Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Das Kaiser ist tot. Phasen sehnen sic Das Kaiser.

My tribute to my favorite bike racer.

After the storm.

I'm back. I've also changed a few things. First, no anonymous comments. To comment, you have to register with Blogger, which is connected to Google, so it syncs up with you're Gmail pretty easily. Google totally runs the world, at least the time wasting internet world.

Who am I? A few people know by now. Probably more than a few. I've dropped a few hints along the way. I'll let you dangle for a bit, before I just come out and say it. In my opinion, it's not so much who writes what, but that they are available to thoughtfully explain why they wrote it. I'll try and respond to any and all questions, use the e-mail link. You'll all figure it out soon enough anyways. And then everyone will say "who's that?"

Jack Frost
Man, that must have been an uncomfortable half-hour on the bike. Seth (CMG) won, I guess this puts the target square on his back going into Banana Belt month. Times were, historically speaking, pretty slow. Weather may have been a factor.

Seth crushed 'em though, almost 1:30 faster than Chris Swan (Cycles Gladiator) and Michael Gallagher (Bobs Bikes). Pro's were there. You can't judge much from an OBRA TT in February for those guys, but I bet their bikes were sweet. Did Hartley have a BMC TT rig? If anyone has pics, I'll throw 'em up and give mad-props.

This weekend, the only races that matter. Riding circles around Hagg Lake until we can't bring ourselves anywhere near Forest Grove for the rest of the year.

Who's gonna win? CMG's super strong, Zach, DR and Seth look to be the factors. I have a hard time believing the winning break will not include one of them. Will Rubicon have more numbers? Can a break like Peter won from last year win again (two riders with noooo teammates off the front for 2+ laps.)? Will HB show some life? Will Bob's Bikes show up? Will old guys win EVERY SINGLE race, like last year? Oh, the drama.

Dark Horse: Steve Wright (Bike Gallery), he was an old school pro (L.A. Sherriffs days) he's super strong. I don't think he even trains, but he can straight up ride.

Be nice.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Site on hold for a little bit.

I didn't quite expect the attention my little site would get, I had to put things on hold while I figure out a way to run it so that it works with our sponsor driven sport rather than against it.

Norrene and everybody at Rubicon deserves nothing but praise for the work they do in facilitating NW racing. There are differences of opinion during the race, but I dont think any one team (and especially not Rubicon) deserves the thrashing they got on this site. We depend on generous sponsors to run these teams, our goal should be to attract more of them. Sorry for anything I wrote that added fuel to the fire.

I am not Brian Marcroft. Don't you think I would have added a few more mentions of Marcroft Cycles from the get-go. I am not him, but I do think you should have him build you a bike. Or if you already have a bike you should have him build you a TT bike, or a rain bike, or fixed gear, or unicycle. He works hard and builds great stuff. Stop bothering him with this stuff.

If you have any other questions, e-mail me. There's a link on the page. Otherwise, I need to figure out how to manage a site that gets this many hits and is productive to the NW cycling community. And then I want to talk about tactics. Race tactics.

Oh yeah, Jack Fost is today, hope you all rode the TT. My religion prevents me from riding TT's on days that end in 'y'. Hopefully you all went fast.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A little bit of this....

So Bridgetown Velo is a new team to the Portland area. Kissler's Cyclery in Beaverton is their homebase. They're mostly a 3 team, with some 4's, and a growing women's team. Apparently Jacob Hill might be starting the 1/2 Team if he keeps doing what he did last weekend. Sound like a nice bunch of guys.

Bob's is loaded. Not only did they adopt the Valley guys in Olympia, they've got the likes of Matt Weyen and Mark Santurbane. Matt is the only guy that could stay with McKissick on the final climb of Elkhorn last year. If his engine was in a 160 lb. frame instead of 185 he would totally be a pro. He is a monster and he can ride himself into an ambulance. They've also got Mark Santurbane. He finished 3rd overall at Elkhorn and rode strongly at the Tour of Utah as a guest rider for Broadmark. As far as I an tell they used to be the ICE team and are based in Boise. Soon they will have better kits.

If First Rate Mortgage is focusing more on Oregon, watch out. Kenny "The Cash Register" Williams doesn't lose too many sprints. Those rainbow stripes are UCI certified. Mick Walsh is another fast old guy.

Omer paid for his sweet breakaway and DNF'd Stage 3 of ToC. If you've got to go down, go down fighting. Got Priority health some TV time. Basic cable, baby. Prime Time.

AO has been in the break the last two days to no avail. T-Mobile really wants Ciolek to win a stage. That guy is a beast

I don't plan on moderating the comments sections, but try and keep it a little civil. Give Norrene and Rubicon a break. Her riders were not involved in any incidents during the race and she was dragged into this unfairly. Teams are responsible for riders wearing their jersey in a race, simple as that. Who the rider used to race for, ride with or hang out with is completely besides the point.

Cherry Pie - Cat.3

Thought I'd add this because Bill Ramsey was kind enought to send some good shots of the race.

Jacob Hill of Bridgetown Velo leads it in. I don't know him and I don't know anything about Bridgetown Velo. He is obviously starting his season off the right way. Someone send me the happ's.

Jacob was followed by Gary, who rides for Paul's in Eugene. Paul's riders are very nice guys. They do VERY well in the Cat. 3 races. Then they get the forced upgrade and start racing masters. Come on over to the 1/2's you guys. You're all younger than Rosenberg, the 1/2 peloton could use a few more guys out to ride fast just for the sake of riding fast.

Carson Miller also landed on the top end of the results page. He's raced cross in Belgium as part of the national team and will be one to watch for the next couple of years. Advice to Carson: Attack! There's no better skill than learning how to ride off the front. Wait until the second half of the race and then just go Vinokurov on the guys. Get some wins!

If anyone wants to be my Cat. 3 correspondent, holla.
Thanks again to Bill Ramsey for the sweet pics.

Here's (some of) the guys (and gals) that deserve the real credit.

Monday, February 19, 2007

One Down - Cherry Pie Recap

The new Cherry Pie has come and gone. Man, nooooo tailwind. That hairpin at the north end of the course just killed. As expected, a few pro's showed and dictated the day's main moves. Chad Hartley of the brand-spankin' new BMC team took the win on his fly-ass BMC bike.

As expected CMG was strong, really strong. Seth managed a great second place, outlasting Evan and Seattle fast guy Lang Reynolds for second. CMG has a big team and they are for the most part, very fit. With Donald driving the bus (and looking quite trim himself), they also have some race savvy. It will be interesting to see what happens to their race smarts if Donald fails to show.

There was a guy in CMG colors that I didn't recognize riding like a total ass, not Aaron but the other guy that came in with him. I saw him take a flying lunge into Doug O. among others, as well as continuing to make the race a full-contact sport in what was left of the peloton after BOTH breaks got off.

I don't think the pro's need me to stick up for them, but I do think it's cool that they show for some of these local races, raise the level of racing and offer a few tips on the right way to ride. It's stupid to put their livelihood at risk. It's equally stupid to continue to try and put guys in the ditch when you're racing for 15th and some early season miles.

CMG also had a fleet of shiny new Giant TCR's. Zach Winters was even on one, so you know the riders didn't have to pay for them. Bike'n Hike looks to be their homebase.

The Valley Athletic guys from Olympia showed and are apparently no longer the Valley Athletic guys. Plain blue jerseys and a switch to Giant bikes, they're listed with "Bob's" as their sponsor. Archibald rode strong.

The Hagens-Berman crew were, for all intents and purposes, not involved in the race. Andy got tangled up with the Donald in the first 5 miles of the race and broke his chain. He then gave his wheel to Donald, who had broken a few spokes in the ordeal. What a nice guy.

Solomon might need a few more weeks before he starts to come around.

Sal Collura's bike no longer matches his kit. Never thought I'd see the day, but it looks like First Rate Mortgage is his new crew. I believe he's in Portland now, is FRM also expanding their operation southward? I'd seen a few more guys around the Portland races last year. Will Dan and Billy build you a red and blue one?

Speaking of Billy Truelove, how much of him will we see this year?

Thanks to the new promoters, race and course were very cool. As always send me your gossip. I'll be updating this again when I have a little more time later this week.

Oh yeah, Omer Kem 160k off the front. That one's gonna hurt. Great ride.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A good weekend.

Thanks for checking out my ramblings. My first weekend up got me over 800 hits, which is cool. Racing is starting this weekend so there should be (way) more gossip floating around. I would also like to feature some local bike businesses and their products. Veloforma is one on my list that I know nothing about but could be really cool. Upstart carbon fiber parts are way cool in my book, if anyone has a contact with them (it's Mark Duff's company, right?) I'd love to check out your shit.

I'd also love to profile some shops. Smaller ones have a special place in my heart (Veloshop, Cyclepath, Sellwood, Collin's). I want to make sure I give the props to the guys 'n gals keeping bike shops fresh rather than just offering full carbon stems even way more expensive than last year's.

Oh, yeah. I need a job. If you're a Portland based athletics company (Castelli, Nike, Adidas, etc.) holla! I'm young and work hard. I've also ot a thing for advertising (WK, Leopold Ketel, Euro RSCG, etc. etc. etc.).
Read me more.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Lance and Ivan need a sponsor.

