2016 American Tour of Kalifornia: Stage 06
Friday May 20, 2016 | Folsom
Dear ATOK, you got California, I mean it’s California, the same one known around the world.
20.3km Men’s ITT / 20.3km Women’s TTT
13,639 – 6.6 mi
The Rodeway Inn, Rhohnert, California. Okay. The dude at the front desk was funny, like dropping F-bombs after the first couple of quips funny. I was thinking, hey this dude is cool, this place is vibing so good, plus from the outside it looks like a PILE OF COMPLETE SHIT so it has to be cheap right? Wrong, wrong, wrong wrong wrong. Ok so this is a gut punch, this is a kick in the teeth, but maybe the Rodeway is wearing some sort of shit box camouflage. Maybe the room will be a palace: gold plated toilets and free Fiji waters. Maybe they’ll be running yet-to-be-released movies in our room, maybe time will work differently in our room and no matter what we’ll be able to get a full night’s sleep. Yep, nope, our room is exactly the pile of shit you would expect if you were to judge the place from the outside. I’m talkin’ the hospitality items include halloween candy and the picture on the TV has a orange saturation while vibrating like it got a spray tan during the hangover shakes.
- Get up in time to drive halfway across California in order to photograph the Women’s Team Time Trial. ✓
- Stick around Folsom, a town made famous for its prison, long enough to photograph the Men’s Individual Time Trial. ✓
- Rohan Dennis, BMC Racing Team 0:24:16
- Andrew Talansky, Cannnondale Pro Cycling +0:00:17
- Taylor Phinney, BMC Racing Team +0:00:20
- Twenty16 – Ridebiker 0:27:33
- Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam +0:00:07
- UnitedHealthcare +0:00:25
In 2014, time trial specialists Bradley Wiggins, Rohan Dennis, and Taylor Phinney took podium honors. In 2016, the 12.6-mile out and back course returns to Historic Downtown Folsom.
In a town made famous by musician Johnny Cash, cycling now takes center stage, with the course passing beneath the recently constructed Johnny Cash Bike Trail Bridge. Folsom residents enjoy a healthy lifestyle and will be lining up to see the next time trial winner show off their best race against the clock.
The most interesting thing about today’s stage is that at some point it went by Folsom Prison, at least we think it did, and if it didn’t it should have, but really, does anyone care? From the looks of the video coverage the race was pretty flat, maybe there were some rollers, honestly no one in their right mind will come out and repeat this course, its artifice pure and simple, the gallows in the town commons awaiting the verdict in the trial of time. To add insult to injury there was quite a bit of wind during today’s race and when you’re racing by yourself, when you’re riding solo against the elements, when your whole shtick is a trying to cheat the wind, well then more wind, extra wind, is adding to a stacked deck. Sure you can tell yourself everyone is playing against the same stacked deck—but then again you could also tell yourself that global warming isn’t a thing, because everyone knows, or should know, that if there is one thing wind does, it’s inconsistence, otherwise it wouldn’t be wind, it would just be air.
Folsom doesn’t have a prison’y vibe, despite the fame.
Dos Coyotes? More like Don’ts Coyotes.
Julian Alaphilippe is rad. I have no tangible proof, I’ve never talked to him or looked him up on the internet and he mostly speaks in French, a language that I don’t understand AT ALL, but I trust that he’s saying cool shit when he does, and he does cool shit on a bike. So I back my decision.
If you’re in high school, rock the Metal Mulisha vibe, and openly express your vehement dislike for homosexuals, the place to hang in Rhonert is Section D of the Target parking lot.
On paper Liam Neeson shouldn’t be an action star, but with some clever editing and a competent stunt coordinator, he can actually look bad ass. Plus that neo-Sean Connery accent has a heavy ass-kicker vibe.
Other than the multiple visits to Starbucks and the pity doughnut that I had in the morning, the only feed worth talking about is our visit to Dos Coyotes. It came to us as a recommendation. There was absolutely nothing about my experience that is worth recommending. It was flat, sufficient, and wholly forgettable.
When traveling it is so so hard to eat well, to find food that makes you feel happy you’re alive, food that gives you a sense that it wants you to be alive, food that is invigorating. Usually we just consume food to keep going, defaulting to the Food As Fuel model, a hunter-gather sleeping on the cold ground, old age is 17, trying to run buffalos off a cliff model. This makes us sad. At home we eat well: salads, raw almonds, a little bit of juice, we enjoy the fruits of civilization. But out here, in the wastelands of suburbia, food has been reduced to fuel consumption, to naked pragmatism, this modality speaks a simple truth: “You’re an animal, nothing more.”
