Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cousin Adam, Road Warrior

Mike did the handicap race at BHP last night. He finished 9th. Not bad. Cousin Adam raced the Ass. Park Crit today. He finished second. So while we conceded 13 points yesterday, we got back all of that and more thanks to Cousin Adam's 22 point night. Right on.

RRRebound

It was a sprinters stage today. But most of the sprinters have gone home. So the stage was all set for a breakaway. And a breakaway is what we got. Scarponi wins it ahead of Cardenas and Pate. No change on the GC. Pez will be happy to tell you more. Tomorrow could be exciting though. They finish by climbing an old volcano. The Killer is running out of chances.

Highlights:



Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, it was a good day for the wildcards. Especially if their names were Pate and Visconti (8th today). Amazingly, three teams chose those two as their wildcards: Chris O, Bill, and Mike. They all had very good days. But KK had a better day, thanks to Scarponi and McCartney. He grabs 220 points and another stage win. Bill had 175 points for second place, while Chris O and Mike tied for third with 165. In the overall race, Mike has reclaimed the lead. I kind of doubt he will give it up. That would make it two consecutive FGBC Cycling Pools for Mike. But I suppose the fat lady hasn't sung yet, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. My team is now in second place, 100 points back. And Chris A is third, 147 points off the pace. KK has reversed a four day trend of steady decline. He is back up to fifth place, and is less than 100 points from a podium spot. Not a bad day for RRR.

For those of you who will not be at the spring ride, I apologize in advance for leaving you hanging just as we're nearing the end. Feel free to keep score at home. Rules and points system here. Teams here. If you think you have it bad, though, just think about those of us out at Falcon Lake. We will be hard pressed to find out anything. Maybe Mike can phone in the scores to either KK or the Impaler. That would be nice. It's the least you could do in return of all of us letting you win again. Check back Sunday evening for the official wrap-up.


Stage 18 Results:

Kevin K 220
Bill A 175
Chris O 165
Mike G 165
Jonah H 150
David S 125
Mark S 125
Chris D 100
Naomi H 100
Rachel H 90
Donna H 70
Andy L 65
Craig P 60
Adam B 60
Paddy H 30
Chris H 25
Brian S 10
Brad E 0
Chris A 0
Dallas S 0
Dan L 0
Greg W 0
Hal L 0
Ian H 0
John W 0
Jonny B 0
Jonny G 0
Matt H 0
Miriam H 0
Paul V 0
Vic P 0
Charlene 0
LeAnn F 0


Overall Standings:

Mike G 3190
Chris H 3090
Chris A 3043
Dan L 3015
Kevin K 2954
Greg W 2848
Ian H 2801
David S 2652
Brad E 2608
Andy L 2596
Mark S 2581
Paul V 2549
Dallas S 2532
Bill A 2507
Naomi H 2476
Hal L 2436
Rachel H 2156
Charlene G 2145
Jonah H 2138
Donna H 2119
LeAnn F 2104
Brian S 2007
Chris O 1998
Matt H 1855
Miriam H 1829
Paddy H 1820
John W 1817
Vic P 1798
Chris D 1776
Craig P 1623
Adam B 1621
Jonny B 1608
Jonny G 1568

Thursday Anticipation

There is only one thing to focus on this week. The dorks are beginning to converge. We're down to counting just hours now.


9:30 am at my place. Everything else you need to know can be found below. Scroll down.

Now if only I could find my tent. Found.

Looks like Johnny S may get his tarp show afterall:

ingolf and eaglehead

After many hours, I have learned much. First the goal was to get the Eaglehead trail info that the Gord's folks posted onto my GPS. Next, how to share the two trails with you. This is still a bit rough... but it'll do for now. Our intrepid ride director is hoping we can find a way from the Ingolf loop on the left to the Eaglehead Trail. Good times ahead. Click on the view larger map link under the map to see both trails.


View Larger Map

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

If you say Ferris Bueller, you lose a testicle

That's what she said. She, in this case, being Jeanie Bueller aka Jennifer Grey aka Franco Pellizotti, though others prefer to call him Il Delfino (the Dolphin?). No matter what you call him, you can now call him a stage winner of the 2009 Giro d'Italia. Alas, there was no magic today from little Carlos Sastre in his classy FGBC colours. Instead it was Pellizotti who seemed to defy gravity as he flew up the mountain. He finished 42 seconds ahead of Garzelli and 43 ahead of Di Luca to take the win atop the Blockhaus. Menchov was another 5 seconds back. Pellizotti also knocked Sastre off the podium. He now sits in third place overall, while Sastre has fallen to fifth. Basso has moved up to fourth. But none of those guys look to have a realistic shot at the overall victory. It is now very clearly a two-man battle. With his 5 seconds and the extra bonus seconds for finishing third, Di Luca moves within 26 seconds of Menchov. And with the ITT on the final day tipping the balance in favour of Menchov, Di Luca will have to get all of that back and more if he wants to win this thing. Friday's climb up Mount Vesuvius will provide one opportunity. But Saturday's stage finishes with another Classics-style climb of the sort that favours the Killer. You can bet he will continue to attack all the way to the bitter end. It makes for some exciting racing. As always, see Pez for more.

Highlights:




Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, we have plenty of drama of our own. Chris A pulled off a big stage win today with 320 points. Prince Dan was second with 300 points, while El Presidente grabbed the final podium step with a 285 point showing. More importantly, The overall race has all of a sudden become very close. While I am still hanging onto a slim lead, it looks like that will come to an end soon. Chris A is now just 22 points back and looking like he's ready to pounce. Mike is only 40 points behind. And should those two falter, Prince Dan is right there as well. He is only 50 points from the lead. Meanwhile, it also looks like we will be treated to a thrilling battle for the lanterne rouge. FGBC'ers Adam, Craig, and Jonny G are separated within a mere 7 points of each other in the race for last place. In both races, it will almost certainly come down to the final bonus points. This new approach to picking teams seems to be working nicely. We will stick with it for the 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool.

Stage 17 Results:

Chris A 320
Dan L 300
David S 285
Mike G 250
Ian H 230
Rachel H 210
Mark S 205
Paul V 205
Brad E 190
Greg W 180
Andy L 175
Bill A 145
Chris H 145
Hal L 145
Kevin K 135
Charlene 135
Dallas S 125
Naomi H 125
Miriam H 115
Vic P 115
LeAnn F 115
Donna H 110
Brian S 100
John W 80
Paddy H 70
Chris D 60
Chris O 50
Jonah H 50
Jonny G 50
Matt H 50
Craig P 0
Jonny B 0
Adam B 0


Overall Standings:

Chris H 3065
Chris A 3043
Mike G 3025
Dan L 3015
Greg W 2848
Ian H 2801
Kevin K 2734
Brad E 2608
Paul V 2549
Dallas S 2532
Andy L 2531
David S 2527
Mark S 2456
Hal L 2436
Naomi H 2376
Bill A 2332
Charlene G 2145
LeAnn F 2104
Rachel H 2066
Donna H 2049
Brian S 1997
Jonah H 1988
Matt H 1855
Chris O 1833
Miriam H 1829
John W 1817
Vic P 1798
Paddy H 1790
Chris D 1676
Jonny B 1608
Jonny G 1568
Craig P 1563
Adam B 1561

TNR Report

Not so much a ride as a mission: to find a better grass track venue. But one that is still in the general vicinity of the Belgian Club for the post race festivities. Gianni, the Grass Track Czar, had identified three potential sites. But upon closer inspection, all three were deemed unsatisfactory. One was too short. Another had too much grass. And the third was too stinky. Colin suggested a fourth possibility which I can only recall as the school Luc used to attend. It rolled well. It didn't reek of manure. And after Bill used his superior surveying skills to do a quick measurement, it was deemed long enough. The only question is, where would one pee? The next Grass Track Race is on June 19. Stay tuned to see where it will take place. Maybe we should give this new venue a test run on a future Tuesday.

