By John McKee
MBGP was won in the 55+ category by Paul "Kiss" Rodiguez and the 60+ category was won by John "The Claw" Rubcic. Lets digress a bit and start back a couple of years ago. The last time the 55s and 60s got to race MBGP was 2007. The fields had to be trimmed in 2008 and we lost out.
Cat 5s and 55/60+ were cut out. Cat 5 don't belong here anyway but I certainly thought we did but it was a matter of numbers. The women 3/4 were given the nod over 55/60+ but were put on notice that a poor showing would mean replacement in 2009. The gals didn't turn out and earlier this year(2009) Eric Smith messaged me and asked if I thought the 55s and 60s could put 50 racers on the line. My answer was I was pretty sure we could but couldn't guarantee it. I think we hit 50 right on the button. Hallelujah! Hopefully this will mean we will be back in 2009.
Thanks to Eric Smith for working with us 55 and 60+ racers. He has been a big factor in getting racing opportunities for the senior racers. New flash! Just in. This is an email message from Eric:
When you get a chance from your race schedule back in Louisville, please let your master’s know how happy we were with the turnout out for yesterday’s race. We had 60 riders and they put on a great show for the spectators!
There will be a 55/60 field next year!
Thanks for your efforts to make it happen."
49 55 and 60+ racers toed the line at around 9 am. There was a slight delay because they had to cart some bodies off the course which is standard at MBGP. Can you imagine 120 cat 4 racers out there. The cat 3s did a nice job though on the last turn and sprint for the line. Very fast and clean. I have to admit once the 55/60+ race started I went into a fog. I know there were a number of attacks and chases but I have no names other than I saw a pic of Mitch Weinstock off the front in one of Jodie Borer's great photos. I will tell you that this was a hard race but the course and the race weren't as hard as the prior week at San Pedro. That was hard. This was pretty hard.
The race was a constant circulation of racers. Prime sprints. Short breaks. The constant work to circulate wore down some of the riders and especially a lot of 60s. The 60s that were working it in the 2nd half besides myself were Monty Pettus, Steve Whitsitt, Bruce Steele, James Heise, Don Kimper, Phil Richards, Mike Fleming(didn't see him until very late), John "The Claw" Rubcic. John broke 2 bones in his right hand 2 weeks ago! He was at his doctor just the Tuesday before this race and the doctor reset his bones. Pretty sure the doc didn't suggest that John go out and race the next Sunday but he did. In the movie "Liar Liar" Jim Carrey would play with his son and his hand would be "The Claw". Look at the podium pic of John and he looks like he has a claw to me.
John said the contraption on his arm worked fine.
MBGP got the 5 to go and everyone was very anxious. There was more bumping in this race then any other this year. I think this is a result of the size of the field, the preception of MBGP being a big race and it is, and the lack of a solid team to counter UCC. Its UCC vs a bunch of independent riders. UCC just dominates and when they don't pace for whatever reason and its usually because they have someone off the front , riders just start stacking up. A hard race throughout like San Pedro GP and riders find there more natural position but in a fast/medium pace race it brings more riders to circulate .
The bell lap came and all the UCC riders were up front except for Paul "Kiss" Rodiguez. Paul jumped the field solo. The pace was good but not killer. Paul was going good up front. I moved up in very good position with only John Rubcic of the 60s ahead of me. Rounding the corner at the top everything was status quo. I was still in great position. Then the pace eased off a bit and things got very edgy. Monty Pettus squeezed through a small hole next to me and that created a larger hole for Mike Fleming to ride through. I didn't pay attention to who was in front of me and I should have. Don't know how the 55s and John Rubcic lined up going into the last corner but UCC timed it perfectly for all of their main riders to finish together with their man off the front able to hang on and that was Paul "Kiss" Rodiguez. Check out the podium picture and he has a tongue to rival Gene Simmons of Kiss. The only riders that could keep up were the El Dorado trio of the Shorts(Ricky and Al) brothers and Howard Miller. I raced at El Dorado most every Tuesday from 2001 through 2007 when I had a bad crash there and these guys were there most every Tuesday as well and still go out there. Howard started racing at "eldo" in the early 80s before it evolved into a real race. Finishing in this "pod" were the new 55 sensation Stan Appel, and Richard Stalhberg. Squadron UCC came in like this- Rod, Kal, Dale, John R and Mitch. To be more precise Kal Szkalak was 2nd in 55+ and Ricky Shorts 3rd.
