Friday, 8 February 2008

I Still Like Cycling...

I know, there have been a lot of debates recently about sports and doping/drugs/whatever. It's the same thing here in Italy (if not more so), and cycling is not immune. I guess I'll have to confess my disappointment in the cycling doping trials that gained so much attention last year around the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia. I wish it weren't so. I wish these guys would keep the sport pure, and make it a true matter of achievement, not better living through chemistry.

Irish cyclist Seán Kelly's legs, immediately after riding a stage in 1984's Tour de France.

After all, this is still a sport, and by that I mean it's not sissy stuff, y'all! I hate when people (mostly Americans) dismiss cycling, saying it's not a real sport. I beg to differ. I mean, it's a rare thing when a tiddlywinks board has an image like this in the aftermath:

Yes, that's what you think it is. Look at the tire, too. Yeah, that's a real sissy sport, folks.

So, I prefer to focus on the good aspects. After all, it's hard for someone as shallow as me to keep worrying about such things when we have these sorts of lovely images to behold...

For example...

Paolo Bettini. A lovely guy, whose team unfortunately had their bikes and some other equipment stolen when they stayed here in Reggio Emilia for our Cimurri Memorial race (a pretty big deal in these parts) last year. Sorry again, Paolo! (I'll give it back when I'm good and ready, okay?)

Gilberto Simoni - won the Giro d'Italia in 2001 and 2003. Pretty easy on the eyes, no?

Daniele Bennati - UCI Pro Team Liquigas

Ivan Basso - 2006 Giro d'Italia winner. Sadly, he admitted that he was considering doping, and was thus suspended from the sport for two years. He can resume this October. I hope he'll do it clean...

God bless the Polish national team... They've been at the mercy of a thousand photoshop contests, and borne the brunt of many a joke. My chief concern is that they have enough padding to do a proper tour! Thanks for the laugh, guys...

And then, occasionally, one has a wardrobe malfunction...

But at least the Americans started to give it a try - and God bless them, too! 1989, Greg LeMond became the first American to WIN the Tour de France! And then, just to be absolute pains in the tuckus, America sent Mr. Armstrong over to win in 1999. And 2000. And 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and for a final time in 2005.

Tee hee.

Yeah, I know - Lance Armstrong is probably pretty passe these days, but I just don't care. Really.

Oh, dear me... I forgot the eye candy! Here ya go, ladies...and I even kept it in theme!

Ride strong, Armstrong!

I'll leave on this note.

Ciao for now!

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