Monday, April 28, 2008
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
Thursday, April 24, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
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
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]"
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...
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
Thursday, April 10, 2008
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
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
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.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
I guess the 4/5 race at Martinez was a crash fest... Tapinator claims bad luck for being caught behind the crashes, but isn't luck when preparation meets opportunity? We'll keep working, Taps, and pretty soon that bad luck being behind the crash will be good luck being in front of it...
Having DBCJRT athletes in three races back to back makes a day hectic as all get out. Get Staz and El Gigante reg'd and pinned for the 3's; set AWfoSho, TK, Mechanical, PtotheArker, and Tapinator to warming up for the junior race; make sure the radios are ready to go for the guys in the p/1/2 race; watch El Gigante and Staz race, thinking the whole time that they need to be at the front; change numbers on the kidlets who just finished the 3's; bark some quick orders to the seven DBCJRT young'ns in the junior race and turn 'em loose; watch AWfoSho and TK completely control the race and set up a perfect leadout train for El Gigante after lapping the field; listen to AWfoSho chew on El Gigante after the junior race for not staying glued to his wheel thru the final corner; pick up prizes for first, second, fifth, and most aggressive rider in the junior race; change numbers on the kidlets racing in the pro/1/2 race; pass out radios and fresh bottles; bark a few orders into the radio while watching Rock and Giant trade blows over 75 minutes of crit racing that kept the field strung out along two city blocks; pick up and divide winnings for two top 25 places in the p/1/2 race; realize it has been non-stop for 4.5 hours...
Never did see the final tally in the junior race... just know that AWfoSho and TK went 1-2 in the 17/18 group, El Gigante was third in the 15/16 group. Gotta wait for the results to post to sort out what happened in the field behind the sprint...
Had a chuckle with Rock's Justin Williams after the prosey race when I told him he cost me about $200... he thought I was betting on him or something of the sort, but cracked that bright smile of his after I explained that he sat up too early in the sprint and cost my guys a few places in the money. Good kid that one... it's been fun watching him develop as a rider and a young man.
The Junior Point Series standings have been updated thru Copperopolis... After having run the thing for two years, I feel for Christine. She's got to figure out how to place all the ladies who raced today because they got pulled and not placed. Not only that... she's gotta deal with parents who are forever complaining about why their little cherubs should have a point or two more... that said, she owes Kelbster a point for Snelling and April 8 points for Copper... Maybe I'll muster up the courage to ask her to correct the spots for the kidlets. Then again, maybe not...
Friday, April 4, 2008
but since complaints are coming in again...
AWfoSho... Alex Wick's nickname is a cheap rip-off of Joe Iannarelli's email address. At one point we called him Pop Rocks for all the fast twitch stuff in his legs, but AWfoSho ended up sticking
El Gigante... The Giant in Espaniol, a fitting nickname for Zach Wick, earned at Valley of the Sun 2006 where he crushed the competition in the U-14 category
TK... doesn't really need an explanation-- Taylor Kuphaldt
Staz... Chris Stastny, I tried to label him KGB for his pention for black hats, dark sunglasses, and Eastern European lineage but he would have none of it
Karcherific... Karch Miller, a cross between terrific and Karch... get it?
Kelbster... AWfoSho christened Kelby Spore with this one
PtotheArker... Parker Childress, taken from some Hip Hop song or something like that, I forget and the best nicknames are the ones that we can't rememberthe origin of
Mechanical... Robby Hartman earned this one after suffer gearing issues in two straight races
Tapinator... Cody Tapley, like TK this one doesn't really need an explanation
Davitamon... David Vuilleumier got stuck with this one because his surname sounds an awful lot like the Euro-Team Silence-Lotto, um I mean Predictor-Lotto, oops I mean Davitamon Lotto
and some of our alumni
Thor... If you've ever seen Blake Anton you will understand this one
Steel Joe... because Joe Iannarelli is tough as nails -or- because when asked about the lack of hair on his chest he may tell you that you can't grow hair on steel
College Boy... Musa Zaid was both a collegiate racer and a junior racer in the same year
Brown Lance... Adeel Ahmad's self annointed nickname, couldn't be more fitting
there may be a few more, but dinner is gonna burn if I don't get it out of the oven... the rest of the kids go by their given name until I can think of something better
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Sportsbaseonline tells me that Tapinator, Mechanical, and El Gigante will be turning the pedals against the likes of Joel Schafer and his Specialized boys. Peter Taylor is bringing quite a contingent of Tieni Durites, and there is quite a passel from SJBC/Sugar CRM. A dark horse could be Ben Sukys, he's been cranking out some decent wattage of late for Expert Tree Service.
And that's just the 15/16 grupetto...
