Peter Warner, with unopened champagne bottle
If there's a consolation to getting dropped on the first climb at Morgantown, it's that even Rugg couldn't get the win. Neither could Curtis Winsor. Neither could Sean Barrie.
That honor went to Pete Warner, who went with a group of five at mile one. While we Cat 5-ed it back in the peleton, putzing along, riding our brakes, the break established a smooth rotation that built up almost three minutes by the decisive climb, 23 miles into the course.
Although Rugg managed to nearly catch the break, in the end they held him off by about fifty meters, and Warner jumped with a mile to go and solo-ed in for the victory.
Great. Another Bike Doctor triumph.
These guys must be getting sick of victory celebrations. Frankly, it's getting old. I'm beginning to think the men in red and black, usually skintight, are heartless fascists in the pursuit of dominance.
I hereby express sufficient righteous indignation and moral approbrium at their excessive and completely non-humble dominance, on their behalf. I declare Bike Doctor the Britney Spears of MABRA elite racing: once the new girl, innocent and spunky, who you rooted for as an underdog, now a success whore, slinking around, all out there, wrapped in a white albino snake. Wallowing in the decadence of success. That skinsuit that once seemed so virginal, quaint and aspiring now seems like the blood-red garment of savage beasts, ripe from slaughter.
The Bike Doctor himself, a man I once pictured as a gentle old be-whiskered medical practicioner resembling Sheldon Brown, urging his riders to eat their oatmeal and earnestly building wheels at an old iron forge, I now picture as a cruel Dr. Frankenstein, putting little motors in the bottom brackets and speaking in an Eastern European accent.
Think of what happened to the Red Sox. They were a lovable bunch of misfits when Bill Buckner seemed to define them. Then they won the World Series in 2004 and got sassy and Pedro Martinez-ed. How could one continue to root for them with that bunch of bloated clowns of success?
A month into the season, and Bike Doctor's dominance has made me do something I've never done--pull for NCVC.
That's right, old red and white. The China of MABRA, in terms of membership. Go DC flag team! The spunky little unlucky crew of lovable misfits that beat all the odds, taking on a squad of cyborgs led by an Eastern European Doctor of Death!
I mentioned consolation. I've got a couple reasons to cheer up:
(1) Schadenfreude--Rugg and other cyclists failed. If Rugg failed...well, I guess the victory was unearned. Right?
(2) Whining here is making me feel a lot better.
(3) The horrific podium shot, shown below. Note the following:
-Look at the dilapidated shape of the paint job of those steps. What is this? West Virginia or something? Wait, it's actually Pennsylvania, you say? Clearly those steps were brought from West Virginia.
-Lack of a face on the winner. Not sure how this happened, since there were no objects to cast a shadow, except maybe the hand of a just God looking down in disapproval.
-Completely unprofessional attire of what I presume to be the 4th place shlub. If you're going to be allowed to awkwardly stand in the grass next to a podium, at least awkwardly announce which bike shop suffers the indignity of providing you with 10% discounts on the caffeinated "shammy" cream shots that allowed you to achieve moderate success--enough to get you in the grass next to the podium.
-The asymmetry is aesthetically troubling. Couldn't someone stand in for the 3rd place finisher?
-Complete and utter lack of feminine beauty present;
-Complete and utter lack of champagne bottle opening, or even attempt at opening. Warner just took it home, presumably, to mix with orange juice and share with his Oprah Book Club.
Saddest podium shot in the history of bike racing