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Monday, May 14, 2007

enthusiasm vs ability

it's always been a decent definition of my life ~

ability ... meh - so, so.

enthusiasm? ... over the frickin' top.
- - -


Got to see Tibco's Stacey Marple go ape-shit at Berkeley Hills RR on Saturday. Holee-crap. She rode solo for 2 laps and pulled away the entire time. And it wasn't like the pack was going tea and crumpets behind her. Jill McLaughlin drove it at the front on the final lap and kept passing the men's p1/2 chasers until they finally got embarrassed enough to throw it into overdrive and storm away.

But Marple dropped most the world on the final 3 climbs, passing a good dozen men's proseys as they exploded from their 90+ mile race. wow.

Behind Marple, McLaughlin put in a huge finishing kick to take 2nd away from another Tibco rider, couldn't recognize who it was, though ... maybe Victoria B? Behind those two it was a couple of the big future talents taking 4th and 5th ~ PROMAN's Shelley Olds and VAC's Courtney Brown. Good race.

Eric Riggs jumped away from big bad Barry Wicks and Alto Velo's Ted 'windsurfer' Huang in the prosey race. It is a good win for Riggs and it looks as though his form really is coming up after that Tofxxxxx (uh, i mean Joe-jah) sufferfest.

blah blah blah - too tired to wax more about that one right now.
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Sunday was the Steinbeck Crits in Salinas ... extremely good racing in all the categories. The women rode early and started the day right. Attacks left and right, big chases, loads of teamwork in both the W3/4 and p1/2/3 races. MetroMint won the Women's Team Competition ... which was a cool addition to a day of criteriums and one that i hope more promoters will think about adding. Safeway was able to win it in the Men's division, with Alto Velo/Webcor taking the Combined Men/Women title.

very hip.

The two most aggressive riders I saw out there yesterday were MetroMint's Amanda Eakin and VeloBella's Ryan Hostetter. Eakin is just a powerhouse of a rider who loves to get out there and suffer. Hostetter is the definition of resilience and fight's every step of the way. With the Minty's, VeloBella, and Morgan Stanley's Bell and Hanna going nutz in the attacks, it really did become a day for PROMAN to (yet again) show why they are the best crit racing team in NorCal.

Seley was huge in protecting Ford and Cranmer. On the last lap of the p1/2/3 race, Seley drove hard for a good kilometer, stretching out the field and setting up Cranmer to attack into the final 2 corners. It made it a long sprint, but Cranmer's superior bike handling skills and ... pure muscle, allowed her to create an insurmountable gap on the field as she dropped it into the 12t for the final 150meters.

damn good race.
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The Men's p1/2/3 race was equally as exciting. With about 60 riders, it was the perfect size to generate consistently high speeds, while also making room for everyone and their brother to attack.

and attack, they did.

Wohlberg was a machine out there. That's what i like about the Symmetrics rider - he knows that when he races local events, he's going to be a marked man. He accepts this as one of the responsibilities of being a long-esteemed (and feared) professional rider. But, you never see him barking shit at local guys suffering on his wheel, you never see him complain about guys racing off of him ~ he just puts his head down and chomps the bars with a bit of "well boys, stick with me if you can."

Respect.

There was a late break in the prosey crit, after about 3 tons of attack-counter-attack throughout the hour. Wohlberg, CVC's young gun Vince Owens, Kodak Gallery's sprinter Jamiel Danesh, Big Bob Newman of Pacific Bank's, BPG/Montano Velo's Uthman Ray, and CalGiant's Steve Reaney were off the front with about 9 laps to go in the race.

Owens opened up the attacks to set the high drama rolling, but they all reacted and it was back together again. Under 2 to go, it was Uthman Ray putting in a huge effort to get away solo. His gap as the bell lap rung was tantilizing ... but, Wohlberg was the first to attack away out of the remaining 5 and off he went in hunt.

Into the backstretch headwind section you could see Uthman pouring sweat and pain as he tried to find the strength to stay away from the charging Canadian. Behind those two, Danesh took it on his shoulders and put in a race changing headwind pull that brought Reaney, Newman, and Owens agonizingly close to the two leaders.

Into the final corner, Uthman had a bike length - but you could see him coming unglued from the intense effort. He was pedaling squares and in full grimace, hungry to push, push, and somehow find the finish line. Wohlberg erupted out of the final corner and a few meters into the finishing stretch connected to the BPG rider's wheel. But, not a breath later there came CalGiant's Reaney exploding out of the corner, as well, jumping with every ounce of strength he had from the Kodak Gallery rider's wheel.

Wohlberg took a second or two of draft from Uthman after he connected, and then jumped around him to make his bid for the line. Reaney had momentum from behind and made contact with the two leaders just as Wohlberg was beginning his sprint. Reaney would pull even with Wohlberg in the final 50meters, each rider at full, blood boiling effort. It was pure suffering, a battle of wills at this point - Wohlberg in the bright yellow of Symmetrics and Reaney in that distinctive CalGiant mix of blues and strawberry reds.

20 meters to go and it's still too close to call, but Reaney looks to have just that 1 or 2% left in his legs and lungs and pulls an inch, then a few spokes ahead of Wohlberg. What a sprint! Reaney takes it at the line.
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good times.

9 comments:

McSassy said...

I talked to Vinny on the phone right after and he was bummed he was 6th out of 6.

Then he told me how it went down and I had to slap him in the head and tell him he did great.

Kid has big brass ones thats for sure.

Plus he said you were jabbering like a crack head with a caffine buzz..........nice.

MS

Anonymous said...

Riggs at Tour of Virginia? He was at Georgia, I think you are thinking of Switters

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

doh

broxster said...

mike,

in the p/1/2/3 race, i think wohlberg was off the front mid-race with a strawberry rider. wasn't that reaney?

if so, good tactics for the strawberrys to leave wohlberg out there for an extra couple of solo laps before the bunch reeled him in.

maybe made the difference in the sprint?

either way, wohlberg is a machine.

Hooptie said...

Wohlbergs got class, Sayers should take some notes. Everyone knows Wohlberg tactics...shameless mashing, but it still works. Reaney was the man of the hour, one minute he is on the ropes, next he is driving the break. Much deserved victory. How about Shelley? Holly shit, making the splits, even helping me block for Uthamn, that race was WAY harder than your avg 1/2 crit...thank god she didn't try to sprint, I would have never lived that one down. Great race, will definitely do it again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rob! Yeh, thats me - Let Wohlberg hit me with a few jabs. I hit the mat (hard), my teamies pick me up and with a swift kick in the ass and a bruised ego I was off. Wohlberg is amazing and that course, although flat, was well suited for him. He was the strongest and almost pulled it off - I got lucky and played my cards right (for once).

While I am really impressed by Shelley, I am not surprised. I am leading her out next time.

Mike - excellent job yesterday and great report. You pretty much nailed it. I did not know you could see that much - must be your x-ray vision. Freak'n superhero. Alright, I am way over the J/A comment limit.

steve

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

we're just waiting for the Reaney blog.

someday, i know we'll get one. too gawdamn wordy for it not to happen.


what a race, man. what - a - race.


spectating is almost as fun as being out there racing.

almost

banks said...

Reading your news reports on local races is almost as fun as racing. Thank you.

AdamB said...

nice race report! i don't even know these people and it is fun to read.