In England they tend to call local races “chippers”. It was puzzling to me at first. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with the bright, exuberant feeling you get when racing them, nor does it relate to getting Buschemi-ed a la “Fargo“. No, folks, chipper is short for “fish ‘n chipper”, which is something of a slander on the quality of the race. It implies you can eat an absolutely massive fry up and still compete. To those people who look down there noses at chippers I say, boo to you. A race is a race, and a win is a win. And you know who agrees with me? The Derby Telegraph. Booyah!Colston Crawford of the Derby Telegraph was kind enough to give me some ink in the paper the other day, which is awesome. He poached some sweet quotes from my blog and wrote a pretty excellent little piece. I love the attention and I’m happy to assume my role as king of the chippers. It’ll be nice to have that title bestowed upon me for something other than my diet.
But even though I have a reputable news source trumpeting my reign of chipperdom, I’ve got to share the title with the rest of my Raleigh Teammates. We’ve yet to hit the meat of the schedule (I’m writing this from Mallorca, less than 48 hours from the start of my first UCI stage race), but no fewer than six Raleigh riders already have wins this year. (There could even be more; it’s hard to keep up with these guys.) Last Saturday the foreigners plus G6 headed out to check out our local chipper, Darley Moor, and we bullied our way to a 1-2-3-4 finish. Not too shabby.
Normally I’d feel somewhat bad about pros coming out to trounce a local race, but the Raleigh marketing manager was out racing with us. And as if that weren’t enough pressure already, his son Josh had thrown down the gauntlet by winning the juniors race in dominating fashion.
So yeah, we bullied a little bit, but to be fair we’d all done a few hours of training before the race and our house made enough to pay for groceries for a while. A man’s gotta eat, right?
So that’s a little chipper for you. We all managed to keep our dignity and our jobs by beating our marketing manager (just barely) who smashed home with a very respectable 10th place. Also, a quick shout to my new mate, (don’t worry, that’s how we roll in England) Bert Newey. This guy was rolling strong in break, busting out some mean turns on the front and then fighting to the finish. But the most impressive part of his showing is that he’s only 16. Whaaa? That’s one more young pup trying to make us gray-hairs look bad. I’m watching my back, Bert!
The post is getting long, but I’m trying to fill in the blanks created by a site switch and server crash. Jamie has been doing an excellent job of keeping up with things on his blog. We went to a military base to promote a sportive, see stonehenge and hang out in the officer’s mess. It was surreal. Read his blogpost for a real rundown (worth it!).
I ended up getting pretty sick, staying in bed for 3 days, and only just recovering in time to avoid being left off the squad for Mallorca.
But I’m here now, I feel WAAAAAAY better and I have an inkling that this race is going to be frigging awesome. The team is strong, the stages are primo and the weather is California nice. Can’t wait to kick this pig!