Tour of California was just a display. It was a display of the popularity of US Cycling. World Champions and Protour stars filled the streets of Cali. US Teams; Slipstream, High Road, and BMC established themselves as teams to watch out for. Every interview I watched with Neal Rogers (Velonews), had riders talking about the quality of the field. The future of US Cycling is looking up. It's exciting to race during this period. I just got a notice to renew my US Cycling License. In the email there were some interesting statistics. They claim that 7,000 new members jointed US Cycling for 2008. It makes me think of Montana Cycling. In Montana one or two more people on a team is a big deal. When you put the time in with new riders it really makes a difference. I applaud the Montana Junior Cycling Federation and GAS Cycling Team for being leaders in bringing new folks into the sport. There are others who are leading this charge. Thanks to all your folks trying to take Montana Cycling to the next level. There is no reason why Montana shouldn't follow suit with US Cycling.
Keep it real.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Originally I was against the idea of having a Montana Composite Team for racing big out of state races. I started riding again, and have been thinking more about the idea. I think people are surprised at the amount of racers in Missoula and in Montana as a whole. We have a great scene out here and that's part of the reason I live where I do. However, we don't have the numbers to be dividing into all these separate teams for out of state races. It's great for in state rivalries, but we are a drop in the bucket at bigger races.
When you travel great distances to race bigger events, it might be nice to grab a little more recognition. After a couple years other states would recognize the "Montana Team". I think it would bring nothing but good publicity for Montana cycling. It's hard to get folks together from other cities, but maybe one meeting at the beginning of the year to lay out race schedules. Then after that talk via email and phone about strategies and who's feeling fit. By racing each other on the Montana calendar, everyone should have a good idea of who's on form.
Think of the last couple years for MT riders racing out of state. Two years ago Bob Presta held the leaders jersey at Mt. Hood after the first stage. Team Enso had a good squad to support with Jason Hobson and Eric Ziegler, but also in the race was Phil Grove. He finished around the 20's but what if you had that extra horse power. Maybe they could have held the jersey a little longer?? Think of last year's Mt. Hood race. Frank G. and Marshall were killing it. What if they were both wearing the "Montana Team" kit. It would have looked sick. Even at Frozen Flatlands last year there were tons of Montana folks. It would work across all categories. When you go to a big race and all you've got is your girlfriend or a couple bike race dudes you kind of know it's a little lonely. What if you had teammates in the masters race or women's race that at the very least you could talk to and have moral support.
Anyways, there's my Friday rant. This is what you get when you start sitting on the bike.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Traditional Roubaix's have a flat finish. The Rocky Mountain Roubaix has had a mix of flat and uphill finishes. What do you like best? Weigh in to the poll above.
I'm down for an uphill finish. I think it separates Montana Roubaix from other Roubaix's. It's not like the climbing in Cow Country, it's just a good way to separate folks at the end. Anyways, I'm curious to see what ya'll prefer.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Classics season is under way. Phillipe Gilbert stole the show in Het Volk and Steven De Jongh won a two up sprint in Kuurne Brussels Kuurne. Gilbert's move was impressive in Het Volk. He flew the coup with 20 km to go and never looked back. Micheal Friedman of Slipstream Chipotle made the initial break and hung on for 12th. Great result for Slipstream who is trying to gain as many invites as possible. Gilbert held off a strong group of Cancellara, Hoste, and Nick Nuyens. It was a disappointing day for Quick Step. The Belgium squad bounced back the next day in Kuurne Brussels Kuurne. They put all their riders in the decisive break. Bettini was the only one missing. He was involved in a crash at 9km. De Jongh followed a late move by Sebastian Langeveld and worked the young rider in the sprint.
Being American the highlight of the weekend for me was the performance of an upstart Slipstream Chipotle squad. Both days we had former US domestic dudes up there in the semi classics. Day 1 Friedman put it all on the line and Day 2 Steven Cozza finished 24th but made the initial break. I love the fact that it wasn't pro tour guys like Magnus Backstedt or Tyler Farrar. It was the two tough guy domestic dudes.
Great win by Phillipe Gilbert I think he's one to watch out for. He seems to be on good form. He was hurt a bit last year, so he really didn't have a season that reflected his talent. Great result for FDJ.
Hope the local rides went good this weekend. I was at Big Sky hitting fresh tracks. I'll be there next weekend.
Stay tuned for MT cross apparel......yes that's right MT cross tshirts debuting soon!