2011 Broken Chain Award

2011 Broken Chain Award

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Brought back to life by reader demand, the Broken Chain Award is considered for any person or thing that protrudes above the surface of cycling’s bad behavior and bad ideas.

Yours in Cycling, Gianni

The obvious first choice, the easy choice, was the French TV driver who put Juan Antonio Flecha down on the road and Johnny Hoogerland into the barbed wire on Stage 9 of the Tour de France. The driver, rumored to be an ex-pro, was trying to get ahead of the break, passing them where there wasn’t room. Hit a tree or hit some riders, he went right and now might be in the witness protection program in Latvia. But can this guy be the biggest idiot of the year in cycling? Passing a group of racers who are already using both lanes, driving fast to get around them, keeping eyes on the cyclists and a tree runs out into the road. This is inexcusable driving but there is an even bigger tool in the bin.

The vitriol I distill in my heart for the cheaters in cycling has somehow decreased this year. Less doping or better cheaters – I’m not sure. The lack of busted, denying dumb-asses has had a good effect on my health. The two-time loser brigade which should, by all reasonable calculations still be paying the price, seems to have found teams corrupt enough to pay them to ride. OK, Di Luca is riding but not getting paid. Tchmil should break him like a twig and toss him in a Russian potato field. Stefan Schumacher is back riding for Christina Watches, the Rock Racing of Europe.

Having a high VO2 max has no correlation with intelligence. Some riders even have the perfect amount of dumb. But Ricardo Ricco has much more than his fair share. He had already served a ban for his CERA-EPO busting during the 2008 Tour. In February of this year he ended up in the emergency room with kidney failure. He told the ER staff he gave himself a blood transfusion from blood stored in his own refrigerator. Giving oneself an IV can’t be easy but rummaging around your refrigerator for some stored blood, looking in the lettuce drawer, where did I put that old blood? Oh, here it is, is that mayo on there? Shouldn’t this be colder? It boggles the mind.

This award is not exclusively for cheaters but I tend to see them as most deserving. Ricco has earned mention in the past for cheating and being a prick but for this prank I have to nominate him for the 2011 Broken Chain Award.

I don’t really know what to say about Ricco, he is looking at a lifetime ban and possible prison time. The Italians won’t drag this out like the Spanish. Everyone must dislike him and feel sorry for him in nearly equal amounts. I would be insane to think we have seen the last of him but at least we won’t see him racing unless Tchmil steps in.

// Awards // Etiquette

  1. Nicely put, Gianni. Of course, the whole 2011 Ricco affair was wildly entertaining. Especially his on-again, off-again interest in cycling. I liked the whole “I’m quitting cycling and I’m going to be a barista” bit. Word is, though, he mistook the tomato soup in the lettuce drawer for the stored blood. Easy mistake, apparently. If the fridge was colder, then the food would have lost its flavor…

  2. A propos your caption, Il Cobra and perhaps the rest of us would have been better off trying to infuse himself with some Dumonde Tech.

  3. Perhaps Ricco infused ‘the town drunks’ blood…highly effective in stupidity

  4. Ricco really is a scumbag! I can only imagine that even the other dopers dislike him.

    I still remember seeing on the Tourmalet in 2008 just before he got busted.

    Hopefully we’ll never see him race in anger again.

  5. How about Pat McQuaid and the UCI for the dilly-dallying over Contador, the stupid saddle-must-be-level rule recently introduced and their general incompetence, whiffs of corruption and general antagonism towards progress and innovation?

  6. @936adl
    Ha!

    Ricco really is a scumbag! I can only imagine that even the other dopers dislike him.

    He is making us look worse than we already look. He is giving us a bad image! Beautiful.

  7. Broken Chain Award? Definitely! Darwin Award? Not quite close enough, Riccy! Perfect choice Gianni…

    When are the V and Anti-V Awards coming out?

  8. @wiscot

    How about Pat McQuaid and the UCI for the dilly-dallying over Contador, the stupid saddle-must-be-level rule recently introduced and their general incompetence, whiffs of corruption and general antagonism towards progress and innovation?

    +1 I’m certainly no expert in governing cycling and admittedly I haven’t researched to death the inner workings of the UCI, but each time I hear or read about something they have done or plan to do my reaction is far more often a ‘What the fuck?’ than a ‘Chapeau!’

  9. @sgt

    Broken Chain Award? Definitely! Darwin Award? Not quite close enough, Riccy! Perfect choice Gianni…
    When are The V and Anti-V Awards coming out?

    ahemmmmm…I believe the editorial board decided to deep-six them this year. It may have been the impasse over the Anti-V award, words were said, feelings were hurt.

