Monday, June 28, 2010


By John McKee

It was June 27th, 2010 and the Mahattan Beach Grand Prix was scheduled. The 55/60+ race was set to go off at 8:45 am. 53 riders turned out which was slightly more than the 47 last year. Good showing of riders eventhough the pre registration started very slow. Thank you again to Eric Smith of SBW, promoter of MBGP and president of the SCNCA for giving the 55/60+ group one of the 8 racing slots in this big event.
The powerful UC Cyclery team showed up in force and was ready to rock and roll. Was there going to be enough co operation among the other smaller teams to counter balance the numbers that UCC was throwing out there in the 55+ category. It wasn't just the numbers but the quality of riders. All the riders were strong but had different levels of experience with Kal Szkalak and Dale Luedtke having the most on the local criterium circuit. The field was going to have to look to guys like Vito Czulak, Al and Ricky Shorts, Mike Birditt, Steve Cahill and Gary Shuey. Keith Ketterer couldn't make it having an opportunity to almost exclusive use of the Dom Hills track for some testing with his coach, Roger Young. KK is pointing toward elite Natz in the madison.
The 60+ category was wide open with no team having more than 2 riders from one team. UCC had the defending champion in John Rubcic who won the 2009 MBGP in 60+ with the "claw" on his arm. John had a broken bone in his hand. Monty Pettus of Paramount beat JR several years ago in 55+ and must be considered a major factor in the race even though he is coming off a bad crash at the SCNCA track championship. Monty is joined by his on form teammate, John McKee. Mike Fleming, George Chester and Bruce Steele are also riding strong in 60+.
After some pre race banter at the line with race announcer Ralph Elliot in his leopard ensemble, the riders were off. The race was very fast the first 3 laps. Kal Szkalak took upon himself to start the race off with a bang. There were times when the race was lined out. No moving up. Just hanging on. I knew the pace had to slow down and it did. This meant break attempts were going to happen and no group was going to form without UCC. Mark Helvie and Mitch Weinstock were very active with Mitch looking especially sharp.
The first break was a 5 pack including Kal, Alex Collins, Gary Shuey, Steve Cahill, and Mike Mueller. 2 of the members of this break group were from UCC but some how it fell apart after 2 laps. The pace was pretty fast at times with a number of riders lending a hand at setting pace and chasing down the group. The next break attempt also included 2 UCC riders in the name of Mark Helvie and Mitch Weinstock. The 3rd member was Mike Birditt and that meant one thing. Jams off. Remember Dick Lane use to announce roller skating from the Olympic Auditorium besides the wrestling in the 1960s. Whenever the breaking team with a skater off the front had run its course and passed all the opposing team members it could, the team captain would put their hands on their hips indicating jams off. Mitch and Mark threw in the towel on this one and put their hands on their hips. They didn't want to take Mike to the finish line with the way he is sprinting. Kal Szkalak tried to get across and make it 3 UCC riders but Vito Czulak covered this. Mike was controlled and neutralized and Kal was covered so everyone was back together.
Their were many primes which are always given to the first rider across the line whichever category they were. Since the 55s are younger and usually stronger, they take almost all the "stuff" given away. With the help of SBW team member Steve Whitsitt the race had a 60+ only $50 prime. It turned out to be one of the fastest laps of the race. UCC was lining up for John Rubcic. Bruce Steele was right on John and looking to contest the prime. I was hoping the pace would slow down for me to go up to JR but it didn't so Mr. Rubcic with his sun glasses stuck in his helmet rather than over his eyes took the cash. This was half way through the race.
The second half of the race seemed to go by very fast. There was a constant churning of riders but about 30 minutes into the race the overall pace was taking a toll. Kal also tried a solo effort but Gary Shuey put in a chase and it got down to a bunch with 5 laps to go. Dan Crain of Paramount rolled off the front with 3 laps to go and Mitch Weinstock joined him. It wasn't long before Mark Helive made it 2 UCC riders and it was game on. The M & M boys. Makes me think of 1961 and M & M stood for Mantle and Maris. Roger Maris hit 61 home runs that year breaking Babe Ruth's record. Dan lacks some experience and fell off the group and it was up to Mitch and Mark to pull it home for a UCC victory. It was up to everyone else to prevent this. The pace really picked up with 2 laps to go with most riders single file. Mark was burying himself in the effort to launch Mitch on to a solo victory. Could this work? With few laps to go like at San Pedro the stronger riders are reluctant to chase hard and then have nothing for the finish. Let someone else do the chasing but who was that going to be?