So Discovery Channel is dropping it's eponymous cycling team from the company payroll. Oh well, Discovery never seem to hit the nerve that USPS did. But, pending the outcome of the 2007 season, I see this as a big opportunity for a certain Portland based athletics company.

This is purely speculation, but hear me out.

Cycling is expanding it's reach globally faster than any other sport, except maybe basketball. There's talk of ProTour races in Asia, the Middle East, and America. There are only certain brands that can really capitalize on that kind of exposure. T-mobile is probably the only current sponsor that really has an interest in "developing" economies.

So how about you take the little logo of the company that makes the jerseys and make it the big logo of the company that supports the team.

How about Nike Pro Cycling.

Think of that, swooshes up the side of Basso's shorts as he storms up Plateau de Beille.

Here's some reasons it would work:
- Lance and Phil Knight are obviously pretty close. Lance was surrounded by Nike athletes like Hicham El Guerroj and Alberto Salazar when he ran the NYC Marathon, he's still got strong ties to the company. They named their athletics building at the campus after him.
- Nike already has the infrastructure. Nike's got a huge stable of Olympic level runners training under sponsorship. They supply these guys with coaches, facilities, trainers, altitude facilities etc. The only thing Nike would have to buy is a trailer to move the bikes.
- Nike would take cycling sponsorship to the highest level. Nike has, inarguably, the most elite club in all of sports. Stack up their Gold medal winners, Basketball players, Soccer players, all their other Olympians, Jordan, and Tiger Woods and Lance. Pro-cyclists would love to be part of the Nike club. In Europe, cycling is still often considered an old-fashioned "working-class" sport. One sponsor cold change that.
- Nike is active in basically every market in the world. Davitamon (owner of Predictor), the Belgian Lottery (Lotto) or Credit Agricole don't get a ton of exposure in Malaysia or Qatar, I mean the cmpanies themselves are pretty Euro-centric. Nike would be the most universally recognized team in the game.
- When peolpe think of basketball, they think Nike, soccer Nike and Adidas. Cycling? Show some swooshes to the 200,000 lined up on Alpe d'Huez.
- Need a star? Basso's the guy. Looks like he'll get off scott-free for the Puerto thing. He's a damn-handsome man, a family guy, and he did scary things at the Giro last year. He'll play well all over the world. And don't forget Hincapie, he's got a couple years left of being America's favorite Roubaix casualty.

The one thing that could kill this is the doping issue. If Basso ends up in trouble watch the whole team close down whether Lance runs it or not. Bruyneel has to be the guy that makes sure the tests get passed, if you know what I mean.

Like I said, I just made all of this up. It does sound pretty good. If anyone knows peoople at Nike, tell them about the site. If Nike wants to pay me to help get things started, I work cheap. Get in touch with me through the site.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

DNS for Alex N-B!!!

A week before the race season begins, Oregon hillclimb phenom Alex Newport-Berra has pulled out of the 2007 racing season. An e-mail sent to his Hagens-Berman teammates says

"I no longer am motivated to
try to become a professional bike racer and am planning to balance my
life out furthering my education next year."

Alex is the 2-time reigning hillclimb OBRA hillclimb champion.  He set 
the Gov. Camp - Timberline lodge course record in his FIRST SEASON RACING BIKES.
Last year he beat healthnet pro Doug Ollerenshaw in the Mary's Peak HC by 45 second, after
being derailed for 2/3 of the season with a disease you get from eating poop.

He also had a bunch of great stage race results as a Cat. 3-4 and will be leaving a spot on the
Hagens-Berman Elite team.

Obviously, he had more talent in his left foot than most of us have in our entire bodies.
Hopefully he can use that talent somewhere else.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

2k7 Season Preview!!!

Alright, here’s my effort to start a little news/gossip/ rumors blog for Oregon bike racing. I mostly want to cover who’s riding fast ,winning races, joining new teams etc. I’ll probably focus on Men’s Cat. 1/ 2 racing because it’s what I do. I’m sure some 15 year-old Cat. 3 will be out there burning it up so I’ll cover that as well. Masters and women’s stuff will probably pop up once in a while.

Anyway, Cherry Pie is coming up. Our classic Oregon season opener is on a new course this year. Northwest of Albany, the profile looks to include quite a bit more climbing than the old one. The biggest difference looks to be the finish, which comes at the top of a 2k climb with some sections nearing 10%. I guess the organizers, Jim Fischer and the EWEB team are taking it over this year, decided to give the Lifeflight crew a break this season. Those Cat 3/4/5 sprint finishes on the old course were almost guaranteed carnage. Hey, you gotta learn the advantages of a breakaway one way or another.

The fast guys are still apparently really fast. Evan Elken is back on the Jittery Joe’s roster, though Craig Wilcox is no longer on it.

