• Boxing Day In NorCal: Roster Rumors & Opinions

    by  • December 26, 2012 • norcal scene, opinionate, teams

    I tend to get inexplicably pissed when people (read social media/PR hacks) don’t send me their rosters when they send them to the “real press.”  It totally feeds a small man’s inferiority complex I have going.  It’s gotten me all annoyed, antsy, and belligerent, which should lead to amusing ramblings for you all.

    Mike’s Bikes:  Nothing has been ‘officially’ announced yet, that I know of, but word on the street is that Daniel Hollaway will be back in the Bay area and will race for Mike’s Bikes. This means the old Lombardi’s junior crew of Riggs-Swittters-Hollaway might be terrorizing the NorCal peloton again.  We’ll see if that rumor pans out, but could be a good move to help the young men get their legs under them as they try to juggle pro cycling, school, and jobs.  The DS/Manager figure Steve Pelaeze employs a “Happy rider, Happy team” philosophy, a team building methodology he has developed in his business and sporting exploits, and now utilizes as a consultant and team manager figure.  What ever the key to Mike’s success in 2012 it looks like they will have a little extra fire power this year.

    Bike Gossip Girl I received an unsolicited tweet from a new site called bike gossip girl.  The first piece took a sharp look at the women’s pro peloton, a few roster updates, and was filled with lots of (and I hate this word) “snark.”  Needless to say, it was a fun read.  It might be hard to maintain that level of energy, and interesting, but I’m hoping it’s back for more. [UPDATE: Second post is in... yea!]

    Shelley Olds: One day, once she finishes galavanting around Europe, we shall get Shelley on the Women’s Peloton Podcast.  Our undying fandom of Shelley Olds aside, I did notice this line from bike gossip girl “Tibco is certainly bringing on a wealth of talent including Claudia Haussler who joins the American-based UCI team from Europe and Shelley, California’s prodigal daughter, who is returning after a short [stint] in Europe, bringing along her personal director.”  I could not really see Linda Jackson “paying” for another director, so I’m assuming, and in the processess making and Ass of U and Me, it’s a tag-along kinda thing, for former USA Cycling DS Manel Lacambra.  Still, a DS move like that might stir up the US peloton.  History, drama, bad blood – it’s like the pre-”Lance is a Doper Days.” F-YEAH!

    Vanderkitten:  New bikes and new riders.  Will this be the year that VK moves up to the next level?  It certainly looks like it. VK lost some stalwarts like Collins and Kinsella, but they adopted a bunch of the Primal riders (Kachorek and Rachetto), Rhae Shaw (who spent a lot of time in NorCal as she switched over from triathlons to road racing), and a few interesting prospects like CX racer Elle Anderson.  This seems like the make-or-break year for DS Jono Coulter who has kept this successful program going on a shoe string budget.  My suspicion is that there will be some high maintenance personalities, but Rachetto will help keep folks in line as they learn to deal with the loose lifestyle of a low-budget-high-aspirations team.  It’s time for Jono to dump the Fosters, buckle up the kids, hide the liquor bottles, and kick NRC ass.

    Cal Giant: Yet another NorCal team that is too cool to put us on their distribution list. Lame. What are we, chopped liver? Small man’s complex just makes it hurt all that much more.  Anyway… they have their 2013 roster out.  It does not look like they have a breakout star like Talansky or Huffman, but Cal Giant does a good job grooming the kids, and the big hits have been coming every other year.  Chris HD is putting his money on Sam Bassetti, who is close to finishing school, and being able to fully focus on cycling for a year or two.

    Why SoCal Sucks: Every once in a while we break something that is close to real news, and sort of important. Lisa Mueller does this with a great article on how one SoCal series is cutting out the Women’s P1/2/3 divisions due to low turn out.  Look SoCal – you know we hate you and will take any chance we get to tell the world why NorCal is better.  I

    The Trail of Tears : US Cycling just seems to be a mess right now.  Lance is a tool, the UCI has proven their complete incompetence, and Exergy Development Group went from seeming like hero’s of the modern cycling era age to sports equivalent of Bernie Madoff.

    I was EXTREMELY disturbed at the Andy Jacques Maynes dismissal, or shall we call it a ‘non-signing’ by the Kenda- 5 Hour Energy Pro Cycling, hot on the heels of AJM’s injury during a hit and run earlier in the week.  I’m sure it is more complicated and nuanced than it seems but one rumor I heard is that salaries were cut across the board and the only rider on the new team that will be earning a decent wage is Rock Racing/Operacion Puerto alumni Francisco Mancebo.  If true, how messed up would that be.  Pro cycling is a whacked out business.

    The implosion of Exergy Development Group in the second half of 2012 left a big hole in cycling this year – teams, big races, USAC all felt the pinch of ‘non-payment.’   The only project left standing at the end of the year related to the EDG appeared to be the uber successful women’s outfit, Exergy-2016.  Twitter was trending in early December with rumors of missed salary payments but Cranmer is a cagey operator.  I’m gonna bet she got on top of that quickly and has developed a fall back plan, I’m thinking McDreamy, in the event she didn’t get her sponsorship money up front.  While I expect the Exergy Development Group will exit  from cycling all together – the sooner the better, Cranmer’s Exergy-2016 squad has registered a full roster with the UCI, including former Webcor ingenue Mara Abbott.  UCI Roster below…

    • DS Mike Engleman
    • ABBOTT, Mara
    • ANTONNEAU, Kaitlin
    • BALBONI, Rebecca
    • CROWELL, Jacquelyn
    • DVORAK, Andrea
    • FISCHER, Heather
    • GHENT, Christa
    • MCGRATH, Kristin
    • NEIMANAS, Greta
    • STERLING, Kayla
    • TAMAYO, Lauren
    • TETRICK, Alison
    • VALENTE, Jennifer

    Overall it’s looking like a mean season for pro cyclists.  CyclingNews North American Editor Laura Weislo was estimating over 60 pro’s were out of work this year, making it one of the worst post Olympic meltdowns in recent history.

    Hopefully Huffman and Dombrowski can save us.  Send us any denials, corrections, confirmations, and new rumors to norcal at love dot com.

     

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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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