Sunday, September 30, 2007

Armchair Quarterbacks

It's Sunday evening which means that all over the country NFL fans are rehashing today's games and playing armchair quarterback. Woulda done this, coulda done that, shoulda did it like so... I'm not a huge NFL fan so I don't follow it close enough to play the woulda, coulda, shoulda game... usually it's on TV only as a distraction while I'm catching up on the weeks grading.


I did, however, get a chance to watch the World Championships unfold on wcsn.com so you'll have to indulge me with a little armchair quaterbacking of my own... Other than having different riders on the US squad there are a few things I would've done differently.

Early in the race the group split and about 50 riders went clear. Hincappie was in the group with one teammate, Bobby J. The Itallians were well represented, albeit without Bettini, the Germans had good numbers as did the Spanish. The only strong team not represented was the Dutch, and they were chasing. Bobby J was working, but not very hard. Hincappie was sitting on as he should have been. The Itallians were not chasing for Bettini. Had I been in the car I would have had Bobby bury himself. It would have been a long shot, but perhaps if he could have held off the Dutch long enough he could have made believers out of others in the group and found some allies to help with the work, thus eliminating some of the big names and springing George... but it wasn't to be and it all came back together.

A few laps later Julich goes clear again with about 25 riders. He is isolated, no teammates in the group yet he is the work horse, spending an inordinate amount of time on the front. Why? I would have had him covering the move but sitting in, especially since there were no big names in the group and no squad had numbers... the move wasn't going anywhere. Alas, the group gets caught and Bobby J is done... DNF

Would have been nice to have Julich on the last lap when the decisive move went clear on the first climb. Hincappie was caught out of position when Bettini dragged a select group clear. Every big squad is represented by their respective leaders except the US. And Hincappie only has Vandevelde to support him. Immdediately both US riders should have been on the front. Nobody else is going to put their heart into the chase except maybe Hushovd and a few other isolated riders. Instead, from what I could glean from the brief camera shots of the chase, both Hincappie and Vandevelde were sitting in... maybe they were cooked, but at least make a go of it...

Just my thoughts, and I didn't have the inside knowledge about how riders were feeling, etc, so it's just armchair quarterbacking. And, the squadra azzura played the race perfectly. Bettini couldn't have asked for better support. They were probably unbeatable on the day.

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While I was grading papers and watching football on TV, AWfoSho was working on his homework. A little video that goes along with a paper he'd written for English class... you might want to check it out.


video


The things they teach kids these days!

Friday, September 28, 2007

News from Vegas

When the cycling world descends on Vegas every Fall we get to see lots of new gadgets and gizmos, the latest and greates in bicycle technology, but I don't really follow all the tech stuff... In most case equipment is not the limiting factor for riders. True for the DBCJRT kidlets as well as the proseys. Witness the vast array of equipment that finds its way to the podium. I chuckle when I hear a 42 year old masters racers brag about his new carbon bars and matching carbon bottle cages that shaved 23.6 grams off the weight of his bicycle while sipping his double mocha frappucino whip whip latte with a twist. That same master could have shaved a few pounds off his race weight (rider body weight + the weight of his equipment) if he would have passed on the daily latte and accompanying cinnamon roll. And, he could have done it without dropping $760...

don't get me wrong, if one has the dough, spend it. Support the bike industry, but don't think you are going to be faster because you spent an extra $760 to save 23.6 grams in lieu of spending a few extra hours on the 23.6 gram overweight bike.

But, enough of that rant...

What I do follow coming out of Innerbike is all the gossip, news and press releases.

Today, a big'n from the bad boys of the domestic pro peloton... Rock announces some new signings. I love the way those cats play. 'Gonna do it our way and the rest of you be damned.' Rumors swirled throughout the summer about Rock's aspirations for the Pro Tour. Most in the know chuckled and said, "Yea, sure..." Today Michael Ball put his money where his mouth is. Freddie, Hugo Pena, Grajales... the 07 crit scum are transforming themselves into a force to be dealt with... Rodriguez for the flat fast stuff, Grajales when the road tips upward, and they are courting Horner as a field general. They'll definitely make a splash on the NRC next year.

Gotta admit, I was a little bummed when I read through the first couple of paragraphs... what's gonna happen to local boy, Switters? But hope springs eternal... Ball added, "that the additions to the team are just that, with almost all of the current riders staying with the team." Fingers crossed that Adam falls into the 'most of the guys' category.

I like Ball's style. From his team vehicles to his shots at Slipstream, this guy is ragged at the edges and doesn't care what everybody else is doing, saying, or thinking. Style!

Old business...


