Friday, August 29, 2014

Rapids In Seattle, This Never Ends Well

Our mantra for a while

10 games, 1 point, 7 goals, -18 goal differential.  That's the Rapids all-time record in my hometown where they'll be playing tomorrow.  This is not good.  We found out this week that Jared Watts will join Drew Moor and Shane O'Neill on the not available list, which has left Pablo trying Burch and Piermayr at CB and Serna at RB.  It could be ugly.  Game time tomorrow is 2pm and the game is on Altitude.

Injury Report:
OUT: DF Drew Moor (R ACL tear); MF Brian Mullan (L knee injury); MF Jared Watts (L hamstring strain)
QUESTIONABLE: MF Jose Mari (L ankle injury); DF Shane O'Neill (R knee sprain)

Disciplinary Report:
SUSPENDED AFTER ONE MORE YELLOW: MF Nick LaBrocca (2 good behavior games left)
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO MORE YELLOWS: MF Carlos Alvarez

Seattle has two players out and one questionable.  Jose Mari's addition to the injury list is a unwelcome surprise, Sanchez was also reported as unlikely to play earlier this week.  I have no idea what tomorrow's lineup will look like.  My guess:

But really, who knows?

Strategic Consideration: Just win a game, then we can worry about strategic considerations.

Prediction: 3-1 loss.  Goal by Brown.  There's just too much stacked against the team to expect anything but a loss tomorrow.  I'd rather be in Honolulu watching the Seattle-based Washington Huskies.  ;)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mwanga Loaned To Cosmos, Hinchey Speaks


  • Today the Rapids announced that Danny Mwanga has been loaned to the Cosmos until the end of the 2014 season, but the Rapids can recall him up to the roster freeze date on Sept. 15th.

Probably a good move for all involved.  Mwanga clearly isn't working out in Colorado and I'm not sure he has MLS talent anymore.  There's no reason to give him playing time here, so maybe he can get some in NY.



There's some interesting comments there but its the same level of talk we've heard from the Rapids FO for a while now.  At this point talk is cheap, actions is what important.  Hinchey doesn't make me believe any less that the team decided a few weeks ago to punt until 2015.  He talks about finding "difference-makers" this offseason and seems to suggest we don't have the right mix of players now (though that may just be some lack of clarity in the author's transcription) but we had an open transfer window a month ago when we were still in the hunt and made no moves to fix those problems.  Why not?  Its another public indicator of being satisfied with whatever the current roster could do in the rest of 2014 and it appears this roster can't do much.

I do find the comments about a USL-Pro partnership being announced hopefully next month interesting.  Given the multiple flat rejections to the idea of partnering with the Switchbacks in the Springs I'm assuming they won't be the partner.  Who will be?  Plus the long term plan of having a PDL, USL-Pro, Women's (in whatever league), and MLS team playing out of the Dick would be great if they can make it happen.

Finally his comments about a second DP confirm something I heard from a secondhand source last week, the Rapids have a specific player in mind and authorization to sign another DP.  No more information than that but it will be interesting to see who this might be.  Though the fact that Hinchey calls Torres a core member of the squad and Chris Bianchi reports he's not real happy at the moment makes me wonder if this DP will end up replacing our current one.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Goodbye Jens

Goodbye to Jens.  Today was the last race of the great Jens Voigt's career and he went out in typical Jens fashion, by attacking early and staying off the front until late.  5 riders attacked coming out of Boulder and let the pack over Lookout Mountain in golden and down into Denver.  We were camped 175m from the finish and saw Jens lead the group through the finish on the first 4 of the 5 laps, though in the fourth lap the group was mere seconds behind the German.

Meanwhile back in the peloton Garmin-SHARP and UHC decided to drop Elia Vivani on the Lookout Mountain climb to increase the chances for their sprinters Alex Howes and Kiel Rejinen respectively.  not only did they drop Viviani, they dropped literally every member of his Cannondale team and by the time they got past us in Denver the grupetto was 3:30 behind and by their body language were clearly not catching the main group.

On the final lap after Jens was caught BMC took control and tried to set up their sprinter Michael Schar.  At 3K to go, when the times were locked in and Teejay had officially won the race, he came to the front to lead Schar out!  As they went by us at 175m to go Teejay was still on the front and Howes was coming up the inside for Garmin-SHARP but it appeared too little too late for Argyle.  We could see the finish but it turns out I was wrong.  Alex Howes took the win over his best friend Kiel Rejinen in a reverse of Stage 1 in Aspen.  It was Howes' first professional win.  BMC's Schar finished 3rd after the leadout.

