Friday, July 20, 2007

2007 - Pre-race Q&A

With admitted trepidation at my lack of listing on bikereg (I'm filling in for Jen McRae - maybe she can loan me her sprint), it's with great excitement that I prepare to race Altoona with Advil-Chapstick. It will be a reunion with some excellent teammates and mechanic/soigneur Randy, who directed/did everything for my Lipton team in 2005. Now to be a pundit (my main career aspiration):
Q: How will the team time trial change the race?
A: The TTT could well be the decisive factor in the overall and in the team gc. It could also mean that the powerhouse teams that rock the TTT could try to leapfrog riders up the gc by way of breakaways.
Q. Who will win the TTT?
A: The favorite is Lipton, with World Champ plus depth. Rumor has it Webcor has whiled away the time in Pennsylvania between nationals and Toona practicing this event, and no doubt they will be well-drilled. I would throw Expresscopy into the list of favorites, given Meshy Holt and Ann Samplonius, plus the fact they raced a TTT at Tour de L'Aude, probably learned a lot from it. Colavita will either be flying or dead after the Giro. Other teams such as Aarons bring more evenly-distributed horsepower and could win if super smooth. I have an inside tip this Bike Hugger composite will be smooth. Quebec? They have at least one engine... And of course, my team - Heather is super strong and probably wants TT revenge after a Nationals mishap!
Q: What will happen in Tuesday's new stage?
A: Interesting, Altoona has become predictable because the courses have stayed the same year after year, but this is totally new. I would say field sprint, that the gc riders will be waiting for Wednesday's Blue Knob day, but there appears to be a 1000-ft climb in the race... Sounds like a fierce fight for the sprinter and climbers' jerseys, then attack-o-rama by the non-climbers from strong teams, or from good climbers from teams that tanked the TTT who need more time to win than they can gain on Blue Knob days.
Q: Who are the riders to watch?
A: The usual suspects, plus those with motivation: Kori Seehafer and Erinne Willock have both found their legs after early season injuries. Look for Mackenzie Dickey in the sprints - she's a much better sprinter than her results so far this year have shown. Mandy Lozano and Robin Farina are also ready to go. Emily Roy is flying, and .... Lyne Bessette is back!!!! She must be looking toward the New England Verge Series in cross. (Or the Olympics.)
Q: What are the other competitions going on?
A: Well, team GC is going to play a lot on the TTT, unfortunately. Aaron's Rebecca Larson has the Prestige Series sprint jersey - Brooke Miller wants it, maybe Kori Seehafer too, and surely Cheerwine and Colavita. Wow, this will be a war. QOM, probably some Webcor/Lipton battle. I usually don't see this one.
Q: And my team's plans?
A: May surprise and underdoggery work to our advantage!
Ok, going to race a crit today...

No comments: