Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tifosi Etiquette for $%!holes

Look, I've been there, spaced after a 6-hour wait with my !@# on a rock, two feet from my idol, fighting off a pack of 80-foot screaming jocks blocking my view of the race leader--I get it, okay? But jaysus you freaks, there are lines that *do not get crossed*, so let's just get that clear before you !@#$ up someone else's life-long dream already!

1. Wedding Gowns--fine. It's a lovely day to get married. Tip for the lingerie-uninitiated--if your fake boob starts to pop out as you run next to a rider, it's okay to take one hand off your bouquet and stuff it back in your dress.

2. Tutus--always charming. They don't really go with sneakers though. Ditto lederhosen with Valkyrie hats and long braids, but the pink t-shirt is topical. Stay out of the way though !@#dammit!

3. Panda Heads, Banana Outfits, Horses' Heads: is that !##$in' thing obscuring your vision or sticking out into the course? Screw off, you're gonna kill somebody! If not, fine, you get your tv time you publicity slut, and you may be mildly amusing. Just don't run into any sensible bystanders and cause an accident!

4. Speedos--god no. That alone should be a capital offense. You think they rode 3000 kilometers across the Alps to have to see that?

5. Flags: hold *along with the line of the mountain*, *not* perpendicular to the course like you're trying to piss off a giant bull. Flags can *tangle*, dumb!@#!

6. Dumping water over someone's head: did they ask you to? If not, offer the bottle from afar and back off no matter the response--who knows what banned substance is gonna drip into their mouths from that !@#$?

7. Yelling: no, of course you can't help it--it's exciting, that's the point. But there's a difference between enthusiasm and incapacitating a general classification contender with a vocal bullhorn. Try not to be an inch from their eardrums!

8. Interference with a rider's line: Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER. You ever try to win a stage up a 20% gradient? Every !@#damn calorie these guys have left in their bodies is crucial--race motos, get out there with police batons and bash them out of the way if you have to!

9. Touching--are they dying at the back of the autobus? Gesturing feebly for actual help and gratefully dumping the bottle of water you've shoved at him over his head? No? !@#$ off, do you realize that if these guys didn't weigh 4 ounces and have a sponsor to please they'd probably get off their bikes and beat you senseless? Yeah, we all *wish* poor psychologically and physically destroyed Bongiorno had--at least if the tifosi didn't when they saw what you'd done to him!

Well, them's mine--if I missed anything, fill it in, and everyone else, BACK OFF!

Friday, May 30, 2014

It's Last Chance Mountain at the Giro--and to Enter Our Fab Week Tre Giro Contest! Plus, Tommeke! #giro

It's the Make-or-Break Zoncolan, Baby!: first, I'm calling bull!@#$ on everyone still whining and bitchin' about Nairo's win while half the peloton neutralized itself on the Stelvio: whatever the race organizers' !@#$up, and it *was* huge, and even assuming you wiped out the time Quintana gained on his downhill attack--because there's no justification whatsoever for wiping out his uphill time gains--he'd've *still* been firmly in the GC lead after his killer performance in the uphill time trial today. Damn, am I the only one starting to get a little nostalgic for freakin' Chaingate? Anyhoo, the race ain't over yet, and even wee Nairo could crack, so not only is nothing decided quite yet, the second two spots on the podium sure ain't--at least, Rigoberto and Aru aren't convinced! Which brings us to:

Still Time to Enter Our Win Free Stuff Giro d'Italia Contest Here!: Guess right (or guess wrong with everybody else), I draw yer name from the Holy Crap I Got This From Ted King Cannondale Cap o' Bitchinness, and you win a bangin' custom-embroidered cycling cap, a passel o' spiffy stickers, and a two-week Rider Insult Moratorium! Good luck to all for Week Tre--and may your dream podium come true!

You Suck Race Organizers!: okay, I get time cuts--people gotta get home for dinner 'n' all. But really, two bike probs no team car a brutal climb and you send a guy who's busted his !@# for everyone but himself for three weeks crawling home after he comes in late in the time trial? As Kenny Dehaes so eloquently put it, "Thx @giroditalia! You've treated me like an animal on Gavia and Stelvio and now after 2 mechanicals I need to go home!Grande Giro di merda" Giro, heck knows I'll excuse you for almost anything, but let him ride to Trieste!