Good times, as always, at the clubhouse, where Bill noted that the tunes were dialed in to perfection last night. The Who, Queen, the Allmans, Skynyrd, and more. Someone stole our table though.

The last few Spring Ride details were nailed down:

1) The caravan will depart from my place at 9:30 am. Or as close to that as the President is able to manage.

2) The annual Spring Ride Dogfest will take place on Saturday night. Remember that the Secretary no longer coordinates the dog purchase. So you are on your own for dogs and buns. If you don't like dogs, Aiden is coordinating a parallel roasted avocado fest for the vegetarian crowd.

3) We will ride at Falcon on Friday. If you are heading out a bit later on Friday, you should be able to find us. If nothing else, listen for anguished cries of those who were shattered by the boardwalk.

4) The Impaler generously offered to share his lifetime supply of firewood with us.

5) We will resurrect the bike games from 2006.

I think that is all.

On the way home, Luc very nearly replicated Matt's wreck from a couple weeks back. He had a high-speed encounter with a curb by the Red Lobster on Portage. For a while it looked like he was destined for spectacular ruination. But the little fella somehow managed to keep the rubber side down.

The fireworks on the Blockhaus have just begun. Watch here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back 40 411

It turns out the new and improved, more singletracky course is not quite 20 km. Which means the 2 lap race cannot technically be referred to as the Back 40. They decided to leave it as is though, and the 1 lap race as well. But they also decided to make the 4 lap race a 5 lap race so as not to short-change the MUERTO crowd.

The official press release reads as follows:
ATTENTION - Back 40 News - Changes have been made to the 80 km race.

The course has changed from last year, apparently the new trails have actually made the loop shorter, not longer as we had hoped. To address this, we will be leaving the 1 and 2 lap race options alone, but we will be adding 1 more lap to the 80 km racer to ensure it is a full 80 km. The 80 km race will now start at 11 am, with kids at 11:15 and the other categories at noon.

TNR Update

The riding portion of the evening will involve a recon mission to see if we can find a better grass track venue. Gianni, the Grass Track Czar, will lead the way.

Shit or Get Off the Pot


or


The Secretary is too sentimental. That's why he's the Secretary, not the President. This ain't no Hallmark card. It's up to you, Johnny S. Do the right thing. It's not that we don't love you, it's because we love you. Sometimes love hurts. Or at least that's what he said. Right KK?

TNR


Meet at my place, 9:30 pm. We will ride some. Maybe a short race or two. But the most important part of the evening will take place at the clubhouse. Post-ride agenda includes such critical details as figuring out rides, solidifying menu details (i.e., Saturday Dogfest?), checking out the status of the F&H Buy Back Plan, and other matters that, if left up to me, would almost certainly get overlooked.

We also need to firm up the roster. Since the last time we went through this, it looks like we have lost a few. But we have also gained many. It looks like a solid roster.

Dr. Divisive – Fri/Sat/Sun
Impaler – Fri/Sat/Sun
Matt – Fri/Sat/Sun (injured)
Jonny G – Fri/Sat/Sun
KK – Fri/Sat
Penner – Fri/Sat/Sun
Tenacious – Fri/Sat/Sun
Gianni – Sat/Sun (tap dance recital)
Secretary – Fri/Sat/Sun
Johnny S - Fri/Sat/Sun
Craig - Fri/Sat/Sun
Juan - Fri/Sat/Sun
Luke E - Fri/Sat/Sun
James - Fri/Sat(?)
Colin - Sat/Sun
Unger - Sat/Sun
Aiden - Sat/Sun
Bill - Fri(?)/Sat/Sun
Paul V - Fri(?)/Sat/Sun
Halberto - Fri(?)/Sat/Sun
Mike G - ?

Anyone else planning to be there? Has anyone made the annual phone call to Luke S? Altona seems significantly under-represented so far. They're probably mad at us for being condescending or something childish like that.

And before I forget, here's Juan's customized map to the campsite:



Once again, it looks like we might have hit the jackpot with the weather:


Finally, if you are still wondering why all the fuss about the Spring Ride, check out the trailer from The Duker's classic 2006 film. Or maybe that should read: "the classic trailer from the Duker's 2006 film." Sometimes the trailer turns out to be better than the film. Either way, be sure to check it out. It's the one where Vic debuts his signature dance, the Tenacious Shuffle. See also the Secretary's film from 2007. The 2008 film, unfortunately, is still in production. I believe the Secretary is still sorting through all the raw footage.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Let Levi Slide

All the way down to 6th place. It looks like his hopes for a podium, let alone the overall victory, are done. Little Carlos Sastre, looking resplendent in his FGBC colours, climbed his way back onto the podium and gave us reason to wonder whether he might still have a shot at the overall title. He attacked on the final climb and held on for a 25 second win over Menchov and Di Luca, who took 2nd and 3rd. It was not as much as he'd hoped to gain, but with the bonus points for finishing first he moves into third place overall, 2.19 behind Menchov. Need more info? See Pez.

Highlights:



Final kilometre:




Tomorrow is the second rest day. But they're back on Wednesday with another potentially explosive finish. The stage is only 83 km, but final the climb up the Blockhaus should make up for the relatively shorter distance:



Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, Greg won the stage with 295 points. It's his third stage win of the race so far. Not bad for a rookie. Charlene finished second today with 250 points. And LeAnn's 225 points were good enough for third place. In the overall race, Greg moves up into fifth place, bumping KK down another spot to sixth. No change in the top four, though Mike has narrowed the gap to just 145 points. With Levi plummeting down the standings today and its implications in terms of post-race bonus points, the odds may well have tipped in favour of the RRR captain. The difference between second and fourth also remains close. Just 60 points separate Mike, Chris A, and Prince Dan. Soler quit the race today. The crybaby otherwise known as the Impaler is down to five riders.

Stage 16 Results:

Greg W 295
Charlene 250
LeAnn F 225
David S 220
Rachel H 220
Dan L 215
Mark S 210
Miriam H 205
Hal L 200
Mike G 200
Bill A 185
Chris A 170
Paul V 170
Dallas S 155
Vic P 150
Ian H 145
Andy L 135
Brad E 130
Brian S 130
Donna H 125
Kevin K 125
Chris H 120
Chris D 110
Paddy H 95
John W 90
Jonah H 90
Naomi H 80
Chris O 50
Jonny G 50
Matt H 50
Jonny B 15
Craig P 0
Adam B 0


Overall Standings:

Chris H 2920
Mike G 2775
Chris A 2723
Dan L 2715
Greg W 2668
Kevin K 2599
Ian H 2571
Brad E 2418
Dallas S 2407
Andy L 2356
Paul V 2344
Hal L 2291
Naomi H 2251
Mark S 2251
David S 2242
Bill A 2187
Charlene G 2010
LeAnn F 1989
Donna H 1939
Jonah H 1938
Brian S 1897
Rachel H 1856
Matt H 1805
Chris O 1783
John W 1737
Paddy H 1720
Miriam H 1714
Vic P 1683
Chris D 1616
Jonny B 1608
Craig P 1563
Adam B 1561
Jonny G 1518

Brandon

Results are in. I have to say, I like this not-waiting-around-for-the-MCA-to-post-results-several-days-after-the-fact approach. They still don't have the results up from the Crit last Tuesday! Anyhow, the results confirm what we already suspected. Everyone from the FGBC and RRR deemed racing the week before the Spring Ride too risky. No disrespect to Greg and Co. out in Brandon. It's just that we are timing our peaks for the most important event of the year. Hopefully the timing will work out better next year. I hear July and August are nice. Do we really need to wrap up the mtb races before the end of June?

