Monday, March 12, 2007

The Bananas have gone bad.

Sunday the 11th of March the most talented rider in Oregon to never win a race took to the start of Banana Belt #2. With race fees paid in full and numbers clearly visible at all times, he rode a strong race making sensible attacks, riding cooperatively in the break and attacking on the last lap. When a group of three formed the winning break, Zach Winter(CMG/Alpine Mortgage) kicked into that extra gear of his and signed, sealed and delivered a great win.

Apparently he took a feed from his left side. Paul Bourcier(Hutch's-OIC), who finished a distant but respectable second, filed the complaint and the race official put Zach in the all-too-familiar DQ column.

Sounds like sour grapes to me. Zach and Paul's bad blood goes waaayyyyyyy back. We could probably bring up incidents from Eugene tuesday-nighters three or four years ago, I'll let you guys dig up that history. But Zach was clearly the strongest rider in the break. I can't imagine that feed was the be-all, end-all deciding factor in the race. Zach has obviously had problems crossing the t's and dotting the i's when it comes to race rules, but an illegal feed warrants a warning, maybe a relegation. When you finish solo, where do you get relegated to?

With conditions being what they were on Sunday (warm, not raining hard but definitely wet), we start with all manner of jackets, vests, gloves, glasses etc. that come on or off throughout the race. I've seen officials cars come up both the left and right sides to pass bottles and collect clothes. Clothes and feeds are also often passed between roadside spectators and us riders. None of this is ever reported, it's part of racing in iffy conditions. I don't see how this is any different than tossing off a jacket on the wrong side of the road.

Warn him and give him his win. He earned it.

The Cat. 3's are now being dominated by kids that can't even vote. That's pretty sweet. I'm gonna be working on an article about the very brght future of Oregon cycling. Stay tuned. Hit up the link to Gary's site for Cat.3 race reports.

I'll have a better write-up on all this soon.


TJMax said...

From what I have heard, Zach was by far the strongest rider in the break. However, he doesn't seem to understand common sense when it comes to bike racing. When the two guys you are with in the break, are giving you the hot spots w/ no challenge and you return that favor by, not working with the break for the final lap because your "tired", only to attack them so you can win solo? Real classy!!!

Zach has had a TON of warnings during his time in OBRA, and while a DQ for an illegal feed may be a little extreme, in my opinion is was warranted for this occasion.

Both riders in the break said they would not have filed a complaint for the illegal feed had Zach just manned up worked with them until the end. It would have been a far more impressive victory for Zach had he worked with his two breakaway partners and attacked them that way.

Instead, he chose to sit on, cheat, and thus lost his win. It’s a bummer for him, because he is very talented. Maybe this is what Zach needed to finally learn his lesson?

tacky said...

how is it he gets dq'd but still keeps his hot spots points?

Chris said...

Yeah, I would say that Zach is certainly one of the strongest, most physiologically gifted athletes to come through OBRA. I cannot figure it out either, the mindset sometimes. Whether it's CX at Alpenrose, or MTB riding off course in years past. Is it an out-of-body thing? A side effect of riding so hard that his eyes roll back into the sockets and basic brain function fades? Is it a symptom of raw, cut-throat, or even "killer" instinct?

I dunno. If the dark clouds that are associated with Zach's previous racing are rooted in deliberate, intentional shortcutting or "cheating", then the DQ is at minimum a karma payback, and certainly deserving.

But if not, I really hate to see this young talent get blacklisted simply due to past actions. Zach: Fantastic ride. Good work. It is a RACE. A win is a win. There is no rule that says you have to contribute on equal terms in a break. Especially w/ a Hutch's rider in it. ;) It doesn't gain you any favors in the future, but that's your choice.

Just like last fall's CX blunder, ya gotta cross your T's and dot your i's... and show us just how talented you really are. Don't give the nay-sayers any chance to take away from your phenomenal abilities on the bike. Show us how classy, respectable, and honest you can be and OBRA will have no choice but to cheer you on with admiration.

Congrats on a strong effort and let's see what else you can do! Sorry to see you lost your win, but there's still another week to tear it up. Go Bananas!


Gary said...

The officials have been very straight forward with the centerline warnings. I saw a guy in the Cat 3 race almost become a Man-o-Rexic hood ornament for a local hunter when he wandered over on a fast turn. No pity.

HOWEVER - filing a complaint for something that was not dangerous for yourself is weak to the point of pathetic. Paul or Z could've sat on as well... racing is racing is racing. I don't think I remember Zach wearing a Hutch's jersey. :-)


TJMax said...

First all, if Paul or "Z" were to have sat on as Gary said. The break would have not gone any where, because Zach wasn't working the last lap. I guess that is why Paul and David have won numerous races, they know how to race their bikes.

Also, Gary, you say filing the complaint was pathetic, because it was not dangerous?

Please, explain to all of us, how having a teamate/friend standing in the LEFT lane (thus standing in the way of possible on coming traffic) is NOT dangerous? Just think what could have happened had "John Fisherman" driving his Ford F350 hauling his fishing boat happened to come along just as the "feeder" was in the middle of the road. The feeder or the riders in the breakaway could have been injuried or killed if the driver was not paying attention. But, hey I guess you don't think it's dangerous.

Maybe next year you can get OBRA to change the rules to allow feeding in the left lane, since it appears you think it is perfectly safe!

The rules are set up for a reason, to keep us and the people driving on the course safe. Follow the rules, and you don't get DQ'd. It's pretty easy!

tacky said...

and how does he keep his hot spots points?

superlame said...

tjmax, good insight (if it's all true) and well said CDB. If that is indeed how it went down, then the dq is derserved. True, nothing says you have to work with the break, but if they're giving you the hot spots (probably so he can win the overall and I'm sure it was discussed), then man up and work till you blow! Whether it's mouthing off to get a front row start at a mtb race, or pulling stunts like course cutting and getting verbally irate with promoters, Zach doesn't know how to conduct himself. How does one get such a chip on his shoulder in Oregon racing? Anyway, the blogger seems to like to talk about Zach, so I guess we'll always have a story line to follow.

paulbajitbag said...

fuck the facts pauls a wheel sucking poser. i see a little man, red headed stepchild, and a fast gnarly old dude. the bets were on the red head and no one factored in a whiner/soar loser to take the win. bring it beeatch!!!!

ian said...

Wow. This blog is awesome.

Gary said...


There's a big difference between working in a break to make the split and gamesmanship as the break pulls near the finish. I've watched with awe in the Eugene crits as Paul measured his efforts on pulls 1.5 seconds less than other pulling through (it seemed down to the millisecond). So what? He was the smart one and when he attacked he left easy and I admired the caginess.

It's another thing to pressure officials into harsh decisions... not that they got it wrong, but we should let the officials rule. Simple, plain bad politics.

That all being said, what's up with the bible thumping over a bike race? I think God deserves a bit more respect than being dragged into a petty sports squabble.

It's getting very Weird.


Offended said...

What would Jesus do?

Bane said...

Zach, Way to go! Keep handing it to Hutchs. I am glad to see your fitness is with you this year. Hopefully we can get some riding/racing in this summer and next year. Peace.

bigtime said...

everyone knows that the shitbag paul did not win the race. Paul, do you really consider yourself the CHAMP on mere violation that you complained about. you are a pussy. you suck ass face. zach beat you. wait a minute: oh who took the most pulls?
zach, my man, wasy on talking about the metephysics outside of church. you might end up wrangled by snakes.

TJMax said...

WOW, we have some real classy people in OBRA. Great post "bigtime", real classy.

tacky said...