  10. @sgt

    Broken Chain Award? Definitely! Darwin Award? Not quite close enough, Riccy! Perfect choice Gianni…
    When are The V and Anti-V Awards coming out?

    Anti-V that come to mind to me (caution: you probably will not agree with me): Cancellara whining about every one riding against him at RVV and PR.

    Also, Petacchi and his come back comments in December.

    But, I completely agree that Ricco the Retard takes the cake.

  11. @Buck Rogers

    @sgt

    Broken Chain Award? Definitely! Darwin Award? Not quite close enough, Riccy! Perfect choice Gianni…
    When are The V and Anti-V Awards coming out?

    Anti-V that come to mind to me (caution: you probably will not agree with me): Cancellara whining about every one riding against him at RVV and PR.
    Also, Petacchi and his come back comments in December.
    But, I completely agree that Ricco the Retard takes the cake.

    I woulda thought that award would go to Thor for complaining about his teams tactics when his own team mate won P-R.

  12. @ wiscot: agree on Pat McQuaid
    qoute of the week last week ‘He’s a dick’

    do committees that Re-route Flanders fit in anywhere on the broken chain? I’m for that one too

  13. @RedRanger

    @Buck Rogers

    @sgt

    Broken Chain Award? Definitely! Darwin Award? Not quite close enough, Riccy! Perfect choice Gianni…
    When are The V and Anti-V Awards coming out?

    Anti-V that come to mind to me (caution: you probably will not agree with me): Cancellara whining about every one riding against him at RVV and PR.
    Also, Petacchi and his come back comments in December.
    But, I completely agree that Ricco the Retard takes the cake.

    I woulda thought that award would go to Thor for complaining about his teams tactics when his own team mate won P-R.

    Good call. Also the Schleckettes and their bitchin about descents during the TdF.

  14. Good choice Gianni. The bloke is just plain dumb.

    @wiscot
    A close second with Mcquaid though. To quote Chloe Hosking, after winning the opening Women’s criterium in the Jayco Bay series in Geelong, summed up most peoples feelings re: the UCI boss – “What can be said? Pat McQuaid’s a dick.” The girl has spirit plus a lovely turn of phrase.

  15. @Buck Rogers, @RedRanger
    And so we begin to get a sense of the difficulties the Keepers faced in making these awards. Although, hurt feelings? Rule V, gents.

  16. Herk! I’d forgotten about Ricco. Honorary mention has to go to masters age dopers who get busted and feature in Velonews, that seemed to be an entertaining theme this year.
    Rusty chain to Tyler Hamilton for squealing like dusty links past a bent derailleur.

  17. Good choice @Gianni. Tho the UCI and USA Cycling have to come a close second in my book.

  18. Gianni your turn of phrase always slays me. To wit – “and a tree runs out into the road” – and – “The vitriol I distill in my heart for the cheaters”.

    Nice one and ++1 on the choice.

  19. An understandable choice, Gianni, but my vote goes to the Hoogerland driver, on the grounds that Ricco shouldn’t be considered for any awards, at all, ever. In fact, he shouldn’t even be considered. He is like the whining, snotty, temper-tantrum-throwing toddler who is just so butt ugly in every respect that the only way he can get any attention at all is to continually ratchet up his offensive behaviour in a vicious circle of psycopathy and antipathy that can only end one way – a long and glorious career in politics. As if Bunga-Bunga-Berlo wasn’t bad enough, I fear that those poor Italians will one day have to deal with the prospect of Ricco providing belly dancers special access to his refrigerator. No need to give him any more attention than he’s already going to get. DQ the prick.

  20. @Gianni

    @sgt

    Broken Chain Award? Definitely! Darwin Award? Not quite close enough, Riccy! Perfect choice Gianni…
    When are The V and Anti-V Awards coming out?

    ahemmmmm…I believe the editorial board decided to deep-six them this year. It may have been the impasse over The Anti-V award, words were said, feelings were hurt.

    Rule #5 Bring ’em back!

  21. @VeloVita

    @wiscot

    How about Pat McQuaid and the UCI for the dilly-dallying over Contador, the stupid saddle-must-be-level rule recently introduced and their general incompetence, whiffs of corruption and general antagonism towards progress and innovation?

    +1 I’m certainly no expert in governing cycling and admittedly I haven’t researched to death the inner workings of the UCI, but each time I hear or read about something they have done or plan to do my reaction is far more often a ‘What the fuck?’ than a ‘Chapeau!’

    Hein Verbrugge – a Dutchman, so take my words in the light of how favorably I see the Dutch – is one of the most manipulative, egotistical assholes the world has ever managed to produce. I am completely convinced that he not only turned a blind eye to what was happening in Cycling in the 90’s, but actively supported and encouraged it. Why? It was good business.

