and i end up with a gazillion emails to reply (late) to … and three-gazillion looks of disdain by anyone i came in contact this weekend and the ridiculous amount of “verbal blogging” i couldn’t keep contained inside.
i really have no idea how Sabine puts up with me. i mean, i can be a pretty quite individual … but, if the internal mono-blog gets rolling … sweet haysoos, i can be a chatty-kathy mo’fo.
NO TIME FOR Scribblings …
So, just a couple of quick impressions of a weekend in bliss~
The Amgen Women’s TOC Crit was … f’ing amazing. The teams all put on such a great display of racing. The crowds were HUGE and rabid in support of the racers. I couldn’t believe how fast and aggressive that race was yesterday. Standouts? to many to mention, but let’s give a few quick blurbs and ask forgiveness for the limited time and words o’ descriptions.
VAC looked absolutely “pro” again. i think they’re the supermodels of the women’s peloton this year. Patella and her crew of ab-fabs are stepping up and i cannot wait to see how they show themselves in ’08.
Mactier looked in great shape again this weekend, but the rest of the squad looked very, very motivated to ride hard this year. Banks looks fitter than last year – and we’ll see how the rest of the ‘new and improved’ roster settles in together.
VanderKitten blew into the NRC scene in a big, big way this weekend. They came with their new kits, new organization, and a fresh look and attitude towards bike racing. EXCELLENT to see. Vanderkitten is like what Rock Racing could be if they’d concentrate more on creating fashion, and less about being seen.
Although, i must say that i am growing more and more glad that these yayhoos are in the sport. I mean, if we can’t show our aMErican excesses to foreigners through cycling … what good are we as leaders of the free world?
My favorite “Ball-ism” of the weekend was the promo-ending quote of the man with the cash (for now, at least) … “I AM ROCK RACING”.
hell yeah you are, baby. nothing but you.
And I even got a chance to talk with Rock’s Rahsan Bahati for a few minutes Monday night. He was pretty disappointed that he wasn’t able to get a ride on their ToC team this year … which they MUST be kicking themselves about now that they have 5 riders in the race (botero, hamilton, sevilla booted because of operacion puerco).
Bahati is such an interesting character. He’s brash, intelligent, a bit artsy (must be Magnell’s influence), and has a very smooth and, one could say, urbane personality. After talking with him (and letting him know how complimentary all the heckling he got from our NorCal crew down in Encino a couple months back was…), i got the impression that he is a guy who wants to grab the brass ring, you know? You can feel his ambition – it radiates off him like heat. You can see it in his eyes as he talks about his goals for the year ~ the focus, the clarity, the unabashed desire for the highest goals.
right on. go get it, man.
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But, back to the Amgen Women’s Crit ~
PROMAN has made the big push this year … whether they are ready for it, or not. I mean, what a program this small group of people are putting together. They have riders competing around the world at the highest levels on the track, cyclocross, and road circuits.
Shelley Olds and Virginia Perkins were 4th and 7th at the crit yesterday. They both rode well and are looking to improve this year … big time. Olds is getting headlines (and rightfully so … folks, Shelley and Nikki Cranmer arrived from the Denmark World Cups about 12 hours before the race yesterday!!! … what hammerheads!), but it’s going to be Perkins who might make the surprise splashes this year. She rides smart, strong, and dedicated (it’s probably a PROMAN thing).
Aaron’s came off their “training” win the day before at the Santa Rosa crit with a solid crew of DAlusio acolytes. I’ll say it right now, I think that CarmenD is one of the most professional directors out there. She’s unflappable, organized, hard working … that must be why she’s into that boytoy of hers, ChrisD. Carmen gives the same vibe off as Chris … competent and business. But, when they crack open those smiles of theirs … yeah, they make the world a wee-bit brighter.
It’s hard not to consider the Aaron’s season in 2007 as a success. They were consistent in all the big races regarding results … but, what they really bring to the races is professionalism and a good show for the crowds. The program is a good model for those entering in to this level at the sport with fewer resources than you need and a burning need of “doing things right.”
Aaron’s is all that.
But, they do need a finisher…
And take notice of Mara Abbott and the High Road chickas. I will refrain from commenting on the “magic bus” font of their kits … and instead focus on how fit and focused Abbott looks already this year. I mean, she seems destined to go uphills very, very fast.
And, can’t leave this short post without talking about the TIBCO squad. Rais and the other women in baby-blue were spectacular yesterday. Brookecycling.com will be giving us some updates soon on how the final laps shook down … but, let’s just say that the sprint that Miller uncorked for the Tour of California crowds was something … you don’t see everyday.
Shelley Olds unleashed long on the sprint and it was Cheerwine’s Van Gilder taking first jump to grab the wheel. As you can see, that first few pedalstrokes that VG put in as she popped off Olds’ wheel was impressive. Look at the insta-gap that Miller has to drag herself across AND THEN find the speed to actually come around VanGilder.
and she did. but just barely.
The High Road rider, Fahlin of Sweden, was able to just keep on the pressure enough to squeak past the PROMAN rider and finish off the podium. What a finish. The drag to the line had to be the longest kilometer in the universe. We could see the women thundering down the long straightaway for what seemed like eons.
When i saw how long and fast the sprint was, with Olds absolutely KILLING it in her low, pocketrocket position … i knew the final 100m was going to be golden. And it was.
And it was fun.
This is real bike racing.
– – – – –
anyway, that’s my alloted 20min for writing today. I’ll be back tomorrow … or maybe late tonite with some more lies and exaggerations. i’ve gone ahead and made the plunge and am gonna pick up Beth “thunderthighs” Newell and we’re gonna go heckle the shit out of the GOLDSPRINT gig in Sacto.
get ready for it.
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