Most importantly, all of this means that there is no change to the score in the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. There are two races on tap this week, both on the road. Wednesday at BHP and Thursday in Ass. Park.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Holy Halberto!

Like Tony H, Halberto has been a mainstay of the FGBC Cycling Pools over the years. But unlike Tony, his efforts have been largely futile. Another way to say it is that he has just plain sucked. Not today though. Far from sucking, he stepped up with a solid 220 point performance and bagged a stage win for his troubles. And in the overall race, he's actually in the top third. Halberto sits in 13th place after today's performance. Ian finished second with 180 points. I bet they hatched a plan during yesterday's night ride in Brandon. For third place, there was a three-way tie between Bill, Jonny B, and me. We all had 150 points. In the overall race, RRR is finally starting to show what they're really made of. KK drops another spot. He's down to 5th now. And the Impaler is in 8th and falling fast. The FGBC still holds the lead. That would be me. Mike is in second, but Chris A and Prince Dan are just waiting for the right opportunity to make their move. I should, however, also mention that 3 out of the bottom 6 teams are also FGBCers. We will have a team meeting before the 2009 FGBC Tour de France Pool.

In the real race, Ivan Basso gave it a try today. He attacked on the final climb and got up to a minute advantage at one point. But the chasing group of contenders managed to reel him back in. Leo Bertagnolli won the stage. Once again, there was a breakaway that managed to stay away. Pauwels and Pinotti were second and third. The only big change in the overall has to do with Simoni, who finished over 17 minutes back and dropped out of the top 20. Also interesting is the list of riders who have packed it in--the Ritirati. Four more quit the race today: Tyler Farrar and Eros Cappecchi did not start today, while David Millar, Iban Mayoz, and Ricardo Serrano decided during the stage that it just wasn't fun anymore. The full list of riders who have abandoned now stands at 23:

DNS CANCELLARA Fabian SUI SAX
DNS CAPECCHI Eros ITA FUJ
DNS CAVENDISH Mark GBR THR
DNS CHAINEL Steve FRA BBO
DNF DEL NERO Jesus ESP FUJ
DNS FARRAR Tyler USA GRM
DNF GARCIA DA PENA David ESP XGZ
DNS HORNER Christopher USA AST
DNF HORRILLO MUNOZ Pedro ESP RAB
DNF LOUBET Julien FRA ALM
DNF MAYOZ ECHEVERRIA Iban ESP XGZ
DNS MEYER Cameron AUS GRM
DNF MILLAR David GBR GRM
DNF PEREZ SANCHEZ Francisco ESP GCE
DNF PIDGORNYY Ruslan UKR ISD
DNS POZZATO Filippo ITA KAT
DNS RENSHAW Mark AUS THR
DNF RODRIGUEZ Joaquin ESP GCE
DNF RUSS Matthias GER MRM
DNF SCHOLZ Ronny GER MRM
DNF SERRANO Ricardo ESP FUJ
DNF VANDEVELDE Christian USA GRM
DNF VANENDERT Jelle BEL SIL

As always, see Pez for the rest of the story.

Tomorrow should be interesting. A 237 km ride over 3 big climbs, with an uphill finish to top it all off:



If there's a stage to watch, this could very well be it.

Highlights:




Stage 15 Results:

Hal L 220
Ian H 180
Bill A 150
Chris H 150
Jonny B 150
Charlene 140
Dan L 120
Mike G 120
Andy L 100
Rachel H 90
Dallas S 80
Kevin K 80
Greg W 75
Brian S 50
Paddy H 50
Vic P 50
David S 45
Chris A 35
Mark S 35
Paul V 35
Brad E 30
Naomi H 20
Chris D 15
Donna H 15
John W 15
Chris O 10
Jonah H 10
Jonny G 10
Matt H 10
Craig P 0
Miriam H 0
LeAnn F 0
Adam B 0


Overall Standings:

Chris H 2800
Mike G 2575
Chris A 2553
Dan L 2500
Kevin K 2474
Ian H 2426
Greg W 2373
Brad E 2288
Dallas S 2252
Andy L 2221
Paul V 2174
Naomi H 2171
Hal L 2091
Mark S 2041
David S 2022
Bill A 2002
Jonah H 1848
Donna H 1814
Brian S 1767
LeAnn F 1764
Charlene G 1760
Matt H 1755
Chris O 1733
John W 1647
Rachel H 1636
Paddy H 1625
Jonny B 1593
Craig P 1563
Adam B 1561
Vic P 1533
Miriam H 1509
Chris D 1506
Jonny G 1468

Speak Up

The City of Winnipeg wants your help:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gerrans!

Simon Gerrans, in his faux FGBC jersey, was the best of a breakaway group that managed to survive to the end. Bertogliati was second and Gavazzi third. No change on the GC, though Di Luca and Menchov gained three seconds on Leipheimer, who couldn't hang on at the end of this classics style stage. See Pez for more.

Final 2 kilometres:




In the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, the big breakaway made it a bit of a crapshoot. Lots of low numbers on the day, as the main contenders were well back. But it worked out nicely for Paul V. He takes his first stage win with 230 points. Prince Dan was second with 185 points. Chris A had 175 points for third place to knock KK back off the podium and jump ahead of Mike into second place in the overall race. I am still in the lead.

Stage 14 Results:

Paul V 230
Dan L 185
Chris A 175
David S 120
Charlene 120
Paddy H 110
Greg W 95
John W 95
Mike G 90
Rachel H 90
Ian H 85
Mark S 70
Andy L 65
Brad E 65
Bill A 65
Vic P 65
Chris H 60
Kevin K 50
Naomi H 45
Hal L 35
Jonah H 35
Miriam H 35
LeAnn F 35
Brian S 30
Dallas S 25
Donna H 25
Chris D 20
Chris O 20
Jonny G 20
Matt H 20
Craig P 0
Jonny B 0
Adam B 0


Overall Standings:

Chris H 2650
Chris A 2518
Mike G 2455
Kevin K 2394
Dan L 2380
Greg W 2298
Brad E 2258
Ian H 2246
Dallas S 2172
Naomi H 2151
Paul V 2139
Andy L 2121
Mark S 2006
David S 1977
Hal L 1871
Bill A 1852
Jonah H 1838
Donna H 1799
LeAnn F 1764
Matt H 1745
Chris O 1723
Brian S 1717
John W 1632
Charlene G 1620
Paddy H 1575
Craig P 1563
Adam B 1561
Rachel H 1546
Miriam H 1509
Chris D 1491
Vic P 1483
Jonny G 1458
Jonny B 1443

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cav Soars, Ale-Jet Grounded

After falling behind 2-0 early on, it's now 3-2 for the Manx Mouth. It almost seems everyone besides those two needn't bother. But they'll probably have a chance now that Cav has packed it in and gone home to prepare for the Tour. Allan Davis says he's sticking around. What about Ale-Jet? Garmin looked to have it all set up nicely for their fast man. But Farrar couldn't finish it off. Was there anything else worth mentioning? Not really. But if there was, Pez will have it covered.

Watch the sprint:




Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool Matt, er Tony, fittingly wins the stage on the same day he's featured in the Friday Profile. He finished with 270 points. Unfortunately, Andy and Jonny B also had 270 points. So Matt has to share a rather crowded top podium step. In the overall race, there was no change in the top two. But KK has edged ahead of Chris A for third spot by just a single point. The two of them are just 20 odd points behind Mike's second place spot. Look at those top three spots. All FGBC and RRR. Put a case of FGD on the line, and all of a sudden everyone's trying real hard.

