Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's Yer 2016 Cycling Year in Preview (Yeah, You Read Right)!

Well, cycling fans, 2015's mercifully done, and it's time to look ahead to the Year in Cycling 2016. So what're you gonna miss if you don't pay attention? This!

January: Team camps wind down! Tinkoff debuts new flashing-strobe-light team kit, wins Tour de France in July by blinding, disorienting teams Sky and Movistar; Sky to undisclosed location for training because "no-one'll be able to see what we're doi--uh, we found some totally new mountains to ride on!"; women's enormous new World Tour budgets allow Vos, Armitstead to quit exhausting Wal-Mart night-shift jobs for exhausting McDonald's night-shift jobs instead. Progress!

February: The road season really kicks off! No winners at Tour of Qatar as sprinters melt into tarmac, sucked under 500 feet of sand; carnage at Kuurne as actual furniture replaces road furniture in race course, riders wipe out on new bedroom set in middle of road; Omloop Het Niewsblad courts controversy with naked photo of Sagan's butt crouched over bicycle, Pippo Pozzato sues demanding it be replaced with picture of him instead. Already on the road to glory, I see!

March: It's hard-man season, baby! Mark Cavendish takes Strade Bianche after personally chewing entire gravel course to head mechanic's specifications; Luca Paolini repeats win at Gent-Wevelgem by--what the !@#$, !@#damn Alejandro Valverde's still in the freakin' sport and you're going after LUCA?!; Jens Voigt wins Criterium International when peloton collectively quits after mistaking Jens' walk to press box for walk to sign-in.

April: Oh, yeah, it's the big shows of the cobblestones! Boonen, Cancellara crash again, this time break pave', pave' begs for mercy; Valverde becomes first centenarian to sweep Ardennes Classics, says "I guess all that !@#$ I was taking in 2006 is still--uh, I get up bright and early, every morning, and have my muesli!"; Pippo Pozzato blows career-reviving Flanders triumph by stretching out on cobbles to work on his tan, again. Dammit Pippo, preen on your own time!

May: It's the Giro d'Italia, baby! Mikel Landa accidentally attacks self without Fabio Aru around to bushwhack, beats self to Milan by 14 days 22 hours 8 minutes; Nibs mistaken for own soigneur by Vinokourov, buried under pile of dirty team kits, soigneur rides/wins podium spot; Amgen EPO Tour of California--oh, who gives a !@#$, how *dare* they run this stupid thing against the beautiful Giro anyway!

June: Pre-Tour tuneups! Marcel Kittel continues season-long sprint-loss streak due to 34 kilos extra weight in hair gel; Andre Greipel wakes dead in Hades with primal scream of victory, doors of underworld opened, living dead take over earth; Tinkov sweeps Contador off to last-minute "training camp" at undisclosed Siberian "black site". Now *that's* motivation, I say!

July: What else--Le Tour! Sagan pops wheelie with Contador on board before Stage 1 sign-in, launches him to Paris for maillot jaune/overall triumph; Vinokourov allows Nibali to ride Tour so long as carries Fabio Aru on shoulders the whole way; Valverde attacks Quintana for 3 consecutive weeks, still loses when Quintana hides his bike shoes on penultimate day, Alejandro forced to finish race on flat kid's pedals and cheap flip-flops; Porte shares BMC team leadership with Van Garderen by dissolving latter's bicycle/spares in giant vat of acid hauled behind team bus, claims he was "just trying to help by lubing the chain"; Froome DQd on final day when race organizers realize he's actually too skinny to be visible to the human eye, determine no-one's even seen the guy for three weeks.

August: Post-Tour recriminations, Olympics, and Vuelta time! Richie Porte demoted from staying in hotel rooms to staying in cat-carrier squished under boss Ochowicz's feet in team car; record-breaking 67 Astana riders, staff popped for doping in single day, UCI punishes by stripping FDJ of its World Tour license and giving it to Vinokourov "in case he needs an extra, plus FDJ sucks anyway"; Tom Dumoulin takes gold medal after climbing Mount Everest on 86-lb. wrought-iron single speed, attributes freak climbing win to "superlight new bike technology."

