Aug 29 2006
I realize I haven’t posted in a week, despite the fact that there’s been many things to complain about. I almost got up to tell Hincapie to stop whining about the ENECO Tour finish (or for that matter, to chew out Cyclingnews for calling the race’s pancake parcours “exciting”) but there’s so much other crap that deflates the urge.
For example, Bjarne Riis saying Ivan Basso ruined his image. Sit on it and spin, you bald-faced (and headed) hypocrite. How many sources have your Gewiss blood levels appeared in? And what about this guy? I seem to remember him shaking your hand as he came to the line on Stage 16 of the ’03 Tour. As far as I can tell, the only reason you still have any image worth protecting is because the banner ads of your ubiquitous North American sponsors keep the throats of English-language cycling pages so crammed full of advertizing dollars they can’t find a spare breath to speak against it.
Then, of course, I read something like that over, and realize that ranting conspiracy theorists haven’t brought down the Bilderbergers or even the Bush administration, and I chill a bit, try to rewrite it so it’s less seething, but I just lose interest and end up going for a bike ride instead. And so it goes pretty much every day; I get wound up about something so blindingly obvious, webpages rite about it, sound like a lunatic, attempt to tone it down, then lose interest.
But if Erik Zabel can still win a Grand Tour stage, I suppose I can still post. I mean, the guy had some help from an oddly-distracted Robbie McEwen, and a just coming on Thor Hushovd, but come on, Zabel has never been big on short races; a win after only 142k at his age is impressive. Yesterday was also a happy return, both of an on-point Danilo DiLuca and of a top non-sprinter gunning hard for the arc en ciel; the failure of big names to pursue the World Title recently is one of the major reasons why it seems to be cursed. The only exception to this seems to be Paolo Bettini, for whom the Rainbow Jersey remains the great unfulfilled career objective.
So I guess it’s been a decent Vuelta so far. But I wouldn’t put to much stock in Wednesday’s alleged GC shake out. Menchov and Pereiro may be finished for GC, but the scant minute between the Top 12 names is entirely negligable. And if you found the sudden appearance of Janez Brajkovic remarkable, you apparently didn’t watch the Tour de Georgia. He had a good day on Wed, but I’m anticipating he’ll fall back once the real GC men start playing their cards.