Stage 13 Results:

Andy L 270
Jonny B 270
Matt H 270
Paul V 250
Chris H 245
Dan L 245
Naomi H 245
Chris D 225
Craig P 225
Dallas S 225
Bill A 220
Kevin K 215
Jonny G 205
Adam B 205
Chris A 200
Brad E 195
Chris O 195
Hal L 195
Ian H 195
John W 195
Jonah H 195
Miriam H 195
Vic P 175
David S 170
Brian S 150
Greg W 150
Mike G 150
Paddy H 150
Rachel H 150
Charlene 150
LeAnn F 150
Donna H 145
Mark S 105


Overall Standings:

Chris H 2590
Mike G 2365
Kevin K 2344
Chris A 2343
Greg W 2203
Dan L 2195
Brad E 2193
Ian H 2161
Dallas S 2147
Naomi H 2106
Andy L 2056
Mark S 1936
Paul V 1909
David S 1857
Hal L 1836
Jonah H 1803
Bill A 1787
Donna H 1774
LeAnn F 1729
Matt H 1725
Chris O 1703
Brian S 1687
Craig P 1563
Adam B 1561
John W 1537
Charlene G 1500
Miriam H 1474
Chris D 1471
Paddy H 1465
Rachel H 1456
Jonny B 1443
Jonny G 1438
Vic P 1418

Friday Profile: Tony H


He is known to some as Matt. But to the FGBC, he is known as Tony H, Vice President of Style. Starting with the shoes--the foundation of an outfit--all the way up to the eye- and headwear that present a vital opportunity for ornamentation, Tony knows that what you wear says a lot about a man. Come to think of it, the rest of us know that too. It's just that we're slightly less proud of what it says about us. And his quiver of bikes is a moving lesson in cool, as recherché as they are pretty. Tony is a living testimony to the truth of the fact that form always trumps function. Take, for example, the time he showed up at Birch for the Bring a Friend Event a couple of years back on a singlespeed cyclocross bike. A good choice for the fans, to be sure, but not exactly fitting for the rigors of the course at hand. By the time the poosher puked on the double camel and I wrecked my thumb on the descent that followed, Tony had given in to the belligerent terrain and turned his energies to the more gentlemanly task of beautifying the broom wagon. It is fair to say that his sartorial sensibilities have increased the stylistic quotient of the FGBC in a way that is simply immeasurable. We may be exactly what we are. But Tony has taken it upon himself to show us what we might be. We can't wait to see what new kit intitiatives he has in store for us. We can only hope that he will leak some information on his latest line at the Spring Ride next weekend.

We didn't so much recruit Tony as he recruited us. Out of the blue, he showed up one day in the comments section of the FGBC Blog and shortly thereafter joined us in person on a Tuesday Night Ride. Others have tried and failed to feel at home amid the sometimes unconventional practices of the FGBC. But Tony seemed as comfortable as the broken in Brooks saddle he likes to ride. It didn't take long before he took the lead in coordinating the order for the sweetest wool jersey in the world. His contributions to the FGBC have been noticed and much appreciated. The Secretary has been overheard boasting that it is the nicest piece of clothing he owns. He even wore it to the staff Christmas banquet a few years back. Tony comes to us from the Big Smoke. And he hasn't exactly taken to the rather more frigid climes typical of the Peg City. But come spring, he can be counted on to unveil a new set of wheels whose finishing touches he has spent the winter getting just-so.

Having done a handful of license-optional races over the past few years, the 2009 season marks the much anticipated debut of Tony on the Manitoba race scene. We can't wait to see how he performs. If nothing else, the races will be all the more elegant because of his presence. In addition to riding real bikes, Tony also loves him some vicarious racing. He has never failed to take part in the always titillating, yet often underappreciated, opportunity known as the FGBC Cycling Pool.

Did you know? Tony likes his books fine and his nuts warm.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Menchov Slays the Killer

Well, that was certainly exciting. Denis Menchov aces the biggest test of the Giro so far and steals the pink jersey from Di Luca who, all things considered, had an impressive ride today, finishing 6th. Leipheimer was second today and remains in third place overall. He trails the Russian by 40 seconds and the Killer by just 6. He's definitely still in the hunt for the overall victory. He might learn a lesson from those two, though, and go for a stage win or two. Those bonus seconds are beginning to look pretty important. It all adds up to some exciting racing over the next week and a half. With three uphill finishes left to come, there is plenty of opportunity for fireworks. And with the likes of Sastre and Basso conceding some ground today, the forecast calls for mucho attacking. Liquigas, in particular, has some interesting cards to play, as Pellizotti moved ahead of Basso on the GC thanks to his 5th place finish today. If they can get their act together, those two could provide a thrilling one-two punch. And if the mountains don't manage to get it all sorted out, it will make for a riveting 14 km ITT in Rome on the final day of the race.

We knew that today's stage was not your usual time trial, with two significant climbs and some technical descending. But we didn't know it was going to be so hard for some of the noted TT men in the peloton. Dave Zabriskie finished 118th, over 10 minutes back. And Cancellara didn't even see fit to give it a try. He withdrew before the stage started. Stefano Garzelli finished third today. But his impressive ride was overshadowed by the GC battle being played out on the road behind him. Check out Pez to see how it all played out.

Highlights:




Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, Bill and Vic are the only ones with Menchov, whose 175 point performance laid the groundwork for a good day. But it was the Impaler who got the stage win today, with 295 points, courtesy of Leipheimer, Garzelli, and Wiggins. Bill finished second with 225 points, while Dan, the prince, had 205 points for third place. In the overall race, Mike gained a little ground today. He narrows the gap to 130 points behind me. Chris A still sits in third. But those two will have to do without the daily dose of 25 bonus points they'd been receiving for Di Luca's pink jersey. As for the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge, things don't look so good. After Brad's p[erformance today, RRR now holds three of the top six spots. The FGBC has just two in the top 20.

Stage 12 Results:

Brad E 295
Bill A 225
Dan L 205
Mike G 200
Chris D 185
Kevin K 185
Chris H 180
David S 180
Vic P 175
LeAnn F 175
Ian H 170
Naomi H 170
Chris A 155
Chris O 155
Jonah H 150
Mark S 150
Paul V 150
Andy L 135
Brian S 130
Jonny G 125
Matt H 125
Paddy H 125
Rachel H 125
Greg W 120
John W 120
Charlene 100
Miriam H 85
Hal L 75
Dallas S 60
Donna H 55
Craig P 0
Jonny B 0
Adam B 0


Overall Standings:

Chris H 2345
Mike G 2215
Chris A 2143
Kevin K 2129
Greg W 2053
Brad E 1998
Ian H 1966
Dan L 1950
Dallas S 1922
Naomi H 1861
Mark S 1831
Andy L 1786
David S 1687
Paul V 1659
Hal L 1641
Donna H 1629
Jonah H 1608
LeAnn F 1579
Bill A 1567
Brian S 1537
Chris O 1508
Matt H 1455
Adam B 1356
Charlene G 1350
John W 1342
Craig P 1338
Paddy H 1315
Rachel H 1306
Miriam H 1279
Chris D 1246
Vic P 1243
Jonny G 1233
Jonny B 1173

Thursday Anticipation

1) Spring Ride

Two words: Next. Week.



2) MTB Cup #2


I will not be there. I'm saving myself for the Spring Ride. Anyone going?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two for Cavendish

Cavendish wins another one. He's fast. Very fast. That is yet another win for Columbia-High Road. And yet another near miss for their fellow-American team, Garmin-Slipstream. Tyler Farrar's Giro, however, has to be considered a success. He finished second today, his third podium finish in 11 stages. Ale-Jet was third. Two notable riders quit the race today: Chris Horner and Joachin Rodriguez. They were sitting 11th and 12th in the GC after yesterday's stage. So that has some significant implications for the vicarious race. In particular, it's bad news for Chris O and Miriam (Horner) and Andy and me (J.Rod), but good news for everyone else. See Pez for the rest. Tomorrow, finally, is the stage everyone is talking about: a 61 km not-so-flat ITT. That should shake things up on the GC just a little bit.