Ricky Shorts and Vito Czulak put in hard pulls to try and close the gap. With one and 1/2 laps to go the pace slowed. I was on Monty which was our team plan and I was getting worried we were getting buried. I pleaded with Monty to move up but he stayed on course. I had a choice to throw out our plan and move up on my own or stay the course. I decided to stay the course and stay on Monty. Thanks to Mark Planellas and Ken Burns of SC Velo who let me keep on Monty's wheel at a couple of spots.
Mark Helvie had decided to give everything he had to launch Mitch and gave his last pull with 2/3 of a lap to go. He was spent but gave a great team effort. The remaining team members had a very difficult balancing act trying to stay at the front and lining up for the sprint and not overtaking Mitch who was all or nothing now.
Taking the last corner at speed was critical to anyone's finish. There was 250 meters to go after the last 180 turn. UCC took the curve great with Mike Birditt in his SCNCA championship jersey too far back to sprint it out with them. The final lap was as perfect a team race as you can have. The pictures below are great and pretty much tell the story of the finish. The race pictures are courtesy of Jodi Borer.
Mitch won by a bike length with a one foot ruler deciding the placing between Paul Rodiguez, Kal Szkalak, and Dale Luedtke. Here is the call from Ralph Elliott "Looks like the champion is going to be hanging on MITCH WEINNNSSSTOCK!! Congratulations to Mitch Weinstock through all those laps of the break away. Holding on to the very end." Kal was 2nd by an eye lash with Dale 3rd and Paul 4th. The first non UCC rider was Steve Cahill followed in by Mike Birditt, Gary Shuey and Alex Collins.
The 60+ race was pretty much decided on the last curve. Mike Fleming was the first 60+ ride to go into the curve with John Rubcic taking the outside line. Monty Pettus with myself on his wheel dove into the inside line next to the fence. Monty took a great curve. Better than I could do. Monty passed both Mike and JR before coming out of the curve and then it was max speed home(you can see M in one of the sprint pics). I passed Mike after the curve and let it all out passing some 55s that had sat up. Monty set a personal best on his power tap at over 1200 watts in his sprint for home. He really wasn't contested. Monty Pettus the winner!
I came in less than a bike length behind JR for 3rd and the last podium spot. Carlos Cruz came on for 4th followed by Fleming, Steele, Chester and Gomez.
The video of the finish below is compliments of Alicia McKee. Nice work. Complete results below as well. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix (Rank 2.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 28
2 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 22
3 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 20
4 48651 Carlos Cruz Canyon Velo 18
5 129293 Michael Fleming Coates Cyclery Cycling Club 16
6 236498 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen 14
7 196820 George Chester LIVESTRONG Army KC / Midwest Cancer Care 12
8 3793 Raphael Gomez Cycles Veloce 10
9 50911 Richard Stahlberg Ironfly 8
10 246256 Daniel Crain Paramount Racing 6
11 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 4
12 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 2
13 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 0
14 171652 Stephen Whitsitt South Bay Wheelmen 0
15 305794 Robert Tompkins Arizona Masters Racing 0
Manhattan Beach Grand Prix (Rank 2.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 55591 Mitchell Weinstock UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 28
2 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 22
3 47262 Dale Luedtke UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 20
4 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 18
5 204724 Steve Cahill Moonlight Velo 16
6 47255 Michael Birditt Swami's Cycling Club 14
7 44197 Gary Shuey Citrus Valley Velo 12
8 46255 Alex Collins Canyon Velo 10
9 46688 Michael Mueller UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 8
10 230085 Albert Shorts Velo Allegro 6
11 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 4
12 276778 Witold Czulak Amgen-UBS Elite Masters 2
13 49424 Howard Miller Paramount Racing 0
14 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
15 107559 Rodney Malloy Velo Allegro 0
16 245777 Steven Borer ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
17 142249 Richard Keegan ironfly 0
18 275439 Peter Boberg Platinum Performance Cycling Team 0
19 52251 Ricky Shorts Velo Allegro 0
20 34753 Rick Swanson Radsport Cycling Team 0
21 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0
22 155459 Thomas Reilly PAA / RE/MAX 0
23 271566 Alex Gonzalez Velo Allegro 0
24 23055 Reed Mayne Swami's Cycling Club 0
25 56643 Robert Shupper PAA / SIXTUMED p/b CARE FOR DIABETICS 0
26 47314 Gary Prideaux Lightning Velo 0
27 29477 James Reilly BikePalace/BackOnTrack 0
28 6082 Ben Cardenas CarreraPromo Bianchi Open Road 0
29 297255 Mitchell Odell Unattached 0
30 195876 Alain Levi South Bay Wheelmen 0
31 301372 Tom Herman South Bay Wheelmen 0
32 55635 Pedro Ordaz Unattached 0
33 15760 Mark Helvie UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0

