Monday, March 14, 2016

Extreme Weather Twit-Fight! Tinkoff Cries Foul! Post-Doping Career Planning 101! #cycling

Tell Us How You Really Feel (On Second Thought, Don't): Look, Vincenzo Nibali may be widely considered to be clean--which alone puts him in such rarified company as...!@#$!, give me a minute here!--but anyway, he's also acquired a bit of a rep as a weaselly drafter and a *major* whiner, so, if there's something incredibly annoying or aggravating to be done, you know our hero's gonna be there. His latest prob? The "Extreme Weather Protocol" at Tirreno-Adriatico that led to a premature stage cancellation is bull!@#$, and, if anything like this *ever* happens again, he's going to bail out of the beautiful, perfect, and beyond petty-!@# reproach home race of the Giro d'Italia. BECAUSE REAL RIDERS RIDE TIL THEIR LIMBS ACTUALLY CLINICALLY FREEZE AND FALL OFF IN A LIFE-THREATENING GANGRENOUS ZOMBIE-FLICK SPECIAL-EFFECT HORROR SHOW! and totally coincidentally, I WON'T WIN IF YOU NEUTRALIZE EVEN A TENTH OF A MOUNTAIN STAGE JUST SO MY FELLOW-CYCLIST WUSSY-MEN DON'T CROAK FROM HYPOTHERMIA! Anyhoo, as you might've guessed, the pro-peloton twit-sphere immediately descended into reasoned and sportsmanlike debate, with Matt Brammeier chiming in with a thoughtful "Better you stay home and skip the whole season you narrow minded, selfish moron", Tony Martin leaping in to his defense, and Nibs' agent-to-the-Italian-stars Alex Carera extending the ol' olive branch to Brammeier by noting that he was finally "having his day of glory, not for a victory on the bike, but for a tweet." Ouch!

Two Princes: meantime, after Peter Sagan was again left panting behind the day's victor Greg Van Avermonster at Tirreno, terrifyingly erratic team boss Oleg Tinkov, apparently all recovered from his $4,000/bottle champagne-bender twit-war with Jonathan Vaughters, sent a hearts-filled tweet today to his two superstars/recent second-place finishers Sagz and Alberto. Yeah, I'm sure *that* mood'll hold boys--right til he covers 'em in raw meat and tosses 'em into the exotic-cat enclosure at his luxury dacha if they don't actually *win* a major Classic and the Tour this year! Meantime, Tinkoff's Sean Yates was quick to blame Sky for Alberto's (damn noble--seriously, the guy *never* gives up) 4-second loss, claiming the race motos egregiously paced the boys back to the peloton after eventual winner Geraint Thomas was dropped on the Cote de Peille. Y'know, there's no shame whatsoever in Contador's valiant effort--but Peter, maybe a little less obsessing over the leg-coif and a little more worrying about the finish line! Oh, calm down, tifosi, here's a little gratuitous world championship porn:

Get Your Motor Runnin'/Head Out on the 'Cross Course: finally, today cycling bids a fond farewell to novice bike-doper Femke Van den Driessche, who's already dropped her UCI appeal of her motor bust and called it a day on her riding career in the face of a nasty ban for a surely innocent mistake at a cross race. I get it--bike doping is BAD, very very BAD. It not only goes against the rules, but cuts right to the heart of the perverted wallowing physical sufferfest mentality that infests the guts of every hard-core cyclist. But Van den Driessche effectively getting a lifetime ban for motor doping when any number of star- and super-star riders have been able to (1) chow an all-you-can-eat buffet's worth of PEDs every morning (2) get popped repeatedly (3) be forced kicking and screaming to admit that "I was doing my girlfriend" is a completely separate issue from "and I also took all that crap" and (4) *still* return to the highest and most lucrative levels of the sport, seems like total disproportionate bull!@#$. Damn, Femke, if you'd only been caught cheating three times in the last 12 months you'd'a' probably scored yourself a whole World Tour license! Mmmmm, pass those "nutritional supplements" boss--I'm hungry!

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