Who Needs a Lamborghini When You Are One? !@#$ Yeah Tom Boonen!: finally, he was plagued by illness and injury during the big flashy Classics, all right, but he ain't now, as big Tom Boonen bags two straight-up sprints in the Tour of Belgium--just the kind he's recently declared himself shy of--against the stompin' likes of Andre "the Gorilla" Griepel. *So* delighted to see him back on form!--so Tommeke, you gonna share that beer keg?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Movistar Takes the High Road! Froomey Throws It Down! And, Enter Our Giro Contest! #Giro

Pink It Was Love At First Sight: well, Team Movistar sure worked fast to make peace and head off the howling for Nairo Quintana's stage (or at least descent) neutralization: before the podium babes' lipstick was wiped off Nairo's cheek, Movistar skipped the subtle glow of a single maglia rosa for a full-on total-pimp screw-you-losers, bathing our new race leader in pink helmet, eyeglasses, wheels, bib shorts, bar tape, shoes, bike, and who knows what the hell else he's hiding. Way to calm everybody down, you jackwagons! So maybe a few guys refused to shake hands with him, how bad can it be having an entire peloton out to destroy you--hey, with any luck, Hesjedal'll just burn up the uphill time trial, and they'll just turn on him instead!

Nah, Nah, I Beat You!: How little has defending Tour de France champ Chris Froome got to hide--or how much does he think he *can* hide? Enough to twit bemoaning the lack of unannounced doping controls at the TdF faves' high-altitude training playground in Tiede! Worried about how the competition's doing, are we? Anyway, at least if the narcs are buggin' you guys up there, they'll be too busy to search your grandma's houses--and as Lance Armstrong so often pointed out, you couldn't beat the tests if you tried, so why *not* invite the UCI vampires over for a nice visit if you got nothin' to hide!

Now *That's* a Trophy!: fond as I am of the little stuffed garanimal given the Giro stage winners by delectable sponsor Balocco wafers, I'm giving Best Prize o' the Week to the fine Tour of Belgium, which not only anointed we love Tom Boonen with a sorely-needed win today, but gave him a giant beer keg to celebrate with. Carbs, right, cyclists need carbs--just give tomorrow's winner some frites, and we've got a party goin' on! Here, Tommeke grabs the win from Andre Greipel--hell, let's *all* take a swig o' that to toast him with!

Predict the Giro and Enter to Win!: brave enough to call the Giro d'Italia podium? Need a bangin' stylish cycling cap to cover your tragically un-Kittel-like locks? Well enter here! to win cool stuff--because Samuel Sanchez is still in the Giro and the Euskaltel fans are still out in the freezing cold in full orange and waving Basque flags--what more could one want in life?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's Yer Handy-Dandy Giro d'Italia What the !$%! Just Happened Out There?! Guide #giro

Oh yeah, it got ugly out there on the final climb, but between the shrieking, denying, dissembling, and just plain whinin' that was going on out there today, how do we really sum this mess up? This way!:

1. The Race Organizers: Geez, the weather sucks. If a major contender crashes out because of us, we are gonna get *serious* heat. Hey guys--the race is neutralized! No, it's not! We're going slow though, so take your time and bundle up for that descent. No, you're cool, just follow that guy with the red flag down the mountain and stay in whatever group you're in. Except for that leading group, they can fly! Wait, what? We didn't think you'd believe us anyway, this is all *your* dumb-!@#$ fault--no results modification for you!

2. The Teams (Gained on GC Edition): what? Of course the race wasn't neutralized! What inbred moron team director told you that? We couldn't see 'em anyway through the snow--like we've got eyes in the back of our heads? Damn, race radio was crackly today!

3. The Teams (Lost on GC Edition): I was following Twitter, not listening to race radio! I was listening to race radio, not watching what was happening off the road! Look at this pic, that sneaky little bastard Nairo was waaaaaaaay ahead of that red-flag moto, he was clearly cheating intentionally, this whole stage's results should be tossed out entirely!

4. The Riders: I didn't hear 'bout no stinking neutralization! Race radio only works half the time anyway! I gained all my time on the climb not the descent so bite me you still sucked! Hey, did any of you jerks notice I already won this race two years ago? What, I was sitting up there at the top getting a mani-pedi because I thought the freakin' race *wasn't* neutralized? Lefevere/Oleg/Peiper you idiots! Hey man, leave me out of this--my leg just cramped on the Stelvio!

Well, that's your quickie guide to today's blame game. Tomorrow--Quintana still gets to stay in pink, beeyotches, so suck it up and plot your strategy!

