Monday, April 5, 2010

Tour of Flanders: Of hair, symbols and imposters

Those who have nothing better to do than to occasionally peruse the pages of this blog may or may not have noticed that Friday last, there was no post.  Typically, I reserve Friday for a 'Reader's mail" segment, but alas, last Friday, in place of the regular Friday Mail post, there was absolutely nothing.  Some may have considered my not making anyone sit through another day of pointless, uninformed and tasteless cycling-related drivel as an early Easter present.  If so, Happy Easter!  However, the real reason there was no Friday post is that the COMOCYCO dog and I spent the day shopping for hair products. Let me explain. He's been depressed lately because of a sudden onset of male-pattern canine baldness which has prompted me to investigate hair restoration options.  After some research and many hours of shopping, we came upon a replacement of sorts.  I think we found a good match which I hope will boost his spirits a bit:

At any rate - this caused me to not have enough time to get a post up on Friday.  So consider this either an apology or a congratulation if you deemed this either an omission or gift, respectively.

Speaking of hair, it's interesting to note how the power of hair has affected the outcome of many a historical legend. The Herculean Samson's great strength rested in his hair, and without her long trusses, poor Rapunzel may have never gotten laid.  So too did hair factor into this weekend's cycling epic Dr Ronde Van Vlaanderen, or the Tour of Flanders. As everyone knows by now, Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara (aka Spartacus) attacked on the Molenberg climb, and yet again on the Muur and rode solo to a victory besting the field and, more specifically, Tom Boonen.  But what you may not have heard is that his team, Saxo Bank, actually had two cyclists contending for the race win: Cancellara and Matti Breschel. And as it turns out, the mechanic of Saxo Bank played a major role in which would win the day.  Long story short, both classic riders required bike changes in the midst of the battle because of rear brakes which were rubbing.  Spartacus' switch went well, and Breschel's not so much...because the mechanic inadvertently gave him Stuart O'Grady's bike.  Breschel was not too happy about it:

I decided to do a little research on the Saxo Bank mechanic.....and upon discovering more about the fellow was perplexed not by his mechanical acumen, but rather by his hairstyle, which one can only describe as a 'mullet-hawk'.  Here he is the morning of the race making final preparations and sporting the "mull-hawk".

Apparently the mull-hawk is not that rare of a bird, so one should not be too surprised to see it creeping into the world of cycling as well.  Some singer named "Eve" sports it quite well as a matter of fact.
I'm wondering if Saxo Bank's mechanic had spent a little less time on hair gel that morning and a little more time acquainting himself with the team bikes, then maybe Breschel would have had a higher finish.  But surely it can be a challenge to distinguish one rider's bike from another, and this mistake must undoubtedly happen numerous times.  One way to make sure it doesn't happen, I suppose, is to emblazon your top tube with a Roman-esque seal, however.  In true gladiator fashion, this is exactly what Spartacus did....whose logo included the letters MMX and two die which were displaying a '3' and a '4'.

Now, either the MMX stands for "My Mechanic's a Xanthippe" (or an ill-tempered woman), or it represents the year 2010, and the rolled "7" signifies Fabian's deep passion for shooting craps.

Speaking of women, the pro women also raced the 2010 Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday as part of the Women's World Cup Series.  It was won by Grace Verbeke of the Lotto Ladies Team.  Is it just me, or does Verbeke strike an uncanny resemblence to Cervelo Test Team's Heinrich Haussler?

Interestingly, Haussler did NOT race in the men's series due to a "knee injury."  Hmmmmmm.  Coincidence?  I hope the real Verbeke is not bound and gagged in some Brugge hotel closet.


  1. They say that people's pets often look like their owners. So now that I know what you dog looks like (and especially his hair style) I should easily be able to pick you out of a police line-up. -Henderson

  2. Shit....hadn't considered that.