Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TNR Report

We rode some. It involved revisiting the scene of KK's crash. But it was mostly about scouting the course for this weekend's race. It was agreed that the course has some promise, even if we were slightly confused at certain points. Perhaps even more exciting to the FGBC hoi polloi, however, was the promise of food and a live band. You have gotten our attention.

And then Jonny G called, upon completion of his volleyball game. That meant our trip to the forest was aborted, as we made a u-turn and headed down Wellington to meet him. Whereupon he was duly scolded for the way volleyball is once again intruding on the sanctity of the TNR. Something is wrong there. We will fix it.

Over at the klubhaus, where KK and the President joined us, Menno Cross was thoroughly scrutinized. While all agreed that it was awesome, there was almost more enthusiasm for how to go about making it better. This led to a rather long series of reminiscences about some of the highlights of past FGBC events--Burger Cat, the 24 Hour Race, Yerba Cross, and a whole range of rather odd Nordic Cross events. This was particularly helpful for the new folks around the table. There was also talk of this year's Nordic Cross season. The Poosher may have disappeared. But we agreed that we will not let Nordic Cross fall by the wayside. It will be back and better than ever. And finally, some energy was given to conceiving the general parameters of a future event. At this point, however, it must remain top secret. The only thing that can be said is that it will be big. Very big. Stay tuned.

The tunes were merely so-so last night. The Secretary, in particular, raised a question about Steve Miller. He maintained that there was no point listening to that crap in the 70s, let alone now. Nobody was willing to defend the counter-claim.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Pre-Ride Possibility

I ran into Cousin Bill on my way home from work yesterday. Actually, he was running. I was riding. I came up behind and rode right past him, not recognizing him from the back. But he yelled. And I turned around. And then we chatted the rest of way home, him running and me riding.

In any case, one of the things we chatted about is the show he is involved in tonight. He is accompanying The Other Brothers by supplying some of that sweet pedal steel he plays so well. It's at The Academy and starts at 7:30 pm. I would love to be there. But I can't make it. Don't let that stop the rest of you though. The Other Brothers are awesome. And with Cousin Bill on hand, they promise to be even better. Some might even say awesomer.

It should be done in time to meet at the usual TNR time and place.

Bourkevale Race info

Info on Sunday's Bourkevale Cross Race is here. I'm still not convinced on all this racing, but a live band and food! That's worth getting excited about.

TNR

Yes, it was awesome. But it's time to get back to normal. What better way to do that than with a Tuesday Night Ride?

9:30 pm at my place.

When does hockey start?

Has anyone heard anything about the Fall Classic?

Monday, September 28, 2009

The B Race

The video quality sucks. But here it is anyway. At least you get to see Vic push Thomas down the bunker.

Post Menno Cross Challenge Update

It is nice to have 13 racers. Even with three DNFs, and a couple of guys finishing outside the top 20, we still managed to crack the 100 point barrier for the third consecutive cx race. It was a 109-59 victory for the dark side. The lead has now crept over 200 points. The FGBC sure loves them some cyclocross.

USGP #1 & #2

With all the energy that went into racing for real this weekend, it was easy to forget about the vicarious variety. But there were two more cx races that took place in Madison. Matt crushed the field on Saturday with a 500 point day. Dallas took second with 475 points, while David and Gary each had 400 to tie for third place. On Sunday, it was David's turn. His 455 points was sufficient to lay claim to victory. Mike had 435 points for second, and Matt was third, with 425 points on the day.

As for the overall race, the GC all of a sudden has a new look to it. Vic and Olli, both on the podium since the start, have fallen back to 4th and 6th, respectively. David is our new leader. He has 1780 points. Matt is in second place, just 40 points back. And Dallas has moved up into third, with 1665 points.

Full results here.

We are back at it next weekend. This time with some racing in Europe. The first world cup race of the season is on Sunday.

Menno Cross Photo Report

Well done, boys and girls. That was simply awesome. The course kicked ass. And all the people racing and cheering put it over the top.

The results are now finalized. The kids have been included, and the B race rearranged. Licensed and non-licensed are grouped together, as in other license-optional races such as Reach the Beach and the Back 40. The citizens continue to form their own field, as they have all season. See the results here.

After some comic relief from the CMU faculty in the C race, the kids got things started on the right note. All 27 of them!







The B race featured no less than 10 FGBCers, including Matt, Luke, and Cousin Thomas making their season debuts. Check out that patch of darkness to the left. Beautiful.





Cousin Adam got off to a strong start, and looked to be settling in nicely for a high finish.


But he suffered an untimely mechanical in the 2nd last lap. Was it a flat? There were plenty of those going around. Either way, it was a DNF. Penner DNF'd too. It seems his brakes fell apart.

The stone pit was deemed fixie-unfriendly.



However, the Secretary handled the barriers like a pro.



Like Jonny G, Luke managed to smile the whole race long.



Unger and Johnny S stayed pretty close to one another for most of the race. In the end, Johnny pulled away. Must be the new forks.



Charlene, as usual, kicked ass.



And so did Vic.



New recruit, Cousin Thomas, looked good. But he'd look much better if he were wearing the sweetest jersey in the world.



Matt managed to elude the cameral lens during the race. But he was there. Really. His first time out since the crash. You can see him hiding right behind Vic. Welcome back, Matt.