Monday, May 26, 2014

It's Psycho(logical) Warfare in the Peloton! And, The Alps Are *On*, Baby! #giro

The Giro GC Talks Smack!: Yep, the general classification contenders are gettin' twitchy, which means they're getting nasty: oh, wee Nairo Quintana *seems* innocent enough, but even as he's complimenting countryman Rigoberto Uran, Nairo's pointing out both that he's a "better climber" than Uran *and* that Cadel seems to be weakening, Cadel's delicately professing doubts as to whether Rigo can even hold it together in the third week, Uran's making it clear he's not feeling any threat whatsoever, and Pozzovivo seems just disdainful of everybody. Well, the next few days are gonna tell us a lot, boys--just try to stay upright, so we can *really* judge who's just talking crap!

Ice Ice Baby: meantime, the Giro's already takin' a big step for 2015: in a move destined to bring even !@#$ier weather than what decimated the peloton in dear Ireland in the first few days of the Giro, the race is reportedly starting in the Netherlands in 2016. As for the more immediate problem of tomorrow's crucial stage up the snow-covered Passo Stelvio and the Gavia: the road's clear enough, we're going for it! Here, the passes this morning:

It's Yer Rider Insult Roundup!: finally, if you think Team Sky is already an imploding, stinking cesspool of prima-donna face-clawing simp-slapping infighting, you're right, they're a pack o' snarly sixth-grade alpha-gir--uh, you are just so *wrong*, as Chris Froome's tender Chris-rules-Brad-drools screw-you autobiographical paean to despised team leader Wiggo virtually guarantees that either (1) Wiggo isn't gonna ride the Tour de France at all this year or (2) Sky's gonna have to encase Froomey in a protective shark cage and repeatedly jab Wiggins with a cattle prod to get Brad to do his damn job without personally killing his captain. Keep up the good work, Froomey--maybe, with a little forethought, you can make your *other* backup riders wanna slash your tires and accidentally loosen all the screws on your time trial bike just in time for July, too!

Oh Yeah, It's Week Tre of Our Giro d'Italia Contest: so enter to win here!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

It's Yer Week Due Winner; and, Enter to Win the 2014 Racejunkie Giro d'Italia Win Free Stuff Contest Part Tre! #giro

Woot, woot--I've drawn this week's winner from this week's Giro d'Italia contest from the We Still Love Euskaltel Euskadi Cycling Cap o' Perpetual Mourning, and with the correct answer to the question "what team will be in the maglia rosa at the end of stage 14" of OPQuickStep, it's... dear reader Trudgin, so Trudgin, email me to get your prizes! The rest of you, thanks for playing--and now, give it another shot folks, it's time for Week Tre! So to enter:

What: It's the 2014 Racejunkie Giro d'Italia Win Free Stuff Contest Part Tre!

Why?: It's the fabulous Giro d'Italia, and Rigoberto Uran Uran's got the bestest flowing lockses in the peloton--*and* the maglia rosa, beeyotches!

What: Answer this week's question correctly, and win: (1) a bitchin' custom-embroidered racejunkie cap--like, prolly the only one on your continent! (2) a passel o' stylin' racejunkie stickers to deface yer stuff with! and (3) a two-week rider insult moratorium on yer favorite rider, no matter what disgusting thing they do!

Where: here--and good luck to all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Yer Deep Thoughts 'n' Important Questions Peloton Roundup! and, Enter to Win! #giro

Yes, tomorrow's the 46-odd k rolling race o' truth at the Giro d'Italia, where the GC contenders will find themselves either (1) still in or (2) completely screwed and forced to issue a press release about how they've really only been targeting a week 3 stage win the whole time anyway. But not to worry, Nairo and Rigoberto can probably hold themselves up pretty well against Cadel at least! So 'til the tears start flowin':

1. Am I the only cycling fan listening to these stories from (American) football and baseball about doping and painkillers and thinkin', "what a !@#$in' pack of amateurs"?

2. !@#hole quote o' the week: Olympic gold-medalist trackie and fierce proponent of women's equality in sports Jason Kenny, opining that a women's Tour de France would result in "deaths" for the ladies involved. Also, they'll start growing chest hair, refuse to cook dinner for their husbands, and their ovaries will shrivel into Raisinettes. The horror!

