By John McKee
It was early and I mean early when most of us arrived in Ontario for the first of the 5 part criterium series that has been popular over the years. It is February 22nd, 2009 and the race was scheduled to start at 7 am at the Dare to Race(Ontario # 1) Criterium for the 55/60+ racers. It was in the mid to upper 50s when we arrived and it didn't seem that cold. Of course it was dark when we all got there and used the street lights to set up our bikes. The early time and the final stage of the Tof C had an impact on attendance. There was only one rider from UCC which had at least 8 last week in Brea at the RMMC but it looked like the entire CVV squad was out. 35 or so riders lined up to contest the 2 races done at the same time but scored separately. 31 of the 35 finished.I look for upward of 45 next time at Ont.
The race started off fast with CVV pushing it right from the get go. CVV was looking to take it out on UCC's only representative at this event and that was UCC's blazing sprinter Dale Ludetke. There was a mini break on the second lap in 55+ and no one came up to close the gap so Dale went out and closed it by himself. Nothing out of the saddle but just smooth power. I think after that Dale decided he couldn't chase down every break attempt.
There weren't many 60+ attempts at breaks but Michael Edwards and Phil Richards tried but all were covered by myself. It wasn't long though before a serious 55+ move was made. CVV's 55+ favorite Richard Pollack and another 55+ CVV rider, Tony Smith went off. They were joined by Velo Avanti's TT specialist Craig Jones. This break looked dangerous because CVV would try and control the peleton and keep the pace down. The threesome got several hundred meters on the group before a few riders came forward. Those that lended a hand were mainly Wayne Rosenkrantz, Dale Ludetke, and Howard Miller. Howard looked much better than he did last week. Lol. Doug Knox also lent a hand a little later in the race and also gave a pep talk. At first there was little impact with the chase and it wasn't like an organized paceline but a series of hard pulls. The threesome up ahead started to tire as they had been away for over 20 minutes. The catch came with 2 laps to go and the final leap put some hurt on most racers but of course once caught the pace slowed down. No serious counter attacks although the time was ripe. The final lap saw everyone try and position themselves for the bunch sprint. The final corner saw Richard Pollack get a sling shot from a teammate and got a gap on Dale Ludetke. The 60+ contenders were all inter mixed with the 55s. Down the stretch Dale started to over take Richard and won the sprint for 1st place. Richard was second and Howard Miller came on for third.
In 60+ action saw a mini log jam of 55s interwined with the 60+. Paul Springer went to the left of the pack down the stretch with Don Kimper and Ben Maciel near by. I saw the pack ahead of me which included 60s Michael Fleming and Phil Richards and I went right. There is danger at Ontario going right because the course is coned in from right to left at the end and that was critical to the finish.
I got around several riders moving pretty good. Paul got on it with Don and Ben to his left. M. Fleming saw me come by and responded. The first 5 places were pretty close with Paul winning. Paul got a tip from Mike Fleming before the race. Michael told Paul to quit wasting so much of his energy during the race and save it for the last lap. Paul did just that and it seemed to pay off.
I was second and paid the price for coming up the right side. I had to move toward the center and saw Paul late in the game. I tried to over take him but a slow 55+ finisher seemed like he was going backward in front of me and I had to brake to keep from hitting him. I was barely able to finish ahead of Don Kimper(3rd), Mike Fleming(4th) and Ben Maciel(5th). Loren Stephens came in 6th in 60+ after being blocked out before the last corner. 7 of the first 15 overall finishers were 60+.
There was another problem with race results. Without Eric Smith the officials struggle. The video was really out of focus and you couldn't even make out the numbers. Mike Fleming, myself and a few others helped the officials by naming the riders as they showed on the monitor coming across the finish line and 31 riders were placed with maybe 3 or 4 question marks. Over 2 hours and 45 minutes later the official results were still not out. Good thing there weren't checks to be given out. Everyone left except for those that did 50+ at 9:40 am. I will add the results for 55+ and 60+ on my post when they come in. Thats all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
MASTERS 60+ Dare To Race (Rank 1.0)
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 33679 Paul Springer Citrus Valley Velo 14
2 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 11
3 129293 Michael Fleming Coates /On Deck Foundation 10
4 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/San Diego Bicycle Club 9
5 275832 Benjamin Maciel Citrus Valley Velo 8
6 234791 Loren Stephens EDGE Racing 7
7 238828 Phillip Richards Citrus Valley Velo 6
8 45342 Domenick Forte PAA / RE/MAX 5
9 50498 Richard Rodriguez Nytro Racing 4
10 57726 Ernest Hoffer EDGE Racing 3
11 89468 Robert Humphrey PAA / RE/MAX 2
12 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 1
13 3794 Vicente Gomez Team Simple Green
14 50406 Michael Edwards EDGE Racing
15 99906 Michael McKinney EDGE Racing