• June starts

    by  • June 9, 2010 • norcal scene, race coverage • 0 Comments

    Mt Hood Cycling Classic

    mvhhood.jpgMolly Van Houweling has gotten the big GC win we all knew she had building in her legs for the 2010 season. MVH won the opening TT down in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun … but sprint bonuses bumped her off the podium.

    Mt Hood, however, is a race all about sustained power and willingness to suffer … on climbs, across windswept flats, and through the wet and snow.  And MVH was on top of her game, winning the TT, defending on the mountain stages, and coming away with a prestigious stage race title.

    The final criterium was dumping rain … and for anyone who has ever raced the downtown Hood River criterium ~ you know that the decision by the officials to not have the stage count to GC was one that saved many collarbones and carbon fiber frames.

    Oregon stage racing … best in the country. Hands down.

    mach_kick.jpgPaul Mach gave another strong showing for the BISSELL boyz … but, it was the UHC cage-fighters that took the GC at Hood with strong team riding and a stellar time trial put in by the Dutchman de Maar.

    As Mach writes on his site … a bad day can make the best look like a pwnt amateur.

    Mach gave it full gas to defend his 2009 title, but came up short against a full UHC squad very willing to redeem themselves for another somewhat lackluster Tour of California showing.

    But a rider showing a huge amount of luster and bluster at Hood was Echelon’s Nate English.  English has been ripping every climb available in NorCal these past couple years, and it was clear that he went into the 2010 Hood River Classic with massive form and a hungry appetite for suffering.

    Just about every VeloNews article about the race was forced to mention English’s name at some point, cuz the boy was ripping the front end of the race like somebody was paying him to do it.

    And hopefully somebody will get the sense to do so … soon.
    – – –

    Philly and Tulsa … NorCal style

    NorCal based professional teams TIBCO, Colavita/Baci, Vera Bradley, and Peanut Butter represented themselves very well on the two big events on the east coast last weekend.

    The Tulsa Tough was held in absolutely sweltering temperatures, and the crowds that came out were ready to party southern style … with bbq’s, garden hoses, and veneer thin wardrobes.

    hellyeah.

    TIBCO’s Amanda Miller won the opening stage in the Tough with a wickedly timed solo attack late in the race.  Peanut Butter’s Coryn Rivera won a stage and vied for the overall omnium victory, but would have to settle for second behind the consistent sprinting of MSU’s Jennifer Purcell.

    higginswins.jpgCari Higgins also won a stage for Peanut Butter,  taking her first road win of the year.  But again, it was the consistent Purcell who would place on the podium in all events to take the win over the two NorCal based pro squads.

    In Lyne‘s picture on the right … you’ll see not only Higgins taking the win, but McGuire Cycling’s Sterling Magnell watching from the crowds.

    Very cool ~ recon’ing the sprint, or just straight-up interested in women’s cycling … thanks for checking them out, Magnus.

    Philly is … the big beast of US cycling.  The race used to be the US professional championships for men, but now has been relegated to a prestigious one-day event for the boyz … which is what it always has been for the women.

    Ina Teutenberg has won at Philly many times and was the clear favorite going into this weekend’s event.  However, with TIBCO’s Brooke Miller having had her most successful European spring campaign to date, Peanut Butter’s Shelley Evans riding a wave of 2010 wins, and Webcor having momentum with Kat Mattis‘s win in Europe and the recent addition of big-time firepower with former word champ Amber Neben … Philly was up for grabs in a way that it hasn’t been in years.

    The race was one of attrition, with all teams pulling out the claws early and with ferocity.  But it would be a group sprinting it out for the final, with Evans trying an early jump to steal wind from the other sprinters’ sail.  Teutenberg, using her experience and patience, rode her HTC teammates wheel until the line was within spitting distance and then hit the afterburners hard to sweep past Evans at the line.  Brooke Miller would finish 4th, just behind Colavita/Baci’s Theresa Clif-Ryan.

    phillywin.jpg

    So three out of the top-4 riders at Philly were from NorCal, or NorCal based teams.  Another bit of evidence that our region is the leading edge of women’s riding in the United States, if not the world.
    – – –

    Speaking of Women’s Racing …

    The Tour de Nez has $10K in purse for the women’s field.  The Reno-based race has been showing a strong evolution to offer strong racing for women in their historically male-dominated racing program.

    With MUCH more prize money available to the men … it’s time folks start looking to enter into the omnium for the Nez.  You can find plenty of inexpensive hotels out in the Reno area and the weekend of altitude efforts will reinvigorate your summer racing season.

    And remember, this is a race that gets national exposure … so, if you want to generate some media hits for your squad, and be seen by some of the top professional outfits ~ register today and make your plans to race the Nez.

    If this past weekend of racing in NorCal was any indication … there are a number of teams and riders fending off the June fatigue and ready to uncork some big results this month.

    The Dash for Cash race was won by Webcor’s Joel Robertson … and if he heads up to race in the Masters events in Reno, you’d be a fool to bet against him.  But the elite events are all about the youngsters, and if there was a man I’d say worth watching up in Reno it’d be Metromint’s Ethan Atkins.

    Atkins was a monster on Sunday in the Pacific Grove Butterfly Criterium.  The polka dotted powerhouse went off the front lap after lap, displaying both fitness and courage.  I haven’t seen a man work that hard off the front of a race since back in the day when Jared Barrileaux was first chewing on necks and busting chainrings.

    Look for big things from Atkins in the coming months.

    On the women’s side, Amber Rais always tries to head back to her hometown of Reno this time of year and will be a strong favorite to garner results at the Nez.  But a very on-form rider who can challenge is Third Pillar’s Jasmin Hurikino.  The rider from Brisbane may still be a teenager, but she is riding with the cagey, tenacious tactics of a veteran.

    Hurikino was able to power away from the field at the Pacific Grove Butterfly crit with Webcor/Sportvelo rider Haley Juno-Galdes.  The two worked well off the front and had one of the best two-up sprints I’ve seen in a long time.  Juno-Galdes’ teammate, Lauren Hecht won the Dash for Cash on Saturday … a good weekend showing for the team and leads them well into the summer’s racing calendar – especially a crit-friendly omnium like the Nez.

    But with her race fitness and willingness to suffer … I see Hurikino as having a strong shot at taking home big chunks of change from the Nez prizebag.
    – – –

    Lastly ~ come out and have some free beer and food at the Hellyer Velodrome this weekend.  Both Friday and Saturday, the Testarossa Velodrome Challenge is taking place and you will be amazed at how cool, fast-paced, and butt-puckeringly daring these track racers are.

    See you there.
    -

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