3. So Chris-Anker Sorensen doesn't remember a good 20k of the race today after his crash. *Please*, DSes, if you see a boy whang his head, *take him off the bike* for heck's sake--you *know* these masochists are conditioned to ride no matter how hurt they are!

4. Oh, Jan Ullrich. You were *such* a lovable mess as a rider. Please, *please* look at what happened to some of your contemporaries--avert that downward spiral, whatever it takes!

5. Sagan's win at the Tour of California was nice and all, but he ain't lookin' like no 4 million euro man just yet this season. Unless you're Oleg Tinkov, in which case that's just the pocket change you leave the waitress at the diner. Get 'im while he's still celebrating Mick Rogers' win, kid!

6. Speaking of whom, I feel just a *little* dirty being so happy to see Mick take the win at the Giro today. But not as dirty as I do when I cheer on Contador.

7. Right, Armstrong has to testify. Is there anyone who *doesn't* assume he'll continue to be a delusional self-justifying sack of crap?

8. Everyone quit bitchin' about Fernando Alonso buying a World Tour gig for his new squad. If he hires Samuel Sanchez to do anything higher'n washing riders' underwear next year, he can buy whole races for all I care--hell, that wily bastard Vinokourov (allegedly) did it, and we still love *him*!

9. *Really*, BMC--you're not even fielding *anybody* at the Tour of Norway? Kick Thor Hushovd in the nuts whydontcha--I mean, Caja freakin' Rural is riding it!

Well, onto the Ride o' Destiny tomorrow--and enter our Giro contest here to win, because the wine's amazing! The time trial:

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's Your Giro d'Italia Rest Day Due (and ATOC) Roundup! and, Enter to Win! #giro

Yep, the Giro boys got a day to chill, spin, and nurse their aching bloody carcasses, so let's catch up before we hit the road again!

1. Quit asking Cadel Evans if he feels bad about missing the Tour. What's the !@#$in' maglia rosa anyway, chopped liver?

2. Agony Update: Angel Vicioso, the worst-hit from the tarmac with a busted femur, is already standing. Meantime, Purito's got a coupla pins in his thumb. Forza ragazzi--ci vediamo alla bellissima Vuelta!

3. Tweet o' the Week: "Bling" Matthews apologizing "Sorry about showing my ass to the world today #pinkjersey to #pinkass." Now *that's* a rider with an excuse for slurping some Tramadol!

4. Ivan Basso. Lookin' better'n you thought he would, right?

5. FDJ--I don't think you can afford Nacer Bouhanni any more!

6. Really, he looked promising--but who the hell saw Diego Ulissi coming? Well, now everyone will!

7. Under new rules, anyone running alongside the racers in those hideous Borat banana-slings can now have it nut-crackingly snapped by the nearest aesthetically-offended GC contender. Thanks, UCI!

8. Am I the only one who expected Elia Viviani to bag a stage or two by now? *One* lil puppy's in the Cannondale doghouse, I bet!

9. Quit *whinin'*, Scarponi!

10. Uran did well not to cut off *all* his hair. As for Quintana, bruised or not, if he had a good day today, I wouldn't count him out. C'mon, at least don't leave this *whole* race a foregone conclusion!

11. No freakin' way is Wiggo gonna voluntarily domestique for Froomey at the Tour de France. At least not without trying to bushwhack 'im outta contention first!

12. If *I* were Floyd Landis, listening to Christian Vande Velde get a sweet-payin' commentator gig at the ATOC after watching Landis twist in the wind for years knowing the whole time the guy was telling the truth while enjoying a full career with a no-punishment post-retirement ban, I'd probably be bull!@#$. Pays to go to charm school, I guess!

13. Enter our Giro contest here, and win stuff! Why? Because if you love the Giro, you deserve it!

Well, onto a coupla days of relative relaxation--then back to the mountains again, woo-hoo!

Friday, May 16, 2014

It's Your GC-Wreckin' Giro Carnage Roundup! That's "Sir" Taylor to You, Pal! And, You Broke Pozzato's Heart, Lampre You Bums! #giro

Oh, No, Purito!: well, the pile o' wounded road warriors is in from Thursday's disastrous Giro stage, and aside from basically everybody in the entire not in the first 8 riders at the base of the final climb ending up on the floor with at least a bucket of scrapes and bruises, we love dear GC hope Purito Rodriguez was knocked completely out with coupla busted ribs to match the ones he was just healing up from earlier in the season and a broken bone in his hand, Michele Scarponi was held up (and seemed quite on the fence today as to whether he should be in a snit at Cadel for not sitting up for everyone), and Purito lieutenant Angel Vicioso, who was quite scarily near-immobile on the ground for a while, seems to have gotten by far the worst of it, with a multiply-broken femur and contradictory reports in the international press as to whether, at age 37, he's just gonna flat-out retire rather'n struggle to heal and get back to top level. What a !@#$ty way to end a fine career--Katusha, surely this talented boy's gotten "DS" written all over him for the future?!

