Shelley Evans wins NZ … and we heard about it!
With a crushing display in the criterium finale of the Tour of New Zealand, Shelley Evans put an exclamation mark on her ability to win while marked and under pressure. Both Cyclingnews and Velonews have been covering the race, but if you’ve got an eye on both e-presses, you know that even though CN has the rad fotos and better web-navigation, it was Velonews who gave us just that bit more insight into the race … into the personalities and drama of the event.
Here’s a couple of cool quotes:
“Just as I jumped to bridge, I dropped my chain and unclipped from my pedal at the same time,” Evans explained. “I sat down and desperately tried to get the chain back on and my foot in the pedal again as the rest of the field drove past me on both sides. Finally, with about 400m to go, I got it all sorted out and looked up to find a huge hole on the left side of the road and the field indecisively heading towards the line. So, with a lot of adrenaline, I jumped and took off up the left side. I don’t think anyone expected it or even saw me coming, as they had seen me have the issues just 100m earlier. I kept momentum, found a clearing, and shot straight up the left side to take the win.” [VN]
“Most of all, I want to thank my teammate, world champion Amber Neben, who selflessly rode on the front of the peloton, despite being the race leader, in the last stages of the tour, to allow me to take over in the general classification,” said Evans. “She is a true professional and a class act and I was honored to ride alongside of her this week.” [VN]
The Editor of VeloNews is a guy named Ben Delaney ~ and you may not have heard of him, but let me tell you this is a fella who really does know cycling ~ from the bragging rights slugfests on the local’s only grassroots scene … to the international money-grubbers buying souls and deigning to hand off an occasional golden chamois.
Delaney has been giving props and finding quotes on the women’s cycling side … AND, has overseen a push in US regional coverage on the VN website. So, if you like hearing and seeing e-coverage like what has taken place during the women’s Tour of New Zealand, or maybe even a few collegiate results ~ be sure to let him know, EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org.
As in all things … it’s the metrics that do the talking in this crap-corporate world ~ so, thanks for sending continual emails to let the chaps @ VN know they’re on the right path.
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Smelling Merced … the good, the bad, some ugly
There are quite a few stories to tell out of this weekend’s bike racing. We’ll start with the big stories … ProAm Mens and Femmes. And pictures found here.
Daniel Holloway wins Snelling … many lose $$ in bike parts & med bills
It was a brutal day of racing out there in Snells-ville, with a good couple dozen falling down in the first kilometer of racing for the p1/2 men, causing many a rider DNF and upwards of $30-grand in bike damage, I reckon. It was frustrating to see good guys like Aaron Gallardo, Aaron Beardsely, and Tyler Dibble hitching rides back to the wagons. But, it is what it is.
The winds were just light enough to cause guttering, and simultaneously keep the speeds ridiculously high for the afternoon events. The morning waves may have seen double-digit gusts and ankle-deep water puddles, but by noon ~ the day had dried and calmed just enough to let the legs do all the storming. And storm they did.
CalGiant’s Jesse Moore was a monster the entire race, launching blistering effort after effort, showing yet another step-up in level to his game that has occurred these past 3 seasons. If you have any inclination on grabbing for that extra gear, check out his coaching services … because the man’s a walking display of what can be achieved with sound science and hungry discipline.
There would be moves away all day in the p1/2 race, with teams and individuals shuffling in and out of the front of the race. United Healthcare’s Maximus Jenkins was victim of the first kilo crash, but his teammate and NorCal superstar Roman Kilun made a final selection that began with over a dozen, but quickly shed to only a select few hardmen.
Bissell Pro Cycling had uber-blogger Paul Mach doing his best to not attack from the remaining field, as teammate DHolla was in the front group riding pretty … but, I like how he played it ~ so, let’s quote him now:
“Well, it was Crazy Town. Attacks, crashes, and hecka hard racing all put me deep into the box for the the first few laps.
Thankfully, a group of about 15 finally got off the front. Bissell had Danny Holloway up there and since he was riding a replica of Ben J-M’s Pinarello training bike I was confident in his ability to win. This allowed me to spend the next 3 laps just sitting around talking to people while Chris Jones and Will Routley hammered on the front.
