Monday, March 07, 2016

Mud 'N' Guts! The Badger Retires (Again)! Tinkoff Training Secrets Revealed! #cycling

Race to the..What the !@#$ Is This?: yes, Paris-Nice is off, and while it may be the race *to* the sun, it sure as hell ain't the race *in* the sun, as mud, rain, snow, and freezing treacherous glop besets the peloton for a messy--and mercifully finished--Stage 1. Not liking the cold: big Belgian bad-!@# Tom Boonen, waxing philosophical and still, despite an injury-delayed return to top form, gunning for Roubaix. Just take good care of him the next few weeks, Quick Step--Lefevere, if this boy so much as gets the sniffles and it affects his race when it counts, it's *your* damn fault!

Babe in the Woods (Well, Off the Podium, Anyway): and, legendary cyclist and Tour de France podium babe extraordinaire Bernard Hinault--whose frequently violent defense of the sanctity of the podium ceremony gives a whole new meaning to the word "puncheur"--is stepping down from his duties of congratulating the day's champion and keeping the celebrations clear of social activists, publicity-ho rabblerousers, and general miscreants, typically, in recent years, by landing on 'em like a ton o' bricks. Here, he takes down a spindly tax protester just last year: We'll miss you Bernard--but I bet your victims won't!

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All Abou--RIDE, YOU GUTLESS WEENIES, RIDE!: meantime, after Oleg "Dynasty" Tinkov got into an extended twit-fight with Jonathan "Hipster" Vaughters over whether gaudy Trumpesque gilded champagne-swilling extravagance is superior to smugly downscale faux-rusticity--thereby engaging in precisely the sort of substantive discussions about cycling the lack of which is purportedly driving Tinkov out of the sport at the end of the season anyway--Oleg immediately got right back to the business of, y'know, rallying his troops to start winning *bike races* by, as shown in this clip, encouraging his Team Tinkoff boys from behind as they trained this afternoon. Damn, Oleg, you're no braggart after all--you really *are* a better athlete than they are!

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby: finally, while I frankly can't typically tell the difference between an omnium a cadmium or a millenium, I do gather that (1) Mark Cavendish did something to help his teammate and himself yesterday that was wholly within his rights to do and (2) Elia Viviani, who apparently didn't like how this affected *him*, threw a colossal snit over it. Jaysus, you sprinters are annoying enough constantly crying about each other after every !@#damn *road* race--can we at least agree to let the track rest in obscurity as a pure, quiet space in this broader clash of unbearable egos?

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