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Last Post 04/03/2019 08:35 PM by Orange Crush. 11 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:2077

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03/03/2019 07:58 PM
Yesterday's women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

https://www.velonews.com/2019/03/road/blaak-attack-earns-boels-first-2019-victory-at-het-nieuwsblad_483883

Race officials had to neutralize the women's race at 35 km out because they were catching the men.

I saw this happen (the catch, not the neutralizing) both times I raced Smuggler's Notch in the '70s.  1977, David Lamb, then a junior and starting 2 minutes behind the 3-4s caught us in the first 8 miles then led us up the Notch and gone before the first 3-4.  We caught him on the descent.  Junior gearing didn't help him!

Next year the first 20 or so of the 3-4s caught the 1-2s soon after descending the Notch.  (Yes, the 1-2s were doing two laps, not one, but still ...

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:1772

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03/03/2019 08:33 PM
Filling in some details: Junior (15-17) top gear was 52x15 back then.
As for the Stowe race, it was a classic back in the day. The village of Stowe had too much traffic to race through it, so the race started on one side of the village and finished on the other, so it wasn't quite an entire lap. Except for the 1-2s who rode a full lap then the less than a full lap. The connector to complete the first lap and bypass the congested village "downtown" was a leg breaker climb followed by a hairy descent. Nibali would love it. Followed shortly by the second lap beginning with sharp two step climb to smuggler's notch. That second lap was hell if you were just a dumb shmuck like me without a support crew to hand up fresh water bottles. Hot, breezy, no shade, and endless steep rollers for the last 30 miles. F'in A that was hard. Add to that some years they opened the loose gravel Mt. Mansfield auto road for a hill climb race the prior day, just to soften up the legs a bit. Not as long as Mt. Washington, but plenty hard, and a looser surface.
79pmooney

Posts:2077

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03/04/2019 12:41 AM
Thanks, lsd. I never got the course details for the second lap. OK, I can forgive those 1-2s for dogging it, but then the promoters ought to but more than 2 minutes between starts. 60 riders, 1-4, two races and all sprinting for either a finish or prime is simply a mess. (I got taken out by a 4 as I was covering a break of who knows which race going up the first climb of the last 5 miles to that finish. Peter Mooney, clubmate and a 2, came up behind me and gave me a strong pull. When I still wasn't up to speed, he did another, gave it his all then gave me a world class sling. I rode like h***, caught, moved up and finished 8th of the 3-4s, having no idea how I placed; just knowing it was my last race ever on a favorable course - my post accident season. I knew then that in gratitude, he was making my post racing bike.)

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:2077

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03/05/2019 04:30 PM
I posted this on BF. I think it's kinda fun.

"Seems to me the answer is close to brain dead easy. New rule: any rider of the men's pro peleton being caught by a rider of a following race is disqualified. Sorta the opposite of "you cannot outrace a train signal; you have to wait". These riders are pros. They are capable of going that fast. So their DS has to radio them and say "step on it; you're getting caught". Oh well.

Then the women can have the fun of trying to pick off men! Isn't this all about entertainment and competition? What's not to like?"

Ben
Dale

Posts:1152

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03/05/2019 06:54 PM
Catching the pack ahead is a long tradition-- State road race a million years ago a few of us made a break that looked like it would stick... until the USCF official held us up as we came up on the group ahead, and that was the end of the split. We restarted as an intact field

When I raced LOTOJ there were so many fields (1,000 racing) that started 3 minutes apart it only took 20 minutes to catch and try and get through two packs... a total cluster. At one point I think there were remnants of five or six packs balled up together on a big climb.
longslowdistance

Posts:1772

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03/05/2019 10:01 PM
Dale, did they have some sort of modern electronic monitoring to sort it out?
That was not an option in Ben's and my day. If you chose to chill rather than argue your case with the overwhelmed officials, you might get placed somewhere near the rear, even though you finished with the front group in a stage race. Ouch that one still stings some 40+ years later.
79pmooney

Posts:2077

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03/06/2019 04:52 PM
lsd, my hardest race ever was the 1977 Maine International. Really fast! I made the split on the tough hill 15 miles from the finish and finished 25th. I didn't know my exact placing but I knew what was left of the fiend was ~30 riders and I'd beaten 5 of them and finished overlapped with last year's winner. I went to the scorer's table to report that; the routine BITH. They said they weren't taking rider's input; that they had it all on film. Well, they gave last year's winner a $25 savings bond for 24th place, then gave the next and last one to the guy who finished behind me! I protested and asked to see the film. There in negative was me in my Bell helmet overlapped. They admitted they were wrong but couldn't undo the savings bond so they gave me a pair of Hutchinsons like the halfway prime. I was pissed but way to spent to argue any more. (That was the hardest race I ever did by a lot. 105 miles, probably 5000' and 3:58! I was useless the next day and still rocked the following.)

That still irks me. I won the same savings bond the year before for 24th place in a rainy slow race (my first ever open race). When it matured, I cashed it in. No attachment. But that 25th, I'd have framed it.

Now, the next summer, post accident and my last of racing, was Smuggler's Notch when we caught the 1-2s. I crashed with 5 miles to go, chased (thank you, Peter Mooney - the rider, not the bike), caught and moved up as much as I could the final mile. Had no idea where I placed and was more interested in finding the ambulance and getting patched up. At the awards they gave me 8th place. Cool! (But also tough - this was my last race ever on a favorable course and I had done everything right until a rider took me out.) So I never really thought about it but kudos to the Stowe race crew, finishing the 3-4s and the prime for the 1-2s. About 60 riders total.

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:1772

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03/07/2019 09:59 AM
That hill out of Skowhegan in Maine broke my heart once. I was in the winning break but died on that climb and got passed by a chasing group too. Once again dumb shmuck with no support crew.
longslowdistance

Posts:1772

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03/10/2019 08:18 PM
I should edit my post: I had no business being the in the winning break, but I was there. I was going pull for pull with the other riders, feeling like I was on a special day, but naively did not realize they were holding back for that leg breaker hill. I was shot out of the back like the dead wood I was. Humble pie and dope slap at the same time.
79pmooney

Posts:2077

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04/03/2019 08:12 PM
So the men and women collide again. This time they stop the men. Amazing! And it causes chaos in the men's race. So again, women should start 10-15 minutes behind the men. Any man caught is DSQ. With that kind of incentive, any mass catch of the men would be a race talked about for years.

Actually, CyclingNews live update talked about an ambulance going "upstream through the mens' field to get to a crash in the women's race. That is an unusual circumstance. VeloNews (https://www.velonews.com/2019/04/news/dwars-stoppage-highlights-challenge-of-simultaneous-races_492044) talked of two ambulances. This time the women were delayed about 5 minutes by a neutral zone crash, then the men rod bat-outta-heck for two hours so the two races met at the bottleneck that the organizers thought they panned correctly.

Some grumpy male racers but it looks like the uproar a couple of weeks ago was heard. And credit to Flanders Classic, the organizer of all these races for try to get the men and women close so the women are seen and trying to get it right.

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:1772

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04/03/2019 08:31 PM
We live in interesting times, no doubt.
The US women's soccer team is suing for equal pay, which is provocative, intriguing, and ridiculous at the same time.
Orange Crush

Posts:2413

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04/03/2019 08:35 PM
Posted By 79 pmooney on 04/03/2019 08:12 PM
And credit to Flanders Classic, the organizer of all these races for try to get the men and women close so the women are seen and trying to get it right.

Ben


When I found myself on Kwaremont for RVV in 2016 I believe the women came through between the second and third passage of men. Challenging logistics no doubt.
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