Bad News First: In a well meaning attempt to provide men and women equal opportunities at the Olympic’s the UCI may cut the Points Race, Madison, and Pursuit from Olympic events. While the proposals adds Omnium this effectively kills endurance racing at the Olympic level. With the previous elimination of the Kilo this leaves Sprints, Team Sprints, Keirin, Team Pursuit, and Omnium. I assume this is intended to make better television viewing since normal people have touble following the Madison and Pursuit, the same way American’s used to have trouble following the puck in hockey games. This is a drag for US Olympic hopefuls like Hellyer-ites Shelly Olds and Hollaway, as well as gold medal contenders like Phinney and Hammer. I have a couple of suggestions for the UCI -
- Run some test events – don’t do this without some kind of program development. Making it up and going live is just bad business… take it from Silicon Valley types folks, a cold launch is never a good idea.
- Team Sprint/Team Pursuit: Blech! the only thing more boring than individual timed events are team timed events. It looks cool for the first two entries…then you kinda tune out.
- Keep the Madison! – This race has more potential than anything out there. Its exciting, physical, and crazy. Seems like some education and better promotion would get people stoked to watch this insanity.
Good News! US Track Natz concluded on the weekend and Hellyer-ites had some breakout performances. I know its not our schtick to be critical but I was a little disappointed because I was expecting Shelly and Hollywood to dominate. Not in the win several medals manner, more in the win everything they entered manner. I will admit its a little messed up because between them they won 5 medals* (Dholla – 2, Olds 3) including one gold for Olds the scratch race. Hollaway had several dominant rides at Natz but i was thinking he would be all “Taylor Phinney” on everybody’s ass due to his Six day racing last year which seemed to take him to a new level of confidence (if that was possible.) Olds had similar success in Europe last year and just dominated the crit scene over the summer becoming, IMHO, the dominant fast chick in the US. So… while i expcted more the level of competition was higher, and their results should not be surprising given that they have both been racing non stop and are shortly heading back into Six Day/World Cup season on the track within the next few weeks.. I am pretty excited to see what they break out this winter overseas… so don’t freak out, I still think they rule.
The nig news are the break out performances from the other Hellyer-Ites in attendance. Roman Killun was able to put in a solid ride against the ingenue Mr. Phinney for second in the pursuit. Brian Peterson and Beth Newell both turned in top 10 performances. Brian and Beth seem to jump a level every six month so 2010 will be fun to watch since they seem to be interested in pursuing results at these nationals level competitions. Steve Palaez had a good ride in the Omnium winning the sprint event and managing an 8th place overall. He also medaled in the team pursuit with fellow Hellyer-ite smarty pants Roman K. Secret Hellyer-ite (i call him secret cause he fly’s under the radar most of the time) Rob Meyer squeaked in a podium appearance with a fifth place in the pursuit. If i take out the pro’s he’s essentially the first amateur (i think of Broadmark as a regional pro team like the Cal Giant boys.) I don’t think Rob’s been racing on the road that long so we need to get this guy a little closer in the Hellyer-ite fold… he could be AWESOME (imagine that being said in falsetto)
Our sprinters were especially hot down on the wood boards of LAX. The LTO Team of Gio, Pete, and Sam Millroy all put in good rides. The highlight from the LTO boys has to be Pete Billingtons smoking kilo (01:06.50) and subsequent podium (5th.) The LTO boys are getting fast, which is good since the US Sprinter quality seems to be on the rise. Next year the LTO boys should be killing the sprint events up and down the coast. Of course this means they will turn further down the path of thug life and develop further into freakish looking mounds of muscle, but what can you do…thats the price of speed.
Overall… it was a good year for Hellyer-ites at Nationals. Word is there is a Ride the World Cup coming up in a few weeks… stay tuned for more info. The Hellyer fun never stops!
*ed. note: I should add I am only counting 1st, 2nd, and 3rd as medal spots. IMHO 4th and 5th are “podium” spots and not real medal spots even though USAC gives you a “friendship medal”…not that i have ever gotten one. I just got in a wiked long argument with el presidente peterson about this and he is SO wrong!
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