September: It's the fabulous Vuelta a Espana finale! Race organizers rue last year's neutralized sandy-stage debacle, run 350-km prologue directly through Mediterranean sea instead; Purito takes final podium takes final podium when ASO "forgets" to put on individual time trial, ASO celebrates with 200,000 euros mysteriously simultaneously deposited into offshore bank accounts; Purito doubles, bags "combativity" prize for whanging Valverde upside head with new disc breaks for that nasty crap Alejandro pulled on him last year.

October: It's the end of the road (races), honey! Nibali repeats Lombardia victory after Vinokourov too tired from long season to remember to order Aru to slash his tires; Worlds races moved to overnight hours to avoid incapacitating Qatar heat, entire sport of professional cycling gets irretrievably lost in desert when mechanics forget to pack lights for everyone; Nairo Quintana announces 2017 signing "with anyone who'll get me away from that backstabbing b!@#ard Valverde!"

November: New-contract count-down! Landa, Intxausti pack Sky with remaining peloton ex-Carrots, convert team to reconstituted Euskaltel, Chris Froome announced as baggage-wrangler for 2016; Sagan starts own one-man World Tour team, because it's not like he even needs anyone else; Oleg Tinkov bails on pledge to exit cycling, purchases entire peloton, announces that all 2017 races will be ridden on Big Wheels for his personal amusement. Now *there's* an epic climb on Alpe d'Huez!

December: Team camps begin again! Contador sticks with cycling another year, reasons "there's no way that flailing stork Froome can beat me on a Big Wheel"; FDJ builds core strength by stacking selves into pyramid formation so Bernard Hinault can stand on their shoulders with bullhorn, yell how much French cyclists all blow compared to the Saganator; Van Garderen mistakenly sends Porte plane ticket to Antarctica, Porte misses 2017 season waiting for ice to melt enough to get home. Oopsie!

Alrighty then, there's your 100 percent accurate, completely and utterly inevitable preview for next season--and when it happens, don't say I didn't warn ya!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's Yer 2016 New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton!

Look, let's face it: half these folks in the peloton barely know what's best for them. But *we*, their adoring fans, sure do, and, in the continued spirit of love and giving which the holiday season inspires three days before it gives way to our workaday, year-round spirit of venal snark and relentless cynicism, it's time to make our New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton:

Chris Froome: I resolve to release all my unadulterated physiological data to a internationally respected group of neutral experts to prove once and for all I'm doing nothing wrong. Those crack accessories editors at Teen Vogue will *nail* their analysis of my hematocrit!

Alberto Contador: I resolve to win the Tour de France. Of course, I'll have to knock off half those androids over at Team Sky, but that oughta just take a little surreptitious interference with their circuitry when Brailsford's put 'em in their pods into "sleep" mode...


ASO and UCI: We resolve to work together in grace and amity for the greater good of our beloved sport. Holy crap, whaddya *mean* some nefarious dirtbag hacked into your Swiss bank accounts took all your money and dissolved your corporate structure so now you're just an impotent shell of a bad memory in cycling? Sweetheart, that is just *terrible*!

Nairo Quintana: I resolve to ride "more defensively." Against Valverde.

Alejandro Valverde: I resolve to ride "more offensively." Against Qu--uh, Fabio Aru. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Alexander Vinokourov: I resolve to throw former Tour de France Giro and Vuelta champion Vincenzo Nibali a bone this season. No, literally, a bone. Now fetch it, b$tch!

Richie Porte: I resolve to give Tejay Van Garderen all the deference he is due as my deserving captain and team leader. Just like I did for Chris Froome before him!

Peter Sagan: I resolve to--oh, betcha didn't expect me to pop a wheelie/play the violin/juggle a half-dozen flaming waterbottles over my terrified mechanic/win the Worlds again by making a parachute outta my feedbag and skydiving over the finish line/bite the head off a chicken and spit it into the audience!

Marcel Kittel: I will start winning sprints again. If I mousse my hair straight up 5 inches, ditch my helmet, and bend my head down to perpendicular, I'm *bound* to beat Mark Cavendish at the line with my mane!

Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara: I will stay upright. I can fall over into the waiting arms of my soigneur when I've got Roubaix/Flanders in the bag!

Marianne Vos: What's to resolve? I'm back, and everyone else except arguably Pauline Ferrand-Prevot is doomed. See ya when I peek back under my armpit, suckers!

Race Motos and Other Vehicles: I resolve not to nick, knock over, run over, crowd, richocet, or otherwise bodily smush any cyclist in any race. Unless I'm playing for points with my buddies, ha ha!

