Monday, August 10, 2009

NEW GUY SAYS "IN YOUR FACE"


By John McKee


I jokingly wrote Randy Drusen and asked him if he had been living in a cave all these years and riding a trainer all day long. Randy Drusen had one race under his belt and that was at San Pedro in Cat 5. His result there didn't stand the racing world on end so Randy must have sped up on his trainer. New riders often get free rein because no one figures they can pull off anything to the line. Being off the front is one thing during the race but being there at the end is another! Great story but lets start at the beginning.


Last years Brentwood Grand Prix finished with a 2 person breakaway but what it is remembered for is the peleton mass sprint photo that you always see above. Last years course was long enough to do 2 180 turns on one lap and work. There were a lot of complaints from residents in the neighborhood that major east/west streets were blocked off so the promoter had to downsize the course for 2009 so only one major street was blocked off. The new course just doesn't work with its shorter length and the hard 180 at the end of the course and off camber street to turn into. All with 400 meters to the line and that may be stretching it. The course was touted at 1 mile and that seemed right. A slight rise after the first turnaround which made the effort harder but didn't slow anybody down that I saw. The race which was on August 9, 2009 was hosted by Kahala LaGrange. They always do a good job on their race. They had a lot of boothes with vendors and did a nice job bringing in category sponsors to pump up the volume on the prize money. They had a last week change for 55/60+ that brought in Riordan, Lewis and Haden. I wonder if that is former LA major Richard Riordan and Pat Haden formerly of USC and the LA Rams(when they were in LA). Richard Riordan always was a big supporter of cycling and rides himself. Not like we do. Not many people are crazy enough to do that or have the ability to do that. The purse was increased from $200 for 55s and $200 for 60s to $300 each. Nice payday for 6 in each category. Thank you LaGrange and Riordan, Lewis and Haden! LaGrange does have a number of riders in this age group but only one has been racing with us for years and that is Mario Seri who is 68 years young this year. If you turn say 58 this year and aren't getting the results you would like, try adding 10 years to that and coming out every week to race with us like Mario does.


The criterium was to start at 8:30 am and the start was pretty close to that. 40 riders toed the line to mix it up for 40 minutes. SCNCA official Greg Alden gave us our pre race instructions and SCNCA president Eric Smith was there to over see the officials and do the video and race results. Eric always does a nice job here. I know I appreciate what he does compared to what we use to see.


There off! Why does it seem like there is always someone in front of you that has trouble clipping in. Lol. The first laps saw Don Davidson the defending champion mix it up. Don hasn't raced with us in a while and it was nice seeing him out there again with his new facial hair program.


The promoter had a lot of primes for us and not just a bottle of chain lube but $50 in cash and other worthwhile items. The problem for 60s is the 55s are obviously younger and are going to be faster so take almost all the primes but that ok. There was plenty on the table for all of us.


There were a number of break attempts but the one that looked troubling had 4 riders in it and was about mid race. When Kal shows up to a break it has a chance. We all know Kal is strong and brings a lot to a small break group. Ricky Shorts was there and pretty sure Don Davidson was in it. Don't know the 4th. They didn't get far off the front but hung in there for a small number of laps. At times they were 30 or 40 meters ahead. When this attempt failed Ricky shot backward like a rock dropping in water.


We got the 5 laps to go and everyone got a little more nervous making the corners that much more troubling. No crashes but a number of shouting incidents on the 180s. At some point in the last 5 laps Randy Drusen got the idea to move up to 2 riders that were off the front. They actually were just prime killing but Randy is new and figured he would just bridge up to them and work with them. He caught up with them and they just folded because they got whatever they were after. Randy decided to just keep going and going and going. What batteries did he have in him. The long lasting ones of course but everyone just figured he must just have the cheap ones because it takes years to hone batteries like this. The last lap came and Randy was still off. Everyone was trying to line themselves up. I got on John Rubcic's wheel figuring that was the right place to be. No other 60 was ahead of John and he was near Kal and Dale. The pace slowed going into the next to last turn and more riders swarmed in. I got knocked off Rubcic's wheel. Damn! After the turn and going into the little rise Dale Luetdke took charge. It was his turn to lead out the UCC/JW Flooring machine. Dale picked up the pace but didn't string it out. We were going up the street in the shape of a forward shaped mushroom.


I figured either end of the mushroom would push forward into the last corner because there was a big advantage being up front in this 180 corner. You could take it faster. No... Dale came around the turn first with Kal on his wheel and John R next. No bunch sprint finish this year.



Dale and Kal got a little gap. John R had trouble coming out of the corners because his hand is still hurting. Actually hurting more than at MBGP. Having to accelerate after every turn was wearing on John's hand strength and he doesn't have the training miles lately. Bone health is so important for us at our age. We all need to reflect on that now and then and take that into consideration in our training, eating, drinking, etc. To beat a dead horse- cross training, bone stimulating exercise, no sodas of course, etc.



