Fortune favors the bold. Just need a way to make some money off of these. Vegas, anyone?

Part of the fun of bike racing is guessing who is going to win. The other part, of course, is having everyone guess completely wrong and enjoying that stinging surprise of an underdog surging to sweet, sweet victory. For the Cherry-Roubaix, kolo t.c. will predict the podium in every Pro 1/2  race. Because that’s a very bold thing to do.

Old Mission Prologue 

Men’s Pro1/2

1. Chris Fisher
2. Rudy Peterson

Women’s Pro 1/2

1. Susan Vigland
2. Lauri Brockmiller
3. Zoe Reeves

Fisher and Peterson will vie for first and last. With just two riders in the Prologue, the Pro men have confirmed a suspicion that the top end athletes are focused rather heavily on the State Championship Road Race. It’s interesting that the defending champion will take the start. That’s an ambitious and confident move from a man who’s proven he’s up to defend his crown. Fisher should take the opening event of the weekend, with a strong challenge from the on-form Peterson.

The Women’s race is also lightly contested, with Hagerty Cycling’s Susan Vigland and Lauri Brockmiller taking the start on Old Mission in hopes of kicking off the weekend with a strong showing. Einstein Racing has chosen to sideline their big names, sending the 16 year old phenom Zoe Reeves to make the first big move for the squad. Reeves is a confirmed time trialist and will undoubtedly threaten for the win, and if this course were just a tad flatter, she’d get the nod.

Old Town Criterium

Men’s Pro 1/2

1. Mac Brennan
2. Chris Fisher
3. Jordan Diekema

Women’s Pro 1/2/3

1. Susan Vigland
2. Alicia Trevino
3. Mackenzie Woodring

The Criterium will offer up the first show of strengths for teams throwing up big numbers for the weekend. Hagerty, Einstein, Priority Health and Bissell all have plenty of firepower on offer, and each has a number of cards to play in the tight, rough crit course in Old Town. Lanthrup/Giant will also challenge in the Men’s race, fielding winning options in Tom Burke and Robert Foshag. Priority Health has a squad of five, including Chris Fisher and Jason Young, with some added danger in Alan Antonuk and the young Anthony Prentice. Bissell, however, has the incomparable Mac Brennan still sticky with the ink of a pro contract on his fingers and looking to confirm the stellar season he’s enjoyed this year.

State Championship Road Race

Men’s Pro 1/2

1. Chris Fisher
2. Mike Anderson
3. Mac Brennan

Women’s Pro 1/2

1. Mackenzie Woodring
2. Susan Vigland
3. Johanna Schmidt

This race is all about attrition. Numbers and a strong team might help, but after a second trip up Dufek and the dragging slog over French Road, it’s going to come down to the individual rider’s ability to just keep plugging away. For the men, Chris Fisher has proven he’s capable of marking the right moves and having the legs to finish. Bissell’s numbers do give them plenty of options to put riders up the road and force other teams to chase, and with so many strong riders on their roster, each of those moves will have to be respected. Priority Health’s organization and commit to defending the title will be tested. If they don’t ride united and selflessly, Fisher will be alone too soon, too far away and with no chance. A likely scenario will be one or two riders up the road late in the race, with Bissell and Priority Health eye-balling one another until their racing brings matter to a head. This is going to be an unforgettable finish at Sugar Loaf.

The Women’s race is the most difficult, personal and cruel race out there. With a relatively small field, every hard move will likely shed a rider to ride the rest of the race alone, whittling the lead group to a handful of select riders. It’s impossible to imagine anyone riding away, though you can bet on Hagerty and Einstein, the teams with the biggest numbers, to try to send a rider up the road to put pressure on the other women. Over Lime Lake and up Narlock, Mackenzie Woodring is the most powerful and consistent rider of any of the big names. Vigland’s success or failure to become the 2012 State Champion may just come down to her trusty lieutenant Lauri Brockmiller. It will fall to the ever-loyal Brockmiller to chase, work and bury herself to keep the race together. Alicia Trevino will be the opportunist in the field with the smarts to make the most of the in-fighting, and Woodring will rely on Johanna Schmidt and Zoe Reeves to keep an eye on everything.

What is really going to happen? No clue. Just enjoy the racing everyone, and enjoy every ride.