Friday, July 16, 2010

TDF Update & Mafia Run, Death Race

Well it looks like the Tour de France has come down to a two horse race and while fans of Cadel Evans lament his fall from the leader board due to injury, fans of smackfest racing are going to revel in the frenzy of attacks from Schleck and Contador as they try and break each other to pieces. Personally I’m giddy with excitement as I think about what Alberto Contador will have to do in the Pyrenees if he is to gain some time on Schleck and win the TDF. Hopefully they can both stay on their bikes until then so we can enjoy the inevitable hit out. Its going to be like two German slap dancers smacking themselves silly for our entertainment and when it comes to slap dancing cyclists there’s only one guy I think of.
We also saw the dramatic and controversial ejection of Australian Mark Renshaw after his tussle with Kiwi hard man Julian Dean (the toughest Julian I know of). Now the question on everybody’s lips is can Cavandish win stages without his lead out man. Only time will tell.

I think perhaps the officialdom reacted a little too strongly to the whole event, if you want to see how its done in the animal kingdom go here (safe for work).

Now back to more local issues. This morning I pulled on my tallest, whitest, well branded over socks and spent a little more time than usual adjusting my matching kit before I hit the road. Why? I hear you ask. I wanted to look suitably resplendent in case I may have bumped into Bennati, Visconti, Paolini and Pippo Pozzato who were enjoying Melbourne/Geelong and the surrounds while they reconnoitred the 2010 world championship circuit.

Sadly I didn’t bump into them and so I cant pass on the grooming tips I was hoping to learn from some of the most preened riders in the pro peloton, apparently Visconti failed to bring all of his matching kit as he thought he wouldn't need any legwarmers with Australia's warm climate. Naturally if I had bumped into them I would have berated him loudly in Italian for not showing the attention to detail befitting of an Italian champion, whilst gesticulating wildly with my hands. Frankly I'm surprised the others allowed him to ride with them. In my search for them I did however spot this salon which may be able to help with yours and my styling needs.
                                          No he wasn't there either.
I then ended up somewhere other than Beach Road, where I engaged in more of the character building efforts I mentioned a few posts ago. I was pleased to find that my hard work seems to be paying off as I was a little stronger/fitter this morning. I know this not because I use expensive electronic gadgetry but because I tasted less bile than I did during my last session.

The curious phenomenon I noticed last time I rode this once popular training and commuting route was again evident. Where are all the cyclists? Previously I put it down to everyone having a late night watching the Tour but with no Australians or Lance in contention for the overall I really did expect to see a few more people out enjoying the mild morning air. Something is up, I’m getting suspicious. Is the same thing happening everywhere? Is anyone else out there having the same experience? I kept thinking of what Tyler Hamilton said about the cycling mafia.
“I’m still scarred. I’m not the same person I was before, that’s for sure. It’s kind of sad to say it, but after everything I’ve been through, I don’t think I can be the same person. A lot of things happened to me that people don’t know about, and until I write a book someday, won’t know about. There are a lot of bad people out there who have done some bad things to me. Cycling … I think it’s everywhere, but there is a mafia in cycling. That’s pretty much all I’ll say about it, I’ll probably get banned from a race if I say any more, but there is a mafia out there.”

I’m getting serious visions of “Triplets of Bellville” (a must see movie for any cycling fan). Could truth be stranger than fiction? Could there actually be a mafia run gambling ring where punters bet on a race to the death style competition supplied with kidnapped cyclists? I was thinking about the possibility of it all being true while riding down that quiet lonely road when I Inadvertently stumbled upon some sort of balloon bunch ride.
Maybe this is what everybody is doing? Could cycling's popularity as "the new golf" be over? Could hot air ballooning be taking over as the next new craze? I can just imagine those fixed gear ruffians cobbling together balloons with their mothers old curtains, a washing basket and an old BBQ.

Ride safe and have a great weekend.

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