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Monday, July 12, 2010

Gettin' Crazy With The Cheez Whiz: Mench Off!

(Nicholas Roche, non-replicant version)
Watching the Tour Sunday, I couldn't help notice Nicholas Roche's pain face up the final climb of the day. After a cursory search there was nary a photo to be found, but it was pretty crazy looking. His mouth was stuck in this frozen "Oh" shape, like he was trapped in a state of perpetual terror all the way up the climb, however his eyes looked like they were half shut, as if he was falling asleep. His head was bobbing up and down but also had this funky side to side motion. His knees appeared to be knocking on the top tube, beating a rhthymic overture to his impending funeral dirge. It was pretty awesome. He was shattered. It made me feel good as I sat on the couch eating a bowl of Reece's Pieces ice cream at 10:50 AM. Couldn't find a good pic of his pain face, but the one above shows him earlier in the climb on the verge of super-barfing over his handlebars. Anybody got any Roche clips they'd be willing to share? I thought homeboy was transforming into more of a sprinter, not a climber? Anyway, chapeau! In addition to this non-climber, I noticed some bona fide climbers suffering a bit more than you would expect. Bradley Wiggins got dropped like a sack of doorknobs. I shall miss his tall socks. It was hot and the pace Astana set at the start seemed high, but perhaps with all the doping "heat" on Armstrong, the GC riders are laying off "the good stuff" to be on the safe side? There's no telling but here is a fascinating article in the NY Times about climbing times and power output being a tell-tale sign of doping. BOOYAH!

(Bradley Wiggins riding the Tour equivalent of appropriately tall socks on his way to a lackluster finish)
In other news, The Blog's incomprehensible pick of Denis Menchov for the Tour overall is still hanging by a thread. A very tenuous, Damocles-ian thread, but a thread all the same. "Ole Hungry Boy Slim" (not his nickname, but one he should have and therefore, will now be given) finished ten seconds behind in the Contador-Evans-Leipheimer-Basso group. As he tackled the final climb, Eurosport's David Harmon used the word "lurking" to describe Menchov's position. I thought it was appropriately menacing and underscored Menchov's overall creepiness factor in addition to his ride for the day. Was he riding up a mountain or was he living within the crawlspace of an orphanage scaring children? The guy has a permanent thousand yard stare. I'll stick with Menchov until the bitter end as the Armstrong rats jump ship and swim over to whoever looks like a winner at the moment. Schleckstrong? If Denis wins the overall, here is the chest tattoo that I shall get minutes after the podium ceremony:Apparently, cyclists seem to attract "The Crazy" more than other demographs. Here are two salient and somewhat provocative articles...
Bicycle "Rashomon"
Ban, Baby Ban
And just in case you missed it or were lying dormant in your muscle re-generating synthochamber as millions of nano-robots rebuilt your innards like so many replicants, here's a chance to win free spot at Leadville 100. A brief moment of your time could earn you a painful day in the saddle and a caffeinated beverage with Dave Weins...

(Late edit, thanks Paolo: Wiggins finished 1:45 behind, Roche was at 2:18)

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