Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 LA CIRCUIT A TOP RACE FOR 55 AND 60+ RACERS-UCC WIN ON BREAKS

By John McKee

April 13th, 2014 has the prestigious LA Circuit race. This year the promoter Brad "Tool Bag" House had a separate race for both the 60s and 55s. There is a 4 mile up and back loop that makes it possible to put 2 groups on the course at the same time. This is a big benefit to both the promoter and the racers. More races more opportunities for racers and more racers more money for the promoter. Brad is promoting it for the Big Orange Cycling Club in conjunction with Back on Track Productions.
The 60s got their own race and it was to start at 8 am. 2 races later at 9:30 am is the 55+ race. Both races were to be 20 miles rather than the usual 40 minutes criterium race. Brad was hoping we would get 35 racers but I thought 30 was a better target number. We got 25. Thanks to the guys that did come out. I know Sea Otter is at the same time and kept some 55/60+ racers away but the ageless one did some Sea Otter and drove back down to do LA Circuit. Your the best Robert Paganini!
It's the man! Brad "Tool Bag" House. Brad raced the 55+ race with his tool bag on his bike. Brad has been the long time promoter of LAC and a big friend of 55 and 60+ racing.


Prior to the beginning of the 60+ race the National Anthem was sung.
Christina "Rico" Ricafort singing the National Anthem. I saw "Rico" later at the track. She was doing a short TT. Photo courtesy of http://www.cat-ears.com/.
 The 60+ race got off on time and almost right out of the chute Dale Luedtke takes off on a solo effort. Dale was away for less than a lap but a lap is 4 miles. Good warmup for Dale. The rest of us just sat in. The 1st time through we got the 4 to go card and were all together. There were a few efforts at breaking away including Jonathan Livesay but nothing really pushing it or anything that looked dangerous. Mike Birditt was very active through the race and Reid Moore was as well. Don Davidson always gives it the old college(He works at UCR) try.
There was a lull in the action coming half way through the race.  I was chided by Dale Luedtke for not taking a pull and I could have here off of Howard Miller.

Alex Gonzales chasing the 2 break partners- Mike Birditt and Reid Moore.

