Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympics & Short Track; Don't Confuse The Two

Well Saturday was the Men's Olympic Road Race and Alexander Vinokourov won. It didn't surprise me that Vino won. I figured if it didn't come down to a sprint finish that a cagey veteran would most likely get the victory. For a few reasons.

First, it's a 150 mile race. That's long... And a wet behind the ears racer wouldn't have the stamina for a race of that distance and intensity. Second, and most importantly. There were no race radios allowed. With today's peloton keeping vigilant on what is happening at all times during race is something that I don't think they get much practice at. So that definitely a bigger advantage to someone who's been around the block a bunch. Third, depending on the country you could be a solo racer (Like Ryder for Canada.) up to 5 racer team (Like GB, USA, France, etc...). Even at it's largest that's not a particularly large number of riders. So you knew there was going to be a lot of wheel surfing...

There are quite a few people out there that aren't particularly happy that (The entire GB team comes to mind.)Vino won. Mostly because Vino has the reputation as an unrepentant doper. Which is probably a fair assumption. Although I think a lot of other racers could take a cue from him by just taking their suspension like a man (Or a woman. Depending on which ever the case may be.). I'm mean sure he made a bit of a fuss initially. But after a bit he went back to his cave in Kazakhstan and came back all the stronger. Which I guess is another reason people get grumpy about him. He didn't know that he was suppose to suck when he came back.

As I watched the race I must say I really questioned some of the tactics that played out. I can understand the GB team taking the reigns initially. It is their country and they were heavy favorites. But when you have a 25 man breakaway up the road!? That should set off a bunch of alarm bells not only for them. But any of the other sprinter teams. Germany started to come to the front with only 25 miles left. After the Brits had pretty much burned all their matches and it was obvious the break wasn't coming back. But shouldn't that have been pretty obvious to them that a break of that size should never be given that much leash? I guess it's just one of the differences between having or not radios.

I know a lot of racers and teams cry about not being able to use radios for certain races. But I for one still think it's a great idea. And all the races that I've seen were they don't have them just keeps bolstering that opinion. It just makes for more interesting racing...

Anyway, I guess this a very long winded way of me telling you that I think Vinokourov totally deserved that win. Not only did he time that last move to get away from the bunch with the Colombian rider (I can't remember his name.). But his final push with 200 meters to go while the Colombian was looking the other way was brilliant racing. So kudos to him....

 Even if he is an unrepentant doper.

Pro/Cat1 start
Stolen from the Buy Local Team website.

The Salem Mountain Bike Short Track Series started last night and with it my feeble attempts to get ready for cross season (That an a truly pathetic 3 mile run with my SSHW on Sunday.). It is a lot of fun. If you are within driving distance of Salem I highly recommend coming out to race or spectate or both.

I raced the Men's C race because I'm hardcore like that.

I had a terrible hole shot. I was in the completely wrong gear (Even when I thought I was in the right one.). So I was playing catch up on four guys right out of the gate.  However I was pretty happy with how I handled the BMX track portion of the race (I told you it was a cool race.). Whoops have traditionally scared the crap out of me. But with some great tutelage from Brison I managed to not land on my face. Which is always good...

I got passed twice. First by a sandbagging SOB (Coby) who is in the real world a really good guy. But for the purposes of this blog he's a bastard and I shall find a way to grind him into some sort of soft paste that can be use by the elderly to polish there wingtips...

The second guy who past me was David. David is a teammate. It was a legitimate pass, in an area of the course that I struggled with all night long. But I shall also find a way by the end of the series to have ground him into some sort of paste like product. Just cuz that's how I roll.

After my race I watched the B's and the A's race. Brison rode in the B's race. He came out of  the gate really fast and took the hole shot. But progressively struggles the rest of the race. This is his first race back since shoulder surgery and I don't think he expected that kind of pain. But he finished and I'm super proud. I have no doubt that he will be back whooping every one's ass in no time flat.

Graham from he shop won the A's race. It was really a three man race for the lead. But he continually punched it every time the got into an open are and eventually wore hie competition down. It was a terribly fun race to watch. I heckled and supported where I saw fit. Sometimes changing it up mid lap just for the fun of it.

Good times.

Tomorrow is the Men's Olympic Time Trial. I kind of see it as a 4 horse race. Wiggins, Phinney, Cancellara (If his shoulder injury doesn't get in the way.) and Martin. I'm sure someone else will come in and dominate since I put up some picks. But oh well...

Thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E


  1. I love how the Brits want to cry and moan about Vino, but remain silent on having David Millar (also a convicted doper) on their own team. Hypocrisy rocks!