Results for

2016 Tour of Kalifornia: Stage 04

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Distance 217km Number of Steps  4329 – 2.1mi Time of Filing  1:35 AM Accommodations  Best Western Townhouse Lodge and low-level drug deal conference center Today’s Objectives Get at least six hours of sleep.

WIFI Details To date this is by far the cheapest place we’ve stayed in, and yet the Wifi signal is strong, freshman frat party JELL-O shot strong, freshman frat party AXE party spray strong, freshman frat party morning-after feeling of guilt, remorse, and loneliness strong. Taken to its rational conclusion, I am forced to believe that were I to take refuge under a freeway overpass alongside a couple of guys named Micky, Three Toes, and Lil’Coot eating postdated cat food straight out of the can, I’d probably experience some sort of prescient web-surfing the likes of which would evacuate the bowels of every Engineer on the Google Campus. Must have something to do with the way money is transacted in these petty narcotic deals.

Weather It was pretty god damn pleasant when we were around the race. Like coastal high 60s to low 70s; even at the finish it wasn’t that hot. But when we got away from the coast, oh boy, California you are in trouble. It was goddamned knife-stabbing hot. And it’s only May. We cooked in Paso Robles and baked in Modesto. Everywhere the hills were covered in a wispy tinder of golden strands that haunt Smokey’s dreams. But you know, a seemingly endless expanse of short rolling hills filled with duraflame toothpicks is exactly the kind of place you want to ride a bike, ask everyone, they’ll all tell you, it’s the best. Fuck the mountains. Fuck the wooded forest. Fuck more coastal riding. Nope—an undulating morass of pre-apocalyptic fire is where we’ve all dreamed about riding, and on stage four of this year’s ATOK, a select few got to live the dream.


Here’s the thing about racing. It all happens at the end: when the first person crosses the line for the last time you’ve got yourself a winner. Racing isn’t decided by the electoral college, this shit is a popular vote man, direct democracy. Of course we acknowledge the GC and the jersey classifications, we don’t want to take anything away from these aggregate trophies, but when it comes down to it, the visceral, the immediate, the blow your hair back, nerves electric, awe of humanity shit is all about the on the immediacy of the stage finish.

Starting out, it seemed like today’s stage was going to be a little bit of a bust. Driving off the top of Gibraltar was like coming down from a high, we had witnessed the herculean efforts or the riders, the beauty of the climb, the thrall of the crowds. It was an Ayahuasca in the eyes, all the stops pulled, throttles on full experience. As we descended from the top the mountain, so did we come back down to reality. Tomorrow couldn’t possibly live up to this, the bar has been set too high.

I can’t in good conscience argue that today’s stage was equal to the race up Gibraltar. However, that doesn’t mean that when I watched the finish, when I watched Sagan and crew snake up the back straight like a Skittles-colored cobra, when I saw the effort, the fatigue, the anguish, and finally the cool grace of that Slovakian land missile casually acknowledging his victory with a subdued shrug, I was riveted with the electric immediacy that comes with racing. It speaks to something primitive and atavistic within each of us, something that, try as we might, cannot be.

Competition is as much a part of humanity as is the thumb and vocalization.”- MFS

We all want to be winners, and such is the power of our drive to win, such is our addiction to the elation of victory that we’ve trained into our nature a construct of collective consciousness that allows us to feed off the victories of others. In a sense we’ve ensnared our empathy, bent it to our will. This transference works best, is most fully realized, at the denouement, the finale. And here we have Sagan, here we have the peloton. Fuck the lackluster setting, the invisible stage, the absent crowds, because none of that matters, it’s window dressing. These are the best in the world doing what they do, and being there, leaning against a concrete barrier watching it all play out, I was struck with the same sense of awe and admiration that is fundamental to my fascination of with the human condition, our drive, our will.

This is an outpouring, an admission, an acknowledgement. This is an acknowledgement of competition, of drive, of the animal. It’s simply beautiful.