With about 2 laps to go Mike "Staples" Birditt jumped out there and Reid Moore went after him. They teamed up and got a quick gap. They didn't have much of a gap and you could see them at the 180 turns just ahead. There were just a few people chasing like Kurt Freeman, Alex Gonzales and Rino B.
The race seemed to go by so quickly and actually was a longer race than we normally have. The lap card came up with one to go. The bell was rung. Early into the last lap Robert Mosier tried to jump across the gap and looked like he was going to make it but ran out of gas just short of the prey. Robert came back to the group. Mike and Reid were sharing the load. Reid was getting a little tired but they hung in there. Reid knew he stood no chance at beating Mike at the end but the word chance will definitely come into play here.
The Paramount team and SBW didn't even try to catch the 2 guys making the bunch sprint good for the last spot on the podium or so it seemed. We came up to the last corner and there would be one mile to go. Just as we turned the corner and got upright on our bikes there was Mike Birditt on the right going very slow. Flat tire! A staple entered his tire and let air escape about one mile too soon. Bummer! The race now took on a little different complexion.
I got on Kal Szkalak's wheel thinking this was a good wheel to be behind. Monty Pettus was going to freelance it and pick his spot. Up front Reid Moore was proably in shock that his partner in the break got a flat and he was going to win solo at LA Circuit. He indeed rode across the finish line in 1st place. Kudos to Reid for being aggressive and taking it too the sit in sprinters.
The sprint train was coming back toward the finish line but not a very fast pace. Being on Kal was a decent spot but the slow pace allowed riders to come around us and all of a sudden I wasn't in good positon. Monty came up the right side and lanched his sprint pretty far out and everyone else got out of the saddle. There was no clear favorite here but I might have put money on Dale Luedtle. Dale is riding very well this year.
Monty got going and he didn't slow down. He smoked the field for 2nd place. Mike Marotta sprinted in for 3rd place and the last place on the podium. 4th place was a surprise with Rick Lilliberg flying in for a very good finish for him. He got a new Trek just like mind. Same color only it is a faster model. Rick almost didn't get a chance to race because he had a flat before hand and didn't have a long enough extender to work with a new tube. Monty gave him what he needed and saved his bacon.
Dale rolled in for 5th followed in by Kal. I sprinted by Jonathan Livesay and let off the gas a bit and Leo Longo "Kimpered" me at the line. Leo 7, myself 8 and Jonathan 9. Kal was upset after the race that the leadout wasn't fast enough but he could have forged his own trail like Monty did.
60+ podium- Marotta 3, Moore 2, & Pettus 2
The 55 race had more riders at 42+ because half the field were 60+ riders doubling up. Not sure where all the 55+ riders are. There is actually a purse for everyone here. Great start time. Good course. WTF? I think a lot of 55s are afraid to get beat by "older" riders.
The 55 race was the same distance at 20 miles and played out remarkable the same. The players were different though and there were no flat tires. Kal Szkalak was still smarting from the 1st race and decided to take things in his own hands. Mid way through the race Kal jumped off the front and went by Cleve Law. Jeff Moreton saw this as an opportunity since sprinting is not his long suit and he jumped across to Kal. Cleve gave up and came back to the pack.
Kal and Jeff got a bigger lead than the 2 breakers in the 60+ race. I believe it was around 20 seconds. The last lap came and they were still away. In fact they finished 1/2. No contest there for the win since Kal is a good sprinter but 2nd is a good finish here for Jeff. Good job, Kal Szkalak and Jeff Moreton.The sprint built up for the field was almost the same as in the 60+ race but not quite that slow. Danny Nicolette came flying out of the pack to finish 3rd and fill out the podium. Mike McConnell(Mike hasn't raced with us this year. Get with it buddy! Lol!) finished 4th followed in by 60+ racers and buddies Dale Luedtke and Mike "Staples" Birditt. 11 of the 1st 25 finishers were 60+ so maybe I wasn't blowing smoke earlier.
55+ podium- Nicolette 3, Szkalak 1 & Moreton 2
The racing was good. Not real hard. The pace wasn't as fast as it could have been. John Roest got taken out in the 55+ race by a SBW member who was looking around rather than paying attention to the task ahead of him. Other than that it was all good. Complete results below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

BIRDY BREEZES IN 60-FLOOD GATES WASHES AWAY TROUBLE IN 55 @ 14 RBC

By John McKee

The 2014 Redlands Bicycle Classic continued to include 55/60+ racers in their great race. Thank you for that. For sure. 2014 is a pivotal year for the 55s and especially the 60s. Those 2 categories need to show numbers to keep going into the future. Turnouts have been good where there has been a 55/60+ combo race and hasn't been bad when both cats had separate races like at Roger Millikan and Chuck Ponitus.
Here is Tico Pico. The mascot dog for the 2014 RBC. No one will get the movie reference for the name of the dog.
   I have struggled this year getting all my "stuff" to the races. This race was no exception. I didn't have my pedals or to be precise, I had one pedal so short one, right. Speedplay Zero. Gray. I luckily found my coach John Howard and he wasn't racing until 2 races after mine so he loaned me one of his green Speedplays. Color didn't matter. I could race. Yes!
You looking for pedals Mike? I have quite a few sets in my garage. Not at the race but plenty in the old garage.
The idea Mike is to point your bike straight ahead at the start.
The 60+ field was quite strong while the 55+ was lacking some of the stronger riders in this category. I figured this meant a field sprint but I knew that breaks work on this very technical course. It is fun and challenging. You gain 850 ft. in a 40 minute race. The 55/60+ was to be 40 mins and start at 7:55 am. Both cats had the same race number series and the organizers and officials weren't using Eric Smith's finish program. This would be a problem later.
We all came to the line at 7:55am and the we of course included myself. I felt lucky to be able to race. 30 minutes before I was ready to drive away dejected. We flew off on the officials whistle. I knew the first few laps would be hard for me since I didn't get a warmup. The first few laps were speedy but steady. I started to settle in. I think maybe I can do this. This course will take no prisoners. Like when Peter O' Tootle got caught up in the moment in the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" when his crew of local tribesmen were going to attack a retreating Turkish army. He yelled "No Prisoners". This course is always yelling "No Prisoners". Especially when the pressure gets put on.
Early action that strings out the peleton.