Doug Ollerenshaw, aka “the bum guy”, goes into his 3rd year with HealthNet, maybe he’ll get some opportunities now that the all-powerful team has lost the stage race contenders they had a monopoly on for the past couple of years. Doug’s 2006 campaign was derailed by wrecks in exotic locales: Paris, Australia, aahhhh the glamorous life of a pro. Hope Doug keeps the rubber on the road and has a breakout year.

Seeing Omer Kem on a bike, one would not think pro bike racer. He would probably agree that “cut” is not the adjective to describe his physique. But “fast” is the way to describe his riding. He’s the Oregon State RR champ. If his blog is accurate he also trains harder than anyone out there. After a guest rider stint last summer he officially signed with the Priority Health team. He will be riding a sweet Pinarello on a legit Pro team, congrats. Ask him for stories about last year’s Monex squad.

Speaking of Priority Health, they also signed former Broadmark rider Morgan Schmitt. He’s been tearing it up in the old world as a member of the U23 national cyclocross team. Last year he got 4th at the Mount Hood Cooper Spur Circuit race and Best Young rider at Tour de Nez. He is young and can win in the mountains and in crits.

Hagens-Berman Cycling(formerly Broadmark)
Broadmark continues to expand south from Seattle and continues to establish itself as the northwest’s top group of amateurs. They’ve actually got a new title sponsor in Hagens-Berman LLC. Andy Fischer will continue to ride incredibly consistently. Corvallis based Alex Newport-Berra is my pick to be the next breakout Oregon rider. His 2006 was derailed by giardia, an illness you get from eating poop, seriously. But I have never seen anyone climb like he can. Once he got going last year he wasted Doug in the Mary’s Peak HC. He’s got a huge engine and is tagging along with the Hagens-Berman Elite squad. I’ll bet dollars to donuts he gets top-10 at Hood.

Former wonderkid Solomon Woras will also continue with HB. He’s back in school so will be focusing a little less on racing, for Solomon this means being on the bike by 6 AM instead of 5. His motor is still huge. He will get some wins.

HB also has Ian Boswell riding as a Cat. 3. He’s like 15 and almost beat Alex in the 2005 state hillclimb. He’s won junior national championships. You’ll be hearing his name a lot in the next couple years.

Adam Curry is due stateside this spring. His weight will be the primary topic of discussion for most every HB training ride until he gets here. Let’s put the over under at 175 and start up the betting pool. Once he’s race fit he’ll win every sprint in Oregon. The LWV crew a has always got some surprises.

CMG looks to be the strongest Oregon based team. Donald Reeb will be the loudest guy on the team. Seth Hosmer is fast. He can time-trial and climb. Mikkel is the reigning state crit champ. He’s young and getting faster. He also got picked for a ride with the U23 national track team.

Zach Winter has more untapped potential than probably any rider in Oregon. He could sit on the couch for a month and then go top-10 in an OBRA road race. Word is, he’s joining CMG. If he bothers to train consistently, watch out.

The Hutch’s guys in Eugene are not getting any younger, that won’t stop them from getting some results. Nick Skenzick looks strong and usually comes on for the August crits. Maybe 2007 is the year he takes the state crit champ. Paul Bourcier is, if nothing else, tenacious. He’ll be biting at the ankles of any and every breakaway all year long. Dan Vrijmoet is old. He is also riding fairly well. Watch him get some good early season results.

Therapeutic Associates
I’ve heard Therapeutic Associates is getting a big push and will be more visible in the Oregon peloton this year. Someone should send me the details.

Mid-town Cycling got started in Eugene last year and will be around. If Dave Roth gets at it he will see some top-5’s. When will Galen get his Cat.2 upgrade?

How could I forget Rubicon!? Is Norrene going to load up her basement with Kiwis again? 2 words for the guys in orange this year: Dan Harm.

The Wild Cards
-Aaron Sander is super strong and does well even though HFV doesn’t have a huge 1/2 team.
-Steve Holland is an old stubborn SOB and he wins races.
-The Etna guys are fast, especially Reny.
-Is Russell Stevenson still in the house? He moved to Portland but never came into top form last year.
-Watch out for Bike Gallery if Skerritt shows up.

Wrapping things up, here’s my picks for Cherry Pie. Watch out for the HB guys, the climb will suit Alex. Andy knows how to get wins. Of course, Evan won last year, him and Doug tend to dictate the entire race. My choice though is the old guys: Steve Holland, Vrijmoet, and Washington’s Valley Athletic guys tend to do well in these early races. Watch for a guy over 35 to surprise you.

Oh yeah, Aaron Olsen is still racing in Europe for a team that wears all pink. It’s sponsored by cell-phones or something and used to have a bunch of German guys.