Sep 26th: You know what they say continues to steamroll into fall with nearly 40 showing up every week. Perhaps people are Iceman Prepping. Perhaps it’s cyclocross season that gets folks into the gravel mood. Perhaps they just want to ride a route that really (really) looks like a cock. Whatever the case, it’s a big crowd, and we love it.

This week all no games would be played, just a solid tailwind and Nacho Classic. Huy-Style. In addition, this week was extra special in that was blessed with the presence of the undisputed King of Strava. Since he’s so famous, he uses a fake name on Strava to avoid being mobbed by adoring fans. Everyone was hard with anticipation to watch him work his Strava magic.

The ramp up from Peckins was slow. Cat realized her wheel wasn’t on all the way, and Al drifted around taking photos of the big group because he cares more about Instagram than his dignity. King Of Strava was  trying to roll the start of the segments on the back of the group, which no one noticed, or realized what he was doing. Luckily Michael, Sean, Jay, Herb, Sam and some others were focused and went to the front to get the pace up.

The Parker segment started smooth and steady with the tailwind keeping speeds high on the flats leading into the first set of rollers. A few gaps opened in the rollers, but the big group stayed together with plenty of places to hide. Ryan even came through with a monster pull up to Parker.

Things finally started to break up on the Falsest of Flats. Rich and Danny opened up a small gap over the group before Ryan, Al & Duncan bridged up to them and extended the lead. The selection had been made, and there was much dick sucking back in the group, but a short wait for a car at Zeeb allowed the dropped riders to catch up and wipe their chins before the final segment.

A small group of four: JR, Al, Herb & Rich ended up with small gap before the final sprint, with JR leading out and Al trying to come around but his tiny idiot legs don’t have 40mph watts. The downhill sprint at Wagner is a long, slow death often only conquered from way, way in the back. As was the case this week with Sam leading out from the group and Danny winning the day easily from the back seat.

The roll back to HOMES was punctuated by a perfect sunset and the humbling honor of riding with the King of Strava. will never be the same.

Aug 30: NCL Finale

NCL Finale: Totally balanced… except Liverpool. Sorry Liverpool.

There were fortish folks rolling out from HOMES again. Full rosters for Young Boys, Hoffenheim and Liverpool with team Jazzy Tree multiplying like (jazzy) Shofixti, there were plenty of alternates to fill out Chelsea & Man City for the day.  WHAT, WAS THAT REFERENCE TOO DEEP?

We’ll skip the intro for this week and get right to the hottest, fakest racing Michigan has to offer that’s not in Traverse City, or Grand Rapids. The final day is the team pursuit, in gaps based on reverse order of score, with real-time, 2nd rider, finish being the winner. So, it’s heavily tilted to make it really close at the end. However, all of the time gaps, points balance are totally made up using absolutely no basis … and then there are PR points which who fucking knows. So as you’d expect it totally…. worked fucking perfectly. Hott damn. Except for Liverpool, they still blow.

Liverpool went out first with a 28 second gap on Man City, who started only six seconds in front of Hoffenheim and Young Boys who were tied for 2nd and then it was another 34 seconds back to Chelsea – who were in the lead by 17 points. With 12 points for the game win, and 5 bonus points for the first rider across Wagner, it was wide open Hoff or YB to take it home – or Man City with a few PR points.

Hoff n’ YB caught Man City quickly, and after much discussion and instruction from the grey-beards about keeping it steady and working together, Sam just blew the fuck by Man City and exploded the group. So less than 2k in, half the teams are mixing, the other half are trying to get around and bridge gaps, and anyone who wasn’t perfectly positioned or had power to spare was spit out the back to ride alone – no PR points or help. Sorry. Thanks Sam. Masterfully played.

Liverpool was in sight up the road, and the Super Group, Ginger Baker’s Air Force (yes, we’re using that joke again, cuz it’s a great joke, suck it), was in sight of Chelsea who took their minimum 2 riders (Danny/Ryan) and immediately dropped their team.

Super Group, Blizzard of Oz, worked together fairly well, at least when Sam wasn’t fucking flying off the front for no reason and then sitting up like “whut?”, or when Herb wasn’t yelling at Jeremy Jazzy n’ Talus Jazzy (no relation) for not knowing how to ride a rotating paceline. First rule of rotating pacelines, don’t expect the dudes on mountain bikes to know how to rotating paceline. 2nd Rule of rotating pacelines, mountain bikes spin out at 28mph. 3rd rule of Rotating pacelines, if herb isn’t yelling at you, you’re not trying hard enough.

Super Group The Mortal Coil caught Liverpool and became Super Group Mike & The Mechanics and that shit went on pretty steady for awhile… kind of working well, acceleration, sam fucks it up, it slows down, kind of gets its shit together again, sam fucks it up, herb yells at someone… repeat; but generally it went fast enough…

Until the Falsest of Flats. It was clear that Chelsea wasn’t going to catch Super Group Pigface and the leading teams started looking around for a winner. There were a couple of attacks, but nothing stuck long. Al went to the front and started soft pedaling for some unknown, insane reason (it was later revealed his KOM on FoF was in jeapordy, so he held it up instead of going for it, cuz he’s a lazy slob).

Jeff AC attacked off the top of Zeeb (which is such a good spot FYI) and looked like he might make it stick, but NO SPIT NO QUIT STEPHEN WAS BACK!!!!! We missed him. If he wasn’t quitting and spitting all season maybe Liverpool wouldn’t be in such a shit spot. Anyway, Stephen found his swallow again and single-handedly closed the gap to Jeff AC. At least he’d be blown for the sprint right.

You’re WRONG. Stephen sprinted from the 2 spot and stayed in front of Sean, Adam and Al coming from way back but not with enough to make it around Stephen. [chanted] No Quit! No Spit! No Quit! No Spit!

So Liverpool takes the bonus points, spoiling the day for Hoff and Young Boys, and handing a gift to Chelsea right? WRONG! Nachoride is too mysterious and unpredictable like a romantic dinner with Javier Bardem in a slowly flooding cave that smells of lavender.

Apparently this was the fastest Nacho on record with a new KOM set for the Sean Geary Memorial Gentlmen’s Race, and every other segment (except the Falsest of Flats, way to go Al). Krank Jazz ended up with the KOM but we’ll give that a full-GPS-fart side-eye for at least a week, and the PR points went crazy and the final ended up going down to a tiebreaker.

Young Boys take it with 63 points and 2 wins to Chelsea’s 63 points and 1 win. Man City in 3rd with 62, and Hoff in 4th with 61. So the top 4 teams, all within 2 points. If you’re keeping track, “top 4” in this case means “everyone except Liverpool,” whose score shall not be spoken.

Hoffenheim takes the Zabel (4) and the Team GC with strong early performances (and Danny’s missing a week) which is also how Al managed to grab the Cheese jersey.

Michel edged out Herb for the Jalapeño, (most bonus).

Krank Jazz takes the GC by one and three seconds over Sean and Glen respectively (but, GPS SIDE EYE REMEMBER).

That was pretty fun. Thanks everyone!!!