Read Michael Barry's latest diary entry. He can write.

Final kilometre:




Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, the FGBC train once again set it up perfectly for the sprint finish. 270 points and another stage win for me thanks to Farrar, Davis and Swift. Jonny G, Paul, and Adam finished in a three-way tie for second with 230 points apiece. In the overall race, the top three are unchanged, though the gaps are a little bigger.

Stage 11 Results:

Chris H 270
Jonny G 230
Paul V 230
Adam B 230
Dallas S 215
Andy L 195
Chris D 190
Jonny B 190
Matt H 190
Craig P 180
Mike G 180
Greg W 175
Naomi H 170
Chris A 165
Mark S 160
Bill A 150
Brad E 150
Brian S 150
Chris O 150
Donna H 150
Hal L 150
Ian H 150
John W 150
Miriam H 150
Paddy H 150
Rachel H 150
Vic P 150
Charlene 150
LeAnn F 150
Dan L 145
Kevin K 125
David S 105
Jonah H 100


Overall Standings:

Chris H 2165
Mike G 2015
Chris A 1988
Kevin K 1944
Greg W 1933
Dallas S 1862
Ian H 1796
Dan L 1745
Brad E 1703
Naomi H 1691
Mark S 1681
Andy L 1651
Donna H 1574
Hal L 1566
Paul V 1509
David S 1507
Jonah H 1458
Brian S 1407
LeAnn F 1404
Adam B 1356
Chris O 1353
Bill A 1342
Craig P 1338
Matt H 1330
Charlene G 1250
John W 1222
Miriam H 1194
Paddy H 1190
Rachel H 1181
Jonny B 1173
Jonny G 1108
Vic P 1068
Chris D 1061

Dogfest Report

It was a smaller crowd than we've had in recent dogfest memory, but not any less enjoyable. Who was there? Colin, Vic, the poosher, Jonny G, Hal, KK, the Impaler, the President, Juan Eppstein, and me. But no Craig! What happened?

The Spring Ride was referred to. But aside from clarifying the dates for those who have somehow missed the countdown and the poster series, there was little by way of actual planning. It could be that everything is under control. Or perhaps it is just that planning details is a lot less fun than recounting highlights of past Spring Rides, such as Jonny N's near-death encounter with the boardwalk at Falcon Lake on his first Spring Ride and the dude with the infant in the chariot at last year's edition.

The possibility of a birthday ride for KK and Vic, however, was discussed. It would be on June 28 in the vicinity of Grand Beach, and would conclude with a post-race meal at KK's summer palace. That would mean missing the Bring a Friend race at Birch, which would be mildly disappointing but not altogether out of the question.

Aside from that, the Impaler treated us to a few new innuendos he has been working on. And Juan Eppstein shared about his recent trip to Minneapolis. He also shared the secret of a new money saving trick he has discovered. We talked about cyclocross, how fast some guys are, and how much fun it is going to be in the fall. The President was there. And so the conversation turned to matters medical for a stretch. Specifically, rectal exams and a condition that goes by the description of "mushy nuts" seemed to be the preferred topics of that portion of the evening.

It was cold. The dogs were awesome. And the Scrapper did not get finished.

Speaking of Scrapper, Brewmaster Dave reports the following on his blog:
We also started on tap at The Belgian Club - which should make the guys at the bike club happy as they've been wanting our beer on tap for at least a year.
Now that we know he really cares, we shall turn our attention to the possibility of a similar setup at the F&H.

Apparently there was a big fire just down the street from Olympia. They said on the radio that was first reported around 2am. Which means we rode right by it on the way home, probably just as it was getting started. No, we did not notice.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Killer Strikes Again

He extends his lead to 1.20 over Menchov. Rogers and Leipheimer are 1.33 and 1.40 back, respectively. And so we begin to wonder, can the Killer elude capture? Thursday's epic 61 km ITT should give us a clearer indication. The odds still seem to favour one of the three chasers, as they are much better against the clock than the man with daggers for eyes. Garzelli gave it a go today, but couldn't hold on. Basso looks a little disappointing. Cunego proves once again that he's not a Grand Tour guy. Sastre is right there, but can he hold on in the TT? And, I have to say, LA looks surprisingly strong given the collarbone setback. See Pez for the rest.

Watch them split apart on the day's big climb:




The Killer's attack and the finish:




Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, the three teams with Di Luca on their roster constitute today's podium. Greg picks up his second stage win of the race, with 365 points. Mike and Chris A rounded out the podium with 325 and 300 points, respectively. In the overall race, Mike knocks his teammate KK off the podium and steps up into second place. Might we be treated to a battle for the vicarious leadership of RRR? It looked like Mike was their man for the classics and KK was the grand tour guy. But now it seems the cohesiveness within RRR is a little less tight than we had originally been led to believe. Perhaps the Impaler needs to unleash some of his signature, if more than a little awkward, homoerotic humour to distract these two from machismo-fueled trainwreck that appears to be looming. The worker bees of the FGBC, meanwhile, have been sacrificing their individual ambitions to try and preserve my current lead. That is what good teamwork looks like. Chris A remains in third place. But notice how close it all is. Only 76 points separate first through fourth. And the difference between 2nd and 4th is just 16 points. Turning to the back of the race, four teams have yet to crack the 1000 point barrier: Jonny B, Vic, Jonny G, and Chris D. It is surely no coincidence that they all picked Vandevelde, who left the race early last week.

Stage 10 Results:

Greg W 365
Mike G 325
Chris A 300
David S 245
Andy L 240
Chris H 240
Kevin K 235
Dan L 230
Rachel H 215
Charlene 210
LeAnn F 205
Brad E 190
Hal L 175
Dallas S 170
Paddy H 165
Brian S 145
Ian H 145
Matt H 140
Naomi H 140
Miriam H 130
Mark S 120
Paul V 120
Bill A 100
Jonah H 100
Vic P 100
Donna H 70
John W 70
Chris D 65
Chris O 65
Jonny G 65
Craig P 15
Jonny B 15
Adam B 15


Overall Standings:

Chris H 1895
Mike G 1835
Chris A 1823
Kevin K 1819
Greg W 1758
Dallas S 1647
Ian H 1646
Dan L 1600
Brad E 1553
Mark S 1521
Naomi H 1521
Andy L 1456
Donna H 1424
Hal L 1416
David S 1402
Jonah H 1358
Paul V 1279
Brian S 1257
LeAnn F 1254
Chris O 1203
Bill A 1192
Craig P 1158
Matt H 1140
Adam B 1126
Charlene G 1100
John W 1072
Miriam H 1044
Paddy H 1040
Rachel H 1031
Jonny B 983
Vic P 918
Jonny G 878
Chris D 871

Dog Fest


The TNR today is the annual Spring Dog Fest at Juan Eppstein's. For the uninitiated, this is also where many of the Spring Ride details get firmed up. Best to show up, or you might find yourself assigned to the task of making meals for everyone.

Bring dogs and buns, lawn chairs if you can, and some cash to cover the Half Pints Juan has purchased for us. Juan will supply the fixin's. There's probably something else that needs mentioning too, but I've forgotten. I'm sure it will get clarified in the comments.

For those who don't know where Juan lives, meet at my place at 9pm and we will ride over together.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Secretary's Next House Concert

. . . will be powered by bicycles. Check out Mr. Something Something, a bike loving Afrobeat outfit whose shows often feature a bicycle powered sound system they call the "sound cycle."




I heard them on Q last Friday.



That is awesome. If we ever get around to the FGBC fundraising social (which we probably won't), we should book them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This Stage Doesn't Deserve a Report

Pez can tell you why. Or you can watch this if you like:



Here are the numbers:

Stage 9 Results:

Chris H 270
Naomi H 235
Dallas S 225
Jonah H 195
Jonny G 190
Paul V 190
Adam B 190
Greg W 175
Mike G 175
Kevin K 170
LeAnn F 170
Andy L 150
Bill A 150
Brad E 150
Brian S 150
Chris D 150
Chris O 150
Hal L 150
Ian H 150
John W 150
Jonny B 150
Matt H 150
Miriam H 150
Paddy H 150
Rachel H 150
Vic P 150
Charlene 150
Mark S 125
Craig P 120
Donna H 110
Chris A 105
Dan L 80
David S 80


Overall Standings:

Chris H 1655
Kevin K 1584
Chris A 1523
Mike G 1510
Ian H 1501
Dallas S 1477
Mark S 1401
Greg W 1393
Naomi H 1381
Dan L 1370
Brad E 1363
Donna H 1354
Jonah H 1258
Hal L 1241
Andy L 1216
Paul V 1159
David S 1157
Craig P 1143
Chris O 1138
Brian S 1112
Adam B 1111
Bill A 1092
LeAnn F 1049
John W 1002
Matt H 1000
Jonny B 968
Miriam H 914
Charlene G 890
Paddy H 875
Vic P 818
Rachel H 816
Jonny G 813
Chris D 806

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Grass Track Fridays V 1.0: The Numbers

From Gianni, the Grass Track Czar:

Grass Track Test Event - May 15, 2009

Temp +2
Wind N40 gusting to 60km/h
Snow/freezing rain

200m track at Whittier Park (50m straightaways, 50m turns)

Event 1: 20-lap scratch race
1. Chris 12:02
2. KK 12:23
3. Mike 12:10 (+4 laps)
4. Dave 12:47 (+4 laps)

Event 2: Match Sprint
Heat 1: Chris defeated Dave in 2 rides
Heat 2: KK defeated Mike in 2 rides
Final (3-up with Hal): KK defeated Chris 2 rides to 1.

Event 3: Handicap Kilometre
Didn't keep times for this event, but it was very close. Mike beat Dave by less than a bike length.
1. Mike (200m handicap)
2. Dave (300m handicap)
3. Hal (100m handicap)
4. Chris (no handicap)
5. KK (no handicap)

Event 4: Miss and Out (2000m)
1. Chris
2. KK (though he arguably DNF'd by failing to complete his last lap)
3. Hal
4. Mike
5. Dave

Observations: track shape and length was good. Terrain was... okay. Ground was soft (wet). Laps got faster as track was ridden in. Gearing was low - something like 38x18 was about right - this could change quite a bit with conditions.

Points series: based on awarding 5/4/3/2/1 points for top 5 placings in each event, FGBC-RRR challenge points are:
Chris - 16
KK - 14

After Friday, then, the score in the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge is:

Kanstantin the Great, Donna Too

Team Columbia Highroad has sure had a nice little run over the last few stages. And none of it had to do with Cavendish. First young Boss Hogg, Jr. showed us how good he is. And today, Kanstantin Siutsou lept away from the field with 13 km to go and soloed in to take the stage win. As if that wasn't enough, the younger Hogg took the sprint for second over Di Luca, his third consecutive stage finishing second or higher. And Mick Rogers, another Columbia-High Road rider, was fourth on the day. Not too shabby. Once again, the overall GC stays the same. Turn it to Pez for the rest of the story. And for the newcomers in the group, check out CN's 50 Giro Facts You Should Know.

The final four kilometres:




Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, Donna demonstrated that her impressive showing in yesterday's stage was no fluke. Once again she had the day's top two finishers--Suitsou and Boassen Hagen. Together with Basso's 25 points for 16th place, that gives her 300 points on the day and another big stage win. Chris A and Dan L, the prince of the cycling pool, tied for 2nd place, but well back of Donna, with 205 points apiece. Those 205 points are enough to enable Chris A to climb back into first place. His total sits at 1418 points. But KK, ever the figher, is just 4 points back. My team, Team Shawarma, has dropped down to third place with 1385 points. But it's Donna's performance that is most deserving of attention in all this. Languishing in the cellar as recently as three stages ago, Donna used her two consecutive stage wins to catapault herself all the way up into the top 10. She now sits in 9th place, less than 200 points behind the overall leader. Nicely done!

You will recall that we decided vicarious racing should count toward the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. And true to form, most of the FGBC elected not to participate. RRR has the edge so far, with three teams in the top 20 (KK - 2nd, Mike - 5th, and Brad - 11th. The FGBC has two (me in 3rd and Craig in 17th). Giddy up boys!

Stage 8 Results:

Donna H 300
Chris A 205
Dan L 205
Bill A 195
David S 185
Mike G 185
Andy L 180
Ian H 170
Kevin K 165
Mark S 165
Jonny B 155
Brian S 150
Naomi H 145
Paul V 145
Greg W 125
Brad E 120
Chris H 115
Craig P 115
Dallas S 105
Hal L 105
Jonah H 95
Rachel H 80
John W 70
Adam B 70
Chris O 45
Matt H 45
Miriam H 45
Chris D 0
Jonny G 0
Paddy H 0
Vic P 0
Charlene 0
LeAnn F 0


Overall Standings:

Chris A 1418
Kevin K 1414
Chris H 1385
Ian H 1351
Mike G 1335
Dan L 1290
Mark S 1276
Dallas S 1252
Donna H 1244
Greg W 1218
Brad E 1213
Naomi H 1146
Hal L 1091
David S 1077
Andy L 1066
Jonah H 1063
Craig P 1023
Chris O 988
Paul V 969
Brian S 962
Bill A 942
Adam B 921
LeAnn F 879
John W 852
Matt H 850
Jonny B 818
Miriam H 764
Charlene G 740
Paddy H 725
Vic P 668
Rachel H 666
Chris D 656
Jonny G 623

Grass Track, Good Times

Good times last night at the inaugural edition of Grass Track Fridays. The weather may have sucked, but the racing was fantastic.

For example, Dave L was there.



And Mike, of the BBC, drove out from Brandon for it.



Gianni, the Grass Track Czar, had four different races on the menu. A 4 km scratch race to start, followed by a series of sprints, and a handicap race. For dessert, he served up a 10 lap miss and out race. The scratch race and the miss and out were won by me, Herr Doktor. KK was second in each of those. KK took the sprint in a fiercely contested battle. The final and deciding race of the three-race series came down to a full on sprint to the line. KK won it, but unfortunately left himself essentially out of gas for the remainder of the races. Mike took the handicap race with a narrow win over Dave. Halberto was third. KK and I, still reeling from our rumble in the sprint, rolled in a little while later.

Gianni will sort through all the results to determine the overall winner for the evening. So the implications of all this for the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge are coming.

The 200 km metre track seemed just right, if a bit bumpy on the home stretch. We may change it up a bit for the next one. We may not. It depends on whether something better can be found. There is a promising banked turn just beside the spot we used. Unfortunatley, it was mostly a puddle of very cold water.





The Grass Track Series counts toward the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. And so the competition between the FGBC and RRR was intense, even if friendly. KK and I kept close tabs on each other all night. We concluded, post-race, that it would be so much more awesome if other members of our respective teams were there too. Next time.





Post-race good times at the Belgian Club, where Halberto rather demonstratively held forth about bread baking, race committees, and all manner of stimulating topics. John W, whose name you will recognize from the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, showed up just in time for the post-race beer and banter. And thanks must be expressed to Mike, who took care of the second round. This lead to a discussion of the possibility of a cyclocross race in Brandon. Sounds promising. Notice the autographed photo of Sven Nys in the background.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Boss Hogg, Jr. is Awesome

He almost won it yesterday, but they couldn't bring back Scarponi. But today young Boss Hogg, Jr. made amends with a win that would make his daddy proud. Forget the future. This guy's a certified stud right now. And he's only 21 years old. He shattered his rivals from a five-man breakaway group, beating a pretty good sprinter in Robbie Hunter with apparent ease. Pavel Brutt was third on the day. No change in the overall GC. See Pez for more.

