Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools

So, like any good webslut, I've been racking my brain trying to come up with some sort of tom-foolery to entertain y'all with on this first day of April... alas, not much has percolated to the top of my conscience.

However, Velonews, despite its many shortcomings, does do April Fools quite nicely. So far this morning, I've been contemplating putting the elite team radios on ebay, mulling over trading in AWfoSho and El Gigante for a Carpenter/Phinney model, and rethinking any trip to OBRA to tackle a stage race or two...

Nearly as funny as the jokes themselves are the people who actually get suckered... What? Did you forget to look at your calendar this morning? Remember (and I've said this many times before) the Internet is the world's greatest vanity press... anybody can publish anything at anytime... don't believe everything you read. It sounds like Velonews received numerous angry/befuddled emails, and they have promised to print a selection of them on the morrow. can't wait...

Mixed in with the tom-foolery on the Velonews site is a snippet about Michael Ball buying back the two seconds that Sevilla lost in the final stage at San Dimas. Given the show we witnessed in SloCal over the weekend, one could almost believe this to be true...

Yes, DBCJRT and its Elite Team brethren were fortunate enough to be housed not only in the same hotel as Rock Racing, but on the same floor, in the same hallway. Which means we got to witness, among other things, the entire back parking lot being taken up buy 3 skull embossed Escalades, 1 similarly embossed team car, and a matching trailer with accompanying diesel pusher. Parking spaces that were not immediately occupied by said vehicles were coned of with, yes they matched the kits, neon green cones or numerous bike racks. And, if we were so blind as to not recognize the entourage as Rock, there were battle standards to guides us towards making the discovery... no fooling, it looked like one dude's job was to set up these little flag things wherever team Rock went... sort of a rallying point for all the soldiers, I guess.

We also were the recipients of 'sup nods from the likes of Tyler Hamilton and Michael Creed, and Kayle Leogrande even held the elevator for me at one point during the weekend...

There were girls walking around with legs up to here either wrapped up in Rock-n-Republic jeans or barely wrapped at all, cell phones beeping, bodyguards brandishing... it really was quite a show.

Not to miss out on all the fun, I made sure to embarrass young Mr. Switters by asking for his autograph whilst he was surrounded by former Euro-heroes, team mechanics, and Rock's personal podium girls.

I guess what I'm trying to portray is that the whole thing is like one big travelling circus... It goes from hotel to race venue, to restaurant, etc. Previously on this blog I have professed to an attraction to Ball's style... the sport needs a little topsy-turvy every now and then to keep things fresh, but Rock has gone a little overboard lately... I mean, come on, does Ball really need body guards at a race? He can't honestly fear for his safety amongst a bunch of skinny-assed bike racer types.

So, I've rambled a bit, but I hope you haven't gotten the wrong idea. I still like what Ball is trying to do... he is supporting cycling on numerous levels: pro team, women's team, junior team. He's given young up-n-comers like Switters and Williams a shot, he's given recent-offenders a second chance. For those reasons, I've got to hand it to him. I'm just not so sure he is doing it in the most effective manner. His over-the-top antics could possibly be creating enemies in the wrong places. If the grumblings I heard from the masses in San Dimas are indicative, he may have already gone too far...

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