• Like the Civil War…

    by  • July 11, 2009 • norcal scene, race coverage • 7 Comments

    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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    7 Responses to Like the Civil War…

    1. July 11, 2009 at

      bahati said he was coming the oakland grand prix so he could attend my kegger. craptastic.

      i will add:

      7. Did this happen at your races after party?


      Winner NCNCA.

    2. July 11, 2009 at

      hernandito strikes again.

      sorry RaeSanBahooti didn’t go to your OaktownKegger, Beth. but, Briggs does look hot in red leather.


    3. SLO & DysFunctionaL
      July 12, 2009 at

      Awww, come on. I want a recount. for Gosh Goodness Sakes, one of the best announcers in all of Cali, if not the whole World -no make that the Universe – was at the SLO Downtown Criterium. I think his name is Hernando Miguel or something like that. All I know is Everyone was in awe of him.

      For example, during the P/1/2 race, perched high in his stake-bed truck announcing nest, he screamed down wildly at co-announcer Peter Wonderly, commanding him to sprint madly back and forth across the course to grab 1’s, 5’s and 20’s from the crowd for primes. Half the fun was watching Peter narrowly escape the roaring pack at the S/F line. The crowd ate it up and hundreds of dollars were suddenly manifested in crowd primes. I likened him to televangelist Jim Bakker extracting thousands during a mega-preacher-thon broadcast. It was… just beautiful.

      Oh and during my race, I was surprised to receive a couple smacks on the ass from fellow competitors, so the whole 2-wheeled play concept was was well exemplified! Something about SLO makes everyone superbly frisky….

      Can’t wait for SLO again next year- GREAT weekend, great venues.

    4. Hernandito
      July 13, 2009 at

      Recount? Bah! This blog lacks any such credibility.

      Plus, as Beth points out, Briggs in red leather adds even more points to the NCNCA tally.

      But in all honesty, that SLO crit is great, especially with the ass-grabbery you describe.

    5. "Old Man" Robertson
      July 13, 2009 at

      Yeah, that Oakland field should be ashamed of themselves. Pack sitting up twice in the last lap worked to my advantage.

      World back in order in Lodi yesterday: finished almost last in the pack sprint. And I thought sucking wheel on Bahati and Hansen on the last lap was a winning proposition….

      Seriously though: thanks for the attention. I’ll take it any way I can get it.

    6. Hernandito
      July 13, 2009 at

      Oh Joel…naturally the gibes were meant in jest. Fear not, I’ll find someone else to pick on next time.

      And yes, we all know you’ll take it any way you can get it…

    7. grey
      July 14, 2009 at

      Nice stroll down (repressed) memory lane with the ’00 P/1/2 results. All I remember from that race is that the road leading to the climb is better suited to a pack of donkeys than to skinny cyclists riding 23mm tires pumped to 115.

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