So at last the Bradley Wiggins to Team Sky transfer is a done deal. Now, we can all get on with our lives. Plainly, the separation between Garmin-Transitions and Wiggins was not especially amicable, and Vaughters told the press he conceded the day to avoid a lengthy legal battle over whether British labour law made it possible for Wiggins to break his contract at will. Joe Lindsey at the Boulder Report has a good explanation of the whole fandango. My fave quote from Vaughters: "The legal resources Sky has at its disposal are quite large." Understatement much? Lindsey also had a candid chat with David Millar, who called the whole thing "unfortunate." I would rate the polemica possibility somewhere in the neighborhood of Gilberto "he’s an extraterrestrial" Simoni and Ivan Basso at Sesterière, but maybe a few bastardos! short of Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador during the Tour de France.
Vaughters, meanwhile, told Shane Stokes at Cyclingnews that he hopes to work with the UCI to hammer out a more formal transfer procedure for cycling that would prevent a repeat of the pressure tactics used by Team Sky against Garmin-Transitions. One thing seems clear: Astana must have offered Alberto Contador a very very very large bag of euros, if Wiggins so easily slipped the leash to Team Sky.
At last the Zombie story has died, the wood stake of an on-the-record press conference stuck through its heart. Or, maybe that’s vampires that one slays with the wood stake. How do you kill a Zombie anyway? Clearly, I need to research these stories more carefully. Either way, fade to black, roll credits. All this legal talk is making me very sleepy.
Sex is always more interesting than lawyers. And where better to look for it than Playboy magazine? Filippo Pozzato did an interview - right, because we only read it for the articles - with the mag for this month’s edition. He also dressed up for some photos, which is a little odd, because my understanding, limited though it may be, was that one undressed for Playboy magazine. He also brought a bike, though what he is planning to do with a bike while wearing a tux, I shy away from imagining. Also, I thought there was supposed to be a bunny suit. Instead, all we got was a stupid white turtleneck. Really, this is quite disappointing, or even unfortunate. I will simply have to use my imagination. Oh the interview? "Cycling is my passion, my work, my love." Also, he likes the beautiful bikes. You don’t actually expect to read all of it, do you?
Alberto Contador apparently does not heart Italy. The Spanish Tour champion will not race the Giro d’Italia, or indeed, any Italian races next season. According to an interview in the Spanish paper Marca, Contador will begin his season in February with the Portuguese Volta ao Algarve. Then, he’ll head to Paris-Nice with ambitions to win, and follow the early season French race with two Spanish stage races, Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta a País Vasco. After the Tour, he may or may not race the Vuelta a España. Eat your heart out Italia.
On the subject of Italia, the Giro start in Washington DC for 2012 has moved from the press statement stage to the photo op. stage. Zomes paid a trip to the United States, and posed for a photo with the Mayor of DC, Adrian Fenty. Zomes and his sidekick wore suit and tie. Fenty wore a replica Maglia Rosa with Mayor stenciled across the chest. Tacky, maybe a little. But the resident arbiters of fashion will be happy to note that Fenty did wear black shorts. The threesome posed in front of the Capitol Dome. Or, maybe they photoshopped that part, who am I to judge? Me, I still consider this idea beyond stupid, with the sheer absurdity of a trans-atlantic transfer and a six hour time difference. But nobody asked me.
On the subject of stupid ideas, in the name of gender equity, the International Olympic suit people have eliminated three track events, including the Individual Pursuit, the Madison, and the Points Race. Now both genders will race five total events, including the individual sprint, team sprint, kierin, team pursuit, and the omnium. The Ominium scores each athlete in five separate events. And you thought stage racing was hard to explain to your non-cycling friends. I’m all for gender equity, but taking events away is a stupid way to achieve it. Stupid. Not to mention, the three events they, in their infinite wisdom, have removed are three of the most interesting of the track events. Who doesn’t like watching the Madison? Whether we can tell who’s winning is another question entirely, but I highly doubt that we’ll have much more luck with the Ommmmmnnneeeuuuummm. I think I’m feeling sleepy again.
Michele Farrari, the former spokesman for Orange Juice and consultant to the stars, has confirmed that he continues to work with "about a dozen" cyclists. He declined to name the riders on the grounds that he did not want to breach their privacy. Asked about his relationship with Lance Armstrong, Dr. Ferrari replied that they were just friends. Ferrari was convicted of breaking Italy’s doping laws, but he won his case on appeal. In his decision, the judge confirmed that the evidence was correct and Ferrari had broken the law, but upheld his appeal on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. All the same, Ferrari claims that he supports anti-doping efforts, talks about doping with his athletes only to warn them of the dangers, and thinks that no one can escape the controls. In other news, the moon is made of green cheese.
Ah, but I have left out so many stories. But I must go, my friends. There is a bottle of wine and it calls to me. Gav, you must come. You must stop writing now.
So I stop.