Joe Martin NRC Preview Rant

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Joe Martin Stage Race is in a couple days. I haven’t been looking forward to it much because I’ve been feeling so crummy. But, even if I was riding super good, it’s hard to look forward to a race that has all the best Pro Teams there with twice as many riders as the rest of the field. With Toyota and Healthnet and others, bringing 10 guys, it turns the race into a training weekend for guys like me. Actually, it turns the race into a training ride for virtually the whole field, even the race eventual race winner. Most likely the race will be won by whoever wins the 2.5 mile uphill TT. But, last year, Healthnet kept the race together for field sprints in both road races and the criterium, so Gord won it on time bonuses. Two hard road races and a super technical criterium stage race won on time bonuses. Fun.

It is a shame that the people at USAC can’t address the problem and restrict Teams from only being able to enter 6 riders in each NRC race. It would help encourage offensive racing and help alleviate the huge difference between the “PRO” teams with big budgets and the local teams.

I, as a rider, would personally hate going to a race with 9 teammates racing. It would be embarrassing if we lost and very unrewarding when we won. So, at least two or three PRO teams racing Joe Martin are going to be embarrassed.

Tri Peaks, the next weekend is even worse. Healthnet has brought 14 or so there the last two years. Sorry for being so negative, but when it’s in you own backyard, it seems more important. But, like I said before, should make for some good expensive training.