Friday, June 25, 2010


By John McKee

Mahattan Beach Grand Prix is Sunday June 27th. This is the second year that the 55s and 60s have been put back in this big event. 2009 was a successful showing of 55 and 60+ racer. There were 21 60 and 27 55 finishers in 2009. Not sure how many registered or showed up at the line. In 2010 there are 28 55s and 16 60s pre registered. Light on the 60s for sure.
Some of the favorites are shown in the pictures. This is only some of the favorites so please no one get bent out of shape because your photo isn't here. Keith Ketterer is entered in the race and will be an important counter balance to UCC. UCC dominated the action at SPGP. KK along with a grouping of other 55+ riders  like Mike Birditt, Steve Cahill, Al and Ricky Shorts, Rick Swanson, Alex Collins, and Mark Planellas should provide a strong non/UCC contingent. The UCC riders are in good form and are going to be dangerous. Paul Rodiguez won last year in a solo effort but with heavy team support. Paul is on good form having just won SPGP. If  it comes to a bunchie, look for Dale Luedtke or Mike Birditt. Kal Szkalak could win any number of ways.
In 60+ action look for John Rubcic to sit on the UCC train and use his great sprint to pull home yet another victory. Monty Pettus has won before at MBGP in 55+ and knows how to do it. Monty is hurting a little with his shoulder but doubt that will hold him back during the race. Mike Fleming is always dangerous at MBGP with his great bike handling skills. He does that last curve as good as anyone. Love to see an unknown win here but that is unlikely.
We must hope for a good clean race with NO CRASHES! Good luck and thank you to everyone that shows up at MBGP. This maybe our last year in the event unless we get some more same day regs. Hopefully with a few more registered riders Eric Smith will give us another shot in the lineup in 2011 at MBGP.

Pictured from top to bottom are: John Rubcic-60+, Mike Fleming-60+, Monty Pettus-60+, John McKee-60+, Mike Birditt-55+, Dale Luedtke-55+, Paul Rodiguez-55+, Keith Ketterer-55+ and Kal Szkalak-55+.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


SoCal Cup Standings For 2010
Masters 60+
Place Name License # Team Name SoCal Points
1 Bruce Steele 236498 South Bay Wheelmen 220
2 John McKee 180386 Paramount Racing 202
3 George Chester 196820 LIVESTRONG Army KC / Midwest Cancer Care 183
4 John Rubcic 48760 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 175
5 Kenny Fuller 46765 Cycles Veloce 169
6 Raphael Gomez 3793 Cycles Veloce 148
7 Leo Pettus 219074 Paramount Racing 145
8 Glenn Baldwin 45047 SLO Nexus Cycling Club 122
9 James Morehouse 283640 Paramount Racing 113
10 Michael Fleming 129293 Coates Cyclery Cycling Club 103

SoCal Cup Standings For 2010
Masters 55+
Place Name License # Team Name SoCal Points
1 Kalman Szkalak 54522 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 348
2 Dale Luedtke 47262 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 266
3 Michael Birditt 47255 Swami's Cycling Club 201
4 Michael Mueller 46688 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 187
5 Alex Collins 46255 Canyon Velo 173
6 Mark Huffman 59572 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 152
7 Mark Planellas 202041 Southern California Velo 145
8 Steve Cahill 204724 Moonlight Velo 137
9 Robert Willcox 69952 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 133
10 Eddie Morris 49080 Amgen-UBS Elite Masters 114 

