Welcome to Talk Show. This is the part where Gav and Douglas open up the wine and hop on the chatter to talk about bike racing. In this edition, we talk wine and camels. We suggest the introduction of interpretive dance numbers as a required element of team presentations. And we find the long, lost scarves of the Leopard Trek team. Because I know you were worried about those things.
Join us below the fold for some chat! And feel free to heckle us mercilessly in the comments. You can even suggest topics for the next edition. We might listen. Or not.
Douglas: Bonjour! Or salam alaykum, because we're racing in Qatar?
Gav:My aren't we feeling international tonight.
Douglas: Yes we are. How was the shredding?
Gav: The shredding was excellent. :D I dropped the stairs and made it get air. Which, is always good. So what's your sound track? And choice of drink for this occasion?
Douglas: yes it is. Air is awesome, always. I have a Côtes du Rhone. I was listening to Oasis' "Masterplan" album, but have to figure out what to play next.
Gav: Côtes du Rhone is always a good option. Cheap, but tasty! There's probably a lame joke about vertically compliant there too. But I'm not quite sure how to make it happen.
Douglas: Yes! Tasty, and not so expensive. Very grad student friendly. I have settled upon some Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire for the occasion. Kinda jazzy 20s style, but actually contemporary.
Gav: Oooh, I saw him play live here once. It was quite excellent. In fact, he opened for Ani DiFranco. Which, was a brill-brill combo.
Douglas: Oooh yes, I have seen him too. House of Blues, New Orleans
Gav: Dude's crazy talent, yeah. So how are you holding up, what with the end of cross season and all? Have you fallen into a deep depression without the weekly doses of mud play?
Douglas: Nope! Because there is still mud! People seem to forget this. The end of the GVA and Superprestige, it is like the Lombardia to road worlds.
me: Truth! But the day of doom is coming fast.... Hang on. cat arrangement... Yes, sitting on the keyboard, butt in face, so awesome. Really, I'm not sure why I feed him. Nah, I like the purry furry thing. But not! On! My! keyboard!
Douglas: So, yes, the end is nigh for cross season but by the time it is over, we will have cobbles. And rain. And shitty weather, but with added windchill and 4 extra hours of racing! Really, the cross dudes kinda have it easy.
Gav: I know right? It's just over so fast! Okay, now Tim Johnson is going to come over here and smack us, right? So, what was your favorite part? Me, I confess I'm sort of a sucker for watching Marianne Vos win her fifth. Five! That's just crazy talk.
Douglas:Yes, it is. The woman is like a terminator in a skinsuit.
Gav:There's an image. I'm now picturing her with Ahnold's accent.
Douglas: You're very welcome, people. My favorite part? The comebacks, I think. Niels, Stybar... The cross season seems so short initially, so when someone crashes or gets slow all of a sudden... you just think it's over! But these dudes, they brought it hard. But a personal fave? Ryan Trebon. It was good to see him back in form stateside. Dude knows how to do nothing but lay the smack down.
Gav: I feel like we've been missing Trebon. It was good to see that guy out smashing. And obvy, Jeremy Powers, going big this year. I liked that part a lot too.
Douglas: Oh yeah, me too. But I wish he'd pop wheelies across the finish like Zach McDonald. That kid knows what's up.
Gav: Wheelies, so winning!!! So this camel race, do we have to care about this thing? I mean, the sand, the wind, the rugs, I don't even know. Tell me I don't care about the sand race.
Douglas: I'll tell you what. I could care about it a lot more if we had more pictures with camels. Tom Boonen on a camel? Yes, please! Especially if we got him in robes. So Lawrence of Arabia.
Gav:Needs more camels. Right.
Dear ASO, We are writing about an urgent matter. We really feel quite strongly that the Qatar race, it needs more camel. So, please, could you get right on this? XOXO, Gav.
Think it'll work?
As for Tom Boonen, well, he's been a gladiator, no reason he can't be Lawrence of Arabia.
Douglas: So, speaking of this desert race. I have gossip.
Gav: Yes? Do tell!!! We heart gossip!
Douglas: So, I couldn't help but notice the results from the first stage of the ladies' race. 7-rider break, GreenEdge-AIS has 3 gals in it. And the best they can get is 4th? I heart Judith Arndt, I really do. But come on, girls. Maybe they were up too late painting nails with Tiffany?
Gav: D'oh! That'll leave a mark. You really really want your sprinter to make the break in Qatar. Arndt, not the sprinter. Guess they were hoping it would come back together, but with Van Dijk and Hosking up there, you've got some determined girls to make it stick.
Douglas: Yah, and with 3 of the Lulemon women, no way.
Gav: No doubt. Because that's how the lulu girls scored so many results at Qatar last year (as HTC, obvy) but same idea. They were so in the breaks all the time. Arndt did get some GC action out of that, though.
Douglas: Oh wow, I just found out where all the Lay-O-pard Trek scarves went. Evidently Lotto-Belisol stole them all. You seen the press photos?
me: Lotto? Hmm, I'm not sure I did see the photos. Holding out on me dude!!! Linky it up? I want to see the scarves!!!
me: Zomg! Scarves!
Douglas: ZOMG, awful team presentation photos!
Gav: Whoa, they're striped! Striped scarves will definitely make them faster!
Douglas: Who thinks it's a good idea to put Greipel in an itty bitty car painted like a lotto ball? It's like a competition for most outrageous shot, I swear! I love it.
Gav: Or, make them ride onto stage on time trial bikes? Am I understanding right that's what's going on there?! Because why? Oooh fake sprint! So convincing! Keep your day jobs kids.
