While you and your healthy and in-shape companions are battling for the MABRA crit champion jersey at Hagerstown, or entertaining the Italian ambassador at the Capital Criterium, or both, I will be sitting on the sidelines, preventing pedestrians from walking in your path. Also, to honor my DL brethren, Tom Boonen and Heinrich Hausler, I will be crushing my painkiller tablets into a fine powder and boozing irresponsibly. So I may not be the most reliable road guard.
Just a word of caution.
Caution is something we could all use more of. Especially celebrities, who face roasting for even the slightest faux pas. Heat magazine has a regular feature called "the circle of shame," in which they circle a celebrity's exposed nip, a bit of deodorant, a bit of drooping flesh.
For example, Amy Winehouse's split dress...
Pregnant Christina's less-than-perfect cleavage...
And so forth.
Cyclists face similar scrutiny. Here's Ricardo Ricco in the circle of shame:
Whatever is on his upper lip, it's big, it's black, and it's exactly what I'd picture would be on the lip of a tubercular coal miner after a hacking fit.
Whatever it was, it didn't prevent Ricco from winning the stage and seizing the yellow jersey in completely un-pro fashion.
Nick Nuyens, who won yesterday's stage, one-upped (er, one-downed?) Ricco by fully unzipping his jersey (and obscuring his sponsor's name), gesticulating awkwardly as if hugging an invisible friend, and making sure the outline of his armadillo was quite pronounced.
Nuyens would have looked more professional if he had finished in the buck, or wearing a pair of Crocs, or if dragged to the line by the General Lee.
I'm hoping to see a teammate on the podium this weekend. Make me proud and stay out of the circle of shame.