Monday, July 18, 2011

That's so TDF - rest, recuperation and raids

A day or so before the rest day last week, Matty Keenan on commentary duty asked about Alberto Contador “How does he sleep at night?” One of Contador's fears is the appearance of not Didi in the mountains but the Man in the Carpaccio Mankini “He haunts my dreams…a beefy borat bikini is not something any man should see…I’ve not seen him yet, but you wait for the Alps. You think a costume like that is not possible?"

Contador also revealed that he fears the Schlecks. Why? Because “there are two of them.”  But can't Contador remember the 1-2 egg and spoon race Andy and Frank had going on at the Plateau de Beille? He does know they're not twins right and therefore the evil multiple birth (er, hang on) thing doesn't apply? 

No that's not it, he's afraid of what Phil Ligget revealed - afraid of again being the meat in the Schleck Sandwich.  He remembers last time It was not a pleasant experience. 

Ok – it was a little while ago now in the life of the tour, but it did catch my eye.  Again, hardened atheists – this time some atheist journos – were turned once again into believers because of Contador. This time, they accepted without question Riis’(who is a god) explanation of the Karpets incident. Remember the opening press conference with Saxobank, remember everything before that point? They wouldn’t believe a word Riis said. This time though they believed Contador’s saddle got caught up in Karpets' handlebars. They believe anything that makes Contador look shit, right?

With the second day soon approaching, I thought it fitting to discuss what happened last rest day so we know what to expect this time around:: 

Diary of a French media dilemma, written by a generic French media representative – 

“rest day lull – expect boring press conferences, what can Berty, Andy and Cuddles and their DS’s say they haven’t already said.  “My sore knee is waiting for..the Pyrenees, if not then, the Alps,”  “Molly wouldn’t carry the Schlecks to Paris either, even if they were fatigued and she was a Saint Bernard with a Swiss Flag on her torso”   or “our parents said we could get a pony if we cross the line together in Paris…and when that happens we’ll salute like this    (tip my hat to cyclismas cartoon there for the mum and dad thing).  We can’t even cover Jensie’s foray into Twitter – our government forbids favouring any sort of product – we wouldn’t defy a law like that we’re too ethical….
(the L’equipe yellow phone rings) “hello random French journo…French lab here. Yes, the urine has not yet even settled, but I think I’ve got your first positive.” 
Me: “How about the B sample, have you told the appropriate people, does the rider or the team yet know?”  
“merde, non. You  know my first call is always to you guys, you or ARD.” 
Jackpot….a rest day to boot. Somebody got Overlord’s memo.”
So what was the reaction from the team “we have decided to take Alexandr Kolobnev out of the tour.”  

But what about his B Sample? “I mean…Kolobnev has decided to retire from the race…” 

Considering all this, Tourdecouch turns now to a song dedication for Kolobnev.  Probably was going through Millar’s mind too once upon a time. 

We’ve seen already how the Leopard-Trekkies have a Vanity Van of Food Consumption. Stuart O’Grady then revealed their other marginal gain gainer. O’grady’s Auto Bus of Booze

“How does this save you time Stuey” 

“Well, we have everything here, it’s decked out like a bar but it has bunk beds for all of us and all our suave LT kit… It saves us time because we don’t have to roll back to our hotel, we can just wake up, get into our kit and voila, we’re ready for the next stage.”

“But what about curfew, remember what happened with Riis last year?”

“What you talking about, Andersen stays here with us and whips us all up recovery bloody marys and panache cakes (*copyright Cycleboredom).  

And what is it with the word panache? Since it was covered early this year by excellent blogger Cycling Tips, it’s caused hysteria among the twitterarti.  

“Omg, I need panache…quick quick quick…I haven’t had any since…Gilbert’s last win. I’d never heard it before this, I used to just say, great racing, or some other such apt description…but quick I need some panache I need some……” said unidentified MAMIL/MAFIL. 

Voeckler has panache as does Roy, Hushovd, Hoogerland, anyone else who attacks whether it works or not. Cavendish wins alot with flair, but he doesn't have panache, apparently. And according to some on twitter, not only does Cadel have no panache, he doesn’t have any honour.

I mean, what’s honourable about coming second in 07 virtually with no teammates to Discovery, or honourable about coming second in 08 against CSC/Saxo /Riis et al? I mean…what was I thinking. And let's not forget these people are comparing modern GC'ers to one day/week races. These same people are after a clean-er peloton, but again have been drinking the panache koolaid which makes them forget that nearly everyone was on something once and they've been taking and re-inserting their own blood since the early 80s. And even if they weren’t, they’re on something now which makes them forget that while it’s fun to remember halcyon days and compare generation to generation…it’s probably inaccurate. 

More expected rest day interview type questions and answers:
“So Riis, what do you think about the Schleck 1-2 the other day?” a not Kimmage/Bonnie/Lionel journo asks

(Riis, holding back the laughs) “It’s a lot like the film Waterboy. Remember how the coach stole Henry Winkler’s play book? Looks like Anderson/Nygaard stole mine.” 

“Yes,but in that movie, Henry is a loser. Why are you so relaxed and laughing then?”

“Firstly, I think I stuck a few of the pages together, so that’s why they attack in odd places. He used it in Flanders and Paris Roubaix and for the Schlecks in LBL. And also because, remember, Henry Winkler imagines cute animals when he fears people…I look at Nygaard and I see someone like me, a cute bald bear…Fabian, I see as Kimba the white lion and Schlecks I see as unicorns…and Kimmage a fluffy cute bunny.”

“What about Jens, he’s a hard man”

“I just imagine I’m listening to him talking instead…he always makes me go, awww, how cute. Makes me forget that the road bends to his will.”

Finally, the Vomatron award – I think we have a winner and it looks like no one is likely to take the award away: last week, Simon Gerrans revealed that a photojournalist on the back of a moto was suffering motion sickness and showered them with that morning’s brioche. To this person, hope you’re ok. 

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