Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to Save American Cycling

Hangin' with RC last night. Usually gets the brain turning.

The recent hap's in the US Pro cycling seem to underscore cycling's status as a minor league sport (at best), and show why it's going to stay that way, unless someone steps up with some organization . As usual, I solved the problem pretty much completely. The money necessary to do all this can be deposited in my personal account, I'll take care of it. Just shoot me an email.

1. There really is nothing 'professional' about cycling in the US - As Rock racing is currently exposing, there is really no distinction between amateur and pro cycling. Some guys just happen to get paid. Rock basically has two full teams worth of pro caliber riders. It looks like they're going to be spending the year sending one squad to UCI stage races, and then another to NRC races which any Elite rider can enter. It looks like Rock is going to keep this huge squad and switch guys between squads to get their ideal team for races.

2. Americans don't get the sponsor/team thing - Ever explain how a cycling team works to your Uncle from the midwest, he probably just won't get it. "So even guys with the same sponsor race against each other?" or "Do they always have the same sponsor for every race?"

3. USA Cycling is one of the worst run national sports organizations in the world. Incompetent does not begin to describe them. The most recent dropped balls:

Exhibit A: Leaving Chris Horner off the World Championship team, when the race suited him to a T. He's the only American that can come close to hanging with guys like Valverde and Cunego. He was fit as fuck, he got left out for a bunch of kids and TT specialists.(No disrespect to the kids on the team, but get some mid-week classics under your belt, at least.). Horner was also the American best suited for the Olympic Road Race, though his fitness may have been a (tiny) question mark due to his mid-summer collar bone break.

Exhibit B: Leaving Tom Peterson off the U23 World's team. Tom is the fastest U23 American, hands down. Maybe Phinney might be up to his level, but he doesn't have any of the Euro experience. Tom has, by far, the most Euro racing experience of any U23 and he got completely shafted. USA Cycling wasted a top-10 and sent a bunch of teenagers to the race.

Exhibit C: The 2004 Olympic MTB qualifying debacle.

Exhibit D: Do they even do drug testing anymore? Anywhere?

USA Cycling looks like the AAU did in the '60s when they ran track and field. Political, corrupt, looking out for themselves rather than the sport.

4. Too many fake pro's - Similar to problem #1. There's too many twentysomethings like myself running around saying we might almost be able to be pro. Yes it's cool to race against them a couple times a year, but really, the NRC being ProAm is really not good for the sport.

Being the problem solver I am, here's the solutions:

1. Races are run like the Nascar Circuit - The season's gonna run from March to September. Each team's home city will host a one day race, let's say there will be 15 of'em. Stage races will be on Neutral turf, 4-6 a season. Points awarded accordingly. Only the Pro teams race. Pro Teams have limited rosters of about 20 guys, no goofy age requirements. Crits would stay local and carry on the ProAm tradition in American cycling.

2. Americans like saying 'Los Angeles Lakers' or 'New York Giants'. Now the relation between the team and the place they say they're from is tenuous at best, team members might live in their team's hometown if they choose to, but it really doesn't matter. So think of it like this, we'll use the English Soccer model here: The teams will be identified by their hometown and a mascot they think is cute/tough/cool whatever or a club name. Sponsors will get the jerseys/bikes/same stuff they're always on. Kind of like how a soccer team from Manchester is called Manchester United and has AIG on the front of their jerseys.

3. USA Cycling will be crushed like a toad in the road, we'll develop a transparent process for picking national team members. USA cycling can focus on grass roots development.

4. No fake pro's. I know it might hurt some of us never-were's, but it will be better for the sport.

What this will take:
- MONEY! But not that much. Teams are responsible for paying their costs and hosting their 1 home race per year. The league will host the stage races. There will be TV revenues to split, just like all pro sports. Realistically, you could find a title sponsor for the whole league for as much as it costs to run a Pro Tour team ($5-10 million). If we can find sponsors for pro lacrosse, there's gotta be money for bike racing.