Race Organizers: I resolve not to actively install slalom-inducing deadly road furniture in the race course within 50 yards of the cyclists. But hey, if it's part of regularly scheduled road maintenance, who are we to interfere with the brilliant timing of the clueless stupid local hacks?

Lance Armstrong: I resolve to truly, sincerely apologize to everyone I ever hurt in the world of cycling. Apologize that I'm still rich, and you're still !@#$ed. Nyeah nyeah!

The French Cycling Federation: we resolve to...oh, hell, our guys'll never win anything the next 30 seasons or so, who are we even kidding?

Brad Wiggins: I will retire. Except I want to do the Classics. And write another book. And do an extensive book-pimping tour with 4-times-daily public appearances. And go for an Oly--hey, where are you guys all going?

US Television: I will cover cycling on TV at least to the same extent we cover the revolting Kardashian clan. Hell, that's 5000 consecutive hours of airtime a season right there!

Tifosi: I resolve not to try to take a selfie with Andre Greipel within the last 10 meters of a sprint. I resolve not to wander into the road while checking my Facebook page, ride my Big Wheel into the peloton in the middle of a stage, run alongside anyone in a (1) clown wig (2) neon banana-hammock or (3) unidentifiable animal suit, allow my untended child or dog to meander into the leaders, throw urine or any other unappealing substance onto riders, push any cyclist on his/her back who doesn't personally make a defeated desperate gasping gesture that s/he wants me to, wave a flag that's not even the right nationality fer chrissakes into someone's crankset, block the line of any climber weaving in agony up a Dolomite, or suspect ex-Euskaltel Mikel Landa of any wrongdoing whatsoever just because he had a wholly innocent breakout 2015 season. I mean it, or I'll sic Hinault on your sorry !@#!

There, whatever stupid thing you clowns were thinking you *oughta* resolve, we've already gone and fixed it for you. Enjoy your 2016 seasons: and remember, anything, except Astana getting nailed for anything, is possible!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's Yer Incredibly Prestigious 2015 Racejunkie Awards!

Yes, let these pampered prettified celebrities hit those boring movie awards shows in designer gowns, personalized golden coke spoons, and custom-tailored tuxes--it's time for the peloton to have its well-earned eve of glory in day-glo spandex and the clip-clop of little cleats on pave'! So, without further ado, yer much-coveted (or wholly-mortifying, depending on the award) 2015 Racejunkie Awards!

Punk-!@# Move of the Year (Spectator): so Cannondale's Ben King's getting untangled from a road-furniture pileup during the Vuelta a Espana, and as some other skank takes off with his bike computer, who's there to steal the very ride straight out from under his sweaty desperate chamois? Damn right, some cig-huffing bare-chested lunkhead of a "fan", trying to ride off with the rather distinctive 10k neon bike before an outraged King pries it back from him. Smooth move, you insane troll--now wave to the race-moto camera in yer face so the cops can shake yer hand while they cuff ya!

Punk-!@# Move of the Year (Race Organizer): so in a friendly exchange between gentleman competitors, fellow Aussies Richie Porte of Sky and Simon Clarke of Orica swap out a wheel when the Sky leader flats during a crucial attack in Stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia. The thank you--a humongous, seemingly race-screwing 2-minute penalty (not that it mattered in the end, but it sure seemed to at the time) for Porte, and a 200 euro smack to salt the wound. Next time, just have another rider sucker-punch 'im off the bike instead, it's not like they'd apparently care about *that*!

Punk-!@# Move of the Year (Rider): now, this category is the gift that keeps on giving, and to all of us, not just the noble awardees. Valverde's endless self-serving attacks on the faltering Quintana? Mikel Landa blasting Fabio Aru outta the water sixteen times per stage, which I loved to watch too much to snicker at? No, Vincenzo Nibali's stage-19 attack on Froome at the Tour--however pointless for the overall GC--as the maillot jaune attended to a mechanical. Oh, you can punch 'im, you can bite 'im, you can crowd 'im into a barrier--but attack? *That*'s gonna earn you a quite strict scolding, sir!

Numbnut Ride o' the Year Award: not quite punk-!@#, but still devastatingly selfish and stupid, was the fixie-suckin' publicity-slut !@#hat who thought how fun it would be to charge into the peloton and gift sheer terror catastrophic crashes, and season-ending injury to a good half-dozen of the planet's best bike riders on Stage 2 of this year's Giro d'Italia. *Now* aren't you glad all some jerk did is throw pee on you at the Tour de France, Froomey?

