• San Bruno and the next great Yahooligan

    by  • January 5, 2011 • race coverage • 2 Comments

    pomodoro2.jpgJanuary 1st in America is largely a day for people to get up late, bleetingly suck down a bloody-mary, or three … and soak in some super-puffed collegiate footballers gladiator each other to disfigurement in hopes of an NFL contract that will pay for their broken knees and concussed braincases.

    But in the sublime subculture of the bike ~ January 1st can also mean a chance to swing a broom at the winter fitness cobwebs by showing up to PenVelo’s classic 5k up a Brisbanian hill.

    The PenVelo cats love putting on the event ~ but they’ve always considered it a lowkey, chill n’ tonic, bro’fest of sisterly love event that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.  And they still do a great job of creating that vibe.  However, there are a minority of bike racers who simply cannot turn off their type-A, silicon valley superdouche personalities and just be cool and gracious about when the results and prizes get dished down and out.


    Nate English ~ destroyer

    nate.jpgEnglish was an elemental force last year in any road race with so much as a driveway that slanted upwards.  His ability and hunger to smash off the front of a race and pile wattage on pedals earned him a lot of notice in NorCal and on the NRC circuit.  In 2011, he’s joining a Yahoo squad that has tossed a number of riders into the big(ger) leagues … and English could be on that same (uphill) trajectory.

    Yahoo lost superstars Phil Mooney and Ryan Parnes to the UK when they got re-colonized by Team Raleigh Professional Cycling.  This is a real shame … as NorCal loses two of it’s brightest stars ~ and we’ll now be forced to see Mooney and Parnes morph into donning shitty-brit Wiggins haircuts and euro-poofter running suits.

    Yahoo also lost their anvil on a bike, Evan Huffman, to the rival CalGiant Starberries.  Considering Huffman solo’d off the front more miles than most of us actually race … look for Huffman to be the next Talansky to launch from CalGiant to the ProTour.

    yahoos.jpgShockingly, the team also lost one of it’s biggest Yahooligans in the form of BigBadBrian Bosch moving back to the Fresno scene and hooking up with the locals {correction, Boschisaurus listed as a Yahoo’er}.  He took Vinny Owens with him … which will put a big hurt on Yahoos ability to dominate the Fresno February scene.  And with Tyler Dibble moving to the new Mike’s Bikes squad … there are more than a few question marks remaining about the liquidity and effectiveness of the Yahoo roster.

    But … it’s not like English needs much help when the road turns upwards.  Still, there are whispers that Darth Klein has solidified his Yahoo team with some other new recruits ~ namely, Eric Riggs, Jim Wingert, and Joe Innarelli.  Klein has also grabbed up a few SoCal riders … but as anything south of San Luis Obispo is considered a vapid wasteland of tanning salons, they will not merit mention.

    <UPDATE: Rumor that Mike Taylor will dethaw himself from creo-sleep and race with Yahoo for 2011.  Confirmation in the form of a Yahoo instant message imminent>

    Eric Riggs, however, does merit not only mention, but serious consideration as being another breakout champion in the making.  He’s a young u-25 rider with a fierce intellect and freakish ability to read bike races.  If he’s finally done with that college thing, he can get down to business and let his body do what it was meant to … race bikes.  Look for Riggs to be a big name on the results boards in 2011.

    guidance.jpgJoe Innarelli makes the move from Clif Bar … and will likely be ushered to more than a few sprint results under the tutelage of the jedi-master and General of Disarray, Pat Briggs.  Briggs is pretty much the only rider remaining from the first iteration of the Yahoo team … either a testament to Klein’s sparkling personality, or Briggs’.

    Wingert is a fellow climber and will likely be powering many a long-bomber breakaway with Nate English off the front of races.  English showed not only that he has straight up VO2 climbing in his system, but that he also has a tremendous amount of raw power for the steep, pitchy climbs.

