Monday, May 18, 2009
By John McKee
The race story from Ontario is well done by Richard Pollock but I just want to languish a bit on one moment in the race or post race for both Paul Springer and myself. I was thinking of a title for my story and came up with three. The first one was used and is "Runaway Silver Streak". In the movie "Silver Streak" with Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor and Ned Beatty the train becomes pilotless and crashes into the train station in Chicago. This is definitely fitting.
The second title was "Wing Attack Plan R". "Dr. Strangelove Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb" is one of my favorite movies and in the movie the American bombers in the sky got the go code. Attack the Ruskies with the nukes! In Slim Pickens plane they opened the orders that they were suppose to if they got the go code and the plan was "Wing Attack Plan R". The Americans gave the Ruskies the location of all the planes so they could be shot down and avoid all out nuclear war. All the planes were downed but Slim's plane. He flew in low over the plains and under the radar and eventhough the plane took some hits they were able to get the plane to the target zone and drop the bomb. Slim Pickens rode the bomb down wearing his cowboy hat. Now that made for quite a crash and was pre planned so this scenario didn't fit our race. Paul absolutely didn't plan this attack. This title wouldn't work but was fun thinking about it.
The third was "Blassie Crashes Pencil Neck Geek". If you remember the 60s and every Wednesday night wrestling was on Channel 5 or KTLA from the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Freddie Blassie was a favorite bad guy and the best time of the whole show were the locker room interviews. When Freddie was interviewed he was always threatening "Pencil Neck Geeks". Now I pretty much have a pencil neck but Paul isn't a bad guy and he never threatens anyone. Actually Paul is one of nicest guys on our circuit so this title doesn't work either but was fun reminiscing.
Now you see I am left with # 1 and that does fill the bill. In the sprint for the line John Rubcic was able to hold off Loren Stephens with Michael Fleming coming in 3rd and I was looking to roll in for 4th. It was one of those defensive sprints that you don't have everything into it but wanted to go just fast enough to hold your position. I miscalculated and Paul was giving it everything he had. Thrashing his bike around and then throwing it at the finish. Paul got me by inches and that was that. I relaxed and stopped pedaling and started freewheeling and wham. "You ain't eatin' ham if you ain't eatin' Wham!" Cary Grant finally came up with a slogan for a product he was advertising in "Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House". The ham had some pop to it so he named it Wham.
Well Paul definitely has some pop to him. He was like a human torpedo barreling toward the first rider on his right. Unfortunately for me but good for everyone else was it was me, myself, and I! Wham! and Bam! I have scraps on the left side and right side of my body. My ribs are sore but my butt took the worst of the crash. Its the only place left on me with a little meat. It gave me a little cushion and bounce. Thank you, butt!
Paul took the worst of the spill and has a cat 3 shoulder separation. Paul has been riding really well this year. He will be back soon. I am sure of that.
Thanks to the EMT team at Ontario and my teammate Wilson Crider. Wilson helped me off the course and checked my bike out. He also took the photos you are looking at. The EMT team carefully patched myself and Paul up. Nice job!
Good job by Bruce Steele who was right behind me and was able to not run over me. Thanks, Bruce.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
By Richard Pollock
Riding the short course at Ontario is generally not exciting. Four corners making up a .7 mile rectangle, with a relatively short sprint from the last corner. What’s the big deal? Well, last week at Brea, I got pretty frustrated with the UCC spanking we all got. Myself included. So after grumbling and stewing all week, I had decided that today would be the time for a counter attack against the “Non-Evil” Empire (as Dale called it), to try and get back on solid ego-ground. Now I have to say, that I have a blast at every race, win (not very often), or lose (pretty regular)! Racing is racing and nothing gets the heart rate up or the blood flowing like a spirited race effort.
My plan today was to “go” at some point. Later would be better than sooner as being out there for a long time causes you to run out of “Fun Tickets” and usually BEFORE the big show. So with 30 riders leaving the line for the start, I try to roll up to speed pretty quick to check out the crowd. Let’s get it going right now and see what happens. After half a lap, the pace is pretty decent and all the usual faces are near the front. The very first part of the race is a little fuzzy as it happened pretty quick, but I remember sort of rolling off again at about 9 minutes in and getting a small gap. When Kal came by me in a manor that indicated we were now on our own, I knew it was “Game-On”. If Kal is trying to get away, his team will for sure try to keep him away. The bad news was, we were only 9 minutes into 40 minutes of racing, meaning…this was gonna hurt!
