• we never talk anymore …

    by  • May 7, 2008 • race coverage • 12 Comments

    ok, time to indulge ~

    youknowit.jpgHealthy meet Happy!

    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.

    meh.

    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.

    benandyjamiel.jpgThe Jacques-Maynes brothers are an interesting phenomenon ~

    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.

    -0

    coolwomens.jpgBut there were race reports requested …

    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!

    - – -

    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.

    faces_of_meowbox.jpgOlds 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.

    Great ride.

    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.

    - – -

    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?

    frontend.jpgWell, 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.

    andbride.jpgbut let’s talk Rapinski for a moment, shall we?

    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.

    - – -

    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.

    - – -

    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.

    lates, ya’ll.
    ~m

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    12 Responses to we never talk anymore …

    1. MK
      May 7, 2008 at

      Ruth (Winder) raced the next day also at our NorCal League race in Toro Park, and was one of the few Frosh/Soph girls to go under an hour on this climby course. I’m sure there were others in the fields who doubled-up like that.

      Speaking of doubling-up, there’s a crew of kids going down to SB/Firestone for the NMBS next Saturday (17th) then returning to Nor-Cali (sleeping as mom/dad drive) to race
      League Finals at Bogg’s Mtn on Sunday.

      Core, that. Not just the kids, but the parents who make it possible. Wow!

      MK

    2. sabine
      May 7, 2008 at

      that podium shot is cracking me up

    3. sabine
      May 7, 2008 at

      crap, just noticed the chopshop on the other pic

      silly!

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    5. Anonymous
      May 7, 2008 at

      I’m so glad someone else came out and commented on the “uniqueness” of the Rapinski shot. There’s something very Kill Bill about the look she’s giving the camera. Oh the things we see at a bike race.

    6. May 7, 2008 at

      first, the happy bunny is my idol. seriously.

      I had the pleasure of meeting VR and the bride at cyclepath last week…..sort of.

    7. Anonymous
      May 7, 2008 at

      i ride with eaken on as part of the Lake Merced Cougars (ride before work cycling) and can definitely attest to the fact that the girl just doesn’t give up. i was once 5 wheel lengths ahead of on her on a sprint past some joggers right near java beach on great highway .. it took her five blocks but she eventually got me.

    8. May 7, 2008 at

      Viktor kind of bounced for a while. He was picked up by no less then Phonak but suffered some Catch-22 visa shenanigans and did almost no racing that year.

      Basically what screwed him was that as Phonak was Swiss-based, he did not have an EU work visa, and Belarus’ president has driven the country into some thorny relations with the EU and the US to such an extent that the citizens of that country are effectively punished and allowed very limited travel and almost no work outside their own country. So no racing in Belgium/France/Germany or anywhere else.

      So he floated over to Colavita for a season, then joined his ex-Soviet brothers back at Navigators for its last year.

      He has a lovely young wife, a disarming lisp and giggle, and reminds me of that one American actor who always plays thuggy, dumb white guys, Michael Shannon.

      Anyway, he tells a funny story about regional crits as a Navigator, and how he liked going to the big races up and down the East Coast, despite the stupid driving (Philly to Atlanta to Arlington in three straight days).

      But he said his least favorite races were those “that started from Ed’s house”.

      Ed being Beamon, the kind of cheap and logistically-befuddled Navs DS.

      you see him you tell him I said hi from the 5 Rings of Moscow race, which he won a coupla years back.

    9. "Gentleman" Matt T.
      May 8, 2008 at

      Mike,

      I’ve actually never been to your blog site, but I’ve heard about it. I read the P/1/2 Report re Cat’s Hill. Damn, you write well. “VeloNews” should be calling sometime soon. In the interim, in appreciation of the “Terminator”‘s viktory at Cat’s Hill, I’ll be back.

    10. Anonymous
      May 8, 2008 at

      In the geezers race; you forgot to mention that Laberge dropped his chain and some how managed to get a free lap after telling the officials that he was caught behind a crash on the hill to justify his free lap, then takes a podium spot. Then again he probably would have been there anyway. I’m just whining.

    11. May 8, 2008 at

      In the geezers race; you forgot to mention that Laberge dropped his chain and some how managed to get a free lap after telling the officials that he was caught behind a crash on the hill to justify his free lap

      Yeah, there were a few raised eyebrows at that one… but the oldies are always looking for a shortcut.

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