I wanted to talk to you about today’s race. How it was so long and there were so many riders and in the end it came down to only one inch.11Sound familiar? About everything that went into that. I wanted to talk to you about women’s racing, about how these ladies are out there bleeding out of their eyes, living out of box vans and taking wet wipe showers. We could talk about the lack of spectators on the course, the long transfers between each stage, the rat maze that was the fence setup at the start and finish line. But I don’t have time, I am tired, I am really really tired.“But I do want to tell you something: as much as I might feign disinterest and try on airs of disassociation I can tell you that every single day when that first rider crosses the finish line, it is spine tingling. This sport is beautiful.”MFS
If you found a pair of rain pants at a store other than Target or Big 5 Sporting Goods, or you just happened to come prepared with rain pants from home, then you won today’s Unfair Advantage Challenge.
I had lunch at a bar and watched the race. I watched Sagan eat a hoagie sandwich while waiting for the peloton to catch up, I watched him check his text messages and bang out a few tweets and talk to his DS, looks like they shared a good joke. Meanwhile Josh had ordered this Nutella milkshake that was sealed with a toasted marshmallow cap. He was so excited about it, which made me excited, which made Rebecca excited, and I think, based on the little smile that he had on his face when Josh took that first life affirming sip, made Sagan a little excited.
Tonight I discovered that Yumi Zouma released a new single. It’s called “Barricade (Matter of Fact).” I am listening to it now. You do you, but if you want to be a better you then check this little jam out.
Today there came a time when I needed to take care of some personal disposal issues while out in the field. I mean, I was at the media room, but if you’ve ever seen that animal park you know it’s as out in the field as out in the field can get. Anyway. I’m there and things are feeling real good. Like I am crushing emails, taking notes, jamming tunes, flying. It wasn’t a surprise, it wasn’t a literal, “Oh shit,” moment. I knew what was happening so I excused myself to the commode. Let’s cut to the chase: the automatic lights turned off on me while I was “using” and I’ll be damned if they weren’t a bitch to turn back on. Picture this: here I am, a grown man, perched upon one of these beautiful little numbers doing what I’ve done at least a hundred times before, then bam. UTTER AND COMPLETE DARKNESS. So I sit there, waving my arms like an angry chicken on six bumps of cocaine, and the light’s just not coming on. Here’s me in a fix, here’s me sad AF, here’s me cursing convenience, humanity, the whole thing. Finally, as if it had had enough fun, the light clicked back on. I looked at that sensor boy. I looked at it and was like, “I see you. I SEE you.”
Manual for Speed has been commissioned to introduce a new race classification category called “Most Animal.” Points for the classification will be awarded on the basis of style, swagger, and grit. We’ve assembled an elite group of expert analysts who will be assessing and assigning points for performance. The most animal jersey for ATOK will be awarded at the end of the race.
PETER SAGAN: 8 pts
Listen, what’s more animal than blowing the race apart with 60K to go, striking fear into everyone in the peloton nursing cold sores and fighting sore throats and praying to survive to Sacramento? What’s more animal then destroying the dreams of grown men by forcing six guys to DNF? There is nothing more GRIZZLY than being off the front for 40 of the last 60K of a hilly stage and then sprinting to within a couple of inches of beating one of the world’s top sprinters who just had the lead-out of his life. Fuck marginal gains, saving for the final sprint, conserving til it counts, all of that shit which has caused road racing to be where it is. I’m telling you, Sagan is single-handedly saving this sport from becoming another racquetball or jai alai sensation. The man epitomizes animal.22Just thought this was a cool little point: Sagan freewheeling and waiting for the shattered peloton to catch him and stuffing goos down his gullet as if he was home manhandling Trdelníks after a mountain bike race.
KATUSHA: 5 pts
Named after a Russian missile system, they operated with typical Russian military precision and controlled what was left of the peloton coming into the Santa Rosa circuits and then put their Norwegian missile onto the top step of the podium. The watts those guys put out during the last 13k to string out the field and discourage attacks was enough to power the western seaboard for the weekend. Crazy power. It was an added bonus to see all those guys in the background, fists in the air in unison celebrating as they watched their Norwegian snatch a lucky victory… I say lucky cuz Sagan felt like playing around off the front for a lot of the day—think about how different that sprint coulda gone.
KRISTOFF’S BIKE: 3 pts
This is what a sprinter’s bike should look like. I can’t stand rhinos and silly shit painted on a bike unless you’re Italian. If you’re Italian, airbrushing is a part of your culture—those dudes have been airbrushing snow leopards on their helmets for decades, so painted animals on their bikes are totes fine. But if you’re some boring-ass marginal-gainer and you think you’re gonna spice up your steez with a charging giraffe or something, you best check your power meter and drop off the back. But a traditional, home country flag bike scheme is legit. Yes, it’s been done, and no, it’s not that CRRAAÃZzy and it doesn’t involve cartoon animals (which I like everywhere else in life), but it’s tradition, and that is part of the essence of road cycling and an example of some things that need to stay around in cycling. When rad shit gets corrupted by charging giraffes, it’s GOT to GO.
TAO GEOGHEGAN HART: 3 pts
You gotta admire Axeon’s balls the whole race. Today it was Tao F*$king up the Katusha Kristoff Express with 1k to go. The rest of his teammates wisely backed down to the Pro Tourers queuing for the sprint, but Tao just jumped in 3rd wheel like it was nothing. A minute later he had thrown out the anchor and was drifting backward and was lucky to keep it upright, but still. That’s balls.
Standings After Stage 07
- Peter Sagan: 15 points
- Neilson Powless: 12 points
- Julian Alaphilippe: 12 points
- Ben King: 9 points
- Toms Skujins: 8 points
- Wouter Wippert: 7 points
- Peter Sagan: 7 points
- Nathan Haas: 6 points
- Jasper Stuyven: 6 points
- Axeon-Hagens Berman: 5 points
- Katusha: 5 points
- Vasil Kiriyenka: 5 points
- Oscar Clark: 4 points
- Rohan Dennis: 4 points
- Mark Christian: 4 points
- Dave Towle: 4 poimts
- Cannondale Team Car: 3 points
- Kristoff’s Bike: 3 points
- Laguna Seca: 3 points
- Tao Geoghegan Hart: 3 points
- Caps: 2 points
- Inflatable Cookies: 2 points
- T.Phin’s Shades: 1 point
Dave Towle is probably the only voice in the world who could truly describe just how hot these Surprise Me! kits are going to be. Don’t miss out! Today, Sunday, is your last chance to buy. Men’s & Women’s sizing available. Learn more HERE, or click below to secure your place in history.