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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

mo' biker bloggery

Well, this weekend is the US Open Cycling Championships ... for the big names. The men have a ProTour event and the women a $10K prize list at a $10 entry fee.

that's sweet...


At the moment, there are only 50 women reg'd for the race. I really hope they see more women and a couple of the high-end teams show up for their race. Yeah, it's still 2nd billing to the men's ProTour thingy... but, you gotta take advantage of the possibility some NBC exec might see the race and catch a fancy on part of the action ~ maybe keeping an eye out for future events.

and they better race their asses off.


For the women's race, it looks like it'll be a showcase for the smaller regional teams. TargetTraining and Advil/Chapstick are fielding good sized squads ... but, Tina Pic is on the start sheet with a couple of her Colavita teammies.

Who can beat her in that start list?
- - -

For the men? It's got to be Dominguez as a favorite right now. He's winning sprints from the tops ... with ease. Will the race be hard enough to crack his team? But even if it's hard enough to make a separation ... Toyota still has someone like Vogels to get in the hardman's move and nail a win (though he may not have the legs, yet).


BJM hasn't ridden to his potential as a one-day artist yet. But he's fit, fast, and hungry right now.

is this his moment?


Should be a good race. Somebody get that shit on the interwebs asap.
- - -


Here on the homefront we've got the old NorCal classic ~ Copperopolis. There might be a few domestic pro's not on the start lists for the US Open race, but more likely it'll be a bunch of regional hotshots taking it on against any Sea Otter mountain bikers looking to get in a ballbuster of a day's training before their big show.

Copper, for those who don't know, is just a hellish bit of fun. It's Roubaix-like roads and leg-breaking climbs eat away at your resolve almost as much as your high-end bike componentry. The cratered, twisty descents always claim a few dozen victims to pinch flats or outright crashes. The high-plains winds sweep under all the weak who can't hold position as the pack strings out in desperation along the reservoired plateau. The hot, baking hot, suffocatingly hot climbs shatter riders like so many pieces of discarded glass.

I remember a couple years back when F.Meirhaeghe showed up and won it from us. I skooted off the front with a couple of other guys, showing my usual respect for visiting dignitaries and riding with my typical 'ride it like you stole it' mentality - but when the Meirhaeghe show turned the volume up to 11 ... we were all dropped silly into silence.

I think it was a few weeks later he got popped for EPO.

... and now he's racing again in Europe. dirtbag.
- - -

My pic for this weekend is Jesse Moore from Cal Giant in the prosey division. He looked very good at Ojai last weekend and I know the guy has climbing juice. I think the Berries will have a strong enough team to put him out there in good position ... and who wants to see Hunt win again? Fighting the Giant's will be the RHVillians ... with Bucholz on big song right now and junkadonk finally slapping that monkey off his back. But, Copper is one helluva big fight to pick. We'll see.


For the Women? It's likely that Touchstone will put in a couple of their climbing machines to contest the win. Maria Monica and Jill McLaughlin can handle high tempo work out front and have the race endurance to snatch the ring. Webcor's Curi has been cutting her teeth all over the place lately and I'd love to see her nab another win. But, i never know what races that bunch of brainiacs will travel to. They could be in the Bahamas racing right now, for all i know.

I'm interested to see if PROMAN will field a team at Copper this year. They've got Drumm, who can get over hills like you wouldn't believe sometimes (Nevada City last year, for example) ... but, I'm not sure if this is a race they'll make a presence at. Jane "ms congeniality" Despas will always be at the tough races ... making life miserable for everyone involved.

Dunno ... i'll be interested to see who comes out on top of this one.
- - -

For the Geezers - we'll probably have the most talented field ever for Copper. All the teams are riding well right now with each squad fielding 2 or 3 valid contenders for the win. I see this as being a battle royale for the geriatrics this weekend - all for bragging rights and beer buying after.

Hot favorite is probably Phipps and his big-lunged mullet of a riding style. He's not the prettiest bugger on a bike, but definitely one of the strongest anytime the road points up. Still, i reckon the Strawberries are gonna make some moves on the old-guy scene and should be pushing hard to get themselves on top of the podium. Spine always has riders out for this race with Hutch and the Gaver flying that flag - and EMC has been knocking on the door all year and hungry as ever. And we'll see how many Sierra Nevada and CVC have showing up to the dance. Throw down.

The Disco Geezers are likely to be running full guns and I don't see anyone with as much overall talent as them. We BagBoys will be pushing the gears half-strength with Taz just coming back from septum surgery and da'Pasconator out with illness. We'll give it our best, but definitely will be firing 6-cylinders against all the big V-8's.

... just the way we like it.

27 comments:

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

Well, damn. I haven't heard about that race before now. Hopefully some other womens have.

And didn't McLane...er, Merco...have around 50 pre-reg'd & the field pretty much filled up day of?

