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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Circle the wagons

Central Valley Classic is up this weekend. With the new road race that actually has some elevation changes to it (or is, as McSasser says, ... "pitchy") we may see some true battles out on the roads for the first time this early NRC season. The weather will be warm and the bikers steaming hot from effort. There could be some serious explosions out there.

The Women ~

We have to think that Webcor's Thorburn and TMobile's Anderson are going to be the hot favorites for putting big chunks of time into the field during that time trial. There will be very strong riders losing 2,3 ... 4 minutes to those two on that stage.

I'm very interested to see how Tibco's Brooke Miller throws down, though. Has she been focusing so much on the sprint that her TT will not be a match? And, what about her climbing? Certainly, she looks thin and has won her races almost as much on her fitness as her speed and excellent tactics. This will be a good test to see if she has GC aspirations in her cycling development.

Thorburn will likely play out the luxury of her TT prowess and be able to watch and follow moves all day in the road race. At 70 miles in length, there will be separations in this race ... but, will there be enough animation by teams to put the Webcor and TMobile riders under pressure, maybe isolate them? TMobile will only have 4 riders in the race, while Webcor will field their strong 8-rider squad.

Personally, I would like to see Webcor go on the offensive ... sending out their strong horses like Curi and Rais out on attacks to force the other teams into chases. With Bev Harper, the squad has an excellent climber, as well ... but Curi and Rais are both very good finishers and I'd like to see Webcor give them a chance at surprising the field.

I wonder about Colavita's A. Powers. I seem to recall can climb well and turn a good TT ... that may be a rider that slips under the radar and pulls out a good placing. And then there's Touchstone's Jill McLaughlin ... riding very well right now, hovering around the top-step like a hungry orphan next to a dinner table. I wonder if she'll just reach out and grab the bread this time? She has the strength, that's for sure.

The climbing for the CVC race may not be as selective for the top GC ... if we're talking the effects of pure horsepower. I think the 2nd lap will see basic fitness selections in the field, but that core group of a dozen legitimate contenders will not be separated by legs alone. It will take aggression, desire, and tactical saavy.

I hope they throw down hard.

1 comment:

Velo Bella said...

Dotsie showed some improved TT skills too. And she's fresh from Down under World Cup racing.