(Please) Go Gently Into That Good Night Award: I'm retired. I'm riding again. I'm retired. I'm doing the hour record. Leave me alone. Buy my new book. I quit. Wait dontcha want to see me ride track again you fickle Fanny? Geez, Wiggo, you're great, we get it, but make up your *mind* already!

Crap Luck Golden Band-Aid Prize: and, sadly, we've got a tie--yep, it's late-career but still-stunning Classics gods Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara, fully capable of still winning but nastily knocked out their most iconic--and potentially record-shattering--showcases by ill-timed and decidedly !@#$ crashes. Come back Tommeke and Spartacus--2016 is waiting for you!

Chutzpah Ride of 2015: look, Nibali, you're a class act, and I know you're still smarting from your performance--and a world o' press and fan ridicule for someone who, after all, has previously won cycling's showiest show--at the Tour, but honestly, bolting yer bike on top of the Astana team car and catching a snooze for a good 10k up the mountain with 50 cameras tracking yer mechanical-blown chase at the Vuelta a Espana took some nerve. Just have Vinokourov fly you up in an airplane right past the TV helicopter, whydontcha?

Always a Bridesmaid Engraved-Tchotchke Consolation Prize: oh, Purito Rodriguez. One bonk, one mechanical, one spectacular race-saving ride by a fading rival--despite a huge pile of Grand Tour stage wins that would be the pride of most anybody's palmares, that most beautiful win, on the final top step of the podium in either Italy, France, or Spain, continued to elude you this year. Screw the Olympics Purito, the Vuelta I swear can be yours!

Pride Goeth Before a Fall Award: a !@#$in' giant Ritz Hotel personal motorhome for the Giro you stood no chance of winning, Richie Porte? Who the hell are you, Aerosmith? Heck of a lotta good that did you anyway!

Magical Mystery Tour (Well, Vuelta) Prize: Tom Dumoulin. How the !@#$ did some guy the size of the Lincoln Memorial suddenly gain the ability to climb like an amphetamine-charged spider monkey? Only his nutritionist and soigneur know for sure, and so far, they ain't yappin'. Whatever the hell's in that guy's espresso, I want it--and I bet a whole lotta other Classics boys do, too!

Sissy-Boy Slap-Fight of 2015: what do you get when you take two whole teams worth of cyclists and put 'em in a humongous hotel fist-fight over a routine sprint altercation? Well, not nearly enough firepower to take down a half-dozen Hello Kitty dolls, frankly, but still, the guys from Reitt-Zumco and Frijoles Los Tiernitocos at this year's Tour of Costa Rica sure gave them and the goons from the My Little Pony squad one heck of a snor--uh, scare. Now, time-outs for all and *no* juice boxes this snack-time for *any* of you!

Takes a Lickin' and Keeps on Tickin' Reminder Statuette: He wins 9 (or 7, depending, hey, not me fan-kids, I'm just sayin' what some folks are sayin') Grand Tours, bags the 2015 Giro d'Italia in commanding form, sticks with the Tour through every kind of Twitter abuse, and his team boss *still* treats him like a hoof-clomping loser who couldn't beat a pack of tranquilized tree sloths to the head of an espresso line. C'mon, Oleg, doesn't Alberto deserve *some* kinda reward for his very very hard work this year?

Domestique of 2015: y'know, normally, this would go to Alejandro Valverde, for superior performance in bushwhacking Nairo Quintana with a smile, or for this year, the incomparable former Carrot Mikel Landa, for accidentally sticking his fingers in his ears yelling LA LA LA LA LA anytime his team boss told him to, uh, *help* his captain Fabio Aru, but in all fairness, I gotta hand this one to our newly-crowned World Champion Peter Sagan, stepping off his bike despite Oleg Tinkov giving him wholehearted permission to screw Alberto Contador at the Tour, and giving the wee Pistolero his own ride as our wee hero struggled to overcome a mechanical. That boy may be the reigning peloton show-off, but he is also one class act!