So we build a decent gap and are working really well together. Hopefully his teammates of Dale Ludke, Mitch Weinstock (last week’s winner), and John Rubcic are working with my teammates Dick Gentili, Steve Borer, Paul Springer, and Steve Mera to neutralize the attacks that are sure to be happening. At one point the group closed on us to a distance where I thought it was over, but it’s at times like that you really need to keep up the effort, not cash in. We did and the gap grew again. However, the distance to bridge became do-able and within a few laps, someone was catching us. He was definitely having to work for it and in a bit, PAA’s Tom Reilly was with us. And he was going good too! He did his share and now the work was split into thirds.
A prime bell is rung and it’s for 3 series (that would be Ontario series) points. Kal tells me he has to “Defend” the points and he’s going to sprint. I’m leading the series by 1 point over Dale (Kal’s teammate), who is in the pack behind us. Kal has no points in the series, but his teammate needs for ME to NOT win them. If I sprint it out with Kal, we’ll both use a ton of effort and that could blow the break apart, smashing the fruits of our labor like so many watermelons on the road. I was in a tight spot boys! I said, “Take your freakin’ points!” I was concentrating on the final race finish. If our break gets caught, Dale will trash us in the sprint anyway. Bird in the hand and all that.
A short while later, I check our gap and there’s two more riders attempting to bridge. I didn’t look long or too hard as we were still motorin’ pretty decent. They were closing and one rider was a UCC rider and he was bigger than the guy he was following. So that means it wouldn’t be Rubcic and there were no 60+ riders in the break anyway. Mitch is not really a big guy either. Not small, but not so big like….Dale. Insert expletive here! I immediately tell Kal that there’s no f-ing way I’m draggin’ Dale to the sprint for the next 15 minutes. Not that I could do anything really but keep going as hard as I/we could. Crap. The good news was that the other rider was Steve Bernede and he has a long history of throwin’ it all out there and workin’ hard. So we now have 5 guys sharing the load. One not putting out too big an effort, lest he tire himself out for later efforts. With about maybe 10 minutes to go, Tom starts to fade slightly and I think we’re going to lose him. He later said he got a cramp in his side, but it soon went away and he was back on board.
We worked together well till about one and half laps to go. I think laps were in the 2:10 range and at this point we all began to posture ever so slightly and on the last lap we rode Tom like Zorro, meaning, nobody pulled through! Coming onto the back straight on the final lap, we could see the pack at the other end of the straightaway. The teams had shut down the efforts of all.
Nobody came through to relieve Tom on the last lap except Steve once maybe. Down the back straight you need to get your poop in a pile for the sprint. Meaning the short straight between turns three and four is really too late to get yourself where you have to be. Tom and Steve are at the front and Dale is right behind and to the outside waiting to fire the cannon. Meanwhile Kal is fading back so that he can jump prior to the rest of us and come by at speed instead of allowing us to react to a “Jump” by jumping right next to us. Not a sophisticated move, but very functional.
So, for a guy like me wanting to win the sprint against the current two best sprinters, I’m in a tight spot boys! If I fade back to Kal, Dale goes and he’s gone. If I wait behind Dale and he doesn’t go first, Kal will come flyin’ by with a gap that will be tough to close through two corners and a short sprint. So approaching the third corner and in the .6 seconds that I’m mentally flipping a coin, Kal goes flyin’ up the inside with great speed! I jump to match and have to go way wide to go around Dale, Steve and Tom. Too far, too late, too wiped from the 30+ minute break effort. Dale has a huge jump at his disposal and dispatches with me well before the line and Kal as well who had a gap on me. Not the finish I had hoped for, but it was over nonetheless!
