Thursday, March 10, 2011

Scary fast: Chasing a rainbow

Perusing the cycling news today, I stumbled upon an interview that pezcyclingnews did with American cyclist, Clayton Barrows.
Once, not long ago, Clayton was abroad making a name for himself in European kermises.  That is, before his team folded and he was forced to return to the states.  Clayton currently races for AXA Equitable and is considered by many as a 'crit king'.  But that is only his second priority these days.  First priority is completing his PhD at Penn State in Energy Engineering.  Many of the local roadies here in COMO know him from his visits to our town to see his significant other.  It is upon those occasions when he joins in on the group rides and inflicts a special kind of pain and suffering upon all of those who try to hang with him.  The man is scary fast, or so I've been told.  I never see him long enough to know for sure as I'm almost always shelled out long before the real fireworks begin.

Last year, he won the Iron Hill crit in West Chester, PA - his first win at the national level which allowed him to take the lead in the overall crit series.

A part of PEZ's interview with him that I found particularly interesting was the question of doping:

PEZ: What's your take on the recent flurry of drug scandals?
CB: I think cycling has a long way to go before anyone can have faith in the system.....The contador situation is hard to understand, one day he's guilty and the next he's off scot free.  When you compare that situation with Tom Zirbel, it makes you wonder how much money has to do with it all.  I have doubts about the 'cleanliness' of some guys I race against, but in five years of US racing I've been tested once.

Speed and talent aside, Clayton is a hell of a nice guy.  I know the COMO group appreciates the sufferfest that he always is happy to share with it.

And speaking of scary fast...I was interested to see today's results of Tirreno-Adriatico.   Tyler Farrar learned what it's like to be a leprechaun and find a prize at the end of the rainbow.  That rainbow being none other than the mighty World Champion Thor Hushovd who pulled his ass all the way to the finish.
How's that for a lead out man?

But damn, someone really needs to advise Farrar a bit on his victory pose.
I've not seen a double devil hand-sign executed this well since the Quiet Riot tour of 1983.

Isn't it Vaughter's job to be taking care of shit like this.  I mean - he is the ultimate man of etiquette and good form - right?  Take his pre-race tweet and photo:

@Vaughters:  Anyone still use these for anything but pure recreation anymore?


  1. Yes Clayton is a very cool and friendly person. And massively strong on the bike. He's a big dude (notice that he is standing next to "normal sized humans" on the podium) yet goes uphill remarkably well.

    I remember he was researching energy storage in the form of compressing gases in large underground spaces (interesting way to store large amounts of energy).

    I have been known to release energy from compressed gases myself, but never underground (mostly underwater).

  2. Clayton is 6'-4". I noticed that Bobby Lea (Bahati) is no midget either. He's 6"-2".

    That pretty much explains why Guido Palma (Jamis) is standing off of his lower third place podium and is on the winning platform with Clayton.

    Further proof that Clayton is a cool dude. He even likes the little people (actually normal sized).