Monday, December 8, 2008

Team:

We will be kicking off our 2009 team rides this weekend on Sunday, December 14th. Returning team member Robby Hartman has offered to "host" the ride. This will allow us a place to convene pre and post ride and also is an intermediate point for those in the foothills and Sacramento.

The ride will be on the American River Bike Trail from Rancho Cordova up towards Beales Point in Folsom and is an out and back loop. Given the fog and weather this is a good option for this time of year. Distance will be 40 miles or so with an option for up to 60 for those that wish to extend. Team Coach Mike Pugh will be leading the ride and other adults are welcome.

The ride will roll out around 9:30 from Robby's House in Rancho Cordova. Pertinent address information is as follows. It would be great to get as many riders out as possible to start to build some miles and team chemistry for success in 2009.

Hartman's
2224 El Canto Circle
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670


Hope you all can join in.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wanted to send a follow up to my November 1st post regarding the 2009 kick-off meeting. We will be holding this meeting at the Hallmark Inn in downtown Davis (2nd street between F & G) this coming Sunday 11/16/08. The meeting will convene at 5:30 in the Breakfast Room just off the first floor lobby.

Please come prepared to complete paperwork (i.e. bring a pen), order clothing and discuss your 2009 goals (short and long-term) as this will help Mike Pugh and I to start to assess how best to help you reach them.

Finally as a reminder if you know of someone who is not on the blog or the listserv but is interested in joining for 2009 please pass this information along accordingly.

See you all Sunday night.

Shawn

Saturday, November 1, 2008

DBC Juniors- Welcome to November (albeit a soggy one) and the start to a new season. As many of you know Steve Wick has decided, after several incredibly successful years, to step down as the Juniors Race Team Director. Steve, and Joan Anton before him have done an incredible job creating a team of tremendous athletes and class individuals that have flown the flag for the DBC Juniors.

In 2009 Mike Pugh and I will be taking the reins from Steve (don't worry guys he'll still be around) and hope to continue the successful legacy that he has built. To get things started we would like to hold a kick-off meeting on Sunday evening, November 16th. Time and place to follow so keep an eye out on the blog for the details.

Mike and I know many of you well, some not so much so and some not at all, but that will soon change. We're looking forward to helping you work towards your goals for 2009 so take some time to start thinking about what you want from the upcoming season. Also, if there are others that are not currently members of the team, but that you think might have interest in joining us for 2009, please pass along the kick-off meeting information as it firms up over the next few days.

Ciao,

Shawn

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Scoop


So, I thought I'd smashed out my last post on this here blog... Dunnigan Hills RR was supposed to be my coup de grace--seven DBCJRT kidlets in a prosey race at the same time, but after releasing this news, I can officially retire from junior bike racing a fulfilled man...

not to worry, the blog will be left in capable hands and will continue to be your source for up-to-date news concerning DBCJRT

... but I've got the scoop on Cyclingnews, Veloldnews, and Pez. I've even got Hernando beat at Norcalcyclingnews.

For several of you who are close to TK, you already know, but for the rest of you...

Recent DBCJRT alum Taylor Kuphaldt has signed with the new LiveStrong team for 2009. TK will be one of a handful (10 or so) young guns who will be racing for what very well could become an Astana feeder team. Not many other details about the team except that it will be directed by Axel Mercx and Taylor Phinney will be the leader on the road. From what I understand, LiveStrong will be a u23 team, but this is the real deal. TK has signed a contract that will have have him earning a paycheck next season.

I'm stoked for the kidlet because he has worked super hard for this one. I'm also stoked for the DBC junior program because this is a first for it. Finally, I'm just stoked because I got a phone call four years ago from a papa with big expectations, and I told him we'd make a bike racer out of his kidlet.

TK came to us a brand new five who had never raced his bike before. While I don't even pretend to take all or even some of the credit, it has sure been fun watching him develop... first as a big engine, then as teammate, followed by a tactician, and finally as the whole package.

This kid is talented, and now he is rubbing shoulders with guys who can take him to the top of the sport. I'm looking forward to hearing how Bob Rolle pronounces his last name... hey Bob, here's a hint... it isn't Ka Puff Nut.

WTG TK

Monday, August 18, 2008

You've Read About It Already...

The kidlets have done a decent job of updating their blogs, so you already know how Junior Nationals went from their perspective. Thought I'd throw in a bit of my own...

For five years I've been taking kids to Nats. Some years as few as two, others as many as eight. Of all those years we've only come short of a podium spot once.

Success? I don't know... three times we've stood on the second step. Twice we've stood on the fourth step, once the fifth step. DBCJRT kidlets have also finished sixth three times and seventh once. Impressive on paper, but some would say we've never worn a jersey.

Success? I've seen the success when the kidlets are laughing together in a hotel room, or sliding down some crazy bobsled track, or besting eachother at putt-putt golf. If getting kids out of Davis, watching them bond together as teammates and friends, seeing them develop as individuals all in the name of bike racing can be called success then we can call it success.

Success? I've seen kidlets collapse in puddles following a road race. I've seen kidlets break down in tears after coming up just short. I've seen kidlets shrug their shoulders at second place and congratulate the winner. I've heard kidlets say that they finished 35th because they raced to win, not for second or third or fourth place. In all cases I've seen kidlets who know they've given their best and couldn't have done anything more. That is success.

AWfoSho said that "Pops still doesn't have a jersey." But I have a lot of memories from Nationals that may just add up to more than a jersey.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Because...

...if I write it here, I don't have to talk about it to G'ma on the phone, and Thor will have some more summer reading.

It's been awhile, but this is what I remember...

DBCJRT took first and second in the 3's at Springhill... Andreas first, Staz second. And TK gave us our second p/1/2 victory in his version of the same race.

While Staz was playing blue falcon (thanks Jaques) at Springhill, El Gigante was squeaking out a few more upgrade points at Lafeyette thanks to help from EOB and Jaques.

While Andreas, Alex F, and Taps were tearing up the junior track championships, El Gigante was working towards his upgrade at Berkeley and AWfoSho finally got his J back... banging elbows with the big boys.

TK rode to a 6th place overall in Quebec at l'Abitibi version 1.0. Still waiting for results from version 2.0. With nationals coming up, TK will have raced something like 17 races in 20 days... hopefully, we worked the program right so he is peaked for LaLa land and not trashed...

Which brings me up to today... the result sheet at Timpani showed little Alex F atop the 13/14 race and El Gigante cut it as close as he possibly could... he needed third in the 3's for his last 4 upgrade points. He finished 4th. He now sits at 24 of a needed 25 points. Which, more than anything, means we get to keep racing after nationals in August. Heard that Suisun Harbor is pretty this time of year.

BTW, the BAR/BAT junk has been updated again. DBC is second overall, and El Gigante is 5th overall in the 3's. Staz is 9th and Andreas 90th in the same. AWfoSho is 47th in the p/1/2 category and TK is 18th. Speaking of results and rankings, check this one out... or this one...

Be sure to check out the kidlets blogs for all the details... and make sure you read the history of the blog as compiled by Mechanical. He's got things for the most part correct. Oh, and he lived up to his nickname on the d-ride the other day when his crank fell off. I think the kidlet did it on purpose just so I'd have to push him all the way home...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Independence Day...

I was hoping, what with all the kidlets blogging now, that I'd be released from my duties on the interwebs... alas, it looks like the kiddos aren't quite ready for independence yet. Maybe a few writing lessons in the near future...

Anyways, let's jump into the way-back machine and dial it up to a week or so ago.

Dateline Burlingame, CA: If you read Staz's blog or El Gigante's, you pro'ly know that Staz wrapped himself around a parking meter while trying to serve up a few points to his teammate. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, but thankfully Staz is none the worse for wear...

Dateline Davis, CA: Got a call from Taps begging his way out of a $20 wager at Wednesday Worlds. See, he was talkin' big in his new blog and needed to be knocked down a notch or two (fact check before publishing, Taps), so I let him off even tho he'd pr'd last time he threw down south of Davis. He may not quite be ready for a new email address yet, but he's definitely getting faster. Keep after it Taps!

If you read Andreas' blog you know that he and his little brother gutted out some serious volunteer hours. While they were keeping their eyes on the prize a bunch of the other kidlets were doing laps around D-town. Staz and Taps piece the story together pretty well... and I'm sure that Torey will fill in some of the holes soon. Mechanical wasn't racing because he's gearing up for swim-bike-run Nationals, but he's promised us a bunch of pics... And if you don't feel like doing the clicky click read read thing... TK, AWfoSho, Staz, PtotheArker, AJ, Torey, Taps, El Gigante, Karcherific, Kelbster, and Ryan all dug deep. In the end, the kidlets weren't quite clicking on the same page and we gave away what should have been a sure W to Lombardi's Huffman. Gotta hand it to the kid. He's going super strong right now, but two months worth of not racing together left TK and AWfoSho a little lacking in the communication department and that, more than anything, cost us in the finale... Ryan, however, did save DBCJRT face, with a convincing victory in the kids race! WTG Ryan...


Speaking of the kids race... Special thanks to Karcherific for loaning his baby-bikes to my nieces and nephews so they could participate.

A few of the boyz raced with the grown-ups... Torey, Taps, AJ, and PtotheArker in the 4's; Staz and El Gigante in the 3's; TK and AWfoSho in the p/1/2 race... pack finishes all, with Staz serving up a third spot in the 3's to El Gigante. Staz and El Gigante are chasing the final few points for the upgrades. 4 or 5 to go...