Meanwhile, back on the reservation, Ricky Shorts (Velo Allegro), Paul Springer (CVV), and Ironfly’s Richard Stalhberg were making efforts to get away from the group, the most persistent being Stahlberg. A quick unrelated note here, the Ironfly kits are the probably the coolest I’ve ever seen!! But all efforts were abandoned or neutralized. Yet another interesting note about the course. Over the 30+ minutes we were out there, I took my turn at the front at every location on the course. The stretch from the last corner to the Start/Finish line was the hardest. It seemed to have an invisible upward gradient and crowned at the line. Maybe everybody else knew this, but if not, after a while and getting stuck on the front there with today’s wind, that was quite a surprise to me.
After crossing the line we five rolled through and at turn one I did a U-turn to watch the rest of the group throw down a huge sprint. Out of the last corner, they were all over the road with Rubcic doing the business! First in the 60plus! Now I was about 150 meters away and looking into the sun, so I couldn’t make out riders or jerseys. But all of a sudden, a rider goes totally sideways taking out the rider to his right! They go down at max speed and I mean in a heap! From my vantage point it looks ugly and up close it probably looked worse. A rider comes rolling through and yells to me that it was one of my teammates. It was Paul Springer and John Mckee. On the ground, but getting up. Whew! Damaged bikes, wheels and flesh. The usual for a bike crash but thankfully rare in our races.
So what happened? Why? It happened because Paul was pulling on his handlebars as hard as he could and thrashing to beat everyone else. He jerked the bike right off the ground and the wheel went sideways. He took out John and scared the shit out of everybody else! No doubt about it, it was undesirable and unfortunate. They both walked away and will be back soon. My thought is John much sooner than Paul who will need some shoulder Xrays to confirm what everyone else has already assumed. There will be no lecture here, but just a simple “Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up” as they say. Be safe so we can all race next weekend.
1. Dale Ludke
2. Kal Szkalak
3. Richard Pollock
4. Steve Bernede
5. Tom Reilly
6. Ricky Shorts
7. Mitch Weinstock
8. Raphael Gomez
9. Wayne Rosenkrantz
10. Peter Dufour
11. Richard Stahlberg
12. Richard Gentili
13. Steve Mera
14. Steve Borer
15. Joe Mastro
1. John Rubcic
2. Loren Stevens
3. Mike Flemming
4. Paul Springer
5. John Mckee
6. Bruce Steele
7. Jim Roebuck
8. Daniel Cain
9. Mario Seri
10. Domenick Forte
11. Robert Paganini
12. Richard Rodriquez
13. Barnett Feigenbaum
14. Ernie Hoffer
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
As far as crit courses go, this one had about the least course personality of any and seems to be a twin to this coming weekend’s Ontario rectangle. But some very lively racing made up for the course. Race start time was 8:00 am and I mention the start time yet again because at 6:30 the course was not set-up and Ed Keck was stranded somewhere with the truck filled with everything to put on a race. I’ll also mention that sign in although they set up in a hurry which was understandable, was very slow and didn’t smooth out till we were back on our bikes and warming up. If there is anything on earth that stresses out a bike racer, it’s getting stuck in a sign up line that is frozen in time. But their hard work made for a great recovery!
Abbreviated warm-ups and we started just a couple seconds late. Great job in a pinch! The line up was 16)55’s and 22) 60’s. Pretty decent for a Mother’s Day conflict. I would have to say that if there is a Category where the rider’s mothers are in limited supply, it would have to be the 55/60 groups.
The race started out with CVV’s Steve Borer riding tempo for a few laps to get things moving. The race from that point on was a series of brief attacks and chases, some lasting a bit longer than others, but all being reeled in. Mid race there were two breaks that stayed away for 2-3 laps, but again they were reeled in. Many serious appearing attacks were made alternately by Steve Horine and Mitch Weinstock of UCC. On one occasion, with them both together, myself and , it looked like we would have a serious go at it, but then both UCC riders had a look of confusion and weren’t sure whether to keep it up or let the “UCC Captains” catch us. They backed it down and we were caught.
