While the rest of us have been going about our business this week, perhaps browsing fruitlessly for suitable podium sunglasses, poor old Heinrich Haussler has been caught in a time vortex, not unlike the one that sucked in Bill Murray in that one film.
Four times this week Haussler contested a sprint at the Tour of California. Four times Haussler came up narrowly short, and four times the man raising his arms at the line was Peter Sagan.
Asked ahead of stage two what it would take to stop him winning, Sagan replied: "I don't know, maybe it takes a natural disaster," which is not a line the Broom Wagon would be using within earshot of the San Andreas Fault, but to each their own.
Haussler, for his part, says he remains motivated to take the final opportunity for a sprint win and will keep on fighting. Going by this evidence, he will also keep on washing his own shoes, which is a stark a reminder of the chasm which can sometimes divide life's winners from the narrowly beaten. Sagan, meanwhile, is free to enjoy the spoils of victory: the podium champagne, the Tour de France speculation, the comedy wig.
Twists and turns
Still, at least Haussler is not at the Giro d'Italia. Race organiser Michele Acquarone took over from Angelo Zomegnan this year, and, unlike Zomegnan, is not the kind of sadist who tries to destroy riders with one murderous mountain stage after another.
No, Acquarone is the kind of sadist who enlivens sprint stages by placing a sharp turn in the final 500m.
It's working perfectly.
The beneficiary of Wednesday's crash du jour was Roberto Ferrari, who warmed organisers' hearts last week by causing carnage on a rare straight finish on stage three.
As several prominent twitterers including Not Pat McQuaid have pointed out, Ferrari is ideally placed to benefit from the 2012 Giro's tricky sprint finishes. Ninety-degree turns in the middle of a sprint simply allow him to maintain his natural line.
Having had choice of stinging any rider in Tour of California peloton, bee makes worst possible decision
Riding along during Wednesday's fourth stage in California, RadioShack-Nissan's Jens Voigt was surprised when a bee executed a highly technical manoeuvre and landed on his lip. Voigt, considering his options, decided to leave the bee in peace, believing it would probably just fly off without stinging him.
"Wrong guess," Voigt twattled, reporting that his lip blew up after being stung until he resembled "a stupid Hollywood starlet".
So Voigt did what any self-respecting hard man of the peloton would do. He ate the bee.
"I decided to live up to my image," he said, adding that he "swallowed her and did chew every bit of honey out of that bee!!!"
"Take that little bug as punishment for messing with me!!"
The week in ...
Nothing at the Tour of California has surprised Taylor Phinney, with the possible exception of the enjoyable moment during stage three when Phil and Paul left their microphones on and began eating potato chips. Here are his pre-race tips.
Expecting a talking-to: Nicholas Roche. The AG2R rider was caught on camera riding at the Tour of California with his jersey unzipped a full 2-3 inches. Two weeks ago, you will recall, Roche's father Stephen called for the International Cycling Union to ban (among other things) unzipped jerseys.
"If you don't stop it now, they'll have no jerseys on shortly," thundered Papa Roche at the time. "Why do we tolerate it in cycling?"
In this case the Broom Wagon suspects the parents are to blame.
Waiting for the UCI to rule on his team's WorldTour status after Alberto Contador's suspension was a lot like the time 1500 people died at sea, reports Saxo Bank boss Bjarne Riis.
"I have felt like a passenger on the Titanic ship, waiting on whether we struck the iceberg," Riis wrote in a column for Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
"I've been missing support from the UCI," Riis continued, metaphorically sinking into the icy depths, hand outstretched as Kate Winslet and UCI president Pat McQuaid looked down tearfully from a lifeboat. "I had hoped for a helping hand from them in a difficult situation. We have, after all, shown over many years that we are a healthy and financially well-run organisation, that we have been able to provide some fantastic sponsors to the sport and I also believe that we have contributed a lot of good initiatives."
Dispatches from the Twitterverse
My wife gave birth to our Daughter Ella Skye early this morning, she did amazing & had me there live from @giroditalia via Skype :-)— Luke Roberts (@lukeroberts77) May 15, 2012
As much of a pansy i may look like im actually excited that neighbours is on tv right now. Even harold is still alive lol #nothinglikehome— Rohan Dennis (@RohanDennis) May 15, 2012
Here is a taste of what to expect when the Giro d'Italia finally hits the mountains this weekend. Saturday's summit finish is at Cervinia, which is where Ivan Gotti rode away in the 1997 edition of the race to steal the pink jersey from Pavel Tonkov. Footage of the climb begins at 2.25 and includes a bonus 'mangled metaphor' square for anyone playing Retro Phil 'N Paul Bingo: "Gotti has found a chink in his shining armour and he's hit it hard".