Valley of the Sun Stage Race … the only time young white people flock to Arizona
The VOS has been around for years, celebrating warm weather and the early season hopes of cyclists to get their first blood of the season, or just coat themselves red with sunburn from too much Phoenix exposure.
Tanlines, lobster’d skin, and tales of glory are rewards for those who make the long trip out to the middle of my least favorite state in the union. Any state with that much hate for brown people and love of concealed weaponry is just not a place I want to hang out.
But, I’m happy to report that many Norcal folks razed them some Arizona and came back with fun stories, some good results, and a few jerseys to hang on mantels.
MetroMint, Fremont Bank, and the Special Kids
Molly VH is showing that she’s getting better and better against the clock, not to mention defending against marauding stage race barbambians. The Metromint rider won the flat, windswept time trial in a blistering sub-33 minutes, shaking off the next GC hopeful by a good chunk of change. But with all the time bonuses and chances for splits in fields on the rest of the stages … protecting that gap through to the finish is quite a challenge.
The Metromint ladies were up for it.
Ryan Hostetter, Jane Robertson, Rikke Preisler, and guest riding Vanderkitten Vanessa Drigo did the work to protect MVH’s leaders jersey and secure another big stage trophy for the team. Stellar effort.
[update: Rebecca Rising was also instrumental in MVH's retaining the leader's jersey, as well as getting some solid stage placings with an 8th in the RR and 9th in the crit. Nicole Slaton also won the category 3 women's crit for Metromint ... well done!]
Stage wins were gobbled up by the new Primal Wear/MapMyRide.com team, with Norcal’s Emily Kachorek winning the viciously uphill sprinting road race, and teammate Nicky Wangsgard taking the fast-paced and technical criterium.
Yahoo’liganess Jane Despas also showed she’s immortal by securing 4th on GC. I think Jane eats category 4 women to stay young.
Metromint had another GC win with the ever-improving Lina Martensson grabbing the category 3 women’s title with teammates Nicole Slaton and Ashley Drum in support. Well done, and good signs for the future of one of Norcal’s longest running teams.
Fremont Bank Boyz get close and show promise
The Fremont Boys stacked the men’s category 2 podiums after the first day’s time trial. Huge talent and name to watch in 2011, Michael Jasinski, took 4th on GC after getting away in a powerful breakaway during the 86 mile road race. Jasinski would take 2nd on the stage and grab the KOM title.
Mark Deterline, Fremont’s manager, remarked that the team was hungry for the stage win, and Jasinski put in a huge effort to make it happen on the final climb.
One by one he shook each man loose, save for the rider who decided Jasinski’s wheel was the one to follow. “Oh, yeah, the guy was smooth, just stayed glued on me until coming around in the final couple hundred meters,” Jasinski explained after the finish. After setting up then protecting Jasinski’s breakaway all day, Rob Scheffler was hungry for the bunch sprint victory, which he took for 9th on the day.
Their teammate Nicholas Oliver would also grab a podium with a fine field sprint for 2nd in the criterium.
Other category 2 notables were the blazing fast time trial win put in by Red Peloton’s Jonathan Lee. Big talent Jonathan Teeter of Eschelon Cycle & Multisport was 4th in the TT and then moved up to 2nd on GC after bridging across late in the road race to the Jasinski breakaway . Davis Bike Club’s White Brothers tossed in a couple top-10′s in the time trial, as well, with Greg White 5th and Russ White 9th.
Craig Nunes of ArtsCyclery.com/Wild Horse Wines put in a rockstar ride in the road race to jump up to 3rd on GC for the pro/1 category. That’s a superb result for the SLO rider … but it’s an old-folks’ home full of crazy that the top 4 riders in GC at this year’s pro/1 VOS were all over 37 years of age. Craig .
The Specialized Mafia sent out a big contingent of competitors, spanning about 4 decades in age categories.
Their reports are up for perusing on their team blog – The Special Kids. So check that out.
And there were some San Jose Bicycle Club juniors out racing it up with Mostov, Costa, and Aiken … but i’ll talk about those little monsters some other time.
But enough of kids and arizona … they both makes my teeth itch.
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