Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Date line: April 19, 2009 Torrance CA

As reported by this cub reporter

Leo Longo

The day was beautiful. The sky was blue and the hopes were high. Racers started showing up early and in plenty of time to check in. And it was a good thing as registration, although everyone was able to pick up numbers in time to race, went slowly and this reporter stood in line, even though he had pre-reged, for 15 minutes. Warm up time on the trainer was not going to be long enough. But that turned out to not be an issue as the temperature was rising faster than the racers anticipation.

As I stood in line, I struck up a conversation with one of the iron men of racer, Michael Fleming. We talked about the importance of keeping racing in perspective and not letting it run our lives. As we talked, he told me he was just out to have fun on this day because he was recovering from double hernia surgery from just a couple of weeks ago. DOUBLE HERNIA SURGERY. I now understand perspective much better.

As we waited our turn to go to the line, Michael and Bruce Steele were trash talking and I knew from their ‘friendly’ conversation that this was going to be one fun race. As we rolled to the line, after our warm up lap, I counted the field size to be 16 with 5 SBW riders including Chuck Watson, Steve Whitsitt and Bruce Steele. Great. This race was going to be either 1) a friendly stroll for 40 minutes, or 2) an all out, leave nothing behind, forget all you knew about tempo riding, puck at the end, hard a$$ race.

The ref was happy with his instructions and we were off. Michael goes to the front and rides like an old pro, 20 MPH. I pull up along side him and we chat for a bit. I decided that if I was going to have any chance at the end, I needed to set a fast pace so I ramped it up to 25 and led for the next 5 laps. By then I was a little tired and pulled off to take a breather. Now it was Bruce’s turn. He lead us around for a couple of laps with the pace staying over 25. Then Steve Borer made a Herculean effort and ramped it up to 30 MPH for half a lap. That put a little sting into everyone’s legs and no one really wanted to go fast for another lap. Then it was my turn again for a couple of laps. Then Steve Whitsitt set a couple of fast laps. Then it was Richard Stahlberg’s turn. You get the idea. No stroll in the park today. Now everyone was winded and we cruised around for several laps with just about everyone taking a turn at the front. The pace remained pretty high, given the size of the field. It’s not easy riding is a small group. First, there’s no where to hide and if there are a couple of strong men in the group taking monster pulls and you get caught out in the wind, you run the risk of getting separated and maybe losing contact.

Steve Borer must get bored riding in the pack because he went again and this time got it up to something around 32 and held it for almost a full lap. But again, nothing doin’. Everyone was all over him, especially SBW. They were not about to let anyone get away.

By now I could see the writing on the wall. With so many strong riders in the group, no one was going to get free. The only strategy left was to ride hard and try to tire them out enough to equalize the final sprint. The course was rather short with our lap times just about 1 minute. This gave me a good idea of when to try to get away late in the race. One note at this point: there were no primes so no mid race sprinting to help tire out the group.

Somewhere around 25 minutes into the race I went to the front again and lead for another 5 laps or so, holding the pace around 26. I didn’t know if I was doing any damage but I had to try no matter how deep I had to go.

I sat up and went to the middle of the group to catch my breath. Then with 4 laps to go, approx 2 miles, I launched my attack. I got a little jump but Bruce was on me like an old saddle bag. We were clear by about 3 bike lengths, but again I knew this was not going to be the winning move. I sat up again, waiting for the SBW train to come together. Status quo for the next two laps although the pace did not drop like in most races. It stayed at cruising speed which meant that SBW had it right. With just over 1 lap to go, SBW was lined up at the front with Richard Stahlberg, myself and Michael Fleming close on their heals. Yes, that Michael Fleming. The one with the DOUBLE HERHIA SURGERY. On the back stretch SBW really showed what they can do as they pushed the pace to over 30 and there was no real chance of anyone getting around them. Around turn 3 and headed to turn 4 there’s just not enough time to get a really good run on the front and the finishing order was pretty much decided. It was going to be someone from SBW, but I thought I might be able to get around a couple riders. I don’t know who went into the last turn first, but I do know that Steve Whitsitt dragged a pedal and everyone one behind him was going to need another pair of shorts if they planned on doing another race. Everyone goes wide coming out of turn 4 just in case Steve ended up showing us his best effort at a triple lutz jump, but he’s an experience rider and kept it upright. It was a hard sprint to the finish line.

The big finish: Chuck Watson noses out Steve Whitsitt with Michael Fleming, yes that Michael Fleming, the one who keeps racing in perspective coming in third, Richard Stahlberg 4th, Edgardo Potes 5th and Leo Longo 6th. No money for 1st thru 6th, but my 6th place was good for a Hammer Nutrition worth $30. I’ve never received more than $20 for a 6th place finish so I was pretty happy.

It was a good race. Average speed was right at 25 MPH. No one went down and everyone rode well. It’s truly an honor to ride with such great riders.

Here’s the finishing order by age category.

1 Richard Stahlberg Ironfly
2 Edgardo Potes Peninsula Cycle Club
3 Leo Longo Citrus Valley Velo
4 Raphael Gomez Cycles Veloce
5 Steven Borer Citrus Valley Velo

1 Charles (Chuck) Watson South Bay Wheelmen
2 Stephen Whitsitt South Bay Wheelmen
3 Michael Fleming Coates /On Deck Foundation
4 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen
5 Matthew James Unattached
6 William Carvin Unattached
7 Jim Roebuck Southern California Velo
8 Cary Alpert South Bay Wheelmen
9 Barnett Feigenbaum Ironfly
10 C Kevin Post South Bay Wheelmen
11 Mike Piper PCC

Bonus report:
I don’t have much to say here but I did do the 45+. The field was a little larger, maybe 35 riders total, with only 22 finishing. Michael Fleming and William Carvin started but did not finish. I missed it if anyone else started. The pace in this race was 2 MPH higher than the 55/60 which means the average speed was approx 27. For the first 10 laps I don’t think I saw the south end of 30. Really. It was that fast. After things settled down a little, I did work my way to the front a couple of times but found the middle of the pack more to my liking. A group of 3 riders did get clear with approx 6 laps to go with 3 more joining them with 3 laps to go. I was not one of them. I was content to finish the race comfortably towards the back, finishing 18th.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