The back of the field early on.
A number of riders whipped up the pace. Dan DeMuth of Team Redlands was one that looked strong and wasn't afraid to go to the front and power on! Right on! Power to the pedaler! Don Davidson always is up for a good pull. The course takes bike handling skills as well. 
Kal Szkalak was looking to get away and took a stint off the front but didn't get very far away. He asked "Birdy" if he wanted to go with him because Kal was racing 55+ rather than 60+. I guess he thought he had a better chance of finishing. We all had the same number series and Kal didn't show up afterward to let the officials know what his intention was. It was a disaster when the results came out.
Nothing was sticking as far as break attempts. The peleton would string out when the pressure was on but when the pressure was taken off the pack bunched up again. A few more top riders to hit it when there were lulls would have made a difference.
Swami's whipping up the pace. Cyril "Trouble" Hunte mixing in with Swami's.
I started feeling better in the 2nd half of the race and was looking for the lap cards to come up and soon enough 5 came up. The pace still seesawed but got pretty high with 3 to go. Monty Pettus had to put out 1100 watts to move up into position for the finish. The pace eased a bit with 2 to go.
You can see the electronic lap counter with 2 to go. Swami's still at the front.
The electronic lap card showed 1 to go. We hit the first turn and the pace wasn't high. Lothar "Blue Boy" Cramer in his white jersey came to the front between turn one and two. He decided to take the pack home and see where he could finish after being at the front for most of the last lap. Mike Birditt and Dale Luedtke were in prime position as was Tom "Flood" Gates and Cyril "Trouble" Hunte. Lothar got to the last corner leading but after the turn the sprinters started flying by.
Finish! Birdy and Flood win!
"Birdy", Dale and Cyril were the first to go by and then Mr. Gates. Tom knew Mike and Dale were 60+ so he had his sights set on Cyril. He had to pass Cyril to win the 55+ race. Mike Birditt came up the inside track and easily beat everyone and of course was first in 60+. Tom Gates did pass Cyril Hunte for 1st place in 55+. Cyril took 2nd. Dale Luedtke took 2nd in 60+ with Kal taking 3rd, Paul Rodiguez 4th and Monty Pettus 5th. In 55+ David Fetah filled out the podium. Lothar hung on for 4th in 55+ and took the last paying spot there. Ron Mallory was 5th in 55+ but was behind myself. I was 7th in 60+ so the 60+ field was definitely stronger as far as the finish was concerned.
Once the race was over the fun started. There was a different finish program that was used. Not the usual Eric Smith program that spells out the age on the far right. Since there was the same numbering system the official that was in charge of the result sheets was having trouble. Lol. 2 or 3 lists came out and were incorrect.  I had to list the finishers correctly verbally and the top finishers were put in the correct categories. Kal wasn't around to let anyone know what category he was racing so he was put in the category that related to his age. This was a bad deal for Monty because that bumped him out of a paying spot in 60+. The results still don't show in USAC 6 days after the event so the different program had to be a major problem. I hope we eventually get credit for the effort there.
Mr. Gates seems to be enjoying his time with the podium girl. Didn't he know I was taking pictures. Lol.

55+ podium- Hunte 2, Gates 1, Fetah 3.

Ludtke 2 and  Birditt 1.
It was  a good fairly hard race. Could have been faster with a few more 55+ stars. The pace was 25.5 mph on a pretty technical course. Thanks to everyone that came out and I was very happy to get the chance to race it. Results below as shown on the final finish lists. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
Final finish lists.



