The first order of business for this evening is to reveal the results from my “Making a Machery” competition. Last time I posted, I set up a race between Paul Mach (Bissell), Max Jenkins (United Health Care), Cody Tapley (Whole Athlete) and Pat Briggs (Yahoo?) to see who could receive the most “likes” within a 48 hour period. None of these riders agreed to compete, but that’s the beauty of the internet.
Now, I purposely hid the results so that no one would get his feelings hurt, and I’ll maintain that veil of secrecy regarding the least-liked individuals. I will, however, reveal the winner.
(Photo credit: Steven Woo)
Progger Paul Mach — pictured above, pre-pro — managed to steal the victory, earning 39% of the total votes after 48 hours. His victory salute is almost as bad as mine.
Given that I have nothing better to do than monitor internet polls, I can tell you that Pat Briggs had pulled out to an early lead at 24 hours; however, like most old masters racers, he couldn’t maintain the pace and was subsequently dropped in the end.
Now, Mach was offering a prize (bribe) to get people to “like” his Facebook page, and I feel as though I should offer a prize as well.
Therefore, I’ve decided — after the fact — that the winner of my competition will receive a signed Rand Miller Authentic Trading Card and the opportunity to go on an Urban Training Ride through the streets of historic San Francsico with anti-professional cyclist and semi-pro blogger Rand Miller (me).
I can’t wait for Paul to redeem his prize. I’m thinking hill repeats…down Lombard Street.
The second order of business this evening is to briefly discuss yesterday’s Land Park Criterium. In spite of the promises of biblical rain by that lying bastard known as the weatherman, by the time the P/1/2 race began it was sunny and the roads were effectively dry. I had been looking forward to another wet, dangerous, slippery race and was therefore somewhat disgruntled by the appearance of the beautiful weather; I guess you could say it was an anti-climatic experience.
To make matters worse, I ended up drawing the short straw and my two teammates in the race — Joel Robertson and John Wilk — ended up in a nine-man breakaway while I was left behind in the pack to keep things under control.
(Photo Credit: Jim Elder)
I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to Jesse Moore (Cal Giant), who’s dragging the field around in the preceding photograph. Jesse, who runs his own coaching business, recently subscribed to my training plan, according to Twitterbook.
Unfortunately, Moore’s team recently decided he was still a better choice for the upcoming Redlands NRC stage race than Brandon Trafton (I’m making that up, I have no idea which poor Cal Giant eunuch was cut from the Redlands team), and thus Jesse spent the race exerting as much energy as possible at the wrong times in the name of “training.”
Now, with a nine-man break up the road containing two of my teammates, I had written off any shot at a good placing in the race and was content to talk smack to the poor souls in the field who had missed the move. However, thanks primarily to Jesse’s need for some last-minute Redlands preparation, and with help from a few other guys, the breakaway was caught with two laps remaining.
Well…not exactly. The break was caught with the exception of my teammate John Wilk, who had careened out of the the wreckage of the doomed breakaway like the Millenium Falcon out of the exploding second Death Star.
(Photo Credit: Jim Elder)
And thus, my job became twofold and very sensitive: I had to subtly slow the race if at all possible — without blatantly pissing everyone off — while simultaneously positioning myself to go for the win if John came back.
There’s really not much to be done regarding the first part besides slotting in behind guys who are motivated to chase and hoping they become demoralized by my presence. However, on the final lap I was able to perform both duties at once. After being swarmed in the chicane section of the course and losing any semblance of positioning, I was forced to sprint from about 15th wheel to the very front so that I could go through the final corner first. This enabled me to slow the race down through the corner and keep it slow for just a few seconds coming out — just enough time to give John and his rather Cancellara-esque legs the victory.
It was an impressive ride by John, and no amount of team dynamics can detract from the fact that he literally rode away from the field on raw power alone.
I was passed by Bryan Larsen (Road Bike 4 U) in the final meters of the bunch sprint, slotting me into third place — damn it, I really need to do some squats or something. Meanwhile, Joel made sure to be seen celebrating in the background, adding some flair to the team’s victory.
Now, I still have no idea how a break of nine guys with good team representation gets caught like that, but bike racing never ceases to amaze me. Nevertheless, the break’s demise meant a win for my teammate, another third place finish for me — my fourth this season — and a little bit of cash in my pocket.
Special thanks goes out to John for doing the hard part: winning.