Dry weather, not too hot? Check
28 miles of choice Oconee tarmac? Check
22 riders signed in and ready to ride? Check
Let's have ourselves an Antelope Fall Classic!
Wednesday, the Antelope Herd was primed and ready to start the points series and spirits were high as riders signed in at the courthouse parking lot.
|I may look like a mild mannered financial advisor, but when I mount my Madone I am Cycleman the Magnificent|
A lot of familiar faces were in the herd, the McSpadden twins, Reverend Lenny, Duncan, Tony, 2 Bad Boys from Bostwick (Chuck and Pete), DanT, TomB, Ben and his buddy Vinny, Antelope World Cup winner Spinmaster Shiver, Val, Bethinator, Jeff, Mark, and herd queen challenger Kathleen "PedalHo" Miller. New guys Bill and Dave joined the herd and I finally learned the real name of "Triceps Guy."
|My name is Bruce, but you can call me "triceps guy."|
The general sense of fiesta was interrupted however by the competitive spirits of the female antelopes vying for Queen of the herd. As commissioner I always hope for peaceful parking lot behavior, but I had to intercede when pedalHo and Bethinator's ritual "stare down" almost came to fisticuffs.
|You're going down on Elder Mill beeyatch|
You can see that their competitive natures were about to boil over. So I put on my special Herd Commissioner referee suit:
|Ladies please observe proper pre-peloton etiquette!|
As I loooked more carefully around the parking lot I discovered that stare downs were going on all over the place. Antelopes were sizing up the competition and staring down the rider they wanted to crush on Elder Mill.
|Stay off my wheel baldy.|
|Looking pretty fat today you turkey what is it Thanksgiving?|
|You may have the power on the flats but you're too big to climb, meow|
Even twin brothers were talking smack:
|Look Cliff, just because you're my brother don't expect to suck my wheel.|
Before the tension and stress got out of hand I called the group together, went over the rules, and got us rolling. The beautiful evening and the county roads eased the tension, and the new rule of no rotating on Colham Ferry made for a well organized and cooperative herd. In fact never has the herd stayed so tightly packed and organized all the way to the first sprint zone.Here is a picture of us on Watson Mill:
After 45 minutes of peace and cruising at a comfortable 20mph average, however, it was time to compete. Several course newbies flamed out on the first steep climb of Elder Mill while others wondered aloud "how long is this sprint?" Big Ben and Jeff Young broke away on the early climb and put 8 seconds onto the first chase group of Duncan, Tony, and SteveK-- all members of Team Wheeze. Duncan kept the chase pace high then started to crack. Just then the Antelope Herd's reigning King (Spinmaster) jauntily spun up and without panting or wheezing, said "come on guys I'll help you catch them!"
|Come on guys, grab my wheel!|
This request was accompanied by the awkwardly endearing and ambiguously homoerotic slapping of his right butt cheek that Spinmaster executes at these times
SteveK, rested from Duncan's pull and unable to resist Spin's butt slapping motion immediately grabbed Spin's wheel but no one else could get on. With Spin's help SteveK cut into the time gap on the leaders but it was too late to catch them. Ben and Jeff duked it out heading towards the line, neck and neck until Ben used some aggressive tactics to cross the line a split second ahead of Jeff.
When the dust had settled, sprint 1 of the Antelope Fall Classic was in the books:
1 Ben 3 points
2. Jeff 2 points
3 Stevek 1 point
The ride commissioner awarded Spinmaster Shiver, the coveted "Friendly Cheetah Point" for pulling SteveK's butt onto the podium
Steve Shiver 1 "Friendly Cheetah" Point
This type of friendly Cheetah behavior is not unkown in the wild:
|Nice little antelope, go on across the sprint line now.|
The hotly contested queen of the mountains point came down to a (wo)mano a (wo)mano battle between pedal ho and Bethinator. At the line it was....
Bethany G 1 queen of the mountains point
The herd regrouped after their labors and soft pedaled on Saxon but before long it was time to pick up the pace. Unfortunately some stragglers in the herd were left behind.
|Hey, slow down, we're not on yet, hey!|
As the bishop sprint loomed ahead, Antelope King-Turned Friendly Cheetah Steve Shiver turned back to bring the stragglers back home.
*****Steve S---one more Friendly Cheetah point
The herd turned onto Old Bishop and no one wanted to pick up the pace until Reverend Lenny commenced an early attack. The chase kicked the herd into a stampede thundering towards the finish line. About half the remaining group survived to the last kilometer as the attacks came fast and furious, with riders trying to find the right wheel to be in position at the end. At speeds exceeding 33mph the photo finish revealed:
1st. Jeff young 3 points
2nd. Tony Glenn 2 points
3rd Chuck Plumley 1 point
With a first place, a second place, and a participation point, Jeff Young seized control of the coveted leader's jersey.
The top of the GC looks as follows
1. Jeff Young 6 points
2. Ben Green 4 points
3. Tony Glenn 3 points
4. Steve Shiver 3 points
For full results and the latest on rides around town please visit AthensGABicycling .
Don't forget to get in your miles this weekend and see you next Wednesday.