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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

i was told there'd be cake ...

Madera blurbs:
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+.
-

Women's P1/2/3
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.
-


Men's P/1/2
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.

cool.
-

old-guys-race

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.
~

13 comments:

McSassy said...

I stopped!

Pain didn't end either you fibber.

Limped back to the car with 2 stops to hurl then layed in the A/C trying not to die before BB made it back.

Hard ass racing, love it.

MS

Riccardo Bulissimo said...

Bellissima! Mi Complimenti per Madera SR.
Sorry I wasn't there to return the "don't miss the TT turn" favor you did for me two years ago. Reading this got me jones-ing to race again somehow.
Now if we could just straighten out my blood chemistry! or least predict it!
A presto e Divirtiti.

McSassy said...

I bet I had such a bad day because I caved and shaved off my killer 70's porn stash.

I should have been stronger than to conform to how people expect a bike racer to look.

I'll have to come up with something good for the next big one.........

maybe Nevada City will see the return of the Euro Trash Redneck!

MS

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

there was a masters race?

at madera?

jeez, i guess...i guess i somehow
missed it.

oh well....

i sure as fuk saw that w35+/w4 race though.

sweeeet.

Kevin aka wrong way said...

I don't know what place Shawn was in before the RR, but HELLO!, I was in LAST PLACE before the RR. But on the other hand, if I had been given my real time after my TT detour I would still be in last place. I probably would have needed to lap the field to move up on GC. :-)

chatterbox said...

Thanks for the snippets of action from all the other races. I wish I'd had time to watch more of it, but the logistics were overwhelming as a first time stager.

Coolio on you and shawndoggy gettin' some breakaway action, and to the queen VB, too, for gettin' in a break.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

sassy ~ bring back the stash!

that thing was so f'ing killer.


BULLISSIMO! good to hear from you again, you old buggar. get in that van and head over for a couple races.


KevWay - you don't count.

besides, we all know you really just pulled off and took a nap for awhile in the TT. wanting to set it all up for a dramatic comeback in the RR.


ChatterB - way to suffer out there, chicka. that was inspirational!

you should come out to Kern with us. it's horribly hard ... but man, when you get done ~ you're a changed person!

epic ain't the word for Kern.

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

But, uh, "deathmarch" might be...and I say that with all the love and affection in the world...

me = bigwimp

McSassy said...

I'll bring the stash back in some form.

I wish I had a pic of the looks on everyones faces when I rolled up into Bellaville sporting that broom.

According to PAB it was American history X in spandex.

Funny

MS

shawndoggy said...

To be factually accurate, I really only jumped up nine places (14th to 5th), but I like the way Olaf tells it better....

From the perspective of a guy with too many other irons in the fire to race every weekend, Madera was very educational... like a team tactics seminar. Here's to hoping I can put it to good use!

Anonymous said...

Lots of us agnositcs got religion last weekend. I got it via an 18 mile (yes, that's right, 18) TT and a certain Mr Hernandez surrounded by a halo offering bottles to us 35+ 4/5 geezers in the neutral feed while shouting "take it, it's cold!" Purty damn inspirational that one of the best Masters racers was out in that heat cheering us on. This weekend alone made my decision to get back into racing after a 20-year hiatus a good one. I got bad news for you 1/2/3 geezers, however. Billy C was in the break yesterday during our Livermore "training" ride with his MS cohorts and is starting to look purty fit.

drunkinsprinter said...

Billy C. was in the 2nd group

drunkinsprinter said...

Billy C was in the 2nd group of 3. The front group was up the road by a min or so...