    At San Bruno, English towed the small group of p1/2s the entirety of the first couple miles on the course, surging with deceptive ease, stringing out the group and popping wanks like me like zits on a prom date.  But when the race sloped up to the 8+% gradients for the final mile, English turned on the style and absolutely stormed up and away into the mists.

    It was very, very impressive.

    – – –

    More Names to Note

    Of course, being January 1st … one can’t take too much to heart any results from the SB Hill Climb and their transfer-ability into the 2011 racing season.  However, there are a few notables from the event that must be acknowledged … as, fit is as fit does.

    ADRIEN COSTA … remember this little hooligan

    cat4_podium.jpgBarely a teenager, and weighing less than my bike … Costa is a rider that deserves watching over the coming years.  Riding for the San Jose Bike Team, the youngster posted a phenomenal 16:37 on the course to win the category 4s.  He took the race over super-dirt rider Krishna Dole … a name familiar to anyone who has been following the cyclocross season and with an eye for fashion.

    Costa looks to be a young man with the bug – and from my glimpse of him, he may have an early idea of the work ethic needed to be a true professional.  Watch him, folks.


    Daniel Velasco … hipster gone wild

    velasco.jpgVelasco is a SF rider just entering into the USAC racing scene.  And if his category 5 climb up the hill at 15:50 is any indication, this is a pure thoroughbred ready to be given the American Flyers devo-treatment.

    All of the fields were started separately, so Velasco’s solo effort up the hill is something to be acknowledged as being a display of fitness and determination.  But pride only gets you so far in bike racing … so, we’ll see if he decides he wants to play bike racer with all the roadie-douches.

    Old Men on Top

    The Specialized mafia is going to be in full effect this year again ~witnessed in the forms of ever-class Kevin Metcalf and diamond-hard Rob Anderson scalping a few youngsters in the p1/2 field.  Metcalf and Anderson will join the stellar Specialized Masters squad for another run at NorCal domination … but there are definitely some teams out there hungry to take a shot at them.

    High on the list of contenders will be the revitalized Thirsty Bear contingent.  New transfers Chris Phipps and Greg McQuad went 1-2 in the 35s at San Bruno and will likely be tag-teaming all-comers in the climbing races.

    but … masters racing is boring ~ so, i’ll leave it at that.

    Beth Newell … track climber?

    cookies___cookies.jpgNow, of course I’m biased ~ as Beth is my partner in crime and I’ve been coaching her for the past year.  By coaching, I mean letting her beat me in sprint workouts (you know, for her confidence).

    But Newell, after a satisfying step onto a couple of podiums last year at Track Nationals, has her sights set on a big road campaign in 2011 to build that NRC engine needed to make the step up into the legitimate big leagues.   Already known in NorCal for a strong finishing sprint in criteriums, we’ve got Newell turning to climbing and time trialling for this season and all signs are good that she’ll continue to build.  She has a good work ethic, passion for the sport, and fierce competitive spirit … all the elements a rider needs to improve.

    For San Bruno, she was most interested in trying to beat pansy-ass Rand Miller up the climb … but, two things thwarted her goal:

    1. rand miller is weak sauce and didn’t show up to race, blaming Jeska Layman for making him drink like a sailor and sleep like a panda.
    2. San Bruno started all categories separately … so, there were no men for Beth to sprint until the final hundred meters.

    So, Newell and climber Kim Fong had a solid match up the slopes of San Bruno, with Fong becoming detached when Newell finally started chasing old men.

    But a serious notable was the fine riding of paralympian, Kelly Crowley.  Crowley rode a very strong solo effort to 18:59 and looks to be on track to improve her 2010 Bronze in the Para-cycling World Championships.

    Good luck!
    – – – – –



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    2 Responses to San Bruno and the next great Yahooligan

    1. January 5, 2011 at

      Yahoo Update..No Adam Switters as well!

      Here is the 2011 line up:


      That SJBC junior is fun to watch!

    2. Switters
      January 5, 2011 at

      No Adam Switters since I have moved out to Virginia for graduate school. I will be however back in Cali till mid-march till I move there more permanently.

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