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Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekend whatup ~

Well, the big dawgs are all crit-hounding in the SouthEast ... least-wise all that can either afford to make the mileage or have homebases in the region. I've always wanted to swing through those races ... but, chances are low for that. Still ... a boy can dream.
- - -

On the NorCal front ~ we've got a mostly Junior-ific set of crits in LiveNoMore on Saturday. They're also running a 3/4 women's crit ... so my honey will be heading up there to do that.


SUNDAY ~ is one of the classics ... Mt. Hamilton Road Race.

For those who've never bean ~ it's a point to point affair that ends up being a few klicks over a hunn'ert when you add in the deathmarch back to the cars. Last year i think we let Metcalf lead us back and ended up doing an extra half-hour onto the bargain.

he loved it, of course.

For the Proseys ... CalGiant has a full squad with a couple top-end climbers in the mix. They will have the largest team presence, but it will remain to be seen how many of them make the lead group over the top of the climb.

The Ham climb is about 200 thousand miles long ... it has a bucketload of drops and rest sections, but the separations do occur in the final 20 minutes of climbing, when fatigue and fitness call bluffs and send punchcards - and i think CalGiant will be lucky to have 3 in the mix.

But, 3 might be enough.

Over the top, it's an incredibly fun descent ... but there's always somebody locking it up on that first blinder and leaving donations on the tarmac. I can see a group of 10 or 12 over the top together - with AJM, Moore, maybe even Taylor for Cal Giant. Joining them will be old-hands Fennel(i) and Phipps. kPacific Bank's Andres Gil will be there, no doubt. Jackson Stewart might make it over if he decides he actually wants to suffer that day. The question will be if BJM shows up to defend ... he throws things off kilter with his manhood.

Well ... i see a decent sized group going over the top together and bombing down, only shedding a couple brake-grabbers. Into the valley, there won't be a ton of cooperation because CalGiant will be sitting pretty with one of the best finishers in the universe in AJM drooling at the prospects. So, there will be a handful of guys scratching their way back to the lead group as they try and figure out who's gonna do what work. Right about when the stragglers reconnect, there will be another move shooting off the front ... some of the fitties will attack hard on one of those ugly kickers before the flatland winds of the valley and a group of 4 or 5 will ride away for the win.

In it will be a CalGiant rider, at least one (normally) geezer competitor, Riggs of VGM, and the BJM ('cuz i think he'll show up).

The women's Ham event will be interesting. It's usually a smaller field of the uber-climbers out to play. This year, MintyFresh MollyVHowler is flying and i could see her forcing a selection over the top. I think there's a chance that Shelley Olds could follow that wheel ... which would frustrate to hell all the girls who think sprinters belong on the gawdamn flats.

I was very impressed with Olds climbing at Kern last weekend. The uphill stage was just fukking brutal, folks. They did a 60 mile road race, then less than 3 hours later a STEEP 9 mile climb up into the mountains. It was a devil's goatpath up twisty, hot and craggly inclines.

Touchstone's MacDonald is pure climber. She was spinning a light gear and burning pure rhythm up the side of that beast. VanHolwer is more a rider of passion. She was less efficient, but more engine, i think. Olds was 3rd on the climb and riding on brute strength and unbending willpower. She was waaay over-geared, but not pounding it like an ungainly bike humper. No, instead she was just back on her saddle and slowly churning a 75RPM cadence up the hill, no bobs, no mashings ... just a relentlessly smooth, overgeared pedalstroke.

The Terminator.

At Hamilton, if she makes it over the top with the leadgroup ... look for weird dynamics in that bunch. Riders will likely come back on and there is a significant chance one of Olds' teammates could shoot off the front for the win. If they can stick it.

TIBCO will have Victoria B riding ... she's the anti-Olds. She pumps and pistons over her pedals in one of the most inefficient pedastrokes i've ever witnessed. But fukkal, she can suffer. She is brave and powerful and ... oh, lord somebody get her to do some pedalstroke drills.

But, in the end - i can't see Touchstone not sending their full crew of uphill angels to this race. I see McLaughlin and KellyM soaring away from the field late in the climb and powering it home for the win.
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In the masters? bah, who cares.

we'll have Nitro burning gobs of fuel to keep the pace high so us flighty-types don't disrupt his one-speed. He'll have help from bigBadBosch or Clint the Gaver ... fellow diesels who love the 3rd gear express. But, the nemesis is Metcalf ... he's too good on this climb and will burn all the pretenders off in the final 3 miles of pain threshold. He loves pain.

I'll be in the 2nd group ... again, left home on prom night, sprinting for the scraps.

ah well. good times.


Hooptie said...

You forgot about the in the mix master Wohlberg. I dont think anyone can beat him to the top.

shawndoggy said...

Spencer E in the 3's. Check me bloggy for his Tuesday time up Geiger. He's flying.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

and nobody can catch Woolie over the top.

yeah, SpencerE sub-ing 32min at Geiger ... le ouch.

dr-nitro said...

You forgot to add Sassyman to the mix in the masters. He's going well.

Jr. Curmudgeon said...

Zabel and now Riis confess "My jersey (yellow) is at home in a cardboard box. They are welcome to come and get it”
Is this the beginning of a domino effect for all of the dopers past and present to come clean and admit their sins?

Anonymous said...

"Giant Slayer, Gladiator, Terminator...." you're killin' me.

Just so you know, when I'm not out slaying dragons and stuff, I do enjoy the softer, sweeter things in life.

Thanks for the props on climbing. I've been working real hard at it. It's still not my favorite part of riding though...

See you at the track.


Chico Cyclist said...

Good luck this weekend - kick butt!! But play safe!

chatterbox said...

I'll probably see ya'll out there as us W4's get neutralized while you fly by somewhere in no-man's land between the junction and livermore.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i'll say 'hey' to ya.

(and make sure we pass all chivalrous, n' stuff)

Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

Have fun at mt. ham, everyone! I'm so jealous I'm stuck at home this options are a too-short flat crit in woodland hills, or more likely, some nice hilly senic riding in SB, when I can extract myself from the nonlinear dynamics of nanosystems workshop I'm supposed to be attending!