Watch Out Wiggo: yeah Bradley, you got the title, but Taylor Phinney's got the class-- check out his most elegant bow across the line after his gorgeous downhill attack at the Amgen EPO TOC this week! And is anyone *really* buying Sky's delusional crap about how Brad's gonna be a happy little domestique for Froomey at the Tour, despite their implied suggestion that he might not make the team if he ain't? Yeah, me neither!

Pippo in Exile: look, half-clothed peloton selfie-king Pippo Pozzato's been most gracious about riding that nice race in Japan, but luckily, I don't have to be: you *suck*, Lampre! Wah, wah, "results," wah--Pippo was still the highest-placed Italian at the Classics this year (ok, like 50th at Paris-Roubaix, but still!), and, in a sport that's hardly shied away from style over substance, you gotta admit that he's more fun for the tifosi & everybody else than some grim lumbering drudge, plus maybe even prettier than, like, Kittel or Basso, so why the hell didn't you let him ride his darling Giro d'Italia--what, you expect that Simoni-backstabber Cunego to bring it home? On the other hand, with the field down to about 5 guys and a bunch of lucky roleurs, maybe he will...Anyhow, Free Pippo For Giro 2015!

Enter to Win! finally, it's our Giro contest again, so because Samuel Sanchez is bitchin' and he's riding it, enter here and earn eternal glory, and free stuff!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

We Have a Winner! And, It's Yer 2014 Racejunkie Giro d'Italia Win Free Stuff Contest Part Due! #giro

Yes, the entries are in, the winner's been drawn (no peekin', just like I said!) from the Holy Once-Eroski Cap o' Destiny, and yer week one winner of the 2014 Racejunkie Giro d'Italia Win Free Stuff Contest Part Uno is: Conor! Grazie to all for playing, and Conor, complimenti on yer win--check yer email to claim yer prizes and to name the lucky beneficiary of yer Two Week Rider Insult Moratorium! So now, on to Week Due:

The rules, when, wheres, hows 'n' whys are all in my May 9th post. In short--we love the Giro, baby, so guess the right answer to the Giro-related question, get yer entry drawn from the other poindexters' from the We Still Love Euskaltel Cap o' Perpetual Mourning, and win three bangin' prizes, including a really spiffy custom-embroidered racejunkie cycling cap by Walz caps, some dashing racejunkie stickers to show yer pride (or shame!), and a two-week moratorium on me insulting yer chosen rider, no matter how easy a target they are. So join in here and good luck to all of you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

He's Got Le-e-e-e-gs/He Knows How to Use Them! Where's the Beef? and, Enter to Win! #Giro

Lookin' Good, Purito!: yep, the slick bloody carnage of the early Giro sprint days are over, and it's time for the *real* purpose o' the race, the hills! First, anyone who sez we love Samuel Sanchez lost time today for anything but the sole reason of his selfless service to Cadel Evans is a lying sack of hell-bound crap who oughta be power-noogied into total abject apologetic submission, *and* thwapped upside the head with a loaded musette. Second, leaving aside the fact that Purito's still gotta make up 1:32 already through no fault whatsoever of his own, he showed today he's feeling *strong*, baby! Third, while anyone who makes it clear they're riding the beautiful Giro only reluctantly because their bosses won't give 'em the Tour should be banned from cycling for life, Cadel Evans does at least work like a dog to honor any race he's in and does look great for the top spot in Milan. Nice work BMC, but pedala, pedala Purito--like some winky little 8-hour time deficit is gonna hold *you* back once we hit the serious mountains? Here, whippersnapper Diego Ulissi shows the Italians who they're gonna root for on GC a few years down the line: Tomorrow: somethin' about having to divert around a landslide. Which still sounds a hell of a lot easier than gettin' over the Gavia's gonna be, if today's any indication!

