The Memorial Day Criteriums ended a full-gas weekend of racing with events from Auburn & Folsom to the south bay, up and over and way around Mount Hamilton. This first picture shows the two juggernauts of women’s racing in NorCal ~ TIBCO and the PB chicks.
PB took the victory on Monday’s Memorial Crit with the classy Kat Carroll winning from a breakaway with TIBCO’s Alison Starnes. In both days, TIBCO’s Starnes showed herself as continuing to rise up the ranks of elite athletes by storming in day long efforts off the front and showing an incorrigible desire to put the wind in her face. To say that Starnes is the next big thing in US cycling is not a stretch of hyperbole, at all.
But it was a good win for Carroll and her teammates Shelley Evans and Ruth Winder joined her on the Memorial Crit podium.
But for the epic Hamilton event, a Nature Valley Pro-Ride qualifier, it was TIBCO taking the win on Sunday’s monstrous road race with Megan Guarnier overpowering the climbing specialist Kate Donovan (shown right). Donovan, traveling up from SoCal, was the shredder up the Hamilton climb, setting a pace that had most riders eyes crossed from about mile one. But, she wasn’t listed in the criterium results – which leads me to believe that local favorite Mary Maroon might be the rider selected for the NVGP Pro-Ride … more details soon.
But this weekend belonged to TIBCO’s Megan Guarnier. She threw herself down the backside of Mt Hamilton like David Arroyo with boobs. I don’t think this woman can even spell ‘fear.’ Megan’s got brassy clangers, if you know what I mean.
The woman is brave, hungry, and never afraid to bring the pain down on herself. It’s good to see her taking some results now that her form is on track. Look for some more big races from this rider in June.
The boys of summer have begun to come out … and the pack is being led by the regurgitated McGuire Cycling Team. I’ve had my sweet and sour moments with this team over the years … like the one time at Redlands I had flatted in the Oak Glen stage and was chasing like mad to find my way back to the pack. From behind at about 40mph came rocketing the McGuire team car, drafting 2 of its riders back to the pack, and clipping me on the butt with their passenger mirror, knocking me sideways like a red headed stepchild. Almost killed me that day … and I won’t recount the conversation I had afterward with the manager.
But I like Randy, even if he’s too pretty. And Sergei is a good bloke who puts it on the line for his teammates. And it’s not bad to see Sterling racing again … so, right on for McGuire. Good win, and we’ll see how they rock the rest of the year’s crits.
Jared Barrilleaux won Mt Hamilton the day before, but I don’t think he’ll get the Nature Valley Grand Prix “Pro Ride” since he’s already ridden for a professional squad. But, it’s pretty damn sweet to see this young man getting back some magic. Huge talent and it’s great to see Giant Berries growing his morale again.
And speaking of huge talents … the picture above shows Katrina Howard winning another Junior event. Katrina Howard also podium’d in the category 3 women’s race at Memorial. This is a feisty, smart, and incredibly gifted little engine. She has to travel from Fresno for bike races in NorCal … so, it’s always a pleasure to see her turning the screws at events.
Another big talent is the Category 3 Mount Hamilton winner – John Piasta. This picture is just before he started screaming like a school girl about his win.
This picture is of Beth Newell looking over in disgust at a category 4 rider who passed her in finish of Mt Hamilton. Beth and two other women tried over and over to disengage with a group of finishing cat 4s … but, I guess the guys really wanted to see what these ladies had in the tank.
This picture is a shout-out to all the San Jose Bike Club volunteers that made the Memorial weekend of racing happen. Dozens and dozens of folks gave up their holiday to put on a beautiful weekend of racing.
And next time make sure Gadow gets a job out in the sun, standing.
And lastly … again I say ~ bike racing is a beautiful sport.
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