Thursday, January 19, 2012


Julie McGraw's photo of a 2011 Grattan B's sprint finish captures the spirit of this year's Tour Down Under sprint finishes, going on now.

Reading The Michigan Scene, yesterdy over a french press of nlack coffee and my morning Hookah filled with my special Blond Turkish blend, it looks like everybody, including Mr. T, is thinking about next season. So it seems we've officially moved from the end of the Season (cross), to the Preseason (road/mountain/goofy gravel road races) and we'll soon in Season (road/mountain) again in a matter of just a few weeks – and just a few months after that we'll be back to THE SEASON again (cross).

I really got excited thinking about the return of the road racing season when I saw a video of the sprint finish of the Tour Down Under a few days ago (now removed for some reason, possibly because it would hurt the sale of sponsoring Skoda cars, or overpriced carbon road bikes with electric shifting, I'm not sure which). After watching the tumbling carnage of flipping bikes and bodies it reminded me that I should be seeing my GRATTAN RACE SERIES flyer coming in the mail any day now. The reports from the opening stage of the TDU reminded me, in fact, of the first night of Grattan, every season. I've just replaced the "WorldTour" with "Wednesday Night Training Race" in the reports from the race earlier this week. See if it works for you as it did me:

"It was unbelievable." 
Van Hummel said the Wednesday Night Training Race status of the race had perhaps been a factor.
"It's the first Wednesday Night Training Racer so everybody's trying to score points, and everybody wants to show his level and we're all motivated, but that means people are taking risks," he added.
"Some people are trying for the sprint and they don't yet have the level for it."

Sound familiar? You bet it does. And how about this ...

"To have two team-mates causing a crash when they're not fighting against each other is just stupid.

"Under-eights (Cat 5 / Cat 6?) racing don't do that, it's just ridiculous. They're not riding with their eyes closed."

Well, maybe they are riding with their eyes closed. If you're sprinting, especially for cookies, you don't need to look, do you? Just put your head down and kick! Also, I'm wondering, after reading this report, just WTF a 70 year old woman was doing in there:

"Three riders, including Greipel's key Lotto-Belisol team-mate Jurgen Roelandts, and a 70-year-old woman were taken to hospital after a crash just under 1km from the finish."
What the hell, I thought is a 70 year old woman doing in a sprint finish with a bunch of world-class-knuckle-head pros? And then it hit me! That damn Julie Lockhart is still racing! Even after winning the USA Women's 70+ National Championship, and the Women's 65+ World Championship, in Louisville last week, she just can't stop!

Wells-Hamilton, Lockhart and Savary. ©Brian Nelson


Thought I'd throw in a couple of cross videos that flew under the radar earlier in the season. Sit back, fill up your tanker of coffee from your French Press, lit up your Blond Blend in your Hooka, and enjoy. 
The first video is that awesome scary-ass downhill sand race in Zonhoven. The first part of this video is the best. The second video is an early season race in Rooooooodervoooorde - it's not extremely technical, muddy, or crazy, but if you have the time watch it. It's features some of the smoothest and best riding you'll see on any kind of bicycle. At least watch it until the second "Whoops" section.  It will give you something to do while you're deciding on "weather" or not to ride tonight. Looks good so far. You think?
Watch more video of European Cyclocross 2011/ 2012 on


  1. That's an important sprint you're showcasing!Who wouldn't sacrifice a $5,000 bike, $1,500 deep dish carbon wheels and a few broken bones for $2.50 worth of stale sugar cookies.