In the A race, Craig once again gave the FGBC faithful something to cheer about. After Daniel's blistering start ended with a puncture, Dylan, Don, Craig, and Olli inherited the lead. The Cricket managed to hang in there all race long. And he did one better than last week, finishing second.



Meanwhile, I seem to be fated to finish fourth. Three races, so far. And three 4th place finishes.



Jonny G was another victim of the flat-inducing sidewalk. Bummer.

A MennoCrossection

Sweet work team! We are exactly what we are.

A MennoCrossection 2009 from dnb on Vimeo.

Click on the video title link to see it in glorious HD. Sorry B racers, I was riding, so no video for you.
This is also saved in the Home Video Archive.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Menno Cross results are up

For everyone but the kids, at least. That will take a little more time to sort out.

Results here.

It was awesome!

Report to come later.

Bikes made from tall grass and hardwood

Was at the Wooden Boast Festival last weekend, and had a chance to test drive these bikes. Very sweet. http://www.renovobikes.com/

Have a great day at Menno Cross - wish I could be there.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We Are Ready for Liftoff

Thanks to Jonny G, Darryl, Unger, Craig, Thomas, Vic, Penner, KK, and Ben for helping out today. It was very much appreciated. And the course is a whole lot better for it.

The course is basically marked. It will be fast. Very fast. Quite possibly the fastest course of the season. That doesn't mean it will be easy. But it will still be a boatload of fun. There are plenty of fast, flowing corners. And a tent ride-through. You won't want to miss out on this one.

If you have super-soakers or other water shooting devices, make sure to bring them. And of course cowbells and other noise making implements.

I will be there at 9am to finish setting up the rest of the course. If anyone feels like showing up to lend a hand, you won't be turned away.

Registration starts at 10:30 am and closes 30 minutes before your races starts. The racing begins at high noon.

12 noon - C race
12:30 pm - kids race
1:30 pm - B race
2:30 pm - A race

See you there.

They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

I hope they are wrong. Because that worked out pretty nicely for me, and I'd like to see it happen again elsewhere. My team got 450 points from Driscoll, Trebon, Nash, and Gould. It was good enough to edge out Matt for the win. He had 440 points. Dallas was third with 415 points. Everyone is now on the scoreboard. Chris O had a good day. His 295 points move him all the way up to 4th last. Chris A now sits all alone in the cellar. But at least he has a few points to keep him company.

Vic still leads the overall race. He's the first to crack the 1000 point barrier. At this rate, it won't be long before he crests the 10,000 mark. Olli managed to hold on to his second place standing. He sits 45 points behind Vic. But Jonny G has slipped off the podium. He has been replaced by David, who trails Olli by 35 points. The lead group seems to have slowed from the torrid pace it set last weekend. A chase group consisting of Matt, Darryl, Dallas, LeAnn, and Chris D has formed and looks to be gaining on the front of the field.

Full results here.

The action continues this weekend as the USGP Series kicks off in Madison. The European vicarious racing season gets underway next weekend in Treviso with the first race in the World Cup Series. See the complete calendar here. We have a total of 60 races this year, 35 in Europe and 25 in North America.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fabian is Not Human

Holy crap, what a dominant show of force my boyfriend Fabian put on today at the World TT Championship. He won. That much was expected. But it is not so much that he won, but how he did so that is significant. How did he win? He absolutely destroyed the field, making a number of very strong cyclists look like a bunch of club riders out on a Sunday morning ride. In doing so, he caught and passed two other ITT studs, Larsson and Wiggins, who started out ahead of him. Larsson was fast enough to win the silver medal. But Fabian passed him and left him in the dust. He also coasted into the finish, taking the last several hundred meters to celebrate his win. Which is to say he eased off the gas in the finishing stretch. And yet he still won by almost a minute and a half. Incredible. Last years silver medallist, Svein Tuft, did not manage to crack the top 10. He finished 15th, just ahead of Lars Boom.

Universal Sports was covering it, which means, I think, that you can watch it on demand.

Thursday Anticipation

All hands on deck!

There is only one thing that matters this week: Menno Cross.

This is our race. That means we need to step it up and make it the best race ever.

Your first task is to be there, to race hard and to cheer harder. Your second task is to bring along a gaggle of others--racers and/or spectators. We need bodies. Fresh, warm bodies. And don't forget the children. Like Southern Cross in Altona, this is one for the kids. There will also be a C race for "pure beginners." This is geared not so much to those who are new to bike racing as it is to those who are new to biking in general. They will race the same course as the kids. In other words, there is something for everyone. So do your part and help to make sure that everyone shows up. Help us pack the house.

Aside from that, course setup commences at 3pm tomorrow. Jonny G, Unger, Darryl and I will be there, with a few others joining later. You are more than welcome to show up as well. You will find us milling about the North Campus.

Some help at 9am to finish marking some parts of the course that need to be left open on Friday would be greatly appreciated as well. We will also need marshalls at a few key points. FGBCers will be called upon to station those points, or at least to supply someone who can.

Registration begins at 10:30 am on Saturday. See you then.

This is going to be awesome!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The CX Pool is open for business

In the end, we got up to 32 33 teams. [I forgot the Cricket. He's so fast, it's easy to miss him] That is a perfectly sized field for cyclocross.

