Monthly Archives: August 2013

USAC is Out of Touch on a Few Things

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I wrote a post a few months ago about the USAC and the UCI Rule 1.2.019. Under the rule, all riders are subject to suspension if they are found to have competed in a non-UCI-sanctioned event. The rule is completely ludicrous and shouldn’t apply to races in the United States.

The UCI and USAC postponed enforcement of the rule for one year, hoping, I think, that everyone would just forget about the whole thing and it would just slide into enforcement without a challenge. That isn’t going to happen. Today there was an article at Velonews saying that Scott Tedro, promoter of the US Cup mountain bike series announced that they are not sanctioning any of their events through USAC starting immediately.

That is sort of depressing because I heard a podcast late last fall with Scott and he said that he was optimistic that this would all be worked out. I guess it went south and that is the reason for the un-sanctioning of the races.

What the UCI and USAC need to realize that many rules that apply to European racing won’t really work here in the US or probably in many other places in the world. The US is huge in geography. And it has a huge number of people racing bicycles. More people racing bicycles in the US don’t have licenses than people that do. Maybe this is a power play to get everyone on the same page, but the problem is that it is going to back fire. For sure.

I don’t think that the US Cup MTB series is going to be the one exception here. Obviously, the whole state of Oregon will be off limits to any USAC licensed riders, such they have their own association and have no intention of getting involved any more than they are with USAC.

All the MTB races such as Chequemagon, which has 3000 riders are not USAC sanctioned. I very much doubt that USAC can come up with a big enough enticement to get them to join the “bicycle racing community”. I wonder how many out of the 3000 registered riders have USAC licenses. I’d bet less than 10%. If those 300 riders didn’t race, they could fill their slots in a minute with 300 unlicensed riders. It won’t hurt them a bit.

We, the United States, have more licensed riders than any other country in the world. I made that up, but I’m pretty sure it is true. I’m not sure what the UCI would do if USAC just chose not to enforce the rule. It’s not like they could make it so USAC isn’t the sanctioning body of the sport here in the US. Someone at USAC needs to tell the UCI that this rule isn’t going to work here. If they don’t, then there is going to be some crazy happenings early next season. I think there are quite a few riders willing to make a bold statement and challenge this rule. I know I would.

One big happy cycling family.

One big happy cycling family.

Rider Transfer Time

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

It is August 1st and riders and teams can announce their intentions for 2014. It seems like there is going to be a ton of action this season. The Colombian guys leaving Sky for Omega. That doesn’t surprise me the least.

What does surprise me is that Wiggins and Froome are still on the same team. I read in an article that Bradley hadn’t even spoken to Chris Froome since he won the Tour this year. Those guys must not like each other very much. Bradley is pretty much on a different level this year since last year. Maybe too much partying over the winter. Chris must have kept his nose to the grindstone.

Astana is holding up to their team director’s (Vino) standards by signing Franco Pellizotti for 2014. Astana is a member of Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC) and it is against the MPCC’s rules to hire a rider coming off a suspension like Franco’s. I’m sure that Roger Legeay, MPCC fearless leader, is going to put his foot down and tell them that they can’t do it. I’d bet that Astana doesn’t give a shit. They knew the rules and signed him anyway.

Mark Renshaw is back with Mark Cavendish again for 2014. That should help out Cavendish as he now has Alessandro Petacchi already to help him out as a lead-out man. It is hard to believe that Asessandro is still racing. He seems to skirt virtually every doping scandal out there.

Anyway, I’m sure there are going to be lots more news. It should be interesting.

Intimidation in Cycling

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I didn’t watch the whole stage of the Tour of Poland yesterday, but I guess there was an circumstance where a Colombian rider made the initial move and the “Pro” teams and riders didn’t think that was good, so they used intimidation to drive the Columbian out of the break.

What I think is strange about the whole deal is that, here at Cyclingnews.com, it says that Darwin Atapuma, the Colombian rider, was pressured by the sport directors from the Professional teams and then eventually the other riders.

Man, that is a weird deal, having sport directors come up in the cars and verbally pressure a competitor from another team out of a break. Another strange thing about it is that Atapuma wasn’t really that close on GC, over 5 minutes back. If the reason that they didn’t want him in the break was that he was the highest GC riders, then that is just too bad. Someone has to have the lowest time out of 9 riders.

Intimidation does go into play in the sport of cycling. In lots of different ways. There is a ton of verbal banter between riders for various reasons. Lots of talk and interchanges until, hopefully, everyone is on the same page somewhat. But for me, this was over those boundaries. Now that the Colombian team manager has went public, to the media, complaining about the way his rider was pressured, I doubt he made any friends of the other team directors.

