Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Friday Afternoon: Do you know where your Hog is?

Seriously, where in the hell is The Hog?  As you may or may not know - Johan Bruyneel, long time directeur sportif for Lance Armstrong and team director for RadioShack, is also known as "The Hog."  But I'm not sure if he was called The Hog before or after he declared himself a "mastermind."

(Rumor has it the alternative title was "We Might As Well Win: Lessons I've learned from Edgar Alan Poe.")

See - it's right there on the cover of his book entitled "We Might As Well Win - On the road to success with the mastermind behind eight Tour de France Victories."  He's the one holding his chin in a thoughtful pose.  I honestly can't decide which nickname I like better...Hog or Mastermind...Mastermind or Hog?

It's kind of old news now, but the day after the 60 Minutes story aired, Italian police decided to pay a visit to Team RadioShack at the Giro d'Italia.  It seems that the team bus was searched first thing in the morning on their rest day this past Monday.  Of particular interest, however, was that The Hog had mysteriously disappeared from the Giro the night before - and no one could find him for days!  This actually had me quite concerned...until I got on Twitter this morning and saw that he had posted a message with a photo.
"View from my dining room."

"Wow," is all I have to say!  That is some view.  Where the hell is his dining room, in a secluded fortress atop some mountain?   I guess that book deal was pretty lucrative! With a view like that - Bruyneel definitely emodies the moniker of 'mastermind' moreso than 'The Hog,' I think. 

Honestly, I'm just glad to know he is OK.....cause it was starting to feel like a bit of a game:

Click to enlargen to play "Where's The Hog?"

Speaking of the 60 Minutes interview and The Hog, one of the allegations made by Tyler Hamilton was that The Hog and LA paid the director of the Swiss Anti-Doping laboratory, Martial Saugy, a little visit after a bunch of urine tested as "suspicious" for EPO at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.  One of Armstrong's attorneys, Tim Herman, (shit, it's getting difficult to keep track of them all) responded to this by saying "neither Armstrong nor Bruyneel have any recollection of meeting [Saugy] for any purpose at any time."  Oops.  It looks like Saugy does remember a meeting with the boys - I guess it did happen, after all.

Man these guys are hard to pin down - even they can't remember where they are or where they've been, or to whom they've spoken.  But in their defense - they are getting older....and that makes remembering things a little more difficult.  I think occasions like that are called "senior moments."  But lucky for them and Team RadioShack, is that no matter how forgetful they may get in their elder years, they also seem to get a lot stronger and faster!
ATOC Stage 7 (Mt. Baldy):  First and Second place - Combined age: 76 years.

But it's all good....these guys have earned the right to be fast....and to live in luxury....and to travel well and quickly from place to place.  I mean, no wonder it's hard to track them down when they can zip in and out of places on their personal private jets.  But what's wrong with the cycling elite getting to move about with a little style?

I mean - this guy won the TdF 7 fricking times, people!  That's a race!  Not like some one-day joy ride on a God-forsaken northern European rustic cattle path!

Speaking of which.....
"f-cancellara on our flight tonight!" via Ken Sommer Twitter 5/22/11.

At any rate - welcome home Hog, mastermind of 8 Tours de France....we've missed you.  And word is there are some nice gentlemen that have some questions for you.....

By the way, COMO kids - tomorrow is the annual Pedaler's Jamboree.  Tickets are still available up until 8PM tonight - so don't miss out.  And there will be absolutely, positively, no advantages to taking anything that could actually enhance your performance on this ride, people!  In fact - I'm pretty sure it's just the opposite....

Have a great weekend.

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