woooboy … sounds like there were some tough calls made in yesterday’s NVGP opener.
[for other drippin’ cool reports, check podium in sight]
I’m a HUGE fan of this race and desperately want to cover it someday with first hand hyperbole and over-reaching metaphor. But, in the meantime ~ i’m stuck hearing 2nd hand accounts of some decisions that the officiating crew made during the opening criterium. You see, there’s a bit of weather happening up in that part of the world right now … and lord knows, crazy jumps in the barometer does affect folks’ judgment…
The first race off was the Women’s crit. From the pictures and the squirking out quotes (to be relied upon, or not), we get the impression of a very, very wet crit with a number of slide-outs. Early in the race, Kristin Armstrong took the reigns and stormed away solo in a bid to a) stay out front and upright on the slickery-dickery-dock course; and b) ride her ass off.
she did both.
Armstrong is this thin, tall, and not-quite-gaunt beast of a woman. When i see her ride around … so self-contained, so focused … little sparks of heat and anticipation shoot through me. Seeing an athlete like that triggers an internal response that i find energizing, vitalizing … inspiring.
Armstrong lapped most the remaining field of 150 starters. Yes, that’s right … 150 starters listed in one of the reports I scanned. That’s just insanity … but great experience for those riders. Taking a start at a crit with that many shoulders bumping and nose-rings snorting explosives is just the kind of experience our ever-growing, ever-improving women’s fields need. The US has the potential to be the best place a woman can race her bike professionally. We are on that trajectory … and it makes me proud. It makes me want to be a part of it.
Anyway, back to KA’s exploit … so, she laps most the field and comes in for the win in the opening crit and takes a sizable chunk of GC over her competitors in the process. Behind her, the fabulous Team Tibco riders mount an inhuman chase and separate off their own few riders from the pack for some GC aspirations as well, and … well, just leave a ton of energy expended out on the opening stage in the whole deal.
but worth the expense, right?
I mean, PROMAN looks like they did some dying out there for the result … and you know Colavita is always looking to ride hard …
well, here’s where we get sticky with the officiating. Apparently AFTER COMPLETION of the race, the officials decided on neutralizing the GC results. This decision is … well, it’s wrong.
Now, as someone who has officiated, has promoted, has raced, and is a ‘pull the shifter from my cold, dead hand’ SuperFan of the sport … I have to say that in 99% of all disputes between racers and promoters/officials – i will side with the promoters/officials. I do this because MOST racers have no idea what goes on behind the scenes at races … the stresses, the pressures, the hard decisions that must be made. And … honestly … sometimes riders can just be a bit disrespectful to those cats in bluecoats or behind volunteer badges.
But, people are people and folks make mistakes. Killing the GC after the race is done and all the energies expended is a wrong call in my opinion … but, i also think time trials should be optional … so, what the hell do i know, anyway?
sheeet, gotta get back to work.
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