Tuesday, May 18, 2010


By John McKee

May 16th 2010 saw the 3rd criterium in the Ontario race series. I can see a little race weariness is setting in. Happens every year. The early races tend to have bigger fields. Hope always springs eternal I guess. There were 28 racers that lined up to contest the 55/60+ race at 7:35 am and only  12 were 60+. There were a number of events this weekend so that had to play a part in a smaller then usual turnout. Most of the usual crowd was there. Monty Pettus was back from his rib injury. The promoters moved the race to the more boring 4 corner course just to give everyone a change.
The race was off and we were in store for a more animated race then we have seen in a while. Both 55s and 60s were involved in the break attempts. The earliest attempt was started by Doug Knox. Doug seems to be taking his cycling and fitness more seriously lately. He is looking better every week. I can't possible get all the members of each break attempt correct. All of the attempts picked things up a bit as far as excitement and making everyone more aware as to what was going on. UCC and SC Velo had the most riders there and both were very active in the action. I know I will miss a few guys but here are the people I remember- Ken Burns, John Edwards, Mitch Weinstock, Raphael Gomez, Ed Keck, and Steve Cahill were a few of the guys that mixed it up. The one guy that was needed to really get a break going was Kal Szkalak but Kal was marked closely.
Kal was itching to get across to a couple of the breaks but everyone was all over him. Kal was watching the breaks carefully seeing who was in the mix, who was working, etc. If he didn't think things were working out for his team, he would put the break out of its misery. The break attempts did put the pressure on Mike Birditt. Mike and his buddy Steve Cahill had to put in an extended chase to bring one of the break groups back later in the race. Carlos Cruz tried to get across to one of the break groups and I felt I couldn't let him go so I went off after him. He got close but ran out of gas. I got within 10 meters of him and stayed the distance as the pack was close on my heals. Rick Swanson was active in several chases through the race.
With 6 laps to go it all back together again. Ken Burns of SC Velo decided to make on last solo shot at glory.
Ken didn't get far away and this slowed the pace of the race way down. No one wanted to use their energy stores taking down Ken. It made the last 5 laps slow and very tactical. Dale and Kal kept an eye on Ken and made sure he wasn't that far away. Once during the last 5 laps Dale put in an effort to keep Ken at the right distance away. Ken didn't know it and he was giving it his all that he was doomed. The last lap came and no one wanted to pace the group. It was ugly as I saw it. The pace didn't pick until about half way down the back side of the course.
Doug Knox did one of his patented 500 to 600 meters solo jumps at the end of the race. John Edwards was waiting for this and tried to get on his wheel but couldn't quite make it. Doug got up to speed rather fast. Not long afterward Kal and Dale also made one of their patented last lap jumps. They made it on the outside or right side of the pack. I knew I was on the wrong side and was behind an inexperience rider which is the last thing you want in the crunch. Kal and Dale got going and everyone started to wind it up for the sprint home after the last corner although if you weren't in good position by then you weren't placing well unless you can sprint like Monty Pettus or Mike Birditt. Mike had been buried in the middle of the pack on the back stretch and made up an amazing distance with his late move.
Coming to the last corner Ken Burns was put out of his misery. Nice effort, Ken. Doug Knox though found a second wind and kept up a hard effort. The only person to beat him to the line was Dale Luedtke. Dale did one of his power finishes and is very hard to beat. Doug finished 2nd overall and won the 60+ race. Nice going. Doug will have to be taken much more seriously next time. Mike Birditt was the next rider across the line having passed many riders coming home. Mike has an incredible finish and he doesn't think he has hit his peak yet this year. Monty Pettus was the next to finish and take 2nd in 60+. Kal came across for the last podium spot in 55+ followed by Cahill, Collins, Swanson and Planellas. Carlos Cruz was the last podium finisher in 60+ at 3rd place. Good clean racing, no crashes or close calls that I know of. No pics or vid-sorry. Wifey forgot the camera. Got to be her fault right. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe! Results are below:

Mid-Season Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 47262 Dale Luedtke UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 14
2 47255 Michael Birditt Swami's Cycling Club 11
3 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 10
4 204724 Steve Cahill Moonlight Velo 9
5 46255 Alex Collins Canyon Velo 8
6 34753 Rick Swanson Radsport Cycling Team 7
7 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 6
8 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 5
9 55591 Mitchell Weinstock UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 4
10 15625 Demi Hechanova Southern California Velo 3
11 61504 Andrzej Fidelus Ranchos Cycling Club 2
12 47314 Gary Prideaux Lightning Velo 1
13 289270 Sanda Timbal Velo Avanti Cycling Team 0
14 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0

Mid-Season Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45552 Douglas Knox Unattached 14
2 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 11
3 48651 Carlos Cruz Canyon Velo 10
4 3793 Raphael Gomez Cycles Veloce 9
5 129293 Michael Fleming Coates Cyclery Cycling Club 8
6 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 7
7 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 6
8 45342 Domenick Forte Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 5
9 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 4
10 46547 John Edwards UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 3

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