As you know, the start can be pretty important in a cyclocross race. Vic, Jonny G, and Olli have gotten off to a smoking start and already have a sizeable gap on the rest of the field in the 2009 FGBC CX Pool. Vic and Olli benefitted from the appearance of Swiss national champ Christian Heule in Washington this weekend. He will head back to Europe soon, which is good news for the rest of us. Jonny G got his points with big weekends from Powers, Page, and Sue Butler.

Vic won Starcrossed, the first race of the season, with a 395 point day. Jonny G picked up 350 points for second place, and Olli was third with 330 points. It was Olli's turn to win on Sunday at the Rad Racing GP. He totalled 365 points. Vic was second with 335 points. And the third podium step was shared by Jonny G and LeAnn. They had 300 points each.

Vic is already up to 730 points and sits atop the overall standings. Olli is in second with 695 points. And Jonny G rounds out the podium with 650 points. From there it is quite a long way back to David and Paul who are tied at 535 points.

Two guys named Chris who were both on fire at the end of the 2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool find themselves in a bit of a tough spot early on. Chris A and Chris O have laid nothing but goose eggs so far. They are tied at the bottom of the pool with zero points each. Fortunately for them, there is a lot of racing left.

Full results here.

Next up is Cross Vegas, under the lights tonight in sin city. Live coverage is available at CX Magazine.

TNR Report

The Secretary was the first to show up. And he didn't have any work to do on his bike. Wierd.

The ride took us to CMU to check out the basic elements that will be included in the course for Menno Cross. Everyone agreed that it will be awesome. We will entirely circle the building this year. There will be gravel, pavement, stones, and lots of grass. And, of course, the bunker. Three times per lap. The course will be fast and will have plenty of banked, sweeping turns that will put a smile on your face.

We also paid a brief visit to Sanctoral Cycle and tried to figure out what to do with the stash of crappy old bikes that have accumulated there.

Over at the klubhaus, the Cricket tried to explain to us how he got to be so fast. It took a few tries, but we think we have it all figured out. We will find out on Saturday whether any of us are able to put his tips to good use. We also tried to figure out how to handicap races to account for some rather wide disparities in our respective weights. Does anyone know where we might find a 70 lb lead vest for Craig? Cousin Bill showed off his resurrected and re-welded Mongoose. This led to a discussion of proper bar end positioning. It is a tricky business. There was also some discussion about the many different strategies for picking vicarious racing teams. It seems most employ Vic's approach of going with the best sounding names. Graham, however, elected to choose riders with the longest names. Melissa's strategy of googling photos of all the riders received nods of approval, but it was deemed to be too time consuming. Jonny G revealed that he found a picture of Hanka Kupfernagel that led him to feel slightly uncomfortable about his decision to pick her for his squad. I chose her because she got me thinking about former Bomber QB John Hufnagel and how much better he was than any of the sad sacks that have been trotted out on the field this season. At some point, the conversation turned to the upcoming Hold Steady show. Which led to an exploration of the use and abuse of criteria for music awards. This led some to reminisce about memorable expereiences at the Royal Albert, the Collective Cabaret, and Les Rendesvous, among other classic clubs. Which led us to a place these meandering conversations always seem to reach at one point or another, namely Penner and the story about how he fell asleep one time at a Sloan show. It was agreed that the Impaler has a long way to go if he is to be compared to Penner. All the while, we were entertained by some guy sitting behind us who was enthusiastically singing along to the particularly dreadful tunes that were playing on the hi fi. Apparently, he has been known to throw in a little air guitar every now and then too. Awesome.

No action photos of the ride tonight. We were having too much fun riding the course. But we do have this one of the Secretary modelling the latest headwear offereing from Charlene. It seems she recently struck gold at the Altona MCC thriftstore. Old suits make for sweet caps. Look for more of her fine handiwork at the race on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Challenge Update

It's been a while since we updated the scoreboard for the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge. Since the last update, Mike finished 4th in the provincial crit, for a 19-0 RRR win. The FGBC, however, has taken the latest two rounds. The final tally for Kings Cross resulted in a 136-47 victory for the dark side. And in the 2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool, we finally put an end to RRR's streak of victories on the vicarious racing front. We placed 5 in the top 20 (Craig, Darryl, me, Vic, and Jonny G). Now that Vic has a race license, his vicarious racing totals count toward the Challenge. By comparison, RRR had only three representatives in the top 20 (Mike, Chris, and KK). The FGBC wins 57-32.

After five and a half months, the overall scoreboard now looks like this:

Kings Cross Results

Here they are. Thanks Olli.

Team FGBC took two of the top four spots and three of the top 10 in the men's A race. Not bad for what is still a relatively new outfit, as far as racing is concerned. The Fraggle flew the colours in the women's A race, finishing second. Charlene and Vic were 2nd and 3rd in the novice race. As for the B race, there is a plan in place which calls for peaking a little later on in the season. Everything is under control. There is no need to panic just yet.

I counted 41 racers in total (not including the 4 kids, all from Wolseley Wheels). Eight of those 41 racers were wearing the sweetest jersey in the world. That's almost 20% of the overall field. Only Woodcock had more participants out.

Well done boys and girls. The darkness will be out in even fuller force this weekend at Menno Cross.

Check back later today to see what impact all of this (and the Vuelta Pool) has on the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge.

There is a fine line between a wardrobe malfunction and a striptease

There is a rumour going around that Brad the Impaler once again found himself involved in an x-rated encounter of sorts, following his ride at Tinker on Sunday. It sounds like it was enjoyed by some more than others. We expect to hear more about that tonight.

