ok, time to indulge ~
yep, i’m giggling like a schoolgirl gone C-cup because i was able to walk away from a couple CatsHill races and a heaping dish-full of Velodrome pedaling last weekend and still be on the straight and narrow.
i don’t want to say i’m being a ms.Priss about staying healthy right now … but, if there’s even the faintest twinge or crinkle in the legs or lumbar as i play with the other kids ~ i wrap up my dolls and go home.
Speaking of the other kids ~
Yesterday i went on the cheap and easy spin with the lunch crowd work-a-days who roll out and up the sCruzian coast for an hour. Of course, this had to be the day that the Jack-Maynard brothers showed up.
Watching BenJM spin his 28t at 100rpm up a 10% pitch …. that just sucks. He must have been crossing close to 400w and barely a butt jiggle as he pipped those pedals over and over … and away up the hills. beautiful.
But … when AndyJM unleashed his fury on the way back … ooooweee, that was a sight for sore eyes.
Ben is like a smooth european roast of coffee, you know? He’s a bit refined, urbane, and reaches the top shelf without any effort at all.
Andy is … pure truckstop espresso. he’s a raging inferno, dripping ambition and desire.
you combine those two cats … and it’s game over for the american pelOton.
My favorite pic of Cat’s Hill is the Junior Women’s Podium. It has Ruth, Jasmine and Taylor … three of the hippest young riders we have mixing it up on the NorCal circuits right now.
It was so cool watching those three step their bikes up that 23% grade … the images of them clawing and busting muscle up and over those final few pedalstrokes is all the inspiration i need to get out there and train.
thanks, you killer cats!
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Let’s see … on to some race reportage ~
Women’s Prosey ~ well, Amanda Eaken of MetroMint played it perfectly at this year’s Cat’s Hill.
Eaken is one of those riders that is all barbarian on the bike. She has great sufferfaces and can throw herself at danger whether there’s a safety net involved, or not.
She’s all guts.
So, I’ll admit that i was pretty damn pleased as i saw the sprint develop after that wicked-tight right hander at the bottom of the descent. The favorite, PROMAN’s Shelley Olds was shockingly 4th wheel out of the turn, while Eaken dropped like a bomb through the turn in position 1.
Olds made a damn good run at it, taking back the bike lengths she spotted Eaken through the turn … but, i tell you this ~ you put a finish line and open road in front of MetroMint’s big Eaken … and you’re gonna see her cross that thing in first more times than not.
She won’t give up. Ever.
Topping out the podium was the ever-bubbly Flavia Oliveira … a great result when you think about how much terrain she lost due to sprinting on the hoods.
oy, flavia … we need to talk.
And ~ how about the next few riders on the results sheet … Rosenthal (Tibco), Burgess (SugerESpecials), Hecht (A/V), and Hanan AH (unattached). These are all riders with a TON of development in front of them. With Hecht and Hanan … you could see two of the real up and comers of the sport in NorCal.
Big talents, all of them.
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In the Men’s Prosey event ~ meh, it was ok. Poor JStew and MSayers were pretty much marked out of the race by all the local kids. I didn’t mind. They garner enough glory on their road trips for BMC … so, if they get shut out of the regional races … i’m sure there’s not much spilt milk cried into.
Still, i’d have like have seen Stewart take on Rapinski in that sprint.
Anyway, how did the race develop?
Well, the beauty of Cat’s Hill is that you can attack pretty much at any time of the race and get a bit of a gap. But, as in most hard-case courses … getting away is one thing, making it stick is another. The fatigue levels of driving hard on the flats of the course really do shut down your power to get up and over Cat’s Hill with enough speed to withstand the constant accelerations of the pack.
But, somewhere in the final few laps of banging heads around … a winning break did launch loose ~ and as a couple more kids dribbled up to it … the race in the pack became one of scraping for left-overs. I didn’t mind.
In the Geezer’s race earlier in the day, we’d had lap cards showing for most of the event. And when you see a dozen laps left, you sort of have an idea that the race will go on forever, so there’s no real urgency to smash mouths with the other boys up front.
But in the Prosey event, i kept seeing a blank lap card … over and over again, and kind of got to wondering if the race was going to be a mystery distance event, or something. But finally, I heard Simpson yell out that we had 5 laps remaining, and that WAS a bit of a shocker, to be honest.
With 3 to go, the break was still within spitting distance – but there really wasn’t anyone left to chase since most the teams were represented up in the break. BPG/Montano Velo had a huge squad there and had been at the front from lap 1 – but with their man Rapinski in the break … they were quite satisfied. . the CalGiant Strawberries had launched Tyler Dibble and Briggs up into the move … so that was golden for them, as well. MetroMint had their hairy adonis Ryan Parnes in the move … a very impressive ride by that squad again … so no chase from them.
Anyway, you catch the drift.
So ~ Rapinski won the sprint out of the break with a clean set of wheels showing … and out of the pack, there was splintering and slugfests and eventually a few guys rolled across in the lead group, me a wiggling turd at the anus-end of it.
I first met Rapinski about 5 or 6 years ago at a no-name crit in Nevada. He was there with the Davis Club … fresh off the boat from Belarus, as i recall.
All i remember of him was that he smelled of sour meat and had the power of a Soviet Bloc tank. I remember being overcome by the image of Vlad the Impaler, a dark ominous beast that chewed on throats and held no mercy for the weak.
truly, no country for old men.
Viktor’s rise through the ranks was swift and with authority. As a U-23 world-ranked TT rider, he already had the goods to get him some attention … but, eventually he would sign from team to team and end up racing quite a few Euro semi-classics and pull in some impressive results on our continent, as well.
and then he disappeared.
The first time i’ve seen him since ~ was last weekend at Wente, where he looked a bit bloaty and just back on the bike. And this weekend, he took Cat’s Hill with brute force.
Victor may be back, folks.
time to sharpen the stakes.
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In the Geezer’s race at Cat’s Hill ~ the SpecialKids whooped it up pretty good, but i’ll say that they got quite a bit of help from our race being shut down for medical assistance late in the game. Before we were stopped, the front of the pack had FINALLY stopped being a sea of red S’s all over the place and was looking at least a fair bit square for the rest of us chickens.
But, even if that med-evac hadn’t occurred ~ i really don’t see anyone beating the Special’s BillyInnes that day. He’s on pure-form right now and has all the crew working well. So, hats off to that kind of action.
The final lap was kind of silly. Innes shattered us all with a beautifully timed attack at the top of meowbox … it was one of those attacks that i was waiting for, and thought prepared for … but, just had it handed to me, nonetheless. Awesome.
From that point on, Chris Phipps did a valiant effort at trying to get across … but, it really was a race for 2nd from that point on. meh. So, when Nolan and Laberge stormed the inside of the final turn and swung in front of us … i tipped my hat again and pulled on out of that melee. Their race, no doubt.
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kind of sucky reporting, now that i (almost) think about re-reading and edit.
naw … think i’ll spend the rest of my lunch out on the bike.
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