Another Astana rider exits for Radio Shack. The cupboard is bare.

What's in the fridge, honey? Nothing, just some old vino.

What's in the fridge, honey? Nothing, just some old vino.

The Astana fridge is just about empty.

Johan Bruyneel, the former Astana team director, is playing Grinch and swiping all the riders for the new Radio Shack team. He’s not even leaving one can of Who Hash. By our rough count, seven Astana riders have left the dead-in-the-water Kazak Calamity. The latest defection is Spanish climber and super domestique Haimar Zubeldia.

What’s left besides the mayo and celery stalk? Well, there’s Vino. If Alberto Contador still hasn’t read the evacuation notice, his chances of another tour win are doomed. He should be paying Caisse d’Epagne just for the life preserver. We question the career advice of his brother Fran. First off, who wants advice from a brother named Fran? Like getting advice from a brother named Bambi or Gertrude. A fundamental mistake right out of the gate.

You can imagine the evil thoughts running through Bruyneel’s brain as he sits at the negotiating table, metaphorical gun to head, forced to sign the pariah Vinokourov. The thought bubble reads something like, “you obnoxious bozo, sure, you’re back on the team, by the way you won’t have a team once I get done stealing every decent rider in the squad.” Something like that only enriched with some Belgian, Spanish, French, English and Swahili obscenities — Johan speaks five languages.

Another Sign That Contador Is Doomed: even his best friends, fellow Spaniards Paulinho and Zubeldia have abandoned ship to support the enemy, that nemesis and tweeting maniac Lance Armstrong. The plug is ready to be pulled from this fridge. You think American Chris Horner sticks around when he so admirably supported Armstrong? You suppose Andreas Kloden wants to ride for a man whose selfish attacks almost single-handedly ruined the German’s own podium chances? Those two guys are looking for a pen right now to sign the contracts.

Now, Twisted Spoke is a big fan of Alberto Contador but we feel compelled to pull out the all capped religious epitaph: JESUS. Wake up, buddy, ship going down. Pay attention  Mr Pistelero. When has such an amazingly talented rider seemed so lost? Do not bother going to the fridge. It’s empty.

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