Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mothballs Crit in Pictures

Certainly there are a thousand little stories from all the different events and competitors out at the Mothballs Crit this last weekend. In this post, we'll use a bunch of pictures to tell the stories from a few of the races. We were very fortunate to have some extremely good photographers out there. Steve Weixel has a huge set of pictures from every race. Get yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy Steve's galleries. We also had teammate Mark Shimahara out taking pictures too. His typical subjects are TdF racers (see his site), but Sunday he shot our races because he was too sick to race. Michael "CroyKey" also took some nice shots and compiled them on a CD that we should pass around.

OK, let's get down to it. Below are a few of the races described with pictures from Steve, Mark, and Michael. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Men's 4/5 -- What a way to start the year TnA!!

A full field...

Dano working hard like always...
Geoff and Jason controlling the front...
Textbook...keeping it fast on the last lap...
Which allows TnA to open up a sprint with a clear lane to the line...
And the bike-throw seals the deal!
Congratulations, first race of the year and your first vee!!

Women's 1/2/3 -- Strong individuals can overcome a strong team

The group that broke away. Trish Bell (soon to be Trish Black) leads a group of Velo Bellas, aka Hernando's Harem of Honeys...
The race animators... the woman in front was very strong and no amount of teamwork would deny her on this day!
Good job Girlfriend!!

Masters 45+ Your reporter mixed in with the big crit monsters!


It was great to have Paul Thorsen back out in a bike race.


Chris Black lurking.




Carissa looking good!


Kim pulling yours truly.





Mark y Mark


Malcolm Hill trying to escape





Kim and Malcolm.


Chasing something.






On bell lap, the VOS team was rolling a
nice train, and guess who had the perfect seat!
Followed by Robert Neary and Steve Strickler, each of whom stand at a good 6' 5" so I'm thinking they're not getting much draft from me.














So I jumped first at the last corner and went right by the VOS train, but was then mowed down by Gibby Hatton and Butch Stinton. Gibby went so fast he was already out of the picture when we approached the line. Stricky is coming up along side of me...

But somehow I was able to hold him off. Like I told him later, since he is the 45+ national crit champ, and I smoked him in this sprint, well, you do the math...
My sweetie cheered...
So a 3rd place is ok for me in a flat crit, not exactly my specialty. Then I forgot all about it and began to get ready for the next races. When I finally got around to checking the results, long after the 15-minute protest time expired, they had #317 listed and the person who went with that number in 3rd spot. Woah!! It's not every day that I beat Strickler in a sprint... please don't deny me this simple pleasure! A couple people vouch for me, including Stricky himself, and the nice Echelon folks decide to change it. Then, out of nowhere, the head official comes charging over all red-faced and fuming, begins to yell at the volunteers that they usurped his authority and he threatens to suspend me if I ever pull a stunt like that again (his words). Now I understand that bike racing needs rules, and of course I know about the 15-minute window between when results are posted and when they become official, but jeez, when there is absolutely no doubt and no contention, why be such a jerk about it. I think he wanted to teach me a lesson so the published results on the web probably won't list me. Gee, I'm crushed.


Men's 35+ 3/4

This year's SB smackdown would occur in the 35+ 3/4 race with a large contingent of the Chicken Ranch Army...

...e.g., Coach Doyle..
...and a strong group of TGI/Hazardous Waste boys, e.g., Jason the Hammer...
On the bell lap, the VOS team again had the group lined up behind them, and once again our heroes are in the best seat in the house...
...which leads to a repeat victory for Blingerman against his good buddy Chicken Ranch. Sorry Matt, you gotta get bitter and meaner...

Men's 35+ 1/2/3 -- It's hard to race when you're not paying attention!

This race had some genuine motors and would likely be a good show. Too bad I was snoozing in the back at the critical times!

We roll out...
On the second or third lap, Rich Cimadoro, Jerry Jayne (both Amgen), Olaf Vanderhoot, and Michael Johnson are off the front and motivated...
And then it gets worse as Craig Nunes, Dennis King, and Dirk Copeland take off in pursuit...
And soon both groups are together and rolling. Note the lack of any TGI/Hazard's boys...
OK, so now there are seven strong guys OTF. You'd think we'd be highly motivated to chase, right? Well your doofus reporter (that would be me) didn't know exactly who was in the break, and worse, I thought one of us had made it. That confusion lasted for 4 or 5 laps until I took inventory and saw we were all present and accounted for. Ooops. But still it gets worse, because I looked around and saw Turbo was still with us and I've done enough races with him to know that when he wants to, he can get across to a move like this at will. So I try to stay alert for takeoff. Only problem is, his teammate MJ is in the move (unbeknownst to me) so why should Turbo drag up any goofballs?!? So, the rest of the race consists of a few half-hearted chase attempts, always marked by smarter guys with teammates up the road...