Friday, March 28, 2014

LUEDTKE WINS 60/TESKE WINS 55 @ CHUCK PONITUS 2014

By John McKee

It's been a while racing fans. I use to race and write almost every weekend but with Ontario and CBR dropping the 60+ category, I haven't been out there much. I could sure feel it when I raced at Chuck Ponitus on March 23rd, 2014. Santa Clarita Velo always does a great job promoting their 2 races. The Chuck Pontius RR on Saturday which was the elite championships and the Chuck Pontius Memorial Criterium on Sunday. This year Rino Barbagiovanni of Santa Clarita Velo decided to have separate races for the 55s and 60s. This was great for both cats. There were 27 entries in the 60+ category and 33 in the 55+ category. A might bit better than 7 55s at the rival criterium who dropped the 60+ category and made it near impossible for 55s to get a payday. I think almost everyone got the idea that CPMC was the favored race for all 55s and 60s. There is a new course which was started in 2013. A little kicker on the back stretch and a fast downhill corner leading to the finish. The course is a little short of a mile and way fun but can wear on you lap after lap.
55+ action with the Breakaway from Cancer strongman Malcolm Hill leading the way.
The 60+ race was scheduled for a 8:35 am start. Not bad. I was able to carpool with my buddy Leo Pettus and make it in plenty of time while from leaving from Orange County. I did remember to bring my shoes this race. Rino said if I didn't there was a tennis shoe only race at 1 pm but that was too late for me so I chose to stick to the 55 and 60+ races.
In 60+ races this year Swami's will have the most entries and have the best riders. They are actually stronger than they realize compared to everyone else. Since I haven't raced much I don't seem to have the mojo I need yet. Like I mentioned I forgot my racing shoes the prior week and this race I come to the line with my number upside down. I haven't done that in a very long time. Eric Smith just looked and me and shook his head. Someone said if I flipped at the line I could be read right and Eric pointed out that I did that a couple years ago in Carson but it wasn't the last lap so my 180  was without a finish but was good for a broken collarbone. I have had 3 in the last 12 years but keep coming back. I will have to give the toughest competitor to my teammate and friend Howard Miller. Howard doesn't seem to land on his collarbone but on his face. The last 2 times were at El Dorado. The very last one was the Tuesday before this race. I would show a picture of him after the crash but I just can't look at it any more. If you want to see it, go to his facebook page. When Howard came up to Monty and myself before this race I couldn't look at him straight on. Not before the race. I had to focus on positive thoughts.
Ok, we are at the line and the 60+ race is about to start. I have never done the course or done a recon lap so it was sit in and see what it was like. I knew the last corner was fast and downhill and had it mapped out in my mind but didn't know any of the rest. The 60+ race went by so fast. I found out what I suspected and that was I didn't have very good form. I felt better at Roger Millikan.
Pedro Ordaz was very active early in the race and really got things going. There were worthwhile primes all through the race and helped drive the pace. Swami's loves to kill the primes so whatever there was out there pretty much went to one team. There were a few break attempts and one or more included Tom Reilly. Tom teamed up with Swami's Mike Marotta and or Mike Birditt. All of the break attempts were shut down and I even took it upon myself to pull a break back. I don't slowly reel anyone in but get out of the saddle and try and close the gap before I run out of gas. It worked this time. I got within 20  meters and quit. Good enough.
Defending Natz champ Mark Hoffenberg in a custom made jersey. Pedro Ordaz is sandwiched between Monty and myself and we are in our new Paramount kits. This is my first race with my new Trek bicycle. I was asked if made a difference and I had to say no. I alway felt the wheels made more of a difference than the brand of bike. I took a ribbing too after the race because I still had the sale sticker on the bottom of the bike. You can see it in the picture. Lol. I decherried it after that.
 Mike Birditt tried a solo break attempt coming off of a prime. He was out there for 6 laps. I didn't feel like chasing and neither did Monty. What was the purpose. Mike would most likely win in a bunch sprint anyway. Chasing would waste bullets needed later. For whatever reason Mike came back to the group. I think it was a combo of Mike getting tired and a half hearted peleton chase.
The lap cards seemed to come up quickly for the 40 minute race. I was kind of hurting and was thinking I had to do this all over again but faster in the 55+ race. Wow! There didn't seem to be a Swami's plan of attack for late in the race but a more free flowing take the race as is given and react and kill it late. They certainly have the power to play that game.
