Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh-way to Hell: It's Yer Paris-Roubaix in Preview, Honey!

Yes, it's time for the most glorious Monument of all, the riveting Hell o' the North! Why "the Hell of the North?" Well, it's north. The hell: bone-jarring dream-destroying cobblestones, the ever-chance of freak wet weather to make the pave' that much more slippery, and pain, pain, pain, PAIN, baby! And that's on a *good* race day. This year's deal:

Out: Suck! We love Sylvain Chavanel with asthmatic bronchitis. Also missing: Flanders-crunched trusty Cancellara lieutenant Stijn Devolder, replaced by the very-fine-but-not-so-tested Boy Van Poppel. You *doubly* can't afford to screw this up tactically now, Trekies! To see how Quick Step is feeling about it, let's check out their course recon: And yes, the ones who make it like three feet past the start line before bagging out in wailing agony tomorrow are *still* the bad-!@#$edest road-beasties on the planet. Bow, bow before the riders of Roubaix, o spindly unworthy wimpmeister peons!

In: Yep, it's Cancellara, Sagan, Vanmarcke again, and yep, we all know who'll probably get it, tho' if an overconfident Sagan tries to pop a wheelie on the pave for the Beliebers--I mean, Sagan fans--I bet *that'll* cause some fun for the gruppo. On their heels, if they don't end up on the ground: Boassen-Hagen-Dazs, coif-master Taylor Phinney, Degenkolb, Stybar, Terpstra, and Pippo. But dammit, I *so* want Tom Boonen to win it. And what the !@#$ is all this hype about Brad Wiggins for !@#$'s sake--is *everyone* so high on tramadol these days they're seeing this?

The Forecast: the good news: no rain! The bad news: it's a blinding retina-scratchin' dust-bowl! Wait--*who* just attacked me?

The Course: oh, sweetie, I know you know it. And if you're new now, you'll be in love with it by tomorrow. 28 cobbled sections, with the dangerous Arenberg a mere 18 sectors in and the potentially race-deciding Carrefour near the end. How you're gonna feel afterwards: yeah, well this is how Tony Martin looked after the Tour of the Basque country today, and there ain't even no rock-ridin' *there*: And if you think you're getting off easy cruising the roadside, they're plowing it up with farm machinery. In sum: allez allez, suckers--see you at the post-race podium 'n' kiss-n-cry!

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