The No One Loves Last Year’s Prom Queen Award – Bradley Wiggins. Sir Bradley has to be the fastest man on two wheels to NOT get picked by his team for races where being fast is a really good thing. And ok, ok, he says stuff that makes other people feel not so good about themselves, what with his “honesty” or is it “arrogance,” but still, he’s really fast. It makes you wonder why they pay him.
The Jack Tripper Award – Dave Brailsford. The thing about Jack Tripper was he could never decide, Janet or Chrissy, and in not choosing he got neither, not to mention he was a schmarmy goofball with a bad haircut. Brailsford is, by all accounts, a revolutionary thinker on bike racing, but as a man manager, he seems to be lacking. He couldn’t keep Mark Cavendish happy and also race for the GC. He couldn’t keep two GC contenders happy. Really, it’s hard to figure why he would put himself in these situations, a blonde, a brunette, and love-lorn Mrs. Roper always at the ready.
The Dr. Zachary Smith Award – Like the fictional doctor from Lost in Space, Alexander Vinokourov manages both to be a minor character in the ongoing drama of pro-cycling AND somehow its main villainous protagonist. Banned for blood doping at the 2007 Tour, Vino came back in ’09 and won some more races, including Liege-Bastogne-Liege and a gold medal at the London Olympics. Of course, there are allegations he bought LBL from Alexandre Kolobnev, and now that he’s in charge at Astana (who once threatened to sue him over his doping transgressions), the team mysteriously keeps running afoul of doping prohibitions. When will this guy leave the party? As long as he remains (Bjarne Riis is another former winner of this award), it’s hard to envision cycling getting back to Earth in one piece, even with a panicky, arm-waving robot to guide it.
The Wikipedia Entry Without a Section on Doping Award – Marianne Vos. Without trying to pander here, would it not just be better if we all watched women’s racing, instead of men’s? I mean, sex is not a determiner of willingness to cheat, but there’s maybe not enough money in women’s cycling to inspire doping on a larger scale. Ironic that women are shambolically under-paid to race their bikes, but that lack of money is exactly what makes their races more worth watching. Oh, and Marianne Vos is the boss, lights-out talented, charming, cheerful, hard-working and smart.
The Worst Name for a Great Thing Award – Gravel Grinding. The evil power of alliteration rears its ugly head again, visiting this sort of cutesy misnomer on a growing niche of cycling awesomeness. Really, go ride your road bike off-road. It’s awesome. It just needs a better name.
The We Eat Our Young Award – Any bike company that would repo a whole bike shop after forcing too much inventory on its hapless owners. This is happening more and more, and it is not the answer to the question, “How do we get more people into the sport of cycling?”