We heard one to go and everyone but Howard Miller knew what that meant. Howard has done what maybe 1,000 races over the years and was confused on what "one to go" meant. That is a big LOL. Sorry Howard. That is a good one!
The pace picked up at the line with one lap to go and Swami's was pushing the pace with Dale Luedtke sitting in. Mike Birditt surged and then Mike Marotta took over. Monty Pettus was right there as was Jonathan Livesay. I got on Big John Roest's wheel but on the back side he couldn't keep up the pace and created a gap. I was thinking damn! If I came across the gap and brought everyone else with me I might not have anything left for the sprint. Wasn't feeling that great anyway.
Rick Swanson saved my day in a manner of speaking. Rick jumped and I got on his wheel. About the time we joined up Monty Pettus in his new red, white and blue Paramount kit took off when Mr. Marotta eased off the pace. Monty took it to turn 3 and 4. The distance from 3 to 4 was pretty short plus it was downhill to turn 4. Livesay took off and Mike Birditt didn't know who to follow. Mike kind of charted his own course. Dale Luedtke with some great form for 2014 decided it was time he stamped "Paid in full" its my time to win. Dale kicked the jets in and came around his teammate Mr. Birditt. Mike looked back to see if anyone else was going to contest but no. Dale Luedtke wins his first race of 2014. Nice job, Dale! Mike rolled across for 2nd. Monty was dying a bit coming home and thought he would be passed by more riders but he hung on for 3rd. Mike Marotta was still winded from taking the pace on the back stretch of the last lap and finished 4th. Jonathan Livesay hung on for 5th and Rick Swanson finished 6th. I was right on Rick wheel at the corner and couldn't come around him. I told Monty before the race that this was a 11 tooth finish for me and I ended up in a 12. Don't know if it would have made a difference. John Roest got back on and finished right behind me. Maybe he was playing possum earlier. 9th place went to steady Tom Reilly. 10th place went to Robert Mosier and 11th went to Phil Kopel. Phil hadn't raced with us in years because a prostate problem and then crashed last year in a training accident and had hip replacement surgery. Glad to see Phil well enough to race with us and do well. Good seeing you Phil! The last Socal Cup point went to Mike Fleming.
It was a good hard race. It was dominated by one team but it was fun none the less. The pace was 24.6 mph which was one click short of the 55+ race later in the program.
Pettus 3(nice kit Monty. Voler brand and made in the USA), Luedtke 1, Birditt 2.
The 55+ race was 2 races after the 60+ race and many of the 60s doubled up. 14 of the 33 entries were 60+ racers. Now this race was really a blur. I stayed in the middle of the pack most of the race and drafted as best I could. There were the usual prime killing going on and counters off the prime. You knew Malcolm Hill was going to try to start a break or get in a break attempt. Mark Hoffenberg seems to hang back somewhat through the first part of the race.
Malcolm Hill surged going up the hill and checks back for the damage.
The 55 race got even more heated late in the action and there ended up with a 6 pack or so off the front. The cards came up and and the gap was 150 to 200 meters. Swami's was butt sore that they didn't have anyone in the break. They were the main players in the chase along with "Blue Boy" Cramer(he was wearing a white jersey to just try and throw me off. Sorry Lothar but that old trick ain't working anymore). John Roest and Mike Marotta did some work and Mike Birditt finished off the chase on the bell lap hoping to spring his buddie Mr. Luedtke for another good finish. Mike pretty much connected the chase pack but the field was shredded compared to what we usually see. There were 8 to 10 riders off the back of this chase group.
Nice back drop behind turn 2 just before we hit the mini hill.
Mike Birditt doing some prime killing.
The group was  joined right after the hill by much of the chase pack but not all. The leaders were sorting it out and no one wanted to lead it out. The sprint for home placed the riders probably exactly where you would have predicted. Evan Teske winning in a close sprint over Mark Hoffenberg and Danny Nicolette. Malcolm Hill was 4th.
Sprint finish- from our left to right- Hoffy, Nick, Hill and Teske all pretty close.
There was a pod of 10 riders that finished together with another pod of 10 about 40 meters back and the rest of the field shrewn everywhere. The 55+ race was at 25.4 mph. Pretty good pace for this course. Thanks again to Rino and the entire Santa Clarita Velo club for producing this race and having separate fields for the 55s and 60s. The weather was great and everything else right on compared to that rival race somewhere else. The course was good, primes generous and the racing fun. Complete results below. Thanks to Lothar Cramer's wife for the great action photos! That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!