Ok, so we’re down to about 10 minutes to go and a break of 4 that didn’t really appear to have the proper mix of “Muscle” has been away and is stretching out their gap ever so gradually. Nobody is chasing or even looking like they will. There is a UCC rider in the break in the person of Steve Horine. No UCC’s , that’s a given. And with the exception of one brief “Blast” by Kal, Dale, Kal and Rubcic have been invisible for 30 minutes sitting in the group.
I chase leaving turn 2, taking off and after about a lap, I’ve made contact with the break and several riders are strung out behind me. As soon as I made contact with the four, Mitch Weinstock attacks and takes off. Leaving the entire group scratching its collective butt. What? How did that happen? Whoosh and he’s gone! A chase now with 6-7 minutes to go is suicide for anyone hoping for a top five finish. Nobody is willing to chase now and with the exception of Mike Edwards and Ernie “The large fellow” Hoffer, who gave it a hell of a try, the race had just been decided.
There was one prime as I recall and the bell rang with either 2 or 3 laps to go. Mitch was all alone for that and the final lap giving him a well timed win for UCC!
Between turns 3 and 4, Dale spools it up with several riders scrambling to get on his wheel. The wheel was for Kal and the best of the rest of the scramblers was to be Rubcic. It was Kal and Dale through turn 4 first and then Rubcic going wide which required a brief stop in pedaling for me (foolishly trying to go around him on the outside) to avoid a cement sandwich. Howard Miller did a great move up the inside for fourth and once I was back up to speed, Loren Stevens nipped me at the line. Rubcic was the 60’s winner with Loren, Paul Springer and the ever resilient Bruce Steele (he was sick and missed last weekend’s festivities!), right behind. A good sized field and UCC took the top three positions again. Same as Barrio last week!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
By John McKee
I have seen a lot of teams over the years and like most had some positive and negative aspects. There is a team prominent in the senior masters categories that I would like to point out some of its very positive attributes. That being UCC/JW Flooring. The other day at Barrio Logan team member Dale Luetdke came by me before the race and said "Its time to go fast" and fast it is. Of course it helps when a club/team has members as talented as this group but it ALWAYS takes chemistry and the right attitude for a club to be successful in more ways then just winning. UCC/JW Flooring lets there riding do the talking. No trash talking on the course or anywhere else for that matter as far as I know. Respect for each other as team members and respect for competitiors to race hard and tough against but still after the race is over can be friends and shoot the breeze about the race and everything else.
This has been one of my goals in writing race reports. Bring a feeling of camaraderie among fellow 55/60+ racers besides making the racing more fun by seeing us covered like our race was important enough to be in Cycling News. Our races are important to us and hopefully the stories and now the blog do encourage better attendance and make the experience more fun. Fun is one of the main reasons we do it.
Lets get back to the team being analyzed. At the Barrio Logan race with 3 laps to go UCC/JW Flooring team member Steve Horine went to the front and set the pace. Fast and that was what was needed not only for his club but for the peleton as well. I will give you an example of this not occurring and what can happen. I raced at El Dorado most Tuesdays during the race season from 2001 to 2007. Paramount would do this as well when we had good numbers but didn't have good numbers in the masters cat in 2007. One of the clubs that ride in a yellow jersey and this didn't include any 55 or 60+ riders had big numbers in 2007. Eventhough they might have 12 riders in the pack of 60 to 70 riders no one would give themselves up to set the pace for the group on the last couple of laps. On July 31, 2007 and I remember this date quite well with a little over 1 lap to go the pace slowed dramatically after being very fast and I was about 10th wheel in a lineup. A touching of wheels from 2 members on this same team and all hell broke loose. More was broken then hell. I ended up with 4 fractures in my pelvis and 3 broken ribs. I didn't realize how many bumps in the road there are until I took a ride in an ambulance to the hospital. That hurt. The point of the story is a fast pace at the end of a race is much safer and I say thanks to Steve Horine and UCC/JW Flooring.
The race was decided in 55+ at Barrio Logan with Dale and Kal away but all the 60+ racers were still in the peleton with one lap to go. Paul Springer took a flyer and as most of you know is a strong rider and was holding off the fast charging pack. Steve Horine was long gone but job well done! John Rubcic called on his UCC/Flooring teammates to pull Jerry in . I mean Paul. This was reported by Richard Pollock. I don't know what would have happened if the call hadn't come out but the result was another 60+ win for John Rubcic and UCC/JW Flooring. Bring John near the line and let him close the deal. Definitely hard to beat.
After the race and a lot of us were chatting near the podium and picking up the prime prizes(like the Butt Furr) and prize money. After the race all the UCC/JW Flooring members were opening their envelops with the money in it and they were distributing to all the team members that were in the race. I know other clubs do this but this was icing on the cake for a great event done by the green and yellow. Not only did they win but helped keep the race safe for everyone else. I have also seen some flashes of good team work at Citrus Valley Velo with Leo Longo doing some good domestique work.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention SBW and the clinic they gave at Torrance on how to finish a race and make it safe, fast and win besides. These were the veteran 55 and 60+ racers and not the young guys that were allured too earlier in the story. Good job, SBW.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Our start today was a little earlier than yesterday and closer to our “Normal” start time at 7:35. The big prerace discussion going on all week was about the course change at the last minute. The course is an 11 mile triangle and one side (The short downhill side), lost its road closure permit. So the new course would be of the “Out-an-Back” variety. Kinda like In-n-Out Burger without the fries! Next were the distances which with the course change were increased for the 60’s (running separately) and the 55’s. This had people freaked out with 60’s doing 45mi and the 55’s doing 59mi. In the end, they were required by USCF rules to stick to what the flyer had for advertised distances.
Schedule was, 45’s at 7:30, 55’s at 7:35 and 60’s 7:40 with women after them. I think everything was about 8-10 behind schedule, but no biggie. The 55’s had 31-33 riders depending on the list, but what I noticed was, all the different players. A lot of yesterday’s “Crit” guys were gone and replaced by the skinny climber types. Which brings up the point about the climbs. This course was a lot different and only a little bit the same as years past. The half mile or so leading up to 395 was eliminated with its climb and the “Roll” upwards after the right turn at the non-top. Also, I had remembered a twisty downhill coming to the golfcourse on the road heading west and wondered how that would be going up. It was not a factor and we went up it at normal cruising speed.
The start was a quick cruise down the “Big Climb” with some very fast downhill tight corners. At least if I get trashed on the climb today, I’ve got the bitchin’ corners going downhill to look forward to. Soon we were on the flat after the left turn, heading towards the freeway and Don Davidson takes off to test the group. The group passed the test and we were all together after about 2 miles. UCC had a fair sized group (8 riders), and would be trying to control the whole program, of that I was sure. Mitch Weinstock, Steve Horine, Reed Moore, Bill Tippets and Mark Huffman would be the designated rabbits and everyone else would be the chasers. The rest of the group contained some real muscle though! Warren Wicks, who won Boulevard goin’ away, Carl Weber, a strong climber from Santa Barbara, Steve Bernede, who we haven’t seen much of this year, TT specialists Craig Jones and Jim King from Utah, and finally, Kenny Fuller and Las Vegas’ James Morehouse who both dropped down from the 60+ ranks to have a race with “more of a challenge”.
We make the first turn around which returns the course to something we’re used to. Then the right turn, the first time up the climb and the subsequent first “Culling” of the herd. I have to say though that the first time up the hill was at a very brisk Warren Wicks pace! I’m still in and after the turnaround at the school, beginning the second lap, the group had lost a few good riders. Mitch Weinstock and Leo Longo to name two. Leo re-caught the group, but Mitch was gone. About a mile after the downhill and left turn, Jim King espoused a few colorful colloquialisms about his flattening rear tire and/or cracked expensive carbon rim. Another 300 meters (Warren, Kal and I were at the front), and I hear the “BAM” of an exploding tire. I assumed it was Jim, but it in fact turned out to be Mark Huffman. That makes 2 strong UCC’s out of the equation. Too bad, but, the field is equalizing. Out to the turn around with a frustrated Wicks doing a lot of work chasing Steve Horine or Reed Moore. I knew the drill and was content to sit and wait. Jim King ended up stopping at the start area and swapped his wheel. The rest of the race he chased and ended up being the last finisher. Mark Huffman was spotted having a severe “Mechanical Tantrum” and packed it in. Ask me sometime about the one I had a couple years ago! Wow, that one was expensive!
Approaching the turn around, Reed was instructed by Kal to “Go again”. Which he did. This time Reed developed over the course of a mile or so, a huge gap (5-600m?) to where he was out of sight around many corners. Normally Reed is not a top contender, but this was a big gap and growing. At that moment, Jim King says to me, “When is the frickin’ racin’ gonna start?” I said, “Soon”. Within’ about two seconds I’m thinking that Reed is too far to let go and I take off down the open right shoulder. As I’m clearing the field, I glance to my left and there goes Kal sprinting down the centerline. I’m on his wheel and we’re gone. He’s got teammates to slow the progress as do I and my hope is that Fuller and Wicks will not bring the whole field up to us. In a four or five man break, I’ll take my chances, the whole field I didn’t need. Kal and I caught Reed and we began to work together with what we hoped was a growing gap. Every time I looked back, I saw nothing. This was good. Very good! We got to the hill and kept the pace, the three of us making the turnaround and then passing our chasers going the other way. There were four and the rest of the group was blown to bits. One more lap. Our chasers were Kenny Fuller, Warren Wicks, Steve Bernede and Carl Weber. Close behind but appearing to be losing contact was my teammate, Don Davidson.
We kept the pressure on for the entire next lap. I stepped up my efforts to a percentage level that was intended to keep us away or perish in flames. We began to lose Reed. And at a few points he was totally gone, but Kal requested we wait. I couldn’t do it alone, so we waited and what Reed continued to do was a benefit to us all and he was a hard working teammate of Kal’s and deserved the ride to the end. No problem. With the foursome that was chasing us, I was sure we’d be caught shortly after the beginning of the last lap, but they seemed to be no closer yet. We were almost there. Now the last climb. I had timed this climb during my warm-up and at that speed it was about 5 minutes and then about 2 from the summit to the finish line. So I’m think 6-7 minutes of the biggest effort I’ve still got in me. Anybody got any EPO? I went hard on this last lap now the biggie. Reed leads for a short distance and then he explodes. He’s toast. Kal and I continue and as Kal pulls through at about .035mph faster than I’m going, the fat lady is about to sing. Do you know what song that is? I now know. I hear a motorcycle approaching from the rear and turn to see Kenny and Warren out of saddle making a “Blast Pass”, as opposed to just overtaking me. They catch Kal who is now about 30m ahead of me. I accelerated as did the 3 ahead of me. Later, after catching Kal on the climb, the preferred method would be to alternate attacking Kal so as not to drag him to the sprint with obvious results. Warren dragged him up to Kenny with each attack and they all hit the line together, oh yea, without me on their wheel. But at the same time, Warren is thinking (my guess anyway), if Fuller attacks, I’m not staying back here with Kal, I’m goin’ too and all this time, Kal is laughing at their battle and getting closer to sprint zone. Optimum for him. Kal won the sprint, Fuller was second and Warren was third, I was fourth and Reed Moore stuck with a strong effort on the climb and finished fifth.
Now I have to mention the 9th place finish by Dale Ludke, the Sprint Wiz! He beat some good climbers and was not back very far time wise. So that was very cool to see him branch out into the world of road racing!
1. Kal Szkalak
2. Kenny Fuller
3. Warren Wicks
4. Richard Pollock
5. Reed Moore
6. Carl Weber
7. Steve Bernede
8. Don Davidson
9. Dale Ludke
10. Bill Tippets
11. James Morehouse
12. Peter Dufour
13. Steve Horine
14. David Shackle
15. Reed Mayne
16. Leo Longo
17. Rino Barbagiovanni
18. George Chester
19. Steve Borer
20. Fred Haim
21. Paul Anderson
22. James King
Note: 8 riders DNF
It is May 3rd, 2009 and the reconfigured San Luis Rey Road Race was scheduled for the 60+ group to go off at 7:40 am. 5 minutes after the 55+ and 10 minutes after the 45+. 25 guys are signed up to do the race. 9 don't show. Not sure why. The old course which used Hwy 395 was out so the course was shortened and made easier because of the lack of "The Climb". Some of the 60+ heavy hitters choose not to race in 60+ but to race down in 55+. That being Kenny Fuller and James Morehouse. The Frenchman doesn't show and Bruce Steele has a bad cold and decides to bag it before he comes down. Butch Richardson is in the hospital recovering thankfully from a very bad crash. The field sounds a little denuded but the show goes on. Right! The favorite now had to be John Rubcic. John has been riding so well the last couple of years that he has raced in 60+. John use to be mainly a sprinter but since he retired he didn't have the doughnuts and other high calorie enticements that were around the US Post Office. Since his retirement to Hemet he spends his mornings climbing mountains and not eating junk. Citrus Valley Velo had 3 good riders and wanted to team up against John. 2 of them were complaining heavily before the race. Paul "Jerry" Springer was complaining about being fat. I know fat and thats not fat. He may have a few extra but Paul is riding well. Phil Richards had a litany of problems starting with the new shoes. Phil has a leg length differential and uses a shim to build up the short leg so when he gets the new shoes he takes the shim out of the old shoe and puts it in the shoe that matches the longest leg. After a week of riding Phil figures out something is wrong. Lol. Phil hit 60 this year so expect more things to happen like this.
Glenn Town was there in his Simple Fit outfit but no one knew who he was or at least I didn't. Glenn is mainly a climber and doesn't race much with us but can climb with the best our age.
OK. 15 riders start off at 7:45 am although 16 were there. Dan Crain was racing his first race in a Paramount jersey and was at his car making a last minute adjustment to his bike. He chased the entire race because he missed the start.
The race starts off and its all downhill so nothing is going to happen. Everyone makes the left onto the flat stretch and its a Sunday training ride. Every now and then Benji Maciel would go off and either myself or one of the other riders would chase him. Everyone is together going up the hill for the first time until Glenn Town puts a little pressure on. I don't think he was totally putting the hammer down but this split the field up anyway. 7 riders went with him. Paul Springer took over for Glen.
Paul can't help himself. He likes to ride at the front. The pace was comfortable enough but 2/3 the way up John Rubcic puts in a harder effort and everyone had to step it up. Don Kimper and myself fell off the pace. Further up John put in another effort and Paul cracked a bit.
At the turnaround it was John, Benji, Glen, Phil, and Mike Crystal. Mike is rounding back into form. Going down the hill Paul caught back on and myself and Don worked together basically for the rest of the race a ways off the lead group.
The magic six kept together until sometime after the turnaround. Paul Springer went off on a solo effort and wasn't caught until the right turn for home. Once caught it was a waiting game until Glenn Town went to the front and put the hammer down. Paul went out the back first, then Phil, and Mike. John Rubcic said he was on the edge with Glenn pushing the pace. Once over the hump the finish was a foregone conclusion. John out sprinted Glenn for the victory and Benji was a bike length behind Glenn. This is the finish as I know it now(7 more riders finished but unsure of the order):
|San Luis Rey Road Cycling Classic (Rank 2.0)|
|1||48760||John Rubcic||UC Cyclery/JW Flooring||28|
|2||205555||Glenn Town||Simply Fit/Action Sports||22|
|3||275832||Benjamin Maciel||Citrus Valley Velo||20|
|4||8283||Michael Crystal||CA Pools Racing||18|
|5||238828||Phillip Richards||Citrus Valley Velo||16|
|6||33679||Paul Springer||Citrus Valley Velo||14|
|7||180386||John McKee||Paramount Racing||12|
|8||195498||Donald Kimper||ACQUA AL 2/San Diego Bicycle Club||10|
|9||203244||Cary Alpert||South Bay Wheelmen||8|
|10||115793||Jim Roebuck||Southern California Velo||6|
|11||45763||Robert Paganini||Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA)||4|
|12||45342||Domenick Forte||PAA / RE/MAX||2|
|13|| ||David Schechatman|| ||0|
|14||223119||C Kevin Post||South Bay Wheelmen||0|
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Leo Longo(CVV), led the first two laps to get the pace going and at the first Prime bell, Rick Swanson(Acme) took off and won it uncontested. The following lap he was caught and after that the Primes set up or were soon followed by a multitude of attacks. Paul Rodriquez stayed away for a couple laps, Tippets tried, Mitch Weinstock gave it a few shots, Warren Wicks chased and as the race wore on the field got smaller. Mid race, a Prime came up for a $25.00 Starbucks Card! Are you kiddin’ me? Nobody but Mule is getting’ that one. I took off on the hill and had it in the bag with Rubcic behind me. However, he ground a pedal in the final corner, removing about half the material from his pedal and then almost went over the bars. I thought I had it made, backed off to just “Roll” through and John was on my six. Another pouncing of the pedals and we were side by side, throwing our bikes at the line. They announced my name and I could just taste a piping hot “Hammerhead” whilst eating a cinnamon roll, baked to perfection! Ah, but we were still racing! I yelled that I owed John a cup-o-java and then Wicks chimed in wanting one too! There was also a Prime for $100 Gift Cert from Aqua 2AL Restaurant (an SDBC sponsor), but I’m not sure who got that or the next Prime of a dozen fresh tortillas.
