Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reading Between The Headlines

Understanding that I have been out of the Current Events loop for a while, this seems like a good opportunity to go back over a few recent headlines, courtesy of more reputable sources than myself. So here we go, in no particular order...seriously:

"Time's Eric Barlevav wins the 35th annual Harlem Classic in a photo finish - then crashes."

To use someone else’s phrase, that was so NOT Pro. What did Saunders have to say after the poor guy finished his “victory” lap? The ultimate “Yes, Yes, Yes! No!” moment. Awesome. I hope Barlevav does big things and we can re-live this moment over and over again.

"Phinney posts world pursuit mark"

Genetics + Environment + Motivation/Urgency = An Olympic Medal?

"Valverde claims Dauphine crown"

I could have sworn someone said that Valverde won the TT over Levi and Cadel Evans. They were kidding right? Guess not. Then I heard that Balaverde (hereby nominated for the Stupid Nickname Hall of Fame/Shame) won a sprint over Thor Hushovd on the first stage in addition to crushing everyone in the TT and then held every wheel he needed to in the mountains. Again, that can’t be true can it?

Everyone else better hope he’s peaking too soon or else July could see the latest of a growing list of Spanish Tour de France champions. Pereiro still doesn’t count though.

Levi Leipheimer: "I just had a bad moment”

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just say that at work when something bad happens?

“Sorry the deal fell through Boss. I just had a bad moment.”

"High Road to become Team Columbia"

I may just have to dust off my old Whirlibird parka from High School in honor of the new sponsorship. That jacket was rad.

Now the pressure is on Slipstream to get a major sponsor. Perhaps Vans or Bugle Boy to complete my retro-closet collection?

"Armstrong, Sutherland wrap up NVGP titles"

What’s the over/under on how many granola bars the average Nature Valley racer eats throughout this race? 20? 50? 200? I love those things.

"TdF, Amgen Tour partner on promotions"

Random Fact: The co-founder of Amgen was a professor at the University of Colorado and has a home near Chataqua Park that may sell for $22 million. Reports that Pat McQuaid is the current high-bidder have not been confirmed.

All I have to say is that there would be riots in the streets of Santa Rosa if they don’t invite Levi to the Tour of California next year.

"Day earns Olympic BMX slot"

And if anyone see my green Schwinn Predator that got stolen in front of the Der Wienerschnitzel on East Blithedale and Camino Alto in Mill Valley in 1987…please let me know. I’m still mad about it.

"Sorensen conquers La Toussuire"

I hope everyone has a chance to see Soensen’s victory salute on this stage. First he does one of the coolest things ever and makes a fly fishing gesture, like he’s reeling in the finish. But then he almost loses the catch and nearly decks it across the line.

Not even close to the Harlem finish in the “Yes, Yes, Yes! No!” contest though.

"U.S. Olympic road hopefuls awaiting selection to Beijing"

It’s like USA Cycling is giving riders the Astana/Giro Treatment. Oh wait, I guess that worked out okay. So…whatever. They should narrow it down a bit more at this point don’t you think?

"Cyclists and Dodge City"

Essential reading for those in the evil “Boulder Cycling Community” from the Sheriff of Larimer County’s blog.

The fact that the Sheriff of Larimer County has a blog kind of makes me want to throw my computer away. Sadly, I think he speaks for much of his constituency.

"UCI suspends French federation - Riders and events remain unaffected"

Way to make a statement UCI. That’ll teach those Frenchies to behave.

"ProTour adds Russian tour"

So now we have a Tour of Qatar and a Tour of Russia. Sweet. I am really looking forward to the Tour of Bangladesh next year.

"Boonen's apology over cocaine positive won't get him into the Tour"

It would have been embarrassing for Astana if they found out that an apology was all it took to get back in the ASO’s good graces.

Tornado Tom is saying that he got spiked at a club though which is pretty sketchy. I think the prospect of an elite athlete getting sabotaged is quite real. Can you say “Big Brown?”

Regardless, no defending Yellow or Green Jersey winners at the Tour this year. Thank goodness we have Mauricio Soler to fill the void left by Contador and Boonen. Oh…

"Plans uncertain as former world champ takes a break"

“Take it easy, Champ. Why don't you sit this next one out, stop talking for a while.” – Brian Fantana, Anhorman.

