Friday, October 8, 2010

Antelope Fall Classic Stage 6: Rushing towards the climax

Few words describe the end of a competitive group ride or even more so, the end of a series of competitive group rides like the two syllable semiotic gem: climax.

Now there are all kinds of climaxes in cycling, some of which should be avoided.

What do you expect me to do when I don't get to compete in the Antelope Fall Classic?

Others may be unexpected though of dubious safety.

"This feels just like a Stage  of the Antelope Classic"

 Some people will equip their bikes just to experience a climax

Official Seat Post of Antelopes Everywhere

Like all great climaxes, the excitement has been building now for nearly two months. Next week, it will all be over. It seems like just yesterday when ErikS, intrepid investigative reporter for the Oconee Enterprise wrote his dynamic expose on the Antelope phenomenon. Thanks to artful scanning, the full text is now available right here (I will also try to post it somehow on the standing pages at the top of the blog).

So what happened on the penultimate stage of the Antelope Fall Classic?

20 riders gathered in the perfect weather to contest an abbreviated course, designed to beat the shortening days. Four new riders joined the herd, old friends Karen T and Alan B as well as new friends Michael K and BradE.  Notably, BradE was young enough to be the offspring of 70% of the riders. Quite a mouth on that kid...

Hey Daddio, gonna crack you like an egg
The big news, however, was the mysterious absence of GC leader BenG. Evidently, there is some gossip that BenG may have consumed some tainted beef, making him temporarily ineligible to participate.

Nooooo, I'll lose my lead on the GC

Second place antelope JeffY saw  an opportunity for glory and MarkY determined to continue his chase for the top of the podium. Both seemed unsurprised by BenG's absence.
Jeff: "Did you get to his meat?" Mark: "Hee hee hee"

We took off from the courthouse and skipped Old Bishop, flying down Colham Ferry for nearly 10 miles at a 20 mph average. Elder Mill played out with a now familiar script, BenS, JeffY, and MarkY took on off their own leaving the peloton in the dust. KarenT flew up the hill and found herself in the chase 1 group eventually taking the Antelope Queen of the Mountain Sprint Point.
Way to go Karen!

Friendly Cheetah John R, the mild mannered though speedy Cat 4, hung back looking for stray chasers to pull into the wind of the long uphill finish. Cleverly, John managed to find the point-giver and tow his fat buttocks down the road a spell.

Far up the road, without BenG it was a three man race. At the tape:
1st BenS   3 points
2nd Jeff     2 ponts
3rd  Marky 1 point

Dusk began to settle as the herd regrouped on Saxon and sped towards town. The pace was high from the start of the Bishop sprint with final speeds exceeding 38mph!  Once again JohnR took a power pull, slinging the pack over the mid point roller at 25 mph. As tired antelopes began to crack, Tony took over with a tense attack with Mark on his wheel. At the line, Mark came around for the victory.

1st  Marky   3 points
2nd  Tony   2 points
3rd  Jeff     1 point

Kathleen, furious over her crushing defeat on Elder Mill,  grabbed a handful of Karen's hair 10m behind the line, catapulting herself into a Queen of the Herd Sprint point.

Average speed over 23 miles? 20mph. To date, 52 riders have contested stages of the Antelope Fall Classic. With a 4 point performance, JeffY ties BenG for the GC lead going into the final stage next Wednesday. With a 5 point performance, Marky is now just 3 points behind.

Who will be the Antelope King? Next week the competition will be fierce as Antelopes leave it all on the road before the long winter takes our evening rides away. We will further abridge the route, going out directly on Colham Ferry and turning left on Jerusalem which will take us to Watson Springs.  Of course the full sprints will still be there.

SPECIAL NEWS: Next Wednesday, the final stage will offer double points for both participation and sprint podia. You won't want to miss this one. After the ride we will gather at Chops and Hops, one block from the courthouse in the center of Watkinsville, to toast the winners and distribute, Antelope Bling

You know you want me!

We will recognize, First, Second, and Third in the overall GC, Queen of the Herd, and 11 Distinguished Herd Member participants. All antelopes that medal must agree not to sell their hardware on ebay.
Cannot be sold on Ebay for any price
What will happen to the antelope blog after the series is over?
Good question, glad I asked myself. The blog will live on with at least once a week Antelope posts including Antelope training rides as we prepare for our assault on the WBL. I definitely plan to report on relative survival rates among the Antelope Herd as we ride with the Athens Elite.

This Saturday (tomorrow) join us at the Courthouse at a new time: 9:30AM for 62 miles at about 18mph. We will go out to Rutledge and then wind around towards Monroe and come back on New High Shoals. Cue sheets will be available.

Bike hard and don't forget to come in ride next Wednesday at 6 for the final stage.

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