Monday, December 15, 2008
There was a spate of cycling news over the weekend, which I didn't address, because I was too busy dancing. (Imagine that... it must be December.) By the way, I know I said I was done writing about dancing, but I have to tell you that a photo of me dancing appeared in The Sunday Saratogian, and just about everyone I know took the opportunity to tease me today. OK, that's the last time I'll bring it up, I promise.
Anyhow, the most important cycling news is certainly five-time national CX champion Katie Compton, who re-up-ed her stars-and-bars Sunday in the Elite women's championship race, beating out olympian Georgia Gould. This really shouldn't surprise anyone, but it's still really cool.
I've been a Compton fan since she won her first national championship jersey in 2004. At the time, I thought it was very cool that she was so dedicated to her role as the sighted captain of a tandem in the paralympic games that she would forgo the opportunity to race in UCI races -- and earn money racing bikes. (The paralympics are only for amateur atheletes.) At the time, some professional bike racers were pissed that Compton would dare show up and knock them dead without so much as offering them a shot at another race.
No matter, Compton said, you can race me any time you like, just show up to local races in Colorado. Compton has since given up on the paralympics, after some kind of dispute with her blind partner, and is now a pro 'cross racer. Still cool in my eyes.
Oh, and Ryan Trebon, who is about 8 feet tall, won the mens' title. I met Trebon this summer at the NMBS race at Windham Mountain. He's a very nice guy and clearly an exceptionally talented racer... but he's no Compton.
In other news, it seems that Rock Racing may be closing down, even after proclaiming "Here to stay" as a team slogan. Ha.
I've been ambivalent about this teams since they first showed up in 2007. They're brazen and purosefully edgy -- not that there's anything wrong with that. The problem I have is their proclivity toward hiring tainted riders -- those with prior doping convictions. They were, without a doubt, one of the more taletned domestic teams -- just ask Adam Branfman. But there's that questionable riders.
And then there's Michael Ball -- the flagrant Rock Racing owner, who made his millions by designing (and cleverly marketing) over-the-top clothes. He seems to live to fly in the face of mainstream cycling, and does a good job of it, nearly all the time. Maybe this is just desserts?
I'd also note that I love Velo News. It is (and has been) my favorite magazine, and the website is always right there with news, and I hope to work for them more as time goes on... but, this is the second time they've been scooped by the hobbyists at Velocity Nation (another site that I love). Come on Velo News... it's time to step it up and show us who is really the journal of competitive cycling.
Posted by Andrew J. Bernstein at 6:52 PM