De Gendt wins solo in Catalunya; the longest day at Cape Epic: Daily News Digest

by Caley Fretz

March 22, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Elia Viviani wins Driedaasge de Panne; Thomas de Gendt wins solo in Catalunya; Canyon-Topeak and Investec Songo Specialized take wins at Cape Epic; The life and death of the Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race; CyclingTips Podcast: Driverless cars, Milan-San Remo, and a Tour de France tangent; Proper disc-brake bed-in; Scott Sunderland out of action due to new concussion; Funding for walking and cycling infrastructure falls short in Australia; Minali wins stage 4 of the Tour of Langkawi; UCI launches next phase in testing for hidden motors

Barely controlled chaos: The life and death of the Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race

by Peter Flax

The Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race didn’t live a long life, but it might have been the most captivating competitive event — the most inclusive and deliciously bat-shit crazy bike race — in the history of the sport.

Imagine rolling up to a 24-hour donut shop on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles at 3:30 on a Sunday morning and seeing thousands of cyclists gathered to throw down. Some of the characters massed there in the darkness, outside Tang’s Donuts, look like the usual suspects at a bike race — squads of roadies with carbon wheels and glistening legs and perfectly matching kit — but they are not in the majority. That’s because the crowd is packed with fixie kids, some in skinny jeans and some in spandex, straddling Cinellis and Fujis, and with young guns from Compton sitting on Frankenstein fixies, exclamations of purpose-built randomness. There are women on bikes everywhere. As are suburban teens from the San Fernando Valley and Orange County, with their CAADs and Giants, and the Latino kids from Pico-Union on simple steel bikes with deep section wheels. Also present: folks with unicycles, beach cruisers, recumbents, tandems, BMX rigs, hybrids with bar ends, tall bikes, and more than a few vintage Bianchis. Basically every bike riding culture in the city of Los Angeles is there.

A bike race is about to begin, but no one has paid a cent or signed a waiver. No one needs a racing license, or a jersey with sleeves. The only requirement to be here is a desire to be part of something kind of crazy.

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