• a smidgeon of news d’ NorCal

    by  • February 2, 2010 • norcal scene, opinionate • 12 Comments

    Return of the Randoms …

    There are so many stories to tell about cycling in our region – the NorCal.  And good on’ya for any and all interested in reading, spreading, or even writing about the folks and exploits that make it all happen.  Here’s a little lunchtime burp-up of thoughts from the fatter side of the saddle ~

    – – –

    Shelley Evans (was Olds) … RidetheWorldCups.com

    olds.jpgShelley Evans is going to the World Championships for velodrome racing.

    Let me just tap that into your noggins again – a homegrown talent from NorCal is going to the World Championships … and, she’s got one helluva good chance at winning her some medals while there.


    These events are part fundraiser, mostly tune-ups for Shelley to get in the hellacious speeds and sufferings necessary for her to perform at her best against … the best.

    These are always a good time, so if you’ve ever been interested in checking out velodrome racing – come on down to NorCal’s breeding grounds for champions.  Hellyer Velodrome produces big riders, and it’s your local track.

    When: Sat Feb 20th, track opens @ 12:30, racing starts @ 2pm.
    What: Points Races, Scratch Races, Keirin Races & since the UCI deemed the Madison un-worthy ~ it’s going to be the only worthy addition to the Olympics, the Miss-n-Out.

    Prizes? $100 cash (3 deep) each event for the A’s.

    Plus, a very special new event called “Drop Shelley”:

    $100 to the rider who can drop Shelley over either a flying 1K, or flying 3K.  Full aero gear is allowed (Shelley will not use any). Only 1 attempt will be allowed per RTWC, so if you think you have what it takes, please RSVP rob at otbphoto dot com

    Rules for “Drop Shelley
    – Flying Start
    – Aero gear is allowed
    – Distance is stated before the race (either 1K or 3K)
    – “Dropped” is > 2 bike lengths @ the finish
    – Shelley defends the $100 by not being dropped
    – Shelley wins the $100 by coming around on the line (winning the race)


    – – –

    NorCal Men in Tights – the new teams, the old teams … the rumbling manherds

    Yayhoo!s on bikes

    yahoo_sucks1.jpgThere’s a new squad formed up in Norcal, but filled with a lot of familiar faces.  It’s a team organized around the interwebs business, Yahoo!, and the fellas will apparently be interfacing a bit with the organization’s own cycling enthusiasts. Not a bad idea – as any way we can get desk jockies on bikes is always a good thing, in my opinion.

    The goals and roster of the team look to pit them square against the 800 lb gorilla of men’s cycling in NorCal – ‘dem CalGiantStrawberries.

    “Based in Northern California, the team [Yahoo!] plans to race the majority of its season on the West Coast as well as a portion of the National Racing Calendar (NRC). Dependent upon its success in the US circuit in 2010, the team plans to move on to Continental Status in 2011.”

    Well, good for them.


    The team scalped a few quality riders from the NorCal ranks … and it will be interesting to see how they match up and race against the other boys.  Riders like Evan Huffman, Ryan Parnes, Phil Mooney, Vince Owens, Adam Switters and Tyler Dibble are all strong, proven riders of NorCal that deserve to get some time cracking at the NRC ranks – and I hope that the experienced riders like Copeland, Briggs & Bosch will do the work of putting them in the position to do so.

    Should be good fireworks.

    Of course, it does grate my nuggets a bit that Kevin Klein is managing the squad … sure, he’s always been skilled at scrounging up pretty things to pedal around on … but I’ve never been impressed with how he races his bike and consider him one of the legendary wheelsucks in NorCal.  Meh ~ hope he proves me wrong this year. I guess.

    Still – there’s a handful of quality young talent getting a chance to be seen on the NRC stage … so, cheers to that.  Wheelsuck.

    – – –.

    Webcor/Alto Velo – still going, still in them ugly kits

    randimus.jpgThe AV team has been a juggernaut of NorCal cycling forever … seeming to field half the entries in some events.  But in the past couple years, the P1/2 squad has really taken off and they may have some new recruits in 2010 that will make the squad even more exciting to watch.

    The green boys are always willing to launch attacks and put themselves to the front of a bike race ~ but, they also have a maddening tendancy to miss winning breaks, and more times than acceptable ride with more balls than brains.

    Let’s hope 2010 sees them going cogitative in their barbarism.

    – – –

    Wells Fargo Racing – giving it gas

    samaan.jpgThe Wells Fargo squad has put in a lot of effort to support and develop young up-and-comers in the NorCal peloton ~ and I see this group as having some intriguing shots at podiums when the inevitable infighting occurs within and amongst the bigger squads of the region.

    The Fargo boys have one of the more inspiring stories in young Colin Samaan.  He is the rider who had a near-fatal car collision a few years back … and has worked hard to bring himself back to the cycling world.  He’s still only 20 years old, but as team captain Mark Deterline says,

    “He is learning and maturing, but one of the things that makes him so compelling is that he is a good guy – likeable, confident yet humble, dedicated to team & teammates.”

    The Fargos also have a good story in one of their new recruits, Phillip Snodgrass, who moved to Santa Rosa from Oklahoma solely to race in NorCal and in the hope of eventually turning pro.

    That’s good stuff.

    – – –

    Team Clif Bars – chew, don’t swallow

    cliffers.jpgAnother mainstay of NorCal cycling is the Clif road team … always a hodgepodge of Bay Area wacknuts who race their bikes around town mostly to be seen in their coolio kits.

    I got no problem with that.

    JD Bergmann is always good for a solid sprint finish and even broke the mold last year by throwing himself out solo in a number of crits around the region.  I know, cause I was screaming his name over the announcer’s mic at a slew of them.

