Sunday, April 11, 2010

Napa, Santa Rosa, and Race Radios

--On Saturday I drove up to Napa to race a small crit. I had heard it was a small field so I thought it would be a good way myself into the wild.

The field was 15 strong including one deaf guy. This reminds me of the blind guy who was in a ride I did last summer. The ride had one of the hardest climbs I've ever done and some insane descents. The guy finished way before me. I digest.

The race fee was $40 for day-of reg. My last race cost me three Euro. In short, this is what's wrong with American bike racing. The kids aren't racing because they can't afford it.

The race was a reverse win and out (first guy across with four laps to go got fifth, first guy with three to go got fourth, you get it). On that note, I decided to sprint from the start and go off the front for a bit (in case you didn't get the format, this wasn't advantageous). I figured I'd at least mark my territory.

Shortly thereafter it was someone else's territory. I sat in for the rest of the race because it was all I could do. I thought if I waited until the last lap some of the stronger guys might have gone for the earlier placings. They did, but there were still plenty of guys left. I fell off midway through the last lap.

After the race I rode to the car and collapsed. It was good to be back racing my bike. It also made me want to get some fitness back. On that note, I've been doing the Port Ride and plan on making it a regular again.

Then, I packed up and drove over to Santa Rosa to see Jim race.

I watched their Cat 2 race and then we headed over for lunch before the PRO/1/2/3 race.

Jim had a buddy out from the East Coast named Elliot who rides for Garmin. I asked him a ton of questions about the team, working with Lim, staying with Landis, and if he'd sell me all his gear so I could look PRO.

He ended up going down amidst a mass of stupid crashes.

It was just like old times, spending all day out at the races. Afterwards, I headed home to rest up for Paris-Roubaix.

--Speaking of, Spartacus strikes again!

What a stellar finish. In fact, it was almost as good as if Cancellara HADN'T been told by race radio to attack at exactly that moment. Ahhh!!! The last 50k, ruined, because of the radios.

Yes, it was exciting seeing Spartacus roll solo to victory. It was in no way more exciting than seeing the pack of them or maybe a smaller selection duke it out for the last 50k. Had Boonen not been caught unaware he could have sat on to Spartacus, unlike Leukemans, and we could have seen them fight it out for the last hour. The last 50k is mostly flat, unlike Flanders, and they would have been relatively well matched.

Okay, I can't keep talking about this. Please, whatever you do, make cycling as boring as possible in an effort to rack up wins. Control breakaways, keep Hincapie out of yellow, yada yada. The real goal, after all, isn't entertainment, it's winning.

--On the same note, Boonen was basically predicting his loss before the race even started.

“The most important thing about riding a bike is to enjoy it,” said Tom.

Really? The Hell of the North, the hardest of all the classics. Enjoy it? This, coming from the guy who's won it three times. Translation: I'm not going to win this one.

Okay, a few last notes and I'll wrap up this one.

--Looks like ASO doesn't own the Tour of Cali but they are incahoots. I'm not sure the extent of the connections between AEG (the guys who own the ToC) and ASO but I think this is why they moved the ToC to May, as I mentioned. Either way, goodbye Giro. I love you, I'll watch you, but on May 16th I'm gonna be all hopped up on U.S. bike racing, not canolis.

--Lastly, way to go Bos. I've been pulling for you since your crash:

This crash has been debated ad nauseam but it's quite clear, after repeated watching, it was an accident.

--I'll leave you with another awkward bike pic:

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