Archive for July, 2009

Kron takes 2nd at Superweek!

July 28, 2009

 

Team Mack’s Robert Kron took second overall at Superweek in the 40+, missing out on the top spot by only one point! Way to go Robert! I wish I could have been there! Looks like Robert had great support from Uncle Gary, John Fleckenstein, Jeff Williams, and several other Mackers across the week of hard racing.

Looks like the honeymoon, marriage, and divorce between Lance and Alberto is heading for new lows. That should be good for pro racing.

In local news, a group did not take the illegal cut through Hutchinson Creek the other day. No reports of gunfire….

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Superweek!!! Kron leads at the Half….

July 24, 2009

Ah Superweek….Much better than the tour…After five stages, Nice Guy and Team Mack Hard Man Robert Kron leads the 40+ overall! Someday, I’m going to Superweek…Probably when I’m 50+ at this rate….

Contador seems to have locked up the Tour, barring disqualification. My money for the best performace is on Thor Hushovd! Wow! Cavendish is clearly the fastest guy around, if he has a train to deliver him to the line (which he does). But, Thor is the God of Thunder. In the history of the points jersey, we’ve never seen a sprinter launch over two cat-1 climbs to take a couple of “on the road” bonus points, until now. Incredible.

I was bummed to miss Soulard, a bunch of Carbondalians went, and had lots of fun. Molteni, Chief, Dave, Gary, Sebastian, it looked like a party. Results seem mixed up, since Darrell won the 50+, and he ain’t. Still, if he was scored above Evan Wykes, he must have been up there….

Poppin’ into Champaign!

July 15, 2009
Blue Sky training camp pays off!

Blue Sky training camp pays off!

Big congratulations and thank you to Mark Schwartzendruber and his Team Verizon/Scarletfire for putting on a fabulous, classy race in Champaign, Ill. Wow. I will be putting in to do this race on both days next year. It was flawless, except for the rain on Saturday (which I missed!), which can’t be helped. Many a racer DNS’d the masters race, and it was slick, slick, by all accounts. Mark Tank and Jeff Williams were still shaking heads about it when I pulled into the parking lot on Sunday. Of course, Uncle Gary did just fine. Though there seems to be some results problems on that race. Dave Neis was banging pavement in the 3’s, and had to use his Jedi mind tricks to avoid catastrophe. Dave finished 14th on both days. In the Photo stolen from the Champaign newspaper, you can see Justin riding off in the distance….Justin had an AWESOME event, and finished in the top ten both days. Gina Champion was also on the podium, in strong 3-4 competition.

Dave also managed to be quoted extensively in the Daily Illini, to hit on Druber’s significant other Kathy at a bar on Saturday, and to have Druber steal his podium girl. In the latter event, Dave had pretty much convinced this Podium Girl that she should go behind a tree with him, and then Druber drove by in the pace car and did the “kill” sign. Next thing you know, the Podium Girl is jumping in the Volvo with Druber….Seriously, though, Dave did some great racing against serious competition.  I was watching the 3’s with Dave Stone (awesome guy), and he said the Verizon kid who won the 3’s has won every race up north for a while. He’s only 18…Good to see Young Alex Voitik in the mix! Alex scored top 20s both days in the 1-2’s, not bad at all!

Steve Driscoll was in the hunt in the 3’s on his new Stainless Steel Waterford! Very cool looking bike!!! I’ll link this up soon. Steve has a full report on his first half dozen races on his blog. And, it was great to see Jaime Lopez! I was bummin’ on missing Peoria because I always see Jaime there (he saved my ass one year when I flatted my car on the way up). 

Druber didn’t just put on an event, he put on a race. Wow. The quality of the masters field was comparable to what you see at an NRC event, only a bit smaller. Ouch. It seems Druber was able to coax a good number of old buddies to come up from all over the place, many of them heading for Superweek (which hasn’t started its 40+ or 50+ races yet).  The other Stone was calling the race and he called up 8 guys who were current or former national champions…leaving a few others from that category in the field. It was an extremely fast bunch, and the race went from the gun. Gary and Robert Kron made it into the lead break, and a lot of strong guys didn’t. Steve Hall led a group of us on, and we kept a respectable pace and gave a companion doing a lot of pulls a Verizon prime (as Steve wisely suggested). Then, with a few minutes to go on time, we got caught by the break and things got lively. After a few more hot laps, the break was getting testy, and a Nashville guy launched a really strong break and got a huge gap. Uncle Gary motivated us to the front, and Mark, Frank, Steve, Mike Oz, and I chased him down. I wish I had enough to give more lead in the final laps, but it was way too fast for me. It was definitely the fastest race I’ve done in a long time. Great job by Robert and Uncle Gary to finish 5th and 11th (2nd in 50+).