Well, At Least He Ain't No Shrinking Violet: and, Contador boss Oleg Tinkov, in what can only be reasonably construed as a giant "!@#$ you" to the noble guards o' virtue over at UCI, has actually signed on a beef sponsor for the squad. And yes, it's heck funny. But why is this even controversial--Amgen EPO Tour of California, anyone? Next year: Floyd Landis' new UCI Pro Continental Team Steaming Testosterone Nut-Patch. Put 'em all together, and you rogue old-generation dopers've got yerselves a paaaar-*tay*!

Enter to Win!: What? every week, answer the question right, be drawn from the Holy Once-Eroski Cap o' Destiny, and win bitchin' stuff! Why? it's the Giro for chrissakes! Where? enter here--and in bocca al lupo, the lot of you!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's Yer Giro d'Italia Day 2 GC Carnage Parade o' the Euskies Win Free Stuff Roundup! #giro

The (Crap) Luck o' the Irish: y'know, I was thinkin' it would be kinda dangerous out there, but I gotta say--particularly because our man we love Purito is completely !@#$ed over a few rainclouds--opening a Grand Tour with a TTT and deciding half the GC before Marcel Kittel's mousse has even dried is total bull!@#$. Why not just smash their bikes to pieces with a ball peen hammer and save 'em the miserable trouble of a half-hour in the cold and rain so they can just stay warm 'til they catch their flights home the next day? Anyway, to Garmin's credit, this disaster hasn't cowed them, who're vowing to struggle on even after Irishman Dan Martin's awful manhole-cover collarbone spin-out and Euskaltel refugee's Koldo Fernandez's broken collarbone too (though, in typical masochist cyclist fashion, he even managed to finish the stage). Tomorrow: another stage for the fastmen, another day of relentless ignoring by the freakin' announcers of anyone but Marcel Kittel. Jeez, think of, say, Viviani's feelings a little, whydontcha!

Orange *Should* Be the New Black !@#dammit: Speaking of whom, it was a pretty impressive ride on opening day by the rest of the ex-(and always!) Carrots, with we love Samuel Sanchez of Cadel's (and Samu's!) BMC, Mikel Landa of Scarponi's Astana, and Igor Anton Gorka Izaguirre and Jonathan Castroviejo of Quintana's Movistar, except, as noted, for poor Koldo, which oughta save the lot of them a little bit of stress in the GC battle until Purito comes outta nowhere to kick their sorry leaders' collective !@#. Me, I'm freakin' out for Samu or Gorka to take a stage win, so FREE THE EUSKALTEL CLIMBERS YOU SELFISH GC NAVEL-GAZERS!

Jane-of-All-Terrain: finally, congrats to Marianne Vos for winning today's sprint at the Tour o' Britain, just proving that, should she ever get constantly tired of winning mountains, rolling stages, sprints, time trials, cross, or mountain bike, she could always do something else she also presumably excels at, like downhill, zip-lining, dog-catching, bricklaying, nuclear engineering, catering, astronauting, or Impressionist painting. Forza Marianne--but maybe give someone else a shot every so often?

Oh, and show yer Giro prowess and Enter to Win Stuff Here!

Friday, May 09, 2014

It's the 2014 Racejunkie Giro d'Italia Win Free Stuff Contest!

Why?: Like I'm gonna run this thing during the Tour?

What?: You answer the question o' the week correctly by my standards, I put yer name along with the other poindexters' into either the Holy Once-Eroski Cap o' Destiny, the We Still Love Euskaltel Cap o' Perpetual Mourning, or the I Still Keep Calling Them Liquigas Cannondale Cap o' Confusion, I pick a name without peekin' (honest!), and you win! I email you to find out where the send the prize, I don't pimp your info to anyone else like a goon, you gain eternal glory, and I send you yer prizes--that's it!

The Rules: Yeah, yeah, there's the legalese on the site--basically, I can change whatever I want whenever I want, which I really don't plan to do barring some eejit catastrophe on my part, and you're nice and sportsmanlike about it if that happens or I otherwise screw up. And if the cap isn't here yet right when you win, cut me some slack buddy they're a-comin'!

The Prizes: A smashing custom-embroidered racejunkie cycling cap, one of only 3 of its kind on the planet! A passel o' spiffy racejunkie stickers to flaunt yer pride (or shame)! And, for the sensitive tifosi among you--and believe me, this is a toughie for me every freakin' year--an incredibly long and totally sincere two-week rider insult moratorium on yer fave peloton studpup!

