Why is this dork (i.e., me) celebrating?
Because his teammates just went 1-2 in the 4s and 1-3 in the 3s.
I missed last year's Tour of Washington County because three weeks beforehand a car plowed into me and broke my collarbone. Thus, I did not see Tim Rugg sporting running shorts and V-neck T-shirt on the way to 9th place, category 5. I was not there to hear what Joe Jefferson said about that.
A different Tim Rugg showed up this year. He brought sperm helmet, deep dishers and TT bike. For the sake of aerodynamics, he discarded the carcass of the dead mouse that had been hanging on his upper lip. For reasons only known to himself, he never once removed his bib shorts during the entire two-day event. After races he immediately slipped into brown leather loafers and his V-neck white T-shirt. Imagine a 145 pound dude in bib shorts, white V-neck T, long socks, a sly grin and these babies (shown below). That's our Ruggles.
However you felt about his sartorial choices, you can't dispute the results: Timothy Rugg won the CAT 3 Tour of Washington County crown in country fried style. I don't know what Joe Jefferson said about Rugg this year; maybe something like this: "...and Tim Rugg is breaking legs like the crazy woman in Misery."
Granted, Rugg was nearly two minutes behind National TT Champ Pete Cannell, but so was everyone else. Rugg is something like 13 years old, and in his first full year of racing (well, eight months, if you exclude the four months he raced in V-neck Ts 'n Daisy Dukes).
Oh, and did he mention that he was only in the 2nd week of his build phase? Just for the record.
This year, I was there to hear Joe Jefferson tell Tim Brown that Gilligan called and wanted his shorts back. Tim, who had just jumped from 5th to 3rd on GC by winning everything did not seem to mind. No amount of Joe Jefferson ridicule could keep Brown from doing his disgusting and perverted celebration dance, frightening the townsfolk and embarassing his teammates and making them regret ever having helped him.
I don't know if I've ever seen one rider dominate a race--without doing it in a breakaway--as much as Tim Brown dominated the crit. The boy has some amazing fitness right now. And like Rugg, he's only a pre-teen.
A stage race--even just a two-day stage race--is an ordeal: the bikes 'n gear, the hotel room, the food, the times, the three different towns. Not to mention the racing.
While I was happy to see Rugg spread his hirsuit arms in victory, I was even happier to see Lance Anderson get back on track. Those who raced with him at the start of last season remember how dominant he was. I remember when he was just a triathlete who showed up at shop rides on a creaky old Orbea. And then proceeded to drop us all, probably nursing a hangover and high on glue or life or the smell of his own power. Who knows? The guy just dropped us all.
If you raced last year in CAT 4 and 5, you know who he is.
From what I understand, Lance put out a monster effort in the road race, helping Rugg's break stay away and put some time on the other contenders. And his time trial was blazing, too. It was enough to put him in 5th place in a stacked GC field.
In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that we have some Dutch. I mentioned, specifically, that we have a world class athlete who just sort of dabbles in cycling.
This week she nabbed fourth place on the Tour of WC GC list. Her failure to win the race can be explained only by her equipment choice. I can neither confirm nor deny that she chose to ride a beer bike, shown below, imported from her native land:
While most of us had to wait until after the race was over to head to the bar, Lisette was able to enjoy the bar while racing. The Dutch...never understimate them.
While on the subject of nationalities not to be underestimated, a word on the Nordic red-bearded plunderers of which one Martin Austermuhle must surely descend.
This Lord of Valhalla won the epic road race despite [once again, ya doofus] taking some pulls, jumping in some breaks, lollygagging, wandering through fjords, and Thor knows what else along the way.
Even more memorable, Martin gave up his own position in GC to work for Tim Brown. On the last lap I was gassed, and couldn't chase any more. Brown was at the front, where we didn't want him to be. Martin came around and took over, pulled Brown around to the final corner, and set him on his way. And he still managed 5th place.
Fry my lefsa and spread lingonberries on me, pickle my herrings, cause I'm a Hiking Viking fan for life.