I think it's fair to say, by now, that Brad is the Penner of RRR. The frequency with which he finds himself involved in compromising activities is surely too well established to be categorized as merely coincidental. So Brad is to RRR what Penner is to the FGBC. That is good. Every club needs a Penner. It takes the pressure off the rest of us.

TNR


It looks a little bit like a cx race at CMU, don't you think? Bring your cx bikes once again. We will head over to the site of this weekend's big race to do a little course design and advance scouting.

My place at 9:30 pm.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A few more Kings Cross photos

Courtesy of Kevin B. RRR has some too.

I wonder if we'll see those results sometime soon. There is something called the FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge that would like to be updated.











Menno Cross

[updated: note the time change for Friday afternoon]


The press release has gone out and the promotional campaign is in full swing.

There is also some work to do. We will be setting up the course on Friday afternoon, starting at 4pm 3pm. Your help in identifying all the best lines would be greatly appreciated.

Most importantly, you need to show up and race on Saturday. All FGBC associates are expected to be there. Yes, even you Matt. And since no race licenses are required for this race, we expect to see the Juan Eppsteins, the Weasels, and the Johnny S's of the FGBC empire as well.

Let us spread the word. Can we get out more people than Altona?

Cyclocross Manitoba has all the details and forms.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rachel's a Survivor

You could be fogiven for missing it, but Rachel is one tough customer. She may not get the fire in her eyes that the Fraggle does. But she does not like to back down from a challenge. And she survived a significant challenge today. With Greipel and Bozic finishing first and third on today's final stage, she gained just enough of a cushion to survive the bonus round onslaught led by Hal and a pair of Chris's. She especially doesn't like to back down from anyone named Chris. You guys never really had a chance. In any case, without those 250 points, Rachel would have seen her lead slip away. But she managed to stay 170 points ahead of Chris A, winning the 2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool. Hal hung onto his podium spot as well, despite a big late race effort by Chris O. Hal finished 30 points behind Chris A, while Chris O was only 75 points from the podim. And just like he has done in his real racing lately, Craig put in a good effort to wind up finishing fifth overall. All five of those guys finished ahead of Dallas's stacked but illegitimate team. And, yes, Brad ended up with the lanterne rouge. We had seen it coming for a while now. And in the end it wasn't even close. The final gap between him the he and Dallas was over 300 points.

Full results here.

Thanks for playing, everyone. That was fun. And fortunately, there's no post-race hangover this time around. The 2009-10 FGBC CX Pool is already underway. Check back for the first round of results sometime tomorrow.

Starcrossed Goodness

I had the pleasure of watching the field at Starcrossed last night. Half the track under the lights of the velodrome and the other half in the dark. It was incredible to watch the strength and speed of the elite men...just like the article below mentions...they traded the lead almost every lap and at least 7 guys were in the lead at some point. Trebon was at or near the front almost the entire time, despite two falls in the rain soaked slippery muck. Heule played his cards perfectly, not challenging for the lead until the last lap, running in third place for most of the race. So nice to have such a venue only 20 minutes from my house. See more here http://cxmagazine.com/heule-jumps-to-star-crossed-2009-victory The US cross championships are in the Pacific Northwest this year. Anyone for a road trip to Bend, Oregon in December?

King's Cross Report

The sweetest jersey in the world was well represented yesterday at the second cx race of the season. We had four in the B race and four more in the A race.



Penner, Vic, Unger, and Charlene raced the B race, where Ian and the Impaler found themselves at the front of the pack early on. The Impaler could not hold that pace and slowly drifted back into the comfort of the middle of the pack.



Ian, on the other hand, only stepped it up. The first time he emerged from the trees, he had a big lead. Eventually, Bill the birthday boy worked his way up, and the two of them engaged in an extended back-and-forth tussle that was a lot of fun to watch.



It was only on the last lap that Bill managed to shake Ian loose to take the win. Not bad for a 50 year old.

As for the FGBC, they all stayed pretty close to one another somewhere in the middle of the field. All three RRR riders--Brad, Chris D, and Larry--were a little further up ahead.

Chris took a page out of the Impaler's book. I don't know what it is with those RRR guys. The bare-chested approach to the barriers isn't any faster. And it's not nearly as sexy as they think it is either. Thankfully, he kept his nip hidden behind the handlebars, unlike the x-rated approach of his less refined teammate.



Penner was the first across the line for the dark side. Every once in a while it looked like his infamous "balance issues" were about to get the better of him.


But he managed to keep the rubber side down all race long and only looked to be getting stronger with each subsequent lap.

Unger was the highlight of the race for the kids who were stationed at the mud bog. He was one of the few to acknowledge their pleas and went straight through a couple of times.



Charlene rode a strong race as well. There is a lot of power in those long legs.



She and Unger were pretty much together for the whole race. They left it all out on the course in a fierce sprint to the line that was too close to tell.

Vic looked to be enjoying himself as well. I'm not sure how the novice race panned out. But he was probably pretty close to the front.