Mark Adkison has put up lotsa good pics of the festivities on the 4th.
Dateline Williams, CA: Staz wouldn't listen to me about the hill and the gravel and the pavement, but I'm sure he will be back to Leesville again. TK fell even further in love with the epic with a third place finish in the prosey event. Now if we could just get Giant to race positive instead of negative...
Dateline Vacaville, CA: It was hot and the hill was big, but... AJ beat his pops!!! Taps crashed but finished, Staz took a dig but came up short, El Gigante got curbed in the chicane, TK made the break, and AWfoSho finished DFL but over half the field DNF'd. Read all about it in the kidlet's blogs...
After a few writing lessons (class starts soon) the boyz may truly be ready to fly on their own, and I will have my own little independence day!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I've Been Remiss

What with State Reports, 3rd trimester report cards, CUM folders, and what not I haven't had much of a chance to be creative.

But, to catch you up...

Napa was hot enough to start fires... EL Gigante and Staz raced the threes but succumbed to tunnel vision and head spins. AWfoSho went through three bottles in the hour long p/1/2 crit and was still thirsty. Tapinator busted a shifter cable, but still finished with the group. BTW the parcourse in downtown Napa was way cool... got to see all of the action while sitting under a shady tree on well-manicured lawn.

Diablo was, well, as expected. Andreas won the 15/16's easily. AWfoSho finished third in the 17/18's. Torey found out he can climb... with a solid 5th. And Taps put the hurt on El Gigante and Staz. When the dust settled, AWfoSho and Alex F sealed the deal on second place in their respective categories of the Junior Point Series...

Fires in the Valley are wreaking havoc on the best laid plans... VeloBob had to cancel the Gold Nugget Junior Stage Race. (make lemonade out of those lemons, Andreas.) and AWfoSho and I don't get to crew for Caren at Western States because the trail between Squaw Valley and Auburn is burning... but that means that I will get to see El Gigante and Staz race at Burlingame on Sunday morning. And, I won't have to dog sit on the weekends anymore for that silly little purse pup...

PaulMach.com finished 8th overall at the Tour de Nez which means I get to start sending out letters and emails to domestic pro teams on his behalf...

We're still waiting to hear whether or not TK gets to race his bike in South Africa at Worlds in July. Keep your fingers crossed...

There was a crash on Tuesday's RR. Sending good thoughts to FWS as he recovers from his attempts to mimic AWfoSho's shoulder injuries...

Two more blogologists throw ink into the world's biggest vanity press... El Gigante here and Staz here... Pretty soon I won't have to scribble anymore to let the world know what the kidlets are doing...

Former NorCal junior DHolla won stage 1b at the Tour of Pennsylvania. This kidlet will be getting paid next year... Other former NorCal juniors at the ToP include Tieni Duro's Julian Martinez, Max Jenkins, and Shawn Rosenthal. Good kidlets all...

Speaking of Tieni Duro... Good on Peter Taylor for getting to ride in Europe with USAC. And he doesn't even know anybody in Colorado. Good to see that results still count for something sometimes...

I'm sure there is more, but just can't squeeze it out of recall right now... besides, I'm on vacation for the next 6 weeks.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pics, Pics, Pics...

The pics from this weekend are slowly starting to trickle into my inbox... here are a couple of my favs...


Who says cats and dogs don't mix... although in this case I think Pico may be the cat and AWfoSho the dawg. In any case, AWfoSho was out like a light less than an hour before his start thanks to the effects of a grad night lock-in.

And who is this Nevada City Kitty? Staz forgot his kit at home... thankfully Hernandez was in a sharing mood. Thus Staz got to race the 3's as a cross dressing kitty. Imagine if he would have won the field sprint in baggies and a t-shirt. Thanks Mike!

A few more pics of the shindig at Livermore can be found here. And Nevada City pics are here. And pics from Andreas' Saturday sufferfest at Pescadero can be found here. Still nothing from Kentucky yet.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Race Recaps

The kidlets were all over the place this weekend... TK in Kentucky; AWfoSho, El Gigante, Mechanical, Tapinator, Staz, Alex Freund, and AJ in Livermore; Staz in Nevada City.

TK was looking to seal up a spot on the World's team with a good ride at the Tour of the Red River Gorge. He came up just short of locking up a spot with a 2nd in Saturday's TT. He beat Bax and Brown, but Liebowitz handed it to the field. Phinney, Brown, and now Liebowitz have three of the four spots, so Sunday's RR was a battle between TK and Bax for what is most likely the final spot... Hot Tubes marked TK like a sharpie, but he still managed to beat Bax to the line... problem is that Jacob Rathe won, throwing his hat into the mix. Three guys, one spot. Let's hope that politics don't leave TK on the sideline. The kidlet has earned a trip. One possible savior may be Jerika Hutchinson... she may have done well enough that USAC will only take one girl, opening up a fifth spot for the boys... We'll see...

The rest of the kidlets were vying for a district crit championship in Livermore.

Alex F easily bested the rest of the 13/14 field to earn his third title this year... good on him. With a win at the Diablo Hill Climb he can also lock up the junior point series title.

The best race of the day in Livermore had to be the 15/16 affair. Specialized brought out all of their guns and fired shot after shot. AJ, Mechanical, Tapinator, and El Gigante were on the defensive all day chasing move after move... interesting race strategy by the S boys, refusing to work in any move that El Gigante or Peter Taylor were in, driving it if they missed the selection. Taps gets credit for the ride of the weekend with his dogged efforts to nullify three or four or five moves that the kidlets missed. Seriously, best ride the kid has ever laid down! AJ and Mechanical both gave everything to the cause as well. I'm proud of all of them. In the finale El Gigante bridged up to Specialized's Laberge who had attacked solo. Laberge sat on him for the entire last lap leaving El Gigante between a rock and a hard place... sit up and go back to the field or drag the kidlet to the line. Knowing that he wasn't the fastest finisher in the field, El Gigante chose to go to the line where Laberge out kicked him to take the jersey. It's hard to race against five or six hand picked kids.

The 17/18 race was less tactical, still we came up with the same result. Staz snuck away from the field early with Lombardi's Huffman, but not before dealing out a little pay back to the S boyz... Huffman was up the road solo and Specialized's Levaton was trying to go across to him. Staz rode Levaton halfway then attacked him. Staz made the juncture, Levaton didn't. With Staz up the road, AWfoSho repeatedly frustrated the field's attempts to chase, shutting down everything that tried to go across. Staz and Huffman doggedly clung to a slim lead until the last lap when Huffman escaped Staz's clutches and soloed to victory. Staz crossed second and AWfoSho EASILY mopped up the field sprint for third...

Staz is an enigma. The boy cleans up the 3's, but can't crack the nut that is junior racing. Rumor has it that he finished 2nd at Nevada City in the 3's earlier today... taking the field sprint but with a solo artist up the road. However, in all of his attempts at junior racing he has won but once... a tiny little affair at Berkeley Hills with a field of four a few years back. Staz knows that we really don't count that one... but danged the boy can ride a 3's race. El Gigante better hurry up with those last few points or Staz is gonna get a mandatory and move on without him.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Desparately Seeking Shoes

El Gigante's shoes were a little on the tired side... the heel cups were pretty much shot, the funky little lace thing had busted and was tied in a knot, and to top it off, I stripped out one of the bolt holes when I was replacing a cleat for him early last week.

Cycling shoes, being pretty personal and all... we thought we had replacements located late last week. Even brought 'em home. A snappy looking pair, all plastic and carbon and pleather.

Since G'ma and G'pa will be arriving soon for AWfoSho's graduation I figured I'd do a little cleaning. Tossed El Gigante's old shoes out with the trash to make room for the new ones... plus, those things stunk!

Problem is, El Gigante was wearing rather thick socks when he tried the new shoes on. Once he put cycling socks on, his feet were swimming in said shoes. Feet swimming in shoes is okay if you are a ten-year-old kidlet with growing feet. It's not okay if you are planning on riding ten to fifteen thousand miles in them, especially if you fashion yourself somewhat of a field sprinter. And more importantly it's not okay when I drop a few c-notes on the darn things. Back to the Wheelworks with the shoes...

Got the new pair on order, but they won't arrive until later this week. Andrew Wike graciously loaned his shoes to El Gigante to race in this weekend... as he handed them to the kidlet I think I heard him mumble something about winning in them. Not sure if he wanted El Gigante to win so he could claim part of the victory, or if he wanted him to win because he felt bad for his shoes because they had never actually been on a podium... ( jk enter Andrew. Thanks for saving the day!) Anyways, El Gigante couldn't scrape together a "W", but he did manage to finish 5th in the 3's and 3rd in the juniors. Me thinks he should donate his winnings to Andrew...

BTW, DBCJRT had a field day in the junior race today... AJ, PtotheArker, El Gigante, and AWfoSho combined to take all of the primes and the overall win.

AND... Tapinator has an extra pair of shoes for El Gigante to train in until his new ones arrive.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's unscientific and all, but it's still fun...

The boyz over at NCNCA got the BAR/BAT thing updated through Modesto... DBC currently sits second with 746 points. Coolio... but what is really cool is that the DBCJRT portion of DBC accounts for about 430 of those points. okay, so I just did a quick count... nothing scientific, but still. And that doesn't count all of TK's points that we didn't get credit for because USACycling lists him as USA National Team in their database. Fun stuff when you don't have anything else to do on a Tuesday evening...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Catching up... again

A few randoms in no particular order...

