The time to celebrate the achievement of Alberto Contador, Thor Hushovd and Franco Ppeelliizzoottii has arrived; But let us also consider some of the other awards that we, the fans of the Tour and members of the Podium Cafe, could see fit to award to various people who have come to our attention over the course of Le Tour.
updated: now with even MORE FRS Energy hatred
Most Ravenous Fan Award
Winner: bradBordeaux - It's something of a counter-award, but seriously, there is no confusing where he stands on the issue of Mark Cavendish. You don't like this choice? Bah! Go make your own awards.
Runner Up: Majope - Oh, you thought this was all about the riders, right? Nope, Majope is a 100% full blooded fan of statistics. It's an unholy love, but it's one we treasure around here.
Honorable Mention: Frinking - Nominated for his being such a huge fan of the English language. I think there's probably only one way that Frinky will feel about this, he'll be feverished, or the way you want to spell it. Last year, the honorable mention went to ElvisGoat for his passionate defense of the 2008 Green Jersey winner. How's that working out for you in 2009 Goaty?
Winner: George Hincapie - This dude fractured his collar bone on Stage 17 and finished it. Then he finished Stages 18, 19, 20 and 21 too. Finally I know what Hincapie means in French: "grinta"! Rumor has it, he and Jens! have decided to create and race stages 22 and 23 as well.
Runner Up: Jens! - I know that all of you probably think that Jens! should go in the top spot, but in the end, his injuries were simply too extensive to allow him to even proceed despite them. Big ups to Jens! though for using his face as a paving tool.
Honorable Mention: Sven Krauss - still gets honorable mention status in 2009 for what he did in 2008.
Biggest Douche Award
Winner: Marc Sergeant - That's two years in a row big boy, way to continually field a disjointed team that couldn't possibly support your GC threat. Do you realize that without Cadel Evans, I would have been just as surprised to find out your team was at The Tour de France as I was to find out you guys were at the Giro? Your sponsor must love you.
Runner up: Di Luca - There's a special spot in hell reserved for people I don't like, that convince me to like them, then turn out to have been cheating to get me to like them. You and Ricco can go sit in that oubliette and hopefully you'll get to see your own fame wash away from the memory of those around you.
Honorable Mention: Ever single swinging dick that thought they could come into the Cafe and sling their hate filled lingo. You all know where the exit is, we have no trouble throwing you through it again, and again, and again.
Most Quoted Movie in Comments Award
Winner: The Big Lebowski - obviously, this award is locked up nearly in perpetuity, but that's ok, I can get you an award... hell, I can get you an award by three o'clock.
Runner Up: The Big Lebowski - come on, every other movie was mentioned in passing, maybe once or twice. Lebowski shatters the competition here like a bowling ball dropped on a tile floor. How many threads have you seen devolve to the right hand side of your screen with the following sequence of names: Drew, Jimbo, Crashdan, Jens, Jimbo, Drew.
Honorable Mention: Running Man - user Runitout has only been a user for five days now, so I suppose they can be forgiven for being impressed that he can reference Running Man and then have it referenced right back to him within seven minutes. After 9PM no less. Come on, do you think we're amateurs here? Do you think we're last season's losers? Mark it zero, dude!
Most Uncelebrated Rider Award
Winner: Bingen Fernandez Bustinza (Cofidis) - A diligent search through the Podium Cafe reveals that Bustinza was only mentioned once, ONE TIME, in all of 2009! In fact, the only time this guy ever gets mentioned here at all, is in Cofidis team line ups, and that only has happened seven times in the last three years. As with last years winner in this category, Massimiliano Mori, there is so little information to be had about Bingen, that one can't really say anything about his character, his abilities, his personality, etc. One thing is certain: Mr. Bustinza finished 120th in the field of 156 riders to complete the 2009 Tour. Respect
Runner Up: Again, pretty much everyone else got into a breakaway or had someone make a joke about their name... I'm looking at you Jussi and Loosli. I had to look really, really hard to find someone that had skipped everyone's attention, and I think that says alot about how comprehensive the understanding and coverage is around here.
Greatest Unacknowledged Sacrifice Award
Winner: The employers of Podium Cafe members - Seriously, they got a sum total of zero productivity out of us for nearly an entire month (not including classics season, the Giro, Tour build up, and right now as you read this). If they only knew...
Runner Up: Family and Friends - chances are, we weren't as sneaky about our July Passion with them as we were with our employers so the are relegated to being the runners up. Always remember, they are still around... and the Tour isn't. Thanks Friends and Family.
[and yes, that's a shameless cut and paste from last years... it's just as applicable :) ]
Most Annoying Advertisement Award
Winner: Fanarchy - if there is one thing guaranteed to make your ears bleed as bad as a 24 hour Yanni marathon, this show will do it.
Winner: FRS Energy Drink - Will is so completely correct on this, how could I have possibly overlooked it. Some may have found the Fanarchy ads interesting, maybe, or maybe raised an... eyebrow... at the Cadillac Lady... but no one, NOT ONE OF US, has felt anything other than unrelenting hatred for those "Are you tired of being tired" ads. Those have become advertising Kryptonite!
Runners Up: Fanarchy - if there is one thing guaranteed to make your ears bleed as bad as a 24 hour Yanni marathon, this show will do it.
Honorable Mention: Cadillac - No, lady, I do not want to have sex with your car, or look at its ass as you drive away.
Rider with Greatest Increase in Fandom Award
Winner: KENNY VAN HUMMEL! We all hope you're doing well and everyone one of us would be happy to pace you up any climb in your future!
Runner Up: Bradley Wiggins - Twiggo opened a lot of eyes with a climbing prowess we weren't aware he posessed. Also, apparently he trains in the off season like Jan Ullrich devours pretzels.
Most Necessary Technology Award
Winner: Blackberry - My blackberry is my primary alarm clock. Without it, my stage previews would never have made it in on time. That said, hardly any of them ever made it in on time, making my self imposed 9AM deadline a grand total of twice, I think.
Runner Up: SopCast - if you don't know what it is, I ain't gonna tell ya :)
Most Hated Technology Award
Winner: Twitter - We hates it! We haaaates it!
Runner Up: Race Radios- I'm ambivalent, but those that like them seem to just say "yeah, I see a need for them", but those that don't like them, well, wow... tune the station to KHATE, Radio Polemica on the FM dial.
Best New Word Award
Winner: Feverished - PodiumCafe, rebuilding the English language one Dutch guy at a time.
Runner Up: Asshat - although not a new word, it has certainly had new life breathed into it since I posted the "disagreement pyramid" a week or so ago. I chuckle everytime someone uses it now, for some reason. By the way, if anyone was curious what an asshat looks like...
Winner: Tony - Yellow Jersey, getting in breakaways, dropping back to pace Saxo Bank team members, riding support for Andy. This guy is the full 100% real deal package. Whatever you want in a sports star, you'll find in this guy. Considering that it's almost impossible to take anyone with a Swiss accent seriously, this is saying something.
Runner Up: Lance Armstrong - the simple truth is that once you strip away everything else: the team bs, the twittering, the hype, and just focus on the race itself, you realize that someone that has been away from the sport for three years, just came back and only two months after fracturing his clavicle, rode faster than all but two of the best damn cyclists in the world in the sports premier event.