Friday, May 08, 2015

G-1, Baby: It's Yer Giro d'Italia In Preview Part Tre, The Climbers and Hot-Gossip Roundup! #Giro

Woot woot!: yes, after 11 months of lonesome agony, the smashing Giro d'Italia is back, and with just one day til the GC contenders find out whose lumpen teammates screwed 'em in the team time trial already, it's time for our last preview! Who's left to cover: the climbers, the assorted stage fighters, and of course yer random slimy hot-gossip smack-talk roundup! The score:

The Climbers: sure, Movistar's saving Valverde to back-stab Quintana at the first sign of any weakness at the Tour de France, but even better, they Sky and even Astana've brought half of Euskaltel with 'em, and while Porte Alberto Uran and Aru are keeping their eyes and wheels locked on each other, this leaves a blazin' field of ex-Carrots free to do what they do best, unleash the pain on every damn climb from the Mortirolo to Sestriere. Vai vai Mikels Landa and Nieve, Benat Intxausti, Igor Anton, and Ion Izagirre! Oughta win *some* kinda stage *somewhere* after all that hype then his disastrous 2014: Carlos "!@#$ Off Comparing Me to Quintana Already!" Betancur.

The Sprinters: look, it's the Giro dammit, so who gives? But still, it's all about Andre "the Gorilla" Greipel, whose main competition is either at the Amgen EPO Tour of California (Cav) or felled by some strength-sapping virus and desperately trying to come back for the Tour (Kittel). Me, I'm calling we love Tom Boonen, whose recent dislike for the argy-bargy of his youth is outweighed by the motivator that his Classics campaign was completely !@#$ed, sentimental fave Ale-Jet "Wheezy" Petacchi, back for one more round with the podium babes, and, because he's also an ex-Euskie, surprise flatlander hit Juan Jose Lobato. Gorilla, you got *no* excuses if you blow this!

The Puncheurs: they're called "puncheurs" because if you !@#$ around and blow the breakaway in the last two kilometers, they'll punch you in the face. Also, they have a lotta power outta seemingly nowhere, and a distinct penchant for spoiling everyone's else's fun. We love Philippe Gilbert, who so fiercely and famously faced off with a giant crash-causing dog and his child charge some time back; "Bling" Matthews, who looked so dashing in pink lo those many days last year; Sylvain Chavanel (shut up! can so either!), Luca "the Beard" Paolini, and Simon Gerrans. Come on Chava--we know damn well you still got it!

The Latest: finally, I'd be wholly remiss if I didn't remind my loyal reader(s) that: (1) Reigning Tinkoff-Saxo megalomaniac Oleg Tinkov says if Alberto Contador doesn't win this thing in his sleep, he's a hopeless weakling weenie; (2) he'd win it himself if his damn knee hadn't been bothering him, but it's still strong enough to kick Berto's butt off Aprica if he don't save Oleg's ego; (3) no less a cycling god than Bernard Hinault says Alberto can do the Giro-Tour double, so no pressure if you prove *him* wrong; and (3) Tinkoff-Saxo have, in addition to a video of comely two-time champ Ivan Basso's plan for victory, released this *hugely* intimidating photograph of an intently-focused Giro squad absolultey *smoking* a woman riding home with her groceries. Beat *that*, Aru you poser pretender wannabe!

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