Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Bike Boy Awards: Part 2

Best Team Tactics: Tim Finkel and Cruise Bogedin going 1-2 at Cone Azalia for Wolverine Sports Club. The whole team supported them, as evidenced by Alan Smith giving up his race and his wheels so that Tim could recover from a mechanical. The Finkelstein did not disappoint, bridging up to the lead breakaway with Bogedin. They made no mistake in the end.

Best Breakaway: How about the 65 mile breakaway of Adam York and Geoff Kuyper at the Tour of Kensington Valley road race? They attacked a mile into the race, putting six minutes into the pack before York muscled himself away from Kuyper to win the race.

Most Disastrous Team Tactics: the unfortunate plight of Fusion/It at the Tour de Frankenmuth, Category 4. It’s sad really, because they raced quite nobly, setting the tempo with several riders in a field that usually tends to do a lot of shadow boxing. After neutralizing all attacks, they hoped to set up their sprinter. Unfortunately their sprinter was caught up in the mass crash within the last mile. Their valiant efforts yielded no finishers in the top 15.


The David and Goliath Award is awarded to Alexey Vermeulen for attacking from eight miles out to win the Cat 3 Maillot Jaune Road Race. When he went flying off the front, no one really knew what to do. I hear mixed reports of what communication was going on in the pack. Whatever happened, the answer is this: the pack couldn’t bring him back.

Best Website: Rob Sroka’s Feel It: The Factory Rider. The Ohio native stayed true to his blog, keeping it updated, and each update had great quality to it. The sweet pictures he takes and his perspective on the sport make http://www.feelitrobert.blogspot.com/ a great blog to read.

The “You Earned It” Award is awarded to Tony Wieczorek for taking home the “V” at the Milford Crit. In doing so, he out sprinted the legendary fast man Chris Brinkman. It was a familiar story of Tony and Chris going at it, though usually Chris wins. This time, Wieczorek turned the tables and is now a Cat 2!


The Holy Socks Award (awarded to the best public display of pain) is awarded to Scott Walburn for his smack-down at the Tour de Frankenmuth. Put together 59 riders, half a road’s space, and the adrenaline of one mile to go and you’ve got a crash waiting to happen. Walburn broke his collarbone…and did not finish the race.

The Super Field Fodder Award (given to the person who does an amazing job of hanging on) is awarded to Scott Kroske for finishing in the first chase group at the Tour de Frankenmuth, in his FIRST CAT ½ RACE! Kroske seized the opportunity and took off with Ben Whitehead, John Zaccone, Will Mclaughlin, and Ray Huang enroute to a ninth place finish! The short, fat, bald man (no disrespect intended) did the unthinkable, beating Sheldon Deeny of Bissell Pro and Scott Stewart of Waste Management!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The 3rd Annual Bike Boy Awards: Part 1

Well folks, it was a great year. Thanks to all who made it happen. As tradition would dictate, the first part of the awards goes through each respective racing category, marking notable riders.

Juniors


Most Improved: Eddie Kelley
No one ever seems to notice Eddie, but next year they will. Eddie tore it up in his second year of racing. His first race was the Spring Training Series where he put the hurt on the adults! Sadly, Eddie's season started late due to a stress fracture and ended early due to a crash. But mark my words, he'll be back.


Most Consistent: Rudy Peterson
You've gotta give it to him, he's the man. The fourteen year old phenom blossomed as a bike racer. He consistently finished high up in Cat 4s (incredibly rare, Tony and Alexey never finished top 5 in Cat 4 when they were racing age 14). His season was highlighted by a win at the Chicago Criterium (one of the biggest junior races in the Midwest) and a Category 3 upgrade in late August. Indeed such a feat is incredibly rare for a fourteen year old.

Best Team:
Kalamazoo Bike Club
You have to give it to them, they were consistently there. Connor Loftus took home the Michigan Points Challenge Series (Jr. Men 15-16). Rudy was always going for the win, and so was Stephen Barnes.


Best Junior Girl:
Katie Hamel
She's pretty speedy! Katie, the daughter of the legendary Dennis Hamel, has made huge strides this year. She and Zoe Reeves are only a couple of the many junior ladies that have arrived this year!

Men Cat 4

Best:
Tom Behan II
When it all comes down to pure strength, Tommy B is the man. He won the his first two races (Willow and Kensington) and upgraded for the State TT Championships, which he won!

Most Underrated:
Doug Jacobsen
Jacobsen was a huge dark horse this year. Though he didn't have many top ten finishes in the spring, he found his mojo in the summer, finishing off the season with a fourth place finish at Debaets-Devos.