-Teams! Teams will be given like any pro sport, you've basically got to buy a franchise from the league. Prove that you've got the system in place to run it at a high level and the local support to make it fly.

- Testing! Yes, gotta keep it clean. TV revenues will fund the anti-doping before money is split up among teams.

- USA Cycling to do what's best for the sport, rather than what's best for themselves! We can all dream, can't we? When this league takes off and USA Cycling benefits at the grassroots level, we'll all be happy.

Will people watch cycling on TV?
Yes. 2 hour broadcast. First 30 Minutes - recaps, standings get to know the course, riders, whatever. 2nd 30 - Recap the first few hours of the current race. Last hour - live to the race until the finish.

What about the Tour?
Euro cycling will still be the top tier. The population is so much more dense, the sport is better suited for Europe, but that doesn't mean Pro Cycling in the US can't be legit. What could be developed in the US is a cleaner peloton with more dependable teams and more predictable race schedule. More and more Euro pro's have been coming to America for a steady check, maybe this will net a few more. Potentially, a US team could have a TdF squad while competing in the US circuit, if they wanted. I would be like the Manchester U playing in the Premier League and Champions League at the same time.

Will there ever be a Tour of the US?
No! That race they were proposing a couple years ago was rotten from the start. Too big a country, stages are too long. America is full of long straight highways. BORING! 5-6 day stage races are the way to go. Maybe stretch a couple out to 8.

So, I think I'm on to something here. Or maybe I just wasted a good portion of my afternoon. Either way.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The custom frame question.

With all the frame builders we have here in our fair city (of Portland, OR), why is nobody building ALUMINUM RACE BIKES! There's obviously a demand for custom bikes. People even race their custom bikes. Aluminum frames make MUCH better race bikes than steel ones, and with all the carbon posts and bars people seem to like so much these days, you can pretty easily mitigate the rough ride of aluminum.

You know who rode a custom aluminum frame? Cipollini, during his comeback last year. Boonen rode one the year before, until Specialized changed the geometry of their entire line to suit him. If these guys can ride aluminum, you can too.

While our friendly neighborhood framebuilders are building some beautiful bikes. Steel is gonna be flexy as heck regardless of how well it's made. It's just the nature of the material. If steel is squishy by nature, racing a steel bike is a competitive disadvantage.

So, there's the ball, someone run with it. I bet you'll do quite well. And yes, Co-Motion has been welding aluminum since the days before custom bikes were cool. They never slowed Billy Truelove down.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Too Good?

Some of you might remember when this guy took the NRC circuit by storm a few years ago. At the Sea Otter Doug O. won, Stevic soloed up to a seven man break to defend his lead. Fraser and Ollerenshaw tag teamed him for the win.

But the fact remained, Stevic bridged up to a seven-strong group who was riding with a major NRC stage race win on the line. Being fairly new to the bike racing at that point, I wondered if that was humanly possible? Apparently not.

The article mentions the Cycling Fans Anonymous blog, which handles the whispering world of doping in a much more appropriate manner than most. More dot connecting, less finger pointing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Drop like a Rock

So here we see Cunego, Horner and some A&S guy attack over the Civiglio.

Not even the live TV or tickers could quite catch what was going on, but as Sammy Sanchez dropped like a bomb from the Civiglio, Cunego attacked Horner and the A&S guy. At this point I'm not sure if the racers themselves knew Cunego was off the front.

The chase group came back together before Brajkovic and Uran made the move for 2nd. Brajkovic posted up like he won something. Classy win for Cunego.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Russell Stevenson Rides Again!

Noticed this on the Cyclingnews ticker a few days ago. Russell Stevenson, last of Benaroya Research Inst. is once again dipping his toes in the water of pro road racing. This time with Inferno Racing, who show mostly at crits on the the east coast. The pro/am Inferno is apparently going full pro next year as Kenda Pro Cycling.

