Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It's Yer Off-to-the-Races Early Season Cycling Roundup!

Sowing the Seeds of Love/the Seeds of Love: Yep, it's quite clear the big squads are sending their A-game to the Gir--hah, that won't happen! to the Tour, dummy!--especially Team Movistar, which seems hell-bent on (1) sending Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, and Mikel Landa together and (2) ergo, self-destruction, with Movistar's formidable domestique lineup assigned to mountain suppor--uh, to break up the inevitable fisticuffs and prevent Valverde from slashing Quintana & Landa's brake cables with a pen-knife. Oh my goodness, cue the hippies bell-bottoms and flower-chains, we've got a love-in over here!

Dope-a-Dope: and, welcome to our first major doping scandal of 2018, as an impressive dozen riders from the recent Vuelta a Costa Rica--including the winner--got popped en masse for EPO and CERA. You cheap-!@# dimwits, don't you know you're supposed to pony up $100,000 for a *motor* nowadays? In other dope(ing) news, rumors continue to swirl around the horridly sickly Chris Froome's poz from truly warehouse-filling levels of salbutamol, including that he'll be subject to a retroactive 2-month off-sesason ban, that new UCI chief David L'Appartient will literally slap his wrist and sternly call him a "bad boy," or that the Giro organizers will throw him a ticker-tape parade and preemptively award him the final maglia rosa in Roma before the first stage even sets off. Harsh, man!

Pretty Is as Pretty Does: meantime, kudos to the race organizers (and graphic designers) over at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne for their dashing 2018 promo poster portrayal of the rakish Peter Sagan as Emperor Napoleon, which is (1) not unlikely that he actually *will* rule the world someday and (2) a big step up from other official pro race posters of recent years featuring, for example, a giant blow-up photo of a woman's vajayjay and the words "WOW, DOES P***Y SELL RACES!" in 900-point bold-face all-caps. Progress!

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?: finally, it's a warm welcome (back) to the peloton to two smashing Basque squads, Euskadi-Murias and Fundacion Euskadi, who, in the approximately two races that've been ridden so far, have nonetheless managed to amass higher placing than, say, Cof--I mean, cough! cough!--has done in the last 10 years. Be patient, new little carrots--the victories are on their way!