    But, they’ve also got young Joe Ianarelli winning an early season sprint finish for the squad at the Cal Aggie Crit … and that could be a good sign of things to come for the CLIF boys.

    Still ~ they’ve got a long way to go to match the talent and depth of the honcho squads in NorCal … and it will be pretty damn interesting to see how this year’s racing shakes out.

    – – –

    Williams Cycling – fielding a squad, too???

    willums_good.jpgYup … it had to happen sooner or later ~ but, Williams Cycling has branched out to putting up some advertising dollars into a platoon of young pedalers.  This is a damn good development, and I can’t wait to see how the boys will perform this year.

    They’ve got hardman Andres Gil with them as mentor/example of how to suffer like a monkey … but, overall I just want to see these kids having fun and racing their butts off.

    Good on ‘ya, Williams Cycling.  Thanks for supporting grassroots cycling … events & racers.

    – – –

    More to see, more to read, more to talk shit about.

    … see you ’round the races.



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    12 Responses to a smidgeon of news d’ NorCal

    1. Michael Hernandez
      February 3, 2010 at

      bring the noise

    2. junk yard dog
      February 4, 2010 at

      he who casts stones from behind the key board of his computer

      is doomed to be nothing more then the content of his own typing

      if you point your finger at anyone in a negative or demeaning way, there is 4 other fingers pointing right back at you in the same manner you were casting shame

      let this be a lesson to you, oh typing punk of nor-cal cycling news

    3. pretty puppy
      February 4, 2010 at

      I like this post. So much good stuff from Hernandez, who I love so much!

    4. skeeterbeagle
      February 5, 2010 at

      Junkyard Dog said,

      “if you point your finger at anyone in a negative or demeaning way, there is 4 other fingers pointing right back at you in the same manner you were casting shame”

      Dude, it’s “are”, “ARE 4 other fingers…” Sheeeese!

    5. Crit Dog
      February 5, 2010 at

      I think the lesson is if you make a career out of sucking wheels for top 10 finishes in the most obscure of NCNCA races, you are going to get heckled.

    6. Bernie
      February 5, 2010 at

      Wheelsuck? More balls than brains? Ouchee, makes me happy to be unknown.

    7. beaglebutt
      February 5, 2010 at

      Are you serious
      Are you kidding
      Is this for real
      Are you joking

      Are arrrrgggghhhhh


    8. Crit Hound
      February 5, 2010 at

      Most obscure NCNCA races? Top 10 finishes? Dog you barking up the wrong tree you mutt. A race is a race. Top 10 finishes should be repected no matter how a girl or guy makes that result. There is no way anyone should put down someone else’s riding. That is so weak. Getting heckled?? Yeah lets all go back to middle school and act like stupid kids. Heckled?? nah nah nah…. your not like me…. nah nah nah….
      You dont ride like I think you should….nah nah nah….

      This kind of childish stuff wants to make me go back to doing running races.

      What a joke.

    9. nitro
      February 6, 2010 at

      Searching for political correctness in cycling commentary. Yay.

      Don’t be critical of how someone races? Huh?

      All top-10s are equal? Huh again?

      All the teams above were given props. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little evaluation along with writeup. Sometimes a little criticism is what is needed to improve one’s game. Yeah, but maybe teachers should stop using red ink for grading cuz red is such a negative color.

    10. Nitro Circus
      February 6, 2010 at

      you gots to be critical of how someones races- cause you are nothing but a whiner and complainer and gossip queeen, so you gots to practice your trade

      you gots to know all top tens are not equal- but funny how da same dudes keep getting da same top 10’s no matter what races they partake in

      one of the hardest race I ever did there was only 9 ruiders in the race- less wheels to suck and it was the hardest race by far i have done in 40 years of racing

      from what i have seen over the last 40 years of Road racing, the best wheel suckers have the best chances to attack, bridge across gaps, and post top 10 results

      also from what i have seen over the past 40 years of Road racing is that when someone calls someone a wheel sucker, they are guilty of the same practice, or they are purely stupid and have such a huge ego they think they are far better then they really are on the bike

      Over the past 40 years the best wheel sucker i have ever seen was Lance Armstrong, the 2nd best was Eddy Merrcx, and the 3rd best wheel sucker was Alberto Contador. This is just over the past 40 years of me watching the races, so surely there are more riders before my time who sucked a good wheel.

    11. speak no evil
      February 7, 2010 at

      My mother always taught me to stay out of other peoples business. She said let people ride as they want to ride, because you never no how others are feeling or what they are trying to accomplish on that ride or race. the other day I kept pulling the entire group around, I was doing all the work. Then it got down to me and 3 other guys and the best guy there kept sitting on. he kept sitting on and not pulling through. In the end I told him I was better then him, and I did nore work them him. He then proceeded to tell me his workout for the day from his coach was to ride in the group and never take a turn, just draft and keep in the group no matter what. Then the next weekend I was in a race and one guy kept attacking. Everytime the race slowed he would attack. It was quite frustarting because each time it looked as if a break would stick this guy would attack and mess the cooperation up from the group. I was so angry, I told him off at the end. He then told me his coach prescribed a work out where each time there was a lull in the race he was supposed to attack. It did not matter anything about the outcome of the race. What mattered was the coach’s plan. In the end I remembered what my mother told me about keeping out of others business because you really never know how they are feeling or what they are doing. I still do more work then anyone in the group. I am the very best. I will tell off anyone who does not do as much work as me on the front. To anyone who stays behind me they are wheel suckers. to anyone who attacks they are wrong to mess with my ride and my plans. I am the best and I know all.

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