TK should be home from his European escapade by now. On Saturday the kidlet did well... finishing second on the stage. On Sunday the kidlet touched pavement. Rumor has it that he was one of two boyz from the good old U.S. of A. left in the lead group. Second hand reports put him on the very front with three or four K's to go. Somehow he wrecked... stitches on the lower leg, concussion on the noggin. TK doesn't remember anything immediately preceding the wreck or for an hour afterwards. Taylor Phinney, who was with him in the group, didn't see what happened. Just saw him on the ground. Jimbo called to give me the knews and scared me to death. Concussions are nothing to play around with, but I thought he was gonna tell me that TK had busted something up that would keep him out of Worlds... aaack

While TK was spending Sunday in hospital the rest of the DBCJRT kidlets grabbed a handful of silver medals at Dunlap... Rookie in the 13/14 women, Andreas in the 15/16 boys, AWfoSho in the 17/18 boys. Alex F one-upped his teammates with his second championship this year by winning the 13/14 boys race quite handily... Mark's pics can be found here

Staz and El Gigante raced with the proseys at ICCC's Dash for Cash... 135 riders that kept it strung out for 75 minutes. El Gigante got caught behind a crash with 4 to go ending his ride, but Staz came out of the final turn eighth wheel... problem was that he was already spun out in his 14. lost quite a few spots in the drag race. Time for more of Jesse's 140 rpm drills...

Speaking of Jesse... coach gets to ride with a composite team at Nature Valley in a few weeks. Good on him for earning the spot with his finish at Wente last month.

And while we are on the subject of fast guys... Rookie and PtotheArker joined me for the junior ride this eve. We then joined that local pro Switters kid, TDibble, and their better third, Amy Encalada for a quick twenty mile jaunt. When I first met Rookie she was wearing a Rock Racing hoodie looking more like one of the Rock podium girls than the athlete she is... anyways, it was fun to see her get just a little bit excited about riding with a guy from her favorite team.

Then there is my favorite team... Mechanical's dad sent me a few shots of the kidlets at Dunlap. I'll post 'em as time allows.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

From TK across the pond

TK's email to his pops...

I finally got some internet access here...so the race is over and I'm getting a bit sick, but I'm taking vitamins and cold medicine and I think I'll be okay before PDV starts. The first day of PDV is just a 3k TTT, so I have till friday to really get healthy.The race went pretty well. We won the KOM with Nick and I was his leadout man for the KOM sprints. It was fun working with him, and we won most of the sprints. Nate wore the best young rider jersey but he crashed on a descent on the last day and had a concussion and broke his wrist so he's out for PDV. I guess they're sending over Cody Foster to take his place. I didn't have a great ride in the TT, but the road stages all went well for me. I was in the big break on the first day with Nate. We got about 20 guys and we rolled up to almost a 2 minute lead. I drove it while Nate sat in, because he was the obvious GC guy. That stage finished on some really hilly circuits in the city and after driving the break away for 50k I got dropped with about 10k to go when the #1 guy in the world, Michael Kwiatkowsky of Poland, attacked the break. It worked out good though because Nate still finished in the break with a minute over the field. I finished in the pack.I found it pretty easy to ride at the front, even though it rained at least a bit every day. On the fourth stage I was in a four man break from about 25k out. I dropped the others on a long twisty descent and we never quite worked together real well. We had 35 seconds with about 7k to go, but Kwiatkowsky had his whole team on the front chasing. I went solo at the bottom of the final climb and got swallowed up with 500m to go. overall it was a good race for me in that I could really compete with the A-teams from all the top countries in the world.so I'll try and email again tomorrow.

and a few from Ben Sharp, USACycling's junior director...

Stage 1, moderately hilly terrain with 5 closing circuits that were all up or all down. 104km, Blieskastel-Saarbrucken, 21 teams of 6 riders, all national teams as this is a Nations Cup event.
The goal of the race was for everyone to stay out of trouble and make it to the closing circuits in tact. If a group slipped up the road, our ambition was to be represented. Brown and Phinney were the “protected” riders. The opening 2 circuits (before the point-to-point part of the race to get to the Saarbrucken included 2 trips up a very steep, wet, cobbled climb. Our riders managed to stay in the front and out of trouble, with Bax notching up first place points on the 2nd KOM. After about 60km, a massive group of 25 muscled their way up the road with Kuphaldt and Brown representing the Stars and Stripes. In an effort to help Brown gain time on the chasing peloton, Kuphaldt did his share of work and ended up paying for it as the group went away with about 15km to go, leaving him to finish with the peloton. Brown won a KOM on the finishing circuits and rolled in with the breakaway, in 20th. Phinney, Bax, and Kuphaldt eased across the finish line with the peloton and Leibovitz and Tickemyer lost contact in the finishing laps. The stage was won by Polish superstar Michael Kwiatkowski who bridged across the 40 second gap from the peloton to the breakaway, then won the gallop. Last year he was the World #1 ranked junior in the UCI and two weeks ago repeated his win at Course de la Paix in the Czech Republic.

Stage 2, slightly flatter terrain but with a difficult circuit of 22km to be repeated 3x at the end. 101.0km, Hoburg-Wittersheim.
A little bit of excitement today as Phinney flatted at the most inopportune time, on a narrow climb through a town but, the neutral support got him taken care of and he was able to get back into the bunch with Leibovitz’s help, after a 10km chase through the cars. Meanwhile, Bax was off the front with a German and a Dane, and able to earn points (and the jersey) in two more KOMs. The break came back before the final circuit and the group finished more or less in tact, with Sabastian Lander form Denmark taking the win. Kwiatkowski was second and able to extend his lead thanks to a time bonus. Brown, Kuphaldt and Phinney finished in the bunch while Leibovitz and Bax paid for their early efforts and came in well within the time cut. Tickemyer came off in the final 8km, a definite improvement from where he was a week ago.

Stage 3a, rolling 11.7km Time Trial, Bockweiler-Altheim.
On alternately drizzle-slick and dry roads the boys rode quite well this morning. It was incredible to have the rainbow jersey representing the U.S. in the T.T. final results are below. Kwiatkowski beat 2nd by 14 seconds with Phinney 20 seconds back. Brown is in the hunt for the Young Rider’s Competition after a sterling ride that should put him in the top-6 going into this afternoon’s stage. Adam Leibovitz was the 4th rider off and held the top time for about 45 minutes, eventually finishing in the top-10. Bax and Tickemyer, as per my instruction, took it relatively easy for the TT, with the intention being to have some strength to defend the KOM jesery. Kuphaldt had a solid ride to turn in a 15:05.
Phinney 4th, @ 20” (15th G.C.)
Brown 11th @ 32” (3rd G.C., best young rider)
Leibovitz 15th @ 38”
Kuphaldt 47rh @ 1’12”
Bax 86th @ 1’49” (KOM leader)
Tickemyer @ 1’53”

Stage 3b, hilly circuits on wet roads, 77.7km, Volklingen-Grosrossein
The plan was to defend the two jerseys and stay out of trouble in preparation for tomorrow’s 135km test. The event was relatively uneventful with no mishaps for USA. With some help from Leibovitz and Kuphaldt, Bax was able to take 4th on the sole KOM sprint and keep his lead by a mere one point over his Russian competitor. Kuphaldt found himself in an uncooperative break with 3 others that was caught on the final climb, about 250m from the finish. Because of splits in the peloton on the finishing climb, Brown slipped one spot on G.C. and lost the young rider’s jersey. The team however is in great shape and even after losing Tickemyer today are eager for tomorrow’s test.


and stage 4...

Stage 4, undulating 24km circuit to be completed 5.5 times, with twosignificant climbs per lap. Nothing too steep but quite long. 134 kmtotal.The race today started in Rimling, France and skirted the French/Germanborder. Within a stone's throw, you could hear two distinct languages asthe primary form of communication. The forecast was for high temperatureswhich we figured favored our boys. We had two strategies for the race:1) defend the KOM jersey for Bas, as his lead was narrow and the first threetimes up the first climb on the circuit counted for points.2) advance Brown's position in the G.C. On paper, it looked like he couldclaw his way into the top-3, earning the Young Rider's jersey along the way.Plan # 1 went to perfection. Bax dug deep and with the help of Kuphaldt andLeibovitz was able to match the accelerations of the Austrian, Sokol. Aftertwo ascents, no ground had been made up on Bax's lead and before the 3rdKOM, a group of 16 rode off the front. With no one there to mathematicallythreaten the dotted jersey, all Nick had to do was finish within the timecut to keep the fancy shirt.Plan # 2 didn't go so well. The first time off the descent of the KOM hill,Brown crashed solo into a tree. I estimate he was going close to 60km andinstantely came to a stop. When I got to the scene, the paramedics werealready there but, he had yet to move. My mechanic, Benoit, hopped out ofthe car and as he got to Nathan, they made eye contact. We saw him move hisright arm. Briefly we checked in with the medics and they assured us he wasok. Of course the race progressed and this being the land ofmis-information, we got alternating reports over the radio regarding hishealth. Eventually, it was confirmed that he was ok and had been taken tothe hospital by car (not by medi-vac as initially reported!!!) forobservation, the concern being the concussion he had sustained. It wascomforting to have most of the other team director's in the caravan ask,from time to time, if we had heard anything. Even the chief commissairecalled us to the front to see if we had any news. In the end, he broke hisright Radius and suffered a mild concussion. The trashed helmet (and intact skull) is a testimony to the value of wearing a lid. He's back at thehotel with us now and in moderate spirits. Being the trooper he is, evenafter I offered to arrange to get him home ASAP, he's going to endure theArmy Barracks at Pays de Vaud with his teammates.Back to the racing...The large breakaway dominated the race until the teamof Poland's race leader, Kwiatokowski took over at the front. They broughtall but two of the break back on the last lap and Belgium's Tosh van derSande held off the hard charging pack by 10 seconds to take the win.Phinney came across the line 14th with Kuphaldt easing across the line withthe field. Leibovitz showed even more signs of life today and motored achase group that finished 1:30 down. Finally, Bax came in with his KOMcrown a few minutes later.As a last minute replacement for Nathan Brown, Cody Foster is en route thisafternoon to meet us at Le Tour du Pays de Vaud in Switzerland. In themeantime, we are staying at the Hotel Bliesbruck in Herbitzheim, GER untilwe head to Moudon, SUI on Wednesday. They guys are enjoying some down timeand socializing with the podium girls from the weekend. Ah, to be 18.If last year is any indication, there will be no internet available while weare in Switzerland. I will try to get word out on occasion on theBlackberry.Results for Trofeo Karlsberg can be found at www.romers.nl