In the 17/18 show, DBCJRT will be represented by PtotheArker, Staz, TK, and AWfoSho. Danger men that they will have to keep an eye on include Ride's Bolster, Giant's Trafton, and gotta watch out for Nate Christensen of Rocket Sports Racing. That boy has shown some ability as of late. And then there is the question mark surrounding Jonathan Arcellana of Capoforma... if this is the kid I'm thinking of, he's got some serious thigh circumference going. He hasn't had the results yet this year, but I keep waiting for him to explode out of the pack with all the watts he must have stored up in those legs of his.
Cool thing about Martinez is that the 15/16's and 17/18's race together, making it more interesting... more horse power in the field, more teamwork, more tactics, more fun... DBCJRT excels when the kidlets are grouped together, especially El Gigante. That kidlet thrives when it is fast and furious at the end. He has a knack for finding the right spot and holding position. The combined field with its larger team representation tends to nullify the stop and go that is typical of many junior races... that has to be El Gigante's biggest weakness, besides hills maybe... look for him to be banging elbows with Shafer and Taylor for the top spot in the 15/16 group. In the 17/18's, look for TK and AWfoSho to throw their 1/2, long/short punch at the peloton with Staz playing spoiler if the field is all over them like stink on... well you know.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
El Gigante called my attention to this shot on Velonews... sort of your garden variety finish line shot, but if you look really careful amidst the mass of humanity, testosterone, blood, sweat, and tears you'll see some serious power being laid down...
Now I'm not of the higher level math type (help me out here Paul) but if you check out Cavendish's bike you'll notice some serious deflection. The front wheel is angled at, oh, about 70 or 75 degrees, the rear at, say, 80 to 85 degrees. If I'm doing the math correctly and there is no parallax or some other slight of hand going on then that is around 10 degrees of deflection in Cavendish's frame...
That, boyz, is laying down some serious power... no wonder Robbie Rocket sat up and called it a day without even sprinting!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
However, Velonews, despite its many shortcomings, does do April Fools quite nicely. So far this morning, I've been contemplating putting the elite team radios on ebay, mulling over trading in AWfoSho and El Gigante for a Carpenter/Phinney model, and rethinking any trip to OBRA to tackle a stage race or two...
Nearly as funny as the jokes themselves are the people who actually get suckered... What? Did you forget to look at your calendar this morning? Remember (and I've said this many times before) the Internet is the world's greatest vanity press... anybody can publish anything at anytime... don't believe everything you read. It sounds like Velonews received numerous angry/befuddled emails, and they have promised to print a selection of them on the morrow. can't wait...
Mixed in with the tom-foolery on the Velonews site is a snippet about Michael Ball buying back the two seconds that Sevilla lost in the final stage at San Dimas. Given the show we witnessed in SloCal over the weekend, one could almost believe this to be true...
Yes, DBCJRT and its Elite Team brethren were fortunate enough to be housed not only in the same hotel as Rock Racing, but on the same floor, in the same hallway. Which means we got to witness, among other things, the entire back parking lot being taken up buy 3 skull embossed Escalades, 1 similarly embossed team car, and a matching trailer with accompanying diesel pusher. Parking spaces that were not immediately occupied by said vehicles were coned of with, yes they matched the kits, neon green cones or numerous bike racks. And, if we were so blind as to not recognize the entourage as Rock, there were battle standards to guides us towards making the discovery... no fooling, it looked like one dude's job was to set up these little flag things wherever team Rock went... sort of a rallying point for all the soldiers, I guess.
We also were the recipients of 'sup nods from the likes of Tyler Hamilton and Michael Creed, and Kayle Leogrande even held the elevator for me at one point during the weekend...
There were girls walking around with legs up to here either wrapped up in Rock-n-Republic jeans or barely wrapped at all, cell phones beeping, bodyguards brandishing... it really was quite a show.
Not to miss out on all the fun, I made sure to embarrass young Mr. Switters by asking for his autograph whilst he was surrounded by former Euro-heroes, team mechanics, and Rock's personal podium girls.
I guess what I'm trying to portray is that the whole thing is like one big travelling circus... It goes from hotel to race venue, to restaurant, etc. Previously on this blog I have professed to an attraction to Ball's style... the sport needs a little topsy-turvy every now and then to keep things fresh, but Rock has gone a little overboard lately... I mean, come on, does Ball really need body guards at a race? He can't honestly fear for his safety amongst a bunch of skinny-assed bike racer types.
So, I've rambled a bit, but I hope you haven't gotten the wrong idea. I still like what Ball is trying to do... he is supporting cycling on numerous levels: pro team, women's team, junior team. He's given young up-n-comers like Switters and Williams a shot, he's given recent-offenders a second chance. For those reasons, I've got to hand it to him. I'm just not so sure he is doing it in the most effective manner. His over-the-top antics could possibly be creating enemies in the wrong places. If the grumblings I heard from the masses in San Dimas are indicative, he may have already gone too far...
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