By John McKee

One of the funniest character roles ever in film was played by the actor Jon Lovitz in the movie "A League of Their Own". He played a scout for women's baseball during WWII. He had a funny wise crack for just about everything but he was seriously trying to tell Kit played by Lori Petty that she wasn't good enough but her sister played by Geena Davis, was the real deal and he wanted to sign her. He tells Kit "I know the goods when I see the goods. She 's the goods." I say that applies to the 2 winners at the 16th Annual Chuck Pontius Memorial Criterium on Sunday April 19th, 2009 in the 55+ and 60+ categories. The winners definitely have "the goods" and both ride for UC Cyclery/JW Flooring but lets start at the beginning.
Beautiful weekend for racing. A number of 55/60+ guys did the very challenging Devil's Punchbowl Road Race on Saturday. The winner in the 50+ cat was 55er Warren Wicks of Swami's. Nice going Warren. Warren raced pro(cycling) in Italy for a short time in the 70s but broke his leg badly in a motorcross race. That ended his pro career. He has come back as a masters racer in grand style. Other 55/60ers that did it in order of placing-Mark Huffman, Kal Szkalak, John Rubcic, James Morehouse, Jean Villiot, Richard Pollock, Stephen Horine, Bruce Steele, Mike Crystal, Paul Springer and Craig Jones.
I did a training ride Saturday morning and saw Kenny Fuller in the group. He is just starting to do some intensity in his training. He has another 10 pounds to lose. Yikes! He is going to get better? Kenny went off and did a climbing ride through Orange County canyons while myself and Leo Longo did the Intergiro sprint with 40 other riders. From there we went over to the start of the Foodpark ride and 2 policemen from the Irvine PD came to counsel riders about staying to the right, blab, blab, blab. The City of Irvine has a war going against cyclists with a zero tolerance policy and an ordinance against riding more than 2 abreast. Some of the SUVing residents are upset or so we are told of a large group of cyclists taking up a whole lane of traffic. The motorists have one or two lanes left to pass us.
OK, mini Foodpark for me and home to pack and off to Valencia and Santa Clarita to relax and get a good nights sleep before I race the criterium on Sunday. That was the plan anyway. Stay away from the cheap motels and bad experiences like at the "Inn at Mission Bay"- drunk surfers and their obnoxious girlfriends partying in the parking lot. Check in at the Hyatt in Valencia. Very nice place. Should be quiet. I get my room card and walk into the room and there already is a bag in the room. No one there thankfully. Got another room but it was near the elevator. Its OK until 12 midnight. I was in bed at 9 pm and getting some good sleep when I hear noise reminiscent of "The Night". I open my door and 4 or 5 people are partying outside the elevator with Coronas in hand. A quick call downstairs and security breaks up the party but am wide awake now. Oh well. I gave them so much static when I checked out that they comped my room. $104 charge plus room tax gone. Thank you, Hyatt.
Up at 5:15 am and over to the race course by 6. Its only 5 mins away. They are still setting up the course and have a lot of help. I always thought that Santa Clarita Velo and the City of Santa Clarita did a nice job with their event(They also promote the Punchbowl). They were going up against the Torrance Criterium. The club was smart enough to hire Ralph Elliot. If you are going to put on an event get the best announcer around. Thats easy- Ralph! The next is part luck. Hope that Eric Smith president of the SCNCA is going to be one of the officials there. His program for quickly placing racers is for what I have seen around Socal, state of the art. Accurate and quick. OK. Ralph and Eric are there. One thing that was puzzling was the coning of both sides of the street near the finish line. It has to be done for the announcer's trailer but the other side as well? Never heard why... bad pavement?? This created a smaller sprinting area for the finish. Registration went well. I hope the Mule was pleased. He is tough in this area.
The temp at race time when we lined up a little after 8 am was in the 60s and climbing fast. No need for arm, leg or knee warmers. Still air with little wind. Pretty near perfect weather for a bike race. The wind came up strongly about 10 am so we were lucky. This is the good part. 35 racers lined up to do the 55/60+ race. With another race about an hours drive away with the same cats, I would say that is a good turnout. Back in action were Phil Koppel who was out with health issues but is a strong rider in 55+. Cully White showed up after being out several years and it was nice to see Cully back in action. Maybe a few pounds stronger but he was there and looking forward to racing with us again. Mike Barnes and Glen Baldwin came down from SLO and of course many of you UCC and CVV riders came from the southern most areas of California. Good job everyone that came out to Chuck Pontius and the Torrance Criterium. 55/60+ racing is really taking off. The 55s were the #1 category at the Cyclo Vets Ominum and Eric Smith had this to say about it "Great news about those numbers! You have indeed come a long ways."
OK. The race is off for 40 minutes of racing for separate purses for the 55s and 60s. $150 and $100 respectively. The top 5 places get an event T shirt as well. Cool! The attacks start early but nothing long lasting works. A lot of prime killing going on. You would think that the king of the prime killers was out. That was Bob "Errol Flynn" Barney. A lot of effort and then a lull. Nice job on the primes as well by the host. Nothing spectacular but something for the effort like a Kool N Fit kit. Thurlow Rodgers secret weapon.
Craig Jones, Paul Springer, Rick Swanson and Richard "Mule" Pollock were active in the race. Dale Luekte took off once to bridge to 2 riders that ended up just on a joy ride. Nothin! Dale's teammate Kal Szkalak was there and lurking. Kal actually seems to do better when the pace is faster like in a 50+ or even 45+. Kal is strong. There were a few unknown faces and a few home folk from the host club as would be expected. Free racing except for the USAC insurance($3-50% increase this year). The Mule was looking for the right time to strike like at Ontario and was trying to stay aware of where Dale was. I saw Richard turn his head like Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep in "Death Becomes Her". (Goldie and Meryl were dead and could turn their heads completely around.) Now Richard is plenty alive but he did a good imitation. Pretty sure he was trying to locate Dale.
The course is nothing special but still good for criterium racing. A little downhill to the finish and uphill on the back side of the course. Very much like the old course in Brea that we use to do the St. Valentines race on. There is as a little riser before the last corner but nothing difficult at the Pontius course. There was the standard blender mixing of riders going on during the race. Every now and then I would see Peter "I love to visit Cuba" Volpe. I mentioned to him afterward that maybe anyone could visit Cuba freely soon.
The pace was good but not overwhelming. Surge, regroup, surge, regroup, etc. The lap counter finally stared at us with 5 laps to go. Primes inside 5 laps make it interesting and they had one. I believe that Craig Jones, Tom Reilly and Eugene Poyonrena took off after the last prime and created a gap. Tough situation. No one wants to close the gap and take away the energy needed to finish the race but what if they stay away and win OR do you figure that the pace on the last lap will overtake the break group. Craig dropped back soon thinking it was hopeless but Tom and Eugene kept going and were doing well. With one lap to go the pace heated up. Turn one was a little tight with Rubcic sandwiched between Kopel and another rider on the other side but John is cool under race stress. The back stretch saw some jockeying going on. After turn 3 the leaders were ramping it up and got out of the saddle to fight for good position going into the last corner.
There were a few cloggers in the mix that were going to die down the stretch but this happens a lot especially at El Dorado on Tuesdays in Long Beach. What about the break twosome? Unfortunately Tom and Eugene were caught right at the last corner. Nice try. After blasting down the straight away to the finish Dale Luetke bested everyone including the Santa Barbara flash, Carlos Soto. Carlos finished a solid 2nd. Brad Holland a completely unknown name from PAA finished 3rd. The 55s rolled in like this- Mule, Szkalak, Swanson, Miller and Shorts.
The 60+ race was won easily by John Rubcic. I was a bit back and finished second. Had some riders to go around which was again reminiscent of El Dorado. Couldn't get a good line to sprint out of the saddle. Mike Barnes was 3rd and Cully White was 4th. Paul Springer was 5th but had some energy taken from him by helping the peleton chase down the break two.
The 2 winners today were the real "goods". John Rubcic is the best finisher I have seen in 60+ and I have been to Natz the last 3 years and raced 60+. Dale would have to be if not the best finisher in the country in 55+ at least one of the very best.
Everyone stayed upright and I believe everyone finished together. Excellent day. No 55/60+ race next weekend but the following weekend is Barrio Logan/San Luis Rey. Great races that show a lot of respect for 55/60+ racing. Please understand that Barrio isn't an easy course and of course SLR is very challenging. I will see many of you there.

