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Monday, March 12, 2007

oy ... let's all take Monday off

this lifestyle is just too much, sometimes.

but worth it.

- - -

First off, CVC put on a huge weekend. This was the first time i've done their stage race and ... gotta tell you, i'll be back for as long as they put it on. What a weekend. The road race was hard, but let everyone play. The TT was for the specialists, but let us all gauge ourselves and still kept the GC open for the races. And the crit was ... epic. Every crit race out there yesterday had drama and bravery and big finishes. So damn cool.

thank you CVC.

- - -

couple quick details before they fire me:

  1. Dave Towle is the best announcer ever. The dude was out there from the first race until the last ... cheering on all the racers, revving up the crowds, going apopletic with his patented "one-to-go, one-to-go, one-to-go!!!"

    So good.

    I don't think he even realizes what a huge impact he has on the racing. He gets the crowds pumped and wanting to stick around and see more, engage more. I had kids jumping up and down next to me as he was blaring out ecstatic commentary during the sprint finishes. The dude is huge for the sport and i hope he knows it.

    And i was shocked to see PROMAN's Emily Zell join up with Towle to play a damn good Paul Sherwin for the women's race.

    what the hell? that girl's got skills.

  2. BJM and his Priority Health boys survived an onslaught in that crit. Holey-shyte.

    Scott Ziwanksi was the race. That boy slayed himself for Ben. It was so awesome to watch. And Healthnet went after it. They went after it hard. There was a point where the gap was up past 25 seconds to a dangerous break with Wohlberg and, honestly, the PH boys were losing time to it.

    But, Toyota-United's Baldwin was threatened in GC and so they stormed to the front to give PH just enough of a break to get them back in control of the race. Still, Benny had to launch out after Sutherland when the aussie put in a huge attack to get across to the break.

  3. The women's race was so bloody fast. I loved watching them bomb through the 180 corner after the finishing straight. A blur of barbaric beauty ... seeing them stomp on the pedals out of the turn and rip up the straight to start it all over again.

    Pic won the sprint ... but it was hard fought. Webcor kept the jersey and has to be pleased with their first stage race win. But, the race also showed the depth of women's racing this year. Regional teams are throwing down against the better funded pro teams and it is making the racing so good. TMobile is going to be hard to beat when they field a full-octane squad. But, Webcor will trade punches with them in stage races. Lipton and Colavita are just strong, aggressive teams and will be factors in all races. Aaron's is a smaller team, but is pushing all the right buttons right now. They just need a big finisher and to step up to that role for their squad.

    But, they'll all have to watch out for the regional teams like Tibco and PROMAN. Brooke Miller was 4th in the crit and PROMAN's Shelly Olds won a time bonus late in the race, putting a big fight in with the TMobile sprinter.

    Should be a good year.

  4. And, in the geezer race i was able to pull out the stops and take a win. Thanks for all the words o' encouragement out there. It was so fun ... but, my booty hurts just thinking about it.

    i love me some stage racin'.

... more later, but gotta earn some bucks (so we can afford to do it again next weekend;)


bøøts said...

Towle's Red Bull / Jelly Belly Sport Beans ratio was about 3 units to 1 unit. Per hour.

I think we got the format correct. Now to fine-tune. Thanks for putting on a fine show.

Anonymous said...

All I heard for the last 30 mins of our crit was the fat lady singing!

Way to lay it down.

Now, lets have some more of that Porter.


lauren said...

congrats to you and your team on the win!

and as always, thanks for some excellent coverage.

so fun to read!

X Bunny said...

one measure of how good a weekend it was is how far into monday i still feel like it's worth it

and considering how my monday is going, the fact that i still feel like it was worth it means it was pretty damn good

PAB(a.k.a.CID) said...

it was a very good race, and i would definitely go back.

the organizers know there were some minor issues to fix, it should be nothing but better next year..

Velo Bella said...

I just adore you

diskzero said...

Nice summary and good job. I had to scour the blogosphere to get some of the details. It sounded epic. Looking forward to the official report.

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Sounds like some awesome racin'. You know where else there was some awesome racin'? The W3 and W4/35+ 4 races at Menlo Park. I puffed up like a cotton-candy fed park squirrel watching. There were attacks, a big break, at least one bridge...I didn't even know what a bridge was when I was a cat 4, much less try to do it! So incredible.

They must be readin' your blog.

L. Christmas said...

TV interview too? So Rockstar!

Anonymous said...

great job Olaf, sounds like you smashed them one but good.

and Scotty and the rest of team were spectacular, man these guys rode so strong i'm proud to be on their team.

when that break with Wohlberg went we were very happy to let it roll, we wanted a break to get 40 or so seconds out and make the other teams ride it back if they wanted to win the stage. looks like toyota made the right call on chasing it back, but i think the hit the wind too early (only 25 seconds!?! c'mon, they could have mowed that down in 4 laps!) and so it was a bit of a brawl in the last 10 as opposed to the last 5 like we wanted. c'est la vie, et la vie, c'est bon.

Anonymous said...

and monday is going WAY off.

Anonymous said...

