Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blessed And Powerless.

Jamesy and I are sitting in the living room. It is the first time we have seen each other in days, so of course we are spending this time our respective computers, trolling the internet for lolz. Well, actually, he's making a playlist for his impending trip to Sydney, and I'm looking up Jawbreaker lyrics. Both activities seem equally vital, but in an attempt to engage on some level, may I present to you the newest edition of XBBX and FJ talk pro cycling!

B: So, Jamesy, what's happening in pro cycling these days? I have no idea. I don't even know the website any more.

FJ: Holy shit, I have no idea.  I'm too busy riding in the sun to bother about professionals getting paid to take lots of red blood cells and wear tight cloths.  I mean, Phillipe 'I wear nose strips at all times' Gilbert just won the world champs on a course which was, basically, made for the dude.  Following his victory, the Italians made a lot of excuses, as they do every year, and Gerrans talked about being out of form and too short to do anything.  I just read on cycling news that Contador won his first one day race.  I've never heard of the race, but he looked happy in the photo of him crossing the line.  I suppose he's back on the steaks.  Not vegan.

B: It did look like the Italians handed Gilbert the world champs on a platter, which probably also carried some provolone and a delicious marscapone, therefore also deeming the entire world championships Not Vegan. That's a shame, because I was proper stoked with Marianne Vos' winning ride. What a mad dog. Folks blah blah blah on about Gilbert being the next Eddy Merckx, but hell, Vos has now won world champs on the track, road, and even in freaking cyclocross. I bet she'd even school folks in BMX, should she turn her ambitions that way.

FJ: Yeh it's a shame that she hasn't gotten more attention during her career hey?  We don't need her though!  Because our very own Anna Meares raced cross just the other week!  Seeing a track sprinter race cross must be a bit like seeing a cheetah knee deep in some Belgian mud, trying to lick embro off it's paws.  Read: never.  And, as I say to anyone asks, cross is just as hard as crits, but you go very slow and are covered in mud.  And people throw beer on you which, though it sounds hilarious, is distinctly un-funny when it happens eight times in a row.  So Vos can have that if she likes. 

B: On that topic, hipster target of affection Katie F'n Compton has announced she is going to ride the US National Madison Championships with friend of The New Timer Cari Higgins. I like this idea a lot. I can imagine muddy CX racers flipping out about having to put more than 50psi in their tyres, or realizing that they can wear their skinsuits non-ironically, or that there are races out there that are more spectator friendly than any cyclocross race anywhere. In fact, I like it so much, I may try to convince Lewis to come race the next Vic Madison Champs with me.

FJ: Well, first off, I had no idea who Katie Compton was, so I googled her.  Looks like she races a lot of cycling cross.  Good on her.  In regards to her racing a madison, that should be pretty funny I reckon.  It's funny you mention that track can be super spectator friendly.  We hear all these stories about track cycling being real popular back in the day, especially in rural Australia.  It was the kinda thing you went to watch on a Friday night, just like the footy.  It's almost as if cross has filled that role here, in Melbourne at least.  Which is kinda rad, but also kinda sad, because there's so much other racing that could have the same atmosphere and community, grass roots spirit.  I mean, I can wax lyrical about the creation and fostering of community all I want but, really, cycling has always been a sport where a bunch of scum get blind.  Whether it be at the track in the forties, at cross today, or on the high mountain passes at the Tour or Giro.

B: Not Edge.

FJ: No. Fuck, I love getting blind.

B: You're certainly better at it than you are racing the cycling cross.

FJ: If I had jumped a barrier for every time I have sunk a beer, I would probably be better than Lewis.  Fortunately, we have an agreement.  I am going to show him how to pick up girls if he shows me how to race a bike.

B: But Jamesy, Lewis is really good at racing cyclocross.

FJ: Yes.  We are going to trade equivalent skills. 

B: Uhhh, ok. Good luck with that. Anyways, transfer season is upon us, and your mate Mark Cavendish looks to be heading over to Omega-Pharma-Lotto. It'll be sad to see him and Wiggo go their separate ways, hey?

FJ: Well we can be sure the cornish pastie quota for Sky will halve.  I like to think of Wiggo and Cavendish as this odd-couple, who really love each other, but can't get past each others differences.  Wiggo probably walks into Cav's room, singing 'We Fell In Love In A Hopeless Place', this filthy smile on his face, while Cav just stares intently at replays of his victories on some i-pad like device.  Likewise, by the same token, I see Cav as the kinda guy who would lie in wait in a cupboard for hours, wearing a fitted sheet and a shoebox on his head, just so he can spring out at the exact moment Wiggins is at his most relaxed, stretched out, listening to The Jam, and scare the shit out of him.  The beef brought about by the 2008 Olympic madison has obviously settled but, obviously leading very skinny ankled men up the Alps isn't Cav's idea of fun.  Perhaps, through distance, their love will grow strong again.  I will miss seeing Wiggo in the yellow jersey, mixing it up in the bunch, to get Cav a good lead out though.

B: Yeah, me too. For me, that was one of the highlights of this year's Tour. And finally, Jamesy, I was just over at Velonews and stumbled upon this picture. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

FJ: No wonder they DNFed.  Who the fuck wants to be seen in that kit? You can just tell the short guy looking into the middle distance is watching Cavendish re-arrange his wang.

B: And, we're done.

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