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. @frank

    I agree totally as far as limiting VSP. It’d be good to be something to look forward to rather than a weekly or more than weekly chore to keep up with.

  2. @frank

    @Dr C

    So cool to be close to the Pros. Even a guy I hate as much as Bertie would be fun to see in person.

    At TDU the pros were riding 50km back to the hotels after stages. They didn’t mind hacks (who could stay on) joining the train and chatting at lights.
    Now that’s cool.

  3. Here’s a reason the TDU is important.
    Car position in the caravan for the upcoming classics is determined by UCI points. TDU is worth quite a few, so by the time we get to the Ronde, where you need to have your car at the pointy end, those points you got for the TDU are gold.

  4. @Blah

    @frank

    @Dr C
    So cool to be close to the Pros. Even a guy I hate as much as Bertie would be fun to see in person.

    At TDU the pros were riding 50km back to the hotels after stages. They didn’t mind hacks (who could stay on) joining the train and chatting at lights.
    Now that’s cool.

    No shit!?!?!? Now THAT is amazingly awesome!!!

  5. @frank. Dr C.

    Well, Dr C did not go to six years of evil med school to have to wait three months for the VSP to start.

  6. @Dr C

    Anyway, Bertie was there at a press gathering at the Anfi Resort complex next day – amazing how he stands out from the rest of the team, if nothing else because of the scrum of “well wishers” wanting a piece of him
    I happened to be wearing just my Speedos, so thought I’d leave him alone – he’d declined to give interviews anyway, “in view of the ongoing legal wranglings…”

    Speedos to a press conference? Casual Tuesday? Or have you caught the Australian germ that seems to be floating around

    This is the leader of the opposition in Australia. Mitt Romney eat your heart out

  7. Oh God what have I done. Frank feel free to ditch that it’s hideous in full size.

  8. @minion
    My eyes! My eyes!

    I know cyclists are known for tight-fitting clothing, but I think you might be missing the point. Also, this risks a Rule #42 breach:

    You did this.

  9. I know I know. I thought that was the most blatant bit of Marcus – baiting I’d done for a while but fuck did that backfire. It was a tiny thumbnail I copied I swear!

  10. @minion
    Pulled the wrong jpeg from the wrong folder, hmm?

  11. How can you like Saxo Bank’s kit it has a frakking bird on it.

  12. @frank
    NTTAWWT

  13. @DerHoggz

    Well, if it was just a bird like a pigeon or seagull it would be pretty lame. When it’s a bird of prey (eagle, hawk, falcon) now that’s a different story.

  14. @doubleR
    It just looks stupid, sounds like something an elementary kid would get excited about.

  15. @DerHoggz

    How can you like Saxo Bank’s kit it has a frakking bird on it.

    @doubleR

    @DerHoggz
    Well, if it was just a bird like a pigeon or seagull it would be pretty lame. When it’s a bird of prey (eagle, hawk, falcon) now that’s a different story.

    When the bird in question appears to be coming out of Bertie’s bibs, no. Bertie looks ill at ease with the situation as well.

  16. @Chris
    actually, that looks a little different to the kit they were all wearing – same colours, but they have a big SAXO lettering across the back which looks pretty cool IMHO – I guess the fact I only saw their backs tells a story in itself!

    That said, I had such a rush of adrenaline/V as they came past, that not only did I nearly swerve into the middle of them and wipe out the back half of the team (well it was that or go over the fucking cliff edge – you do the math!), but I also managed to wheelsuck them for the guts of 5 seconds up the climb – just a shame they only caught me with my pants down wobbling up an incline rather than going downhill, as I reckon they were doing 20kmh+ up the hill, and holy be jaysus on the decline – now that would have been a fast ride!!

    At the photo shoot, I was talking to the new Spesh dealer in Gran Canaria who rents out Roubaix’s with a SRAM 12-32 casette on the back with an overlong Ultegra RD cage (pretty wierd looking – not cool, but gets the less able bodies up the hills I guess) – he was great gas, and my best mate until Bertie came along, when he started jibbering uncontrollably and started asking Bertie questions akin to “what is a nice girl doing in a place like this?” or “do you come here often?” – to be fair, Bertie did answer his question (“de baak weis abat 7kg” – fuckk!!)
    – I actually got more satisfaction by the fact that he was in lulu land over seeing his idol, and that I was standing there beside him in my speedos! Johnny (9) recognised AC, which pleased me, despite his alleged complete disinterest in cycling

  17. the other thing that amazed me was just how small Bertie’s guns were – like the little pistols ladies carry in their handbag – clearly they work though…

    that said, he is diminutively tiny – I reckon if you popped him into Faboos bibshorts, he’d fall clean out one of the leg holes without touching the sides

  18. @Dr C

    the other thing that amazed me was just how small Bertie’s guns were – like the little pistols ladies carry in their handbag – clearly they work though…
    that said, he is diminutively tiny – I reckon if you popped him into Faboos bibshorts, he’d fall clean out one of the leg holes without touching the sides

    Such a great story. What amazes me about these guys is how small they all are…when I got plowed into by il Falco, he was also shockingly small. You see them on TV and they all look normal, but in person…then we went and watched the World Cup Final in Sestrieres for Alpine racing, and you’ve got the oposite effect – all the skiers look normal on TV but you see them in person and they’ve got tree trunks for legs and buildings for torsos. Amazing.

    the other thing that amazed me was just how small Bertie’s guns were – like the little pistols ladies carry in their handbag – clearly they work though…

    I hear the doping helps offset the disadvantage of being gunless. I’m considering it myself.

  19. @Dr C

    @Chris
    …Johnny (9) recognised AC, which pleased me, despite his alleged complete disinterest in cycling

    Little things like this can keep you smiling for a few days. I recently put Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride on Mrs Chris’ iPad rather than waiting for a paper copy to be delivered to me. I’ve not read much of it, he’s way too bitter about everything in life, not just the doping thing, but to my surprise when I last fired it up it opened to about page 350. Mrs Chris, awake due to jet lag whilst on business in Beijing, had got through most of it. Other than liking cycling because I’m getting fit and less fat, she has shown no interest in it at all.

    She thought he was a bit whiny as well.

  20. @Chris
    Wiggo and Brailsford think he’s a bit whiny too

    Loved reading Wiggo’s story on my kindle – I’m officially his number one fan now

  21. though I obviously shalln’t be wearing the Sky 2012 kit,regardless of what it looks like

    I’m also Geraint Thomas’s number one fan too by the way – potential TdF winner IMHO

  22. @Chris
    I actually stole the pic off of BSNYC, where the comment was that the bird was after his pants yabbies. That would explain the grimace.

    @Dr C
    I’ve come to really like Wiggo recently, didn’t know he had a book. I may check it out.

  23. @DerHoggz
    if you are reading the Wiggo book, try to keep going through the sentimental stuff about his Dad, once it gets into the cycling, it’s pretty rivetting stuff, and he has a pleasantly self depracatory way about him

  24. Hey- met both of you on Baldwin- you noticed my broken chain tattoo. I was surprised to find I had lost the card you gave me, but I remembered this website. drop a line if you want

  25. Cuckoo cuckoo – I’ve had to drag this article back out simply to post this link against.  This guy has some seriously broken chains in that mixed up head of his….

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/report-ricco-caught-buying-doping-products

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