Quite a little while ago I promised to upload a picture from my cellphone... finally got around to doing it. Thanks to PtotheArker for his help...


if you recall, TK played the newb on Mix Canyon and ended up in the ditch. TK, remember, we are laughing with you and not at you!


silly kid...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

George for Worlds... Not!

I've never really been a big fan of USACycling's selection process for numerous reasons, but mostly because me thinks that they don't always pick the best man for the job...

Take for example their Worlds Team. The only thing I can think of is that they are building for the future??? I mean, come on, you have a course that actually suits Big George... one that he has a fighting chance on, being a relatively fast finisher/former sprinter who can get over moderate hills. The course has enough climbing that it should eliminate the pure sprinters, but not enough to favor a pure climber. So, according to all predictions, it should favor a punchy rider, a strong man, someone like Georgie.

Gotta decent shot at bringing the rainbow jersey back to the good old US of A, maybe the best we've had in years, and what does USAC do? They load up the roster with youngens Tyler Farrar and John Devine. Farrar, maybe... the course does suit him, but IMOP he doesn't have the experience necessary. Devine... the guy's strong, but really, how much experience does he have in the European peloton? Next to none and you are gonna throw him in with the biggest of the big dogs... Hence my thoughts about building for the future.

But, the future is now and it is Hincappies course. Why isn't USAC supporting him with the best team they can? Where is Freddy? He's a proven leadout guy and can get over the hills. Where is Horner? Arguably the most tactically astute rider in the European peloton and don't even question his commitment to the whole team work thing. Where is Lippyheimer? Come on... he's our reigning National Champion, owes George a little sumpin' sumpin' after that race in SC, and is a better time trialist than McCartney (two birds with one stone)...

I don't know...

maybe... for sure... I don't know all the ins and outs that go on behind the scenes, but unless Horner and Rodriguez turned down spots, are injured, or otherwise are inelligible they should be there. Liepheimer should be there without question. Come-on, at least honor his jersey.

maybe I'm an idiot, but at least when I smell a possible win, I'm gonna field the best team possible.

Sorry George, I'd have supported you better... maybe in a few years we'll see Devine leading out Farrar for the jersey, but it ain't gonna happen this year.

Monday, September 24, 2007

9/24

If today is 9/24, then the 2007 NCNCA road season is officially over... which means it is time to reminisce.

January...


DBCJRT goes 1/2 at Cal Aggie
and Kelbster and Karch race for the very first time



February...



  • AWfoSho earns his final upgrade points at Earlybird Criterium #5
  • TK wins the 2/3's at Apple Pie in a sideways rainstorm
  • Kelbster wins his first race at Cherry Pie
  • Davitamon earns his final upgrade points at Snelling making DBCJRT the only junior team on the west coast with three cat-2's

And the boys rally behind TK at Valley of the Sun


March...


  • Laundry wins the Bariani RR in the 4's
  • TK and AWfoSho go 1/3 at Land Park giving DBCJRT the perpetual trophy for the third straight year
  • And crashes come in three's... El Gigante at the Merco Downtown Crit, Davitamon at Merco RR, and TK at the Central Valley Classic... taking toll on the equipment

April...

  • The hilly road races start and the flat landers of Davis have to take a back seat to the climbers from the Bay Area...
  • TK jumps the pond to race the big boys in Europe

May...

  • Garden sneaks in a win on the Cat against the climbers
  • Staz grabs a podium spot at the State Championship Crit


    And AWfoSho gets DBCJRT's first ever Pro/1/2 win at Golden State

June...

  • Garden wins the Junior Point Series making four straight years that DBCJRT has won at least one of the age groups
  • Laundry wins a nail biter at Gold Nugget Junior Stage Race
  • And TK finish 14th on the GC at Elkhorn Stage Race as the boys cut their teeth on Pro/1/2 stage racing

July...

  • AWfoSho shows his form with a win in the juniors at 4th of July and an impressive bridge in the Pro/1/2 race along with a strong ride a Vacaville



TK slips off the podium only after the last rider finishes
in the National Championship TT

while AWfoSho sucks it and rides despite a

separated shoulder


first, off the front...



and, finally when the body said no more,

off the back


August...

  • TK takes his second trip across the pond with the US National Team
  • Laundry launches his own bloggity-blog where you can read all about his latest escapades
  • Davitamon, AWfoSho, and El Gigante try to heal up from their various injuries
  • The search for 2008 sponsorship begins
  • Garden makes public his defection to Discovery... hope he has a ride next year with the fall of the pro tour team

September...

  • The search for sponsorship intensifies
  • The leaves start to change color

Where, oh where, does the time go...






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