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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Preliminary reports dribble in ....

gawdamn interwebs ... tease, but don't satisfy.
- - -

Apparently, they had 125-odd starters for todays opening crit of the NVGP. Smithers shows us a pretty crap camphone shot of PROMAN's Shelley Olds driving it deep in a break of 7. Martina says it had a couple of Cheerwine in it, Aaron's Gomez, Colavita's A. Wrubleski, and (wow) last year's winner Kristen Armstrong.

oh, the drama.

But before any of that happened, there was mayhem all over Minnesota. 90 degree hotness (and you know it wasn't a dry heat) drove the eyes cross and there were multiple crashes in the opening laps. You can expect it ... with VAC's Mactier attacking from the gate, the regulars were all riding above their heads and mistakes are bound to happen ~ especially when you're not used to riding with that big of a field.

So, the safest place to be in those circumstances is OTF. And that's where the break of 7 found themselves. 20-30 seconds off the front by the end of it.

It looks as though Gomez and Wrubleski might have crashed with 1 to go. Cheerwine's Cheatley attacked around the same time and held it for the win. Olds took some sprint bonuses and now looks to be 2nd in GC and also in the Sprinter's Jersey.

That's huge.
- - -

Hopefully everyone is OK and there are no serious injuries. Webcor's Mara Abbott may have gotten herself a nice set of bruises, but no info on whether anything is stopping her from pedaling.

Now we have the interesting parts. Does PROMAN switch from being opportunistic and play protect Shelley for a GC standing? Does Cheerwine fully commit to giving Cheatley as many days in the leaders jersey as possible? Did Armstrong make it through the last lap crash and is she already up in GC from the pretenders to the thrown?

i can't wait to hear the details.

My recommendations?

I think Olds should ride each day like a one-day and screw the GC. She's got years and years to start thinking about GC aspirations. Right now ... the best thing to do is ride each stage like you want to win it. Be smooth, be smart, and don't worry one bit if you miss the move or have to bite the bullet. Just be in the moment and enjoy yourself.

Aaron's lost out on a great chance to put Felicia up in the GC. I hope she's ok and has nothing but a bent bit of anger to motivate her more for the upcoming stages. She's a fireplug and someone who's been knocking on the GC door all season long.

Cheerwine ... hopefully, wasn't chasing down a break that had two of them in it. If they did ... they are more retarded than that Arkansas fiasco leads me to believe. If I were them, i would sacrifice everything to keep Cheatley in the jersey until the time trial. I would show myself as a true Professional squad and go out there and make the rest of them take it from you.

VAC needs to ride at the front. Those girls are as strong as any of them out there. They need to gulp down the doubt and just throw everything at the race. They will win a stage (and, hopefully, it won't be Mactier).

Lipton? Armstrong will win the GC.

Webcor ... let's just hope they're all safe and sound. Curi deserves no more crashes in her lifetime, gawdammit. And Rais is on the way to becoming the next Thorburn. This is just another stepping stone for those women. We can only hope that Webcore Builders continues spending dollars to support the best women's team in the history of American Cycling.

including the Saturn years.

oh, and how did the men do?


Lyne said...

Wow what a start!

Stevic won. dunno the others.

Lyne said...

Got it.

#1 - Stevic
#2 - O'Bee
#3 - Page

Olaf Vanderhoot said...


that's just insanity.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

as always, thanks lyne.

Hooptie said...

For some reason F. Gomez (Aarons) did no work in the break. Wrubleski crashed twice. Cheerwine had two in the break, so they played a few games, but had Van Gilder in the bunch. Marple sat on the break for Brooke. Shelley said only 4 of them were working, it was basically the Kristen Armstrong show. Only 50 of 120 finished.

Smithers said...

I gots some better snappies up now.

Lyne said...

and I quote: "The BMC Most Aggressive jersey went to Wrubleski, who took two spills
during the crit, but caught up to the breakaway group after the first.
The second, which happened within sight of the finish line was more
serious, and left Wrubleski a little worse for the wear. "

Kat Carroll said...

well, hooptie, my guess is felicia sat in the break the same reason as stacy marple sat in the break. we have stronger SPRINTERS in the pack and felicia's job was to be present. If she is in the break with kristen armstrong, the overall race is against her and the other strong climbers in that group. Most can only hope that kristen driving it MIGHT wear her down for later in the race. Props to shelley though for a great finish.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

good news is, Gomez is still in it for the GC.

i'm glad none of the break lost more than 15 seconds.

Armstrong is on fire. we'll see how it runs today.

Velo Bella said...

Didn't Armstrong have a sprinter too?

Hooptie said...

That makes sense Kat, but I figured Felicia was going for GC, thats why I was suprised. Also seems like she would have had better odds in the break than a bunch sprint vs Miller, Van Gilder, Rais and Lyons. Armstrong is clearly the one to beat, Lipton will revolve around her. So I guess it's gotta be everyone vs Armstrong.

T. Marie said...

whose cruel and unusual idea was it to put a CRIT as stage 1 of a huge stage race? do you know how much that would suck to go all the out to mini-apolis and get dropped in the first half of stage 1 and not be able to start the next day? With only 50 finishers I wonder how many got stuck in that boat. oh man oh man, so glad I'm not there. Although, I suppose that's all just part of the big bad world of bike racing.

Velo Bella said...

I wonder what happened to all of those RYan COllegiate riders. They made a big deal out of inviting a composite team of collegiate riders to race the event, but it would suck if they all got cut. I think I only saw one listed in the results.

Velo Bella said...

I just checked results again and they are now up to 98 finishers (it was about 50 last night) So it looks like more racers are still in.

Hooptie said...

They pulled riders as soon as they got dropped and prorated their times. So only 50 actually finished, the rest were pulled and prorated. The course was only 1K, so dropped riders would have been lapped real quick. I think you had to make it to the halfway point to get a prorated time, if you got dropped before then, it's a DNF.

Taz said...

Just got the skinny that Cheerwine will be trying to gutter the pack in defence of the jersey today if cross-wind are anything like last year. I would really love to see a women's team try this strategy. Some try but none have ever committed. I see it working race after race in the men's NRC races. The question is if Cheerwine can all ride together for one. Not sure they can hold it after the TT, but it would be great to see them jell better as a team.

Taz said...

Cheatley still in yellow with another few seconds over the TT'ers by getting 3rd in the stage. The team rallied around her and kept the pace high enough to twart attacks when needed. Bravo!