As for the A race, we all knew the Cricket has some hops. But yesterday he kicked it up a notch, hopping himself all the way onto the podium. Along with Olli and Paul B, he treated the spectators to an exciting race. Or at least that's what it sounded like from my vantage point, about a minute back. In the end Craig was third. By all accounts, he looked smooth, fast, and graceful. That is awesome. Keep an eye on that guy. I'm told that I looked much less graceful. That seems right, since I felt like I was going to die. But I did manage hang on to finish fourth again. I even won a little cash for the first time all year. Just enough to pay for pizza and some Little Scrapper. Jonny G eeked his way into the top 10 as well. There were no reports on his gracefulness. But that's a significant improvement on his first race of the season. Now that ultimate is finished and he can focus solely on bike racing, we expect Jonny to continue to improve. The Fraggle didn't have much by way of competition. But she had her hands full with the one competitor who showed up. The Fraggle was second. Now she's mad. And we all know that a mad Fraggle is much faster than a complacent one. Look out.

Charlene took some photos. They will be up later, along with the full results.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Charlie's Time

Our man from the West Coast, Charlie won his first vicarious race today. Unfortunately, he had to share it with Mike. That guy is so greedy. But a win is a win. Well done, Charlie. Charlie and Mike both had 220 points, largely on account of having David Millar on their team. He won the real race today, showing he can still TT a little bit. Of course, it helped that all the other TT big shots have gone home. But I'm sure Saint David will take it. Matt was third on the day with 200 points

Rachel continues to lead the overall race. And her chances look good, especially on the likelihood that she will get some decent points from Greipel tomorrow. Hal is still in second. But Chris A has moved into third place. There are another 5 teams within 105 points of the final podium step. So it's not exactly over yet. Those post-race bonus points are looming rather large at this point. We will see how it all plays out tomorrow.

Full results here.

Deadline Extended

The 2009-10 FGBC CX Pool kicks off with Star Crossed in Portland. In proper FGBC style, it is a night race. Which means there is more time to get those teams in. We have 20 teams so far. We need to push that up over 30. Have your teams in by 8pm.

The party starts now.

rider down

News travels fast I did infact have a head on collision with a cyclist a few days ago. I was late in meeting a friend; riding a rather wreckless pace on the Stephen Juba path, while a somewhat intoxicated fellow on his supercycle veered into me. Is it not bad enough that I need to avoid "posts" and the like (which have dealt me a blow in the past) now I must avoid moving targets as well.
I suffered a partially separated A/C joint and a bone chip. (A meer boo-boo as compared to KK's fate.) My oponent, in what amounted to this impromptu bike joust, suffered a broken humorous as severely displaced acromium process. this is unconfirmed as I did not stick around that long... he became rather irate as he discovered his injuries and I thought he might just hit me with his good arm! Anyway .....the president:1 drunken bike dude on supercyle:0 I win!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

2009 FGBC CX Pool Entry Watch

Nine eleven twenty teams have been submitted so far. Keep them coming. The deadline for entries is just under 22 hours away. While the CX Pool may not be a part of this year's FGBC - RRR FGD Challenge, it will count towards this year's combined FGBC Cycling Pool championship. Mike currently has the inside track in that competition, but that may well change after the completion of the Vuelta Pool.

The FGBC CX Pool so far:

Chris H
Chris D
Brad E
LeAnn F
Mike G
Graham W
Chris O
Hal L
Andy L
Jonny B
Dallas S
Matt H
Dan L
Jay S
Chris A
Paddy H
Naomi H
Ian H
Adam B
Kevin K

RRR vs BCC Challenge?

The Bull City Cycling duo of Jay and Chris O tried to storm the podium today. But Chris D managed to hold them off. He wins the stage with a 240 point day. Jay was second with 215 points. And Chris's 175 points were good enough to land him on the final podium step.

Once again, Brad the Impaler did not get shut out. And once again, neither did Dallas. But Dallas did a better job in not getting shut out than Brad did. He gained 30 points on Brad. Which means the battle for the lanterne rouge is now down to just 10 points.

At the front end of the race, Rachel's 190 point lead continues to survive. She is the only team ahead of Dallas's team of inadvertent cheaters. Halberto is back on the podium. He and Paul are currently tied for second place. Chris A is just 10 points behind them, and Chris O is another 5 points back. Olli and the Cricket are right there as well. It looks like it'll go right down to the wire.

Which is more than you can say for the real race. Valverde's victory now looks certain. Sammy Sanchez gave it a try today, but the wet roads looked to hinder his interest in trying anything crazy on the final downhill. He did, however, move up into 2nd place, as Robert Gesink showed he has not fully recovered from his crash a few days back. He lost a lot of time and dropped from 2nd to 6th overall today.

Tomorrow's time trial should be interesting, if only due to the fact that all the time trial specialists have gone home. And then on Sunday it's one more chance for Andre Greipel to show how fast he can finish a sprint.

Full results here.

Rider Down

Apparently, the President recently found himself involved in another one of his unusual incidents. He is attracted to strange occurances they way Brad the Impaler's slightly less than dignified poses draw the attention of the camera lens. There are rumours of broken bones. Not his. I trust we will hear more about this.

Speaking of crashes:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Remember when Charlene went all apeshit on the guy in our ultimate game that one time?

Maybe not apeshit, exactly. But I mean the time she got a little hot under the collar and refused to back down from some know-it-all ultimate "veteran" who tried to pull a fast one on her with the rules. That was awesome. Probably one of the highlights of this past season. That and how we won the championship plaque. Again. Anyway, that's kind of what she did to the rest of us in the 2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool today. There are many players in this pool who have way more vicarious racing experience beneath their belts than Charlene does. But she stared them all down today in a fit of victorious rage and showed them that she is, at least for now, to be known as the boss. It has been brewing for some time now, if you think about it. You can't hold back a born winner like this for too long. 155 points and a stage win. Nicely done. Just wait to see what she does at the cyclocross race on Saturday. My team, meanwhile, continued to enjoy its run of good luck. 135 points and another second place for Dr. Divisive. Ian was third on the day with 120 points.

Brad the Impaler did not get shut out today. That is good for him. If he had, he'd find himself holding onto the lanterne rouge. Because Dallas picked up some points as well.

In the overall race, Rachel's lead is still at 190 points. The makeup of the podium, however, has changed. Olli is now in second, with Paul just 5 points back of him. After that, it's Hal, Chris A, and Chris O all clustered together waiting for the right moment to make their move.

No big changes in the real race, as it was a day for the breakaway artists to strut their stuff. Tomorrow looks like it might be interesting though, especially if Sammy Sanchez can shake things up on the technical downhill run-in to the finish as he has been known to do.

Full results here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Introducing the 2009-10 FGBC CX Pool


Rules:

Pick a team of 9 riders from this list, using the following criteria:

4 European Men (values must add up to 11 or more)
2 North American Men (values must add up to 4 or more)
2 European Women (values must add up to 5 or more)
1 North America Woman (no values)

Email your team here before 12 noon on Saturday, Sept. 19.

The European races will include the Superprestige, GVA, World Cups, and World Championships, as well as a bunch of other UCI 1 and 2 races. The North American races will include the USGP and NACT series, the National Championships, as well as a few other big races. The full schedule will be posted shortly.

Scoring will be as follows:

Scoring for Superprestige, GVA, other non-World Cup European races, and all North American races:

150-125-100 -90-80-75-70-65-60-55-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10-5

Scoring for the World Cup races:

250-225-200-175-150-125-100-90-80-70-60-50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15-10

Scoring for the World Championships:

500-450-400-350-300-250-200-180-160-140-120-100-90-80-70-60-50-40-30-20

It helps to have guys who are still racing

The past few days have been good to the teams whose sprinters are still in the race. Rachel won it this time, with Greipel and Bozic netting her 155 points. The combination of Greipel and Breschel got me 150 points and second place on the day. Luke E was third. He had 135 points courtesy of Roelandts and Gasparotto.

Paul and Hal both got shutout. So Rachel has increased her lead in the overall race. It's up to 190 points now. But we're heading back into the mountains for a couple of stages, so it should even out a bit. Paul and Hal are still hanging on to their 2nd and 3rd place standings. But watch out for Chris O. He's getting very close to the podium, sitting just 30 points back of Hal. Chris A, Olli, Craig, Darryl, and Mike are all within a 100 or so points from the podium as well. It should make for an exciting finish.

Brad once again got shutout. That's four stages in a row. He has just 5 points over the last six stages. That is some big time suckage. Fortunately for him, Dallas keeps getting shut out as well. So the Impaler still has a 25 point cushion in his bid to avoid the lanterne rouge.

Full results here.

It Almost Makes You Want to Turn Fifty

Just so we could do that all over again. Good turnout. Good times. Thank-you Bill for giving us a reason to step it up just a little bit last night.

Given that it was a birthday party, it only seemed appropriate to start with some pre-ride socializing and 50. This gave Jonny G an opportunity to show off his sweet zipper tie. It also gave the Secretary some time to do his weekly mechanical work. It did not, however, allow us enough time to recover the brake pad he somehow lost in his attempt to perform the tricky manouvre of putting his wheel back on. This is where riding fixed comes in especially handy. He was not rendered entirely brakeless.



Once the bikes were all deemed to be sufficiently road worthy, we headed on over to check out the progress of the Pinedale Project. We found the poosher there, cowering in a corner. He was looking a little forlorn at the prospect of all the work that remains to be done. We tried our best to cheer him up. He has made a lot of progress. It all looks very impressive.



From there, it was off to the Forks to explore all the great potential it has for cx racing. Some day it will all come together and there will be a big race there. For that not to happen is simply unjust.



And then, following a brief pause for some tire repair, we arrived at our favourite race venue--the corkscrew parkade--for a short five lap race. One for each decade of Bill's life.



The Secretary, sans brake pad, opted out and instead tackled two roles, serving simultaneously as race director and official photographer. He called for a le mans start, sending us one level down for a short run-up to the start.



The details of how it all played out are a little fuzzy. The Cricket and I enjoyed a little tussle at the head of the pack. He rode shotgun for the first four laps, before taking the lead with a daring downhill move just before we hit the corkscrew for the final ascent. We rode side by side for the first several revolutions. I managed to grab the inside and was able to hold him off for the win.



I believe Jonny G was third and the birthday boy was fourth. But he did manage to win the race to the klubhaus.



There were numerous DNFs. The most dramatic of these was Cousin Thomas, whose second flat of the night resulted in a little road rash. Not an ideal TNR debut. But it was good to have him come out nonetheless.