Great ride from the Bag Boys, which was totally expected. I guess need an MD missed the Safeway blimp flying over with the "We is going to attack!" banner.

Them boys needs to swap those jerseys for something in a T-Mobile magenta. Win the race, lose the GC, and leave the leader's jersey laying on the pavement...'splain it to me Lucy.

teamnolan said...

24 hour transition from smack talk to humbleness... you're killing me!

Taking back 69 seconds in a 50 minute crit... go ahead, try this in your next workout!

Peeps- as you may know, Hernando was sitting 3rd on GC and down by 69 seconds to my teammate Marco Hellmen. Hutchinson was sitting in 2nd just 18 seconds behind Marco. Less than 30 starters for the 5pm crit. Safeway had 4 starters, and the "disco geezers" had 5. Our team had fun talking out all the possibilities. Unfortunately I was assigned to watch Hernando, and that's exactly what I did. It was my pleasure to witness Mike's win yesterday up close and personal. He went large and is one of the few that can spew smack and back it up.

Dan Martin lauched an attack on the 3rd of 25 laps and then your humble blogger jumped across to him. I followed the two sluggers for the remaining laps. Dan and Mike consistently edging up their gap (with excellent play by play provided by Dave) until maybe four to go when Hernando sealed his win and drove towards lappping the field. Dan sacrificed himself well for Mikey but in the end it was Michael Hernandez that made this race very memorable. Congrats.

Nollie, Disco Geezers

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i just can't believe how hard Sutherland went for it.

true Aussie grit.

that 180 really makes the organized chase tough, Ben. Your guys would be at the front and in control, then 'wham' ... the 180 would leave chaos at the front. then a half lap of the green machine moving forward again ... pace on, organized ... 'fwap', 180 in the face and more swarms at the front.

And the attacks. From everywhere.

But, your boys kept coming forward. Kept it in control. And with 4 laps to go we all started to relax.

We were going nutz watching it, though. What a show you guys put on.

Huge win. Just huge.

- - -

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

Nolan is so class.

Nick said...

Way to go Hernando!

Velo Bella said...

Nolan is giving me warm fuzzies

Hooptie said...

Hernando the Savage...who the hell actually takes back GC time in a crit?

Marco Fanelli said...

The 35+ race was a clinic that should be remembered for a long time. Title it: "How to Take on the TT Brutes and Win Stage Races" or "Never Give Up!"

Very impressive and inspirational victory OV.

fuji rider said...


As one of the Directors of the Bentley's Central Valley Classic, we watched your epic fight and listened to Dave's awesome commentary, and nobody was moving.

Everyone stayed glued where they were to see and be witness to the best racing we've seen in a while.

Dan riding like 9 guys working for you on the break, you ripping your legs off after the 10th lap while Larry working for his team as well was what we all hear about but rarely see.

You three demonstrated the ultimate teamwork and fight yesterday. It was an honor to host you and have you at our event. Thank you for the outstanding race and we'll see you soon!

Mark Purnell (Pro-Ho)
Raymond Road Race Director
Bentley's Central Valley Classic

fuji rider said...

Not to mention the fact that I race in that Category and was thinking "I'm so glad I'm not out there!"


jeninsb said...

got goosebumps just readin' 'bout it.


Anonymous said...


Holly said...

Congrats on your win!!

Anonymous said...


NO So-Cal crit guy would have made throught the RR to talk about it anyway....




Anonymous said...

Flat out, the most impressive ride I've ever been lucky enough to witness. What classy comments from Larry Nolan as well. You guys are what it's all about, I'm so honored to read your opinion of my work. That didn't make my day, it made my year. I gotta say the CVC folks deserve a ton of credit. Proper! I also wanted those who didn't see the days racing to know it was Michaels second sweet win of the day...

I look forward to a great season with you all, thanks again.

Dave Towle

Taz said...

The blimp was an hour late. Something to do with the time change thingy. ;) As always, a pleasure riding and having you as a teammate OV, rather than a competitor. This weekend reminded me of the Cal Cup 2005 days, where you were not so nice to me. Now I know what it means to be a crit specialist (not me, you).

Anonymous said...

"As always, a pleasure riding and having you as a teammate OV, rather than a competitor. This weekend reminded me of the Cal Cup 2005 days, where you were not so nice to me."

Lucky bastard!!!!!!!!

Olaf is always nice to me, he's trying to kill me but he's always nice about it.


AdamB said...

Hey! Congratulations!

russellp said...

Pointed to the bleachers and delivered--way to go!

Anonymous said...

Question to Nolan- I wasn't there but it sounds rather impressive. Good job Mike & Safeway guys for going big... But why of all people put Nolan the locomotive on Hernandez when an AMD guy is leading GC? And why didn't you drop back?
All this info came from what I read and looking at photos. Just curious.

teamnolan said...

I won't 2nd guess this race... yes, I could have dropped back to help the chase but there were 5 and 15 bonus seconds to worry about. The honest to God truth is that Dan and Michael suffered very well for win, they maintained a great average speed, they took the 180 faster than most and that their time gain came gradually over the 24 laps that they were out there. It was an amazing ride from my vantage point. Lar