The only thing left were the last 2 places on the podium for 60+. Going into the last corner Monty Pettus, Mike Fleming and myself were close. Phil Richards was also close. Rounding the corner a 55+ racer bounced off Monty's left leg and put on his brakes. I was behind him and had to either brake or cut inside him and take a chance of taking someone out. I put on my brakes and lost the mo. Coming home Monty was ahead but free wheeled with 20 meters to and Mike Fleming came on for 2nd. Monty was 3rd with Phil Richards having a good race placing 4th. James Heise had a great result at 5 and Steve Whitsitt was 6 ahead myself. Bruce Steele and Don Kimper had to dodge 55s coming in and placed 8 and 9.
The race was a big success and thanks to all that showed up(I count 58 paid from Eric's list but 60 sounds better, right). As you can read above we will be back in 2010. We need a stronger mix of teams to make the racing better and safer in my opinion but that isn't going to happen this year. Thats all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
|Manhattan Beach Grand Prix (Rank 2.0)|
|1||58847||Paul Rodriguez||UC Cyclery/JW Flooring||28|
|2||54522||Kalman Szkalak||UC Cyclery/JW Flooring||22|
|3||52251||Ricky Shorts||Velo Allegro||20|
|4||230085||Albert Shorts||Velo Allegro||18|
|5||47262||Dale Luedtke||UC Cyclery/JW Flooring||16|
|6||1825||Stanley Appel||Fog Racing||14|
|7||55591||Mitchell Weinstock||UC Cyclery/JW Flooring||12|
|8||49424||Howard Miller||Paramount Racing||10|
|10||126351||Steve Bernede||Team Simple Green||6|
|11||18156||Craig Jones||Velo Avanti Cycling Team||4|
|12||59549||Michael Vanlandingham||Acme Racing||2|
|13||49110||Rino Barbagiovanni||Santa Clarita Velo||0|
|14||198038||Scott Olson||Team Latitude-ABRT||0|
|15||155459||Thomas Reilly||Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA)||0|
|16||177283||Eugene Poyorena||CA Pools Racing||0|
|17||34753||Rick Swanson||Acme Racing||0|
|18||275439||Peter Boberg||Platinum Performance Cycling Team||0|
|19||250331||Peter Dufour||ACQUA AL 2/San Diego Bicycle Club||0|
|20||6082||Ben Cardenas||Squadra Carrera||0|
|21||245777||Steven Borer||Citrus Valley Velo||0|
|22||23055||Reed Mayne||Swami's Cycling Club||0|
|24||273411||Paul Anderson||South Bay Wheelmen||0|
|25||55635||Pedro Ordaz||CA Pools Racing||0|
|26||257503||Philip Walters||Encino Velo Cycling Club||0|
|27||126668||Joey Valdivia||UC Cyclery/JW Flooring|
|Manhattan Beach Grand Prix (Rank 2.0)|
|1||48760||John Rubcic||UC Cyclery/JW Flooring||28|
|2||129293||Michael Fleming||Coates /On Deck Foundation||22|
|3||219074||Leo Pettus||Paramount Racing||20|
|4||238828||Phillip Richards||Citrus Valley Velo||18|
|5||163415||James Heise||South Bay Wheelmen||16|
|6||171652||Stephen Whitsitt||South Bay Wheelmen||14|
|7||180386||John McKee||Paramount Racing||12|
|8||236498||Bruce Steele||South Bay Wheelmen||10|
|9||195498||Donald Kimper||ACQUA AL 2/San Diego Bicycle Club||8|
|10||45047||Glenn Baldwin||SLO Nexus-Gym One||6|
|12||50498||Richard Rodriguez||Nytro Racing||2|
|13||255491||Monika King||South Bay Wheelmen||0|
|14||61278||Mario Seri||Kahala LaGrange||0|
|15||203244||Cary Alpert||South Bay Wheelmen||0|
|16||223119||C Kevin Post||South Bay Wheelmen||0|
|17||45342||Domenick Forte||PAA / RE/MAX||0|
|18||57726||Ernest Hoffer||EDGE Racing||0|
|19||50406||Michael Edwards||EDGE Racing||0|
|20||266647||Allen Kizuka||Velo Allegro||0|