pictures can be found at http://eventfotos.net/frames.htm

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Racing with the Grown-ups

A few years back AWfoSho and Thor went thru a period when they dominated the 3's... If memory serves it was 06 when they finished on the podium at Santa Rosa, EMC, and Golden State. The rest of the 3's started marking them... paying attention to what DBCJRT was doing.
I guess it is becoming a kind of tradition...
Rewind for a moment to the 08 EBC crit. Staz manhandled the 3's, taking the field sprint for the top spot. Next up Golden State. I keep waiting for the pics of the 3's finish to come up. Somebody has to have a picture of Staz's victory salute... Arms spread wide, eyes rolled up to the sky. The impression was one of, "come on guys, that was too easy!" And yesterday the kidlets did it again... Staz made a perfect job of showing El Gigante how it is done... delivering him to the last corner first. Where El Gigante could do nothing but cross the line first... three consecutive races, three "W"s... The kidlets are marked again... El Gigante says that the fight for Staz's wheel on the last lap was epic... elbows, shoulders, the whole nine yards. the field sprint was full-blown out-of-the-saddle banging. And the kidlet's big enough that I wouldn't want to be leaning on him when push comes to shove. Staz and El Gigante will try to make it four in a row in Pleasanton this weekend.
AWfoSho spent Monday afternoon prime whoring... with all the big dawgs (DHolla, McCook, Magnall, Vigus, Klein) out to play, he figured the best place to showcase his skills was during prime laps... The kidlet bided his time at the back of the pack while the prime bell rang for coffee and bike shop gift certificates. He waited for the big money primes later in the race... Timing was perfect when, with six laps to go, the boyz chasing the win chose to sit in and save it for the finale... The bell rang for $100 and AWfoSho came out to play... a quick bridge to a solo break, an equally quick attack of the break, and AWfoSho soloed across the line to claim his crisp $100 bill. Funny thing is that he earned as much as DHolla did for the win. Maybe someday he'll be the one foregoing the primes for the victory, but he was more than happy to take the big money prime on this day.
I know that some of the other kidlets raced all grown-up like in the 4's and 5's, but haven't got the reports yet... chime in boyz. As soon as I know more I will pass it along...

And just to whet your appetite, got a few emails from across the pond... TK finally found a moment to update us. I'll do my best to compose those into a little something for you to read tomorrow night.
In the mean time, feast your eyes...

El Gigante and Staz start the 3's at Golden State


Janwich always complains that he can't watch the race and take video or pics at the same time... I say priorities, dude. I'd like to say that he is usually better at it, but I've come to expect this... either way, this is the only finishing shot of Staz at Golden State that I've found.


At least this one isn't blurry...


This finish line shot of El Gigante at Memorial Day Crit belongs to Scott Mosher. Check out the real deal at http://em.scottmosherphotography.com/p/940e3/2008-05-26-5109

Scott also got this shot of AWfoSho on his way to payday at the Memorial Day Crit

Monday, May 26, 2008

GoldenMountHamiltonMemorialStateDayCrit...

or something like that... it all gets crazy-mixed-up when there is so much racing going on.

Saturday it rains, but the kidlets aren't made out of sugar and spice so they don't melt. AJ, Mechanical, Tapinator, Torey, El Gigante, Staz, AWfoSho, and Rookie (don't know why she didn't melt because she's a princess and must be made of sugar and spice) braved rain slicked roads and a new 180 degree hairpin in the junior showdown at Golden State. Lombardi's Evan Huffman had made a bet with ex-dbcjrt-kidlet-turned-terrorist Thor, saying he'd beat AWfoSho... game on! The race turned into a slugfest between Huffman and AWfoSho... off the front, bring him back, off the front, bring him back... meanwhile, Mechanical was touching pavement in the u-turn, Tapinator was trying to figure out the whole wet pavement thing, Staz was puking, AJ and Torey were gutting it out and Rookie was riding laps around her competition in the ladies version of the same race. In the end, El Gigante threw his chances at a "W" in the 15/16 affair to the wind so that he could lay down a sick lead-out for big bro. And AWfoSho made Thor $10.00 richer... while Rookie took her first "W" in the ladies contest.

Sunday the roads tipped skyward and Andreas was the sole kidlet at Mount Hamilton... learning to suffer like a champ... hat's off for finishing that thing.

Monday the sun finally came out. And Specialized had their act together. AWfoSho felt the frustration of being a marked man in the 17/18 race... anybody else goes up the road and everybody looks to him to bring it back. He goes up the road and, well, you know that saying about stink on... the whole field is all over him. At one point, with Huffman up the road, Mechanical and El Gigante dug deep into the pain cave to bring the race back together for their captain, assuring a field sprint... until Specialized starting playing tricks. With one to go, they started attacking and countering. AWfoSho covered the first two while the rest of the pack sat on him. Then Avis took off and the kidlet hesitated a moment too long... Avis had 15 meters on AWfoSho out of the last corner. AWfoSho had fifteen meters on the pack. And that's the way it ended with Staz best of the rest of the field to take the third spot... Little LaBerge won the 15/16 race for Specialized and an up-and-coming Marcus Smith did the same for the Sboyz by nipping Alex Freund at the line in the 13/14 race... Good on the kidlets wearing red...

That's how the junior versions shook out anyways... but there were big doin's in the elite categories for the kidlets... something about two more "W"s, $100 primes, and up-grade points...
those tales will have to wait for another night because I can see heavy eyelids on all the young'ns 'bout now.
btw, Janwich took the pic at Golden State. I think the kidlets were telling me how it was gonna all go down. Either that or we were looking at the... well, who knows what we were looking at.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lotsa Action...

The kidlets were racing all over the place this weekend...

While a bunch of the boys were volunteering at the Davis Double Century on Saturday, El Gigante and AWfoSho made the trek to Modesto for a little crit action (hadn't been to Rick and PJ's race before, but gotta admit, they put on a good show). El Gigante suffered in the heat during the 3's race, finally succumbing when the asthma monster crushed his chest in a vise... didn't stick around for the finish of the 3's, so don't know how it all turned out because in one of those quirks, the proseys raced before the 3's. Two bottles were barely enough to get AWfoSho through the heat blasted, 60-minute fast guys contest, but he was able to squeak out a 4th place... behind Viktor Rapinsky and DHolla no less.

Sunday's racing saw DBCJRT kidlets spinning at Panoche, searching for a district championship... early reports from my not too reliable source have the 15/16 podium as Peter Taylor, Andreas Freund, and Ryan Eastman... in that order. The same source says that Alex Freund took the jersey in the 13/14 race. Wish I had more to report, but I guess we'll have to wait for the tales of guts and glory to surface on the interwebs a little later.

Staz, AWfoSho, and El Gigante chose to hit Rick and PJ up one more time for the world's biggest crit. More formally known as the Modesto RR, the course is a pancake flat, nine mile circuit. Most of the fields stayed together all day because the air was dead still and hot enough to melt butter. DHolla single handedly kept things together in the prosey race then easily dispatch the bunch in the field sprint. AWfoSho eaked out another top ten, finishing ninth. The only race, that I know of, that didn't end in a bunch kick was the 3's. Three riders snuck away early and maintained a slim 45 second advantage til the line. Staz did his best to bring the escapees to bare, but it wasn't his day. El Gigante finished second in the bunch kick behind the break to nab fifth on the day. Good enough for a few more upgrade points, five bucks, and a t-shirt...

those in the know... use a little bandwidth to fill me in on the happenings at Panoche... I'm curious...

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's just that corner...

There is something about that corner... you know the one. You're just about home, relaxed, spinning easy, goofing off just a bit. The ride is almost over.

In our case, that corner is off of Arlington and onto the Village Homes' bike path. That corner got Kelbster once, Karcherific another time. This evening it got April... The thought crossed my mind shortly before making the left hander that I should warn the kidlets, but I didn't...

April, like Karcherific and Kelbster before her, hit those rolly polly little pine cone thingies and washed the front wheel out. She moves right quick though and got unclipped and caught herself with her hands before knee and hip could hit the ground. Not a mark on her...

Karch and Kelbster are all boy... when they hit the ground they drew blood. April, she's just a princess. Much to regal and demure to bother with any blood.