The remaining 55s at Ponitus were:

9 - Vanlandingham
10- Knox
11- Barbagiovanni
12- Wright
13- Kopel
14- Jones
15- Boberg
16- Reilly
17- Baldwin
18- Gonzalez
19- Poyonena
20- Ordaz

The remaining 60s were:

6- Marquez
7- Seri
8- Pags
9- Crystal

Thats all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday- 4-12-2009 Teamwork at 7:00am!

By Richard Pollock

This was the second time we would start at 7:00am (Wow that’s early!), at Ontario and it looks, in spite of all the complaints, like it will stay this way for the rest of 09. Being Easter, we ran the possibility of running low on entrants, but the field was complete with 35 riders. Not bad!

Soon after rolling out, minor attacks started and were fairly regular for the entire race. Attack, chase, regroup, repeat! If a rider or two got too much of a distance, UCC’s Dale Ludke would jump hard and initiate a chase. After 100 meters or so, everyone would catch, Dale would back off, the group would continue the momentum until the break, however strong or insignificant, was caught. Craig Jones (Velo Avanti) and Phil Richards (Citrus Valley Velo), looked the most likely to pull it off, but they were chased down in the same fashion as described above. There were four Primes, starting with the “Priceless” chain care kit, which I snagged, then two more (not sure which one was which) won by Rick Swanson from Acme and sprinter, Ricky Shorts (where was brother Al Shorts?). One Prime was a six pack of energy bars I think and the other was some socks. The last one at about the halfway point was 3 Ontario series points which was snagged by Paul Springer (CVV).

As the race was unfolding, I noted that the speed was a bit more like it was a couple years ago. Meaning not quite as fast as recent events. Which also meant that it would come down to a large group sprint in the usual Ontario fashion. With 3 laps to go, my teammates, Paul Springer and Phil Richards were at the front with Dick Gentili and Steve Borer close behind. I was near the back of the pack and moved up to execute “Plan A”. That would be that I think I would have about a Chinaman’s chance in hell of beating Dale in a head to head sprint, so I had to put some distance between us. Immediately after the right turn, everyone swung wide and then followed Paul and Phil back over to the right curb. Meanwhile I was rapidly advancing up the right gutter. Ten feet from the front, I attacked and was clear before the left hand turn. At the speeds we were averaging, I knew I could go a couple mph faster alone for the remaining two laps with little or no chance that anyone would want to chase me down and be wasted heading into the final sprint. I was wrong! And right! Shortly after the start/finish line, someone was catching me and I assumed it was the entire group. Someone did chase. Two someones actually and one was my teammate Paul Springer (60+). With him was George Chester(55+). Two laps to go and we had a really good gap. We pushed it very hard, sadly George was not able to offer too much assistance, but what he did allowed Paul and I the deep breath we needed as we attempted to hold the pace to the end. On the plus side teamamates Phil R. and Dick Gentili succeeded in shutting down the efforts made to catch us. Heading into the last series of corners, I looked over my shoulder to see we had maintained the gap and this time it was going to work. We held the pressure right to the line which gave Citrus Valley Velo first in the 55+ and 60+. George was second 55+.

However, there was much more action to come as the group hit the final corners! Steve Borer learned a valuable lesson about leading out the “Build-up” to the “Real” sprint which was yet to come. As Steve was tanked, the real leadout came from Monty Pettis who was passed well before the line by the human dynamo, Dale Ludke. Right behind them was John Rubcic in an uncharacteristic third place (for the field sprint and the 60’s). He later said, that his move to action was mistimed and he was caught out of the correct position. That’s probably only the second time in his life that has ever happened, but a great sprint for Monty regardless!

Next week we have a choice of two races with Torrance having the bigger purse. Valencia the long commute. See you somewhere!


