yup, hup, bup and all that.
another thrilling installment of a thrilling Giro on the thrilling Pez by your thrillingly friendly neighbourhood crankpunk
i kinda ummed and ahhed about posting these images, but then figured that your usual crankpunk reader is sophisticated and educated enough to realise that this kind of imagery is devoid of morals, vacuous when it comes to ethics and just downright degrading to women – and yes, i am speaking to the men out there.
the women readers will i am sure congratulate me on highlighting this obvious case of abuse and of the objectification of their sister-folk.
the astute cyclist will see quite clearly that the young lady in the images is sacrificing aerodynamicity for pure aesthetics, a definite no-no – and just imagine the road rash if she takes a tumble…
good to see feminism got there in the end, eh?
in this last image from the aforementioned TMBK however, the editor has nailed it – or should i say ‘needled’ it – so, maybe there’s hope after all…
crankpunk & the Giro, analysed on Pez, read it here, or here… below.
“That’s the difference for me. I can do miraculous things when I have a team that believes I can do it as well. I’m on form in the head and my heart.”
I try not to write about the obvious. That, after all, was my brief for this series from the editors at Pez. Yet when one guy is smashing the living daylights out of the peloton and generally proving that he is without doubt the greatest in the world at what he does, and doing it with an ease that borders on the violent, but another guy has slipped so far from the heady Graceland he inhabited for just about the whole of 2012, well, there’s really not much choice but to get on with it.
Yesterday the rampaging Cavendish won a sprint for which he really had no business even being around to contest. The parcours was not overly challenging, has to be said, but the speed at which the peloton covered the last kilometers, up hills, was.
There was one image of the Red Jersey wearer riding just off the front of the peloton on the way up the day’s toughest climb with about 30km to go, already eager, sniffing the line like a shark sniffing out a shipwreck. The best though was on the last rise, when the entire Omega Pharma-Quick Step train went missing for five minutes as a result of the pace Astana was setting up at the front.
Only one rider from the Belgian team was able to keep his place, and that rider was Cavendish. And that makes absolutely no sense.
Cav’s 2012 season with Sky was, on his terms, little short of a disaster. He claimed 13 stage wins over the season, claiming ‘only’ three at the Tour and missing Green. The win on the Champs on the last day of the Tour was somewhat of a salve to his wounds and would have made just about any other rider’s year, but this is a man, lest we forget, that had won the previous three Champs Elysees romps.
Just another day at the office, really.
Also, lest we forget, 2012 was his Rainbow year, something of which he was immeasurably proud and yet an honour that became, albeit not perhaps by intention, something of a side show at Sky.
2012 was the Year of Wiggo and it was not only Chris Froome that felt somewhat of a casualty. We needn’t reel off all the victories that Cavendish has racked up over his career, we’re all aware of those. That we take them for granted says something about the dominance of the man. If he were as majestic as Mario Cipollini or as charismatic as Tom Boonen I feel we would be singing his praises even more highly.
That he is ‘prickly’ at times certainly does him no favors, but then he is, after all, a sprinter. He’s easy to dislike, with his quick temper and expletives to camera. But make no bones about it, the lad is a stone cold genius on two wheels, the greatest sprinter of all time already, and he still has years to go.
Yesterday’s ride was for me a revelation. It was as though I suddenly realized just how good he really is. With a body full of slow-twitch muscles, a cardio system designed for track sprinting and a smallness that means he has less horsepower to play with than his big-boned rivals, he defied all the odds and rode with a heart over those last 30km that spoke volumes for the determination of the man.
In a modern world full of power meters and cycling coaches, where everything is defined and refined, contained and controlled, Cavendish turns up with buckets of stuff you cannot even begin to measure: willpower.
Revenge? I don’t know how he sees it – though the opening quote gives us a glimpse – but he already has 11 stage wins this year and a GC victory under his belt (Qatar), and all that with a team that, many said at the tail end of last year, wouldn’t suit him. Points Classification at both the Giro and the Tour? 5 stage wins in each?
If you’re a betting man, those odds probably aren’t good enough for you.
On the flip side of things, we have Mr. 2012, Sir Bradley Wiggins. I wrote about him in my last article here also, about what I perceived as a lack of respect for his teammate, Rigoberto Uran, and of the sense that, in many fans’ eyes, his stock has definitely fallen somewhat as a result of the toing and froing over the Froome/Tour question.
But let’s look at his form. Two wins this year, though both came in team time trials. Two 5th places in smaller races on the GC, Trentino and Catalunya. A teammate riding better than him here at the Giro, which he eventually abandoned, citing illness. Certainly no need to take him out behind the barn just yet, but he hasn’t looked very good all year.
And ok, he may well be sick right now, having something similar to the condition that befell Ryder Hesjedal, but illness didn’t make him crash and lose time in the rain, nor dent his descending skills on every downhill after that. A sudden case of the Andy Schlecks?
Possibly. Either way, 2013 has been altogether a bit shoddy for El Wiggo, whereas his former teammate is sat in a very purple patch, smiling from ear to ear. One of them has demonstrated not only incredible power and a will to keep winning, but also a longevity that has to underlie any label that includesthe word ‘legend’.
