Another one bites the dust

So, another big sponsor has reportedly pulled the plug on its masters racing team. A reputed annual budget of $250k, vehicles, bikes, travel expenses, and all the trimmings will no longer be used to fund a SoCal masters team. As part of the collateral damage, a planned women’s masters team will also get flushed.

Riders who were at the top of their game must now scramble to find a new team since the off-season transfers and team rosters for the coming year have pretty much been completed. Confusion, anger, and a sense of betrayal are rampant, and the balance of power among the SoCal masters teams has been radically realigned.

Thank fuggin dog

I am ecstatic this has happened, and hope it is replicated throughout the peloton. Masters bicycle racing in SoCal has reached an apogee of silliness and unreality that no one outside the bubble could even believe there was such a thing as a “masters bicycle racing scene.”

What in the hell is a “master” anyway?

Like so many other terrible ideas, SoCal masters racing in its current formulation evolved, like the virulent form of an ordinary illness. The current strain is a “sport” where old people prepare for bicycle races (most of which last for forty-five minutes or less) by utilizing state of the art equipment, state of the art clothing, state of the art nutrition and fitness plans, state of the art coaching, and, in ever greater numbers, state of the art drugs.

The modern masters team makes the Tour de France teams of the early 80’s look like a joke. In “Rough Ride,” Paul Kimmage notes that his team gave him five kits for the entire year. As recently as 1999, U.S. Postal’s TdF “bus” was a small van. Going back even farther, Tom Simpson was “lured” into his first pro contract by an offer of a free jersey and two free tubulars.

Yes, Tom Simpson, the guy who won the Tour of Flanders, the road world championships

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