Where: Enter here, fellow Giro freaks--and good luck!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

It's the Amgen EPO Tour of Screw You UCI For Scheduling This Opposite the Giro! California! And the Women's Tour! And the Giro!! #giro

Holy Crap It's the Girooooooooooooo! Woo-hoo, it's finally the fabulous Giro d'Italia, and yes, the first two stages are Irish, baby! Tomorrow (or hell, today, depending on where you are!): a 21.7k pretty darn flat team time trial, with Garmin and OPQS out for flamingo-pink glory. Saturday: 219k of flat Belfast-to-Belfast sprinters' delight. Problem: the latest forecast is !@#$ for Saturday, and that's baaaaaad news this early in the race for a twitchy pack still gettin' their legs--GC contenders, watch yer collarbones!

We're Going Back To Cali, To Cali, To Cali: and, if you're not at the superior Giro, or hiding out "training," uh, training, ahead of the Tour, I guess you are at the Amgen EPO You Suck UCI For Scheduling This Opposite the Giro! California. And it's really, despite these riders' clear heresy--which according to Dante, plops 'em right into the 6th circle o' hell--a smashing field. There: we love Tom Boonen, we love Jens, Mark Cavendish, archrival Peter Sagan, Taylor Phinney, Fast Freddie, and, of course, go-to-hell-he-can-so-too-win-a-stage-either we still love Thor Hushovd. Oh right, and that Wiggins guy. Watch out for: perpetual numbnuts Riccardo Ricco', schmoozin' up the Amgen reps for free samples. Now apologize, all of you, for skipping the Giro, and *maybe* we'll wish you all luck!

Holy Crap It's a Women's Tour!: no, not a three-week Grand Tour, but still, it's a solid 5 days o' British bitchin'ness, with huge crowds turning out for the likes of Lizzie Armistead, Marianne Vos, Giorgia Bronzini, Hannah Barnes, and pretty well everyone worth watchin'. Allez allez Giorgia--Marianne, you're already gonna win somethin' anyway!

Next Up: it's your 2014 Racejunkie Giro d'Italia Win Free Stuff Contest!

Monday, May 05, 2014

It's Yer Giro d'Italia in Preview, Part Tre: The Sprinters!

Look, generally, I have zero use for sprints at the Giro. But there's a truly obscene 6 or 8 of 'em this year (depending on yer view), and as a result, there's actually some competition. So what to expect? Here's yer guys:

1. Roberto Ferrari. Strengths: Remember that !@#hole who crashed Cav at the 2012 Giro by careening across the entire road and takin' half the rest of the peloton with him? Yep, that's Roberto! He's selfish, unapologetic, and even--if he can knock the other guys off their bikes first--fast enough to win. Minuses: who the !@#$'s gonna do anything to help--hell, not actively hurt--this guy? In bocca al lupo Roberto--if the other squads don't preemptively bushwhack you first! Here, Captain Sportsmanship takes his line:

2. Elia Viviani. Strengths: Italy's hot young sprint hope, he beat Mark Cavendish two times last week at the Tour of Turkey. Weakness: Cav ain't riding the Giro. And just hope Ivan Basso doesn't show Cannondale the legs to pull rank!

3. Alessandro Petacchi: Strengths: with Cav saving his energy for the Tour de France by riding the Amgen EPO Tour of Screw You UCI For Scheduling This Opposite the Giro! California, Petacchi can ride this race for himself. He's got experience, he's got tactics, he loves the race, and he's got incentive at likely his last-ever Giro. Weaknesses: at 40, he's lost some power. But he's still banking wins, so don't count this Fassa Bortolo veteran out!

4. Marcel Kittel: Strengths: let's be honest--it's basically between Kittel, and everyone else. And his hair alone will demoralize half his competitors. Weaknesses: no way is he going to screw the rest of his season sticking it out through the mountains. At least someone else can take the points jersey in Milano!

5. Nacer Bouhanni: Strengths: He's had a great season, but still ain't number one on the watchlist. Really, has anyone been paying attention to FDJ? Weaknesses: there's great, and there's winning-a-sprint-at-a-Grand-Tour great. We'll see!

6. Michael "Bling" Matthews and Ben "Swifty" Swift: Strengths: oh come on, you know it's their nicknames. That, and they do have a kick. Love to see one of 'em take a stage!