1. Richard Pollock

2. George Chester

3. Dale Luedke

4. Rick Swanson

5. Wayne Rosenkranz

6. Craig Jones

7. Ricky Shorts

8. Rino Barbagiovani

9. Raphael Gomez

10. Mark Wisnosky

11. Richard Gentili

12. Steven Borer

13. Demi Hechanova

14. Thomas Reilly

15. Antonio Vaca

16. Randy Clark


1. Paul Springer

2. Leo Pettis

3. John Rubcic

4. Joe Wells

5. Loren Stevens

6. Mario Seri

7. Benjamin Maciel

8. Phil Richards

9. John Mckee

10. Stephen Whitsitt

11. Richard Rodriquez

12. Timothy Marquez

13. Domenick Forte

14. Robert Humphrey

15. Cary Alpert

16. Robert Paganini

17. C. Kevin Post

18. John Diemont

19. Michael McKinney

20. Michael Edwards

21. Ernest Hoffer

Monday, April 6, 2009

55+ Cyclo Vets Omnium Race Report

By Richard Pollock

Race Report: 4-3-09/4-5-09

In the interest of not turning this into a 30 page story of heartbreak and success, I’ll keep this one a bit more brief than usual.

This is the San Diego Cyclo-Vets Omnium. Three days of racing with points awarded for each finish each day. Like a Stage race but based on points instead of time. Most riders compete all three days, but some just pop in and compete in their “Specialty” event for the pure joy!? For this event, the 55’s and 60’s would be running separately, so John will have to fill in the 60’s action.


This is a TT at Fiesta Island. Two long laps that works out to 8.2 miles. Not really very long in the world of TT’s, but there was plenty of pain to go around. Weather forecast was for rain/drizzle and wind. We lucked out though. No wetness, just plenty of wind. Starting out, the wind at your back, you quickly think, “Record time for sure”. Then you go up the short hill and realize that the party’s over as the wind hits you in the face. Now you’re thinking, “Oh shit, I’m in trouble now”. I think almost everybody went slower this year than in the past two years due to the wind, but the inconsistent wind force created a few variations on rider expectations. Also, I have to comment after talking to everybody I could over three days, it seems that there were several riders doing some long duration, blatant drafting. And they finished well too. I won’t mention names but……..very uncool! Lots of stories of misfortune too. The worst one I heard was Paul Springer. The “Holder” at the start wouldn’t let go and Paul either went down or unclipped, almost fell and then flung his chain. Twice! I also heard about a few riders being late for their start. After all was said and done. Everyone pushed hard and got what they got. In the 55’s, Jim King, a TT specialist from Utah, who lives part of the year in Encinitis won by a second over Warren Wicks. Just 25 seconds separated the top ten positions! About a minute for the top 16 as well. Pretty tight field to say the least. John can provide the finish numbers. After the TT, a group of us rode over to Starbucks and it was cold. Almost everybody had the shakes! And I don’t mean milkshakes!

Saturday- Boulevard Roadrace!

Just those two words usually strike fear into the hearts of most riders. “Oh no, not……Boulevard!” Weather today would be as it was yesterday, a FACTOR. Our start time was to be 8:15. At 7:00 it was 34 degrees and the wind was blowing fairly strong. The huge windmills at the wind-farm across the freeway were workin’ overtime. The 80’ diameter blades were up to speed indicating, to me anyway, that there would be trouble in River City! There wasn’t snow like last February and the Porta-Potties weren’t blowing down the street like last year, but it was still blowing pretty consistently. The race itself although just a bit over 2 hours was pretty uneventful. On the first lap (of two), railroad tracks at the top of that steep short hill where we turned onto LaPosta Road, Warren Wicks took off with a couple 50+ Swami’s riders. His teammates. Everybody kinda looked around and said, “Nah, they’ll never stay away.” Worst of all, the thirteen or so UCC riders in our group. They did absolutely nothing, which was pretty surprising.

By the time we hit Old 80, we would never see Team Swamis again. Bill Tippetts pulled the group a pretty good distance up LaPosta and most of Old 80, before he was discharged out the back. Actually, I’m not sure where we lost him, but he deserves a raise anyway. Steve Horine worked hard with him and also deserves praise. I was happy to stay in the group up 80 and out of the wind!

Mark Helvie (50+), made a good charge on the 94 downhill and stayed away almost to LaPosta. Thankfully, his teammates helped to reel him in! Alas, but not the break. By halfway up the LaPosta climb the group was down to about 13 riders with Ranchos 50+ rider, Michael Hines making several attempts to get free from the front. We’re into this ordeal about two hours at this point and now about halfway up the final climb. The group started to do small surges with a stiff headwind. On one surge, my legs turned to cement and I was dragged down into the murky depths! My surges were over for today. A few meters later and Paul Rodriquez was drowning with me. My eight minute finishing segment instantly turned into a 20 minute battle. A fart would have blown me over! Warren Wicks won the 55’s with Nels Gulosen and Mark Huffman 2nd and 3rd. Kal was 4th as Duane Mulvaney from Casa Grande, Arizona (God’s Country), and Mitch Weinstock battled it out for 5th and 6th. The results showed 22 finishers.

Sunday-Criterium in Mira Mesa.

Same course as usual with absolutely perfect conditions. Warm and zero wind. We had lost a couple riders from the two days prior, but all the major players were there. I was now way back in 11th position GC and not one bit happy about it! I needed to do really well today and attempt to drag myself back up the results sheet. Off we go for 40 minutes. I was sure UCC was going to be up to something, I just didn’t know what. Kal and Mark Huffman were sitting in 2nd and 4th GC, so the plan would likely be to keep them or get them into an advantageous position in the second half of the race. Early on and probably a bit too early, Paul Rodriquez and Mark Palmer get away. I join them and it seemed as though they really loved me and cared about me. Till I had taken a pull over the top and down the hill on a Prime lap. We had just hit the flat on the back straight when Paul, attacks up the left like a mo-fo! Thanks a lot! Mark was in front of me now and after a few seconds of contemplation, I take off after Paul. Closing fast, I thought I could sneak up on him before he realized it and steal the Prime from him. He saw me coming with time to react, stood up and added a little distance. He got the $25 and I was out of breath. Shortly thereafter, Palmer takes off again (50+), and nobody cares. Except the few other 50’s in the group. That would be the 2 riders from Ranchos, Michael Hines and Alan Tragarz. They made only one attempt to take off and close the gap. I saw them winding up and climbed on board. It didn’t last long and they resigned themselves to let Palmer go.

Two laps to go and UCC sets up a pretty fair sprint train. Guess what? I was in it too. With my eye on Kal. He was 3rd wheel, I was about 7th, 8th. On this course, you had better just about be in position going down the hill or at the latest by the time the group is about a third of the way down the flat, back straightaway. Almost everybody was on the right (inside) and it was nose to tail. The line was running about 2 feet from the gutter. Steve Cahill from Swamis was just in front of me. Halfway down the straight he moved 2 inches to his left and I took off down the gutter. The wind, such as it was, was coming from the group side on the left. No wind for me and I was gone. I cleared the front rider and nailed it up the hill. For me, the key is to be able to take a fast, uncrowded line as I please through the final corner. I had it. However, from the bottom of the hill to the line is a Looooonnngg sprint. Especially with Kal on your wheel. I had to take my chances though as I all I heard afterwards was all the crying about getting blocked in, pushed on, crowded over, hacked wheels, etc. You sorta have to make your own sprint. This was the best thing for me to do. And it was really good for Kal too. He came around me just before the line. But that was the chance I had to take. I’ll take second over sixth or sixteenth any day of the week. But I was so close. Damn.

The good news? The points I got today moved me from 11th to 4th in the Overall. Warren Wicks is the “Class Rider” of the 55+ this year in the roadraces without a doubt! Big hats off to him. For the rest of us, we just need to train harder, longer!

San Diego Omnium 55+ GC Final

1. Warren Wicks

2. Mark Huffman

3. Kal Szkalak

4. Richard Pollock

5. Steve Bernede

6. James King

7. Mitch Weinstock

8. Duane Mulvaney

9. Nels Gulosen

10. Richard Stein

11. Paul Rodriquez

12. Leo Longo

13. Steve Horine

14. Reed Moore

15. John Rubcic

16. Fred Nicolete

17. Tony Smith

18. Mark Wisnosky

19. Dan Rock

20. Bill Tippets

21. Paul Springer

22. Steven Zeis

23. Don Kimper

24. James Swigart

25. Raphael Gomez

26. Jonathan Polikoff

27. Peter Dufour

28. Howard King

29. Steve Borer


By John McKee

All of you that are 60+ must remember the movies from the 50s and that genre science fiction. There were so many movies like "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms", etc. At the Cyclo Vets Omnium on April 3rd thru the 5th the riders could venture in 3 different discplines. Time trialing, road racing, and the criterium. Riders could do any of the 3 or all of them in an overall competition. In the first 2 races(time trialing and road racing) there is a man that is so much better than the rest of us that he is literally a "monster" among the rest of the competitors. Kenny Fuller is the current World Champion in the time trial and the National Champion in the road race in 60+. What chance do the rest of us racers have against that. Not much at all.
The 3 different types of races play to different strengths of the cyclists. Most racers excel at one or two of these races. It would be unusual that someone would be outstanding at all three although there are exceptions.

San Diego Cyclo-Vets Omnium
Margaret Nolan Time Trial Challenge

Lets talk about each day separately. The first day of the Cyclo Vets Omnium was Friday, April 3rd, 2009. The Cyclo Vets had almost exclusive use of Fiesta Island in San Diego for the morning only so the racing had to start at first light. Sunrise was 6:25 am and the first rider went off at 6:15 am. What I thought was kind of interesting is the oldest riders went off first. I would have thought you would want to send off the youngest masters racers in less than ideal conditions. There were 2 racers over 80 years old. One is a member of Paramount Racing. Link Lindquist couldn't answer a simple question on the Cyclo Vets application like what is your club/team. His competitor had the edge on Link because he was able to answer that question. After that though it was all Link Lindquist. He was a "monster" in 80+ and destroyed his rival by almost 5 minutes in the TT. A time of 25 + or 19.18 mph. Not bad I say!
In 75+ competition Dick Wagner of the host team won with a time of 23:58(20.53 mph). 70+ comp saw Louis Brooks also of the Cyclo Vets win with 22:25(21.95). 65+ was won by Richard Haase in 20:59(23:45 mph). Richard beat Vic Copeland by less than 1 second and Robert Llamas by 2. Close!
The SCNCA has recognized the 60+ category as worthy of the popular SCNCA points competition. The Omnium would rate at 2.0 for the overall competition. In 60+ action there were 13 competitors in the TT. The 60s often out number the 55s but not at the time trial. There were half as many 60s. The 55s smoked all other masters cats including the popular 45+. From what you have read so far it would come as no surprise that Kenny Fuller won this cat with ease. Riders went off in 30 second increments and Kenny was passing riders like lines in a road. Kenny's time was 18:32(26.55 mph). Kenny would have also won the 55+ cat by over 30 seconds. What can you say but that's what you would expect from the World Champion.
The second place finisher Paul Springer got off to a rocky start because of a bad hold but came on strong for a good showing. The podium was rounded out by William Langstaff in his specialty event. The complete list of competitors was:

San Diego Cyclo-Vets Omnium
April 3, 2009
RESULT: Margaret Nolan Time Trial Challenge
Men 60+

Average Speed of Winner 26.55 MPH
Pl Bib Name Team Time Behind
1 810 Fuller, Kenny Simple Green 18:32.69 @ 0.00
2 806 Springer, Paul Citrus Valley Velo 19:17.43 @ 44.74
3 811 langstaff, william Cycles Veloce 19:44.60 @ 1:11.91
4 808 Steele, Bruce Southbay Wheelmen 19:46.26 @ 1:13.57
5 801 Rubcic, John UCCyclery/JWFlooring 20:16.42 @ 1:43.73
6 804 McKee, John Paramount Racing 20:38.87 @ 2:06.18
7 812 Weaver, Ben San Diego Cyclo-Vets 20:41.84 @ 2:09.15
8 822 Maciel, Benjamin Health Net /Citrus Valley Velo 20:46.63 @ 2:13.94
9 809 Ring, James Acqua Al 2/SDBC 22:32.33 @ 3:59.64
10 807 Gomez, Vicente Simple Green 22:44.78 @ 4:12.09
11 803 FORTE, DOMENICK PAA/REMAX 22:54.30 @ 4:21.61
12 813 Kimper, Donald Aqua al 2 SDBC 23:14.56 @ 4:41.87
13 805 Springer, Roger San Diego Cyclo Vets 24:06.20 @ 5:33.51

A few last notes about the time trial. It was very challenging getting ready in complete darkness. Getting the bike and yourself ready was very difficult. Again I think that the YOUNGEST RIDERS SHOULD GO FIRST. They can see better and would more likely have to get to a job vs the more senior racers. You can't say the younger fields are larger anymore with the 55s having the largest field of them all!

San Diego Cyclo-Vets Omnium
The Golden Acorn Road Race

The weather was going to be a major factor in the road race which was on the difficult Boulevard course. The popular Buckman Springs course can't be used any more because of local disfavor.
The 60+ field and all the older categories were to go off at 8 am. Driving to the course saw temperatures as low as 31 degrees. At the casino parking lot which was the staging area the temp rose to 41 degrees but there was a pretty good wind and the wind chill factor would come into play. When the race decended toward the Mexican border the temp would surely fall.
Everyone was dressed as warm as possible and went off a little after 8 am. The 60s and the 65s were to do 2 laps while the older cats would do just one which was enough in these conditions. I believe the course is 22.5 miles and gains 2000 ft. per lap. The 65+ cat was the SCNCA championship. The race took off from the casino parking lot and the first hill out on the course and I was struggling and couldn't figure out what was wrong. Was it me or my bike. When the older guys started streaming by me I knew it couldn't be right. Lol. I stopped and figured out that I had put the rear wheel in incorrectly and didn't tighten the skewer down enough and had wheel rub. I struggled with the wheel and decided to bag it and ride back to the start.
This year unlike prior years saw the race break up on the first lap with riders going solo or riding in small groups. Kenny Fuller broke free and decided to tt it to the finish and I doubt few figured he couldn't do it. Of course he was able to finish 3 minutes free of the next finisher. Peter Kerklaan racing on a Candian license was second. Peter was on the podium at Redlands and had another fine finish. Seems like when you a new racer in 60+ that you should have to pay your dues before you start to podium but Peter says no way. His ability is real although he didn't do the TT or criterium so the road race must be his strong suit. James Morehouse another unknown racer placed 3rd. Boulevard is a climbers course for sure unlike Buckman Springs which had a moderate amount of climbing and a flat finish. The 65+ winner and SCNCA champ was Cyclo Vets own Gary DeVoss. The 70+ winner was Kurt Steiner who was racing unattached.
75+ winner was Cyclo Vets own Dick Wagner. Paramount's Link Lindquist smoked the 80+ field.
Complete 60+ results were:

San Diego Cyclo-Vets Omnium
April 4, 2009
The Golden Acorn Road Race
Men 60+

Average Speed of Winner 19.72 MPH
Pl Bib Name Team Time Behind
1 810 Fuller, Kenny Simple Green 2:16:57 @ 0
2 817 Kerklaan, Peter South Delta Riders 2:19:57 @ 3:00
3 819 Morehouse, James McGhie's High Rollers 2:20:02 @ 3:05
4 818 louis villiot, jean capools racing 2:20:06 @ 3:09
5 822 Maciel, Benjamin Health Net /Citrus Valley Velo 2:20:21 @ 3:24
6 801 Rubcic, John UCCyclery/JWFlooring 2:24:21 @ 7:24
7 806 Springer, Paul Citrus Valley Velo 2:26:44 @ 9:47
8 808 Steele, Bruce SBW 2:26:46 @ 9:49
9 816 Crystal, Mike CA Pools Racing 2:34:06 @ 17:09
10 805 Springer, Roger San Diego Cyclo Vets 2:39:59 @ 23:02
11 813 Kimper, Donald Aqua al 2 SDBC 2:41:28 @ 24:31
12 821 Stephens, Loren Edge Racing 2:43:55 @ 26:58
13 811 langstaff, william Cycles Veloce 2:44:08 @ 27:11
14 820 Richards, Dennis San Diego Cyclo-Vets 2:46:47 @ 29:50
15 809 Ring, James Acqua Al 2/SDBC 2:47:07 @ 30:10
16 807 Gomez, Vicente Simple Green 2:50:46 @ 33:49
17 803 FORTE, DOMENICK PAA/REMAX 2:59:02 @ 42:05

San Diego Cyclo-Vets Omnium
The Huennekens Criterium

The 60+ and older cats were to start at 7 am on Sunday April 5th and race for 35 minutes. The temperatures in Mira Mesa were mild and there was no wind. Good conditions for a race. The course itself was pretty rough and the bike took a little pounding rolling around it. The 65+ cat was again the SCNCA championship. The race started off with Kenny Fuller rocketing out along the outside. John Rubcic pre race plan was to mark Kenny. John took off after Kenny and everyone else that could followed. The line up was single file and this proved to be decisive later on. Kenny pulled the plug when he saw he was pulling everyone around the course. Kenny kept attacking the field and John (Rocket Boy) was right on him. The single file thing proved decisive as the 6th person in the line up gave out. He had a tough day in the road race the prior day and hurting. 5 riders pulled away and I waited just a bit too long to make a move around and couldn't come across the gap. The 5 riders were Kenny, Rocket Boy, Paul Springer, Bruce Steele and Ben Macial. Top riders but they couldn't get themselves to work together and myself and other riders were able to pull them back. Minor primes were available and a few $25 primes. Kenny attacked again on a prime lap and John Rubcic, his shadow went with him. They came to the line and I heard there was some door closing but John squeezed through for the prime and the 2 of them escaped. There was enough fire power to bring them back but the field was disorganized. I made a play at the twosome and got with 40 to 50 meters before I decided to share the wealth but no one else was able or willing to close them out. The laps to go were going down quickly and I don't think anyone wanted to expend too much energy.
Kenny Fuller was taking most of the pulls and didn't have to sweat the outcome to win the overall title. John Rubcic sprinted to the line in a serious mode while Kenny rode across in second place in the criterium upright with his hands up(Picture inserted at the start of the write up). John is one of the best criterium racers in the country and I know that from experience. The remainder of the field was together except for the older riders. They were all over the course. Link was getting lapped quite often but he is 82 so we cut him some lack. While Kenny and John were nearing the finish line the peleton was heating up on the back stretch. Roger Springer of the Cyclo Vets decided to lead out the group. 3rd place was up for grabs but most important was the 65+ SCNCA Championship. Coming around the corner Mario Seri and Bruce Steele were leading with myself and Paul Springer close behind. Gary DeVoss was on the inside keeping his eye on Mario. Gary and Mario were 65+. Rounding the corner Mario hestitated and stopped pedaling for a moment and threw me way off. I should have gone around him to his left but stayed behind looking to cherry pick at the end. Loren Stephens went way wide and had a clear unobstructed lane. Loren took it to the line for 3rd place. Mario recovered and made it to the line in 1st for 65 + with Gary not far behind. Bruce Steele was the next 60+ rider with Springer and myself close but Paul had the edge at the end. The complete results were:

San Diego Cyclo-Vets Omnium
April 5, 2009
The Huennekens Criterium
Men 60+
40.37 Km/H
Average Speed of Winner 25.09 MPH
Pl Bib Name Team Time Behind
1 801 Rubcic, John UCCyclery/JWFlooring 33:29 @ 0
2 810 Fuller, Kenny Simple Green 33:31 @ 2
3 821 Stephens, Loren Edge Racing 33:44 @ 15
4 808 Steele, Bruce Southbay Wheelmen " "
5 806 Springer, Paul Citrus Valley Velo " "
6 804 McKee, John Paramount Racing " "
7 813 Kimper, Donald Aqua al 2 SDBC " "
8 822 Maciel, Benjamin Health Net /Citrus Valley Velo " "
9 812 Weaver, Ben San Diego Cyclo-Vets " "
11 807 Gomez, Vicente Simple Green " "
12 816 Crystal, Mike CA Pools Racing " "
13 809 Ring, James Acqua Al 2/SDBC " "
14 805 Springer, Roger San Diego Cyclo Vets 33:49 @ 20
15 820 Richards, Dennis San Diego Cyclo-Vets 35:22 @ 1:53
16 823 O'Conner, Michael @1 LAP

The Cyclo Vets put on another great event. Nice going! The overall winner of the 60+ omnium was Kenny Fuller with John Rubcic overtaking Paul Springer for 2nd. Paul finished 3rd overall.
Nice job by these 3 fine riders. Kudos to riders that did ALL THREE DAYS! Winning and placing is great but to be able to race at this level at this age is remarkable.The complete overall results in 60+ were:

San Diego Cyclo-Vets Omnium
April 3-5, 2009
Overall Omnium Points - Men 60+

1 810 Fuller, Kenny Simple Green 26 30 23 0 0 79
2 801 Rubcic, John UCCyclery/JWFlooring 15 16 27 0 0 58
3 806 Springer, Paul Citrus Valley Velo 22 14 15 0 0 51
4 808 Steele, Bruce Southbay Wheelmen 17 13 17 0 0 47
5 822 Maciel, Benjamin Health Net /Citrus V 9 18 11 0 0 38
6 821 Stephens, Loren Edge Racing 0 9 20 0 0 29
7 811 langstaff, william Cycles Veloce 19 8 0 0 0 27
8 813 Kimper, Donald Aqua al 2 SDBC 5 10 12 0 0 27
9 817 Kerklaan, Peter South Delta Riders 0 26 0 0 0 26
10 804 McKee, John Paramount Racing 13 0 13 0 0 26
11 819 Morehouse, James McGhie's High Roller 0 23 0 0 0 23
12 812 Weaver, Ben San Diego Cyclo-Vets 11 0 10 0 0 21
13 818 louis villiot, jean capools racing 0 20 0 0 0 20
14 809 Ring, James Acqua Al 2/SDBC 8 6 6 0 0 20
15 807 Gomez, Vicente Simple Green 7 5 8 0 0 20
16 805 Springer, Roger San Diego Cyclo Vets 4 11 5 0 0 20
17 816 Crystal, Mike CA Pools Racing 0 12 7 0 0 19
18 803 FORTE, DOMENICK PAA/REMAX 6 4 9 0 0 19
19 820 Richards, Dennis San Diego Cyclo-Vets 0 7 4 0 0 11
20 823 O'Conner, Michael 0 0 3 0 0 3

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Today-Sunday was the Big "Double-Race" Opportunity Day!

By Richard Pollack

7:00-LAX for the LA Circuit Race. For "Team San Diego" this required a serious early wake up. That would be 2:20 in the am for me! I tried to get to sleep early to ease the pain, but after signing off at 8:00, we were woken up by the phone at 10:30. WTF?!* It was the motorcycle flattrack promoter up in Perris, calling to tell me that my friend Gabe got wadded up and was in the hospital in Riverside, but he’d be OK and someone else would come get his truck, bike and gear. Bye bye. So now I’m lying in bed “Bug-eyed”, staring at the ceiling. Damn! I’ve had thoughts of returning to motorcycle racing next year, but this could have been me laid out on the track, puffing dust, seeing stars! Maybe I’ll rethink that deal.

Anyway, I hit the road at 2:45 and picked up Paul Springer at 3:00. I figured 2 hours to LAX, putting us there at 5:00. That would leave lots of time for coffee, set-up, warm-up, sign-up and that other morning ritual that is sure to happen after an early wake-up and a 2 hour drive! We set-up, signed up and were just easily spinning on the trainers as everyone else started to show up. John has already provided a good report on the race which had a great turnout, but I’ll add a few items. First, there were a lot of attacks from a variety of riders which kept it interesting. And every attack was chased down keeping the efforts and speed high. I remember a couple years ago, our races were not this fast and this year, they seem to all have higher average speeds as well as better turnouts. Next we had a couple extra sprint specialists in Carlos Soto and Al Shorts. We haven’t seen Al or Carlos but at a couple races this year and they would definitely be a factor. Al would be covering LA Circuit and brother Ricky would do the duty at Redlands.

Finally, the sprint itself. With the last lap bell, there was quite a bit of jostling for position and it was sort of funny as Dale Ludke was slowly moving to the front with Kal on his wheel. I got onto Kal’s wheel and then Al Shorts and I started banging into each other in an attempt to not get squeezed out into a non-good position and stay with the forward progress of the Dale and Kal show. Approaching the final corner Al commented to be careful because these guys were going to chop the corner, which they did. I ended up on the left (inside) of the corner and Al went way outside to the curb. I noticed Carlos was attempting to sqeeze his way out into what was about to become the express train to New Orlins! Being in a position to prevent that…..I did. Just then Al takes off up the right side and it was “Game-On!” Dale took off and swung to the left with Kal on his wheel in what looked like a lead out. I went with them but didn’t have the juice to overtake anybody at that point. I was sure Kal had won, but it was Dale so they must have been next to each other. Another lesson I continue to learn is that six feet behind the winner feels like six hundred feet when the race is over and the winner is on the podium. I’m not a Pro and I’m not Obsessive Compulsive, but God, do I hate being that close and getting smoked in a sprint. I’m sure that Al and Carlos and everybody else that finished behind Dale felt, at different levels, the same exact thing!