The other, despite a Tour de France win and Olympic gold, realizes now perhaps that you are only ever as good as your last race. Now he and Sky find themselves in a tricky position. Wasn’t the Giro for Wiggo and the Tour for Froome?
If Wiggo does now turn full attention to the Tour and try to pull rank, it won’t only be his form we are decrying, but also his reputation.
yes, another installment over on PEZ, analysing a thrilling Stage Ten of this mightily eventful Giro…
awesome stage 7, what a ride by the very big Adam Hansen, read my take on it here.
get your espresso hot and frothy and a little bitter, right here…
or read all about it here:
This is the Giro d’Italia, right? Cos I think I may have stumbled onto some amazing one day race that I’d never heard of before. It had it all, two cracking little climbs, one brilliant, twisting and quite frankly terrifying-looking descent just before the finish, and enough aggression to keep even those degenerate bare-knuckle fight fans stoked up on adrenaline for a week.
That couldn’t possibly have been just the third stage in a 3-week bike race, could it?
Ryder! What the hell man, this isn’t Liege-Bastogne-Liege, not ‘merely’ some classic you’re trying to set up for Mr. Martin. This is The Giro! Patience, they will tell you, is the watchword, ‘dullness’ its sidekick. How dare you bring such breathless and near darned senseless attacking to one of the world’s greatest multi-stage races?
Just who do you think you are, defending champion or something?
Yes, it was brilliant. Made not a great deal of sense. He sensed a little nick in the flesh of his rivals and heck, didn’t he go for it. Who said Canadians were boring, eh?
There’s two possible conclusions to be drawn:
a) Ryder is bluffing.
b) Ryder is not bluffing.
But let me tell you, it ain’t a). You don’t go out like if you haven’t got the legs, because well, you can’t go out like that if you haven’t got the legs. I’d suggest that Mr. That-Canadian-Guy is rocking and wants to cement his position at the Big Boy’s Table. No more high chairs and bibs and plastic spoons, thanks very much, gimme the silver baby!
Soup spoon, dessert spoon, fish knife and that third fork no one knows what the heck is for, break the lot out.
Yes, foolish maybe, a tad un-smart, but didn’t that make you smile? The temerity of it all!
And who else had the cheek to pop his slightly wombat little nose into the fray and all? None other than everyone’s favorite prickly Antipodean, Cadel ‘Cuddles’ Evans. Past his best? Possibly. No good anymore? Watch your tounge lad, this boy is one hell of a bike rider, and we haven’t seen the back of him yet.
All sorts going on during Stage 3, more highlights than a showreel of Lance’s greatest (needle) hits. Luca Paolini ripping up the roadl there was an example not only of great timing (his attack), but also incredible bikemanship. See those corners? Well, the Blanco boys certainly didn’t, it was like Man vs Juniors that one. Definitely one they won’t want to see again.
Only downside was that now we are going to see even more of those ugly-ass helmets. I hear that raise the watts – the ‘Watt the f*** is that’ count maybe… It’s 1988 all over again!
Last point was the way Sky rode. They were in an interesting position, with the unheralded Salvatore Puccio being in Pink after the TTT. Now, being in the leader’s jersey brings with lots of accolades ands no little pride, but also an almost ceaseless host of hassles.
The night before Stage 3, Sky would have been planning not to really defend the jersey as they wouldn’t have wanted it so soon – at least not unless it was on Wiggo‘s shoulders. Yet simultaneously, if a break goes up the road and gets 8 minutes, all the other teams look to the race leader’s team to chase.
It’s a delicate situation, if you don’t want to defend, because though you may want to lose it you could very well get badly caught out it the break stays away and has a big lead with a decent rider or two up there.
Of course teams want the race lead but, if possible, I’d wager that 90% of team managers would take it on the last day if they could, and not before. Not only do you have to be physically immensely strong across the team to defend a race lead, you also have to be smart, know how to play two-wheeled chess like a master, and be able to deal with the mental stress and ever-fluctuating realities of the on-road situation.
As it was, it worked out ok for Sky. Wiggo looks good, as does Ryder and Cadel too.
This is shaping up, already, to be a proper little battle.
phew, and i thought crankpunk was no respecter of reputations, an irreverent take on the world of cycling.
then i came across these guys, the Jens Voigt Army folks. JVA takes irreverence out the back door, kicks it black and blue around the alleyway for half an hour, then tips it all befuddled into the dumpster, and then takes a proper long ass old leak on it.
the attention to detail, the loving, almost slavish mockery, the sheer dedication to out-brand the brand – well – ouch!
in a good and very funny way and even dare i say deserving way, but, all the same – ouch!
‘too Liggett to quit.’
that will keep me going on my 4 hour slog today…
crank on, JVA grunts, crank on…
i’m moonlighting again.
served up with an only slightly mouldy breadroll here
get it while it’s hot… ok, it’s already lukewarm, but go get it anyway…