Russell's covered a lot of ground in the past 5 years going from HealthNet in 2003 to founding the BRI team in Seattle as well as moonlighting as Shimano's NW sales rep. I assumed he was done for, it seems lately he only rides crits and 'cross, apparently he's got some road races left in those legs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Best Week of the Year

For those of us that get up early enough to watch choppy streaming video of European road races, this coming Saturday is the best thing to happen since March 22 (Milano-San Remo, duh). Yes ,it's the final ProTour race, and the last of the 5 Monuments, but the Italian Monuments are something special. They're won with style, by attacking hard, 6 hours in, over the Madonna del Ghisallo. While the Northern Classics define grit, the Italian Monuments define class.

The race also happens to be in about the coolest part of the world, Lake Como, right where Switzerland and Italy run together, a stone's throw from Milan, down the street from George Clooney's house.

Lombardia has been won by guys like Bartali, Coppi, Gimondi, Merckx, Moser, Saronni and Bettini. Ballers. Every one of 'em.

***10.16 Prediction Update***
The favorites: Kolobnev(CSC), Cunego(Lampre), Horner(Astana), SammySanchez(Eusk) on a sick downhill attack.

Dark Horses: Brajkovic(Astana), Bruseghin(Lampre), anyone from Liquigas, Gesink(Rabo) If he doesn't lose contact on those descents (remember Paris-Nice?).

Cadel Evans will be in the mix, he will not win.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Essence of Conservatism

Ahem, this has absolutely nothing to do with bikes. But I'm running the show, so here we go.

While I wasn't expecting to find a lot of common ground with the McCain campaign, though I do agree that there should be much more focus on nuclear power, his latest line of attack on Obama is especially perplexing. This whole Bill Ayers guilt-by-association thing strikes me as quite odd. Bill Ayers life appears to be something that a true (intellectual) conservative would hold as an example of the true good that can emerge when people face the consequences of past actions, reevaluate their life and dedicate their energies and talents to a productive cause. All without any assistance from government or social safety net.

From what I can gather, the core belief of conservatism is that a man left to himself will better achieve his full potential (intellectually, economically, emotionally or otherwise) when unencumbered by governmental or societal influence.

So here we have a man, Bill Ayers, who was involved in some very unfortunate episode during a very tumultuous time. His behavior was so bad that he had to go into hiding for over twenty years.

After that time in hiding, Ayers emerged as a tremendous source for good as a social justice advocate, and distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He helped the mayor reorganize Chicago's school system, helped write a grant that won $50 million for the Chicago's schools and was even named Chicago's 'Citizen of the Year' in 1997.

So he did bad stuff, disappeared and without any assistance from 'the man' or 'the system' he got straight and now has a distinguished record of contributing immensely to the common good. Oh yeah, and he happened to host a fundraiser for an up-and-coming politician named Barack Obama, who was in elementary at the time Ayers's transgressions were committed.

Yes, Mr. McCain obviously has a very deep-rooted, visceral reaction to one of the most famous opponents of the Vietnam War. As a presidential candidate, HE ISN'T FIGHTING THE GODDAMN VIETNAM WAR. To stake his campaign on rehashing his problems with old war protesters seems misguided. Following this line of thought, McCain is either telling us that events that happened forty years ago are more important to him than those happening right now, or that his political platform has absolutely no intellectual foundation.

Never mind the fact that McCain spent the 60's graduating at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, and then crashing several planes paid for by American taxpayers.

Anyways, there's only one good choice for Prez, and I'm betting on a big party November 4. But there's also a Senate race here in Oregon that could be pretty close. Vote for Merkeley, too.

I'm gonna add more to this, but for now I'm going home.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Various and Sundry Predictions

- Lance will not ride for Astana. Livestrong p/b Trek, Oakley, Nike etc.

