Friday, March 28, 2014

Where my candy at?

Alright, I've been nice long enough.  I know you all come here for the #hardcandy.  So I'm bringing it now, biznatches.

I see a lot of complaining online* about how masters racing (at least at the Masters 1/2/3 level) is lame.  Interestingly this often takes the form of "the problem is that Team X just stacks the field".  Last year it was the Garage.  This year it's the Garage and Cucina Fresca (my team).

Now I will say up front that our plan from the start at CF was to stack riders into the same race during the early season so that we could work on our race tactics and getting to know each other.   We also have made riskier tactical decisions so that our riders can get used to different scenarios and see how they react, for example, to being in the early break.  And the team has improved a ton for it.  That's going to change over the next month as we start focusing on riding 6-man squads.

And you not what?  The same guys complaining that the problem is we are over stacking the races will still be complaining about something.  Because, you know what?  There are no gifts in cycling.  It is a hugely unfair sport where for 90% of the starters the odds are stacked against you before you even line up.

So to the complainers:  Instead of complaining take Reed Homies advice and focus on learning to how to race your bike.  Figure out how to improve your chances instead of expecting to do well because you've earned it by gracing us with your presence.  Cause, you know what -- effectively asking other teams to handicap themselves isn't going to work.  If you don't know what to do here's a pro-tip: ask someone who does.  If you don't know who is who then that's your first assignment: learn who people are.   Not just because it'll help you know who can advise and mentor you but because in order to read a race you need to know who the riders are.

Here's some free unwelcome criticism feedback from last Tuesday nights race:  what's the end game in sitting on the back, letting Matt Hill, Mark Mirante, Nicos & Landon go up the road what's the end game of sitting on the front and pulling?  Or fighting me for 4th wheel but not actually pulling through?

I don't know your guys individual strengths and weaknesses (although it appears a couple of you think you're sprinters) but I can't think of a single scenario were waiting for a break to establish and then pulling so hard you can't react when other teams immediately counter is a solid plan.

Either get on a team, form a combine or figure out who are the riders most likely to form a solid break and make sure you cover them.

Right now there are 3 teams willing to mix it up: Garage, CF and SBUX.  This is a great scenario for other riders.  Step up and take advantage.

*Except Andrew Martin who is just trying to work the refs
*And the 1/2 guys who come from a field that is a) more tactically sound, b) has more riders and c) has more teams and the imbalance of numbers can actually make the difference between one team winning and the other.


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