Final Kilometre:



I guess this means that Donna is Daisy Duke, Jr., at least vicariously speaking. She took the stage in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool with perhaps even more of chutzpah than Boss Hogg, Jr. The younger Hogg, in fact, is on her team. And so is today's second place finisher, Robbie Hunter, the Honorary Captain's former teammate. She also has Alessandro Bertolini, who was also in the breakaway group and ended up finishing 5th. And she has Sebastian Hinault, who finished 14th today. Together, they totalled 390 points for Donna. That's the highest total we've seen in a stage so far. Donna is also our seventh different winner in seven stages. Right on. Naomi was a distant second with 225 points, while Jonah grabbed the final podium spot for the second day in a row, finishing with 190 points.

In the overall race, we have the same three podium finishers. But the order is different, and the gaps are much smaller. I have 1270 points, while KK has moved into second with 1249. Chris A drops to third place with 1213 points.

Stage 7 Results:

Donna H 390
Naomi H 225
Jonah H 190
Kevin K 165
Mark S 165
Adam B 165
Chris H 160
Craig P 145
Ian H 125
Dallas S 105
Jonny G 85
Paul V 85
Greg W 75
Mike G 75
Chris A 55
Andy L 50
Bill A 50
Brad E 50
Brian S 50
Chris D 50
Chris O 50
Hal L 50
John W 50
Jonny B 50
Matt H 50
Miriam H 50
Paddy H 50
Rachel H 50
Vic P 50
Charlene 50
LeAnn F 50
Dan L 30
David S 30


Overall Standings:

Chris H 1270
Kevin K 1249
Chris A 1213
Ian H 1181
Mike G 1150
Dallas S 1147
Mark S 1111
Brad E 1093
Greg W 1093
Dan L 1085
Naomi H 1001
Hal L 986
Jonah H 968
Donna H 944
Chris O 943
Craig P 908
David S 892
Andy L 886
LeAnn F 879
Adam B 851
Paul V 824
Brian S 812
Matt H 805
John W 782
Bill A 747
Charlene G 740
Paddy H 725
Miriam H 719
Vic P 668
Jonny B 663
Chris D 656
Jonny G 623
Rachel H 586

Grass Track Fridays

The recent spate of race cancellations and postponments no doubt has some of you wondering about the status of tonight's race. Well, wonder no more, boys and girls. Gianni, the Grass Track Czar, confirms that the race is on. There may, however, be some slight adjustments to the program. But if we wait for decent weather, we might be waiting until summer 2010. The show must go on.

Whittier Park. 6:30 pm. Be there.

Friday Profile: Jonny G


We know him as G. But one could be forgiven for wanting to refer to him simply as the Natural. While his rookie season got off to a bit of a rocky start, it's been nothing short of astonishing since then. A regular podium finisher at last year's WNRS, he rocked a couple of cx "B" races before moving up to "A" races, where he belongs. After he received a letter from the establishment informing him that he'd been moved up from Sport to Comp for the 2009 season, what does Jonny do? He responds with a third place finish in the season's first mtb cup race. And that's not even to mention the topic of moustache growing, where he really shines.

So much a natural is Jonny G that a major sports beverage company recently built an advertising campaign around him:


Perhaps his most admirable accomplishment, however, is the fact that he is the longest serving member of the FGBC to have successfully avoided any significant bureaucratic appointment. He's not the director of anything, let alone a VP of some sort. One can only conclude that Jonny G is doing something right. Very right.

Not only is he a cracker jack bike racer and an admirable anti-bureaucrat, he is also arguably the reason that Team FGBC continues to exist at all. Last year, after a once high profile FGBC racer defected to another team, we at Team FGBC were feeling a little down on our luck. So much so that there was talk about shutting down the whole operation. But that's when Jonny G stepped up to the plate. And while it would be a stretch to say he belted a grand slam, he did, at the very least, manage a solid base hit. Indeed, it is fair to say that his arrival saved the racing division of the FGBC from sliding into obscurity. Which raises the question of whether it is possible to slide into obscurity if you're already obscure to begin with. But that's a question best left to the philosopers. Or perhaps the Spring Ride campfire. Let's just say that what originally looked like it might be the tragic end to a proud, if small, venture turned out, thanks to Jonny G, to be the big opportunity we didn't know we were waiting for. Thank-you Jonny.

Did you know? Jonny G is a master handler. Which is to say, he likes to huck. He's also mean mandolin player and a key member of the Paul Bergman Band.

FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge Update

2nd place in the Thursday Night ITT for Mike. I don't suppose there were any FGBC'ers in attendance. That's a 22-0 night for RRR.


There's Grass Track racing on tap for tonight. 6:30 at Whittier. I will be there. Sounds like KK will be there too. Anyone else?

A Note from Altona

El Presidente writes:
After much discussion (and an equal amount of beer) the subject of our loose "affiliation" with the Fort Garry Bike Club became a topic. After much debate it was decided (with no quorum in attendance) that the Altona Bike Club (tentative naming) must strike out on our own. The support and encouragement of our Northern brethren has been much appreciated but the patriarchal attitudes have grown tiresome. Therefore, we as a cycling collective have decided to embrace our differences and stand apart. Take this as you will. Talk amongst yourselves.
He refers to this as a dropping of the gauntlet. It is not clear why. It seems like the right move to me. I thought that's what setting up a blog with the title "Altona Bike Club" already signified. In any case, they are growing up and, while this sort of adolescent melodrama is to be expected from time to time, their independence needs to be cultivated. Perhaps one day there will even be an FGBC - ABC FGD Challenge.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Scarponi Stays Away

Correction: It was Jackson Rodriguez, not Juaquin, who finished 11th. Subtract 50 points from Andy and me. And add 50 to Jonah and Mark S.

Michele Scarponi was the sole survivor of the days big breakaway. Young Boss Hogg, Jr. took second with an impressive sprint out of a group comprised mostly of classics riders and contenders. He is going to be a spring classics superstar. Allan Davis, the only pure sprinter in the top 20, was third. Head over to Pez for the rest of the story.

Watch the final three kilometres:



I believe all the stages are available on demand from Universal Sports. So if, like KK, your boss thinks it fit to prevent you from watching at work, there is still a possibility to catch the action.

Over in the FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool, we have another new stage winner. That's six different stage winners in six stages. Nice. It is KK whose numbers came up right today. He gets to spray the champagne thanks to a 310 point stage. Ian and Jonah just missed out. They had a solid 305 points each, but had to settle for a second place tie behind KK. Dallas and Jonah tied for second with 255 points. In the overall pool, I have moved back into first place, just two points ahead of Chris A Chris A continues to lead with 1158 points. I am now in second with 1110 and KK has lept up into third place thanks to his 310 point day. He now has 1084 points. It continues to be very close at the top. The top nine teams are separated by less than 150 points. This should guarantee plenty of change atop the leaderboard over the next few days.

