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Housekeeping... Oy!

Just a couple quick notes to pass along.

  • First, I have mentioned in the past that I would be coordinating an order of wool jerseys. I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment, and time is a-wasting, so instead I think I will place the order for the prizes and set up a means for you to place additional orders yourselves. Look for an announcement to this effect.
  • Secondly, to make this post more awesome, here's the latest graphic for the Tour of Qatar. Veloki rocks our world, yo. 
  • Qatar_mediumNext, don't be frightened or confused, but I have agreed to post some articles on the Livestrong.com site. Here's my first effort. I'll probably do about one a week, and though the original idea was to cross-post, I'm not sure that these pieces will totally fit here. We shall see. Although the site is dedicated to Lance primarily, I'll be writing about the rest of the cycling world. And if you're thinking I'm just trying to poach their audience, well, I'd say there's more of a natural crossover fit between their work and ours. Finally, I have consulted the Podium Cafe VP of Ethics (me), and have obtained a ruling that there is no conflict of interest involved.
  • None of the above will slow down the pace of things here. Not even so much as the touch of a brake pad on a 15% descent. No, there are plenty of other things to slow us down, starting with the potpourri of viruses now taking up residence at the Podium Cafe Mansion.
  • I had something else to say but I forget.
  • Oh, the GP Ouverture La Marseillaise kicks off the 2009 European racing calendar, albeit with a somewhat minor race in southern France, dedicated to one of the world's great -- if grotesque -- national anthems. This is a repetitive exercise, but for the benefit of new readers, La Marseillaise isn't the cuddly, inspiring anthem from that palpitating scene in Casablanca. No, it's a seriously bloody throwdown with the King. Some excerpts:
Arise, you children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us, tyranny
Has raised its bloodied banner
Do you hear in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers?
They are coming into your midst
To devour your sons, your wives!
To arms, citizens!
Form your battalions!
Let us march, let us march!
May impure blood
Soak our fields' furrows!

***

But not these blood-thirsty despots,
These accomplices of Bouillé,
All these tigers who mercilessly
Ripped out their mother's breast!

Makes our little number about bombs over Baltimore Inner Harbor seem quaint. Anyway, enjoy the race, it usually ends in a sprint.