The intimidation was on an abusive scale. It was probably a combination of the Colombian rider just riding on a Colombian team instead of a “Professional” team. I very much doubt that whoever was doing the intimidating would have drove up to Rigoberto Urán, a Colombian that rides for Team Sky, and told Rigoberto to get out of the break.

From the article, it sounds like there was more than one director this. The officials should have put a stop to it. I’m pretty sure that in Poland that they aren’t using radios, so of course the “Professional” team managers are constantly driving up to the front to bark orders. But, they should be talking only to their guys and not to other riders in the group. That isn’t what the rule is for.

I really don’t like the whole deal of team cars in the race. If I had it my way, there would only be neutral support behind a bike race. Neutral wheels and neutral feeding. Actually I wouldn’t even have neutral feeding. Feeding out of cars is for sissy’s and it is actually pretty dangerous for the cars to be passing the field constantly to go up to the breaks. I think that feed zones are a important aspect of a bike race. Planning nutrition and feeding before the race is part of the tactics of the day.

That being said, there are cars in the race, with a bunch of wanta-be bike racers driving them. Puppet masters that want to dictate their riders tactics. But, they’re aren’t there to tell other riders in the race what they should be doing. That should between the riders themselves. I think it is shameful (Colombian manager’s word) for this to go on and someone should have been fined. It is not something that the sport should condone.

This just in. Isn’t it appropriate that Darwin won the stage today in Poland. I very much doubt it was a gift, but you never know.

Maybe the other team directors thought that Darwin had already received enough accolades because he had finished 2nd in stage 1 and didn't deserve another shot at the podium.

Maybe the other team directors thought that Darwin had already received enough accolades because he had finished 2nd in stage 1 and didn’t deserve another shot at the podium.

Long Day Ahead – East Village Criterium

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Just decided spur of the moment and am driving up to Des Moines Iowa this morning for the Iowa State Criterium Championships this afternoon. The race is the East Village Criterium, which is held in front of the Iowa State Capitol. It’s a little less than 300 miles up to Des Moines, so it is gong to be a long day. We’re leaving at 7:45 and probably won’t get back until 1 am Sunday morning.

I’ve done the race the last couple years. I’ve never won, think I was 3rd a couple years ago. The course is held on a hill. It is pretty hard considering how quickly the hill comes around. I’m thinking of doing the master’s race at 1 and then the 1/2 race at 6. I don’t race many master’s races, but I am super short of races and need as much intensity as I can find.

My only problem is my ribs have been on a downward slope all week. Yesterday riding, they were the worst they have been since I screwed them up on Monday. Then last night was the worst nights sleep I’ve had since shoulder surgery. That isn’t a good sign. I remember, the course was pretty smooth, so the jarring hopefully won’t be an issue. Normally, after a race starts, all those pains just disappear because of all the other sensations. Hopefully that will be the case today. It is supposed to be raining late morning, towards noon. I’m not big on racing in the rain with the ribs and shoulder, but we’ll see.

This is my friend Karl from Louisville.  I rode a bunch with him up in Cable and he was telling me about a trip to Tsali in August.  Got this photo today.  Pretty cool way to head to off on a MTB trip.

This is my friend Karl from Louisville. I rode a bunch with him up in Cable and he was telling me about a trip to Tsali in August. Got this photo today. Pretty cool way to head to off on a MTB trip.

Stacie, Karl's wife sent me some more tools to complement my doctor's bag.

Stacie, Karl’s wife sent me some more tools to complement my doctor’s bag.

20130803-101640.jpgPersonalized.

Yesterday I was trying to take it easy, but on the way home it got into a half-wheel competion.  I need to do a whole post on the half-wheeling deal.

Yesterday I was trying to take it easy, but on the way home it got into a half-wheel competion. I need to do a whole post on the half-wheeling deal.

The Dawn commercials on TV are working.  I love them.  People washing oil off birds and other animals, then releasing them.

The Dawn commercials on TV are working. I love them. People washing oil off birds and other animals, then releasing them.

I didn't realize that they made so many different colors of Dawn.  Dawn is by far the best soap to use washing bikes.  I've used it for decades.

I didn’t realize that they made so many different colors of Dawn. Dawn is by far the best soap to use washing bikes. I’ve used it for decades.

Lead, a precious metal?

Lead, a precious metal?

East Village Criterium Report

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Bike racing is a funny thing. You do all this preparation for a competition and then when it is over, the competition itself might not be the most memorable part of the trip.

It takes a ton of preparation and time to get to a bike race. Even just a one day criterium. The training is just one thing, but if you add in all the extra time to work on your bike, glue tires, etc. it is amazing how much time it takes. Race day takes more than a day sometimes, as yesterday did.