- Vinokurov coming back is probably the best thing that could happen to Lance from a marketing standpoint. I imagine if the Kazaks insist that Vino rides for Astana, it could give Bruyneel the out he needs to take his operation elsewhere. I can't imagine any big races letting Vino in, he got off with a bullshit 1 year suspension because he "retired".

- Or the Great Nike/Trek/Giro/Oakley Bicycle Racing Team just buys out the whole thing.

- Contador leaves Livestrong, can't be on Astana because they won't get into any big races with Vino. Who has the budget to bring on a triple Grand Tour winner in Dec./Jan?

- Quickstep.

- Unless a Spanish team can step up big time. And they usually can't.

- Come April and July, Quickstep will be so happy Schumi got popped. Contador probably got the first phone call. Then Bettini.

- Bjarne Riis could render all of the above totally meaningless. And probably will.

- Bettini rides for Riis. Think about it. Just think about it.

- Contador vs. Basso vs. Lance Think about that.

I need some local dish sent my way.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sweet Silver

This is old news by now, but definitely worth a post.

Mad props to Svein Tuft for taking 2nd in the World Champs TT. That 2nd came after a puncture and bike change. Svein's been around forever and races the right way. He's a tough as nails rider and a total class act. It's great to see him at the top of the sport.

Svein definitely deserves a place in the world's biggest races. Now he's riding for Garmin, so I hope he gets some big starts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's a Cross Season Road Gossip Fiesta!

Ah yes, the air is cooling, the leaves are changing and there aren't any more races for me to lose. Fall is here!

No big fan of the season myself, I go for a ride after work and everyone is carrying their bikes around. Which is boring and hard. Then they tell me the only races are on dirt. Where I might get dirty. Sorry!

Anyhoos, the '09 road season is basically underway as everyone is trying to dive head first into a very shallow sponsorship pool.

You might call him Ed, you might call him Ted, but he's signing to the dorky named CERVELO-TEST TEAM!

That's right, you heard it here first:


In service of Mellow Juan himself, Mr. Carlos Sastre.

And that my friends, is what you call a scoop!

Coincidentally enough, Salem based vacuum salesman/pro cyclist Omer Kem has been entrusted to fill out the Bissell squad with a couple "ghost riders". Word is Carson Miller was offered a position, AND TURNED IT DOWN TO RIDE ANOTHER YEAR WITH RUBICON!

Additional word is that Steven Beardsley might switch from Lover red/pink to Bissell red/white.

Ghost riders? Yes, UCI teams are required to have a certain amount of riders under a certain age (1/2 their riders need to be under 26, I think). Good luck hiring a US based team with riders that young. So what do they do? They find riders who are good, but not that good, give 'em a new bike, a kit and tell them to have fun. They're like players on injured reserve in the NBA. Maybe they even get to ride a few races as a pro.

Like injured reserve, teams use their ghost riders differently. Ghost rider for Toyota? They've already got 25 super-fast pro guys. A team like Bissell, well, they actually use their ghost riders once in a while. There's only 14 guys listed on their team site, and Zirbel is gonna spend at least half the season hurt. So, anyone who's reading this, if Bissell offers you a spot, even if it's unpaid, FOR GOD'S SAKE TAKE IT!!

In more local news:
-Russell Cree has rode in to PDX to single-handedly save the bicycle racing community. He helped make Broadmark/HB huge, your club might be next.

-The grown up part of CMG (Seth, Aaron, Kyle etc.) may have plans with some sponsors which you may have heard of. They may also acquire riders you may have heard of. Still under the HPChiro banner.

-Evan Elken will be doing local duty next year.

That will be all for now.
Stay Clean. (Like lack of dirt clean)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


....can it get any worse than this?

The advance word is that the tiny prince will not be starting Stage 19. The dream is over.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Man has it been awhile..........


The Tour is in full swing, World's Greatest Rider Damiano Cunego is impressing everyone with his determination and perseverance. Otherwise, it has been some pretty uneventful racing. I guess if you kick out the guys on drugs, these long races aren't too entertaining. We can always watch Pantani and Armstrong ride Ventoux like they're going downhill.

