• Wente Crit: God Love The Empire

    by  • May 3, 2012 • Crit, race coverage, spring classic

    Now that Rand has retired his blog and is focusing on his racing, and to think he once had the gall to mock US for inconsistent posting, the community has been left without anybody to stir the pot. Enter Chuck Hutcheson (Marc Pro Strava.)  In a post crit frenzy Hutcheson threw out a post that compared the Mikes Bikes Squad to Darth Vader’s evil empire. To be fair, I get it.  There are a million of them, they wear black, and they are led by the self-styled-Emperor-yet-hardcore-new-age-Patrick-Swayzeish-in-Point-Break-but-kind-of-a-different, Steve Pelaez.  It was awesome.  Informative, insightful, funny, and critical, but in a good way.

    His teammates gave one of the best lead outs I have seen in Nor Cal (actually, it was the best).  When his last guy dropped off, we started sprinting.  It was hard to hold his wheel and not crash because his line was as straight as a meth-addicts EKG read out.  – His teammates gave one of the best lead outs I have seen in Nor Cal (actually, it was the best).  When his last guy dropped off, we started sprinting.  It was hard to hold his wheel and not crash because his line was as straight as a meth-addicts EKG read out.  – Chuck Hutcheson on Wente Crit

    It's not Rand Funny, But It's Close

    And to think that last year Pelaez was on my team and i was calling the Mike’s Bike’s outfit a bunch of cream puffs. Obviously Mike’s Bike’s have embraced the Dark Side.  Knowing that the Wente Winner, James LaBerge, was descended from reknown former pro sprinter Dean LaBerge I figured I would stir the pot and check in with Peleaz.  My logic went like this.

    1. Sprinters always win
    2. Therefore sprinters always cheat
    3. A son of sprinter will learn better cheating tricks
    4. Being the son of a cheating sprinter and being directed by a cheating sprinter will surely make you the most awesome cheating sprinter of all time.
    5. Obviously James was learning good sprinter tricks and i wanted the skinny.

    I emailed Steve for a quote and tired to be all casual.  “Oh hey steve, i heard the sprint was hairy, is James learning dirty tricks from Dad?” 

    Now that’s he’s managing real team that has several wins,  a cohesive team, and a serious future, he was all serious with me.

    I think it pretty strainghtforward.   He had a perfect leadout from Eric Riggs and showed everyone a Clean pair of wheels.  He was simply the fastest and no one could pass him.   Riders memories of the race are way distorted – they see what they want to see to rationalize why they DID NOT win.  We all do it.   But looking at this video, do you see him swerve, NO.  He was just swinging his bike side to side which is normal sprinting.   He rode great and earned the win, cleanly.   

    Also, I have to say is look at James position on the bike.  Does it remind you of some other sprinter?  Yup, he sprints like Cavendish – low and aero!   No way, he was gonna get passed. ~ Steve Pelaez

    After watching that video (Skip to 2:52 for the sprint) … here are my thoughts.

    1. Holy fuck.  That leadout was ridiculous.  It even feels fast on youtube.
    2. I like it when people speed up race films.  It feels right.
    3. If Laberge has learned anything from Dad it’s great position.
    4. I’m not sure you can totally claim the film vindicates any crazy riding since the last 50-25 meters look out of frame
    5. Still, this ain’t no Abdujaparov shit
    6. Sadly, i cannot side with any of them since they are all sprinters and obviously all were cheating in some way or another.

    It can’t help that James LaBerge is half Hutch’s age.  I don’t know who to cheer for.  The Empire of Mike’s Bike’s or Hutch Solo who’s gonna take them on single handed.  Marc Pro better recruit you a few bangers for the rest of the season Hutch… I Needs More Drama!

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    Former NorCal resident now residing in Madison,Wisconsin. I race cross, but I'm named after a velodrome. Support your local bike shop, NorCal race promoters, and go learn to race on a track. Hellyer Velodrome - http://www.ridethetrack.com

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