2016 American Tour of Kalifornia: Stage 07
Saturday May 21, 2016 | Santa Rosa
But I do want to tell you something: as much as I might feign disinterest and try on airs of disassociation I can tell you that every single day when that first rider crosses the finish line, it is spine tingling. This sport is beautiful.
TownePlace Suites Marriott. Our hotel room has a phone hanging next to the toilet à la Howard Hughes. Does this mean I am going save our urine and fingernail clippings in mason jars? Why, you want to buy some?
- Find Daniel some rain pants so that, in the event that it does rain while he’s on a motorcycle, he doesn’t get wet. Pretty straightforward. X
- Catch the finish of the women’s race. Which, unfortunately started way too early for anyone. I mean who do they think we are, Garbage Men? Baristas? I think it’s a sad commentary on our society when a race would consider women worms, objects that only early birds can get. This makes me sick sick sick. ✓
- Alexander Kristoff, Team Katusha 4:19:52
- Peter Sagan, Tinkoff Team s/t
- Danny Van Poppel, Team Sky s/t
Stage 7 will begin and end in longtime host city Santa Rosa in the heart of Sonoma County wine county, one of the many fantastic viticulture hot beds the race will pass through this year. It will cover some of the same territory as the popular annual Levi’s GranFondo event.
The course will be rolling throughout with four Lexus King of the Mountain points along King Ridge Road, Pacific Coast Highway and Coleman Valley Road. These country roads through redwoods, coastline and forests will keep the peloton attentive with the feeling of riding on the edge of a continent.
With a crucial time trial the day prior, this penultimate stage in the general classification competition will most likely feature aggressive racing and a small group vying on the downtown circuits of the flat finish.
The dudes basically rode out to the coast, dipped a toe, and rode back; your typical day at the beach. Were there mountains in the way? There should have been. Daniel was on a motorcycle and he said it was pretty, that the riding here is great, that we should come back with our bikes, when we own our own time, and dip a toe in the ocean, it’s worth it. So they do this ride to the coast and back thing, and then, once back they do a little dog going to sleep deal in downtown Santa Rosa and take a couple of turns around the city before finally settling down.
The Eritrean fans are the best, THE BEST. They are so psyched, they have so much national pride and they love Daniel Teklehaimanot Girmazion. The Eritrean flag is composed of rad colors and all the supporters who come out for the race are decked out with flags, sashes, jerseys, earrings, headbands, socks, t-shirts, etc that are adorned with these fantastic colors. They cheer like beautiful demons. Thanks Eritrean Contingent.
There is a theory that Peter Sagan was legit engineered, like Soviet communist bloc genome tampering style. If you watched the same race that I watched today, then you can’t deny this possibility, just like you can’t deny the possibility that Kubrick faked the moon landing or that there is an giant swimming giraffe in a Scottish lake that appears to live forever. Get out your abacus, do the math, these are undeniable facts.
Road Cycling is made for television. It is SO SO SO fun to watch on television. The whole race just plays out in front of you, in sequence. What a goddamn wonderful time to be alive.
All of you in the MFS family know that we traditionally don’t cruise with the reg media.We don’t have anything against them, but like Minor Threat and Fleetwood Mac, we go our own way. Normally our interaction with the Media Room starts and ends on day one when we pick up our badges, lanyards, and little manila folder with all the books, maps, and passes that we’ll need for the race. But today I went back. Today I used the media room. (A) There wasn’t any kind of coffee shop within a reasonable walking distance from the LifeStyle Festival/Team Bus/Start/Finish area. (B) It was fake raining a bunch. (C) I was tired and just wanted to go hide for a bit. (D) I needed to do some research, library style, and if the building the media room was in isn’t a library, it should be. (E) Pride’s an illusion and I wanted good wifi and Red Vines.
Today’s course is probably one of the most amazing race road stages we’ve ever seen. It had all the elements: swoopers, bangers, swingers, zippers, shooters, sliders, dips, whoops, slaps, cramps, dingles, rippers, faints, sharps, whips, pops, lits, etc.—all of them, all of the adjectives. It had the sea, mountains, and the in-between. But you know what it didn’t have? It didn’t have spectators. Sure the start/finish was crowded, but what about all your road weasels, why weren’t you out there camping, picnicking, getting wasted drunk on the side of the road? Calling all road weasels, we need you, road racing needs you, America needs you. Make a weekend of it, pack your bike, buy some cheese, and enjoy the sport.
The food story of the day is Hana Sushi in Rohnert. Did we drink the Starbucks, etc? Who the fuck do you think we are? Of course we drank the Starbucks, we’re not primates, just because we’re not talking about the Starbucks doesn’t mean we didn’t consume buckets of the stuff. But by now you should know that. If you don’t, start here and work your way backwards until you hit the end of our website. You’ll get it. Anyway.
We went to Hana Sushi with our pal Kevin Franks, his wife Karrie, and there rad nine-year-old cowgirl Lulu. We work with Kevin on our Dead Reckoning project on Yonder Journal. He’s a cool dude. He told us about the one time he took a private plane to Egypt with Cippo for a product launch. The stand out moment was that some party to the launch hired 3000 Bedouins to line the road to their hotel holding torches. The food was really nice too, and the place sits on the edge of a putting green so it was tranquil, like sitting next to a duck pond.
Hey Folsom. I don’t want you to think that I hate you. In fact, FANS of MFS! If you’re interested in visiting an AARP theme park head to Folsom, you’ll love it.