Thought maybe I could get the nickname, Princess, to stick... but earlier in the ride I'd already settled on Rookie... for the rookie marks that April likes to sport on her right leg. Mechanical is jealous of her new moniker, but I told him, "Too bad!" He earned Mechanical... and Rookie suits April much better anyway...

but what's in a name anyway?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

looks like we got it right...

TK is heading to Europe in a week or so...

which kinda posed a problem. The season plan had him peaked for Sea Otter in search of that elusive win. But, with the Europe trip following so close on the heels of the Otter Jesse kinda had his work cut out for him. The problem was that the time in between was too long to maintain a peak, but not long enough to really take TK all the way down and rebuild him...

Talked to the kidlet this evening. He finished third at Bazerkely Hills today in the proseys. He was second, but Jesse passed him in the finale... TK says he has his race legs back like he did early in the season. Jesse got it just right... shut TK down after the Otter, but kept the engine idling with just enough rpms to allow it to crank back up for the European campaign... BUT not quite enough rpms to beat the old coach at Berkely Hills!!!

TK will have access to the interwebs across the pond so watch for updates in a week or so...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chris 'I got the W' Stastny

Staz crept within one point of his 2's upgrade today at the EBC crit. With a short finishing stretch, Staz launched his sprint between the 3rd and 4th corner, took the hole shot into the final straightaway and held off the charging field to earn his second W of the season...

El Gigante finished shortly behind, in 8th...

It's been fun to watch Staz's attitude change from I can barely hang with the 3's to I own the 3's over the last few months. Coolio when a kid figures it out.

Friday, May 9, 2008

You all know already...

got scooped by Hernando today, but not because he found out before me. Got to read EOB's email in real time. It's just that 31 fifth-graders wouldn't give me a spare moment to post this morning.

But, what Mike doesn't know is that I was instrumental in getting PaulMach.com to shave his legs (no matter what Paul tells you) and Phil 'shoot for the' Mooney still owes me $42 for the helmet he will be wearing when he races tomorrow and Sunday... I even have nicknames for the collegial kidlets. Yes, both those boys race for DBC when they aren't wearing cow kits, I've cooked dinner for them in tiny extended-stay kitchenettes and handed up bottles to them in too many feedzones not to claim them as my own. Tdibble and Shawn R both are DBC products as well...

gotta grab a piece of the stars and bars jersey while I can :)

BTW Tdibble thinks I'm the coolest thing since sliced bread...

Congrats boys. now go get a couple more jerseys!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

So...

El Gigante is home sick... and telling me that I need to post something just so he has some verbage to read.

Well, here's what's up...

Kelbster's riding dirt on Wednesday evenings...

Mechanical has been doing that swim, bike, run thing. And doing it quite well...

AWfoSho got beat by Greg Andersen again at Wednesday Worlds...

TK missed his start time again. Thank God that Wednesday Worlds happens again in two weeks...

Tapinator's got a new position on his TT rig...

Davitamon's been racking up huge volunteer hours. Gotta hand it the boy who can't even race this year...

The Aggie boys and girls have run off to CO to win a few stars and bars jerseys. Go PaulMach.com, go TDibble, go Phil 'shoot for the' Mooney...

AWfoSho is not pronounced Aah fo show. It is pronounced A Dub fo Show...

I still have a bunch of Rudy Project glasses that need to get picked up...

Astana's going to the Giro... oh, that is old news. But, Velonews (the paper version) still doesn't know it yet...

Velonews (the cybersmut version) lists Tom Danielson as a contender for the maglia rosa... sphincter sez waa?

Protour cycling loses its luster after the Spring Classics are over... the grand tours are fun and all, but oh so predictable...

Petacchi won't sprint...

Hushovd can't sprint... fast enough...

TK's leavin' on a jet plane in 9 days to race his bike all eurostyle...

Other than that, not much is going on...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Off Days...

Got to spend the day with the carpet cleaner and the mop. Was kinda weird sleeping in on a Saturday morning. With housekeeping on the docket, I figured that the longer I slept in the longer I could put off the chores...

While I was playing happy homemaker Tapinator, Andreas, Alex F and Staz were playing in Los Gatos. Don't know much except that Staz was 8th in the 3's and that we grabbed a couple of third places in the junior races. details anyone?

I guess that Swift's Ryan Eastman tore it up again, winning both the junior 15/16 race and the 3's... that boy's got loads of talent and is hyper-motivated right now. Hope he can stay on top of the form and not ride the J out of his legs before nationals.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wente Weekend Whatnots

so...

the results are here... at least for the crit. But, they are screwed up. They have a bunch of masters guys winning the junior 17/18 race. Good ego boost for the old dudes, I guess. Nothing up from the road race... but that's not really important... what is important is that Kelbster, Torey, Tapinator, and PtotheArker all won battles with the hills, heat, and wind... 3 demons that conspired to dnf over half of the p/1/2 field. The kidlets done good... they all finished. they all can be proud.

Speaking of demons... AWfoSho did battle with his own demons on Sunday.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to one or more terrifying events in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened... according to one publication in the know, anyway. Even though I teach in a fifth-grade classroom, which is practically a war zone, I've never even come close to seeing PTSD in real life... until Sunday.

The junior race was the first of several races that was halted for emergency vehicles... not sure one was really necessary, but I guess it is a parent's prerogative... and the kidlets got to sit next to flashing lights and sirens for, oh, about twenty minutes or so. Once things got all sorted out and racing resumed El Gigante continued his march to the finish with Specialized's Marcus Smith in tow, and the 17/18 crowd was left to sprint it out for the top spot in their race.

The finishes were kinda anti-climactic. Marcus made a gentleman's deal with El Gigante... "tow me to the line and I won't sprint." The kidlet was true to his word. The 17/18's finished in a lack-luster bunch kick (congrats to Lucas Lebow by the way). AWfoSho crossed the line third and promptly disappeared.

I found him fifteen minutes later in the back seat of the car in a cold sweat and trembling. The ambulance triggered some sort of recall and did a little number on his thinker. Literally took a few good firm slaps to the side of the face to bring him out of it...

Being the suck-it-up kinda guy I am, I forced (not really, because he knew I was right) AWfoSho to race the p/1/2 race later in the afternoon. If he didn't get right back on the horse it probably would never happen. Unfortunately he got to see the p/1/2 women try to decide who could leave the most skin on the pavement not once but twice, listen to everybody talk about crashing, and see ladies and gents walk around all mummified up in gauze and cotton for three hours before his race started. I was pretty close to packing it all in and taking him home. At one point he was fighting off tears... the kidlet loves bike racing, but knows what it takes to be at the sharp end of a crit in the final laps. he was worrying that he didn't have it anymore. Finally settled on putting a radio in his ear so I could talk him thru the prosey event... you know, keep it light, offer encouragement, tell him to nut up... whatever it took.

And then the fun began... we joked our way thru pre-start nerves from 200 meters distant, I asked him to get Roman Kilun's autograph for me, as he was lined u next to him. We made up secret code words, just in case somebody was listening in. My call sign was big daddy, his hemophiliac (just because he didn't know what it meant). We poked an awful lot of fun at BPG just because they had like seventy-five guys in the race all miked-up and spotters stationed every twenty meters along the course. And AWfoSho rolled around at the back of the field. He was racing, but he wasn't really racing.

So, when the prime bell rang and the field was all together I mentioned that he could take his chica out to dinner with the twenty bucks... then, as an afterthought, I told him El Gigante volunteered to double it with his winnings from the junior race and he could take the girlfriend out to a movie as well.

When the field came into sight around the final corner there was AWfoSho in the right hand gutter, out of the saddle, going full-tilt. He'd come from the back to the front in a lap. The cool thing was that in the left hand gutter was DHolla, out of the saddle going full-tilt in his stars and stripes skin suit. Drag race... it's not often that somebody beats DHolla in a drag race, but on this occasion, AWfoSho took the twenty bucks while El Gigante was yelling at me that I had to match the $20... he wasn't paying for it.

Just a small positve... but it was enough. AWfoSho stayed at the front and banged elbows and shoulders with the big dawgs for the final laps of the race before throwing out the anchor and drifting to the back. baby-steps... He'll be back. It's in his blood.

by the way... got a text message this morning. "Transfer the $40 into my bank account, please" I did so with a smile on my face...

Friday, April 25, 2008

What to watch for at Wente


Alex F, Torrey, Tapinator, AJ, and Kelbster will queue up at the start line for the 15/16 fiesta... they'll be racing in a stacked junior field. Gone are the days where 8 or 9 kidlets lined up. The 2008 version of Wente features a field of 36 kidlets in the 15/16 race. Big hitters such as Swift's Eastman, Tieni Duro's Taylor, and Specialized's Shaffer and Bentley all are taking the start. Odds on favorite has to be Eastman with his two wins at Sea Otter, but Taylor or Bentley could steal the show if things break their way. Sukys of Expert Tree Service could throw a monkey wrench into the works if the favorites aren't careful... without any pure climbers in the mix, DBCJRT will probably be fighting for scraps in this one. Sounds like a day for some aggressive riding by the kidlets from Davis. No sense sitting in waiting for the finale when you can't get up that final hill as fast as the big hitters. Who knows... maybe something will slip away with one of my kidlets in it and we'll pull something out of our hat.

