Rig for heavy weather, me hearties —the Vuelta a España starts Saturday, followed on Monday by the USA Pro Challenge, which in just one voyage has had more names than a Limey brigand in an Irish witness-protection program staffed entirely by informers.
I’ll be assisting Charles Pelkey with the former as he performs his magical Live Update Guy act for Red Kite Prayer, so if you’ve nothing better to do around 11 a.m. Bibleburg time tomorrow, drop on by and heckle us. We’ll be on duty throughout the entire three weeks. You’re welcome.
This year’s Vuelta sounds like a real bear. Our old colleague Andrew Hood says it’s even nastier than last year’s edition, which caused cycling scribes worldwide to cramp up, fall off their barstools and abandon the race in tears just watching the goddamned thing. There are only four Americans in the 2012 Vuelta, so nobody on this side of the pond will be paying the race any mind, which means more bandwidth for the rest of us.
Where are the Yanks? Why, in Colorado, of course. Matthew Beaudin at VeloNews and Liquigas-Cannondale pro Timmy Duggan both think this year’s edition could go right down to the final time trial in Denver. This would be a good deal more interesting than last year’s race, which started with a lame-o Chamber of Commerce prologue in Bibleburg and pretty much ended with the Vail time trial … on stage 3.
I like a time trial for a finale, especially if it’s going to decide the race, so let’s hope for a nail-biter, if only to distract ourselves from the Never-Ending Story that is the Big Tex investigation. I won’t even link to that endless game of One-Handed Spit-In-the-Carpet At $300 Per Hour, having had my fill of the cop shop in my brief tour of duty as a police reporter back in the late Seventies.