Wente RR and Crit next weekend
Wente is a funny weekend … in NorCal, the Livermore classics signal a long California spring of racing beginning to phase out, while the early left coast onset of summer rises like a hot sun. Come late July and August … this part of the world is almost in shutdown mode and riders with any soul in them are already thinking of the dirt and belgian-frites of cyclocross September.
But in late April … it’s Wente and the classic road course put on by the folks out of Livermore ~ strongarming 100+ volunteers to work the gazillion needs of such an epic, hugely attended event. I’ll be at the criterium on Sunday, doing another announcing gig and trying not to get myself in too much trouble.
Speaking of announcing…
That’s something I’ve noticed these past few years … as soon as I start blabbing on the mic at races, my cycle-scribbling seems to dry up on the interwebs. It’s not for lack of desire and certainly not for lack of material out there, but something seems to kick into the gray matter … maybe vocal communication displaces written. Whatever.
But back to trouble … this weekend I announced for one of Rick Adams’ awesome Get Ready for Summer events. It was a swell time, with lots of great races and oodles of adjectives flowing about the races and characters. But then a crash occurred in the C’s Miss-n-Out and my noodle went all stupid. Crashes rarely happen on the track … but, ever since that one a couple years back on a Friday Night that sent down Sabine, Dorit and Donna … I just get all edged up and agitated whenever I see them now.
During the following B’s Miss-n-Out, I got all irrational on Bill Nicely because he was riding on the tops, and then yelled at him stupidly for something all together other. Bill’s a great guy doing great work for the NCNCA and didn’t deserve my ire, but like i said … crashes just hit me too personally nowadays – be they on the track or on the road. I suppose it’s why I got all bent out of shape for the crappy moto work done back during the Madera Stage Race last month, and why I have a tendency to lose biscuits when folks endanger others through either intent or ignorance on the bike … or promoting races.
ah well, i’ve called too many kettles pot-black in my day … so enough of that and lesson learned that i need to shut my mouth more times than not.
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NorCal scene: CalGiants vs Yahooligans, the ladies and young-ones
So I’m sure there’s some out there keeping score on who the winners of the winkie-swinging contest are thus far in 2010. Rand Miller and Fabrice Dubost of Webcor look to be doing a fine job of beginning to take advantage of the Berry v Yahoo slugfests, but if we were going to take a measure of results thus far … tip of the hat likely has to go to Yahoo for small town wins, and Berries for the bigger races.
Phil Mooney was a monster at Sea Otter this weekend for Yahoo, though. And it was very cool to see the Berries’ Barrilleaux going berserker once again in big races. Reaney has been a beast these past few weeks, from setting up Moore at Copperopolis to destroying all pretenders at the Menlo Park GP. But, of course, there is no contesting that the real bullies of NorCal this year are the Bissell boyz.
The Bissell team has given a strong benchmark for NorCal riders to see and shoot for if they want to ride in the professional ranks. Bissell has been gobbling up results all year long and their cohesive, energized riding will be evident once the NRC circuit starts to heat up again.
For the women, up to the Wente weekend, the big stories have to be Olivia Dillon and Mary Maroon. Dillon was smartly picked up by the PeanutButter squad … the perfect addition, as she is a rider who can pound away on the front of a pack to defend GC, a rider who can time trial well to be a decoy/weapon for GC herself, and a very good finisher in bunch sprints for either leadouts or to kick on her own. I would say that Dillon is the best acquisition that team has made thus far.
Touchstone Climbing’s Maroon has made a very big jump in both fitness and confidence this year – realizing that she can ride at the front of any race, under any conditions. She’s been in the right moves all year long, and we will likely see a stretch of wins for her in the coming month.
And I’m very excited to see so much youth on the scene in NorCal cycling this year. From Ruth Winder mixing it up against Euro-pros, to the powerful junior development squads being nurtured by the San Jose Bike Club, Specialized Racing, Tieni Duro, Swift, and more … we’ve got a lot of momentum to develop near and long-term talents in our region. And that’s something to crow about.
Another name to watch in the coming month of racing is young Andy Goessling, riding for the ALA-Lombardi’s squad. This is a big strong engine with good finishing speed. If he puts full gas and discipline into the bike – this is a rider I think could move up the ranks very, very quickly.
Another rider that impressed me big was the young sprinter out of Auburn, Dylan Clark. This guy is built for the velodrome and I’d recommend it in a heart beat if he didn’t live a hundred+ miles from Hellyer. But, take notice – honcho teams of NorCal … Clark is a rider worth looking at for any late season grabs.
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