The big races are, for the most part, over. Twilight crit would be the only big one coming up.

CMG had their annual implosion. From an outsider's view, it seems that Seth, Chris, Donald, et al spent a good part of the spring setting things up so Jacob (and the other youngsters) could knock them down. When Seth ended up in the leader's jersey at Elkhorn, his team's defense was, how should I say this, less than inspired. As a very large group rolled away with CMG very under-represented. Though HB also missed out big time. Bob's Bikes was the big winners out of the 25 man lead-group, though the Symmetrics kid won, and it's pretty safe to say that he was the strongest rider there.

*Tactical Note - When a break has more than 20 guys in it, or contains more than 20% of the number of riders in the field, it is in fact not a break. It is a split in the field. Large teams generally try and avoid splits in the field unless they've got A LOT of riders in it. Bob's had plenty of riders. Every other team should have chased like hell to shut down the move early.

PIR is really the only regular race now. And it is interesting watching how hard certain teams will bang their heads into the wall over and over again. Take last night:
    Strong break gets away.

    Countless unorganized chase groups form to no avail.

    Rubicon realizes they could use another guy in the break, launches some sharp, well coordinated attacks.

    Break gets close, Rubicon bridges up their strongest guy.

    Everyone else sits around saying "oh man, they were so close, we almost got 'em."

    Fresh Rubicon guy wins race.

So first of all, WE (meaning the field) did not (almost)catch them. Rubicon almost caught them, then they bridged up their strongest guy, once he was up there the break got a bunch more time. Coincidence? Probably not.

Finishing off a chase is really the most important part of the chase,anyone can start a chase, and most folks can get about half way. But finishing, now that's a real chase. And there was none of that. Rubicon wasn't trying to chase the break back, they were trying to bridge their guy up. And it worked, and he won, and that's how it should be. Smart moves and hard riding tend win bike races.

Wow, that turned into a long one.

Four more days until Damiano Cunego rides into Paris, after an inspirational display of perseverance and determination. Clearly displaying the virtues we look for in all of sport, and society.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Some predictions

Saturday. Georgia. Brasstown Bald. Trent Lowe will beat Levi.

Sunday. LBL. Though I stand by Cunego as the next great rider for tours and classics, watch out for Gesink. Rabo has been strong and the youngster has been up there at Amstel and Fleche. Dekker and Gesink will be a two-pronged devil's tongue set to demolish the Ardennes. Gesink the second best rider in the next couple of years.

(Then watch the younger Schleck kid throw a wrench in all of this.)

Just sayin.........

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Good Cake.

So, the annual PoC has generated plenty of discussion, I figured it may be time to roll out another post. There were plenty of convo starters during the race: guy hit by car, wreck in the final 5k, blatant disregard of the ol' yellow line rule, a superb solo victory. Seemed like a good day, and nobody ended up seriously hurt, which is a miracle.

Everyone seems to want to blame the course for a herky-jerky finish. The real problem seems to be that most teams in the Pro/1/2 fields in OBRA racing put more effort into making sure their socks match than into winning the race. If you show up to a race and have more than 5 riders wearing your kit, shouldn't your goal be to win?

It seems most P/1/2 riders are just trying to make the top-10, and spend the whole race looking for a wheel to tow them in. There's only so much room behind Doug, Evan, Donald or Jacob. They're all smart enough riders not to lead in the 10 dudes sitting directly behind them. That inevitably leads to a big pack, jammed up, wheels crossed, lookin' at each other's butts.

So how do you win? Attack! It won't be the first attack that gets the win, it probably won't be the 2nd, 3rd or 4th, but with aggressive teamwork,as break usually sorts itself out, and that break usually wins.

I know, this means that all four of your buddies probably won't make the top-20. A couple might even get dropped after giving a big effort. Teams can also help each other stay on after said efforts by controlling tempo if someone is in trouble.