With a half lap to go, I attacked over the Merco finish hill with someone yelling, “No, Paul” from the field. But with a gap of still over a minute, I figured it was fair game to start racing again.” [PM]
Indeed, Mach’s attack would shake up the top-10 significantly as final lap shreddings would see but a handful of riders come to the line to contest the victory. Winning the sprint was Holloway, in front of a very fit looking Ryan Parnes from Yahoo. With the inevitable travel that will take the UCI pros around the country, the NorCal scene is going to be quite bloody indeed as CalGiant and Yahoo get free reign to pound the ground for mere mortals. CalGiant had young gun Andrew Talansky taking fourth behind Chad Gerlach, who is looking more and more like a man returning to the form that saw him dominate most of the summer of 2009.
A good showing was put in by the enigmatic Logan Loader, finishing 5th in front of perennial Czar of the River Ride, Mike Sayers. Logan’s finish compliments a very, very strong showing of young riders in this year’s Snelling … and signaling that NorCal road racing is back on track to being the breeding ground for future pros of the peloton.
Noteworthy were the efforts put in by Specialized racers Peter Taylor and James Laberge, as well as Williams Cycling Nathanael Christensen. Strong riders joining a growing group of talented U-23s out there in NorCal.
And before we switch gears to painting pretty pictures with the ProAm femmes … have to give a huge shout-out to the class and sass of Webcor Builders, Katheryn Curi-Mattis ~ as she was out there getting in the high-octane training by racing it up with the men’s field. KCM was strong and smart enough to stay out of the early crashanigans, and also fit to finish well with the survivors of one helluva hard edition of Snelling.
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Tibco vs Tibco vs Olivia Dillon
TIBCO showed a tremendous amount of coolness this weekend by splitting up their squad into two separate teams to contest both the Snelling RR and Merced Crit. One squad used the summer whites, the other used the elegant blues.
With the team focused on the training aspects of the race, it was good to see that they were throttling each other and the field every chance available. With the amount of speed and aggression, it was perhaps inevitable that fatigue would cause a touch of wheels in the field late in the race. Lamentable victims of the spill were NorCal favorites Hanan Alves-Hyde and Meg Guarnier. Hanan has a fracture that will likely see her out of action for a few weeks – which is a damn shame as it was evident that her fitness and speed has made another jump this year.
Meg perhaps got off a bit better, with just some bruises and a pretty sizeable gash in her wing. But that won’t keep her down for long, as she is scheduled to return to her Euro-stomping grounds with the TIBCO women as they take on some of the early classics. Look for a Flanders result from these women, as they have Brooke Miller ready and a very strong and experienced group of women with her.
The front end of the women’s race saw TIBCO’s Rebecca Much and Devon Haskell against Olivia Dillon. Much would take the race, but it was a very strong showing by Dillon put in yet again. Dillon would bridge across solo to the two TIBCO riders in a show of power and grit. The
former current & 2x Irish time trial champion is looking to put in another stellar year of racing … what a fan favorite.
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Tidbits … before out of time
Last quick notes:
Another young rider to keep on the lookout for is Specialized’s Eamon Lucas. This young man only began racing last year, and is already beginning to show the talent to find Europe calling. He has still metric tons more to learn about racing and will have to suffer many more kilometers to find it … but, if he has the discipline and desire for it … the Euro-peloton awaits. He was the winner of both the cat 3 Snelling RR and the Merced Jr crit.
Ruth Winder outsprinted the women’s cat 3 field for her final race before upgrading. Her mom, Margaret Winder was also a winner in the women’s 4s … which is all story-book and everything. We’ll see if daddy Winder can keep up and grab himself a podium or two this year in the geezer races.
Merced Crit victory in the P1/2 went to Brian Bosch of Yahoo & the gang. It’s good to see BB get a legit crit win for the new squad since CherryPie … should be a great battle as the year progresses in NorCal racing.
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