I Race Report
You got California, I mean it’s California, the same one known around the world. The California with Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada, Death Valley, Hollywood, San Francisco, the forest of the Redwoods, and a thousand miles of beautiful coastline. This is your canvas, upon which you had the chance to draw the world’s most beautiful tour. You’ve basically been given a road race tour shopping spree to the nicest road ride race tour superstores in the world. In my mind I’m like, SLAM DUNK. If I’m me I’m thinking, “God damn it this race is going to raise the bar/set the standard/break the mold/ redefine the curve/change the world/disrupt.” It’s like, “Good luck Olympics, good luck.”But, and I am going to be honest here because you deserve it, you deserve the honesty, it's only right that I give it to you. You cocked it up.”- MFS
You have us riding and driving all over the places, bouncing around the state like a schizophrenic jack rabbit. I get it, there’s a lot of expectation. I mean here we are, the world, and we’re watching you, we’re judging you, commenting on your every decision and you didn’t want to miss an opportunity, you wanted to cover your bases, no loose ends right? But in doing so you’ve rushed through all beautiful parts of the state. You’re like a college student visiting Europe for two weeks who thinks they can see the Parthenon, the Coliseum, The Louvre, The Alps, Barcelona, Ghent, Berlin, and the Scandinavians, but instead takes a snapshot of each one and spends the majority of the time messaging friends back home on Facebook while taking one long overnight Eurail ride after another.
Instead of having anything that resembles a quality experience in any of this state’s beautiful places, you’ve rushed us from one place to the next; we take a few photos, crown a winner and then it’s back in the car/on the bus for 4-5 hours. Hey, we complain, we’re good at it, but it’s not just us, ask around, take the temperature, send out a survey. It’s been hard man, these transfers are killer. People are dragging, racers are grumpy, and if you’re a super fan, if you’re one of those European Fan Facsimiles, the fan that follows every stage of the race, it’s a real drag.
But you can fix this, the issue isn’t terminal! Why not spend two days in Tahoe, or set up in Los Angeles and run a couple stages out of the city and surrounding area before moving on to the next place? Racer, media, and fans alike will have a better experience. What do you have to lose? I mean the whole point is to get more people to see the race, to get excited about the race, and buy stuff that has to do with the race. Right? Hey, we’ve got a ton of ideas, but its so late right now11See this story for an explanation. so I can’t fully elucidate all my thinking here, but trust me, you can do better and we can help, send a little note to [email protected] and we’ll get the imagination machine fired up!
Stage 06 Most Animal Competition An MFS Pilot Program for a New Classification
Manual for Speed has been commissioned to introduce a new race classification category called “Most Animal.” Points for the classification will be awarded on the basis of style, swagger, and grit. We’ve assembled an elite group of expert analysts who will be assessing and assigning points for performance. The most animal jersey for ATOK will be awarded at the end of the race.
ALPHA-PHILIPPE: 6 pts
F$%K, nice riding man. I don’t really give two shits that you [mfs_audio location=”2016/05/manualforspeed_atok_stage05_yellow.mp3″ audiotext=”stayed in the “yellow” jersey”], but I do LOVE that you stood up and sprinted for tha line like a boss. Probably the only time a $8000 TT bike looks CÖÕL is when it’s being thrown side to side like a rag doll on the way to the line.
ROHAN DENNIS: 4 pts
My man is tall. Tall is good. Tall and fast is very, very good. Beating the tallest of the tall T.Phin means you got some form. Being 8 seconds down at the intermediate checkpoint and turnin’ on the afterburners for the second half of the race is very advanced. Very, very advanced.
T.PHIN’S SHADES: 1 pt
Those things were hottt.
Standings After Stage 06
- Neilson Powless: 12 points
- Julian Alaphilippe: 12 points
- Ben King: 9 points
- Toms Skujins: 8 points
- Wouter Wippert: 7 points
- Peter Sagan: 7 points
- Nathan Haas: 6 points
- Jasper Stuyven: 6 points
- Vasil Kiriyenka: 5 points
- Axeon-Hagens Berman: 5 points
- Oscar Clark: 4 points
- Rohan Dennis: 4 points
- Mark Christian: 4 points
- Dave Towle: 4 poimts
- Cannondale Team Car: 3 points
- Laguna Seca: 3 points
- Caps: 2 points
- Inflatable Cookies: 2 points
- T.Phin’s Shades: 1 point
III Today's Highs & Lows
- Eating that chocolate doughnut in the media room.
- Meeting Lachlan’s parents, then doing an interview with his dad (forthcoming).
- Lachlan’s dad telling me that he likes the coffee in Australia better than the coffee in the States.
- The 3.5 hours in San Francisco traffic we got to experience after the race.
- My hotel.
- The bed bugs I am going to sleep with.