Monday, March 29, 2010


By John McKee

Sunday March 28th, 2010 saw 55/60+ along with many of the other cats with a dilemma. Do you race LA Circuit or Redlands?? OR do you do the LAC and book it down the freeway and do Redlands as well. There were a number of us that did both and I want to say great job to all those that did and supported 55/60+ racing. Those that did both were Dale Luedtke, Kal Szkalak, Mike Birditt, Monty Pettus, Mike Fleming, Al Shorts and myself. Splitting like that can make us look naked but there was a decent turnout at both events. The 55/60+ racers were to lead off the show at LA Circuit which is usually a very popular event. I believe there were almost 500 pre regs and thats a lot. When I got to the event area it didn't look possible that the races were going to start at 7 am with our group. One person was in reg and the officials shack just arrived. Auto traffic was still running on the course. At least the porta toilets were in place. They are always delivered on Friday and picked up on Monday. Somehow everything started to happen quickly. Vols showed up. Reg started to come together. Streets got blocked off. The course as most of you know is a 4 mile loop with 2 180 degree turns. One mile from the last turn to the start/finish line. There was a breeze blowing in an eastly direction which was going to make the finish hard. I heard that the direction would change quickly as the sun came up and the finish would have the wind at racers backs but for our race the wind stayed true to what we felt during the warmup loops. On the first lap going toward the last turnaround and going uphill the pace hit over 32 mph so the wind was definitely a factor.
7 am came around and it was time to race and everything looked ready for the 55/60+ racers to start. There were 37 starters and would be 36 finishers.  21 55s and 16 60s. This was the first race that the 60s got a separate and equal(this really is equality unlike in the South in the 50s when separate and equal meant something quite different) payout and I was disappointed that we didn't have a better turnout there. There were mostly familar faces with a few new riders lining up. The race was for distance rather than time. 5 laps or 20 miles.
The racers were off and Alex Collins takes to the front to pull us for a while. As is the norm for a race like this the jocking is endless. Kal Szkalak had a charge off the front on the first lap but once he got pulled back Kal went into the UCC rope a dope mode. Muhammad Ali perfected the rope a dope in Zaire against George Foreman. Its an energy conservation program. Dale and Kal are good at this. Only use the energy needed to stay alive and spring forward at the end. On the second lap Monty Pettus of Paramount jumps off the front for some reason and Dale Luedtke also jumped to catch him but once they were together they folded and Dale also went in the UCC rope a dope. The next move was made by Mike Cicchi of Fast Fridays. Not sure what a Fast Friday is. I always thought Fridays were slow because the weekend was beckoning and the clock looked stalled out. Mike got a decent gap of maybe 150 meters and stayed there. For the next 2 laps Mike and the pack maintained a fairly even pace. Mike was reeled back in and the lap counter hit one. It sounds like the race is short in time when you heard the bell but this is like 5 laps to go at Ontario. A lot can happen. No one wanted to lead, pull or kick it hard expect for 2 UCC/JW Flooring team members. That was Steve Horine and Reid Moore. They did their best to keep the pace up but Steve and Reid are climbers and power riding on the flats is not their bag. It got nervous approaching the last turn.
Remember there is still a mile to go to the finish and though there is a downhill section its into the wind. Once the turn was made everyone looked for shelter. Bunchie is an Aussie term for bunch sprint like you couldn't figure that out. Everyone was in like a giant ball. Jockeying endlessly. Richard Stahlberg couldn't stand this and just took over at the front. Richard always stays at the front and I think Richard's patience ran out and decided to not duck and cover(in the 50s and later many school kids were taught the duck and cover. When a nuclear bomb hits in your neighborhood just duck and cover. Get under your desk and get in a fetal position. This was taught by the govment to generations of school kids but not me. Good thing the Ruskies didn't drop one in my neighborhood). The pace kept picking up and and the sprint started up front. Amgen's speedster Wiford Crzlak was totally marking Dale Luedtke. Kal, Mike Birditt, Alex Collins and Monty Pettus were in the mix. The course flatens out and even rises a bit going toward the finish line and it was into the wind but coming out of the ball of riders the speed was high. Wiford beat Dale by a bike length followed by Mike, Kal, Alex and Monty. I was in the mix of riders and started weaving my way through the bunch. I saw Bruce Steele and went by him on the right and then saw Mike Fleming ahead of me and saw a hole to our left moved by him and finished next with a bit of a gap to the lead sprinters. Al Levi of SBW was next across followed by everyone else. In 55+ action Rino Bagiovanni was 6th and Peter Boberg was 7th. In 60+ action Mike Fleming in his 2010 comeback placed a very respectable 3rd followed by Rider Unknown, Mike Duck, Richard Rodiguez, Bruce Steele, George Chester, Barney Feigenbaum, Dom Forte, Mario Seri, and Glen Baldwin.
The race was clean, rather uneventful, and predictable. I want to thank promoter Brad House of Back on Track Productions for giving 55s AND 60s a racing opportunity and a purse. The checks were given shortly so the few could race down the freeway to Redlands. Nice pics of the 55+ UCC sprinting duo and the Paramount 60+ sprinting twosome. Complete 60+ results:

LA Circuit Race  (Rank 1.5)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 219074 Leo Pettus OCW/Paramount Racing 21
2 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 17
3 129293 Michael Fleming Coates Cyclery Cycling Club 15
4 Rider Unknown 13
5 58170 Sydney Duck 12
6 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 10
7 236498 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen 9
8 196820 George Chester LIVESTRONG Army KC / Midwest Cancer Care 7
9 48063 Barnett Feigenbaum ironfly 6
10 45342 Domenick Forte Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 4
11 61278 Mario Seri Herbalife LaGrange 3
12 45047 Glenn Baldwin SLO Nexus Cycling Club 2
13 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 0
14 50911 Richard Stahlberg Ironfly 0
15 17063 Richard Hughes Unattached 0
16 171652 Stephen Whitsitt South Bay Wheelmen 0
Complete 55+ results are:

LA Circuit Race  (Rank 1.5)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 276778 Witold Czulak Amgen-UBS Elite Masters 21
2 47262 Dale Luedtke UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 17
3 47255 Michael Birditt Swami's Cycling Club 15
4 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 13
5 46255 Alex Collins Canyon Velo 12
6 195876 Alain Levi South Bay Wheelmen 10
7 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 9
8 275439 Peter Boberg Platinum Performance Cycling Team 7
9 107559 Rodney Malloy Velo Allegro 6
10 287291 Randy Drusen Judgement Velo/ TBOV 4
11 180531 Randi Perkins METALMTN Cycling 3
12 269972 Fred Haim Herbalife LaGrange 2
13 49080 Eddie Morris Amgen-UBS Elite Masters 0
14 55459 tom reilly 0
15 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
16 273411 Paul Anderson South Bay Wheelmen 0
17 67633 Gerald Lafferty Central Coast Velo 0
18 280887 Mike Cicchi Fast Friday 0
19 Robert Donaldson 0
20 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

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