Best Time Trialer: Keith Grand.
Third at Willow, fourth at
the MBRA Talent Pool Velodrome Time Trial, first at the State TT Championships, fourth at Hines Park. Numbers don't lie.

Best Sprinter: Eric Jacuzzi and Mike Kent
The MCG p/b Trails-Edge.com duo took second at Maillot Jaune, first at the Terry Reisch Memorial race, first at the Cherry Roubaix crit, and first at Ada!

Most Consistent: Rodney Eaton.
Eaton had three podium finishes this year, including a win at Tour das Frankenmuth.

Best Team: Wolverine Sports Club
WSC quite simply had one of the biggest teams and a lot of talent, including Nick Console, Brett Beddow, Kurt Martin, Doug McKibbon, Ricardo Cotto, and Randy Rodd. They were quite untouchable in the game of the fast men, compiling SEVEN top 5 finishes up until mid June. The majority of them upgraded at that point.

Men Cat 3

Best:
Mike Jones
Gotta love Jonesy!!! He won Cone-Azalia and Le Tour de Mont Pleasant Road Race, while helping his teammates to wins at Frankenmuth, West Branch, and Le Tour de Mont Pleasant Crit.

Most Consistent: Adam York
He was always there, and never just there, but consistently on the podium. He had an astounding 10, COUNT 'EM, 10 podiums this year!!

The Dark Horse: Zack Maino.
To quote David Morrissey, Maino is "The Master of Late Season Form". He had the worst spring campaign imaginable, either flatting or getting dropped in every race. Zack brought it at the end of the season though, taking bronze at the State Crit Championships, second at Trophee des Grimpeurs, and third at Debaets Devos. Hello, Cat 2!

Best Team: Priority Health
Sorry, MCG, but I have to give it to Priority Health, the team that won six out of the first seven races. One cannot deny that they were purely dominant. MCG does deserve to be a co-recipient of this award because of its consistency, but I can't be a softy and give everyone an award just cuz. That's bike racing.

Men Cat 1/2

Best Racer:
David Williams
BEAST!!! You can't argue with a 52:53 40KM TT time!!! You can't argue with a gold medal at Collegiate Nationals!!! This kid was a junior in 2006!!!

Most Improved: Luke Cavender
The king of the sprints, Cavender had us shaking our heads in wonder at the beginning of the season, winning almost every sprint that came his way. I don't think many people saw it coming, but logically speaking we should have. At 21, Luke is a new hope.

Best Team: Essex Brass
Well, I warned ya'! Though EB was no where close to winning the MPCS, but when they were at a race, they took it by force. Their most notable result is taking the TOP THREE PLACES in the Overall Omnium at Thursday Night Worlds! These guys play for keeps.


Women Cat 4
Best Racer:
Caitlin Braun
At 16 years old, Braun didn't give a pizza that everyone was older than her. She was on a rampage all season, taking FOUR WINS!!! Dang!

Most Improved: Zoe Reeves
I have to be honest, at the beginning of the season, the thirteen year old couldn't keep up. As the season progressed, she got fast, taking a win at Trophee de Grimpeurs. In my opinion, that's unprecedented, at least as far as Michigan goes, because I don't recall a female junior ever winning a senior category in Michigan, let alone one who is barely even a teenager!

Women Cat 1-3

Most Consistent:
Susan Vigiland
The climber from Hagerty Racing snatched wins at three of the toughest road races in the state (Cherry-Roubaix, Maillot Jaune, and Superior Bike Fest), not to mention getting third at West Branch and second at Kensington!

Most Lethal: Sarah Maguire
Remember when Mackenzie Woodring was the pizza, and Sarah Maguire was just a sidekick? Things have changed now. Mackenzie is still a beast, but now Maguire is the one taking all the wins. Kensington, West Branch, Gaslight, and Cherry-Roubaix.


Masters

Best Racer:
Houston Peterson
One of the most wily bike racers I have ever seen, the Houston was always in the right break, always hammering it out.
Most Consistent: Dave Hietikko
I have always regarded Hietikko as a bit of a dark horse, always lurking in the top ten. This year, Dave really came into his own, winning Kensington, Hines, Ada, and the Cherry-Roubaix road race.

Very Honorable Mention: Rob Iser
Quiet strength. Iser worked his butt off to win the Superior Bike Fest road race and the Cherry-Roubaix criterium.


