While a 25 lap race at Grattan might seem like some sort of an endurance event, it's really not. The race almost always boils down to a sprint finish in the end, with the whole party at the table, elbow to elbow, ready to eat the whole roast all by themselves. Even if there's a break away, of say something like 56 people, there's still going to be a life and death sprint at the end for that coveted 57th spot. You can count on it. Anybody know what the trophy looks like for 57th place? My guess is a bottle of Heinz.
As we have such a sprint-loving gang when their new hero Cavendish does something spectacular on the preceding weekend you're sure that they'll want to emulate it by picking up the phone, wiping their glasses, or flipping the crowd off. Unfortunately in the above photo, you'll see what old Cav managed to do this week. In the pack we were taking odds (and this part is true) on the over-under on how many would go down in the sprint (though there were many attempts to cause crashes starting at 25-to-go). Being the optimist I am took the under on 15-Going-Down and won an orange GU. It was mighty delicious, let me tell you.
From what I hear nobody was seriously hurt on the two man crash on the hill, and that's a good thing. But I have to report that there was a lot of screaming and cursing. If you haven't heard a lot of serious screaming, cursing and wailing-in-pain, maybe you'll want to come out and join us some night. There's been a lot of that lately. And it's so much more realistic than in the movies or X-Box. It really is.
Now while I can't blame anyone for screaming or cursing while their skin is being burned off by sliding across tarmac, or their bones being snapped, I did have a problem last night with all the crying that came after the sprint to the line. I'm mean there's nobody that likes a good cry like me, especially when I've been hurt, or maybe I'll drop a bomb or two when somebody tries to run me into a light pole, but I can't ever remember screaming about my placing at the end of a bike race. Usually I'm just glad they're over and that I can go get something to eat. (I was so hungry last night I almost ate the bar tape off my bars!)
Last night, as the camera's flashed at the finish line and the fans swooned at the death-defying speeds of the racers, riders were screaming, cursing and crying. I thought there was a crash, but there wasn't. No, it was just cursing in anquish from not winning. Boo-Hoo!! If all that noise had a face, it would have looked something just like this: