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.