Men At Work

Cadel Evans is sporting a Free Tibet base layer in the 2008 Tour de France
Cadel Evans sports a Free Tibet base layer | Tour de France | Photo ©: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

I think some Chinese Olympic officials’ heads just exploded.

I wasn’t aware of Cadel Evans’ Free Tibet campaign until this past Sunday’s Tour stage where it was visible as he crossed the finish line, but evidently he’s enlisted Sock Guy to create some Free Tibet base layers and socks with 20% of the proceeds going to the grass roots activist organization Students For A Free Tibet. It seems that Evans has been wearing the base layer since this year’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege where it was first spied when Evans unzipped his jersey while climbing.

Evans is definitely heading to Beijing to represent Australia in the individual time trial, and I wonder if he’s feeling rambunctious enough to heed the call of this ad campaign. From the few articles I’ve read where Evans is discussing the issue, it appears that he’ll adhere to the nicey-nice code enacted by Australia’s and most (if not all) national Olympic committees and not make any waves. But it’s not like you’d want to telegraph such motives in public. I really wonder how far Chinese officials will go to prevent such a display from occurring…will they check luggage? search athletes as they assemble to begin a competition? Who knows.

And now for the quote of the day regarding Simon Gerrans’ stage 15 victory in Prato Nevoso, Italy:

If there is ever a nuclear war and all of mankind is wiped out the first living thing that will crawl out of the cracks will probably be the cockroaches, but they will be followed closely by Simon Gerrans.—Dave Sanders, Australian cycling coach, talking about Simon Gerrans being virtually indestructible.

Exactly three years ago from the date of Gerrans’ first TdF stage victory, Simon finished in 3rd just 8 seconds behind stage winner Paolo Salvodelli on the 18th stage of the 2005 TdF (Gerrans’ first Tour). I still remember this photo showing a completely spent Gerrans rendered inert not too far past the finish line. He just dropped to the street with his bike cast aside, all wonky against the crowd control barrier. What an effort. Maybe in three years time Danny Pate will experience a similar turn of fate.

Phil Liggett Hates Planet Earth

Juan Jose Oroz gets some camera time during Stage 12 of the 2008 Tour de France
Juan Jose Oroz mere seconds from bridging to the 2-man break | Tour de France | Photo ©: screen capture

That’s the first time in my life that name has ever left my mouth.—Phil Liggett upon stating that Juan Jose Oroz has just begun bridging up to the break

There’s just no love for Juan Jose Oroz, the man responsible for prolonging the agony of breakaway riders Arnaud Gerard and Samuel Dumoulin in today’s stage. Not satisfied with completing all 5 Monuments consecutively (plus all of Flanders week and the Ardennes week) since last fall’s Tour of Lombardy, Oroz is now working on tackling the first Grand Tour of his Euskaltel-Euskadi tenure.

Undoubtedly reeling from the Ricco kerfluffle, and momentarily flummoxed by having absolutely nothing to say about The Hardest Working Man in Eusktaltel, Liggett missed his chance to champion the cause of perhaps the only pro cyclist who puts empty aluminum foil food wrappers back in his jersey pocket. Yes, in the furor of exercising his right as someone about 1.3 hours in arrears of Cadel Evans to break away with impunity and make the Team Columbia leadout train break about 1 more bead of sweat, the man appears to be dancing to the beat of Soul Coughing frontman M. Doughty’s ethos: “I can be condemned to Hell for every sin but littering”. I guess that small gesture makes up for the hundreds of bottles Oroz will likely pitch onto French countryside this Tour. Or not. Maybe Oroz is working on a “My First Tour de France” scrapbook complete with a chapter on “Stuff I Ate While Racing”.

And of course, not content to simply bypass Oroz’s minor Green predilections and lacking anything constructive to say about the man breathing new life into a doomed break, Liggett then blasts the sight of a French windmill farm as a blight on the landscape. Nice.

Get Your Grand Tour On

The undisputed King of Clip Art Comedy is David Rees, whose work resides at My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable. Of particular note is his series entitled Get Your War On comprised of clip art office workers reacting to the insanity of a post-9/11 America. Brace yourselves for a torrent of obscenity-laced humor likely to make you laugh so hard you’ll cry if only to just simply keep yourself from crying in despair.

Of course, being intimately connected to the pulse of the pro cycling universe, I happened to discover that none other than Bernard Hinault and Laurent Fignon were cube-mates to the stars of GYWO. Click here to enter their world.

Vive le Tour.