"Hincapie takes Dauphine stage"

But couldn’t get the jersey zipped up in time. I’m thinking Melanie’s husband gets another stage win at the Tour. And he’ll have time to post up for the new sponsor – Team Columbia Green and Purple Whirlibird Parka circa 1990.

"Saxo Bank signs on with Team CSC"

I cannot wait for the first time Phil Liggett or Bob Roll calls them “Team Sexy Back.” I hear that Bob is a massive Justin Timberlake fan. Ever since he did “D*** In A Box” on SNL.

"CSC's Breschel wins Philly"

Yeah, yeah Euro guy won but who was the first American? Oh, I guess that doesn’t mean quite as much anymore.

I’m just happy that no one from the Amore & Vita-McDonalds team won so we wouldn’t have to bear the sight of that kit again. Metlushenko is legit though.

"Leipheimer wins Dauphiné prologue"

Do you think Levi almost resents having good form leading into July? It’s going to be murder on the Sonoma County group rides when Levi shows up after watching Robert Gesink and Haimar Zubeldia fight for a possible podium spot on the morning VS coverage.

"Johan Bruyneel releases book, launches Web site re-design"

Is Johan a web designer too? I think the book is called “How To Win Bike Races: Hire the Best Bike Racers In The World.” It’s one page long and the forward is written by Phil Jackson.

"Contador eyes grand tour sweep with Vuelta"

I still stand by my description of his style as being similar to a “crazed spider monkey on a bicycle.” But I now stand significantly more impressed. This kid is for real.

"Bouygues Telecom ends Boonen negotiations"

Yeah, they’re probably better off with Voeckler and all the other charismatic stars on Boogie Telecom. Maybe one of Tom’s supporters did him a favor by dosing his drink after they got an image of their hero in that baby blue French kit.

"WADA Gene Doping Symposium calls for greater awareness"

Okay, good meeting folks. Glad you got that cleared up for us. Isn’t the fact that there is a Symposium on the topic an indication of at least some awareness?

"McEwen mouths off in Switzerland"

Leave it to The Rocket to actually fire F-Bombs at not only the race and the organization, but the entire country of Switzerland as well. Awesome.

But really, who has a problem with Switzerland? Maybe Robbie is lactose intolerant and can’t tell time or something. If that were the case, I could see how it would be a frustrating country.

I am all about chocolate, cheese and watches though so I have nothing but love for Switzerland. Although I still don’t think we should have to pay full price for Swiss cheese. But that’s another topic.


CaliRado Cyclist said...

Okay, I swear I posted this last night before I knew that Garmin had taken over sponsorship of Slipstream. I'm happy for the team, JV and especially Doug Ellis but I was kind of excited about the possibility of a Vans/Bugle Boy presented by Chipotle squad.

Some sweet cuffs and argyle Bruce Lee slip-ons would have been phenomenal. Oh well.

sebastian said...

yeah, when i saw that valverde had won the dauphine tt i was instantly reminded of that old onion headline, "dolphins evolve opposable thumbs; 'oh shit,' say humans." is there now anything he can't do? but a moment's reflection reminded me that this was a largely uphill time trial, and that there's a big difference between time-trialing ability per se and the ability to win tts that cater to some other strength of yours -- cf. valverde's capacity to do well in prologues thanks to his sprint. he'll still lose time to evans in the flat tour tts, and the fact that he's ever so slightly weaker than evans on the climbs will only be exacerbated in a longer race with longer stages.

can't they just merge all of the really ugly light-shorts kits into one big italian squad called amore&vita-mcdonald's-gerolsteiner-fdj.com-agritubruel-liquigas-lpr brakes-serramenti-pvc-diquigiovanni-androni-giocattoli?

finally, i'm intrigued by this new bad blood between leipheimer and evans. levi criticizes cadel for dropping him on the joux-plane without dropping valverde too ("just racing for second"); then the next day he bridges up to evans' attack and just sits there so he can watch him get reeled in. it would have been fun to watch this play out at the tdf, but we all know the story there.

CaliRado Cyclist said...

The Levi/Cadel squabble was odd.

I think it's interesting that they have both taken on much more aggressive personas in their later careers.

But the problem is that both of them have been so completely un-controversial that we are shocked when they say anything even remotely inflammatory.

I've always gotten the sense that Levi in particular is a radically different person off the bike.

Maybe Levi was just doing a Ricardo Ricco impression.