Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scratching and barking: The road season begins

The folks at weather.com just straight up lied to us about the weather this past weekend.  What were supposed to be partly sunny days in the low 40's ended up being three consecutive days of a severe weather advisory based on the threat of freezing fog.  I can attest to the following things.  There was fog.  And it was freezing.  More specifically, my left ball to my right.

But with all the excitement of the return of pro-road racing, how could I resist not getting out there myself, despite how truly miserable I was.  One might think the exciting PRO road racing I'm speaking of is the Tour Down Under, and the return of epic battles between Armstrong and Evans, the introduction of an all-new powerhouse Team Sky, the re-formed BMC squad complete with both a world Champion and US Champion, and the debut of Team SHACK.  But you would be wrong on all counts.  The real story of the day is the Chicken!

No - not that Chicken.  I'm talking about the return of Michael Rasmussen, aka "the Chicken", to professional racing in Argentina at the Tour de San Luis.  In 2007 Rasmussen was fired by Team Rabobank while wearing the maillot jaune in the Tour de France because of numerous doping suspicions and curious absences in the weeks leading up to the tour. One would expect the return of any shamed cyclist to be a humble one, but this chicken apparently has talons that even Napolean Dynamite would fear as humility isn't quite the correct term to describe how he feels about his one-year contract with Italian team Miche.

"I had hoped to return to a higher level than this, but there is so much hypocrisy in cycling now, it was not possible." Rasmussen told the Danish daily Politiken, as written in VeloNews.  He goes on to say in another article "...for the team (Miche), they might have bigger options and different possibilities by signing me, it might open a few more doors in some senses.  That is why they are here (at the Tour de San Luis), they got the invitation because of me."

Henry Ford once said, "Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching for what it gets."  Scratch away Chicken, scratch away.

Someone who is not scratching these days is Andy Schleck, who was recently asked by Oakley to try out some new sunglasses for the day.  Cyclingnews just so happened to catch up with him and take multiple photographs of the session in which Kiko Garcia of Oakley asked for feedback from Andy and Frank on the prototype shades for this year's season.

And if the Chicken is scratching and the Shlecks are thieving, we need look no further than World Champion Cadel Evans to be positively barking.   If you've not heard, Cadel's motto has become "Don't stand on my dog!"   I'm a little worried about Cadel, honestly.  I visited his website shop to purchase my very own "Don't stand on my dog!" T-shirt, and found a picture of him modelling the shirt.

And when he arrived in Adelaide the other day to start the Tour Down Under, he was wearing the exact same thing, hat and bracelet included.  If you're not familiar with the "Don't stand on my dog" reference, you can read about it here.

Good to see he still has his sense of humor this season though!

Pedal on!

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