they actually get here. Ouch, Nairo!

Warming Tips of the Pros: Which talk of cold weather brings us to a distinctly gnarly revelation: forget "gloves," Saxo domestique Chris Jull-Jensen's description of how he had to pee on his own hands to keep warm at Milano-Sanremo. Geez, I know they're called "pack fodder," but for !@#$'s sake, DSes--take that nice hot cup of non-urine *coffee* you're suckin' on in the cozy comfort of the team car, blow on it so it won't scald, and let yer boys pour *that* on their hands instead! And while we're on the disgusting subject, can we please call a moratorium on the Tinkoff pix of Alberto Contador getting a balancing hand from a teammate while he wees on the go? I mean, I admire the teamwork and all, but it's sorta like holding your friend's long hair back out of the way while she's hurling from drinking too much in college--expected good sportsmanship, but not a visual you want to record for posterity!

Song Sung Pink: sure, the race don't actually start 'til May, but the official theme song and hilarious video to the glorious 2014 Giro d'Italia is already out, so honey, come get your Giro on--what, you never heard Italian rap before? Well, enjoy!

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