I’ve never regretted going to a bike race. It is always way more interesting than what I would have been doing. I guess when that is not the case then I should probably be doing “what I would have been doing”.

Leaving early for a race is never easy until you get a couple hours down the road. After you get 100 miles or so away, then it seems that the early departure time wasn’t so bad. Bill and I were going to race twice, so we needed to stop on the way up to get some food. I’m not sure what the deal was, but there were a ton of people traveling on I-35. We exited 3 times and stopped at McDonalds, only to walk out after seeing dozens of people waiting in line.

I sort of feel like a cherry picker riding a masters race. It really doesn’t give me much satisfaction. It doesn’t matter if it is a local criterium or the World Championships. I hardly ever do masters races because of that. I do race them if I feel under raced and that it will add to my future form. It is strange, but many times the master’s race is harder than the Pro 1/2. That was the case in Des Moines. It was probably me, I wasn’t warmed up and firing on all cylinders. I did have a faster average speed and higher wattage output for the 30 minute masters race, so maybe it was just harder.

I got into an early move, along with Bill and just tried to keep it going. It finally got down to 4 of us, then 3 at the end. I was trying to help Bill at the end, but the best he was going to get was 3rd. I won the race without doing too much damage. At least I didn’t think I did any damage, but when I sat for a few minutes, my lungs were mildly toast.

We had 4 1/2 hours until the 1/2 race. So we sat around for an hour and then went for an hour ride. We found a bike path along the river and road. It was the best part of the day for me. I really liked just riding up the bike path, through the woods, watching what “regular” people were doing on their Saturday. I enjoyed doing what they were doing too, also knowing that I was going to get to go back to the Capitol and race again. I got the best of both worlds.

The Pro 1/2 race went just alright. My chest isn’t that great. If it doesn’t get better by Monday, then I’m going to go and get it looked at. I’ve hurt ribs a few times, but this is different.

The course is very hard. It is pretty much just up a hill and down a hill. I need the intensity, but was kind of lagging. I did feel like I was climbing okay, but it always took me about 1/2 way up the climb to get up to speed.

I only made a few mistakes. I bridged up to a few moves that I thought were dangerous, but ultimately I got into one move too early. That is a classic mistake. I hate it when I am the reason that a break succeeds. You never want to be that guy or in that move. But, you never know you’re in that move until after.

So two guys, Lee Bumgarner and Spencer Oswald took off and then Matias Perret made an awesome effort to bridge to them. And it was over. The 15 or so guys left in the field were pretty much done. I wasn’t really done, but there wasn’t anything to do.

Skip to the end. The 3 guys went around and lapped us on the short circuit. They came into the field with 3 laps to go. That should have taken the lap cards to 2 to go. We rode one lap and expecting to see that last lap and get the bell we saw 2 to go and the announcer saying that the break was on the last lap and the field had two to go. No bell.

So there was a lot of confusion in the field. I figured that the rule that everyone finishing on the same lap would apply, so decided to sprint the first time too, along with about 1/2 the field. I finished 2nd in the field, but the announcer said to do another lap. So, we rode another lap and sprinted again. I kind of screwed up the sprint, started too far back and finished 4th the 2nd time. So I figured that I either finished 5th or 7th. I went over to look at the results and I was listed as 8th. I didn’t really care. It was all the same to me.

I did feel badly for the guy that won the first sprint. He didn’t sprint the 2nd time and didn’t get any $$$. He should have finished 4th.

I rarely run into this situation much anymore. I was there to race, not to win prize money. That is usually the case, but here my results didn’t matter. Lee Bumgarner won again. I think he has won around 16 races this season. Pretty stellar. I won of loved to be in the break, but missed it. Lee goes downhill way better than me. I was climbing good enough, but that wasn’t good enough. My ribs felt much worse than I had anticipated, but my form was better. That is always nice.

eastvillage copy I found this photo from Sarah Russell on Facebook. Though it was pretty good.

Bill checking out the women's race.  Catherine finished 6th.  She hasn't raced in a month and wasn't having her best day.  The course wasn't kind for that.

Bill checking out the women’s race. Catherine finished 6th. She hasn’t raced in a month and wasn’t having her best day. The course wasn’t kind for that.

Riding through downtown Des Moines was really the highlight of the day.

Riding through downtown Des Moines was really the highlight of the day.

There was a Michael Fatka sighting.  I guess it is annual.  We actually stayed and ate pizza at Felix and Oscars after the race.

There was a Michael Fatka sighting. I guess it is annual. We actually stayed and ate pizza at Felix and Oscars after the race.

"Official" results.

“Official” results.

Radar now in Eastern Kansas.

Radar now in Eastern Kansas.