Friday, February 14, 2014

MAROTTA WINS 60+ IN SOLO BREAK/ MORETON DITTO IN 55+ @ RMMC

By John McKee

Wow! I have 247 posts and never lost my work before but Thursday night. Poof. 4 hours of work gone. If the race wasn't important to report on, I would have thrown in the towel. It will take me half the time now. I know what I want to say and the pics I want to use. The Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium took on a different hue this year. For the last 9 years Canyon Velo has honored the memory of a former member with the their race in his name. This year with the race on February 9th, 2014 we the 60+ racers had to honor another lost rider. Fellow rider and racer Phil Richards was struck by a drunk driver on Dec. 29th and passed away 2 weeks later from the injuries incurred in the crash. Thank you to the  promoters of this event for permission to dedicate the 60+ race not only to the memory of Roger Millikan but also Phil Richards.
Phil Richards (1949-2014) RIP my good man! We will miss you!
The 60+ riders were scheduled to race for 40 minutes at 9:50 am. The category W 3/4 was to race at the same time. 2 groups can't technically race at the same time and be officially separated at the start though it is done in other parts of the country BUT if everyone agrees the slower group can fall off the pace and the motor ref can then step in and keep the groups separate. This was the plan anyway.
We all came to the line and Don Davidson and Annette Richards were in the announcer's booth. The announcer Ralph Elliot said a few nice words about Phil and gave the mic to Don. Don thanked everyone for coming out and supporting the memory of Phil. Phil would surely have been here under different circumstances and ready to race. Phil was training for events like this when he was needlessly struck by an out of control alcoholic at 12:30 in the afternoon!
Phil's favorite bike. He wasn't riding the day he was hit. We chose green to off set the black on the wrist band to match this color.
 Don also mentioned the memorial wrist bands that we were all wearing. I designed the bands and Rick Swanson sponsored the purchase.
Memorial wrist band
Opposite side
After Don gave his presentation, he came down on the tarmac to get ready to race. Don, John Rubcic and John Howard were selected to ride out in front of the pack of  racers for a parade lap to honor the memory of Roger Millikan and Phil Richards. Over 32 riders were registered in the 60+ only category. They all were ready to race once the parade lap ended.  The two Johns dropped off and the rest of us started our race. The idea of separate races with the W 3/4 unfortunately didn't happen. 2 SBW riders in the W 3/4 category jumped on the tail end of the men when they should have been creating a gap. So much for the pre race instructions. It was one big race now.
I am not going to vent about the type of riding I saw but I will say there were some really strong riders in the other category. Denise Mueller and Kim Nida of Sisterhood of Cycling looked sharp and strong and would be welcome to race with us anytime.
Phil and Annette- Photo courtesy of Arnie Shaw
There was the early darting and diving. Paul Rodiguez and Rick Roberson tried to get things going but were marked out by Swami's. Swami's had the most riders by far and some of the strongest and fastest riders, so no wonder that they were going to dominate the race.
Swami's John Roest and Velocity's Ricky Shorts got going on a mini break but Swami's Mike Birditt didn't like the make up here and sped forward and shut it down. He couldn't have thought we would let him charge up to them and ride away. LOL. No. That wasn't going to happen then but it might have later with all the primes. There were more primes than I can remember. Every 3rd lap and late in the race every 2 laps or sooner. This dictated the race. Ease off after coming across the line and pick it up on the back stretch. A couple of riders would usually take off between turn 3 and 4. Swami's was always involved. Ricky Shorts of Velocity and Monty Pettus of Paramount were able to wrestle a few primes away from the "Prime Killers".
Gary Shuey of the "Prime Killers" leading the way. Love those shoes Gary!
John Wagenaar leading the pack mid way through the race.