    Most of the problems we have in Cycling today can probably be tied back to him in one manner or another. He mentored Pat McQuaid and it wasn’t until he left the board that the stalemate between the UCI and the Grand Tour organizers let up.

    Pat is a whole order of magnitude better than Hein. Pats just incompetent and has not idea how to lead his organization from conspiring with the dopers to effectively getting rid of them. Admittedly, change management in that environment is not easy, but I think he’s particularly bad at it.

    This stuff they’ve been doing lately just reeks of an organization that’s trying really hard to have relevance in an environment where they know they lack it…

  22. @Buck Rogers

    @sgt

    Broken Chain Award? Definitely! Darwin Award? Not quite close enough, Riccy! Perfect choice Gianni…
    When are The V and Anti-V Awards coming out?

    Anti-V that come to mind to me (caution: you probably will not agree with me): Cancellara whining about every one riding against him at RVV and PR.
    Also, Petacchi and his come back comments in December.
    But, I completely agree that Ricco the Retard takes the cake.

    The V and Anti-V moments happened simultaneously…Faboo sitting up when they were 11 seconds from the break and Thor not pulling through to help was the Anti-V; Van Summeren taking one for the domestiques on a flat tire was the V moment.

    I know every antipode will call Cuddles on the Galibier, and Schelck’s Hail Mary was another good one. Nibbles being the only class rider during the season who consistently was willing to go for a long shot rather than always waiting for the finale as is the style these days was also great to see. I think he’s shaping up to be my favorite rider these days…

  23. @Souleur

    @ wiscot: agree on Pat McQuaid
    qoute of the week last week ‘He’s a dick’
    do committees that Re-route Flanders fit in anywhere on the broken chain? I’m for that one too

    They do, but that’ll have to be for 2012? Wankers. Class wankers.

    @G’phant

    An understandable choice, Gianni, but my vote goes to the Hoogerland driver, on the grounds that Ricco shouldn’t be considered for any awards, at all, ever. In fact, he shouldn’t even be considered. He is like the whining, snotty, temper-tantrum-throwing toddler who is just so butt ugly in every respect that the only way he can get any attention at all is to continually ratchet up his offensive behaviour in a vicious circle of psycopathy.

    Well, enough about Brett…

    @Rob
    Me too, tears in my eyes reading this. @Gianni – Ricco – it’s brilliant. How long ago did you break the lever of the Genius Switch? That thing is set if permanent ON.@sgt

    @Gianni

    @sgt

    Broken Chain Award? Definitely! Darwin Award? Not quite close enough, Riccy! Perfect choice Gianni…
    When are The V and Anti-V Awards coming out?

    ahemmmmm…I believe the editorial board decided to deep-six them this year. It may have been the impasse over The Anti-V award, words were said, feelings were hurt.

    Rule #5 Bring ’em back!

    Combination of factors, but we may do them after all, as this was a fun read. But no Australians and no Luxemburgers will be nominated for any awards, we’ll tell you that much!

  24. Didn’t Jonny H already win the Rule #5 this year?

  25. @G’phant
    You are totally correct, I should have kept him off this site.

    He is like the whining, snotty, temper-tantrum-throwing toddler who is just so butt ugly in every respect that the only way he can get any attention at all is to continually ratchet up his offensive behaviour in a vicious circle of psycopathy and antipathy that can only end one way – a long and glorious career in politics.

    Someone you know? Brilliant stuff right there. Damn it man, you need to make the Belgian Keepers Tour. We need you to talk the police out the trouble Bretto will get us into.

  26. @RedRanger

    Didn’t Jonny H already win the Rule #5 this year?

    He won the TDF Rule #5 Award, which is different from the seasonal V-Moment of the year…

  27. Because i’m hanging out to watch some racing, i’ve been watching the 2007 & 2008 TdF DVD’s produced here in Aus by SBS. It’s pretty interesting to watch the cast of charactors involved:
    Vino (2007)
    Schumacher
    Kohl
    Ricco
    Piepoli
    Valverde
    and a few more that got wiped out for doping whose names escape me.
    Lots of shady charactors doing spectacular things. Schumacher’s decimation of Faboo in the Cholet(?) Time Trial drew some interesting remarks in the commentary from Paul Sherwin and Uncle Phil like “surprising” and “extraordinary”. I wonder if they knew something was amiss?
    Also, after the TT in Albi in 2007 where Vino beat Cuddles by a long margin, Cuddles himself remarked how surprising it was that Vino could come back the way he did after losing 30 mins the day before.

    The point of my rambling, and there is a point, is that I find it a bit difficult to enjoy the racing as I know for a fact that Ricco, Schumacher and Vino in 2007 were juiced.

