Weekend activities kicked off Watsonville, a classic Velopromo course, that draws a small but elite mens field. For a good re-cap of the race you can catch up on the exploits of Big Pink and the Mole Rat, a Ren and Stimpy like duo, on Counter Attacking Reality. Steve Reaney and Rand Miller lapped the field and Reaney nailed the sprint. All kidding aside putting Reaney and Miller against each other in a remote criterium has a cool Thunderdome kind of feel to it. Two of NorCal’s best crit riders going head to head against each other in a dusty, Northern California coastal town screams Hollywood movie to me. It should be a great race at the Strawberry Crown Criterium if Big Pink can dig up a team that will be ready to party with the Cal Giant squad.
The women’s field was light, but it nabbed Emily Thurston a much deserved win. Thurston has a fearless attacking style that animates a race and makes it easy for announcers and a crowd to get excited. Interesting to note, Webcor rookie, and former mountain biker, Holly Liske, slotted in for second, showing an affinity for crits and hilly road races that should make Cal Cup an interesting event if she comes out to play later this summer.
Ren and Stimpy Repeat at Berkeley Bicycle Club Crit
Sigh…it was easier when it was just called the Albany Crit. Still, it’s a classic four corner 1 KMish course that weeds out the faint of heart, who are not willing to rail it in the thin corners of this residential neighborhood. Apparently not learning his lesson at Watsonville, Big Pink again found himself in a break with Steve Reaney again, and proceeded to come in second, again, to the former National Crit Champion. Big Pink might want to get some lessons from Brooke Miller on image score, or at least read our attempt to apply game theory to crit racing, before his next race. Either way…it will make for a great grudge match next time Rand and Reaney square off.
Mary Ellen Ash (Metromint) continued her domination of the local crit scene with a win over Michelle Melka (Red Racing.) Melka is off a hot run at the Tour of Dairyland where she managed a few top 10’s against some of the best in the country.
Like competing weather fronts the riders tackling the NorCal Crit races are going to run head first into the riders that will be rocking it at Cascade later this month. Hopefully their increasing fitness levels will make for an exciting Cal Cup this August.
No word on Colavita GP yet… will update soon as i get the goods.
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