some stuff seen this weekend:
- The rise of a new star in women's cycling. Brooke Miller's huge form may sway a bit in the coming months, or it may not. She may improve, or she may not ... but nobody, NOBODY can take away two of the more dominating NRC performances in recent memory.
Taking both the Merco/McLane NRC openers?
That is HUGE.
This woman is patient, cagey, powerful, and hungry. And when we heard her up there on the podium being interviewed, thanking her team and showing respect to her competitors and the organizers ...
- BJM single-handedly shredded that field sprint in the crit. Yeah, Toyota-United did a hard bit of work to bring back the dangerous 3-rider breakaway. But, on that final lap, it was all BJM ripping the legs off an entire field.
unfortunately, he had no sprinter behind him. ... DOH! Dominguez gets another big win.
- Crashes ~ the Merco Crit has crashes ... period. It's early season and riders pedal above their heads, make poor decisions, and pay for them. That crit is unforgiving. I think the only race during the day that didn't have riders go down was the W3/4.
The crit is unforgiving, but the road race is just evil. The injuries sustained in the RR are more impact than slide ... and those are the ones that do lasting damage. There was a nasty one in the Women's p1/2 race that happened right in front of us.
I had broken my chain in the RR while attacking up a little roller.
stupidity notification: with 4 laps to go in the crit I dropped my chain while pushing through a bumpy corner too hard. It jangled around and must have bit under my tire or something. I had to do the reach down and finger that fukker back in drive-train ready ... but then, never checked it afterwards. ... idiot. I had kinked one of the links and it was only a matter of time before it snapped in the RR.
Anyway, me and teammate Tony Reid (who had blown out a tire) were standing around basking in the perfect sun and whispering breezes, when up rolled the Women's field. We watched as they crested one small roller and then made their way through the dip to another when their crash occurred. A Tipco rider had overlapped wheels on the far edge of the road ... you could see her fighting to keep it up as she struggled with her body falling left and her wheel traveling right.
She went down rough and i thought for sure she would be injured more than she ended up, but ... as in most crashes, it's those caught in the aftermath that get the worst of it. Touchstone's Borowski went down hard. It was one of those immediate, "no chance in hell" crashes that drops you right on the asphalt before you can even try and prepare yourself. Broken clavicle. Poor kid. I have to admit, it was pretty scary seeing her face down on the road in those moments after the crash. But, she's so f'ing hardcore, she got herself up and sat out the long, long wait for the medics to come and drive her to hospital ... even cracking jokes during the painful delay. I was impressed.
There was a very cool nurse from, i believe, the wine country ... who had a size-able gash across her knee. She was waaay tougher than me, though, and just kind of sat there and shrugged her shoulders with a, "bah, i've seen worse." Another rider that was pulled into it had a leg injury that seemed more skeletal than tissue. Total bummer.
The Merco/McLane races ... hmm, i'm going to have to think about if i'll be attending those next year ... just too many crashes and ... if they can't afford to make the RR's 2 waves, then i for sure won't be there. Those many hundreds of racers all out on the course at the same time is just too much asking for trouble.
i won't do that again.
- In and Out Burger ... it's not Kobe, but christ-on-a-stick that sho'nuff hit the spot after the long weekend in the sun.
Gorgeous CalyFornYah weather this weekend. And, despite all the crashes and a few bad decisions by some, there were many beautiful exploits out there. Tremendous racing that I want to scribble-crazy about.
if only i had more time.