With 20 minutes to go, riding through turn three, I went through one of those big holes sitting too far forward I guess and my seat went, “Click, click, click”, into a forward steep angle. The same thing happened to me at Redlands a few weeks ago and I had to get a new seat post. The serrations were all shaved off the carbon. About this time, Kal and Dale fly off the front. I waited as did everyone else to see if would stick and it appeared to be working pretty well. Contact with another big hole and my seat was now a little too steep. I’ve been racing for 5 years now and I’ve never taken a mechanical lap. Today I needed one. I came into the pit, got an adjustment and a free lap. However, as I waited for the pack to come around, Dale and Kal came around with about a 10-12 second gap. I was pushed in with the middle of the pack and immediately took off to try and catch the break. Therein lay the problem. All chase attempts ended up being solo efforts, none of which were successful. So it was for the final 5 laps. We would close and then the gap would stretch out, never really very far, but just out of reach.
Two laps to go and Paul Springer (CVV 60+), launches without a single 60+ chaser! Last lap bell and it appears Paul will stay away although he won’t catch Kal and Dale, but would be the 60+ winner. At about turn two of the final lap, the pace goes ballistic and Rubcic is yelling for his 55+ teammates to close the gap to Paul for him.
Prior to the race start, I was explaining to Warren Wicks that you really want to be in position heading into the fast downhill right turn, as after that everybody goes nuts and moving up on the uphill and last two turns is difficult at best. So down the hill we go and Warren is at the front. I’m NOT! There’s about 6-8 riders between us and this puts me way too far back. However, I carried tons of momentum through the corner as everyone went wide and stayed in a line. This allowed much more speed across the short straight leading to the uphill corner. I again carried good speed and overtook everyone including Paul whom the leaders had caught (following Rubcic’s stern instructions), and I lead through the corner at the top of the hill. The downside is, there’s now 18 riders right on my wheel, ready to sprint. With inevitable results. Mitch Weinstock, Rubcic and Paul Rodriquez all come by me before the line. That gave UCC first through fourth places! Kal took the sprint as a gift from Dale I would suspect, but an incredible showing nonetheless. Great job guys.
When the results were posted, the finishing list (Honey, I shrunk the field!), had gotten smaller than the start list. This is a hard course and it was a hard race! I won’t list the complete results, unless John would like to as anybody that can read this can also read the results which are posted on the SCNCA page. But I’d like to mention that Raphael Gomez (Simple Green 55+) had probably his best showing in a spell getting 8th place and Fred Nicolet who finished right behind him commented that that darn sprint train just never left the station until it was too late!
In the 60’s, Rubcic was the King with John Mckee behind followed by Benji “The Mad-dog” Maciel and Paul Springer. Don Kimper, Richard Rodriquez and Mario Seri were 5th, 6th, 7th and the only other 60’s to finish. Hard race!
Tomorrow……..San Luis Rey Roadrace!