Worst Tour Coverage, Ever

July 8, 2009
What, you wanted to see Voeckler win?

What, you wanted to see Voeckler win?

Versus coverage of the Tour de France is by far the worst coverage in history. Today, French hero Thomas Voeckler put in a hellish attack out of the breakaway group. He shattered Ignatiev, who I thought was gonna win the group, and soloed to victory. But, 100 meters from the line, Versus cuts to a Garlique commercial. We miss the win, and the important clean up sprint for green jersey points.  I’m only suprised that they didn’t cut to yet another stupid Lance Armstrong biopic. Paul and Phil haven’t been following stuff much this year, so they don’t even know who the strong riders are, and the crew of  idiot Americans is even worse. I tried to get the Australian and British broadcasts, but they’re blocked. Great. I’m sure I can find something in Dutch…It’ll make more sense.

State Champs, Webster, & Louisville Fiascos

July 4, 2009
Thanks to Don Lowe for the pic!

Thanks to Don Lowe for the pic!

What a week!! First, a big congratulations to Gina Champion, Mike Ozment, and Uncle Gary for bringing back wins at the Illinois State Criterium Championships! Robert Kron narrowly missed the win, taking second in the 40+, and we had a strong crew in lots of the races. I was bummed to miss the event.

Steve Hall and I were both waylaid by family commitments, and had to take the shorter trip to Webster Groves, where Steve was narrowly nipped out of the 50+ win. I wasn’t feeling so hot, and tooled in with the pack. Gary Meredith made the trip up with me, but didn’t get a free lap on a mechanical, which wasn’t cool. Later, Chief and Dave Neis showed to represent So. Ill. Dave scored 10th in the 3’s, and Chief ate oysters.

I’ve been suffering from some bug combo for a while, but I felt a little better Monday morning, so I went ahead and did the out and back to Louisville on Tuesday for the Masters National Championship “Road Race”. It was really a mostly downhill crit on an extremely technical course. Over 100 people started in the 40-44 race, and it was not my type of race. I should have driven up the night before, and should have brought a trainer to warm up–there was no place you could ride in the area. It was the park, which was occupied to capacity by the race, and then busy neighborhoods all around. To make matters worse, there was a scrum for the real starting line after callout, and I wound up behind a guy who was trying to put on his helmet–which put me in the back row for the start. Not that it mattered much.

On the line, there was the usual banter, mostly about pedophilia and beastiality. But, some of this was prescient. Mike McShane from Calistoga was being ignored by the race official who was doing call off. He yelled at the woman several times and asked if he was listed, and she wouldn’t even look at him. I said “gee, looks like maybe it doesn’t pay to be on the home team, eh?” He said, “yeah. We have issues. She put my 9 year old daughter in a stranger’s pick-up truck in rural Kentucky when they took the juniors off course at a race. I must have missed that part of the release form where it says that you agree to have your kid raped by hillbillies.”  So, confidence in the race officials was quite high, especially for the home team.

True to form, the lap counter board was screwed up (I could tell that, I was off the back and had nothing to do but count laps). Then, the lead moto  took a couple of guys who were 75 meters from winning the race, including Columbia Mo’s Dave Henderson, around for an extra tour of the course. Then, they decided to ignore the officials’ error and place the winners where they stood in the pack after doing an extra lap. I’m sure glad I was off the back. Hell, I could have won the race. I should have just sprinted up from the feed zone at the appropriate moment. I probably would have been scored. But, then I would have had to hang around longer.

It was great to see Kurt Russell on the sidelines after my ignominious exit. He was up next for the 45+ and trying to feed Kurt Fletcher. We learned this weekend that white is in. I stood there with Kurt R for three laps, and I only caught a glimpse of Kurt F once—and Kurt R. didn’t see him at all. It was a  sea of studly looking old guys in white with a hint of blue and grey. Kurt F was in the hunt all the way until the last lap, when the final selection was made among about 8 guys.

Robo was in the mix in the 45+, and in the TT. He finished in 46th in the RR, and an excecptional 17th in the TT. Way to go Robo!!!