OK, we have the classic UCC finish setting up but "The New Guy" is messing with the UCC program. Doesn't Randy know who Dale Luetdke, Kal Szkalak and John Rubcic are? Probably not or he wouldn't take them on. The assumption that the "The New Guy" would fold wasn't coming true. In fact Randy Drusen came across the finish line as the 55+ winner without any one in sight. Yikes! Nice going! The 55+ race was decided but there was one other cat to be decided but lets finish the 55+ race. Dale put the pressure on coming home looking for his 12 gear but couldn't shift into it but he didn't really need it to do his job of leading out the UCC train. Kal was in position to come around but pulled his foot out of the pedal. Didn't go down but gave everyone a scarce behind him. Al Shorts came on at finish to beat everyone in the sprint and placed 2nd. Dale is so damn strong that he leads it out from half way on the other side of the course and places 3rd. That is impressive. John Rubcic was the 4th person to finish to win the 60+ race. Nice job, John. He is one tough guy. Monty Pettus was charging at him but John still has a lot of juice left in the bottle. Monty was 2nd in 60+. Ricky Shorts made a nice run to the finish to place 4th in 55+ and Howard Miller also had a nice run in to place 5th in 55+. Kal rolled in for 6th place and the last paying spot in 55+. 3rd place in 60+ and a podium spot was still out there for 60+. I was riding in on the 55s and there were a lot of guys ahead of me and I assumed that Phil Richards or maybe Michael Fleming were ahead of. I eased up with the 55s but a never say die group of 60s in Loren Stephens, Mike Duck and Cully White came flying home up the left side. Loren and Mike beat me to the line for 3rd and 4th. Doh. Bonehead McKee! Cully was 6th and the last paying spot in 60+. There were 20 55+ finishers and 16 60+ finishers. A few drop outs.


All in all it was a good clean race on a lackluster course. Great area and fun event. There was an after race cool down ride to Venice with a few of the guys. An after ride thing is becoming common now for some of us. I will try and keep you informed if I know something is up. There is a vid of the bunch sprint below compliments of Alicia McKee. 2 of the inserted photos are by Jodie Borer and I took the podium shots. Complete results below:

Brentwood GP (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place
License
Name
Team
SoCal Points
1
287291
Randy Drusen
Judgement Velo/ TBOV
14
2
230085
Albert Shorts
Velo Allegro
11
3
47262
Dale Luedtke
UC Cyclery/JW Flooring
10
4
52251
Ricky Shorts
Velo Allegro
9
5
49424
Howard Miller
Paramount Racing
8
6
54522
Kalman Szkalak
UC Cyclery/JW Flooring
7
7
47380
Carlos Soto
Unattached
6
8
48278
Donald Davidson
Citrus Valley Velo
5
9
245777
Steven Borer
Citrus Valley Velo
4
10
Michel Glouchevitch
No License
3
11
50911
Richard Stahlberg
Ironfly
2
12
250689
Gintaras Janulaitis
Unattached
1
13
49110
Rino Barbagiovanni
Santa Clarita Velo
0
14
34753
Rick Swanson
Acme Racing
0
15
3793
Raphael Gomez
Team Simple Green
0
16
297255
Mitchell Odell
Unattached
0
17
Alan Stoddard
NO LICENSE
0
18
269972
Fred Haim
Kahala LaGrange
0
19
257503
Philip Walters
Encino Velo Cycling Club
0
20
Stephen Saks
NO LICENSE
0





Brentwood GP (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place
License
Name
Team
SoCal Points
1
48760
John Rubcic
UC Cyclery/JW Flooring
14
2
219074
Leo Pettus
Paramount Racing
11
3
234791
Loren Stephens
EDGE Racing
10
4
58170
Sydney Duck
Unattached
9
5
180386
John McKee
Paramount Racing
8
6
188249
Cully White
PAA / RE/MAX
7
7
129293
Michael Fleming
Coates /On Deck Foundation
6
8
238828
Phillip Richards
Citrus Valley Velo
5
9
64127
Richard Lilleberg
South Bay Wheelmen
4
10
236498
Bruce Steele
South Bay Wheelmen
3
11
220804
Michael Barnes
Rock Solid Cycling
2
12
50498
Richard Rodriguez
Nytro Racing
1
13
246256
Daniel Crain
Paramount Racing
0
14
45763
Robert Paganini
Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA)
0
15
Lewie Levy
NO LICENSE
0
16
50406
Michael Edwards
EDGE Racing
0


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

video

No comments:

Post a Comment