Thursday, June 19, 2014

Belkin Goes for the Gold (Well, Your Gold); and, Last Tour de France Contender to Show His Form!

Three (Thousand, Whatever's) a Crowd: yep, in the shocking wake of Belkin's decision to withdraw sponsorship and immediately screw whatever riders weren't already close to inking a lucrative alternative deal with another squad, they've gone desperate: they've set up a PayPal account to crowdfund the team for a minimum of 10 euros a pop. Donors will reportedly get a signed poster of some other random individual pocket-change savior they've never even heard of. Sweet! Y'know, part of me quite sympathizes--it's got a ton of great talent, and as when any major team kicks the bucket, we're gonna see a glut of worthwhile riders driving down contract prices and back to their "you want fries with that?" real-life jobs. But, !@#$, we couldn't even get anyone to crowdfund Euskatel, and like this squad deserves it more? Get in line, and UCI, try thinking up a less fickle and idiotic way to fund teams for !@#$!ssakes!

Sud-den Death: and, with the short-but-telling Route del Sud getting underway, Alejandro Valverde becomes the last TdF podium contender to either terrify, reassure or (most likely) completely bewilder his more prominent competitors Froomey Contador and Nibali ahead of the start line in July. If his three day performance tracks his three weeks', I predict he'll have an uneventful first day, a catastrophic day-two meltdown, and a desperate grab-for-the-podium day three. Efficient!

Wiggin' Out: finally, I'd just like congratulate Team Sky on coming up with a foolproof face-saver for Brad Wiggins not to support--or hell, let's be real here, totally backstab--Chris Froome at the Tour de France by his underwhelming ride at the Tour de Suisse. Still, the rest of your boys are going like hybrid cyborg human-machine freaks, so something tells me Chris'll be okay! Speaking of whom, I see Alberto Contador's got a dashing new mesh skinsuit to play in. Don't let what happened to him happen to you, Alberto--remember, *sunscreen*!

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