The 17/18 race will be a much smaller affair but not much easier to predict... all the top dawgs in the 17/18 grupetto will be racing in the pro/1/2 event which means that a guy like PtotheArker, Bolster, or Christensen could steal the show... Specialized's Levaton has a decent shot, but only if he can fight thru the, err, cramps that he always seems to suffer when it gets hard. Should be fun to watch who comes up the hill first.

Don't think I've ever seen a full p/1/2 field at Wente before, but this year is darn close. If it isn't full now, it will be by the time reg closes in the morning. With a slot at the Nature Valley GP on the line the boys will be firing on all cylinders. Unless a local pro slips into the field at the last minute, I've gotta give the nod to Mattis or DBCJRT coach Jesse Moore of Giant, but Nate English, Z Team's phenom, could slip in with his first p/1/2 victory if he can hang with the seasoned vets on the descent. Nate's been riding a rocketship thru the categories... unfortunately the steep trajectory has left him lacking in the handling department, something that was painfully evident at Martinez. As for the DBCJRT kidlets, AWfoSho is in it for the miles, TK has an outside shot of being there for the finale. Keep the fingers crossed. Swift's Brandt will be riding his first ever p/1/2 race, but the boy has done his work in the 3's. He's definitely ready. I'm looking forward to watching his ride...

The 3's should be a wide open affair. Looks like most of the "just moving thru" guys have moved thru for this year, but you never know. El Gigante, Staz, and Andreas will be toeing the line for DBCJRT... I made Staz a promise regarding his predicted victory, but I'm pretty sure I won't have to follow thru. El Gigante just wants to test himself against a full field on a hilly road course. With 100 riders, he should be able to sag climb for a few laps. Andreas is going to have to overcome demons on the descent, but he should be able to climb with all but the very best mountain goats in the 3's.

For flatlanders, Wente can be painful. But, there is always the crit on Sunday! Yeehaw!!!

And that's all I have to say about that...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rewind...

Awhile back I mentioned this cat I met in the feed zone at Madera...

We're sittin' there all chit chattin' and what not when he mentions that his racer is gonna be pissed off because he missed his feed.

So I respond with something along the lines of, "When they start paying you then they can be pissed off."

And my man quips, "They're paying me... quite well."

Now my interest is piqued and my ears perked up... "What's this?" I think to myself.

I guess the perplexed look on my face must have asked the questions for me because this guy who seems to have figured something out hands me his card. The card got lost somewhere in the pile of Gu wrappers and water bottles on the floor of my car, but the gist of it was...

You pay me $200 plus expenses and I will wrench, feed, drive, fill water bottles and do your laundry for you while you race... basically, I will treat you like a pro sans the massage.

The guy was the real deal. He'd previously earned his living wrenching in a bike shop, made a few contacts with Daddy Warbucks and his compatriots and the rest is history. He'd been to Phoenix and Baker City, Bend and all points California with his clients... road trips, he'd drive the car with all the equipment whilst the clients flew.

"here's my bike. pick me up at the airport. oh, and I'd like two scoops of cytomax in my bottle, my eggs over easy, and put a little of that butter in my chamois."

"yes'r" or yes'm"

Can't figure this one out. Part of me is thinking that it is a good gig, if you love bike racing... part of me is thinking that one couldn't pay me enough to do that. But, then again, I do it for free for a bunch of kidlets every weekend...

Anyways, I'm all wonderin' just who would really pay for this stuff... I mean, the 35+ crowd would be the target audience I guess... lots of extra dough laying around for most of those cats. Why do you think bike shops won't give 35+ers sponsorships worth anything more than a minor discount. So I sneak a peak the next time the boy's on the job passing out bottles.

Shor'nuff shoulda guessed it... he was passing up bottles to a team full of guys in red and white with a big S on their chest. Hmm? as if those guys needed anymore of an advantage...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pics from Sea Otter

Just got these from JimboH...


AWfoSho finishes solo to win the 17/18 Road Race

The 17/18 Road Race Podium... AWfoSho first, TK second,

Evan Huffman third, Bryan Larson fourth, and Tyler Brandt fifth

TK finishes solo to win the 17/18 Circuit Race

The 17/18 Circuit Race Podium... TK first, Tyler Brandt second,

Bryan Larson third, Conner O'Leary fourth, Scotty Tickmeyer (not pictured) fifth

The 15/16 Road Race Podium... Peter Taylor first, Ryan Eastman second,

Benny Swedberg (not pictured) third, Joel Shaffer fourth, El Gigante fifth

And my favorite... from left to right: El Gigante, Staz, AWfoSho

and TK with the Otter!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday at Sea Otter

Given that Salinas is home to the Steinbeck Center, I'm thinking that Dust Bowl might have been a more appropriate title to this post...

Sounds like the wind was howling today 'round Laguna Seca, stirring up more than a little dust. TK rode about a third of the gutterfest that was the NRC circuit race before succumbing to the hill... except it wasn't the uphill that killed him. It was the descent. Couldn't quite turn the 14 over fast enough and once the gap opened... well, you know how fast the big dawgs ride.

But, the Kuphaldts are bringing home a jersey anyway. TK's pops, Jim, couldn't let his kidlet outdo him, so he went out and won the 35+ 5's circuit race. I've suspected for a long time that TK has some special blood running thru his veins. Jim's victory today confirms it :)

Totals from the Otter... four junior races, two wins, one second place, three total podiums. And, you can add one more jersey to that because dads are honorary DBCJRT athletes!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sea Otter Day Two

Don't have many details, but I can tell you this...

TK did his thing today in the 17/18 Circuit Race, winning solo... sounds like he was about 300 meters off the front when he crossed the line, but it didn't come easy. According to Jim he had to beat himself silly over and over again trying to get off the front before he finally escaped. Couldn't be happier for the kidlet. He's worked hard for that jersey... AWfoSho's legs were pretty cooked from yesterday's effort, but he did what he could to help his teammates before popping off the back. He and Staz ended up finishing a couple minutes down.

El Gigante squeaked himself onto the podium in the 15/16 race. Rumor has it he was dropped at one point but chased back on to manage fifth in the finale. Jim has been giving him a bad time... saying that he would never forget the moment. See, podium girls were handing out kisses... what a place for a first kiss!

For four years DBCJRT has been reaching for Sea Otter jerseys... we came within half a wheel two years ago... This year we swept the junior races!!!

BTW, 17/18 road race results can be found here. and 15/16's here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Early reportage from the Otter...

When the cell phone started vibrating at 2:15 or so this afternoon I wanted nothing more than to tell my students to put their heads down so I could take the call... but, being all professional like, I figured I'd better wait...

spent the last half hour of the day oscillating between, "somebody wrecked" and "somebody won!" every time the phone would vibrate...

when the bell finally rang and I had a chance to check the voicemail I heard a severely out of breath kidlet say, "Dad, I won the road race... call me back!"

AWfoSho escaped the group early in the first lap and soloed 50 plus miles to win by two minutes... at one point he had nursed his lead to five minutes. A fear of being caught kept the pedals ticking over up the hill to the line, where he collapsed into a pile of delirium, blurred vision, panting lungs, and twitching muscles...

TK mopped up the finishing group with an attack at the base of the final climb and crossed the line 30 seconds ahead of the chasers... Staz finished in the top ten. Still waiting for reports on Brian.

Top two steps on the podium... I couldn't be prouder of the kidlets

In the 15/16 race, El Gigante battled valiantly to a tenth place. He made it to the base of the finishing climb with the lead group, but it sounds like a break of five may have been up the road. Going up the climb El Gigante set tempo on the front to ward off the inevitable attacks. When the attacks came the big guy couldn't match them, but he rode sensibly within himself to make sure he wasn't caught from behind... the kidlet is learning how to race his bike!

Stupid work... first race I've missed in five years and the kidlets go big!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Traveling Circus


Rushed home from school today to make sure the laundry was done and the kidlets had everything packed up for their little trip to Laguna Seca...

Sorta let AWfoSho and El Gigante do their own thing with the packing... this one is their gig because I gotta be in the classroom Thursday and Friday. I figured I'd let them do all the baggage handling, etc. Looked like they made a decent job of it, so I sent 'em down the road.

And waited for the phone calls from the traveling circus to come in...

first one came from Janwitch. something about tiny hotel rooms or some sort of nonsense...

second one came from AWfoSho. something about forgotten licenses and scanners and faxes...

to tell the truth, I didn't pay much attention to either of them because I was enjoying a few moments with my feet up. And, American Idol was on...

But some new software installation, a few games with the printer, and a trip to the neighbors fax machine later and the licenses were sent off... told Janwitch that he could deal with the small beds...

aah Sea Otter... what a circus.

It's kinda hard to make predictions about what is gonna happen in the junior races because Active.com SUCKS... they don't have any pre-reg lists... all one can do is type in individual names and check to see if they are reg'd. And, I'll be damned if I'm gonna spend time typing in all the west coast kidlet's names.

But, I did type in a few... looks like the usual suspects from Specialized, Tieni Duro, Swift, and Ride for a Reason. A few big names from SoCal are missing... assuming I can spell... As for DBCJRT; TK, Staz, AWfoSho, El Gigante and Brian will be queueing up at the start line tomorrow and Friday...

Road Races... TK has to be one of the favorites in the 17/18 contest... the kidlets will be working for him on Thursday. El Gigante will be all by his lonesome in the 15/16 group. He'll be following wheels all day...

