After a long bout of rain the NorCal racing community looks like it is ready to rip. With a 125 strong Men’s P12 field at Apple Pie it looks like there are more than a few riders eager to work on their tan lines. This spot of mostly dry, and sometimes warm weather puts us in the heart of the SPRING CLASSICs season with the most prestigious NorCal races yet to come. Turlock RR, Santa Cruz Crit, Wente, and Copperopolis fill up the April Calendar for the hard men and women looking to get their pain on. For the ambitious there is a handful of criteriums like Pine Bluff, Menlo Park, and Wente Death Pit to get you warmed up for the coming crit season. We can only hope that our ‘lame’ sister site Counter Attacking Reality (that title really sounds pretentious when i type it) can figure out how to post more frequently, given the flexible work situation and self purported non-ambitious training program, since the output is such high quality work.
Crowing a KING of NorCal SPRING CLASSICs was made easy by John Bennett’s performance the last month. Podium Insight, which is the site with the real reporting, started tracking Bennett after his win at Snelling and since then Bennett has only gotten better. Bennett continued his rampage through March proving at Merco, and ultimately at Redlands that he deserves a ProTour call up. Losing Bennett would be a tough break for Cal Giant, but would once again prove that they are the best program in the US for young riders to make their mark. Bennett seem’s like an obvious choice for American based teams like HighRoad-HTC, BMC, Radio Shack, or Garmin Cervelo who should always be trying to stack their team with American talent to keep home audiences interested in Euro events. I would expect Bennett to be spending some time in Europe this summer with different National team projects and get a stagiaire spot with one of the American teams later in the summer.
It is harder to identify a clear leader in the women’s CLASSICs races. April’s races will be a good indicator who deserves to be the QUENN of the CLASSICs. Starnes destroyed Merco, so she’s an obvious choice but she’s off to race in Europe for the next several weeks putting the big local races behind her. Emily Kachorek and Lindsay Myers (update: Myers is currently in Europe, maybe at EOM in even better form) should be able to pop off a few big wins after great performances at San Dimas and Redlands. The young but intrepid Oceanic imports Bec Werner, Emily Collins, and Jazzy Hurikino also had strong rides through March making each one of them a sure bet to soak up a few of the April SPRING CLASSICs. Each one of these riders should have killer fitness after their recent stage races so I’d expect April racing to be hard, hard, hard for women that are just getting their racing legs going.
Keep the Twitter posts coming this weekend (#turlockrr, #calaverastt, & #pinebluffcrit) and watch your language as you cross the finish line
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