    High Points
  • Experiencing my first dump butler in a Port-a-John. We had just shown up to Laguna Seca, and I wouldn’t say my launch officers had uncuffed their briefcases, but they were definitely discussing their count strategy for the synchronized key turn. Anyway, shit was on. So we roll up to this chained-in private temporary sanitary establishment and as providence would have it a dump butler was right there to open the gates to the kingdom. Let’s just say fresh tracks plus a notable lack of contemporary dispersal. Things went well and after I finished, after I waltzed out a like a newly appointed POTUS, the dump butler locked the kingdom up behind me.
  • Nathan Hass took third! PODIUM. PODIUM. PODIUM!!!
    Low Points
  • Trying to fall asleep at 5:17am to the sound of chirping birds, who were, presumably, in the process of waking up.
  • I asked a few German Tourists if I could get footage of them for my video blog (vlog) but they pretended like they couldn’t speak English. I am pretty sure that as part of the Armistice, all Germans were required to learn English. So imagine how I felt when these fucking tourists decided to make a fool out of me—in my own country no less—by pretending to not speak English just so they could duck being in my vlog. I mean what kinda selfish bullshit is that? How would they feel if I went to Germany, toured one of their streusel factories, and decided to take a shit in their eyes? Because guess what retired German tourists, all I can see is the shit you shoveled me.
  • Lachlan, sorry about that blowout brü.


An MFS Pilot Program for a New Classification


Manual for Speed has been commissioned to introduce a new race classification category called “Most Animal.” Points for the classification will be awarded on the basis of style, swagger, and grit. We’ve assembled an elite group of expert analysts who will be assessing and assigning points for performance. The most animal jersey for ATOK will be awarded at the end of the race.


He’s still the youngest rider in the race, and after attacking yesterday he hung in and came in with the first group today. Top 5 in the GC… ANIMAL!


Assigning Sagan animal points is kinda like assigning color points to the color blue. Its tautological. Still, dude deserves them, and after crushing the field in the final sprint his winning salute was SO Alain Delon/ James Dean cool. Also, that pony tail.


Attacked on the final climb and still sprinted for third. Also, Nathan #Rode4Bernie two days ago. Haas isn’t even American but we can’t help but think that his little show of enthusiasm helped push Bernie over the top in Oregon.


The whole team has been killing it. We love junior development, not because we fetishize youth but because we truly believe that supporting, drawing attention to, and encouraging up-and-coming riders is the right thing to do for cycling. Axeon-Hagens Begman, we applaud you.


Why? Because I’m 90% sure I saw him fistbumping Peter Sagan after the win. Plus he’s Dave Towle. Listen, we know that there is absolutely NO WAY he’s going to be able to win the overall but at the same time, he’s Dave Towle. Dude’s an animal.


A crazy finish, weird turns and weirder climbs. So that’s cool. Also Butlered Dump Lots. But also heat and a queasy empty feeling.

Standings After Stage 04

  1. Neilson Powless: 12 points
  2. Ben King: 9 points
  3. Wouter Wippert: 7 points
  4. Peter Sagan: 7 points
  5. Julian Alaphilippe: 6 points
  6. Nathan Haas: 6 points
  7. Vasil Kiriyenka: 5 points
  8. Axeon-Hagens Berman: 5 points
  9. Oscar Clark: 4 points
  10. Dave Towle: 4 poimts
  11. Cannondale Team Car: 3 points
  12. Laguna Seca: 3 points
  13. Inflatable Cookies: 2 points



Quote of the Day


“There’s a lotta pop-ups and go-this-ways on the internet these days.”  -RG

“Purpletrator.” -DWP

“The only thing keeping his boner up is him talking about how his boner is up. What a précis of western civilization.” -RG


“Once they’re gone, they don’t come back.”  -Course Marshal (on US races)

“Fog is like a toddler: it’s on the move, you can’t build a shot around it.”  -DWP

“I’d go now, but if you do get caught behind the race, it’s kinda fun.” -Course Marshal



“Based on where we are and where the race goes it’s all pretty flat, so just pick your flat.” -RG

“Ask Wikipedia how you can be sure it’s a porpoise and not a great white wearing a dolphin shirt.” -KVH

“You can’t drink enough champagne to kill the pain.” -Wouter Wippert

“It’s a G street corner Modesto drag race.” -RG

“I don’t have a zebra lens.”  -Daniel Pasley, commenting on those members of the Hearst Castle zebra population standing close to the side of the 101, but not close enough. Side note: There was some debate in the car about whether any of the zebras make it over the fence, across the road and into the ocean at some point in their lives. Like, whether they ever “Make it out, and get their big break.”

“David Bowie, Prince, Mic Jaeger, Donald Trump, all Power Pan Sexuals.” -Anon

“We’re at the XXXXX Team Bus now. I’m going in the team car. George is drunk.”  -Text received at 9:30am this morning from one of our favorite clients.

“I like the smelllll, of chaparrallllll.” -RG


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