    I wonder if the days where GC riders lose a huge amount of time on one stage in the mountains, to gain it back with a “bold” attack the next day (a la Floyd and Vino) are no longer with us as it appears that it may be the result of some “special recovery”.

    And yes, I must admit that I don’t particularly like Ricardo Ricco; He’s got a huge ego that must have grown like a tumour as the result of all of the epo in his body, and he’s said some pretty stupid things publically, but I will stop short of charactor assasination and name calling. That’s just me.

  28. Gianni- Ricco is a perfect choice for this award. Well done.

    @ Mouse: I believe that Ricco assassinates his own character just about every time he opens his mouth or throws a leg over the top tube. Do you recall the comments he made in the press just before his “clean comeback”? All that “I have learned the error of my ways” bullshit, just as he was putting a pint in the freezer for later use. If anyone in the last 12 months of professional cycling deserves character assassination it is Ricardo “The Douchebag” Ricco. McQuaid gets a very close second/honorable mention in my book, although Cuntador doesn’t need to do much to be on the list.

  29. @Gianni

    Shouldn’t this be colder?

    Still giggling.

  30. I always see possible nominees & possible winners. It can be hard to pick the winner!

    I did watch “Senna” today & that was pretty crazy. I’m not an F-1 fan, but that was interesting. Senna vs. Prost, the French chairman vs. Senna. I could pick out a winner or two in that circus…

    Nice one, Gianni!

  31. @frank

    @RedRanger

    Didn’t Jonny H already win the Rule #5 this year?

    He won the TDF Rule #5 Award, which is different from the seasonal V-Moment of the year…

    Yikes, we are getting a lot of awards around here! Going to have to start keeping better track of them.

  32. @Anjin-san
    +1

    I believe that Ricco assassinates his own character just about every time he opens his mouth

    Yeah, that’s right. It would be fun to get a pro’s take on him. Ricco didn’t miss a chance to mock his fellow riders because they couldn’t follow him. Whot a dick.

    @frank

    @Rob

    @xyxax
    Thank you all, I’m glad I can still amuse someone.

  33. Thanks Gianni, now I am going to have nightmares of the picture of that rusty chain tonight.

  34. @Gianni, I like the pix and the piece. I always thought that snakes didn’t commit suicide, yet it seems ‘the Cobra’ has bite himself in the arse.

    @frahnk, have you built up your wheels yet? if not why not? if you have I’m innerested in what you think. I want you to relight the tub/clincher debate.

  35. I think you missed the lowest point of 2011… once again by the one and only Riccardo Riccò.

    Here you can read about him sneaking in a Granfondo making every rider angry.

  36. Content of the article aside, this cover photo is a GREAT shot. =)

    I will have to agree with your doling out of the award here. I’d also like to nominate the twatwaffle out of spite. Just because.

  37. Great piece. My vote for the anti-V award has to go to the Schleckettes getting destroyed by Gilbert at LBL and then saying he was “unbeatable”!

  38. @zalamanda

    @frahnk, have you built up your wheels yet? if not why not? if you have I’m innerested in what you think. I want you to relight the tub/clincher debate.

    As it happens, I’ll be chuckin’ up the write-up tomorrow. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see!

    @Mikel Pearce

    Great piece. My vote for The Anti-V award has to go to the Schleckettes getting destroyed by Gilbert at LBL and then saying he was “unbeatable”!

    I understand the dislike of the Schlecks around here because they do tend to get on about things, but I simply can’t understand this criticism (not just yours, this one in general as it seems very in vogue at the moment to hammer on them for their LBL ride).

    The fact is, Gilbert won Amstel and La Fleche largely un-contested – no one tried anything at all to beat him. At LBL, the Schlecks were the only riders in a bunch of 200-some odd riders who actually took the fight to him.

    Losing a race isn’t Anti-V. Sitting in the bunch and rolling over is Anti-V. The Schlecks just got out-classed by a strong Gilbert. Personally, I admire them for being the only riders willing to try. In the finale, they were cooked and Gilbert did his thing. That’s racing, not them being pussies.

    On the other hand, knowing that you’re weak in the TT’s and then not even bothering to reconnoiter the final TT in the Tour? Idiotic. Saying things like “I’m a climber, I work at what I’m good at” – idiotic. You don’t work at what you’re good at. You work at what you’re bad at, geniuses.

  39. @Fradetti
    Hahahahahaha! This thread is too fun! I have to say that I enjoy the back and forth inherent in subjective topics like “who wussed out during x race” or “who’s the biggest douche on wheels” much better than objective discussions of, say the various qualities of different equipment, kit, etc. We’re all getting a little starved for some bike racing I think! Can we get the MSR Countdown Timer on the banner?

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