Where to be, when to be there, and who to heckle while you’re hanging around.
The Cherry-Roubaix is here, and you’ve probably spent too much time and lost too much sleep planning exactly how to take it all in. Good. Then this will be easy.
Friday Night: The Time Trial on Old Mission Peninsula. The first riders take off at 6pm for a challenging 13 mile out-and-back around Bowers Harbor and over the Eimen Road Climb from both sides. It’s a longer, much tougher race than last year, and it will be very interesting to see who can blend together the finesse and power required to put in a solid time.
Where To Watch: Take Eimen Road off Peninsula Drive west to see the top of the climb from both directions. If you’re looking to see riders, this is where they’ll be the slowest, and they’ll go by twice in rather quick succession. You’ll probably also have front row seats to some dramatic implosions, yours truly included.
Who To Heckle: Einstein Racing’s Tim Bottrell makes his 2013 debut on the time trial, and it’s going to be a hoot. No rider has the ability to ham it up and yet go so fast, and the big man will certainly do both tonight.
Saturday Old Towne Crit: The roads are essentially patched and smoothed over with asphalt and gravel, with some serious divots missing on Seventh Street and Ninth Street. The bricks of Eighth Street are probably the smoothest portion of the course, and even then, the race will be decided by who can keep the pressure on while staying upright.
Where To Watch: The guys from Pro X will have a tent up along Seventh Street just in front of Central Grade School. It’s also conveniently across the street from the Official Brother of kolo t.c.’s humble abode. So if you need to pee, use his rose bushes.
Who To Heckle: Dan Hofstra of Hagerty Cycling is back in the saddle after breaking his collarbone this spring. Dan Hofstra doesn’t mess around with racing unless he’s ready to have a massive impact the event, and he’s ready to roll for the Roubaix. He may not win, but he’s going to be a valuable teammate for the Master’s men on home turf.
Sunday Road Race: The start finish is up at the ghost-town that is Sugar Loaf Resort. It’s actually somewhat chilling atmosphere and platform for such a big event, especially one as tough as this. Tons of climbing, lots of wind, and some challenging descents make it the most complete road race in the state. You have to be able to do it all to have a shot.
Where To Watch: It’s tough to beat the start finish itself, which sees the race take on the final climb to the line in the northward approach on Sugar Load Mountain Road. Aside from there, however, a great spot is from the top of Narlock. Take Sullivan Road north from Bellinger, and you’ll wind your way to the top of Narlock. Narlock’s double ascent is usually the last selection before the drag race along Lime Lake Road. It’s steep, selective and very tough to judge, and makes for some exciting spectating.
Who To Heckle: Tessa Perez has been flying the flag for New Holland Brewing all season, and her habit for taking podiums is getting a bit comfortable. She’ll have a big task on her hands Sunday, where she’ll climb more in two hours than she usually does in a whole week. Give her a friendly ribbing and see if it makes her climb Narlock just that little bit faster.