At the pre-race sign in for the final stage of the Antelope World Cup, Dan H had a 3 point lead over his rival Thin Daddy Steere with JeffY, and JonesY all nipping at their pedals. He would be hard to beat with a three point lead. Despite this cushion, there would be great drama on this final stage. On the eve of the triumphal stampede, I was called before the Antelope World Cup Council of Elders for an emergency meeting.
|We have an important message for you commissioner, stop sniffing her butt!|
The elders in their ongoing communion with the cycling gods had received a dramatic message. Whereas usually the sacred antler offerings burned for 90 minutes then quickly turned to ash, on this evening the offerings burned for fully 3 hours! There could be no mistaking the meaning of this. There was to be an epic finish. From his home high on Mt d”Huez the King of cycling Gods Antelopo Canceldor decreed that on this final stage, there would be:
Yes there would be 12 points at stake on the sprints in this final stage, enough to topple Dan from the leader board and elevate any challenger with sufficient pluck, determination, and performance enhancing hair plugs to kinghood. As the liaison between the council and the herd I shared this news the riders.
|There will be double points. Do not sprint until you hear the whistle or you will die!|
Dan’s face took on a grim and determined cast.
And that strange tuft of hair erupted through the vent in his helmet
Ben “Thin Daddy” Steere grinned with new hope.
|No, I'm not a hand puppet, I'm just thin|
Jonesy signed in his name with all capitals, to let the commissioner know he was here to compete.
|Why don't I get a picture of an antelope?|
and finally, MarkY had the special look which BikesnobNYC has termed "non plussed.:
|Double points. I am neither saddened or emboldened by this turn of events.|
Lil Cappy led us out with a brisk and determined pace. The peloton was unusually quiet, sensing the drama about to unfold. As the tarmac on Elder Mill began to turn upward, Ben Steere attacked. Dan grabbed his wheel and both slowed down. The front of the peloton led by MarKY charged by maintaining their increased pace from bridging the gap while hitting the steeps. Dan and Ben grabbed on to the this select group of about 8 riders and the front group was established.
On a side note- as usual, I wasn’t in it. Though for me It wasn’t about a podium. It was about beating the ageless Bill K (can the guy get a gray hair or a bald spot for crying out loud?). Incidentally, here is an artist's rendering of BillK at the age of 94:
|Hey 90 is the new 50, let's ride!|
And beating the the Bostwick Bad Boy, Jack "Bad2_D_" Bone.
|I'm going to kick Kogan's Antelope ass as soon as someone changes me.|
He may look a little pudgy but Jack can really hammer.
But back to the main story, the long winding uphill to glory was brutal. The scavengers bore witness to a cacophony of huffing and hammering as the hill contenders tried to put each other in agony before the final kick. In an act of great humility, piety, and desperation, DanH called out to the Antelope Gods, swearing that if victory was his, he would join PETA and never eat venison again. And the Antelope God heard his prayer, granting DanH wings....
|I will be king!|
And just like that, Dan put the crown out of reach of his competitors crossing the line ahead of Ben and then Mark.
|One Crown To Rule Them All!|
In the "other race" the Antelope commissioner was again crushed, first by Jack and then by BillK.
|Fine, I still beat Bethany|
With the series won, the Bishop Sprint was gravy, though Dan added to his point total finishing behind winner Tim and just before Chris H.
With the fnal stage in the books, the GC standings were carved into titanium for all time:
1. DanHall 38
2. Ben Steer 31
3. Jonesy 26
4. JeffY 25
5. MarkY 19
All Hail King Dan! Details of the coronation ceremony to come soon.