Rick Lilliberg in another one of his comebacks looked quite strong.
It looked like Swami's could have done most anything they wanted but there were still some very strong riders on other teams. The surge of the prime killing continued through the entire race and when the lap cards came up it got even worse because there were more primes. A lot of good stuff as well as money. Very well supported race. The first lap card to come up was 6 to go. I got on Mike Birditt's wheel but his gears jumped from the big ring to the small one and I coasted by him as he stalled for a moment. That didn't work out well for me. The pace of the race didn't pick up as you might think it would late in the race. The kind of pace that would make the race selective. Nope! It was jockeying time and prime killing of course. This is where I think Swami's should have stepped in and thrown a few riders out there to help make the race more selective but who am I to fault them since they ended up with such a good result but they would have had a good result anyway since they had the best riders and the race would have been safer.
The pivotal point in the race came with 2 laps to go. Mike Marotta picked up a couple of tires and kept going. Few people even knew he was away. There were lapped riders everywhere so unless you were at the very front you had no idea that Mike M. was away. Mike Birditt knew and raced accordingly. The bell lap came and Mike M. was off the front by a good ways with lapped riders all over the place. In the pack Rick Lilliberg was at the front with the Sisterhood of Cycling lining themselves up. 2 groups are trying to finish here and we do this all the time with the 55s.
After turn 3 the pace was slow but picked up as Rick Lilliberg led it out. Mike Birditt was right there waiting to pounce and let loose those "Thunder Thighs" of his. Mike will hit about 1165 watts here at his max but that is well within his training max.
Mike Birditt taking 2nd and Ricky Shorts 3rd. Mike Marotta was so stealth he fooled my wife who is pretty aware at the races and takes the pictures.

Mike "Stealth" Marotta quietly rolled across the line for the win! Mike Birditt sprinted across for 2nd followed in by Ricky Shorts, and Dale Luedtke. There was a close fight for 5th place as 3 60+ riders were with 1/2 a bike of each other with the 2 top riders from the other category mixing in. It looks even closer in the photo but Monty Pettus was going the fastest and got 5th. Wayne Rosenkrantz was 6th and Rick Lilliberg was 7th.
Dale Luedtke rolling across the line for 4th place with a fight for 5th place brewing behind.
It looks very close here for 5th.Kim Nida(nearest the camera) beat teammate Denise Mueller for the W 3/4 cat.
The 60+ race ended and no one got hurt and crashed so that was the most important thing. The 60s are better off racing with the M 55s then any other category for many reasons. Thanks to everyone that came out and raced or just came out to honor Phil like Kenny Fuller and his wife Pam. They broke into their very busy schedule gaming in Las Vegas to arrive just before we raced. They went back to Sin City later of course. Mike McKinney made a very good video of both the 60+ race and the 55+ race. Here is  the link for the 60+ race:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLmvw5qBZsY&list=UUiqlc_kKSMGNfEbu_BB2clA&feature=share&index=1
For the 55+ race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8iKykVCXv0&list=UUiqlc_kKSMGNfEbu_BB2clA&feature=share
The 55+ race was 2 races later and had a good turnout. 46 total riders of which 10 were doing there 2nd race from the 60+ race. The official asked like the earlier race if the 2 groups wanted to have separate races and Suzanne Sonye stepped up and said her group wanted a 30 second gap and they honored that and there were 2 separate races. It didn't work out for the gals because of the 2nd pass from the 55s came late in the race and there was confusion amongst the women on how many laps to go there were for their race.
The outcome of the 55+ race was quite similar to the 60+ race in that a solo rider broke away late in the race and with another group on the course got lost. I think. If the other teams saw him, what were they doing? Jeff Moreton of Rokform won the race. Nice going Jeff! Mark Hoffenberg sprinted in for 2nd with 60+ racer Mike Birditt doubling up on the podium for the day at 3rd place.
60+ riders Mike Birditt and John Roest mix it up with the 55+ racers and are racing 55+ here.

Jeff Moreton is all in late in the race. Jeff hung on for the victory!
It was a good day for racing and always is in Brea at the Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium. Next year Ed Keck the behind the scenes promoter will put the 55 and 60s back together again. Thanks again to all that came out to honor Phil. There was a lunch afterward at the Yardhouse and it was a big success. Full results for both groups are below. Annette was there with a number of racers. I wish more racers had turned up. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
Group mixing around Annette Richards in the parking lot of the Yardhouse.

We traded cameramen and took the photo again.