Quesada(s) Lead(s) Ruta, Rain Stops Langkawi, Lance Hocks Stocks

Feb 13 2006

So it’s Monday again, and I feel like pro cycling fans are just kinda twisting their heads around in confusion looking for results. And they’re not entirely absent – Ruta del Sol, the real race to the sun – is in full swing, with the Quesada Brothers slipping away late to take Stage 1, before some dweeb in a long breakaway decided to ruin it for them on Stage 2. But it just doesn’t compare to the deluge of information last week’s triple-threat of Langkawi/Tour Med/Mallorca delivered. There were such compelling storylines as riders braving bird flu, ill-tempered monkeys and over-zealous law enforcement only to be foiled by a little rain, and Erik Zabel apparently relegated to leading out neo-pros (though accounts of exactly how the finale played out differ a bit). Plus there’s a whole batch of racer reports over at Pez. Man, there was so much stuff it was like being smack dab in the middle of July!

But now it’s back to being February, and so, because the big news of today is just that Team Unibet.com finally got their helmet order in (for a little background on the Unibet helmet issue, click here), I’m just gonna touch a couple of recent stories I’d passed over. Lance Armstrong, whose “rainy day” financial plans once included liquidating his Porsche (see your copy of It’s not About the Bike), is now selling mutual funds. Their slogan: “Get Your Lance Face On”. Right; a sweaty, tooth-gritted grimace of pain and concentration – exactly how I want to appear when I get my quarterly performance report. Sticking with money matters, Paolo Bettini will no doubt adding “bling bling!” to his collection of hackneyed English phrases (search “da bomb”), as both he and teammate Tom Boonen will be sporting lids with gold nameplates and 1.18 Carat diamonds this season. Just the thing to make their impending in-fighting (the two are on form, and each claims to be targeting wins at Milan-San Remo and Tour of Flanders) stand out even more.

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