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...

2 comments:

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