Stage 6 Results:

Kevin K 310
Ian H 305
Jonah H 305
Dallas S 255
Hal L 225
Chris O 210
Donna H 210
Chris H 180
Chris A 175
John W 170
Brad E 165
Craig P 160
Mark S 160
Mike G 155
LeAnn F 145
Adam B 145
Miriam H 135
Bill A 130
David S 105
Andy L 100
Dan L 100
Paul V 100
Naomi H 100
Matt H 95
Jonny B 90
Greg W 85
Chris D 80
Brian S 75
Charlene 75
Vic P 40
Rachel H 15
Jonny G 5
Paddy H 5


Overall Standings:

Chris A 1158
Chris H 1110
Kevin K 1084
Mike G 1075
Ian H 1056
Dan L 1055
Brad E 1043
Dallas S 1042
Greg W 1018
Mark S 946
Hal L 936
Chris O 893
David S 862
Andy L 836
LeAnn F 829
Jonah H 778
Naomi H 776
Craig P 763
Brian S 762
Matt H 755
Paul V 739
John W 732
Bill A 697
Charlene G 690
Adam B 686
Paddy H 675
Miriam H 669
Vic P 618
Jonny B 613
Chris D 606
Donna H 554
Jonny G 538
Rachel H 536

Thursday Anticipation

1) Spring Ride

Waiting is hard. Almost as hard as staying on those dumb boards.



2) Grass Track Fridays

The series we've all been waiting for. It starts tomorrow. No rain, please. The mud track series later, in the fall. It's the one with the barriers. Agenda and details here.



3) Krahn Barn Kermesse

A few more details have come into focus, thanks to a brief post-ultimate caucus on Monday night. The race will start at 7pm. Cost is $5. There will be dogs and a fire behind the barn, post-race. Dogs and such will be provided. You are on your own for beverages.


Also, the field will be limited to 30 riders, 15 of which have been allotted to us city slickers. Five of those slots are already taken by Ian, Jonny G, Darryl, Hal, and me. That leaves 10 openings. Anyone interested in participating should express that interest with an email to the FGBC Race Director ASAP. If there are any leftover city slicker slots by the Spring Ride, they will be given back to Altona in order to fill up the field.

You will recall that this takes place the day before Operacion MUERTO 1.1, otherwise known as the Back 40. It is also a week after the Spring Ride. That's two consecutive weekends packed full of good times. Camping is available in both Altona and Morden for Saturday night. There may even be a couch available if you ask nicely.


4) Altona Alleycat #2

Finally, should you happen to find yourself in Altona--cycling capital of southern Manitoba--tonight, be sure to check out the second installment of the Altona Alleycat Series. The Duker is in charge. Which means it will be awesome. Details here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

pictures from the may 12 crit

Photographer David Lipnowski has put some very sweet pics up... Check the awesome second pic in the gallery where Cousin Adam is in front of the group sporting our awesome jersey. It could easily be worth racing to have this man take your picture... even if you're dead last he would make you look like a winner.
Thanks for the link David. Visit the blog here and follow the link to the gallery. David's main site is here.

TNR addendum

Dog Fest this next Tuesday. Bring dogs, buns, chips, chair (if you can) and we will meet at Juan Eppstein's for the annual pre-spring ride dog fest. Juan is getting a keg of Half Pints, so be ready to contribute. I'm sure many will meet at the Dr's to ride out together... stay tuned for that time. We'll surely have a poster to mark this event.

Spring ride thoughts: The riding will begin on the Friday... likely at Falcon because of the various races there later in the weekend. We're camping at Falcon Lakeshore Campground, Bay 5.

ABC

FGBC affiliate and organizers of the sweetest cyclocross race in MB, the Altona Bike Club, is now online. Check it out. Who knew they even had computers down there, let alone the internet? Now that the secret is out, we can't wait to see the race and event posters they come up with on their own.

Menchov Stalking the Killer

The Killer has stolen the pink jersey from young Thomas Lovkvist. But he better watch his back. The eerily quiet Denis Menchov announced his presence in this race with a pretty convincing win in today's tough mountain stage. After today, it looks like the overall battle will be between Di Luca, Menchov, Lovkvist, Basso, Leipheimer, and Sastre. All the other so-called contenders lost significant time today. But there is still a long way to go. See Pez for more.

Final kilometre:



Greg W took the win today in the vicarious race, with 285 points. Mike G (215) and Kevin K (205) RRRounded out the podium. Chris A takes over the overall lead from Dan, prince of the cycling pool, while Greg has moved up into third place. It is all very nice and cosy at the top. The first 5 teams are separated by just over 60 points. Nobody is running away with it just yet.

Stage 5 Results

Greg W 285
Mike G 215
Kevin K 205
Chris A 190
Chris H 180
Hal L 180
Andy L 170
Ian H 165
Dallas S 160
Brian S 155
Chris O 155
Dan L 155
Bill A 150
Vic P 150
Miriam H 145
Paddy H 145
Charlene 135
Brad E 125
Matt H 125
LeAnn F 125
David S 115
Rachel H 110
Mark S 95
Donna H 90
John W 90
Paul V 90
Chris D 80
Jonah H 80
Jonny G 80
Naomi H 45
Craig P 0
Jonny B 0
Adam B 0


Overall Standings:

Chris A 983
Dan L 955
Greg W 933
Chris H 930
Mike G 920
Brad E 878
Dallas S 787
Mark S 786
Kevin K 774
David S 757
Ian H 751
Andy L 736
Hal L 711
Brian S 687
LeAnn F 684
Chris O 683
Paddy H 670
Matt H 660
Paul V 639
Charlene G 615
Craig P 603
Naomi H 586
Vic P 578
Bill A 567
John W 562
Adam B 541
Miriam H 534
Jonny G 533
Chris D 526
Jonny B 523
Rachel H 521
Jonah H 473
Donna H 344


Finally, the list of all the teams playing in the 2009 FGBC Giro d'Italia Pool can be found here. You would be wise to check over your roster to make sure there are no mistakes.

FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge: Statistical Analysis

The current score is FGBC 128, RRR 80. The past few days may make it seem like the rout has begun. And RRR is rightly getting a little anxious, bandying about notions like rallying the troops, pulling together as a team, and other such meaningless sporting cliches. But we all know that the FGBC is benefitting in this epic battle from a slightly larger body of foot soldiers. So what would it look like if the sizes of the teams were more evenly balanced? RRR has made six race appearances so far (4 by Mike, 1 each by Brad and Kevin). The FGBC has made eight. RRR is averaging 13.3 points per appearance, while the FGBC is averaging 16. Throw out Mike's DNF on Sunday, however, and RRR is also sitting at 16 points per appearance. Interesting.

TNR Report

Another sweet turnout: Matt, the Impaler, the Rookie, Halberto, Colin, Bill, KK, Jonny G, Tenacious V, Cousin Adam, the Secretary, and me.

Things started off nice and slow, with chit chat and 50 (thanks Matt) in the porch, while waiting for the latecomers to arrive. Eventually we rode over to the Secretary's place where, among other things, KK learned that his old high school locker mate is the President's wife, the First Lady of the FGBC. Wierd.


For the second week in a row, someone hit the deck. Last week Craig was the main casualty of a minor incident during the miss and out race. Yesterday Matt went down. Hard. Deep in conversation with Vic, it appears he struck a curb with his pedal. He did a rather impressive horizontal 360 before coming to rest in the middle of the road. There will be bruises.


On the way back to the clubhouse, we stopped in briefly at the Sargeant Park skate park, where the Secretary showed off his impressive fixie trix. With his eyes closed, no less!


At this point, some thought the ride too slow and elected to proceed directly to the clubhouse. It was also at this point that Matt left us and headed home. I hope that went well. Others stopped in at Garbage Hill, where KK took king of the hill honours ahead of me and Bill.

Cousin Adam only stuck around for the trip to the Secretary's. But he was present long enough to report a fifth place finish in the Tuesday Night Crit--his first ever road race, I believe. Nice work Adam. Most importantly, that's 18 more points for the FGBC in the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. Next up on that score is the Grass Track Race this Friday.



There was some conversation at the clubhouse. Some of it even stimulating. The Secretary was listening carefully. Perhaps he share what he heard.