So we do zero cool-down, load the car, hook up with Leo Longo and Benji “The Maddog” Maciel, and proceed to do the Banzai run to Redlands. Our race had just ended at 7:45 and at 8:03 we were in transit. With others ahead or in pursuit. The commute was 83 miles and took, with traffic, 56 minutes. It was without incident and all passes were made cleanly and safely and I even used my turn signals twice!! That’s two more times than normal for me. Benji stayed on my wheel the whole way, but Leo’s “Import” was down on power and he was dropped about 15 minutes into the commute. I say it was without incident, until we got to Redlands and I was searching for the exit from the number three lane. All of a sudden, there it was! I made the ramp after passing a couple “Backmarkers”, but Benji was hung out to dry in the numer two lane.

I watched in awe as he worked his magic, almost gathering up a poorly placed road sign, kicking up dust and impressing a few other drivers I’m sure! They all saluted him as he made the ramp behind us!

The Redlands Classic Crit was to start at 10:05 and it was now just after 9:00. Easy money! Time to burn! Actually we had to go sign in and pin our numbers on. Numbers as in two! Then off to ride around the neighborhoods and get the legs firing on all two again. Once again, there was a good turn out and I think it was 34-36 riders. Kenny Fuller was here, so it was pretty much a matter of when he’d tried “take off”, which was a given. Now, over at LAX, I think we averaged about 24.5 mph. This race, when completed would be over 25.5mph and this course is punishing! There was an attack or two every single lap on the hill side of the circuit, which was brutal if you were in the mix and worse if you were further back trying to respond. Don Davidson was on a mission to say the least and if he went off the front and got caught, 2 seconds later, he was off again. There was a chase going on continually. No crashes and with the exception of the occasional cry of the Cat 4, “Inside”, the race was relatively smooth. The speed up the hill each lap ranged from 25-27mph which was a serious factor. At about 10-12 minutes in, Fuller made his first attempt about halfway up the hill and he really LAUNCHED! It was a sight to behold while trying to accelerate to match it. On each of his attempts, he would be followed by Steve Bernede who was back with us in his first race this season. On one attempt Fuller got a bit of a gap and Warren Wicks was with him, keen to leave his mark. Rubcic joined them and for obvious reasons, it was destined to fail. Fuller shut the motor off and we were all back together again. A small factoid/criticism was that the lap board was invisible. Usually the lap board is placed just after the start finish line. This one was about 50 feet BEFORE the line, so as you approach the line and glance over while sprinting every lap, you see nothing! Then, all of a sudden, it’s two laps to go! Holy crap! You better not be near the back now because it picked up pretty fast. The last lap was crazy up the hill till we made the U-turn at the top and then there was some bunching as the back of the group wanted to move to the front. Then it strung out again as we hauled ass down the hill, through the chicane into the final double corner. I tried to pass Warren on the inside of the final corner, but the door quickly closed. Exiting the last corner, I still have a picture in my mind of why you need to be ON the front out of this corner on this course. Real estate. As in, it’s impossible to close even a short gap within the short sprint available here. Dale Ludke and John Rubcic got it right. The rest of us did not. Fuller was second 60, followed by an unknown rider (to us anyway, although I bet they know him well at his home races), from Canada, Peter Kerklaan. In the 55’s, Ricky Shorts was second and Don Davidson secured third even after riding his brains out trying to get away the whole race. All the results were up on the web by early evening Sunday which is a welcome change from some races that really take their sweet time posting results. What a great morning of racing! The drive was no big deal, although the early wake up was kinda tough.

Next weekend is the San Diego Omnium with a 6:00 start for the TT at Fiesta Island on Friday. Fortunately for the SD riders, we can sleep in till 4:00am or so that day! I went outside at work (about a mile from Fiesta Island) this morning to do a daylight check at about 6:15. It was crystal clear, but I would refer to it as “Night” personally. Visibility will be a factor. See you there!


Redlands Criterium (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 47262 Dale Luedtke UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
2 52251 Ricky Shorts Velo Allegro 11
3 48278 Donald Davidson Citrus Valley Velo 10
4 202108 Warren Wicks Swami's Cycling Club 9
5 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 8
6 219983 Richard Pollock Citrus Valley Velo 7
7 34753 Rick Swanson Acme Racing 6
8 126351 Steve Bernede Cycles Veloce 5
9 26089 Fred Nicolet ACQUA AL 2/San Diego Bicycle Club 4
10 247382 Richard Gentili Citrus Valley Velo 3
11 55591 Mitchell Weinstock UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 2
12 49424 Howard Miller Paramount Racing 1
13 59572 Mark Huffman UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
14 195211 Bob Rosemeyer Swami's Cycling Club 0
15 189814 Leo Longo Citrus Valley Velo 0
16 254625 Jennifer Miller I.E. Bikes 0
17 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
18 245777 Steven Borer Citrus Valley Velo 0
19 24050 Steve Mera Citrus Valley Velo 0
20 3793 Raphael Gomez Cycles Veloce 0
Redlands Criterium (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 14
2 46765 Kenny Fuller Cycles Veloce 11
3 CAN19460621 Peter Kerklaan South Delta Riders 10
4 33679 Paul Springer Citrus Valley Velo 9
5 238828 Phillip Richards Citrus Valley Velo 8
6 275832 Benjamin Maciel Citrus Valley Velo 7
7 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 6
8 101582 William Carvin Unattached 5
9 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/San Diego Bicycle Club 4
10 129293 Michael Fleming Coates /On Deck Foundation 3
11 3794 Vicente Gomez Team Simple Green 2
12 227389 Andrew Mirzaoff Momentum Cycling Powered by Hawk Relay 1
13 45342 Domenick Forte PAA / RE/MAX 0