Sports (Multiple) Personality of 2015: Peter Sagan's gonna win all the Classics! YOU SUCK, YOU WORTHLESS OVERPAID DILETTANTE, I'M GONNA BREAK YOUR STUPID CONTRACT OVER YER THICK !@#DAMN HEAD! Alberto Contador's gonna crush the Giro-Tour double for the first time since Marco Pantani! YOU USELESS WASTE OF DNA, I'M GONNA INEXPLICABLY GIVE YOU NO BACKUP WHATSOEVER AGAINST FROOME FOR THE TOUR DE FRANCE AND MOCK YOU WHEN YOU CAN'T WIN WITHOUT ANY TEAMMATES IN THE LAST 150K OF EVERY STAGE! I'm dying myself maglia rosa pink, YOU'RE ALL A PACK OF GUTLESS WUSSIES FOR NOT TAKING ON TWO GRAND TOURS LIKE ALBERTO ONLY TO !@#$ IT UP YOURSELVES! I'm transforming the sport from the ground on up, NO-ONE'S PLAYING WITH ME SO I'M TAKING ALL MY EXPENSIVE TOYS AND GOING HOME! Whew. Oleg Tinkov, this one's for you--now maybe the lot of *us* can finally get some rest!

Grinta Ride of the Year: his own newborn-baby domestique Aru outshone 'im. His own team leader Vino publicly humiliated him. But--and gee, for a guy who lost the Tour de France, he's getting an awful lot of presents this year--who rode one of the most beautiful stages of the year when he was already discarded by press, fans, and teammates alike like a spit-slathered energy gel? That's right, 2014 Tour de France winner and *still* worthy competitor Vincenzo !@#$in' Nibali, in a brave if ultimately fruitlessly attack into Gap. Nice to see you've still got yer pride there, Nibs!

You're As Cold As Ice/I'm Willing to Sacrifice/Your Bod Award: sure, you can get heatstroke in Qatar, coated in frozen mud at the Classics, and baked like a Snickerdoodle at the Vuelta, but what's apparently even more fun? Yes, genuinely endangering the lives of professional cyclists in a Stage 5 ice storm at Tirreno-Adriatico, because we ain't sacrificing something as important as advertiser dollars over some silly minor human appendages lost to frostbite, are we? Hell no--and congrats on your "win", you abusive selfish clueless race-organizer jerks!

Howling Sobbing Weeper Moment of the Year: a gut-wrenched, chest-infected, bone-exhausted, tank-emptied Tejay Van Garderen, climbing off his bicycle mid-way through stage 17 after a beautiful, elegant, and podium-positioned run at the Tour. If you weren't cryin', you're *lyin'*, and you know it you soulless cynical tough-guy!

Last But Not Least, the Colossal Whiner of the Year Award: ha, thought we forgot 'im, did you? Well, no, because even beyond his wonderful and heartwarming Tour de France win, Chris Froome's perpetual whinging about it--and everything else in the known and unknown universe--stood out. Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah. You're the King of the Tour de France, Froomey--now just shut the hell up about your grievances and ride your danged bike (if you must) next year!

Well folks, them's the best of the best, and the worst of the worst--now grab your statues, thank your agents, hit the afterparties, and let's bring on 2016!

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Yer Merry Festivus Gift List for the Peloton!

Yes folks, it's that most wonderful time of the year, when we maul other shoppers last-minute bargain on the latest gadgets, pelt each other with whiskey-soaked fruitcakes, and, best of all, give gifts that are truly from the heart to those we most truly love. Ergo, in the spirit of generosity and caring which the season inspires, it's yer Merry Whatever-the-Hell-They-Celebrate Gift List for our beloved peloton!

Alberto Contador: the Tour de France. Because Oleg Tinkov may be bailing after 2016, but he's still gonna !@#$in' kill ya if you don't win. Good luck, wee little Pistolero, you're gonna need it!

Tom Boonen: Paris-Roubaix. 5th time's the charm, baby! And after his miserable body-mangled season, he deserves a fine farewell (don't go Tommeke!) But cool yer jets, fan-boys'n'girls, 'cause next on the list is...

Fabian Cancellara: Flanders. Because he's Spartacus, and because I still want Tommeke to win Roubaix!

Luca Paolini: it's a glittering three-fer alphabet-soup gift pack o' EPO, AICAR, *and* HGH. Because if yer gonna take banned drugs, dumb!@#, at least take some !@#$ that *works*!

Tom Dumoulin: A neck brace. He's gotta have had the same whiplash the rest of us did watching him go from hulking Classics specialist to lithe mountain goat climber in one single Vuelta, amirite?