CW tries to escape.


Cookie marked by
OV's teammate.





Choo-choo and Turbo.


Me hoping for
company.






Cookie tries again.







Meanwhile, up the road where the real race is happening, MJ attacks the break with a few laps to go...
BTW, for those interested in learning more, borrow or buy "The Hard Road" in which Michael Johnson is prominently featured as he tries to make a go of professional bike racing on the Net Zero team a few years back. The guy is a motor.

The burden is on Amgen to bring him back as they have two guys...
But MJ stays away for the win...

Dirk rolls in 2nd.

And Dennis snags 3rd.






Disappointed OV
takes 4th.

Craig 5th and Jerry 6th.





And you can always count on Mark Scott to express his feelings clearly!!

P/1/2/3 -- Crit racing at its best!

So we're standing there waiting to start and the conversation goes something like this...

Ben (in Webcor colors still): "Yea, I'm kinda tired and can't race the full 90 minutes so I think I'll sit in the first 30 or so."

Me: "Yeah, I'm still sick so I probably won't even finish as it's my third race today." [ed: what a baby!]

Well, it turns out only one of us was telling the truth because, just past the very first corner on the very first lap, one Aaron Musicant shoots out of the field on a full-gas flier just screwing around. Anyone who's lived here for any length of time knows Aaron is just goofing around. But not Ben. So he sprints off in hot pursuit with a cling-on attached and by the end of lap one he's disposed of Aaron and he's not looking back...
A couple laps later, my old teammate Arjuna Flenner is off in pursuit along with Aram Dellalian and Uthman Ray...
And soon they've all coagulated and are off to the races. Undoubtedly Ben was doing lots of work, as he's known to do. [Note: He's not even trained yet. He rides a couple days a week. On the Solvang loop Wednesday, he had me and Matt groveling on his wheel all the way back to town on the 101. If/when he gets serious, he will be crushing it!]

Soon a second group is off in hot pursuit and this one has some marquee names (Copeland, MJ, Rigo Meza)...

The chase.

Turbo following.
He quickly shed
these guys.





And joins up.


Now the chase is
really stacked.




Soon the front break makes it around and rejoins the field, up a lap. Now their teammates go to work to bring back the second group on the road. Here is a focused and coordinated Time Factory Team...
And Cookie and Choo-choo work in support of Ben (even though he's not in uniform)...
But as per usual, it's CW who really does the most, and soon the threatening group is brought back!
No real moves for the rest of the way except...
CW and Turbo gobbling up
$25, $50, $75 laddered
primes.

Dirk and CW
sneak off to snag the
last "unlapped"
places.


The break's sprint was mixed in with the field and Aram Dellalian pulls out the win!
A fun day with excellent organization and race promotion from Echelon. Thanks!

6 comments:

TnA AKA "Blind Squirrel" said...

Another awesome writeup! It's pretty cool when you can tell pretty much the whole story with pictures.

Thanks for the props. To tell the truth, I keep on thinking of that old saying:

"Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while."

Marco Fanelli said...

TnA, You make your own luck to win a bike race. Squirrels that don't train go hungry and die. Re the write-up... thank the photogs; they're the ones that tell the story with the cameras. And sorry for the messed up formatting on the text--I still haven't figured out all the blogger quirks. (But I did just switch to the new version after a couple months of fearing the consequences... so far, so good.)

Aram Dellalian said...

"That woman at the front" is fasssst. She attacks me in breaks at the rosebowl...insane. And smooth, too.

Well done on the 3rd place. What did doug say? "that's like winning for you" or something similar.

USCF jerks: ahhh...what can you do? The more small and local an event is, the more they lack common sense, it seems. That stuff just doesn't happen at the bigger events, oddly.

Fun report, as always. Thanks again to the photogs.

-Aram
C-Walk Fan Club member #240958

Marco Fanelli said...

Thanks Aram... my 3rd isn't anything to brag about, but when it's in a flat-crit field sprint, I can't complain.

Re the officials, I don't like to complain since I've never stepped up to do that job, but certain officials' behavior is so over-the-top that something has to be said. My hassle wasn't the only one that day. In my experience, *most* officials are very good at the job and should be really appreciated and thanked by all the racers.

Steve Weixel said...

It looks like you were right, you aren't listed in the results. I enjoyed reading your analysis and am glad that my pictures were so useful!

Marco Fanelli said...

Hey Steve

Actually, I *am* listed in that version of the results if you scroll down to the 45+. (Why do they put on a Word doc anyway?!?) But over at scnca.org they have someone else listed. No biggie, I don't care.

Thanks again for your pictures. They tell the story... I just added the names.