There are more awards to come, including but not limited to: "Rider of the Year", "Best Ambassador of Michigan Cycling", "Ironman Performance of the Year", and "Man/Woman of the Year".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Give me one day

I'm working on a pretty big post right now (Zack probably knows what it is), so for the time being, I offer this video of Frank Caliendo doing an impersonation of John Madden.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Miserable Epic Failure

I had a good game today up until I had a chance to score a goal. It would have tied the game 2-2.




I missed.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good and Bad

Good: Javier Samoya shipped me my AAVC Cat 4 kit. It is black and sleek.

Bad: We got embarrassed in front of our fans 7-1.
I seem to have lost my Econ book.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So dumb it's so funny

I'm sorry, but this video just tickles me!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bouncing Back

We beat the other Mexican team 2-1. We played indescribably well.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Defying All Odds

I tried eating a tiny bit of shrimp today, just to see if I'm still allergic to shellfish. So far nothing has happened.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Today is a good day

Dad's home from a trip, and Grandma and Grandpa Scicluna came down for three days!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Agonizing Defeat

Apparently Arizona soccer doesn't have a mercy rule...
We took on a FAST team today, well conditioned, but with poor first touches. I must say though, after those Mexicans scored three unanswered goals to claim a 3-1 lead, we gave up. It was embarrassing. No no, it was worse than embarrassing.
In the second half, people on the bench stopped paying attention to the game. Coach wouldn't let them go back into the game, leaving the 11 of us, with no subs and not motivation.
I have no regrets. I ran so hard. I threw myself in front of an indirect kick, blocking a goal (the one decent play I had all day). For the whole second half, the ball was almost always in our end. We'd clear the ball, and they'd just send it back in. I'd dig deep again and run back (because not all of our defenders were), mark up on someone. A Mexican would run down line and cross the ball in. Usually it resulted in them blasting the ball wide of the goal. Then a goal kick, which was intercepted by the bad guys. Run all the way back again.
Repeat that 10 times. For 30 minutes. Add in the fact that we let in countless goals, and you just want to go home.


I have to say that I have never lost so badly in a soccer game. Thanks be to God, tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Elaboration

Alexey is at the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont. It's a huge LAJORS event, with over 50 juniors registered. He finished 10th in the Uphill time trial, 50 seconds behind Gavin Mannion.
In the Circuit Race a huge crash took out half the field. Alexey rode smart to make the final selection of six riders, including Lawson Craddock, Nate Brown, and a couple Italian kids.
Nate and Lawson got away for a 1-2 Hot Tubes win, while Alexey finished six, 39 seconds back, but over a minute ahead of the rest of the peleton.
Today featured a 75 mile road race with a 20% climb and a long gravel descent. The pack was whittled down to 20 riders. Two riders that were way down on GC got away to the finish, while the peleton had whittled down even more. Alexey needed to gain time to solidify his 6th place on GC, so he went to the front! His vicious pace shed EVERYONE except for Luke Keogh. He finished fourth place on the stage, gaining over a minute on Lawson Craddock and about 30 seconds on Nate Brown.
Alexey's now 2nd or 3rd on GC, with a crit tomorrow. His performance is nothing short of incredible.

Slap in the Face

Lawson Craddock is a beastly rider. He won the National TT Championship for Jr Men 15-16. He is now 17 and I believe he is a Cat 1.
Nathan Brown is a beastly rider. He won the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic, the Tour of the Red River Gourge, and the Edgar Soto Road Race. Earlier on in his career, he won the Tour de Abitibi.

These two riders have two things in common:
1. They both race for Hot Tubes.
2. They both got dropped by Alexey today.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Man of the Hour

This happened a long time ago, but it still needs to be touched upon. This kid was touted as the future of Michigan cycling when he was 13, and now at 16, going on 17, he hasn't disappointed.
We all remember when he was just tagged onto a charging Category 3/4 field at the Rochester Cycling Festival, two months before he celebrated his 14 birthday. Now, things have come full swing, and now HE'S the one distributing out the pain...just like he did at the Milford Criterium.

Tony Wieczorek, winner of the Milford Crit, Category 3. He told me that he was waiting for a big win before he upgraded. Well now he's got that. He's movin' up!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sorry

Sorry my blog is lame. I suffer from a lack of motivation to post much, because there is not much cycling going on, nor is school incredibly fun, nor did we win our game last night. Excuses, I know.
The Bike Boy awards will be happening within the month though.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Defeat

We lost 4-2. The reason is quite simple; the team we played had great fitness, and we haven't had any conditioning this season. Period.
It's alright though, life moves on. 110 days.