Here is a lightening quick wrap up of a bike cycling weekend.
Ronde von Palouse - This was an awesome and brutally tough race. I just didn't have the legs or mindset for riding and after watching the race, I was really glad I left it to tougher men and women. Most races have a pack that will stick together for a large part of the race, and often for the whole race. Ronde von Palouse was a race that blew apart every pack very early on and left each group scattered literally across numerous miles. The dirt portion was "only" four miles, but those miles got very, very long when you were riding them. I saw more flats than I have ever seen in a race and packs more broken apart than I have ever seen. My guess is that next year more people will be sporting wider tires and a few more tubulars.
I took a lot of pictures and will get them posted later this week. Team Two Wheel didn't have great results: one mechanical, one mental and one drop-out.
Paris-Roubaix - There was a good turn-out at the Steam Plant Grill for the coverage of Paris-Roubaix, but I discovered a problem. I think that I take bicycle racing a bit too seriously. I was gratified to have two guys near me that take it more seriously than I do, so that it was appropriately enabling, but I realized that I really like absorbing races like these in a much more controlled environment. One where I can hear everything, run the DVR back occasionally (and skip commercials), and give over fully to my bike geek side. At the Steam Plant there were numerous distractions, people to talk to and more people that I should have talked to, but it was hard because I just wanted to be staring slack-jawed at the race.
The race, by the way, was not a typical P-R. No bad weather, no inopportune crashes or wheels broken for the leaders. It was a race clearly won by the strongest rider. The mystic of P-R is that the strongest men lead, but it usually takes both strength and luck to win P-R. This year, in a remarkable performance, Cancellara just needed his awesome strength. It was a repeat of his form from the prior week at another beautiful race, Tour of Flanders. When Sparticus targets a race, everyone else needs to shoot for second.