NPL Week 2: Man, Man U really sucks.
The crowd this week looked thin after last week’s rain-out-that-didn’t-actually-rain. What? I know. Michigan weather this summer has been like, well, like Michigan weather has always been. Fucking Bananas. Anyway, with minutes to spare, the parking lot at HOMES filled up with dudes in tights. A few of the usual suspects were missing, but a fresh wave of alternates and first-timers put in some great rides.
With one week of NPL behind us, everyone had points on their minds. Which means everyone was super confused the whole time. Which means Waters started out really slow. Andy pedaled off the front for Man U and was joined by Jeff AC (Arsenal), Sean (Man City) and Glen (Liverpool). They sat about 30 meters off the front of the bunch, but no one in the bunch wanted to get them. So they drifted more. Chelsea was the only team left out of the break, and that’s Danny, so no one, there was no one who would chase. Glen grabbed the Prime at Fletcher.
At one point the break looked confused. Like they didn’t want to stay off the front; but the bunch didn’t want them back. Everyone felt like they were well represented (except Danny).
Approaching the first roller, Al and Stephen were chatting. “You know, Danny is the only one who doesn’t have anyone up the road… he’s got to either drag it back or he’s going to attack on this roll….” and Danny attacked. Al and Stephen shut the hell up and chased. Stephen made the jump but gave up a few second too early, like an idiot. This left Al and Danny in no-man’s-land between the break and the bunch. Just before Parker they got a little too close to the break, and neither Al nor Danny wanted to actually catch the break so they let it go off. Glen went to early for the Prime and Sean grabbed it at Parker.
Into the Zeeb section Al and Danny were not able to shake each other so they drifted back into the group. Cole was just sitting on the front soft pedaling trying to keep the break off the front, which was just dangling around 20 seconds gap. Danny sat in the group for a few seconds and then attacked again. Al and Stephen went with him and, well, Stephen gave up again. Three more pedal strokes dude. Three more. Maybe five. No more than ten.
Al and Danny, alone again, in the middle. They tried to drop each other a couple of times on the falsest of the flats, but also didn’t want to catch the break. It was weird. Glen grabbed the Zeeb Prime on top of the falsest of flats and the break stayed away for one more section.
Jeff AC was in the break, and seeing Danny and Al close behind (and not knowing that they were awkwardly trying to float between the bunch and the break) he took it upon himself to drag the break home. All frolicking bullshit was set aside and Jeff just pulled everyone in. Sean and Glen went for the final sprint at Wagner with Sean taking the overall, the bonus point, and the lead in the Beef Jersey WAIT WHAT yeah there was a ton of shit going on here, and it made for some fun, heady racing.
Stephen took the bonus point for best of the rest, Brian slotted in not-last.
Man City wins the day, and 6 points, again with the prime putting them out of a three-way tie with the two EFL teams, Arsenal & Man U (Arsenal gets the tie-breaker with the higher top position).
With Cole’s four (that’s it, that’s all of ’em) PR points Man City sits on top of the points for the week as well. Followed by Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, also heavy on the PR points and then… well, Man U… what are we gonna do with Man U. So yeah, Next week Man U will stay in the EFL for a second week and is way, way behind on points. Perhaps they’re just going for a serious head start in week four’s pursuit? It’s a terrible strategy. Chelsea will join them in the EFL next week while Arsenal joins the Premiere League.
There’s a tie for the Jalapeño Jersey between Cole & Jeff Columbia who both swept the PRs this week. Glen takes a 1 point lead in the Cheese and Sean, that crafty motherfucker, put 10 seconds on everyone in the Beef Jersey competition by hanging in that breakaway.
Man City & Liverpool have the most balanced teams, and it shows. They have a healthy advantage on the rest of the teams in overall points. Liverpool opens up a lead in The Zabel with prime points and Man City opened a small lead in the team GC… which is the only thing Man U isn’t last place in…. but, you know, just barely. Just. Fucking. Barely.