Is it just me…or is Astana kind of like Def Jam Records? Think about it, they’ve got Johan Bruyneel as the mastermind of the organization, just like a Belgian Russell Simmons. Then there’s Ekimov dropping the science like Rick Rubin, only in the team car instead of an NYU dorm room.
Obviously, Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador are like Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys; two contrasting styles battling for the top step while operating on the same team/label and vying for the favor of Johan Simmons/Russell Bruyneel.
Like the Beasties in their younger days, Alberto is a bit rebellious and prone to bursts of immaturity at this point in his career but you can tell that there is some deep talent that will likely age gracefully and successfully. I’m not sure if Contador will end up organizing Tibetan relief bike races or marrying Diane Court from Say Anything…but again, like the Beasties, this guy can pretty much do whatever he wants so you never know.
“You gotta fight, for your right to the Yellow Jersey.”
Then there is Lance as Run-DMC, a lock for the Hall of Fame but still tries maybe a bit too hard to play the tough guy. But despite the hardcore image, they also both effectively catapulted their genre/sport into the mainstream U.S. consciousness. Interestingly, Run-DMC had the help of Adidas and Aerosmith, whereas LA got his name out there by associations with Nike and Sheryl Crow. Coincidence?
“Now me and my Nikes do the illest things, we like to stomp out pimps with diamond rings.”
Next up you’ve got Levi Leipheimer, who is clearly LL Cool J, right? I mean, the physical similarities are obvious enough but replace the “J” with “Heimer” and they may as well be twins. I don’t know if Levi will carve out an acting career that includes WB sitcoms and movies like Rollerball…but I can see him listening to “I Need Love” as he reads all of the predictions about LA and Contador.
“When I’m alone in my room sometimes I stare at the wall, and in the back of my mind I hear my conscience call.”
I can’t decide if Kloden is more like EPMD or Slick Rick. Both were pretty solid but a little inconsistent and plagued by some external drama. I guess it all depends on the final verdict in his doping case. If he ends up getting caught out, he’ll definitely be more like Slick Rick. Or the Public Enemy of Germany.
“Flava Kloden got problems of his own.”
Okay, I think we’ve worn that one out enough so let’s look at some fun Tour de France nicknames that riders would have if they were rappers or a band:
Bradley Wiggins – Wiggie Smalls
Fabian Cancellara – Swissy Elliot
Mark Cavendish and Columbia-THC – Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch Sprint Train
Cadel Evans – No Faith Evans
Luis Leon Sanchez – Kings of Leon Sanchez
Frank and Andy Schleck – Schlecks-n-Effect
Thor Hushovd – Bjork ?
Sorry Thor, I couldn’t think of anything good there. We’ll see if we can come up with something better by Paris.
As a final note on the Tour so far (you know…because the repetition of media coverage and the fact that the race has really only just begun) it should be noted that Alberto Contador is kind of beginning to remind me of Norman Bates from Psycho. There is a little bit of a physical resemblance but it’s mainly just the sense that there is some serious stuff bubbling under the schoolboy façade.
In fact, I have likened his climbing style to that of a “crazed spider monkey” in the past, but perhaps he is a little more like Norman at the Bates Motel. Ideally, his seething internal aggression and psychotic desire to slaughter people will make for some good racing...and no unfortunate accidents in the shower.
He’s not rooming with his Mother, is he?
“Psycho Killer. Qu'est-ce que c'est?" ("What is it?") – Talking Heads
I don't know what it is yet...but it should be an interesting road to Paris.