I Race Report
I wanted to talk to you about today’s race. How it was so long and there were so many riders and in the end it came down to only one inch.11Sound familiar? About everything that went into that. I wanted to talk to you about women’s racing, about how these ladies are out there bleeding out of their eyes, living out of box vans and taking wet wipe showers. We could talk about the lack of spectators on the course, the long transfers between each stage, the rat maze that was the fence setup at the start and finish line. But I don’t have time, I am tired, I am really really tired.But I do want to tell you something: as much as I might feign disinterest and try on airs of disassociation I can tell you that every single day when that first rider crosses the finish line, it is spine tingling. This sport is beautiful.”- MFS
II Today's Highs & Lows
- I had lunch at a bar and watched the race. I watched Sagan eat a hoagie sandwich while waiting for the peloton to catch up, I watched him check his text messages and bang out a few tweets and talk to his DS, looks like they shared a good joke. Meanwhile Josh had ordered this Nutella milkshake that was sealed with a toasted marshmallow cap. He was so excited about it, which made me excited, which made Rebecca excited, and I think, based on the little smile that he had on his face when Josh took that first life affirming sip, made Sagan a little excited.
- Tonight I discovered that Yumi Zouma released a new single. It’s called “Barricade (Matter of Fact).” I am listening to it now. You do you, but if you want to be a better you then check this little jam out.
- Today there came a time when I needed to take care of some personal disposal issues while out in the field. I mean, I was at the media room, but if you’ve ever seen that animal park you know it’s as out in the field as out in the field can get. Anyway. I’m there and things are feeling real good. Like I am crushing emails, taking notes, jamming tunes, flying. It wasn’t a surprise, it wasn’t a literal, “Oh shit,” moment. I knew what was happening so I excused myself to the commode. Let’s cut to the chase: the automatic lights turned off on me while I was “using” and I’ll be damned if they weren’t a bitch to turn back on. Picture this: here I am, a grown man, perched upon one of these beautiful little numbers doing what I’ve done at least a hundred times before, then bam. UTTER AND COMPLETE DARKNESS. So I sit there, waving my arms like an angry chicken on six bumps of cocaine, and the light’s just not coming on. Here’s me in a fix, here’s me sad AF, here’s me cursing convenience, humanity, the whole thing. Finally, as if it had had enough fun, the light clicked back on. I looked at that sensor boy. I looked at it and was like, “I see you. I SEE you.”
Stage 07 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.
PETER SAGAN: 8 pts
Listen, what’s more animal than blowing the race apart with 60K to go, striking fear into everyone in the peloton nursing cold sores and fighting sore throats and praying to survive to Sacramento? What’s more animal then destroying the dreams of grown men by forcing six guys to DNF? There is nothing more GRIZZLY than being off the front for 40 of the last 60K of a hilly stage and then sprinting to within a couple of inches of beating one of the world’s top sprinters who just had the lead-out of his life. Fuck marginal gains, saving for the final sprint, conserving til it counts, all of that shit which has caused road racing to be where it is. I’m telling you, Sagan is single-handedly saving this sport from becoming another racquetball or jai alai sensation. The man epitomizes animal.22Just thought this was a cool little point: Sagan freewheeling and waiting for the shattered peloton to catch him and stuffing goos down his gullet as if he was home manhandling Trdelníks after a mountain bike race.
KATUSHA: 5 pts
Named after a Russian missile system, they operated with typical Russian military precision and controlled what was left of the peloton coming into the Santa Rosa circuits and then put their Norwegian missile onto the top step of the podium. The watts those guys put out during the last 13k to string out the field and discourage attacks was enough to power the western seaboard for the weekend. Crazy power. It was an added bonus to see all those guys in the background, fists in the air in unison celebrating as they watched their Norwegian snatch a lucky victory… I say lucky cuz Sagan felt like playing around off the front for a lot of the day—think about how different that sprint coulda gone.
KRISTOFF’S BIKE: 3 pts
This is what a sprinter’s bike should look like. I can’t stand rhinos and silly shit painted on a bike unless you’re Italian. If you’re Italian, airbrushing is a part of your culture—those dudes have been airbrushing snow leopards on their helmets for decades, so painted animals on their bikes are totes fine. But if you’re some boring-ass marginal-gainer and you think you’re gonna spice up your steez with a charging giraffe or something, you best check your power meter and drop off the back. But a traditional, home country flag bike scheme is legit. Yes, it’s been done, and no, it’s not that CRRAAÃZzy and it doesn’t involve cartoon animals (which I like everywhere else in life), but it’s tradition, and that is part of the essence of road cycling and an example of some things that need to stay around in cycling. When rad shit gets corrupted by charging giraffes, it’s GOT to GO.
TAO GEOGHEGAN HART: 3 pts
You gotta admire Axeon’s balls the whole race. Today it was Tao F*$king up the Katusha Kristoff Express with 1k to go. The rest of his teammates wisely backed down to the Pro Tourers queuing for the sprint, but Tao just jumped in 3rd wheel like it was nothing. A minute later he had thrown out the anchor and was drifting backward and was lucky to keep it upright, but still. That’s balls.
Standings After Stage 07
- Peter Sagan: 15 points
- 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
- Axeon-Hagens Berman: 5 points
- Katusha: 5 points
- Vasil Kiriyenka: 5 points
- Oscar Clark: 4 points
- Rohan Dennis: 4 points
- Mark Christian: 4 points
- Dave Towle: 4 poimts
- Cannondale Team Car: 3 points
- Kristoff’s Bike: 3 points
- Laguna Seca: 3 points
- Tao Geoghegan Hart: 3 points
- Caps: 2 points
- Inflatable Cookies: 2 points
- T.Phin’s Shades: 1 point
Dave Towle is probably the only voice in the world who could truly describe just how hot these Surprise Me! kits are going to be. Don’t miss out! Today, Sunday, is your last chance to buy. Men’s & Women’s sizing available. Learn more HERE, or click below to secure your place in history.