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!!!