After the race we were able to get down close to the podium for the ceremonies.  No surprise that Jens was given Most Aggressive Rider today, but Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen had a special presentation for Jens.  They brought him back up to the stage and gave him a framed collage of pictures and gave him a chance to address the crowd to say goodbye.  Afterwards we went by the Garmin-SHARP bus where we saw Ben King, Charlie Wegelius, and I got an autograph from Jonathan Vaughters!  I've been wanting to add JV's autograph to my collection since the race started so I was quite pleased.  He was just hanging out on the grassy hill next to the bus, I'm not sure how many people knew who he was, most people seemed to be waiting for Howes or Tommy D.  Or it could be that they all got autographs and such before we got there.

Stage:
1. Alex Howes - Garmin-SHARP
2. Kiel Rejinen - UHC
3. Michael Schar - BMC

Final Standings:

GC:
1. Teejay Van Garderen - BMC
2. Tom Danielson - Garmin-SHARP (1:32)
3. Serghei Tvetcov - Jelly Belly (1:45)

Sprint:
1. Kiel Reijnen - UHC (39)
2. Alex Howes - Garmin-SHARP (31)
2. Danny Summerhill - UHC (23)

KOM:
1. Ben Jacques-Maynes - Jamis-Hagens (35)
2. Teejay Van Garderen - BMC (27)
3. Jens Voigt - TREK (26)

Young Rider:
1. Clement Chevrier - Bissell
2. Ruben Zepuntke - Bissell (3:30)
3. Tanner Putt - Bissell (25:58)

Team:
1. BMC 
2. Garmin-SHARP (1:04)
3. TREK (3:54)

Best Colorado Rider: Teejay VanGarderen - BMC
Most Aggressive Rider: Jens Voigt - BMC

Saturday, August 23, 2014

VanGarderen Sets New Course Record

Teejay crushed the time trial today and will almost certainly win his second straight USA Pro Challenge tomorrow in Denver. After Tommy D came in after starting the day in 4th by putting up a personal best of 25:18 5 minutes later Teejay came in at 24:26, crushing his own course record of 25:02 set last year. They've used this course going all the way back to the Red Zinger Classic in 1975 and through to the end of the Coors Classic in 1988. The first person to congratulate Teejay was Tommy D, who ended it with "you're a bad m-----f-----". The big loser was Majka who came in 4th and dropped off the GC podium.

I'll be watching near the finish line tomorrow but I doubt any of the overall standings will change. I doubt Teejay will challenge Jacques-Maynes for the KOM. I suppose teammates Reijnen and Summerhill could contest the sprinter's jersey but I would be surprised. If the 1:31 differential holds up tomorrow it would be the largest margin of victory in the race, beating Teejay's 1:30 win over Frank last year. Tommy D was at 1:42 behind in 3rd so he's improved by 11 seconds this year.

Stage:
1. Teejay Van Garderen - BMC
2. Tom Danielson - Garmin-SHARP ( :52)
3. Serghei Tvetcov - Jelly Belly (1:08)

GC:
1. Teejay Van Garderen - BMC
2. Tom Danielson - Garmin-SHARP (1:31)
3. Serghei Tvetcov - Jelly Belly (1:45)

Young Rider:
1. Clement Chevrier - Bissell
2. Ruben Zepuntke - Bissell (3:30)
3. Tanner Putt - Bissell (19:09)

Team:
1. BMC 
2. Garmin-SHARP (1:04)
3. TREK (3:54)

No sprint or KOM points today with the time trial so no change there.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Race Happened, Apaprently


The weather in the mountains kept the relay plane grounded today, so all we saw was parts of the final 10K (any camera in town in Breckenridge plus occasional glimpses from the helicopter. Apparently a 12 man group broke away with 60K to go, then over Hoosier Pass a 4 man group consisting of Didier, Acevedo, Ben King, and Britton broke away and stayed away to the finish. On the final short climb in Breck Ben King attacked but was passed by Didier with 300M to go on the climb, followed by Acevedo and Britton. Didier bombed his way down to the finish line with the other two trying to close the gap but they came up just short. Another 25m and Acevedo would have won the stage as all 3 got the same time, with Ben King 15 seconds back.

Stage:
1. Laurent Didier - TREK
2. Jainer Acevedo - Garmin-SHARP
3. Rob Britton - SmartStop

GC:
1. Teejay Van Garderen - BMC
2. Rafal Majka - Saxo-Tinkoff ( :20)
3. Serghei Tvetcov - Jelly Belly ( :37)

KOM:
1. Ben Jacques-Maynes - Jamis-Hagens (35)
2. Teejay Van Garderen - BMC (27)
3. Tom Danielson - Garmin-SHARP (20)

Young Rider:
1. Clement Chevrier - Bissell
2. Ruben Zepuntke - Bissell (3:55)
3. Tanner Putt - Bissell (18:01)

Team:
1. Garmin-SHARP
2. BMC ( :11)
3. TREK (1:20)

No change in the Sprinter standings or the Best Colorado Rider standings.

Most aggressive went to Ben King.