This weekend was marked by a brutal conflict between North and South. Both the NCNCA and it’s sibling, the SCNCA, attempted to woo west-coast cyclists to their respective races.
The NCNCA sought to attract the masses by offering quantity (Leesville, Davis, and Oakland) while simultaneously capitalizing on the “Classic” nature of the Davis 4th of July Criterium, which has been running consecutively since 1776 or so. Seems like solid marketing.
The SCNCA, meanwhile, decided to go with this number:
Yes. Allow me to repeat:
“…Meet me halfway/ between ‘Frisco and LA/ for some good ‘ol fashioned/ Two-wheeled play”
Interesting use of meter, apostrophes, and the phrase “two-wheeled play.” While that certainly sounds like a “‘Frisco” hipster’s lucky evening, it does not strike me as an attractive proposition for the masses. However, judging by the results sheet from the SLO Criterium, it appears you freaks have proven me wrong.
So who won the battle? Which District is better? Did the NCNCA arise victorious because of its classicism, or was the SCNCA’s promise of [RADIO EDIT] enough to draw everyone in? Let’s discuss.
NCNCA: Friday’s Leesville Gap RR
Honestly, what is there to say about the Leesville Gap Road Race? It often seems to be won by people who love suffering, though occasionally a whiny pretty boy takes the top T-shirt*. I have yet to see the 2009 results sheet, but the grapevine says that Jesse Moore won the P/1/2 race for a second time in a row. He’s probably mounted bricks on a set of rollers, placed the rollers in a sauna, shrouded the whole setup in an altitude tent, and then invited NO ONE ELSE to ride it with him. Perfect training for Leesville. No wonder he wins.
Sorry Jesse, but that’s the photo I’m going with, in all it’s glory. Don’t blame me, blame the people who didn’t go to Leesville at 4am to take photographs.
I also heard that Euro-Pro sprinter Max Jenkins came in 2nd, but the finish line camera was too low-resolution to catch his spindly body. He was actually lost between pixels.
I’d blog about some other categories, but it seems Casey’s live feed from Leesville was interrupted. Sorry.
*Don’t kill me Chad. It was sarcasm.
NCNCA: Davis 4th of July Criterium and Oakland Downtown Criterium
This weekend’s W/1/2/3 races could be referred to as the Starla and Karla show. Sounds tacky but it looks damn good in photographic form:
Photo from Garrett Lau.
Starla Teddergreen won roughly 12 primes and then dominated the finishing sprint on the streets of downtown Davis, helped all the way by her SugarCRM teammates. Racing that hard all day and still coming away with the victory is sound proof that she was the strongest rider.
The following day, the same SugarCRM crew launched Karla Kingsley to victory on the technical and demanding Oakland course. Perfection.
At Davis, the P/1/2 men’s race was uneventful–even boring–for the majority of the race. Then, with 8 laps to go, a group of four riders went off the front, including Sean McBride (Lombardi), Chris Stasny (Davis), Rand Miller (Webcor) and one other guy. It was doomed, of course, but watching the poor guys beat their heads against the wall was entertaining. Anyway, the break stayed away until 1 lap to go, followed by one of the best field sprints I’ve seen in a while:
Photo from Veronika Lenzi.
That’s Kevin Klein (hiding Chris Hipp), Dave McCook, Rahsaan Bahati, and Chad Gerlach. McCook believed he’d won, but he obviously forgot to read the book that says, “Rahsaan Bahati wins every criterium he enters.” Bahati was crowned the victor by the finish-line camera.
The Oakland P/1/2′s race consisted of (surprise!) Chad Gerlach and Dan Ramsay (Mountain Khakis) attacking, with Ramsay winning solo. Do either of these guys even know HOW to ride in the pack? In the meantime, a chase group was very nearly mowed down by a pair of firetrucks:
Photo from Garrett Lau.
In the end, Joel Robertson (Sierra Pacific) won the field sprint. Wait. Joel Robertson won a sprint? Crazy.
SCNCA: San Luis Obispo Road Race Thingy and San Luis Obispo Downtown Criterium
In honor of the start of the Tour de France, Webcor’s French Phenom Fabrice Dubost won Saturday’s hilly circuit race from a 4-man breakaway including Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefits), Vince Owens (Lombardi), and a Liquid Fitness rider. Fabrice has been poised to win a bunch of big races this year, only to miss out (who hasn’t seen the Cats Hill finish photo), so congratulations to him.
The criterium the following day is definitely one of the best courses on the west coast, especially now that the front straightaway has been repaved. This year, as the SCNCA Elite Criterium Championships, the SLO Criterium boasted a high-profile field including Aaron Olson, Ken Hanson, and Rahsaan Bahati, who must have teleported from Davis.
Bahati won the men’s race ahead of Ken Hanson and Jeremiah Wiscovitch, and everyone posed for this remarkably awkward and disheveled podium photo:
Photo from CenCalCycling.com
OK. The discussion is over, and it’s time to crown a victor. For once, the words “District Championships” actually mean something. Whether you like it or not, these are the criteria for “Best 4th of July District in California (and Nevada):”
1) Did Rahsaan Bahati come to your criterium?
Winner: Tie. He was at Davis and SLO.
2) Did Rahsaan Bahati WIN at your criterium?
Winner: Tie. Betting against Bahati in a sprint is like betting ON Joel Robertson in a sprint.
3) Number of Races.
Winner: NCNCA. Leesville baby.
4) Number of Historical Landmarks on Courses.
Winner: SCNCA. The Mission on the SLO Crit course is at LEAST twice as old as Joel Robertson.
5) Did the SugarCRM women dominate your district’s women this weekend?
Winner: NCNCA. I’m pretty sure Starla would beat Bahati in a sprint.
6) Is this blog about your district?
Winner: NCNCA. No one said it was fair.
Overall Winner: NCNCA
It was a hard-fought battle by both districts, and though I am clearly biased, the results do not lie. The NCNCA is clearly the best district for 4th of July racing. Or something like that.
Well, I’ve just now finished up last week’s racing, and its almost time to get ready for the San Rafael Twilight Crit. I’ll try to be more diligent about writing in the future.
Also, I’m going to make a conscious effort to 1) show up to races earlier and 2) spend more time watching races instead of heckling them. My posts tend to be heavy on the P/1/2 and W/1/2/3 categories, but if I see some “epic” performances in other races, I’ll highlight them here on the blog if I can. I make no guarantees, and it’s unlikely that I’ll actually get to races earlier, but I will try.
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