Tiger Woods used to dominate the Masters, in his first nine attempts at Augusta he won four times. A win percentage like that in golf is almost unprecedented, let alone in a major as storied as the Masters. Tiger was as dominating a figure as the sport has ever seen. In the seven attempts since those first nine though, Tiger has won just twice.
So what changed? Well quite a bit’s changed for Tiger, but the reason many believe he’s not as dominant as before can be traced back to two major course alterations that occurred in 2002 and 2006. Those alterations were aimed at making the par 5’s Tiger was so accustom to reaching in 2 shots outside of even his range. Lengthening those holes would force him to play 3 shots to reach the green just like everyone else. These changes came to be known as “Tiger Proofing” the course. Read the rest of this entry »
In what’s become a NorCal tradition, the Sacramento Golden Wheelmen hosted a great weekend of racing – starting with the Land Park criterium Saturday and ending with the Bariani road race on Sunday. Here’s a quick recap of the 1st day at Land Park.
First off, the day’s weather was amazing. I (Curt) started the morning on the local Coffee Republic group ride with Eric, but turned back so I could catch some of the early races with our Castelli rep Andrew Nelson of Servizio-Corse. Andrew might be the most chill dude around and is always great to run into at races. To Mr. Nelson – thanks for letting us hang out under the shade of your tent and shoot the breeze, we really appreciate everything you do and feel lucky to have such a solid partner.
Shortly after spectating a couple races, Tyler and I lined it up in the M35+1/2/3 as a warm-up for the E3 race. That warm-up race was slightly warmer than anticipated and I suffered greatly in moments. In the end though Tyler and I both stayed safe and rolled in with the pack.
The next race was the Elite 3, and this time Tyler and I lined up with Nate, Casey, and Eric. Within 500 meters the race was fast and lo and behold, Casey was in the break. As soon as that break got caught, Eric ventured into a break of his own. This break was comprised of only two men, one of whom I’ve been reminded is still only riding with one good arm. Even so, the two men held off the field for what felt like 5-7 laps. Impressive stuff. Unfortunately for the break, a couple of the Golden Wheelmen riders were like, “what’s a bridge?”…and chased and chased.
Long story short, break gets caught and we weren’t very good from there on out. Luckily everyone finishes safely and we end the evening with beers and burgers at Pangea, and then a quick stop at Gunther’s. All in all, great day racing bikes.
Here’s a quick recap from our team’s trip to the Madera Stage Race – this weekends DDA roster included Casey, Eric, Nate, and me – Curt.
Our team’s hopes in the “race of truth” hinged on Eric Brickler, who’s racing with one good arm (“to make it a fair fight”) – and Casey Fallon who’s ramping up for the Chico Stage Race in a couple of weekends. The two of them laid down solid efforts and landed just outside the top 10 (11th and 13th respectively) in a full 75 man field. Nate and I did less well, but remained in remarkably upbeat spirits all the same – really well done Nate and I.
Criterium: Needing a fair amount of time to land in the top 3 in GC, we decided to do what we enjoy best and just race our bikes in the crit. This crit felt a little like a P/1/2 race where there’s this constant aggression until a break get’s established that’s agreeable to the field, only this field was pretty disagreeable and that wasn’t going to happen. The whole race attacks would go, get caught, then the counter would come – for 60 minutes this went on, making it easily the most difficult race we’d done all season.
Somewhere in the midst of the relentless attacks, Eric shows his incredible race savvy and unleashes his killer sprint to land a time bonus prime that moves him into the top 10 in GC. Again, all with only one good arm.
Finally with two to go Casey put in a perfect move, got a gap, and put the bit between his teeth (his words, no fake british accent used). The pack was caught trying to determine who was going to chase this down, I love this moment in races. Read the rest of this entry »