At Piece of Cake, the winner launched his attack out of a small group that wouldn't work together. He had 3 teammates in the bunch(ahem). CMG chased most of the time with some help from the Lovers. NO OTHER TEAMS WOULD COMMIT ANY RIDERS TO BRING BACK A SOLO ATTACK ON A PERFECTLY FLAT COURSE! And it wasn't even windy! Then everyone sat around and waited for CMG to lead out the sprint. Jesus, they're strong, but they can't do everything.

Anyhoo, ya know that time about 2k out when CMG gave up the chase and the pace really slowed and everything bunched up? Well, that was your time to attack. Nobody did, you missed it. That attack would have strung out the field, opened the roads, probably prevented the egregious yellow line infractions and actually resembled a bike race. But f'ed up sprints are also part of the game, and f'ed up sprints we will have until somebody grows some and attacks early.

In other news:
*Yellow Lines - I've never been really good with rules, but the yellow line rule is a good one. If you break it you might die. If someone dies, we probably won't have races anymore. Bike racing is expensive and takes up a bunch of time, but I like it, and would like to keep doing it. Don't break the yellow line rule.

*Looking at crashes - I saw it mentioned somewhere that when the guy in the 1/2 field hit a car, the front of the field were dicks and just rode harder. Please keep doing this. Looking back at crashes and slowing down is only going to cause more crashes in front of the one that already happened. That would be stupid. The reason we have people trained in first-aid watching us is to help people when they need it. The rest of us should do our best to make sure we don't need that kind of help.

*Astana - I have banned Astana from my NCAA Finals party next Monday. Levi is too boring, Horner said he'd come, but wouldn't contribute to the potluck, and Contador doesn't speak English well enough to RSVP. Sorry, guys.

This week we have three days of attacking practice in a row. Maybe after that we'll teach 1/2's how to paceline.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

La Primavera!

Milano-San Remo is coming up on March 22. Any good cycling fan knows that it's the most exciting race of the year, at least until Lombardia rolls around. Why?

'Cuz you gotta take those switchbacks hot.........

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I wasn't at Cherry Pie, cuz I was taking these pictures.....
The reporters' favorite.

Gesink won stage 3.
Georgie hasn't been thrilled with his rides this week.
Paolo on the prowl.
He slipped back into the stripes as soon as he finished the prologue.
Jens Voigt and Fabian Cancellara congratulate JJ Haedo. Jens hollared out in his cartoon German accent "How deed yoo doo thaaaat!?"
Tommeke put the hammer down in Sacto.
If you're really fast, the Terminator puts your clothes on for you.
The Lion did roar in the prologue, only finished 14 seconds off the pace.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Check it suckaz!! It's a Y2k8 Season Preview. (Part 1 - OREGON ONLY!)

So, the 2008 race season will be here faster than we can say "not so hard, I'm just doing base miles", I'm sort of in the typing mood and I've resisted the overwhelming urge to pawn off all my bike stuff and buy season tickets for the Blazers. I guess we start things off with the much-anticipated end-all be-all season preview.

Right off the bat, the biggest Oregon related shake-up is happening over in the CMG/Alpine Mortgage Camp. These guys have been stockpiling so many big guns, it's a wonder that Hans Blix hasn't been sent over to investigate. Chris Hamilton is the most surprising name to offer the spearmint soldiers some help they don't really need. They've also rounded up some of the strongest young legs around, luring Jacob Rathe (ex-BBC) and Marcel DeLisser(did I spell that right?) from Kent Johnston's Fred Meyer team and Ian Boswell from Hagens-Berman. Oh yeah, and is Chris Sheppard going to be sporting the colors this spring, sheesh.

