Thursday, July 12, 2007

Obsessed with a Bike Race This Week

I have a confession to make. I've been wasting even more time than usual obsessing over a bike race--a series of races really--and it hasn't been the Tour de France. In fact, until today, I was regularly forgetting about the daily live TV coverage of each TdF stage. I wouldn't remember it until my morning visit to cyclingnews where I'd see the bold link to "Live Coverage Now On" and then I'd remember and go turn on the TV (sorry Bjorn!) and typically catch the last couple kms.

No, it wasn't the TdF, but rather it's been the US Masters National Championships in Seven Springs, PA, that was getting my limited attention span. Had there been live TV coverage, I'd have been up at the crack of dawn to watch it. And there would have been drama. Would Druber Jr. finally get his TT Stars-'n-Bars jersey? Could Lindsay finally get his now that the road course had some real climbing? Would the SoCal sprint monsters have their way with the rest of the country's top Masters in the crits?

No, no, and no.

Within minutes of the time trial, Druber the Elder let us know the results. His 'lil bro got 2nd to Thurlow by a mere 25 seconds. A few minutes after that, good ol' TnA did the math to determine that, yes, had Druber Jr. used the optimal tire configuration that he would have WON the tt! And the emails started flying. Gotta love it! Masters racers at our finest woulda, coulda, shoulda! (For the record, I've become a believer in the rolling resistance superiority of certain clinchers with latex tubes... which is what TnA has been saying for a couple years now!)

The table below has the men's TT podiums, up to 50-54. (The red indicates a California rider.)

30-34Joshua FrickKarl BordineDaniel Larson
35-39Richard FeldmanPaul MartinChris Harkey
40-44Michael HutchinsonAndy ApplegateDirk Pohlman
45-49Thurlow RogersMark SwartzendruberSkip Foley
50-54David ZimblemanKent BostickGlenn Swan

The crits mostly came down to field sprints, except for a dominating solo win by All-Star Fish Karl Bordine in the 30-34. It appeared that he rode his typical crit, tail-gunning for the early part, and then blasting off the front with so much power that nobody could follow. Ouch! MarkZen got a nice 8th despite being hampered by a last-lap crash. NorCal roadie Mike Hutchinson won the 40-44 crit to get his 2nd jersey of the week! Sadly, Stevie Strickler was beaten in the sprint and relinquished his 45-49 title.

The crit podiums:

30-34Karl BordineMarco AlediaDaniel Larson
35-39Jason SnowMichael GibsonMark Olson
40-44Michael HutchinsonTony TrujilloDavid Bonser
45-49Skip FoleySteve StricklerAnthony Taylor
50-54Kent BostickAubrey GordonCharles Townsend

The road races sounded epic, with tons of climbing and brutal heat. But look at that California presence on the podiums!

30-34Peter CannellMatt JohnsonDan Vinson
35-39Paul MartinWilliam GaultJoseph Ruggery
40-44Dirk PohlmannMichael HutchinsonChris Wire
45-49Thurlow RogersMarco HellmanKevin Metcalfe
50-54Wayne StetinaMalcolm HillLindsay Blount

I pilfered a few pics...

5-Star Fish Matt Johnson pounding up the final climb to get 2nd in the 30-34 race.

Teammate Dan Vinson just a bit behind him, on his way to 3rd. The All-Star Fishes had quite a presence in PA, getting several podiums and being in lots of action. Their sprinter Chris DeMarchi was in lots of moves but it never quite worked out.

MarkZen going flat out up the finish climb.

He got 8th in the RR, 8th in the crit, and top-15 in the TT. Pretty impressive all-around effort.

Amgen's Gus Corona was California's only top-10 in the 35-39 RR.

A great week for Mike Hutchinson in the 40-44: 1st TT, 1st crit, 2nd RR.

Thurlow rode away from the 45-49 field at the end, putting a minute into 2nd place.

Hey, where'd everybody go??

Strickler working hard.

Druber Jr. glad to be done!

Wayne Stetina winning the 50-54 road race. How many has he won over the years??

Defending champ Malcolm Hill finishing a close 2nd.

Lindsay was going good early, making the break and putting in big time over the field.

In the feed zone.

But the heat took its toll and he had to let the front two go, but 3rd is still a damn fine result!

NorCal's Mark Caldwell finishing 6th. He's won a national championship or two over the years.


Chester said...

Hey Mark, thanks for the small pointers and the race reports. Your blog is quickly becoming a staple, automated visit if you will, of signing online. Always a great read

Kimberly said...

cool..i was wondering how masters nationals were going...and had to look no further than your blog!

veloandvino said...

Great report,


Michael Hutchinson.

Marco Fanelli said...

Thanks Chester, I appreciate it!

Doc Kim- I would have also followed the masters Women's nationals more closely, except that I didn't really know anything about most of the competitors. Except Betsy Galenti ...I remember her dominating Mothballs and then noticing her doing well at other SoCal races. She won the 30-34 crit in PA.

Michael- Congrats on an awesome performance. The only other person I ever remember getting Gold, Gold, and Silver was Thurlow. I don't remember anyone (under, say, age 50) getting all three golds in one year. Could have happened, I just don't remember it...

Heather said...

So Cal women rocked it - Stars and Bars off the top of my head.

Kelli Jones (paramount) TT
Ruth Clemence (Simple Green) TT and RR
Betsy Galanti (America's Dairyland) Crit
Linda Schnepp (simple Green) RR


Marco Fanelli said...

Right on SoCal women!! Wow, I was off the back not noticing and mentioning those champs too! Gotta pay closer attention...

Thanks for the comment Heather.

Heather said...

You're welcome. Since I was too lazy to look things up some names may have been spelled wrong.


oops, just looked at my comment, actually I think Linda won the crit, not the RR, my bad. It is more in character for her to win a RR, which is probably why I typed the wrong thing :)