Chris Froome: A sandwich. God love the poor starveling thing, a big, weight-packing, week-o'-sustenance sandwich, like a nice pastrami on rye, and a hot cup of matzo-ball soup to start. Here, have a black-and-white cookie for dessert. Now keep eating!

La Course: 20 more days !@#dammit. Where the hell is the *real* women's Tour de France?

Lance Armstrong: A one-way ticket to Mars. Because in space, no-one can hear you still YAP YAP YAPPING all the time!

Bjarne Riis: Team Tinkov. Forget that failed, fickle oligarch, Bjarne!

Lizzie Armitstead: A raise. A !@#$in' raise, already--what the hell is *wrong* with you people?

Peter Sagan: Hmmmm. World Champion stripes, check. Huge paycheck, check. Gorgeous wife, check. Mad bike handling skills, check. Oh, like he freakin' needs anything else!

Brad Wiggins: A nice, quiet retirement cottage waaaaaaaaaaay out in the country. Where people, y'know, retire, and *mean* it for once!

Purito Rodriguez: The Olympics. He'll be too tired grabbing the queen stage at the Tour (shut up, will to, go to hell!) to contest our beautiful Vuelta!

The Race Motos: BRAKES. You're supposed to use 'em BEFORE you run over the riders, you morons!

The Tifosi: Etiquette lessons. Do we really need to be *taught* not to toss a cup full o' urine on a passing rider, no matter how irksome? At least hand the guy a nice clean syr...uh, water bottle, or something he can actually use!

Fabio Aru: Well, he already got rid of Mikel Landa in the off-season this year--what more could the boy even want?

Mikel Landa: A faulty, smoking, sparking earpiece. If you're gonna pull that !@#$ again, Mikel--and as you're an ex-Carrot, I say this with *all* due love and respect--you gotta come up with a *reason* you're essentially telling your team manager to go blow!

ASO/UCI: Coal, right in the ol' stocking. No treats for you til you play nice, you petulant whining babies!

Alexander Vinokourov: Damn, he's already got UCI on a leash--maybe a diamond-studded collar for it, just to rub it in?

My Beloved Reader(s): May all your cycling wishes come true. Unless it's Froomey winning the Tour. Sorry, even for you all, can't have that. But everything else you want is yours!

Well folks, them's mine--if I've stiffed anyone deserving, I promise I'll make up for it next year!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's Yer Racejunkie 2015 Year in Review!

Yep, it's almost 2016, and already, the rumors are rollin' hot'n'heavy on schedules, scandals, 'n' intrigue for next year. But before we get there, it's time to ponder the year just past, particularly before we grant out incredibly prestigious (and embarrassing) 2015 Racejunkie Awards! Ergo, Yer Year In Review:

January: 2013 Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner fails to land World Tour or Pro Conti gig, consumes world-record 367 Big Macs in single setting for consolation; former Tour de France/World Champ Cadel Evans retires, kicks crap out of fan for petting his dog; Cav responds to journo's unwelcome question about doping in cycling by suggesting his wife is banging someone else. Classy!

February: UCI threatens to strip Astana of WorldTour license due to constant doping violations, Vino pops out of team bus with syringes, blood bags, unidentified vials in grocery bags, screams "THAT'S BULL!@#$, I WILL DESTROY YOU ALL!"; Tinkov hypes Contador Giro-Tour double as money-pit Sagan woofs early Classics season; Nibali already ignored as potential Tour GC contender, Krazy Glues trophy to top of head, *still* ignored.

March: Implosion at Casa Tinkoff as Contador, Sagan blow early season, Bjarne Riis' !@# is *fired*, baby!; total clowns at UCI respond to report excoriating current doping controls as useless by testing...uh, everyone's *bikes* for *motors* at San Remo; vicious Stage 5 storm at Tirreno-Adriatico freezes riders into solid block of ice, Cancellara scheduled to be thawed out in 3015; Sagan finally takes first win of 2015, Oleg Tinkov breaks kneecaps with bike pump anyway; Cav drops chain, chews new one out of crashed rival Elia Viviani's to take win anyway.

April: UCI won't strip nice clean team Astana's World Tour after all, as Vino almost chokes Brian Cookson with his puppet strings; Valverde wins second consecutive Fleche-Wallone, barely escapes being busted when visible scrape on legs reveals entire circulatory system contents replaced with highly-classified black-market rocket fuel; Alexander Kristoff grabs Flanders as Oleg demotes4th place loser Saganator to bottle-beeyotch.

