Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tejay vs. Richie! Nairo vs. Valverde! Skybots v. Contador! The 2016 Tour de France Shapes Up

Worlds are Colliding!: yep, before the ink even dries on Team Tinkoff's endless parade of shirtless Saganator studmuffin training camp photos--and Alberto, don't say we didn't warn you to get the hell outta there before fickle Oleg's man-crush faded--there's already warfare at the Tour de France, and this time it's at BMC: in what's likely to be July's best entertainment, BMC's boss has decided it'll be a great idea to let incoming Froome-whacking Skybaby Richie "Motorhome" Porte cheerfully share team leadership duties with stalwart existing GT leader Tejay "What the !@#$ Are You *Doing* To Me, Ochowicz?" Van Garderen. Hey, no reason Porte's epic meltdown at last year's Giro doesn't deserve as much credit as your incredibly gritty performance at last year's Tour de France! Still, BMC assures us they're best buds, and will figure it out like total gentlemen at the Tour. Uhhh...I don't know if you missed, say, the entire last season where Porte was treating unchallenged team domination and general pampering as his birthright, but I think you're overestimating your new hire "Mr. Sportsmanship" here!

Shooting Star: in contrast, the wise folks over at Movistar--who've spent the nascent off-season packing their roster with top-flight domestique helpmates--have already decided to at least tire out ever-podium Alejandro Valverde at the Giro d'Italia, presumably leaving him knocked out enough not to challenge Nairo Quintana's supremacy at the Tour but hopefully not so knocked out that he can't help Nairo beat down Froome and Contador there. I bow to your superior tactics, o Movistar! Still, Valverde's never missed a chance to take a chance, whether it's at someone else's expense or not, so maybe keeping a close on eye on 'im wouldn't be *too* ill-advised, wee Quintana--just ask Purito Rodriguez!

Like American Football, But With One Guy on the Other Team: and, congrats in advance to the perpetually irritating Team Sky, who, in light of Porte's imminent transfer, took the obvious opportunity to buy up half of we still love Euskaltel to support that flailing bat-winged skeletor freak Froome, while, as noted, Oleg Tinkov decided to help his now-abandoned Giro-Tour double golden boy Contador by...yeah, getting new world champ Peter Sagan some backup for the Classics. Jaysus, Oleg, Contador's the greatest GT rider of his generation, but even he needs *some* ammo to help him *sometime* during the race. Oh, Alberto, to jack you out of yellow just to put Sagan in green near breaks my fair-play-lovin' heart...anyway, you've still got the winter to maybe talk that backstabbing sneak Valverde into some sort of beneficial alliance come next July!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Sucker-Punches! !$%holes! Team-Buying Hijinks! Yep, That's Our Dear Late-Season Road Cycling

Cyclist On a Hot Tin Roof: well, it's sure hot in more ways'n one over at the steaming Abu Dhabi Tour, where some curbside argy-bargy between Federico Zurlo and Paul Voss in pursuit of an intermediate sprint led to the offended Voss allegedly punching Zurlo smack in the ribs and his subsequent expulsion from the race by outraged officials. Now, dope all you want, but ungentlemanly fisticuffs, *that* we cannot tolerate! I say, let 'em face off in a post-stage wheel-spoke duel, fair and square, the last man standing gets to ride next day--hey, who *says* sprint stages are boring?

Water World: in other Abu Dhabi news, you gotta give it to Vincenzo Nibali being a cheerful water-bottle-carrier for his sprint-lovin' teammates today (as did Sagan, who still came in second). Well, get used to it Nibs--I hope you don't mind Vinokourov making you do it when he's backing whippersnapper Aru 100% at the Tour!

No Porte in a Storm: so, just as BMC tries to figure out how it's gonna integrate the Grand Tour ambitions of new signing/ex-Froome lieutenant Richie Porte with those of existing GT stalwart/tenacious brave guy Tejay Van Garderen, Porte's helpfully solved *that* mystery--he's "not coming from Team Sky to BMC just to ride the Giro." Screw you Porte you disrespectful asshat, you don't deserve the perfect Giro anyway in a rat-hole bed-bugged pup tent much less a luxury motorhome, go for the Tour so Sky *and* and* Tejay can kick your !@# into 2017 instead!

All I Want for Christmas Is a World Tour Team: meantime, Bjarne Riis and Fernando "Almost Saved Euskaltel" Alonso are now both linked to a reported bid to buy Oleg Tinkov outta his interest in Team Tinkoff-Saxo, which, now that he's left Alberto with virtually no domestique support for the Tour de France, seems like an awful lot of dough to pay only to find one of yer big stars utterly hosed off the podium later in the year. You do get new World Champ the Saganator though--and he's so cuuuuuuuuute in those stripes!

Practical Magic: finally, big points to new USA Cycling prez Derek-Bouchard-Hall, sayin' *nobody* with a doping past gets to coach USA riders from here on out. Uh, you *do* realize this basically leaves you with the food-truck vendors from the local weekend crit to choose from, right? Not that that should enter into your calculations or nothin'--but luckily, most of the likely candidates already made out with quiiiite sweet gigs after their Postal days anyway!