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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Merc-lane Classic primer

ah ... the traditional NRC openers.

I have to be honest ... they aren't my favorite races. The first year i did it was when we had one of those torrential storms blow riders all over the place. I think Saturn shredded the field down to something stupid and everybody else ditched it for cars and heaters.

Thankfully, i'll be racing the geezer division this year, 'cuz ... that Tour o' Cali form is going to shock the shit out of any poor pro or cat 1 just jumping into their first race of the season.

le' ouch.

- - -

And for the women?

Well, that frickin' Tibco powerhouse Brooke Miller looks to be riding a notch above the rest right now. With Colavita, TMobile, and Cheerwine sending squads to Geelong, i wonder how much dominance we'll see from one team? To my thinking, this might be one of those rare years where a break sticks away from the field. There are a lot of big sprinters missing from the field and a TON of attacking teams in the race.

I expect Aaron's will be shooting full guns this year, as they've got Carmen D'allusio cracking firing orders into their ears. Webcor has a very good sprinter in Amber Rais, but also big engines who can handle breaks better than most. Colavita has a good sprinter in Mackenzie Dickey (and an excellent lead-out rider in Candice Blickem) ... but the team will be short-handed and may have to spread themselves out covering attacks to remain in contention. And then there's Charameda's new team that i don't know much about, Advil Chapstick. But, if Charameda's there ... the race will be animated.

The mystery team of Value Act has two very good sprinters in Taitt Sato and Martina Patella ... but, thus far they've been shutout of any pre-season wins. I wonder if this will be the breakout race for that squad? More importantly, maybe we'll finally get a glimpse of the new Value Act kits? (Though ... i do have a fancy for an all black getup.)

And then there are the riders on smaller squads who can be opportunistic and play off the big teams. I'm thinking Velo Bella's Mary Maroon fits nicely in that category. She's a good strong rider who can hold position in the pack. We'll see if she can pick the right wheel and unleash a good sprint. And, I've been hearing good things about PROMAN rider Shelly Olds. The PROMAN team has been knocking with some good results thus far with Zell and Cranmer getting top-10's in some hard fought races. We'll see how it runs.

- - -

In the Men's race ... I'll be surprised if one of the ToC sprinters doesn't take the field sprint. Healthnet has Downing able to turn a good kick, but they've lost the majority of their field sprint dominance. Toyota has Dominguez ... fresh off a final stage win at the ToC. But, you can't discount BMC from putting a guy up there like Hanson. He's not as experienced as the other sprinters, but he's a fair-bit fearless and has a good top-end.

Personally, my sentimental hopes go towards a win for Priority Health. They certainly got the shaft at this year's ToC - a leader's jersey robbed by an unheard of commissaire's ruling and a dearth of non-coverage for BJM's two shining rides to book-end the Tour.

PH has a fast guys with Abraham and Zirbel ... but, if there were a break to go ... let's hope BJM nabs it with a win.

- - -

10 comments:

McSassy said...

I love the McLame GP!

The RR a little less so but its still good.

Besides how many crits have all those long drags to streatch it out in.......

GOtta love that.

MS

Ippoc Amic said...

I hope it's not too windy...

Nick said...

Yah McLane eerr. I mean Merco weekend... I'm fired up for this. I had a good time last year and this time around we will have even more Fusionettes in the mix... Man I hope the weather plays nice!

McSassy said...

Its forcasted to be sunny and in the 60's But I'm praying for rain......cause thats how I roll ;)


MS

Anonymous said...

Sassy, you want rain? We'll give ya some rain. How 'bout we open a can of black reign of terror all over those baby blue kits you Central Valley dolls peacock around in? Bitch!


Just kidding, I couldn't resist pretending I can trash talk. Should be fun in the sun though. See ya...

Pasco--aka Anonymous

McSassy said...

"Just kidding, I couldn't resist pretending I can trash talk. Should be fun in the sun though. See ya..."

Pas-go

That was more like an obervation of the last few weeks than talkin smack.

Just my .02

BUT, my number is gotta be comming up soon.....real soon I hope cause this 2nd place BS sucks ass!

and RAIN ON!!!!!!!!!! Bitch! :)

yellowbug said...

Yeah, us VACers are gonna try to get up there and kick the chamois some of those bigger teams! Sorry, no kits yet . . . but the black wear is still looking good.

X Bunny said...

advil chapstick

that's almost as good a combo as chocolate and peanut butter

i think i need some

Anonymous said...

The Geezer race ought to be rolling death on wheels, 4 figures on the HRM , a war of the not-quite-ready-for-AARP player's teams as they vie for supremacy in a no holds barred Texas cage match.

That's a McNasty masty field.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

good stuff