Friday, January 8, 2010

Dear PooBah: Reader Mail

The Tour Down Under is just around the corner as hard as that is to believe.  It kicks off on January 19th in Clare, South Australia.  In light of this, I thought I should try to answer some questions about the boys in the pro-peloton and thus offer a bit of a rundown on the top contenders for not only this year's Aussie Tour, but also for the entire season. 

Dear PooBah,
I read with great interest your commentary on LA's new body temperature recording technology.  Are others following the Team RadioShack lead on this and using these internal gastrointestinal sensors?

Frank A.

Frank -
I know Tom Boonen was interested in monitoring his core body temperature more closely, but I don't think that QuickStep had the money for the tiny internal sensors that LA is using.  Instead, they've been exploring a much more low-tech and incredibly less expensive solution involving live pufferfish.  Team QuickStep's physiologist discovered that if you perch one between the cheeks of your ass and it inflates, then you're body temp is just right.

Dear PooBah,
In some recent interviews, it sounds like David Millar of Garmin-Transitions is really pissed about how Wiggo bailed on them last minute.  Do you think Millar would try any kind of retaliation tactics?  If so - what kind of things are up his sleeve?

George H.

George -
Well, we do know that Millar is well-armed after winning the ceremonial sword at the Vuelta last year.  But I think his real hidden weapon of choice is not up his sleeve so to speak - but rather in his chamois.  To be more specific, if I were Wiggo, I would be worried about his chamois camel-toe of death.  I've heard tales of him being able to pinch the nose off a SanMarco with that thing. 

Hey PooBah:
I'm totally pumped to see the new World Champion, Cadel Evans race in his home country on a new squad.  I know that his attitude can be a little touchy now and then - but I think that having the rainbow jersey on his back will have him right as rain.  What are your thoughts?

Mick J.

Hey Mick-
I think you are right.  As far as I can tell, I think all the whining has come to a complete stop.....

He practically has to sit on his hands to keep himself from clapping he seems so happy lately....

Is there any proper etiquette as to how a stage or race winner should open a bottle of champagne while on stage?

Jenn G.

Every cyclist adopts their own technique for the climactic champagne ceremony, which probably ultimately reflects something about themselves.  Let's face it, after a long day in the saddle, every racer is looking forward to the release that popping the proverbial cork will bring.  Here's Sastre enjoying the big moment and playfully spraying down the press in the front row at the Giro.  Notice how he holds the bottle low, and after giving it a couple of good shakes, lets it loose.

This kind of pop-shot seems to be fairly-well accepted.  There are some modifications, of course.  Take Mr. DeezNuts himself, Zabriskie, also at the Giro letting the foam fly.

Here we note that instead of a pleasant smile, his mouth is agape as he thrusts his pelvis into the shot with a little more intensity.  Again. it seems that all are having fun, so I would say this too, is acceptable.  I think where the line is crossed is when innocent, and certainly well-dressed, bystanders, like say, the podium girls, get doused, as we see here with former Giro champ, Paolo Savoldelli.  However, despite her arms raised in protest, I think I may see a grin under there somewhere - so perhaps there's no harm done.  I'm sure she's just hoping that the Giro will pick up her dry cleaning bill, as that one is going to leave a mark.

And words can't even describe what is going on here with Bozic at the Vuelta......but this just ain't right.

Dear PooBah-
What is to be the fate of Alberto Contador? His entire team went belly up on him and bailed, and the American media seems hell-bent on vilifying him.  Does he have any friends left?

Sarah M.

Sarah -
I think he's made one friend since the Tour this year - but he doesn't look to excited about it.

Stay warm everyone - and have a great weekend.

Pedal on!

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