7. Tyler Farrar: Strengths: I am convinced, despite all evidence, that the old Tyler's still in there somewhere. Weaknesses: a crap few seasons, and resulting squat for team support. He needs luck, timing, and luck. Forza Tyler!

Well, them's yer thoroughbreds. If I missed anyone, let me know--and boys, watch out for you-know-who!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

It's Your Giro d'Italia in Preview, Part Due: the Maglia Rosa Contenders!

Yep, it's just five days to the fabulous Giro d'Italia, and now that we've covered the course, the jerseys, and the fan basics, it's time to look at the likely candidates for the maglia rosa! Exciting new UCI rule: anyone riding the Giro d'Italia for the sole reason that they think they can't win the Tour de France will be nut-kicked daily immediately upon sign-in each morning. That'll force you to genuflect to the superior Giro, unworthy swine! So, Your General Classification Contenders:

Defending champ Vincenzo Nibali: not here. Of course, *why* one would save oneself for July as opposed to peaking now is an annoying mystery, but then, he's clearly got a little more work to do anyway. It'll still be here for next year, Vincenzo!

Cadel Evans (BMC): sure, he's older than the actual Dolomites, but for a primordial fossil, he's sure got legs. Strengths: rides well in extremely foul conditions, including rain, sleet, snow, mud, dust, and plague of locusts; time trials well, and there's actually quite a bit of that this year. He's also got the strongest team of all the GC contenders, which is absolutely going to matter in the bone-deep grind of the third week, including, of course, Euskaltel team captain/former Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sanchez, who, as we've already seen by his service in the Classics for Philippe Gilbert, is willing and able to tank himself blasting apart the field on a climb. Cadel, you *better* be nice to 'im! Weaknesses: how dare you suggest that anyone with Sanchez on his team has "weaknesses," you faithless heretic weasel!

Purito Rodriguez (Katusha): he's been *so* close to the top of the podium at *so* many (well, several, which is more than most people without the benefits of a Tramadol line permanently implanted in his butt) Grand Tours, and Purito, as long as Samu gets a stage win, I hope this one is yours. Strengths: damn, can he climb, and just when you think he's cracked for good, he claws his way back again every single time. Weaknesses: hates the cold, and usually, you can count on one GC-busting blizzard in this race. Bundle him *up*, Katusha--and keep some extra warm gloves in the team car!

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): you saw him at the Tour last year. 'Nuff said! Strengths: inexhaustible climber, and with so many mountaintop finishes, that gives him plenty of opportunity to jump on a rival's moment o' crisis. Weaknesses: aside from one or two freak efforts, like other pure climbers he can't time trial for !@#$. Plus, he's made it clear he's only riding the Giro because Movistar's making him to get him a little more seasoning (tho' to be fair, Cadel's been clear he'd rather be up for the fight in July). If someone else wants it more--and there are people that do--those two things could knock him back on the podium.

Yer Outsiders: yes, Dan Martin and a few other guys could do well on their own and step up if there's some misfortune. But even so, it's mostly:

Michele Scarponi (Astana). Oh, he'll probably podium, with all the Valverdean intestinal discomfort that'll naturally induce in the rest of us, but he does have a tendency to attack rashly then blow up when someone else counters. Might keep the narcs distracted though if Scarponi has the sense to fly a bit under the radar, which certainly can't hurt!

Ivan Basso (Cannondale): some rehab job, right? Like Cadel, gettin' a little old for this sort of thing, and no, he won't win by the disconcerting margins of the past, but a top-five likelihood nonetheless. Strength and Weakness: Cannondale is bringing blooming youngster Elia Viviani for the sprints, and given his repeated ass-whuppin' of Cavendish this week, the Giro's wholly over-the-top number of sprint stages, and depending on Ivan's legs, they might be tempted to throw just a wee bit too much of their resources behind Elia. But Basso's a two-time champ, and suave as hell, so don't count out the combination of passion and style!

Rigoberto Uran (OPQS): Strengths: stays upbeat under all kinds of pressure, like Samson his flowing locks give immortal powers, and he rhymes with the greatest band of the 80s. Weaknesses: hasn't quite proven himself up to the other GC contenders over the long haul yet, hasn't got as strong a team behind 'im, and again like Samson, if anyone cuts off his hair in the middle of the night, he'll crumble. Forza Rigoberto!

Well, them's mine, and as usual I'm probably wrong so you can all place yer opposing bets with utter confidence. I guess I oughta cover the sprinters next--but geez,this *is* the Giro, after all!