Friday, May 13, 2016

Slap-Fights! Etiquette Breaches! Maglia Rosa Blame-Fests!: It's Yer Giro d'Italia Week One in Review! #Giro

Well yeee-haaaaaaaw, we're one week into the fight for the maglia rosa at the most beautiful of all races, the smashing Giro d'Italia--and what've we learned (or wished we could unlearn) so far, cycling fans? This!

1. *Don't* !@#$ with a guy who has *no* chance whatsoever on GC: Whaddya get when you match an FDJ rider hell-bent on a top-ten finish with an AG2R boy with whom he's tangled in a crash? *That's* right, jersey collars get tugged so fiercely a courageous race-moto driver has to dive in to the stop the carnage! And, if you're the offending Alexandre Geniez, you get a hefty 200 euro fine to boot. Hubert Dupont--hope you recovered okay from the violent imbroglio, that must've been one nasty back-o-the-neck rug-burn!

2. You can the wine outta the boy, but you can't take the boy outta the whine: Our presumptive champ in Torino, duped by his moron team car into a fruitless GC-smacking attack-o-doom on Thursday's first mountaintop finish. And, being Nibali, he didn't hesitate to immediately blast the blame onto his bosses. The only one in disagreement, after a cowed Guiseppe Martinelli took the hit for the Shark's foolishness? Undisputed tactical genius/still-missed Paolo Bettini repeat World Champion, essentially telling Vino's second-choice to man up and take control of the tactics (and obey his legs) like a true campione. Well don't expect your team car to let you use 'em like a slingshot anymore like you did last Vuelta, Nibali--they're just as likely to slingshot you right off the mountainside after that bull!@#$ whingeing master-class!

3. He is the very model of a modern major general: Sure, he's not in it for GC--mainly for just recovering from his stomach bug at the moment, with his typical stoic respect for the race--but when Fabian-friggin'-Cancellara speaks, punk, you listen. Yes, enraged etiquette enforcer Spartacus, bringing down the chase-down pain when an upstart peloton, in particular Lampre-Merida attacks race leader Tom Dumoulin while he's taking a nature break. When nature calls the maglia rosa, you *and* yer cheap tactics get put on hold, you classless pig!

4. Time doesn't fly when you're--aw, when you're dear ex-Carrot/Sky captain Mikel Landa on a time trial course: Not only was the poor guy--who worked so diligently on his form in the wind-tunnel over the winter, no less--already kneecapped by the end of the 9k Stage One race against the clock, but worse, he also bonked on the first intermediate mountain stage, losing even more time to that sneaky little ferret Valverde before the truly high peaks even come into view. Bite me, go to hell haters--'e's just restin'!

5. Whole Lotto love: Sure, studly QuickStep blond sprinter/reigning peloton supermodel Marcel Kittel's already smacked down his fast-men competitors in two stages, but which team's already nabbed three in the first week, with two going to fellow German/lovable big lug Andre Greipel, the only man on two wheels who can beat 'im so far? *Darn* tootin', it's Lotto-Soudal--um, shouldn't the Italians be getting a little nervous by now?

6. If you're happy and you know it, spray Prosecco: y'know, I don't think I've seen a happier, prouder rider on any podium anywhere in my *life* than the Netherlands' Maarten Tjallingii, taking his first-ever King of the Mountains jersey on Stage 3. And look at about 56 seconds in--his wee daughter's barely old enough to be on training wheels, and this potential future cycling star's already got the podium stance down!

7. Hard road ahead (or below): finally, only five short years after Wouter Weylandt's tragic death at the Giro, the peloton continues to take its crashes, stitches, and broken bones with philosophical grace. Most phlegmatic so far: AG2R's Arnaud Peraud, who, after a thunderous Stage 3 whack on his face and chest that temporarily knocked him out but luckily caused no more serious injury, reasoned, "I am conscious and it is good news." Stay safe out there dear riders, and soccer players--sorry, footballers--remember *that* clip next time you go down clutching your shin after a minor tap shrieking like you've just been chomped on by a zombie!

Okay, it's on to Week 2 of the fabulous Giro d'Italia. No, Tom Dumoulin is *not* a final GC contender, I *cannot* accept such heresy--and Sky, whatever you're doing to !@#$ over poor Landa so badly, FIX IT!

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