Monday, August 27, 2007

Randoms from the Weekend Up North

Just a few minutes for blogging before dinner, so this will consist of random notes from the weekend trip up for San Ardo RR and University RR. Apologies for the scatteredness...


Friday night at Motel 6 -- Four of us in one small room. The youngest (Cody) and the oldest (Me) got the floor. A word of advice: don't ever look too closely at the carpet in a Motel 6 room. And certainly don't touch it with any bare skin. I layed down the comforter from one of the beds as a pad for my sleeping bag. Not sure that was any better.


San Ardo Road Race, p/1/2, four laps advertised as 84 miles but I recorded 93 -- Arrived with 30 minutes 'til start time. No problemo. 49 starters including a few noteworthy pros like Lucas Euser (Slipstream), Neil Shirley (Jittery Joe's), Jackson Stewart (BMC), a Navigators guy, and of course Cody and one of his teammates. A few strong NorCal teams had 4-6 riders (Cal-Giant, Los Gatos BRT, Alto Velo, RHVilla) but no team had enough to fully control the field. Attacks went every lap on the bumpy, narrow, headwind section. As a result, from about one mile into the race, there was always action off the front. We participated sporadically and on the last lap, Ben was itching to go again. Jon Eropkin was solo about 10 seconds in front of the field and I suggested to Ben that he'd be a good break partner and that's all the encouragement that Bam-Bam needed so he was off to the races. Cookie and I appreciated this development as we then had a guilt-free free-ride the rest of the race. Ben's group stayed away and we were hopeful but the immediate post-race report was that Ben managed to get 7th place out of the five-man break. Huh?!? A more thorough check of the facts revealed that, indeed, there were seven riders in the break by the end.

But seriously, Ben has a great sense for getting into the right moves. The careful observer will have noticed this year that in almost every race he's done, Ben has made it into the winning break. Pretty impressive! But hey, what else would you expect from a guy who's name is written on his bike!?! Therefore, on this blog anyway, Ben will be allowed to keep his former nickname (The Hammer) until such time as something better comes along.



Ben's girlfriend Katie generously allowed us to stay Saturday night at her place on the UC Santa Cruz campus. 1,000,000 times better than the Motel 6! Thanks Katie!! Oh, and what a beautiful school!


Sunday morning, University RR, 45 starters, see post from last week for course details, etc. -- I would have won this race were it not for Ben's antics on the first couple laps. He bolted from the gun in a pure anaerobic fury, which caused Slipstream Pro Lucas Euser to scream out "OH NO!! THE HAMMER... THERE GOES THE HAMMER... HE ALWAYS DOES THIS!! ...GO GET THE HAMMER" which caused me to begin laughing uncontrollably which prevented me from getting adequate oxygen into my lungs and mitochondria.

OK, at least some of the paragraph above is true. Ben did hammer the first few laps and sent a good 15 or 20 guys out the back door. Then he stopped to sit with Katie.

Meanwhile, Cookie and I began playing the energy management game of getting dropped by the first 10 or so guys on the uphill, and then reconnecting on the downhill. He was much better than me at this approach and I succumbed to the pain after seven laps and quit. I don't like quitting races, but when it feels like you're just pounding your head with a, uhh, hammer, then maybe it's better to stop and regroup. Just as long as it doesn't become a habit. Also, note to self: get a warm-up next time.

But the good news is I was able to get the camera and take some pics...

Neil Shirley looking back at the damage he's doing to the field. There were laps where he was climbing at the front, breathing through his nose, while good guys were popping off the back!

Does he still have nightmares about The Hammer??

Cookie fell in with a chase group of some very good riders.

But in the end, nobody could contain Neil Shirley and he rode away for a solo win.

Future star Jared Barrilleaux got 2nd (I think).

A contentious sprint for 3rd won by Adam Switters. Not sure why, but there were some harsh words exchanged between Kevin Klein and Ted Huang just after this sprint.

Jon Eropkin got a nice top-10 place. Jon, weren't you overheating in those arm warmers, knee warmers, and gloves?? Probably not if you're accustomed to Fresno weather!

Uthman finishing solo. He's had a good year with solid resuls in fast crits, hilly road races, and big-time stage races. Look for another step up next year.

Cookie smiling and satisfied with a solid top-15 performance. He started the year with a gritty suffer-fest at Boulevard and finishes the year with a gritty suffer-fest at University. This dude is one tough Cookie!


dr-nitro said...

That Jared kid is scary fast. He'll be Lucas' teammate no time quick. You should go to Metromint's site and check out his stats since his first Cat 2 race at Nevada City this June. Scary fast.

Hey, I might be heading down there to do run up Gibralter in the next week or two before I have to start doing intervals in the classroom. Can you clear out the air down there? My lungs are sensitive. And maybe you can come for the ride. I'll make sure not to drop you like you were dropped on Sunday. Sorry, could not resist that.

Boots said...

That little dispute between switters and huang was most likely a rebuke at what little work both of the R&R guys did to attempt to reel in "Don't Call Me" Shirley and "Triple-B" Barrileaux (Big and Bad). They hit the front exactly zero times during the race. Maybe less than zero, if that's possible.

and yes Barrilleaux is the real deal. He got into a break with sayers at Patterson... and dropped him.

~ boots

Marco Fanelli said...

Nick- The air is clear and Gibraltar is waiting for you. Email me with your plans (marco dot fanelli at yahoo dot com). I'd love to join you for the ride and my schedule is very flexible right now with kids back in school and a lull in work. ("Lull" as in, none at the moment!)

boots- Hmmm, that sounds about right. Since you are a known motor who does tons of work, you're allowed to make those comments. Me, I'm a frequent practioner of the do-no-work approach, so I better not throw stones...

And can you please ship that Jared kid off to Europe or something??

Anonymous said...

Fanelli your words are too kind. Remember, I've got a lot of experience getting dropped on climbs and then scrambling back on the decent only to do it over and over again. I've also done a lot of head banging activities.

I know you were pressed for time but no mention of Gary's love for Ben or Ben's love for Gary, the number of head start laps Ben should've been given for lapping th field a few years ago, or the roll over. All just normal race happenings.

Check out the NCNCA forum, apparently someone in the 1/2 field at San Ardo pushed some women into a ditch.


Boots said...

ted has since apologized for his outburst.

I have enjoyed hanging onto Ted's wheel quite a bit this season. He is a fine gentleman on the bike and a consummate pro, and that was rather uncharacteristic of him.

Marco Fanelli said...

Captain Cook-

Yep, the salacious Ben+Katie+GaryAnn love triangle would be fertile ground for blogging, however, do we really want to give him more reasons to attack us--his beloved teammates--at every opportunity he gets? Besides, with the picture that Katie forwarded of Bam-Bam, er, I mean, The Hammer, enjoying his sculpture in the cave... well, let's just say Ben won't be running for any political offices without greasing us some big bucks in exchange for silence!

How could I forget that Ben lapped the field at University one year?? I mean, he only told us that about 1,000 times!

The roll-over... just to freaky to continue thinking about! A car lost control on the opposite side of the 101, rolled and slid in a huge cloud of dirt across our side of the freeway and ended up on its side on the righthand shoulder. This happened maybe 5 seconds in front of us and we were first on the scene. Amazingly, the two young children and the idiot older-man driver were all ok. One of the kids told me it wasn't the first time that he'd crashed like that with them in the car!