Yes, more Spaniards on the move. They’re all the rage these days. Ag2r, after signing Mancebo, has not plunked not one, but two more Iberians onto the roster: JosÃ© Luis Arrieta and David Navas, both of Illes Balears, which coincedentally, is also Mancebo’s current team. No word yet on how IB plans to fill in the gap, but the squad has been notorious in the past for importing Russians (Karpets, Menchov, etc).
With most of the Euro scene still hungover from San Sebastian, the real action in the two-wheeled world this weekend was at Elite Track Nats in Los Angeles USA. Northwestern Mortgage had, for much of the event, dominated the endurance races, with Bobby Lea taking the Points Race, Josh Kerkoff taking the Scratch, and the team bringing home the gold in the pursuit. Team TIAA-Cref, who took 3rd in Team Pursuit, was determined to avoid the sweep in the Madison, and the team of Colby Pearce and Chad Hartley was indeed took the win. But it was not without some controversy. Fortunately, right at the center of it all was our good friend Todd Yezefski, who had this to say:
Cyclocosm:Nice work in the team pursuit. Weren’t you on the 3rd
placed team last year, too?
Yezefski: I was on the 3rd placed team two years ago. But Adam Sbeih, on the winning team, got busted for EPO, so I guess I technically got second. Although I never saw a silver medal.
We definitely should have been faster than we were in qualifying. But for a bunch of roadies riding their third pursuit ever (the other two were in training earlier in the week), we didn’t ride too poorly. We were on schedule the first 1.5 km, then the pace dropped a little, and we just couldn’t pick it back up to where it was at first. Close, but close each lap means a few seconds at the end. Plan is to be back for a UCI track race in October to try again.
Madison was a little bit of a cluster. My chain came off after the 2nd exchange (Note: Someone else put my rear wheel on. Never let someone else put your rear wheel on). So Brad Huff and I were down a lap right from the start, not an envious situation. After unsuccessfully trying to get a lap back due to being consistently chased down by the whiners from Northwestern Mortgage, we just decided to have fun with it. Which we did. We ended up going down 3 laps to the leaders with 20 to go, while everyone else was going 2 down. And when you go 3 down, you get pulled. So we got pulled. My teammates Colby and Chad ended up spanking Bobby Lea (BJ, Jr) and Mike Friedman (nicest guy who can’t say no), so all was not lost. Of course, Northwestern Mortgage protested the results since they lost, but the officials upheld the results. That explains the earlier comment about whiners.
That’s pretty much the wrap-up from the last half of track nats. My body is trashed from racing, even more so from my 35 mph crash. And it’s off to Manhattan Beach for a tough crit today.
And that crit looks like it will be a blast. But I bet it’s all worth it when he gets that fat, 800-dollar paycheck each month. Anyway, wasn’t that so much more interesting than the USA Cycling press release that VeloNews tried to pawn off as an article? Oh, look, they changed the title and took out the pictures…but no one was fooled!