Circuit Races... AWfoSho says his legs feel good, Staz is on top of his game right now, and TK is always a threat. All three are capable of taking the W if things fall their way... AWfoSho will be saving his legs on Thursday for this one. He's kinda got a taste for it on his tongue and would like to win it once as a junior. Once again, El Gigante will be all by his lonesome in the 15/16 category. Prob'ly best to just follow wheels and hope to be there for the finale...

I'd like the kidlets to bring a couple of jerseys back to the greater Davis area with them... but Sea Slaughter is always a circus. One never knows what will happen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I don't get it...

So, all I know about Roubaix 2008 comes from reading the CyclingNews live report and all of the follow up articles... and I really don't get it.

I mean, these guys are supposed to be pros, and they race like a bunch of cat-5 amatuers.

Skipping most of the initial selections, lets look at the winning move... Cancellara forces it with 36K remaining and takes Boonen and Ballan with him. Good, solid move with the top favorites in it...

Given the riders varying strengths and weaknesses the race seemed almost predictable at that point. Cancellara would attack on the Carrefour de l'Arbre. Boonen would chase him down with Ballan sitting on. Ballan would counter attack, forcing Boonen to work again... ad infinitum until either Cancellara or Ballan got free. Should Boonen be strong enough he'll chase everything down and win the sprint. Both Ballan and Cancellara should have been forcing the much faster TB to work every chance they got. Boonen should have been the only one confident in taking it to the line in a group of three...

Instead, Cancellara made a couple of half-hearted moves but would ultimately settle on going to the line with TB. Ballan simply followed wheels until he was left on the front to lead the sprint out....

Okay, Boonen is arguably one of the three fastest men on the road right now... Cavendish, McEwen, and maybe Petachi have a square chance of beating him heads up. Cancellara and Ballan have not an ice-cubes chance in hell.

So, with a three minute lead over the chase, what is the worst thing that could happen to Cancellara and Ballan should they choose to flog themselves silly trying to be rid of Tornado Tom? Maybe they end up cracking and finishing second or third... guess what happens if they save it and go to the line with TB. they finish second or third... But if they continually throw body blows at the big sprinter they may just crack him and actually beat him. The choice seems pretty obvious.

I watched Hincapie and Flecha do the same thing with TB in 2005 and Hoste do it at Flanders in 2006. Maybe the prosey boys can be spared my tongue lashing if they let it happen once, but going to the line with Boonen before beating yourself silly first has become a habit. Guys... the results are gonna be the same every time...

Cancellara and Ballan may be hardmen. Anybody that can make the final selection at Roubaix is the hardest of the hard, but both those boys raced like scared gumbies in the finale of Roubaix 2008...

And that's all I have to say about that...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Time Bandits...

So much to write about, so little time. Wanna blather on about Boonen and Rubaix, wanna talk a little something about this cat I met in the feed zone at Madera and the pert cool gig he's got going, wanna make predictions and prognostications 'bout Sea Slaughter which is coming up fast, wanna say a little somethin' somethin' about lessons learned at Madera...

but, most of those things are gonna have to wait cause tonight was the d-ride and eight kidlets came out to impress in the wind. we ended up spinning for about an hour and a half, got to work on some cornering skills at speed... the speed is easy when the winds blowing a fresh 15 miles per hour at your back. makes you wanna lean that thing over and test the grip-factor in the rubber running around your rims. It's a cool feeling when you realize that the edge of the envelope is farther out there than you thought.

Anyways, felt a little like Shelley's Victor Frankenstein when I had a chance to sit up at the back of the group of kidlets all rolling around in their matching white kits... neurons firing back and forth across the grey matter went a little like this, "It's alive, look at this monster I've created... and this isn't even half of the roster"

see... I've been around long enough to remember when the entire team was two kidlets rolling around in yellow jerseys. Anybody remember those hideous things?

alas, my self indulgent revelry was interrupted by a cell phone call, and I sat up a little farther and put my teacher cap on... one of my little time bandits from the classroom needed homework help, so as I watched my monster echelon into a cross wind I explained to another monster I've been working on since September the intricacies of exponents and powers of numbers. And that got me thinking about multi-tasking.

Normally I can't talk and chew gum at the same time, much less do two useful things at once... but here I was teaching math and passing along cornering skills and cross wind skills all while riding my bicycle somewhere south of town....

Ever heard the the term "Killing two birds with one stone"... What does that mean? Seems like the saying has been around for ever as a metaphor for multi-tasking... Was there ever a time when stones were in such short supply that we had to make sure we were going to kill two birds with it before we threw it? I don't get it...

blah, blah, blah... just one more thing to say before I'm off to lala land in an attempt to rest up before heading back into my classroom full of time bandits in the morning. Imagine all I could get done if I didn't have to work.

gotta let out a big PHEEEWWW... AWfoSho had a follow up scheduled with his doc today to take some more films of his clavicle. Two days in the aerobars on bumpy roads this past weekend left him sore and had me worried. I had visions of lightning bolt cracks coming off each of the six screws. Fortunately the films are clean. There is good bone growth and no risk of non-union. Doc says ninety five percent healed. The difference between his four week films and his 9 week films is pretty amazing. The human body has to be the coolest thing since sliced bread... which is another metaphor that needs some explaining...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner...

Couple of things on the quick...

First, April was a winner this weekend... from a proud papa's email:

"Just a quick note to update you on how April did yesterday in her duathlon. She won her division [female 19 & U], first female overall, second place overall [one guy beat her]"

Nicley done...

Next, TK wasn't quite a winner in the stage two TT at Madera, but he did finish 4th against all those proseys and that makes him a winner in my book.

Well done, good and faithful servant...

Then, Staz wasn't quite a winner in the three's stage two crit at Madera, but he did finish third and that makes him a winner in my book. Interestingly enough, El Gigante was no more than two bike lengths behind Staz and he finished 21st. Talk about your ten or twelve wide, mass field sprint. Good thing the road is wide. BTW, ex-dbcjrt kidlet Kyle Paterson won the three's crit.

Atta boy, Staz...

After that, Staz came up first in the three's road race at Madera, and that makes him a winner in anybody's book. Staz pipped Swift's Ryan Eastman with a bike throw at the line as thirty or so riders came to together. El Gigante finished safely tucked into the lead group, but didn't have the legs to contest the sprint.

Good on ya, Staz...

And then, AWfoSho showed that he can be a winner too... in the prosey stage three crit at Madera he got his head back where it needs to be and banged elbows at the front in the waining laps. Glad to see the kidlet is getting back on top of his game. In the road race, he popped two thirds of the way through after covering an attack, but proved that he can still be a winner by riding thirty or so miles on his own to finish.

Proud of ya for gutting it out...

And after that, AJ and Brian finished with the lead pack in the five's making them winners in my book...

WTG kidlets...

Then, after that, Georgieboy Hincappie showed us that bad luck once again left him out of the winner's circle in Roubaix... but TB may have been unbeatable today, especially the way Fabulous Fabian and Big Bad Ballan rode in the finale... maybe I'll spin a little opinion on that later in the week.

too bad, George, maybe next year...

Finally, congrats to everybody that raced their bikes this weekend at Madera. You are all winners in my book. It's fun watching y'all come thru the feedzone over and over again... almost made me want to race my bike again... until I watched Hernando collapse following his finish in the 35+ fast guys race. that boy dug deep.

Wow... lots of happenings to talk about this past weekend, but I gots to go back to school with the kidlets in the a.m. and I have a pile of grading to do that I didn't get done in the Motel 6 this weekend. perhaps I'll be able to wax all poetic later in the week

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ben Hur Time Trial

Charleton Heston may have recently passed, but his legacy lives on in stage one of the Madera Stage Race... the Ben Hur Time Trial.

Don't know what it is about Madera, but it seems like it is always on the first hot weekend of Spring. Weather was beautiful, Spring is doing its thing in the foothills, and AWfoSho and TK tested their mettle against some of NorCals best today... well, kinda...

TK's day went a little like this: my start time was what? a minute and a half ago? uh oh... guess that is part of the reason we come to Madera. Make mistakes, learn the hard way... when it doesn't really matter... Anyways, TK mailed in the rest of the ride and ended up about 5:15 off the pace...

AWfoSho celebrated his 18th birthday a little something like this: ouch, I hate time trials. ouch, I hate hills. ouch, potholes really hurt my collarbone when I'm in the aerobars. AWfoSho didn't mail anything in... he has a friendly little game going with Greg Andersen, his elite team teammate. seems Greg always beats him in TT's by a handful of seconds. So, the only goal for today was to beat Greg. Didn't quite happen...

it is hard to gauge improvement year to year, as conditions vary. last year AWfoSho was 4:43 off the pace with a time of 36:43. this year he was unofficially 3:55 off the pace at 34:17... is that a 2:26 improvement? or is it a 48 second improvement? who knows? who cares?

DBC Eliters Greg Andersen and Steel Joe turned in times of 34:06 and 33:51 respectively.

TK won't be happy with anything short of a stage win in tomorrow's flat TT. Woulda been fun to see how he compared to the big guns today on the hill, but ciest' la vie.

AWfoSho has two goals in the TT tomorrow... first, beat Greg... second, beat Chris Bowlus (it is a long and complicated story). He'll also be looking for a result in the crit...

speaking of the crit... despite its rather mundane four corners, recent prosey editions have ended with riders up the road. the kidlets will have to keep a watchful eye on things to make sure they don't miss out.
this has been a bit of rambly-prambly. the mind must be mush from all of that Spring sun.
BTW... Cal-Giant's James Mattis won today, unofficially, with a time of 30:22. I believe he was the only rider to go under 31 minutes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Madera Madness

Last year Madera was hellish... temps over 100 degrees, riders collapsing in the shade following tt, crit, and rr. Although, it was tough to find shade on the rr course. This year conditions will be a little more relenting, which may or may not be a good thing for the kidlets. For guys from the greater Davis area riding in the heat is a daily affair, whereas for those from the bay area or the foothills the heat can be a little draining. In 07 AWfoSho rode himself to a decent GC placing by simply making sure he stayed hydrated and fueled during the stage 4 road race. This year things won't be so simple...

DBCJRT kidlets who will be turning the pedals in balmy 80 degree conditions this weekend include TK and AWfoSho in the prosey race, El Gigante and Staz in the threes, and AJ in the fives... incidentally his last fives race.

With two tt's in the pro/1/2 party, TK is a legit' GC threat, while AWfoSho will be hunting stage wins in the crit and road race and hoping that he can crank out a decent enough tt to crack the top 20 on the GC...

With a good ride in Saturday's threes tt, both Staz and El Gigante could sneak into the GC picture. However, with upgrade points only going 15 deep for GC, that might be a tall order. The kidlets should figure prominently in the finales of both the stage two crit and stage three road race...

AJ gets a chance to race with his pops in the fives one last time. memories that last a lifetime... I can still remember sitting up at the end of a fives race to watch AWfoSho sprint to a 3rd place finish when he was just a thirteen year-old ankle biter. Hopefully Jason will get a chance to watch something similar with AJ this weekend... nothing better than racing with your own kidlet.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday Worlds

The kidlets and their collegiate compatriots have been toying around with the idea of having the winner of the Wheel Works Wednesday Night TT wear a baggy t-shirt the next week... or I guess it is every other week. Sort of the local version of a leader's jersey...
Anyways, coach Jesse is going to cut the kidlets loose in full aero gear tonight to see what kinda time they can do. The wind is kicking up just to mark the occassion.

Fun Stuff!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Martinez... the fun stuff

Local photog Mark Adkison has put up photos of the junior race at Martinez. Somehow he always manages to get great shots... be sure to check em out.

So, with the 3's racing immediately before the juniors I didn't have chance to talk tactics with the kidlets before the race. This time I didn't need to. Seems that the kidlets are learning how to read a race all by their lonesome and adjusting tactics to suit the situation...

TK had a little dig on the first lap that didn't really go anywhere, but when the field caught him they sorta sat up. At that point AWfoSho just rolled off the front without much of an effort. Once he realized that the gap was there he hammered it home. TK let the field chase for awhile,and, when the time was right, hit em hard and bridged to AWfoSho. Not sure what the rest of the 17/18 field was thinking at this point, but it seems like they stopped racing. There were a few attempts at bridging by Ride's Bolster and Rocket Sports' Christensen, but the 15/16 kiddos kinda nullified them and nobody was really willing to sell out on the front. So, the lapping happened pretty fast...

Once AWfoSho and TK had put a lap into the field the kidlets didn't ride as I would have expected, but I figured that I'd let 'em race without much direction from the bleachers...

Sound tactics would have been to send Staz or El Gigante up the road and bridge TK or AWfoSho to them once they'd established a gap... the best way to guarantee a 1-2-3 finish... instead the kidlets, under AWfoSho's direction, decided to play for a field sprint.

Gotta admit, it was beautiful seeing TK, AWfoSho, and El Gigante lined up all lead out train like with two to go. It was even more cool that Tieni Duro's Peter Taylor and Joel Shafer of Specialized were the only ones that could stick to the tail end of the train. The kidlets were laying down some serious power.

Alas,El Gigante lost AWfoSho's wheel out of the last corner and the sprint commenced from way out... Both Taylor and Shafer came around El Gigante before the line. Good on 'em. Looks like the kidlets need a little more practice on the lead out thing...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Treatise on Pulling Riders

It happens every year at least once... Numerous riders in a junior race are pulled off the course and not placed. Kidlets get upset, parents blow gaskets, officials are blasted, and promoters harassed. This year the unlucky venue was Martinez... in the past the venue has been Land Park, McLane Pacific, and (in a particularly bad year that must have left parents embarrassed by their actions and the actions of their kidlets) Pacific State Bank Grand Prix...

The anatomy of the problem is pretty complex and varies from venue to venue, but there are several commonalities that need to be looked at: promoters combining junior fields, officials striving to keep a race as fair and safe as possible, riders misunderstanding rules and misjudging their ability, and parents that react without thinking...

I'm going to side with the officials and promoters on this one... parents and riders hear me out before you start flaming away...

First off lets look at a race from a promoters point of view. In most cases promoters are dealing with limited resources... limited time, limited money, limited man power... availability of resources has a direct effect on the day's racing. Promoting bicycle races, at least on the NorCal level, is not a golden goose. In most cases a promoter is lucky to finish the day on an even keel, many races are run in the red, those that do make it into the black really end up more in a shade of grey. Let's face it, if bicycle racing were a cash cow for promoters more companies would be lining up to do it. That said, a promoter has to try to maximize profits while still maintaining the spirit of the sport... Putting on a junior race during an already crowded race day does very little to maximize profits. Most promoters do it to support our kidlets knowing full well that they are going to lose money during that particular segment of the day. Currently an additional field of 35+ 4's or 35+ 5's would fill quite easily whereas a junior field may have, say, 30 or 40 riders max... 35 plusers pay top dollar, juniors often times reg at reduced prices. Which one makes more sense to a promoter working with limited time and money, additional juniors fields or additional adult fields?

Officials... This one is a no-brainer. The official's job is to keep the race as safe and fair as possible. If a promoter has combined the juniors into a single field then the official has to work within those confines. Having riders of hugely disparate abilities on the course at the same time makes for less than safe conditions. We've all, well at least most of us that have watched kidlets race for awhile, seen the littlest of the little on a bike that is for all intense and purpose too big to handle safely wobble down the middle of the finishing stretch as the big boys and girls blast past them on both sides at more than twice their speed. scary... Some of us have been unfortunate enough to see the littlest riders panic and move suddenly right or left. The ensuing carnage is not something I'd like to describe, much less think about. Safe... get the little guys off the course before somebody gets hurt. And fair? results are hard enough to get correct when there are not riders that have been lapped multiple times. And that doesn't even count the kidlets who's sprint in the finale is impeded by a slower rider being lapped for the 3rd or 4th time... yes... seen that happen too.

Kidlets... you wouldn't go to a soccer game without knowing that you can't use your hands, you wouldn't play baseball without knowing that you get only three strikes, you wouldn't play basketball without knowing that you have to dribble. Bicycle racing has rules just like any other sport. Granted some of the rules are pretty complex, but it is your job to know the rules... from Casey,

"The rule book basically says that officials can pull a rider when they are deemed to be out of contention or if a rider may pose a danger to himself or to other riders."

Go to a race knowing that you may be pulled... it happens to the best.

Likewise you wouldn't go to a baseball game as a 14 year-old expecting to beat a high-school varsity squad. If a race has a combined field expect to be beaten by the bigger kids... by all means go race. The experience gained racing against older, faster kids is invaluable.

But, go race knowing that it is likely that you may get pulled.

Parents... couple of things. First, you are older and wiser than the little guys who may not realize that they are gonna take a beating in a combined field. Don't drive junior two hours to a race if you feel the need to blast and/or harass promoter and official should junior get pulled before the race is over. Second, think before you react. Ask yourself why a promoter has combined a junior field. Ask yourself why an official pulled your kidlet. After having done so, if you've come up with a legit' argument against the promoter and/or official's actions, voice your opinion to them in a positive manner... thank them for their efforts this year and make a suggestion for improving the race next year. simple... vengeance is not yours and it isn't gonna do anybody any good seeking it. Neither is complaining about the length of the drive to the race, the cost of gas, your "wasted" Saturday, or the bridge toll.

I've been there guys... My own cherubs have been pulled off the course after driving two hours, I've had athletes impeded by slower riders during their sprint, I've been scared to death as a knock-kneed 13 year-old wobbled wide-eyed from side to side as a peloton of testosterone driven boys blasted past on either side, I've wiped away the tears after a rider's been pulled, I've seen my 13 year-old lapped by the cat 1 and 2 18 year-olds, and I've picked up my own kidlet with a broken finger, chipped tooth and black eye off the pavement when he wrecked out as an off-the-backer-who had been lapped multiple times.

I understand the passion a parent feels when the kidlet's been "wronged" and I know the pain a parent feels when a kidlet has been hurt. Let the kidlets learn and grow from the experience and leave it at that... setting a bad example for them does not help them at all.

Go to a race with eyes wide open. It is all laid out for you in the race flier. you know what to expect. Make sure that your kidlet knows what to expect as well.

Am I a fan of combined junior fields? Yes... and No...

Yes, the kidlets get their own race when otherwise they would have to race with adults... Yes, there is no better way to make junior faster than to have him or her race with faster kids... Yes, the fields are deeper and the racing is better... Yes, it is good for a kid to get beat resoundingly sometimes. They need to learn how to lose too...

No, it isn't fair to throw a thirteen year-old into a race with a couple of 1's and 2's... No, it isn't always the safest thing for kidlets to be doing... No, their isn't any glory in beating kids that are five years younger than you...

No, I don't like seeing kids get pulled, but it is a necessary evil.

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