Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vacaville Grand Prix and Pack Fodder

Just saving face

I love this race its fun.  The Vacaville Grand Prix has a bit of everything. A power climb, a kinda fast descent, a straight away to get things established, followed by a narrow pinch your ass cheeks together and hold on tight for your life hairpin, and lots of 90' corners that require you to turn your head in a direction other than to the right.  Thirty laps and super hot.  At the start line it was Justin Rossi,  Nate Freed, and me (Mr. Pack Fodder).  My fitness has been lacking to say the least but, little do the masses know, I broke my Collarbone 7 weeks ago. Currently, my legs are like whip cream on shit, no matter how I dress them up they still stink, but at least I still have a presence about me that makes people uneasy.  As such, I used my rancid reputation  to my advantage and attacked like a ravenous turkey vulture vomiting missiles aimed for destruction.  Lacking my usual voracity and velocity, I was lucky to go half the distance falling short on every occasion.  Its was all I could do to perform a solid attack and avoid the inevitable slaughter house. The meager strength of my legs forced me to latch on to any available wheel with my head hanging low whimpering all the while for a draft.  Ya know I'm Just trying to save face and sell the decoy.
Luckily "Fierce Freed" was doing a more convincing job of being a hoodlum and still holding his position at the front.

Fierce Freed
Fiece Nate

Nate enjoying the action

Rossi giving it an early go
Rossi giving it an early go

Eventually about 15 laps in Veteran Norc-Cal hero James Mattis took a flyer and Rookie Rossi was soon to follow creating a duo that worked well together.

Rookie meets Veteran
Old boy Fierce and yours truly Mr. Pack Fodder promptly set ourselves to the act of patrolling the front and neutralizing anything threatening so as to let the gap grow like a hormone fed pig.

MarcPro-Strava on patrol duty
Fat Bacon!...........The move stuck and I watched it from the sidelines.   My job was done and so were my legs so why not?

Rossi feeding the gap

The conclusion, poor Rossi took second again.

Rookie boy Rossi has so many podiums this year and has been a factor in almost every finish of each race he has entered, yet he just can't seem to win. Trust me its not because of his legs.  I am actually unsure of Rossi's true origins but I think it began somewhere with an ox, a horse, and 30 hours a week in the pool as a collegiate swimmer.   He also lives and trains at altitude then races at sea level.  The coefficient of all this add up to deliver a powerhouse of a cyclist. However, its his determination that always bites him like a double edged sword.  Despite having the best legs and making it into the decisive moves, his opponents  just don't feel as ambitious when it comes to setting the pace.  I'm sure you don't hear them telling Rossi to go faster or take longer pulls.  They're just stoked to sit in his mega draft and conserve.  They don't care if the move gets brought back, they have more teammates ready to counter-attack.  But Rossi, he worked his ass off to get in this move, he worked his ass off to be able to push the watts, and you can bet your ass that he is going to work to make the move stick.  My critique of Rossi is also praise.  In just one season he has emerged as the best all around rider on our team and Nor-Cal.  We all can count on him to be there when we're not.  I think Rossi has amassed 98% of the tools and knowledge in one season that riders struggle to gain in a career.  The seeds therefore have been sown and next years harvest looks to be very promising.  If I've learned just one thing this year it has to be that I'm glad to be on the same team as Rossi and the rest of the MarcPro-Strava athletes.