Four stages down, four to go. 20 riders contested the Antelope Fall Classic last Wednesday. The herd was abuzz after an anonymous post was left on this blog last week:
This was notable for two reasons. First it was the first time anyone has actually left a comment to a blogpost meaning that the blog has at least one reader other than my wife (who will reluctantly read it if I whine long enough).
|Honey, will you please read my blog, if you don't I'll never get found by google.|
And, of course, the post was notable due to its content. The Royston Wrecking Crew were planning on making an appearance. It is not easy to put into words what anticipation of the Royston Wrecking Crew feels like-- but I will try. Consider the following image and the voice of Nick Cage as I narrate:
|They were especially hard on the little things-the helpless and the gentle|
That night, I had a dream. I drifted off thinking about happiness, birth and new life, But now I was haunted by a vision of... They were horrible. The Royston Wrecking Crew. A two man cycling team with all the powers of Hell at their command. On the road the crew could turn turn the day into night and lay to waste every rider in their path. They were especially hard on little things-the helpless and the gentle riders pointing out bits of gravel and signaling the turns. The crew left a scorched earth in their wake befouling even the sweet desert breeze that whipped across their John Deere kits. I didn't know where they came from or why (though I suspected Royston, or maybe the UK it was hard to tell). I didn't know if they were a dream or vision. But I feared that I myself had unleashed them.
And sure enough at 5:45 Wednesday evening Robert P and Paul G calmly exited their automobiles and began pumping up their tires. It was going to be a very special evening.
---First Antelope Athens (suspected) Comment Poster --Robert P--- 1 point
If that excitement was not enough, the temperature among the primary GC contenders, JeffY, MarkY, and Ben-squared has gone from steaming to nuclear. I happened to snap this photo BenG trying to give MarkY a wedgie.
|Elder Mill is mine beeyatch|
I was hoping that the herd would be on better behavior today as word of the Wednesday spectacle has gotten out to the press and ace investigative reporter ErikS from the Oconee Enterprise had been tasked to find out what all the excitement was about. I didn't get a photo of Erik as he interviewed members of the herd but it was kind of like this:
|How long you had the training wheels off that bad boy?|
He also had a large camera so I kept my quads in a state of super flex for the front page:
|Yes my quads are natural, not like BenG who has quad implants.|
Yes it was a quite an atmosphere summed up pithily by Reverned Lenny.
|Its the Antelope Fall Classic, what do you expect?|
The run out South of town was fairly slow due to a head wind. As I led the pack down Colham Ferry with daBeast, I took it easy so as not exhaust him in the wind. Ever since getting gears the Beast has been kind of fragile. Anyway we made it to Elder Mill in one piece despite a savage attack on the peloton towards the end of Watson Mill by a pack of wiener dogs. I think one might have been planted by the Royston Wrecking Crew to thin the herd and set up their attack.
And sure enough, as soon as we hit Elder Mill, the Crew took off on a mad downhill attack throwing the peloton into chaos.
|Don't let them get away!|
Of course when the road goes down there's an uphill soon to follow and the elite GC contenders broke away by the top of the first climb. Working together they created a 12 second time gap to the chasers, myself and Glenn. At the line, Ben squared charged to victory.
1st BenS 3 points
2nd Ben G 2 points
3rd MarkY 1 point
Overhead the Oconee Enterprise helicopter with intrepid reporter Erik caught all of the action.
In the women's competition, Kathleen took advantage of the absence of Antelope Queen points leader Bethany to take the Elder Mill Sprint over Val
Queen of the Herd Point: KathleenM
The herd regrouped and conserved their energy for the final sprint. The Oconee Enterprise helicopter stayed hot on the tail of the peloton.
The run in to 441 was ferocious fast and fun with NickA and MattK taking big pulls to get the group up to pace. With speeds at the finish line exceeding 38 mph, Jeff Y, frustrated from being off the Elder Mill podium, stamped his authority on the peloton.
1st Jeff Y 3 points
2nd BenG 2 points
3rd MarkY 1 point
Again Kathleen was the first woman across the line taking another queen point.
With four stages in the books the total herd has grown to over 40 riders with Ben G (18 points) and Jeff Y (16 points) in a close race for the General Classification. For complete standings, visit Athensgabicycling.com.
Don't forget to pick up the Oconee Enterprise next week to see the write up on the herd, we're really going to be in the paper.
Saturday morning the usual Antelope Crew will be meeting at the Watkinsville Courthouse at 8 AM for either a 45 mile (Oconee Loop) or 60+ ride. Reverend Lenny has a special route planned for the adventurous Antelopes who want to experience new roads.
See you next week.