Monday, May 3, 2010


By John McKee

The Barrio Logan Grand Prix was scheduled for May 1st, 2010 and the 55/60+ riders were to start at 8:05 am. $300 payout for both 55s and 60s. Thank you San Diego Bicycle Club. I know Ralph Elliott(the announcer) plays a big part in producing what is always a great event. Current SDBC president Steve Borer put in a 15 hour day. Most riders don't know what hard work and and what it takes to put on a superior event. This is always a superior event. The course itself does have a reputation as being a little dicey but once you get in the flow of the race it isn't a problem. The bumps in the roads are a problem but those aren't going to be fixed any time soon.
There was a good turnout of 55s with about 25 racers and half that in 60+. The results showed 14 55s and 7 60s. When Eric Smith isn't there the placings don't go as deep. There were 10 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring racers and 8 of them were 55+. They were loaded for bear and ready to race. The goal was first in both 55 and 60.
Would they be able to pull it off? There were a number of good riders to challenge in 55+ and Kenny Fuller was there to challenge John Rubcic of UCC in 60+. Kenny was there in his National Championship jersey. He won the criterium in very impressive style last August in Kentucky. I know because I was there and observed the race from within.
The race was was off and Carlos Cruz went to the front looking around waiting for someone to come to his aid. It didn't take long because you knew UCC was going to try and make the race hard and it was hard for much of the race. Riders were aggressive but nothing seemed to stick. Alex Collins, Rick Swanson, Steve Cahill and a host of UCC riders were working it looking for that right combo to make a break work. The riding was smooth without incident through much of the race.
The only break attempt that looked like it might work happened with about 15 mins to go. Mark Helvie of UCC and Steve Cahill of Swami's made a go of it. At first they were after a prime but kept it up and gained a small but decent gap. Kenny Fuller of Simple Green decided to come across the gap and took John Rubcic of UCC with him. JR had been marking Kenny for most of the race.
The 4 of them were together but the chemistry wasn't right. Mark didn't want to go up against Steve in the sprint like Paul Rodiguez did at Dana Point. Kenny seemed to also decide to not give his all to this break effort. 3 of the guys came back but Steve choose to tough it out per what he told me. I didn't see him. With 4 laps to go Kenny gave a very hard pull at the front trying to break things up and it did string things out. Once his effort was done things settled down. 2 laps to go and the pace settled in. UCC was setting up. Mark Helvie came to the front to pull. Dale and Kal were up front. Rick Swanson was also up front as was Mitch Weinstock. Going up the one uphill section between turn 6 and 7 things turned bad. Mitch and Kenny tangled over Kal's wheel and Mitch came away to his left. Paul Rodiguez was to the left of the pack and slightly behind this incident. I was behind Paul and slightly to his right. Mitch came across Paul's wheel and it took Paul completely by surprise. No one was outside Paul and to his left but he wasn't able to react and the contact with his front wheel took him down and he fell to his right with his body. This was right in front of me. My bike hit him in the back and absolutely stopped the bike. I went over the top out of control of course. Somersault like James Belushi in the "Man with the One Red Shoe". He flew further than I did. Probably about 12 to 15 feet once he hit a picnic table and landed in the Potomac River. I landed on the asphalt on my back and shoulder. No one else went down. Mike Birditt was able to ride by on the right of us. The crash did break up the group as the guys further back went by with caution.
The last lap was lead by Mark Helvie with Dale, Kal, Kenny, JR and Mike following in that order. Coming up the hill on the last lap between turn 6 and 7(total of 8 turns), 9 or ten riders were pretty much balled up. By now Dale had taken over the lead but going up the hill Kal thought the pace was too slow and took over. Dale got on his wheel with Kenny picking the lead wheel which ever it was. JR was out of the saddle tight in the group winding up his sprint. Going into the last corner Dale had taken back over the lead with Kenny on his wheel. After the corner JR and Mike Birditt came inside and decided to come in closer to the officials shack. The picture pretty much says it all of the finish. Dale held on for the win in 55+. In 60+ Kenny came off Dale's wheel and trying to hold John Rubcic off and thought before the final results that maybe he did but the photo showed that JR got the best of him by not very much. Kal hung on for 2nd in 55+ with Mike Birditt taking 3rd and filling out the podium for 55+. Mitch Weinstock was right there for 4th in 55+. A smaller group came in a few meters behind and included Alex Collins, Mark Planellas, Steve Cahill, and Rick Swanson all 55+ but also included Carlos Cruz who placed 3rd and filled out the podium for 60+.
Richard Rodiguez had a good ride and placed 4th in 60+. John Edwards came in a little back for 5th in 60+. The officials only showed 14 55+ finishers and 7 60+ finishers but there were a lot more guys that didn't get placed. There were some guys off the back. The crash was the downside of the race and the dark side of our sport. Neither Paul or myself were injured badly. I didn't mention that Mike Mueller of UCC had a flat about half way through the race. His tire came off the rim but everyone was able to avoid him. Other than those issues it was a good race and a double victory for UCC. Results below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Barrio Logan Grand Prix (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 47262 Dale Luedtke UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 14
2 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 11
3 47255 Michael Birditt Swami's Cycling Club 10
4 55591 Mitchell Weinstock UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 9
5 46255 Alex Collins Canyon Velo 8
6 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 7
7 204724 Steve Cahill Moonlight Velo 6
8 34753 Rick Swanson Radsport Cycling Team 5
9 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 4
10 303394 Fred Provence San Diego Cyclo Vets 3
11 177591 Kenneth Caldera CA Pools/DeWalt 2
12 15760 Mark Helvie UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 1
13 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
14 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0

Barrio Logan Grand Prix (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 14
2 46765 Kenny Fuller Cycles Veloce 11
3 48651 Carlos Cruz Canyon Velo 10
4 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 9
5 46547 John Edwards UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 8
6 196820 George Chester LIVESTRONG Army KC / Midwest Cancer Care 7
7 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 6

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