Saturday, October 11, 2014

Schleck! Nibali! Tinkov! Astana! Nairo! Tyler! Just Buckets o' Roundup #cycling

A Sigh Is But a Sigh: okay, now that everyone's had a day or two to simmer down from the mourning, adulation, and general freakout over the sad injury-driven retirement of former CSC shooting star/next Great Grand Tour Hope/one-time Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Andy Schleck, let's talk straight--poor baby Schleck's heart seemed out of the game even *before* he got so badly and repeatedly hurt, particularly under the beastly ministrations of a frustrated Lance-less Johan Bruyneel, whose constant public motivational speeches like "ride, you lazy weakling b!tch!" failed to help the sensitive Andy get his mojo risin'. Indeed, one of Schleck's most notable results of his post-CSC career was convincing everyone Alberto Contador was an unbearable lowlife punk-!@# and Andy was a saint over the ostensibly Tour-deciding "Chaingate," when Andy's own brother Frank had similarly attacked Alberto like a wank when *he* had a mechanical in the very same race. Still, to be fair to the boy's prowess, it was rather astonishing at Andy's peak to watch such a gangly kid scale the heights so tenaciously, it's a pretty rare thing that a guy who repeatedly podiumed at the Tour and technically won the thing in 2010 is considered a disappointment, and while it is probably correct that he lacked some of the freakish mental impermeability so necessary to sustain a dominating Grand Tour career, if he can't compete I sure hope he and his knee are up to getting a bike ride in now and then for the pleasure of it. In bocca al lupo Andy, hope the real world is kind to you!

Nibali v. Tinkov: meantime, reigning Tour champ Vincenzo "Don't What-If Me, You !@#holes!" Nibali has slugged back at Oleg Tinkov's million-euro triple-Grand Challenge, pointing out that not only does he hardly need the money, but *he* cares about spending time with his family you narcissistic megalomaniac *and* he'd put the money if he had it towards starting a youth-development cycling program anyway. Take *that*, Daddy Warbucks! Still, the team directors--always a cash-hungry sponsor-whoring bunch by necessity--seem less concerned with the personal toll on their riders but at least rather concerned about the public-relations and sponsor-angering implications of injuring one of their prized racehorses like Nairo Quintana before their actual main Grand Tour goal of the season. Aw, we already know that Alberto Contador can slaughter the Vuelta on a fractured tibia--let the rest of those wussies stick on a band-aid and quit their whinin'!

Alexander Vinokourov, Anti-Doping Champion: and, the fallout from the Iglinskiy brothers' mutual pops for EPO over at Astana continues, with vigilant team bosses launching a heart-felt internal investigation into how these guys !@#$ed up so badl--uh, strayed from the team's gleaming golden path of righteousness, 'encouraging" the two to meet with the narcs to (carefully!) spill their guts out, and offering their sincerest hopes that UCI will take up the team's offer to meet so they can promise any bul!@#$ it takes to hold on to their World Tour licen--uh, immediately address any concerns these unfortunate and wholly isolated incidents may have raised. I love you Vino--but I still love you better when you just tell anyone who questions you to !@#$ off or you'll start naming names!

Just Breathe (As Long As You Use a Gas Mask): finally, as class-act Tyler Farrar vows to give it his all as farewell thanks to Team "No Lead Out for You!" Garmin as he heads to MTN-Qhubeka next season, complimenti to the organizers of the dying Tour of Beijing, forced to cut a stage short due to crappy polluted air quality. Damn, between the riders getting busted after noshing from the contaminated food supply and the inconvenience of these stupid athletes needing some dumb!@# "oxygen" in order to ride 200 miles a day, it's a wonder this race is continuing next year at all! Oh, wait...

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