Subtitle: I had not idea this was so long – I’m like a freaking James Joyce!
I imagine that in 1978, which predates my cycling infatuation by several years, it was generally impossible to follow what was happening in Le Tour. I assume it’s like waiting for CalCup results – where word of mouth and random postings in local periodicals (internet, newspapers) – kinda, sorta, keep you informed. (Which reminders me…if you are going to one of the races could you all have pity on working parent and use a #CalCup tag to give us the top men’s and women’s race results? It would make reporting on it SO much easier. In addition it would be nice if the Nor Cal cycling communitytook over the #1 Google search for “CalCup” which is currently awarded to a field hockey tournament. While we may be mocked for the leg shaving, could there be anything more fringe than the The US Men’s Field Hockey team?) My point being…its hard to get timely results.
That said, CalCup deserves our summer attention more than the current Euro fare of Vattenfall Cyclassic or Volta a Portugal. Frankly, it’s the next best race after the Le Tour and Oregon stage races end in July. A successful Tour and CalCup strategy are similar. Two good time trials, mountain stage, and staying in the mix for most of the races can get you an overall win. CalCup, like the tour, is a series that rewards consistency, a varied skill set, and the ability to show up when others bail due to vacation, contract issues, or injury. CalCup offers TT’s, Crits, hilly races, and flat sprinter stages all on a Velopromo budget. Lately it’s been a home for riders either winding up or winding down their careers and if you don’t think of it as an indicator of future success already you should start paying attention. It would be easy to use CalCup as a good indicator of the next big thing in the women’s peloton. Looking up historical results is challenging, and I’m willing to admit it’s a “me” problem, but my recollection is Flavia, Brooke, and Shelly all have done some time on the podium and they are all kicking ass at the moment.
I’m sure a few of the pro boys like the local Bissels and D-Holla will turn up to make folks bleed but they should have too much to do with the US Pro and Ol Miss coming up, putting CalCup firmly be in the hands of the locals. Philip Mooney cranked out a win in the Warnerville TT, and from the looks of it in the USA Cycling database, this collegiate Metromint rider can do some damage in crits as well as time trials. For the rest of the field I am just going to defer to the BAR Stat machine and gin out a few easy picks.
After last year’s win by “The Wolverine” it’s not beyond reason that Kevin Kline can prove “Lance’s Theory” (which I kind of think sounds like “Brian’s Song” – which, as a title for movie didn’t really make sense to me, but did give rise to Brian Piccolo Park where there is a sweet little velodrome) that age is an asset not a detriment. Kevin’s experience and fitness aside, I am going to peg FABRICE (can we just agree he should have one name and should stop wearing a shirt) for an overall win. He’s been scarily consistent and can perform in all types of events. After FABRICE I am liking Jesse Moore who could have won CalCup last year if he had shown up for a few of the early series races. Moore’s 2009 results look even better than last year, so if FABRICE and the leprechauns falter the Giant Berries will be drinking up the wins.
Dark Horse Picks: Rand “I Can Attack That” Miller and Nate “Best Name in Cycling” English have the tenacity, skill, and desire to show up for every race that can put them in the mix for a series like CalCup.
The women’s side should be cake walk for Olivia Dillon if she hasn’t gone pro already. Logic says Olivia can get it all just by showing up to all the races and doing her TT/Hard Rider thing – but looks like she skipped the Warnerville TT, that was taken by Lauraleen Fenech of Bici Sport. I just looked up Lauraleen on the USA Cycling DB and she appears to have some Jeannie Longo type genes and motivation. All you need is two good TT’s and a road race Lauraleen!
If Train Tibco shows up like they did at the early season races things could change but Tibco has been MIA since Tour de Nez. Brooke Miller and the girls have been too busy on the east coast summer crit scene earning some scratch to think about CalCup T Shirts. All of this precludes the Shelly Olds factor. The reality is, no matter what the race is, Shelly can probably snake a win from you. Team, no team… hills, no hills, she’s just on fire… f-that – Shelly is Fire. Plus – if ProMan brings their scary juniors everyone should be afraid – they are vampire children with ridiculous gear ratios that will hypnotize and numb you for the eventual kill.
Dark Horse Picks: Kelly McDonald – 4th last year, currently 3rd in BAR – it’s a “moneyball” decision; she’s got numbers and results behind her. It would be nice to see a rider step up from one of the smaller programs like Sugar CRM, Webcor or Metromint and make it into the top three – Here’s a tip for the smaller teams: you can get a podium by showing up and being consistent. Virginia Perkins got 5th overall from three solid races last year, only one of which was a win.
Le Tour was a snooze fest, but if you folks learn to twitter me some #CalCup results all can be right again. I’ll work on some editing and how to insert pictures for next time.
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