don't think i'll have time to ding-ding a coherent narrative ... so, i'll ask to be forgiven for (yet another) set of hernando-randoms~
- - -
Women's 35+ and W4
yeah ~ i'm biased ... but still, best racing of the weekend. The crit was a big battle between the Left Coast Hotties and VeloBellaNation. Each team had a plan and went about executing it. The combined fields of 35+ and W4 made the field super-sized and the crit riding fast. This added just that bit more complexity to the tactics.
I am a big fan of combining this field structure for more racing in NorCal. I really think that the 35+ category for women is a good idea with big potential to attract racers to events and new riders into the sport, as well. I think that a 35+ and W3/4 field combination for some events would be a good idea. For those races that have a historically lower women's turnout, i would really suggest considering offering two women's events: P1/2/3 and a separate 3/4/35+.
holey shyte ... Jane Despot crushed a 24:11 in that TT. Hello? Does anyone else find their nutsacks doing the inside suckup?
man, that's a lot of power. ... maybe she'll learn how to smile one of these days.
CRC's Virginia Perkins won the crit with a huge effort late in the race. Good talent, that one.
And a Cat3 won that hell-fest of a road race - DolceVitty's Olivia Dillon. That means three different riders winning each event. Very, very cool.
I was lucky enough to get a bird's eye view of most of this road race. Our geezer break had caught up to the prosey field early on and were able to watch all the big hits as we plugged along in our little engine that could breakaway.
For the first couple laps, Alto Velo seemed to always have a solo rider off the front slaying himself ... going nowhere. I'm not really sure what the tactic there was ... just having solo riders out front by a handful of seconds while the field giggled behind their hands a few meters back. But, at least they were aggressive.
The real sword cuts were when Spine, RHVillians, and the BerryGiants went out on the offensive. It was a difficult game of tactics as Spine and the Villians both had 2 riders able to win the GC. Moves of 3 and 4 would scorch up the road, but sometimes mark themselves out of fully committing to the move. Then the pack would absorb them back in, and a few minutes later another group would shoot out in attempt. The race would blow apart in the final lap with Spine's Barbary taking a good stage win and getting enough time for the GC, as well.
well, our road race was hard. pretty damn hard.
Personally, i came into Madera focused first on helping the Bellas get some good Kern County practice in. We were damn successful on that score, i reckon. Other than that, i was just there to get in some training miles as we ramp up for the summer shenanigans.
The GC was a battle between the CentralValleyCrushers and AMD's Disco-Geezers. Brian Bosch put in one of the strongest time trial efforts i have ever witnessed. With temperatures in the high-90's ... and a 35min breakaway in the crit 90 minutes earlier ... Bosch turned a 21:23 in the TT.
And this was with the return of the traditional afternoon cross-head/headwind conditions of Madera. The final 5 miles of that TT are straight up torture. You're fighting wind the entire time and there is absolutely NO let up in the pain. You have to be on the gas every pedalstroke of the way. What a huge ride.
So, going into the road race - Bosch had a handful of seconds over AMD's Nolan, Hellman, and Spine's Gaver. After our neutral couple miles of spinning out to the course, i first got a taste of the crosswinds that would define the day.
ohhhh ... how i love crosswinds.
I had originally just wanted to get in the miles, ride along without any worries about GC or stage wins ... just enjoy the battle between two strong teams.
But then ... when those crosswinds started tempting me with their sideways kisses ... and the field started fighting for room in those gravelly gutters ... it was too much for me and i had to attack, attack, attack.
hard-nosed riding ~ it's what it's all about.
Lombardi's Dave Nelson was huge in our break. No really, he's huge ... what a frickin' draft that guy gives. Add Spine's Clint Gaver and you're talking about a couple linebackers up there making pace. We were flying.
My bud, Shawn Pearson from the Reno Wheelmen, had the legs and the awareness to make the move and was drilling it fierce as we established our gap. In the first 20 miles of the break, that's when all the damage was done. AMD's Metcalf and bigMick Hellman drove it because they both had GC movements in their future. Gaver and Nelson always drive breaks, so that was nothing new. Reno's Pearson was the biggest winner of the group by getting a huge bump up on GC, moving up 15 spots for his bravery.
CVC was given the smelly 8-ball as they were forced to chase in the pack with only a handful of solo-riders left able to assist. Bosch rode like a freight train, but you just can't match that kind of horsepower in the break, so CVC ended up losing the GC. But, they didn't give it away - they fought for it. And that's cool.
Anyway, blah blah blah - this is feeling a right bit boring in the telling, so ...
i'll just wrap up with a couple mo' impressions of yet another cycling weekend logged into the books:
tenacity ~ i suppose that is what makes the difference in many races. the ability, the will to not give up, to dig and dig and dig some more to find whatever ounce of effort you have left and toss it out in abandon. sometimes it's enough, sometimes it's not. but, either way ... you win.
pain ~ let's be honest, that Madera road race is just a sufferfest. i suppose it's the combination of heat, bone-jarringly rough terrain, and long, long sections of flat-out 12t gutter-ville. Pain. Physical hurting that we choose to do to ourselves. And that is what makes this sport so glorious ... because we all know that the only thing continuing the pain is our choice to keep pedaling.
At any time, we can ... stop. And the pain will end.
But we don't stop.
Blogs that suck time
Wednesday, May 02, 2007