What makes a difference between Ronde and Cherry Pie? Maybe California riders like food, maybe they just want to hang out in Napa, maybe the thought of standing on a barrel as you receive your accolades draws the crowds. What ever the reason Cherry Pie is the denoument of the Pre-Season races.
Thankfully a better crowd showed for Sunday’s race. The field included a full Webcor team, multiple Peanut Butter 2012 riders, and assorted hammers like Rachetto and Drumm. The race was dominated by a solo break driven by a random ‘pro’ swiss rider, Pascale Schnider. If my research is right Schnider has spent some time in the big leagues with the likes of the Cervelo Test Team. Without any knowledge of her track bona fides, she’s got some world cup medals, she was labeled Swiss Miss for her distinctive skin suit and marked by the pack as a potential threat. Swiss Miss is an awesome nickname.
After Schnider escaped the attacks continued but the only rider to make progress on reeling in Swiss Miss was Mary Maroon. Maroon jumped, for the second day in a row, hoping to take some of the other big guns with her but failed to find any playmates and packed in in with three to go. Webcor and Rachetto threw in some last minute attacks to wrap up second place but the finish came down to a drag race led by Maroon who had recovered enough to manage fourth in the field sprint behind Ruth Winder (3rd) and Kristen Drumm (2nd). Schnider, who was racing in her national teams kit, has got to be loving the ideal NorCal weather we have going right now. What we don’t have in precision watches and tiny cute milk chocolates we make up for in ideal riding conditions.
Cherry Pie Women Reports
The Pre-season race scene is currently being dominated by two ambitious youngsters. Logan Loader and David Benkoski have won a majority of the early season events. Loader, riding for the Verizon Wireless Squad, has been riding with no teammates, aside from a few Santa Cruz hoodlums that help him out, and has relied on his euro experience and national team training to out-break, out-wit, and out-sprint some of the more stacked teams like Webcor, McGuire and Yahoo.
The other dominant rider has been David Benkoski who proved he was no flash in the pan after winning one Early Bird off the front on the heals of two pro-like riders, and then after being the only guy that could manage to hold Fast Freddie’s wheel, which is not a nick name that is holding up well to repeated reference, in the very next Early Bird Crit.
Anyways… I need to get men’s race details. What i know is Logan Loader (Verizon Cycling Team) took yet another victory ahead of Fast Freddie (Specialized), Sam Bassetti (Lombardi), and David Benkoski (Specialized) in a drag race down the finishing stretch. That’s a lot of U23 guys clogging up the finish line. Fast Freddie is going to need some master playmates from the Yahooligans, Cal Giant, and other local power squads if we want him to keep showing up! To check out some legit media coverage of the event go to the Napa Valley Register
Hellyer Early Bird
The Cherry Pie hopefuls were spared the antics of local crit legend Dave McCook this weekend after McCook decided to get an early start at his true passion, track racing! Yeaaaa Cookie! Promoter extraordinaire Rick Adams put together an early season track race to help Hellyer-ites get the cobwebs out and the energy flowing back down at Hellyer.
Results and picks from the race can be found on the Hellyer Results Blog. To make a long story short… McCook took the early bird trackies to school.
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