Power Rankings : NW Old Edition
40% of my readership (Ian & Jamie) voted for the Stangleterrors to begin from the gun and go all night long. Don't blame me! Since we're all going to be sitting in the field bored as Jamie zips by us every 3 or 4 laps here's something to chew on: the 2011 Masters A Power Rankings! Unlike my Masters of the Month Awards (now with candy!) this will be iterative over the course of the season. Also, a team needs to actually have.. well teams. As usual, KR is disqualified cause it's self evident that we are Epic Awesome Sauce.
Power Ranking as of April 7,2011:
1. SCCA / SBUX - A well balanced team that does best in the "classics" with a sprint threat (Mirante), a long distance threat (Sean), a short distance threat (Jeff) and some dudes who I don't know yet but am going to pay attention to cause I'm not stupid. Used to be strong but are starting to ride smart too. Weakness: Impatience may get the better of them at times. Tend to try to overstack breaks. Actually, that's not a lot of weaknesses.
2. Garage - A team of grizzled veterans who like riding together and are impervious to PruDog's biting wit. In fact, they find me cuddly and playfull. I hate you guys! Primarily a finesse team with depth and attacking aggression but with less pure closing power than SCCA / SBUX. Their best play is to win from the break which they are more than happy to do. Not afraid to go long for the win. PruDog approves. Weakness: Lack of closing power.
3. Farestart - There's a bit of a drop-off from Garage to Farestart. That may sounds like an insult; it's not. Farestarts Masters squad has (admittedly and openly) been off-form at the start of the season. Rather than sit in a corner and whine, the have HTFU'd and ridden the hand they have been dealt: sit in, save energy and if a good move establishes suck it up and get across. Then hang on. For them it's about positioning right now. For us, it's gonna have to be about hitting them while they're down cause they won't be down for long. Weakness: Temporarily off-form, lacks numbers in the Masters.
4. Cucina Fresca - Erik Olsen has been giving it the old college try so the team gets credit for his hard work. But this team is built around crits and won't show it's hand until it warms up. The team doesn't have depth, but it knows what it's about and the guys will kill it for Gary and/or Chris. Weakness: Hates rain.
5. Audi - They have the numbers when they race. The lack of Masters races keeps these guys at #5. Weakness: Lack of commitment to Masters Racing and the capturing the honor of being mentioned (or better yet called out) on my blog. Weakness: Lack of humor or willingness to get inthe Swagger/Epic Win meta-joke.
6. Thundercats - Half cat / half human. All crazy. All the time. This team is a real wildcard. Prone to making poor decisions early, they often recover just in time to prevail. Unfortunately they inevitably go emo and spend 15 minutes discussing the situation, what lesson to take from it and how to handle it better next time. Weakness: Not an acutal team but an 80's cartoon, which really gets in the way of winning local Masters Races.
Mentions: A few other riders (I'm looking at you NWVelow/JustinTime) have ridden well so far this year, but without team support.