Yep, as 2014 draws to its chaotic close, and as the umpteenth playback of "Santa Got Run Over By A Reindeer" and mugs of spiked egg-nog cloud our brains, it's time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the plain butt-ugly of our beloved--and, as always, it's given us a truck-load of all three! So, without further ado:
January: Samuel Sanchez threatens to retire. Who gives a crap what else happened all month? Anyhoo, Gerrans wins 3rd Tour Down Under, Sky mesh skinsuits immolate Froomey, leave pile of ashes as Sky's GC contender for Tour de France; Viagra's the hot new doping product, cue the cheesy 70s pornstaches!
February: Patrick "Who?" Sinkewitz gets 8-year ban for failing to be as cute as Dave Zabriskie--uh, butt-kiss CAS; Valverde off to skeevily fantastic start at Ruta del Sol; doping benefits last waaaaay longer than the drugs themselves, Astana throws 3-day EPO-fueled "training camp", Iglinsky brothers accidentally set world land-speed record on rusty Big Wheels; women get 1/21th of a Tour de France, hailed as greatest improvement in women's cycling since they stopped making Marianne Vos compete in pantaloons. Next year they can wear helmets instead of sunbonnets!
March: Contador wins at Tirreno, Sky's mechanic generously offers to "fix his bike for him" in July; Peter Sagan disappoints as Kristoff takes Sanremo; John Degenkolb wins bloody Gent-Wevelgem as Tyler Farrar of course takes down Greipel, who immediately pounds him into the ground like a tent peg; Wiggo generously promises to "help" Froome by, uh--!@#$, he never actually *does* anything for him in 2014, does he?
April: It's the Classics, Beeyotches! Peter Sagan is crushing disappointment in every single race, receives 4.3 million euro raise; Fabs takes Flanders; Stijn Devolder crashes record-setting 367 times in single race, stuck back together with duct tape, Hammer Gel, and spit; Contador pulls controversial wheel-suck on Valverde at Tour of the Basque country, shrugs to press "like *that* little freak can complain?"; numbnut loses mystery pills on course, later determined to be "not half so bad as that !@#$ Sky is taking"; Niki Terpstra takes Paris-Roubaix as Tom Boonen superdomestiques 'im to the win. Oh *c'mon*, Tommeke, you've only got like another year or two to take this again!
May: It's the fabulous Giro d'Italia, baby! Race organizers go on grappa bender over being dissed by big stars for Tour de France prep, podium babes knocked out flat from fumes; Uran grabs maglia rosa as other GC contenders talk smack; Nairo Quintana takes advantage of crap weather on Stelvio as rest of frozen peloton demands mommies blankies before descent; Quintana wins race, gets lost in upholstery of Giro throne, doesn't resurface 'til August; Boonen slams everyone else at Tour of Belgium, gets giant keg of co--beer. Did I mention it's the fabulous Giro d'Italia, baby?!
June: Oh yeah, it's the road to the Tour! Crack Spanish authorities throw doper out of Gran Fondo, pronounce somehow miss THE ENTIRE REST OF THEIR RIDERS FOR !@#$'S SAKE; Froome caught on camera huffing on inhaler on climb during Dauphine, "new" UCI totally cool with it; Vincenzo "the Shark" Nibali chews through press corps in gory feeding frenzy when they refuse to mention him along with Froomey and Contador as Tour de France GC contenders.
July: Listen up, publicity whores, it's the Tour de France! Cav crashes out six centimeters into start of race, still doesn't keep Sagan from sucking; Froome, Contador crash out, press *still* ignores Vincenzo Nibali, Alexander Vinokourov shoots long-range missiles into press tent as Oleg Tinkov "encourages" remaining troops to unusual series of victories; Luke Durbridge beats crap outta Movistar soigneur, awarded lucrative pro-boxing contract; French actually *don't* suck, Bernard Hinault revived with smelling salts; shut the !@#$ up, we love Purito Rodriguez was just giving someone else a chance this year!
August: Jens Voigt announces retirement! All the heavens weep, flowers wilt, milk turns sour and oceans turn to giant fetid puddles of suck; Jonathan Tiernan-Locke claims bio-passport bust due to being "so wasted last night, man!", fellow frat-brother hurls on UCI prez Cookson at press conference; Contador, Froome announce they'll ride the Vuelta on broken everythings, Purito spotted in local library doing anonymous Google search on "how much Xanax do you have to sneak into a bidon for it to work"; it's the smashing Vuelta a Espana, baby!
September: did I mention it's the smashing Vuelta a Espana, baby? Contador crushes Froome in mountains as Dutch mistake Froome's flailing for windmill, use him to grind grain; Brad Wiggins takes men's TT, redeems crap season, whines into pretty much retirement; Pauline Ferrand-Prevot wins women's Worlds road race as big-name stars sit up 5k before the line, decide to go out for a beer instead; Michal Kwiatkowski takes men's championship in upset as Valverde dumps bucket of tacks over Breschel, Gerrans; Oleg Tinkov challenges 2015 Tour de France GC contenders to do Giro/Tour double with Alberto, but decides to do Giro/Tour/Vuelta triple himself BECAUSE ALL OF YOU ARE PATHETIC WORM WEAKLINGS! I ALREADY WORE DOWN THE PYRENEES INTO VALLEYS RIDING THEM SO MUCH YOU VERMIN! ALBERTO WILL BE MY SOIGNEUR !@#$# NEXT YEAR! YOU...
October: WHY THE HELL DOESN'T SAMUEL SANCHEZ HAVE A CONTRACT !@#DAMMIT?; Dan Martin takes Lombardia over still-frighteningly-surging robot Valverde; despondent injured Andy Schleck retires, no-one has heart to tell the poor guy they all thought he--wait, even *I'm* not mean enough to rag on 'im; 46 Astana riders, team-bus drivers, and towel boys test positive for drugs, Vino looks up from tapping air out of syringe to say it's all a total coincidence; Froome threatens to bow out of Tour de France if organizers don't let him plan every stage, 2015 Tour now has 16 days of time trials. Sucks to be you next July, Alberto!
November: Sick !@#$ UCI president Brian Cookson suggests shortening the Giro & Vuelta because they're not already overshadowed by the gaudy slutfest of the Tour de France ENOUGH, you wanker; Vuelta organizer tosses in 40k flat time trial to bribe Froomey, agrees to provide boy to run beside him fanning him with palm leaf during hot-weather mountain stages; roadside fan-favorite Didi "the Devil" Senft retires, actual Lord of Hell replaces him with Alexander Vinokourov; Andy Schleck awarded 2010 Tour de France, still didn't win it. And where the !@#$ is Samuel Sanchez' new contract?!
December: Time for Team Camps! Oleg Tinkov harnesses Tinkoff-Saxo boys to gear-loaded sled like Huskies, forces them to haul him across frozen Siberian tundra on foot on diet of dog food; Astana gives up the charade, holds training camp in Michele Ferrari's living room; Europcar denied WorldTour license for minor budget shortfall, Thomas "the Grimace" Voeckler's face really *does* freeze like that, just like his mamma said it would; Cookson vows to crush Astana in zero-tolerance show of force, renews WorldTour license, buys all the boys seaside summer homes and tattoos Vino's name on his !@# with a big red heart around it. Ouch, *that*'ll teach 'em! Nope, still no Samu contract...
Well, by my count, these clowns still got 12 days to add all kindsa hijinks to the list. So let's hope they hold it together, and meantime, onwards to 2015--next up, the 2014 Annual Racejunkie Awards, and Yer 2015 Year in Preview!