Monday, March 12, 2007
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.
Posted by jza at 12:41 PM