Yes, Thanksgiving in America is upon us, that heartwarming time of year when long-lost relatives from far and wide gather to spout their offensive political views, try to refrain from stabbing each other with forks, reach harmony over universal condemnation of the gravy, soothe still-wounded spirits in a slap-fight over the last piece of chocolate-cream pie, then retire to watch the football game where some lazy oaf falls asleep and completely hogs the sofa before everyone else shifts uncomfortably for three hours on ottomans and folding chairs, only to sob on the way out the door how the family oughta get together more often--uh, to enjoy a perfect Norman Rockwell holiday where the turkey is moist, the mashed potatoes are slathered with butter, and not a spot ever falls on Grandma's crisply ruffled apron. And for we cycling fans, what better opportunity to ruminate on our beloved sport and consider the Ten Cycling Things I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving (And a Few I Ain't)? Ergo:
1. Alberto Contador is free. Whatever happens at the Tour, this boy's finally got his wings back at a team that'll really appreciate him!
2. The 100th Giro d'Italia. Truly, have more beautiful words *ever* been uttered? A toast to il grande Giro!
3. The Vuelta a Espana. Look, forget that gaudy showdown in July. Here's where the real GT hardmen have at it!
4. Nacer Bouhanni. Who *else* has single-handedly decided the prestigious Tour de France green jersey by TKO of a rowdy hotel guest the night before the Grand Depart? That is *class*, baby!
5. Didja see Tom Boonen is coming back to try for his 5th fabulous Paris-Roubaix? Didja didja didja? Allez Tommekeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
6. 2016 UCI Road Race Champ Denmark's Amelie Dideriksen. C'mon, did you even *remotely* see that coming? You did not either!
7. Esteban Chaves. Like you don't either, you cynics, I see you melting--*and* he can kick your !@#!
8. Alexander Vinokourov. Oh, go to hell, with that revolting oligarch outta the game next year we gotta have *some* guilty-pleasure arch-villain to root for!
9. UCI Doping Controls. Just kidding! Unless you're a Masters rider, or a kid racing yer tricycle around the schoolyard still hopped up on leftover Halloween candy, in which case you're guaranteed to (1) get popped and (2) earn a lifetime ban, they're useless. Dope on, kids--throw in a few hookers, and in 10 years you can have a lucrative new autobio on the bestseller list, too!
10. My dear Tweeps. So much raging bias and unsubstantiated gossip, *so* little time for me to spend on stupid "work." At least that's what I hope my boss don't find out!
And a Few I'm Not:
1. Team Sky. Official Motto: Screwing Ex-Euskaltel Riders Since 2010. Just go *away* already!
2. Speaking of whom, Brad Wiggins. Just *retire* already ffs, while your legacy's still halfway intact!
3. Where the hell is we love ex-Carrot Amets' Txurruka's new World Tour contract? Team camps are starting, give the boy a day to pack his gear whydontcha?
Well, them's mine, and if I missed anything, have at. In the meantime, enjoy yer dinner, and back away from that last slice of pie, pal!