The post-ride gathering was somewhat truncated on account of our late arrival. But the evening was so lovely it seemed foolish not to enjoy the good weather by riding a little bit longer than normal. It seems July and September have switched places this year. By the time we reached the klubhaus it was close to midnight. Apparently, that was too late for a few others who spent some time waiting around for us before they went home. That is too bad. They missed a good one.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When I said the remaining stages might end up being decisive for the overall race, this is what I meant

Rachel didn't win today. I did. But she finished second, with Greipel winning and Bozic also in the top 10. Paul was shutout. He has no sprinters left. And Halberto had a medium day with only Isasi left in the gallops to the line. So Rachel's back in the lead. Paul is second overall and Hal is third. But they're all within 70 points of each other. Chris O and Olli are tied for 4th, and Chris A is hanging around as well. Good times.

Full results here.

TNR: Special Birthday Ride Edition

There's been a lot of big birthdays this year. This will be the last one for a while. Let's make it a memorable one.


9:30 pm at my place. Ride your cx bikes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Somebody in the FGBC bought a cx bike today

Any guesses?

Hint: this is his first cyclocross bike.

Yes, I know this is the 6th post today. But this kind of news is too exciting to keep quiet about.

Good times on the horizon.

Perogie Cross

It just keeps getting better and better. Look what just showed up at the FGBC's Dept. of Good Times:


For Immediate Release

Tolstoi - September 14, 2009

On Saturday October 17th, a new exciting cylcocross endurance race concept will be coming to Manitoba. "World Perogie Cross©" is a unique one-day stage race that mixes cylocross, perogies and polka.

"We have been trying to bring this concept to Manitoba for over 10 years, but it is very hard to secure the rights which are owned by a very secretive coalition of Slavic jugernauts with substantial interest in global cycling.

With intense negotiations spanning many years, the organizers are relieved the event can finally go ahead. "We are looking forward to this star-studded peloton including the Fort Garry Club, Red River Racing, Olympia as well as our international riders from the United States and Europe. We are also very happy that our own riders from Powered by PerogieT as presented by the Overnight Slavic Winter Daschau ExperienceT, will get the opportunity to race with the world's best.

This is the team's first opportunity to race, following a rather unfortunate multi-year ban for all its riders. "This is our first real test and a rebirth, for not only our fans, supporters, sponsors and adversaries in the peloton. The peloton will be very surprised to see who shows up on the start line as we have a very formidable team."

The first stage is a gravel road cylocross race involving a unique out-and-back course mixed in with short-course cross racing. Immediate following the first stage, riders will take part in the Perogie Fall Supper, with the third Polka stage to follow at sunset.

Given its' proximity to the Altona Southern Cross , the organizers have secured access to one if its sponsors - the Overnight Slavic Winter Daschau ExperienceT. Following the last stage, riders are encouraged to take part in this unique tourism experience and travel to Altona on Sunday morning.

"This is a great addition to the Powered by Perogie T family, as the Overnight Slavic Winter Daschau ExperienceT brings substantial revenues, amazing infrastructure and an internationally-recognized brand of 6-star accommodations around the globe. Most importantly, it will allow our riders to go on highly specialized 'training camps' in secure remote locations.

-----

Prizes will be awarded in a number of categories along with a leaders jersey, to be presented at the Fall Supper. There is no cost to enter, although each rider must pay for the Fall Supper ($15).

Given the star-studded peloton, riders are asked to provide a one sentence bio for publicity purposes. As well, riders must identify themselves as wishing to participate in the Overnight Slavic Winter Daschau ExperienceT. Lucky recipients being chosen in a lottery format.

Pre-registration is required by October 10th, but riders are encouraged to register early, as the peloton will fill up quickly.


To register:

Vladmiri Yivchinski
Commander of Real Information, Powered by Perogie
vlad@perogiepower.com

Sunday Tinker Ride

There was some discussion at the Lucky 13 cross races about a ride out at Tinker this Sunday (Sept. 20th). Proposing the following schedule: morning ride on the lake trail, lunch at one of the fine burger joints in town, then an afternoon ride around Tinker. This gives people options to attend the morning, afternoon, or both.

Who is interested?

Bullseye

Chris O came close the other day, finishing second to the Cricket on Stage 12. But today it was the other vicarious racer from the Bull City, Jay, who found the top podium step. He picked up points from Boom and Efimkin, finishing with 210 on the day. Jonah was second, with 160 points courtesy of Duque and Velits. The third podium step was rather crowded today, as seven riders tied for third with 150 points each. At the other end of the spectrum, The Impaler continues to suck. He laid another goose egg today, his third in four stages. Over those past four stages he has a grand total of just 5 points. He is now just 25 points away from taking over the lanterne rouge from Dallas. Today, however, he had plenty of company at the bottom of the scrap heap. Eighteen teams--almost half the pool--got shutout today.

In the overall race, we have a new leader. Paul V has finally knocked Halberto off his perch. He never really belonged there anyway. Paul has a 90 point lead over Halberto, with Rachel another 75 points back. Dallas's illegitimate team is in second place, but it doesn't count.

Boom won the real race, as there was seemingly no interest in chasing the breakaway group of 13. Still, Boom looked impressive as he attacked his breakaway companions. I guess the big question right now is whether he will return to cx this season. It would be a shame if he switched over to road racing altogether. There was another Canuck sighting in the top 20. Christian Meier finished 13th.

Full results here.

Kings Park CX

Just got the details from Olli:

September 19, Woodcock Cycle Kings' Park Cyclocross, CX series #2

The second race of the Manitoba Cyclocross series will be held at Kings' Park, 198 King's Drive just south of the U of M.