Douglas: Lots of fake grimacing there. Hilarity!
Gav: Okay, the shot in suits without the scarves? Totally looking like the mob. Are you bike racers? Or getting ready to crack a bank?
Douglas: "Marky Mark, we can make you an offer you can't refuse"
Gav:Oh man! Giant pen! Zomg! He's being attacked by a giant pen!!! Also? The two dudes stuck in the red lotto ball? That looks awkward. Like, the dude on the right, where's his other hand?!
Douglas: And Griepel and Jurgeon? So cuddly Kids, keep it PG. Hands where we can see them!
Gav: Dude! Quit touching my ass! I'm not! Are too! Am not!
Who's shot #21? Careful dude, your face might freeze like that?
Gav: Right. That furrow in his forehead - like, is he solving string theory or posing for a photo? Complicated business, it seems.
Douglas: Bike racing isn't easy, you know. Or maybe he's trying to figure out what's going on in the next photo.
Gav:There's tactics and watts, and stuff.
Douglas: So, Gav, tell me. What excites you most about February? I know you're a hilly hills kind of girl.
Gav:February? It's one month closer to the Giro? Also, the Ardennes.
Douglas: Phil loves you right now.
Gav: Also, we are almost done with the inevitable round of "this is going to be the year" training camp interviews. You know the ones. John Smith, a rider you've never heard of and never will hear of, shares his thoughts about the coming season. Important Rider You've Heard Of tells us about the races we already know he wants to win. Thrillah!
I am looking forward to the part where the Contador case might finally mostly end.
Douglas: Oh man, those interviews are total dozers.
Gav:They truly crush my morale. and are a symbol of everything evil in the universe. Please! People! If you can't say anything interesting, don't say anything at all!
Douglas: Also, we get training camp videos. Super yay!
Gav: I think in the future, the riders should just have to do preseason dance numbers. They can represent the races they'd most like to win and their goals and stuff.
Douglas: And I so agree on the interviews. I kinda like the ones where someone is having an off year or week(s) the most. More human, normal almost. Interpretive dance? Yes!
Gav: Training camp videos aren't bad, because there's always the possibility of inadvertent humor! Interpretive dance, yes! That's the word I wanted!
Douglas: Like dancing with the stars! Cav can do a tango for Milan San Remo.
Gav:Yes! Is there a dance for the cobbles? Probably not. But make one! It's interpretive dance! Use your imagination! Maybe someone could do the Dance of the Seven Veils?
But maybe Dekker already has that covered.
I am totally a fan of the interviews with riders when stuff isn't going well. They tell more.
Douglas: Oh man, Dekker. I only saw the picture, not the video. I have a feeling it would not make me faint quite as much.
Gav:Well, if you're a hetero dude, it probably isn't all that interesting, really. Just you know, a sweaty dude in his underwear. Which, right.
So what are you looking forward to about February dude?
Douglas: Honestly? Mostly that pesky Contador thing being decided. Unless we jinx it by talking about it. In which case, knock on wood!
Gav: Maybe if we don't talk about it, it'll just disappear? Because I would like that. I really don't want to talk about Clenbuterol ever again. Gak!
Douglas: Honestly? I only read the headlines now. Well, skim them.
Gav: That's all you need for now. Delayed! Delayed Again! Still more delayed! I can't wait to read the decision. Really. I can't. It'll be awesome.
Maybe I'll buy the good wine for that one.
Douglas: That is an excellent idea. It will certainly be worth celebrating, regardless of outcome.
Gav:And it'll ease the pain of all that legal writing. The Valverde case, that made me sadface. 100 pages! In French! Why TAS, Why?!
Douglas: Yowser. I'd have to break out the wine for that one too.
Gav: Yes, it was ugly. I even had to print it out, which was hard, because you know, printing, who even does that?
I think I like how the road season starts out kind of sleepy. Like the rainy wet sprint stuff in Etoile. Then, it slowly buids up. Omloop, Paris-Nice, then Wam! The real classics. Then it's all good times from there on out. Ronde, Ardennes, Giro.... So much goodness to look forward to!
Douglas: Yes, that is super nice. If I happen to stumble across a french feed in the next weeks, then it's Yay Bikes! But if not, I always have Paris-Nice to look forward to. And honestly, 90% of the guys riding are still sleeping too, so it's all good!
Gav:Ha ha, right. It suits me just fine because I am too. I need to warm up! Remember how to write about bike racing!
Douglas: Warming up? If I'm lucky, I'll still be warmed up from cross. The mud, it gets the writing juices flowing.
Gav: Ha, right. Not like I stopped. But the road racing, you know.
Douglas: Yah, I do. It's like how bike racers don't necessarily stop riding their bikes, but they still have to get back into the groove come November or December
Gav:Yes! Totally! Trainings.
Douglas: Trainings. Right now it is making the wine more effective.
Gav:Making the wine effective is very important. I am moving on to the wine course next, actually. Because I didn't quite want to go straight from the mountain bike shredding to the wine drinking. That just isn't quite... right. Like, Gav, you're so doing it wrong! But soon!
My cat by the way is thoroughly bored by us. And is sound asleep! Man, tough audience.
Douglas: Probably because he can not read. Don't know what they are missing!
Gav:That's one of the possibilities…
Because I think we're funny. Even if the cat doesn't. Fucking cats.
Douglas: Cats don't know nothin'
Gav:'kay! Until the next round of chatting! Ciao! Ciao!