Nationals dominated by West Coast Mafia
There are two teams that took center stage for this past weekend of racing – the PeanutButter Jammin’ ladies and the hardmen of California Giant Berries. These two teams are excellent example programs for other outfits around the nation to look at and draw inspiration from.
CalGiant Berries is, hands down, the best amateur racing program in the United States … maybe ever. The team, led for over 10 years now by Anthony Gallino, has invested in promoting riders into the professional ranks, consistently spread resources to Norcal grassroots events, and engaged in targeted sponsorship of many critical US national level events.
The success stories of this year’s National Championships were perfect encapsulations of the Berry program’s goals and investments. Andrew Talansky won the U23 time trial championship, and in doing so, posted the fastest overall TT time of the event. It was soon thereafter announced that CalGiant would be promoting another rider to the professional ranks, as Jonathan Vaughters of the Garmin-Transitions team signed Talansky to a 3-year deal beginning Jan 1, 2011. Talansky will finish out the 2010 season with the Berries … and there will be few happier than team owner Gallino in seeing another of his prospects picked up by a professional squad.
With the TT title now in the hands of CalGiant – that makes this team owners of TT, road race, and criterium national championships over the years. Add to these titles the many cyclocross championships they’ve won – and you get a testament to the amazing talent, depth, and diversity of this program.
A fitting reward for years of work and suffering was the crowning of Steve Reaney as the 2010 National Criterium Champion. All of us who have raced with Steve up and down the state have known that this was a title he was destined to win – but, it is very, very sweet to finally see him grab that brass ring.
Reaney teamed up with Jared Barrileaux to smashmouth this year’s Natz Crit … much like Reaney and Ken Hanson did for the win a couple years back. They were able to overcome a strong challenge from Yahoo cycling and the many other teams from around the nation to secure another title for the Berry mantle.
There was talk of Reaney “retiring” after this year’s racing … but, thankfully that stars and bars jersey will reinvigorate the hardman and he’ll be out there showing our region proud in 2011. As it should be.
This transition has been brewing for a few months now … but, the 2010 US Nationals has shown that the Peanut Butter & Co program has turned a corner and shifted into overdrive. The change in … confidence was evident the first few weeks after world champion Kristen Armstrong joined the team as Director. And ever since her addition, the team has gained momentum … breaking into a full gallop now and heading full steam towards becoming the premier women’s professional cycling team in the United States.
The HTC-Columbia team is a better funded program, drawing in strength from a large international pool of riders – but the homegrown talents of PeanutButter and the fierce dedication of the riders to each other and the success of the program have them stalking HTC’s top ranking and hungry to overtake them … soon.
Winning 2010 national titles for the PeanutButter jammers were:
Mara Abbott – road race
Sinead Miller – road race & time trial (u-23)
Shelley Evans (Olds) – criterium
Coryn Rivera – time trial, road race & criterium (Juniors)
Olivia Dillon – road race & time trial (Ireland)
With these phenomenal results – this program is now poised to draw in more advertising dollars as businesses will see the trajectory of success and media exposure strongly evidenced by the team.
Manager Nicola Cranmer has bled sweat and hammered hard against the wall of a male-dominated cycling industry and media pool … and her dedication and fortitude have begun to wear down the nay-sayers and toss aside all road blocks.
The 2011 season will require more work, more sacrifice – but this team is ready … and hungry for it.
And Newz from the homefront…
The Chico Stage Race results aren’t up yet – but I know that the Women’s elite road race was won by Susannah Breen of Wells Fargo. The Wells Fargo women put on a brave display of attacking to try and overpower the time trailing champion, Molly Van Houweling.
MVH had to put in a solid 60 minutes of chasing in the epic 90 mile road race to regain contact with the Wells Fargo driven breakaway attempt of Breen and Cody Graf. And it would be Breen sprinting to the win for her first victory of the year and showing she will be a serious factor in the upcoming climbing events of the Cal Cup season.
But MVH would put in an afterburner time trial effort and fend off all-comers in the criterium to secure another stage race title for her impressive 2010 season. Kudos.
The Burlingame Criterium was won by 3rd Pillar’s Martina Patella, just over the Los Gatos firecracker Mary Ellen Ash and consistently powerful Laurie Furman of IPass. These women are showing improving form as the summer sets in, and as the professional teams of PB&Co, TIBCO, and Vera Bradley begin the arduous travels of NRC and UCI event chasing – we will see a lot of chances for the regional squads like 3rd Pillar, Los Gatos, Metromint, Touchstone Climbing, Dolce Vita, IPass, and Wells Fargo gaining more podium exposure. Should be a great summer.
The men’s elite Burlingame event was won by Greg Pattison, following up on his field sprint victory at the Pacific Grove Butterfly Crit. A pure sprinter, Pattison has shown some fierce kicks these past few weeks and it will be interesting to see if he will be able to withstand the heat and hill of the District Championships set for Vacaville in late August. But, it’s hard to think that Vacaville won’t be anything other than a ground-shaking battle of titans between the Yahooligans and CalGiant.
Don’t miss that show!
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