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

could be it'll fill.

but, you'd think that the larger pro teams would want their rosters on the sheet so they could pump up the media (NBC broadcasters) about attendance.

... least-wise, i'da done it that way.

max said...

Actually Hunt has never won that race (according to him) he's like 2nd or 3rd every year.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

nope, he won in 'O4 ... because Meirhaeghe "forfeited" all his results for la' dopage.

Hunt won that year to all who really matter.

... and, it's not like he hasn't won 40thousand other races.


so, i vote for Moore.

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

It'd definitely be better PR to have the pre-reg, I just think there's hope for a full bunch.

I'm working on that whole positive-outlook thingy.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

oh, it's positive no matter what. i'm thinking Aaron's will have a big squad there ... and, maybe TMobile will show up, too.

I wasn't bagging on the pre-reg, too much. Just hoping that teams take advantage of what looks to be some national TV press and a subsidized entry fee with $10k prizelist --- for a 27mile race.

coolio.

shawndoggy said...

Marshall to win 45+ 4/5. Went under 15 at cold springs last night on the khs frankenbike. He's fast and he's hungry.

Anonymous said...

Oooh where are the best spots for spectating and photo-taking at Cooperpolis? pluhse?

Lyne said...

sorry that was me - well not that yo know who me is... well never mind.

Howdy :)

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i still think the best place to watch is the finish line at CopperpoopUlis.

you can see the drama unfold with a fair bit of accuracy.


just bring sunscreen, yo.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I saw one of the berry boys coming down E. Dunne around 6pm ish... looks like he went up H. Coe for a trainer ride today getting ready for copper. Prolly AJM skippen work early. But that ride is too short for Wednesdays.

Hernando, you mentioned some time ago you would like to lock horns with J. Moore. This week is your chance. Let's see who's horns snap first!

Speaking of septums, this is the time of the season where snot flows like the faucet and allergies can take riders out of contention.

Anonymous said...

Also, after watching the vids on that Hoppy character, I know now he is madly in love with his greasy goldi-locks. Man, that guy can't stop stroking his curls behind the ears.

McSassy said...

Big daddy Bosch and I will be there with bells on.

MS

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

oh, anony ... i've raced against J.Moore before ~ yikes, he's got uphill skilz.

but, i'm on a geezer squad and race for my mates. always.

so, i'll have to wait until he races in the crits i can run on as my 2nd races.

... like Ojai.


oh ... i suppose there are some prosey races i'll skip out to do ... will the Berries be going Mt. Hood way?

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

Sassy and BigBadBosch heading up to Copper ...


ouch.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

oh christ ... AJM isn't serious about racing again, is he?


we're all in for a world of hurt.

McSassy said...

Sassy and BigBadBosch heading up to Copper ...


ouch.


Whatever :)

MS

banks said...

Cool about NBC coverage for the US Open Cycling Championships.

Copperopolis: "Hellish bit of fun." Nice. Some of my teammates may agree entirely, I'll just agree with hellish. The SNers will probably show with a six pack.

dr-nitro said...

The CVC boy's bells would be kind of annoying with all the rattling that will be going. Will have to get rid of them early.

Pizza Man said...

Too bad about Pasco being ill this week. He was telling me on Sunday that he would like to see more sprinters show up for the tough road races, and it looks like we'll have a bunch.

BagBoys not on all cylinders? Any race with you working for Taz is hell for everyone else in the field. I can't wait!

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i hate copper

i love copper

i hate copper

i love copper

....
.....

Anonymous said...

I belief Mr. Hunt is in Tahoe this weekend. At least that's what his wife says. Perhaps while everyone else is suffering at Coppedropyourass, I'll be suffering trying to follow John on some mondo ride up here!

Tony

diskzero said...

My recollections are a bit hazy from the suffering of last year, but here would be spots I would watch from:

The finish line for a possible "sprint" finish if there are any grouped survivors.

The feed zone once, just to see the group hammer through.

On the climb, there is a large rock you can climb on top of and get a view down the hill. You can see this view from several photos.

The intersection at Salt Spring Valley Road (I think) just to give the strung out riders a bit of encouragement.

If you decide to spectate and drive the course, beware on the descent. The riders will probably be willing to go faster than you will. A couple of cars got mixed up with racers last year. No fun.

Hooptie said...

There is always a surprise legend @ Copper...Levi last year, Dave Z the year before...and of course Meirhaeghe the year before that.

When Dave Z showed up 2 years ago I though he was just some kook in a CSC kit w/ a matching Cervelo...boy was I wrong.

max said...

We'll definitely be going to Hood. And you're right, Jesse has been riding really strong. I'll probably be looking for the early move again like last year. Hopefully BJM won't be there because I flat every time I'm in a break with him. Seriously, every time.

Anonymous said...

Did you guys forget Frischy years before?

Cal Giant will have some surprises soon. Think Wente...

Anonymous said...

Hunt has never won copper