Race course is very spectator friendly and fast.
Light food, fruit and water are available upon each race completion.

Race prizing to be awarded after all races are complete. You must be present to accept your prize.

Registration from 1:30pm - 2:30pm on the north parking lot, parking and washroom facilities located here.

Registration $10, novice riders and kids under 15 race for free.
Races starts at 3pm

B Race - 3pm, 30min + 2 laps

Kids Race - 4pm, 15min + 1 lap (modified course)

A Race - 4:30pm, 45min + 2 laps

Speaking of cyclocross, the European season began yesterday in Erpe-Mere, Belgium. Check it out:

Again I Try, Just Need to Fly

He left some flesh on the pavement yesterday in his real race, the Provincial Crit. But he still did alright, finishing 4th. In the vicarious race, however, Mike was back to doing what he did so frequently in the early part of the season--kicking our collective asses. He picked up 250 points--via Cunego, Valverde, and Alan Perez--and his first win of the 2009 FGBC Vuelta Pool. Paul V was second with 230 points. KK and I tied for third. We both had 225 points.

In the overall race, Paul has pulled to within 30 points of Halberto. Chris A vacated the podium in order to make room for Paul. Rachel dropped down to third place. We're into the last week now, and it's all very close. The three teams on the podium are separated by just 105 points. And the gaps all the way through the top 20 remain very tight. So expect lots of jostling for position over the final week.

As for the real race, Chris O's buddy Ali thinks it's been a bit of a yawner. Ali, I hope you were watching yesterday. Because that was pretty exciting. The Little Prince attacked his breakaway companions and held on to win the stage. Young Danish talent Jakob Fuglsang also survived from the break. And the contenders went up a pretty vicious climb essentially throwing haymakers at each other in an attempt wrest the golden jersey from Valverde. Basso was leading the charge for a while, with the crybaby holding on tight to his wheel. It looked for a while like Valverde was about to have the bad day he usually has in a grand tour. He was fading fast with about 4 km to go. But in the end it was Basso and Evans who cracked. Valverde held on to finish 5th, and even added a little time on Gesink. But the big winner was Sammy Sanchez. He leapfrogged Basso and Evans and now sits in third overall. If he can pull off a final week like he did in 2007, he's still got a chance. I can't wait for him to launch one of his patented downhill attacks on Friday's stage 19. But Valverde is looking like he'll be tough to beat.

Full results here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Not Bad For a Cricket

Did anyone else hear that strange noise around 10:30 am this morning? It seems the Cricket let out a sonic whoot today upon realizing that he'd pulled off the win in one of the toughest stages of this year's Vuelta. That's what years of pent up quietude sounds like when it finally gets released, apparently. 320 points for Team FGBC's youth movement. It's his second stage win of the race and the 5th time that the sweetest jersey in the world found itself upon the top podium step. By comparison, RRR's only win was yesterday with Gilles. There may have been some hollerin' overheard down in Durham too, as Chris O took second on today's stage. He picked up 250 points. That's the first podium appearance for the Bull City Cycling squad, I believe. And over in Lethbridge, Paddy celebrated his 230 point third place finish by simply uttering "Dude." Brad the Impaler did not get shutout today. He got 5 points. It was Cousin Adam who laid the goose egg.

As for the overall race, Halberto managed to extend his lead a little bit. It's up to 125 points now. The rest of the podium, however, has been given a new look. Olli and Paul are gone. Rachel has climbed back on. She sits in second place. And Chris A has found his way up there as well. He's just 10 points back of Rachel. Paul and Olli haven't gone far though. They sit just 20 and 30 points off the podium. Chris O, looking strong as of late, is the best of the rest.

In the real race, David Moncoutie soloed his way to a stage win out of the day's big breakaway. Zeke Mosquera jumped off the front and picked up a few seconds on the main contenders. Valverde took took third, just ahead of Gesink and Basso. The big loser today was Cadel Evans. He flatted on his way up the final climb and lost a bunch of time while waiting for a new bike. Instead of bouncing back strong when faced with adversity, he crumbled. He conceded still more time and all but dropped out of contention. Cadel, buddy. HTFU, you little baby. You're making Dallas look bad for giving you a second chance.

Also significant for the overall race is the spate of abandonments. 10 guys quit yesterday. And another 10 packed up and went home today. All told, there have been 38 abandonments so far. A lot of the big sprinters are gone by now (Farrar, Davis, Boonen, Freire, Chavanel, Shroder). But there are still a few fast finishers kicking around. The way things are shaping up, it might very well be that a few sprint victories during the final week is the difference maker in the overall race. Among the top teams, Rachel still has both her sprinters (Greipel and Bozic), while Paul has lost both of his. And everyone else is working with just one.

Full results here.

Jonny, maybe it's just that you're not riding with a shirt and tie

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ryder!


First Canuck to win a grand tour stage since Steve Bauer did it at the Tour in 1988. How sweet is that?

This helped Gilles (aka Mike's other team) to a big stage win. Having 2nd place finisher David Garcia didn't hurt either. It's 365 points for the RRR recruit. The FGBC, however, rounded out the podium. The Fraggle picked up 225 points and Jonny G was right behind with 220. The Impaler and El EspaƱolito both laid big fat goose eggs.

Halberto still leads a very close overall race. And Olli is still second, at 75 points back. But Paul V has moved into third place. He's just 10 points behind Olli.

Full results here.