So the CMG squad would appear to be the Donald, Seth, Chris H, Chris S, Jacob, Marcel, Coker and Richard? Damn. Oh yeah, and Quinn Keough, who had a rippin' first season in the 1/2's. If his attack near the end of Stage 5 of the Cascade Classic (the race's hardest day) is any indication of things to come, 2008 will be a big year.

Apparently Steven Beardsley was told there was no room at the CMG Inn rather late in the team finding season. He was none too pleased, yet found a cozy home and new color scheme for his blog with............

The Gentle Lovers! Yay! Portland's best looking team will be straight up representing this year with a strong 1/2 squad. While Mark Blackwelder was flyin' solo last year, he finally managed to get Tony Kic (re)upgraded while adding Steven and Dan Watson, who raced for Hagens-Berman the past couple of years but didn't seem to show his face too much. I'm pretty sure there's a couple others who have been sandbagging racing the 3's for the past couple of years and are ready to upgrade.

Marcroft Cycles, Brian's eponymous bike company will be fielding a team this year. Brian's fielding a road team featuring himself, Mick Walsh, Damian Schmitt and Doug Wilmes on the road. With Kurt Haas rocking the SSMTB. And their kits look great.

Rubicon has lost some familiar faces to fairer fields, but will have plenty of horses come April. Only time will tell if they're able to pull off the killer teamwork that saw them win pretty much any local race they wanted. Brad Paine will be back killin' the sprints, and Logan will be doing the all-around tough guy thing (homie might look big, but he can get up a hill). Looks like they added Carson Miller as well.

Kirk's riding for VMG, who will go to a bunch of big races all over the place. Tuckerman signed with Jelly Belly, so at least he won't be here giving hell at every Tabor race.

Therapeutic Associates will field a similar team to last year, only faster.

I see plenty of Veloce kits around town, they'll be racin'.

Aside from Selker poppin up on Toyota's roster, the scene in Eugene remains the same. If Mark Collard is still in town, watch for a Paul's jersey neart the top of the 1/2 results. Midtown and Hutch's will try and keep Tuesday nights interesting.

New stage race - Ominously just titled Wiillamette on the OBRA schedule. Sal's doing it. He said the courses should be up soon. He won't send them to me early.

(oooh, ooh! Site just went up! First impressions: short prologue(!), race near Alsea (40-some miles seems kind of short), crit sounds like the old Celebration course(!), Wolf Creek queen stage(!!!) Not a lot of racing for a four day event, but creative courses and lack of a long tt(!!!!) should make this a fun one.)

Everyone's discussed 'Hood to death. The stages in Portland will be sweet.

Elkhorn has the old (and much better) first stage back.

There's some new crits and road races on the schedule, more on that as events develop.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Kickin' off the 8-ball!

Once again, the year has ticked over. The sport in which participants actually carry their bikes, through the mud no less, has moved back to the dark heart of Europe (where it belongs). Us road racers are now engaging in our true favorite pastime: waiting for a break in the goddamn rain so we can go out and ride for three hours. Coaches call this "base miles".

VeloNews has published their definitive list of domestic pro teams and their rosters.

Aaron Tuckerman is back at the bottom of the world and showing off his shiny new Jelly Belly kit.

The biggest surprise on the VeloNews list is the addition of Eugene's own Kevin Selker to the Toyota roster. Kevin won the State Champ RR in 2003, when he was barely old enough to vote, and has recently been tearing it up on the track at U of Colorado in Boulder. I hadn't seen too many road results out of him lately, but the Toyota boys must want to lock up some good young talent.

Omer Kem and Morgan Schmitt are still holding it down at Bissell. Aaron Olson has officially joined their party.

Chad Hartley and Evan Elken are reunited on the other bean team at Jittery Joe's.

And finally, Doug Ollerenshaw will have some stories to tell at the end of this season. An outspoken owner and some teammates with, shall we say, dubious records will keep his season very interesting. Let's hope for his sake the hype dies down and the Rock Racing crew is making the right kind of headlines when the rubber hits the road.

Stay Dry.