Wednesday, November 23, 2022

It's Yer 10 Cycling Things I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving (And a Few I'm Damn Well Not)!

 Okay, for those of us in the U.S., Thankgiving is a day to share a joyful meal, discreetly leave the room to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when Aunt Progressive and Uncle MAGA get into a screaming fight over vaccines and microchips, then keel over in front of (American) football while pretending to be too engrossed in giant goons causing each other grievous bodily harm to remember to not be an ill-raised pig to get our !@#es into the kitchen to help with the cleanup.  Oh right, and to celebrate all the things we're thankful this year!  So, in the spirit of mixed joy and simmering hostility that characterizes the holiday, It's Yer 10 Cycling Things I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving (And a Few I'm Damn Well Not)!

1. Euskaltel.  Sigh.  Need any more really be said?

2. Simon Clarke's thrilling Stage 5 Tour de France stage win.  Give ICA all the crap you want for being a two-wheeled retirement home, but *damn*, that was good!

3. Puck Pieterse.  I know this isn't a 'cross blog, but !@#$, didja *see* her last weekend?  Plus having the coolest name in the peloton.  You go, little sister!

4. Alejandro Valverde. Sure, he's a dirty, cheating s.o.b., but hey, who *hasn't* made a little mistake incredibly frequently over a truly astonishing period of time?  Anyway, he'll be back!

5. Cycling Twitter. So long as that !@#$wit doesn't kill it entirely in his megalomaniacal folly, it's still here today!

6. Sonny Colbrelli. Yes, he was forced to choose, if you can call it that, between retirement, or removing his life-saving defibrillator. And his press conference was truly gut-wrenching.  But he's staying in cycling, and his ginormous and well-earned new Paris-Roubaix tat will always remind him of one of the most fun wins in cycling we've seen in years.  Forza Sonny--a campione on the bike and off!

7. Fabio Jakobsen's Comeback.  Shut up, you were so either crying.  In fact, you're !@#damn crying right now. Aw rats, now so am I--somebody hand me a freakin' handkerchief!

8. Rogla.  No, I don't know what's in the water over there lately at Jumbo-Visma, either.  And for those of us who actually lived through the bizarro Killer Bee Craze of the 1970s, their kit frankly still gives us the heebie-jeebies. But he's so dear.  Let's just enjoy the illusion while it lasts, shall we?

9. Marianne Vos. Yes, I *know* it's all about AVV this year.  But this multidisciplinary goddess is still the cyclist against whom all others will ever, in all human history, be measured.  Looking forward to your Roubaix win next year!

10. Fine, the Women's Tour, which is still too short.  Now bring on a three-week women's Giro and Vuelta, dammit! 

And a few I'm damn well not:

1. Pat Lefevere: Slagging His Own Riders Since 1955.  There, you've got yer personal brand--now shut the hell up and treat Alapanache with some respect!

2. What the !@#$ is this Nairo Quintana-Going-to-Bahrain-Victorious bull!@%$ I'm hearing?  !@#$ !

3. Time Trials.  It takes a lot--a *lot*--for me to taken issue with our beloved Giro d'Italia in anyway, anyhow, anywhy, or anywhere, ever.  But so many TT kilometers in in 2023 that our dear Mikel Landa is afraid to ride it, thereby setting him up for likely I can barely stand to say it top-o-the-podium heartbreak in Paris?  Bring me an Aperol Spritz, pronto--hell, bring me the whole damn bottles!

All right dear reader(s)--most of all, I'm thankful for all of you.  Now bring on the turkey hangover!

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