Friday, January 29, 2010

Intro to Platinum's 2010 Super Heroes

The 2010 season begins tomorrow, and I am excited. Very excited. My fitness is finally coming around, riding hard is fun again, and I'm ready to pin on a number every weekend I can. But most of all, I'm excited because the 2010 Platinum Performance Cycling Team has assembled the best Cat 1 & 2 team from Santa Barbara in at least 25 years. I would say that this group has great chemistry, but unfortunately that phrase has a double meaning when referring to bike racers. So let's just say these guys get along great and love to ride together. And they're all very fast!

So let me be the first to introduce you to this team. There are no new names, but some of these guys have been off the radar for awhile, so they might be new to you. Some of what I'm about to tell you is classified, and some of it might even stretch the definition of truth. I will also tell you here for the first time, that each of these riders possesses a unique Super Power making him capable of incredible feats of bike-racing awesomeness. Pay attention in 2010 and you will see.

Adrian Gerrits:Who is Adrian? A smart kid who graduated from an Ivy League university? Or is he a gritty coal-mine worker from a hardscrabble Wyoming town? He's both. What kind of bike racer is he? A big goofball who's likely to throw a banana peel in your spokes while wearing Mickey Mouse ears, or a deadly assassin who will drive a break so hard you'll beg for mercy while whimpering on his wheel? That's right, both. In 2008, Adrian raced some big events around the US, including SuperWeek where he got 4th overall. That's huge. He also got top-10 gc in the Tour of Pennsylvania which showcased the best U-25 riders in North America. So here's a warning to the SoCal Cat 1/2 crowd, underestimate Adrian at your own peril!

Ben Haldeman:"The Hammer" as he's affectionately known to his teammates and competitors --his girlfriends and boyfriends too-- and when you ride with him you will know why. He will pound you relentlessly, which is what he did to the domestic Pro peloton when riding point for Chris Horner on Webcor. But what you really need to be aware of, is his ability to advance himself up the road by taking a shortcut through the space-time continuum. If you notice his upper body cocked to one side, that's your clue that he's digging a worm hole and bending the dimensions in his favor ...and against yours. Ben's results? All you need to know is that this cowboy won the NorCal Cal Cup series a couple years ago. Did you?

Brian Cook:Cookie is a former elite level triathlete who saw the light and made the jump to bike racing, and he hasn't looked back since. Literally... he doesn't look back, because if he did, he'd see the burning faces of those behind him getting doused with his prolific sweat. Ergo, his uncanny ability to make other riders pull him around. He puts competitors in a conundrum... sit behind him and burn, or pull him around to the end and then get burned by his blazing sprint. Either way, you lose and we win.

Gary Douville:Gary "Guns" D'Velo is a renaissance man of cycling. Pavement or dirt, uphill or down, crit, road, or TT... he's mastered them all. And before all that pedaling, his craft was motocross! You have no idea the skills and brute strength he possesses. If you're lucky, you'll never know. He returns to the road in 2010 after a very successful cyclocross season which he capped off with a victory in the elite class at the SoCal district championships.

Matt Dubberley:M-Dubb's super power is magnetism. No, I'm not referring to his personality, rather I mean literal magnetism. He can manipulate the magnetic field around all the other riders in the race, twisting it to his advantage as the situation dictates. You're off the front? He'll pull you back like Magneto. He's off the front? He'll rotate that magnetic field to repel you. Matt rode four years as a US professional and has many stellar results I'm sure, but two "incidents" will tell you all you need to know. Tour of Georgia a few years back, and Matt is his team's designated sprinter. Does Matt sit back and rest? Of course not, he goes on the attack and spends 100 km off the front of the field. Don't pigeon-hole this rider! He can do it all. Unfortunately, magnetic fields are hard to control, even for super heroes. Sometimes those magnets flip.

Chester Gillmore:Aahhh, Chesta... no longer the world's fastest cat 3 because now he's a cat 2. Surrounded by this team of Cat 1 veterans, he will upgrade again soon enough. Chester's super power is on display to anyone and everyone who rides with him or against him. Unbridled enthusiasm! Where does it come from? Chester is part puppy dog.

Keith Horowitz:"You lookin' at me?!" Every team needs a closer, and we've got one of the best in the business. Keith "Special-K" Horowitz returns to racing after several years away, but mark my words, he's still a fearsome sprinter ready to lay waste to SoCal fields like he did in days gone by. I pity the fool who finds himself between Keith and the finish line.

Zach Walker:"Zach Attack" is a software whiz who somehow reprogrammed the matrix such that he only faces half the gravity as the rest of us. I mean, it's the only explanation as to how a guy as big and powerful as him can ride away on both the hills and the flats! Zach is a former pro with Ofoto and McGuire and despite being an incredibly nice guy, you will curse him if he puts a gap between you. Or you'll just give up.

Seth Zaleski:With only two years of bike racing in his legs, Seth is but a few points away from being a Cat 1. His secret? He has two sets of legs! Most people know about his climbing legs ...those pedaled him to multiple top-10 results in some very competitive road races in 2009. But what most people don't know, is that he can swap out those legs for a pair of snappy, fast-twichy sprinters legs. Don't let his buck thirty fool you into thinking he'll be satisfied just finishing in the break. On second thought, go ahead and think that.

So that's the core of the 2010 Cat 1 & 2 team going into 2010. For sure we'll have other young riders upgrading, and you can count on some of us Masters riders doing P/1/2 races with this group. In fact, as long as my fitness supports it, I will race with these guys any day.

Stay tuned for future blog posts featuring our Masters riders and our women's team.

1 comment:

Marco Fanelli said...

OK, OK... C-Walk has Super Powers also, which sadly he is using against us.