May: It's time for the fabulous Giro d'Italia, honey! Astana assuages UCI doping worries by having minor domestiques take combined 16 stages by time-shattering margins; anointed Sky sensation Richie Porte docked race-wrecking 5 minutes for missing sign-in when mani-pedi, pore-cleansing facial, custom nose-hair trim in spa on private motorhome runs late; Contador secures Giro title despite mercurial Tinkov removing entire rest of team from race to rake leaves, redo landscaping at expansive Russian dacha. Good to know you support 'im, Team Tinkoff!

June: Oh Yeah, It's the Road to the Tour! UCI bars Chris Froome from using personal motorhome for Tour, Froome's flailing spiky elbows scare everybody else on squad from rooming with him anyway; Oleg can't decide whether to support Alberto or Sagan for Tour de France, locks 'em in medieval armory shrugging, "they'll figure it out"; Nairo Quintana solves likely Alejandro Valverde bushwhacking problem by...nope, nothin' he can do, he's !@$ed!

July: It's the Not-Since-Pantani Giro-Tour Double, baby! Contador loses disatrous 1 minute 3 seconds in first week of race, Chris Froome graciously shows continued respect by using Alberto's team kit as post-stage snot-rag; ; Froomey enraged by systemic doping allegations, whines that "marginal gains" helped team complete entire 3-week route by end of Stage 14; women ride inaugural La Course in rain, snow, tornado, volcano, tsunami and once-in-a-millenium superstorm before army of 50,000 soigneurs dispatched to dry off entire final *men's* stage course with individual linen hankies. Oh, and you're !@#$in' winning me the !@#$in' Tour de France next year if I have to run behind you personally sticking you with a cattle prod every !@#$in' meter of the entire !@#$in' race, get it Alberto?!

August: Woo-hoo, It's the Beautiful Vuelta a Espana! Clean-team denizen/reformed ex-doper Tommy Danielson gets popped for drugs, again, shocked clean-team boss/reformed ex-doper Jonathan Vaughters professes "I thought he'd get it right this time"; Mikel Landa offers to support Fabio Aru in Vuelta a Espana "just like I did in the Giro d'Italia," sensible Aru demands that Vinokourov immediately terminate Landa's contract; Vuelta organizers promise to weigh down Chris Froome's back wheel with 46 kilograms of lead pellets "so someone has a chance to win this year against those Sky freaks." *Now* we've got ourselves a race, folks!

September: End of of Vuelta/World Championship time! Nibali ejected from Vuelta after Vino launches him into stratosphere with trebuchet; triumphant Peter Sagan bags men's road race after total !@#$ season, Oleg rewards by immediately slashing salary by 3 million euros a week; British legend Lizzie Armistead nails women's road race, rewarded with huge increase in pay in form of $25 Dunkin' Donuts gift card. On to the terrifying late-season holy-crap-I've-got-no-2016-contract season!

October: BMC buys delusional would-be Tour de France team leader Richie Porte in apparent bid to pointlessly piss off Tejay Van Garderen; sportsman-o'-the-year Paul Voss sucker-punches Federico Zurlo in Abu Dhabi sprint altercation; Oleg Tinkov guarantees desperately-desired 2016 Alberto Contador Tour win by...well, hiring Peter Sagan entire squad of high-end domestiques. I *told* you to get the hell away from that nutjob, Alberto!

November: Mark Cavendish awarded honorary Ph.D. in groundbreaking Theory of Argy-Bargy Cheap-Shots; Froome vows to release physiological data scientifically vetted by crack team of Vogue Magazine accessories editors; WHERE THE !@#$ IS WE LOVE EX-EUSKALTEL IGOR ANTON'S NEW CONTRACT, !@#DAMMIT?!

December: Team camps begin! Team Tinkoff debuts new controversial "maillot jaune" team kit so Froome can't look like the only actual Tour winner in 2016 anyway; exultant Sagan practices popping wheelies on Alberto Contador's head; Sky reassuringly has entire team's physiological data expertly analyzed by world-renowned troupe of 10-year-olds with Christmas-present chemistry sets. Good to go for 2016, baby!

Well folks, that was the year that was--let's hope that 2016 is a whoooooooooole lot less embarrassing!