Saturday, June 19, 2010


It was June 19th, 2010 and time for the Ontario Airport Criterium. It has separate races for the 60+ and 55+ racers. 15 60+ riders and 23 55+ riders showed up with 2 60+ riders doing both races. Pags of course was one of them. The oldest guy out there and is still mixing it up with everyone and doing well too. This course isn't the easiest to get to so this was a pretty good showing. Earlier in the year the 60s were holding their own getting out the numbers but for lots of reasons the numbers have slimmed down. It's a shame at an event that gives us our own race. I always hear "why can't we have our own race". Here is the reason. You can do a cat 4 or some other grouping and get 4 to 5 times this number. Even if a club puts on a race, it's a chance to make money for the club to fund all the programs to make the club viable. Race time is valuable.
The airport course is a .7 mile 3 corner loop. The northern up leg is a false flat and feels like your tires and going through tar. After you turn the 2nd corner at the top it's the opposite and you feel like a pro reving up to 27/28 without much problem. Turn 3 is close to the finish line making doing a good corner on the last lap critical. I practiced doing it at speed before the race trying to get the right body lean to be able to pedal through at speed without problem. I want to say welcome back to Ernie Hoffer. It is his first race this year after his near deadly accident tangling with a car last Oct. The car wins every time and glad to see Ernie back after lots of surgeries.
The 60s went off promptly at 7:30 am for 40 minutes of racing. The pace was shared among a number of riders to keep things going. I liked to take a pull on the down stretch. More fun. Throughout the race George Chester would jump and the chase was on. I was able to get on George's wheel most every time and ride him out.
The first major move was done by Michael Edwards. Michael use to make moves like this all the time and is feeling better after his own training accident in March. He ripped a hole in his right arm after hitting the curb taking a sprint spin and the chain came off. The move at the airport race reminds me of a similar move that Michael made at the PAA race in the City of San Fernando in 2006. It was the SCNCA championship race and Michael was out there for a long time before he was caught. Bruce Steele didn't want to chase thinking it was cool that Michael was doing so well and left the chasing to people like myself and others. I put in some pulls on the down leg and kept an eye on the gap. Michael started to tire about 25 minutes into the race and Bruce jumped trying to get across the gap which he did but once he got to Michael he was pretty much cooked. I couldn't let Bruce get away and put in a little chase and got so close that everyone just gave up and it was all together again. I figured we were in for a "bunchie" but had to keep a close eye on George Chester. He always made his moves to the outside so I was looking to my left for George. Another move was made by "Joltin" Johnny Edwards who was taking a wide path around the course. Johnny had been off his bike for 3 weeks traveling and building a sun room at his home for his wife. JE put on 8 and 1/2 pounds and Johnny started to labor after a while and came back to the group without a chase. The last solo effort was done by Don Kimper actually without even trying. Don went out to pace and everyone else went on a fiesta. Don was out there for a few laps before he decided to join the peleton again. The 6 lap to go card came up and things really slowed down. We had a 23 mph pace earlier but average speed definitely slowed by the end. With one lap to go we were all together and George Chester made his patented move on the outside after turn one. JE tried to get on his wheel but was too tired. I saw this happening and went by JE and got right on George. George set a good hard pace going up and I was starting to hurt a little. Once he turned the 2nd corner he started to run out of steam but still kept up a good pace. George wanted to make a clean safe finish. Mike Fleming was right on my wheel.
I bidded my time and felt a resurgence of energy. I jumped by George coming into the last turn knowing the first person to make the turn would probably win. I timed it right and hit the corner just right pedaling through the corner. My mistake was evident once I got out of the saddle to finish it off and accelerate to the finish line. I was out of the saddle and in too low a gear and it was too late to shift so I tried to spin out of the saddle as best I could and hold off Mike Fleming who I could feel coming up on my right. It was close at the line but my bike throw might have made the difference. I won. Bruce Steele was 3rd and the ageless one was 4th. Great job, Pags!
The results were:

5-Gomez, R
13-Edwards, J
14-Edwards, M

The 55+ race started right after the 60+ race. 23 55s and 2 60s lined up. Kudos to the SC Velo team for a great showing. Good job, guys. The action didn't look as hard as I have seen it in 55+. Rick Swanson looked strong out there with a solo effort away for a good number of laps. After 40 minutes of racing it was down to the last lap and boy did it heat up between turn 2 and 3. Michael Birditt, Dale Luedtke, Kal Szkalak and Wiford Czulak were mixing it up and going very fast on the down leg with a shallow angle coming into the last turn. Dale was first to the last corner and everyone took the turn way wide. Going almost all the way across the road making all of them come back to their right to come toward the finish line. Dale was first with Czulak 2nd and Birditt 3rd. Rick Swanson was 4th and a nice showing being away for so long. The complete results were:

23-Edwards, J

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Death Valley Stage Race 2010

By George Chester

Just the stats on a race like this keep many a racer from trying, so only 50 or so racers showed for the entire field. Our 60 and 55+ fields were about average in size, with 5 of us in the 60+ and 5 in the 55+. The two big fields were 45+ at eleven and cat 5 at twelve riders. 60+ field comprised Don Kimper, Jim Morehouse, Mike Crystal, Bruce Steele and myself, while the 55s were made up of Gary Shuey, Bill Tippets, Peter DuFour, Howard Work and Phil Behrends. While the racing in the Sierras is so hard it usually turns into a long individual TT, this year Gary and Bill were very evenly matched in the 55+, while Mike, Bruce and myself were quite close in the 60+, with Don always nearby and Jim riding strong enough to hold onto Gary and Bill and leave us in the wake, all of which led to a great race.

Day one arrived following two days of 45+ mph winds. It seemed to have settled down, but was still cool, 50’s to 60’s with a 15 mph tailwind up the 1st power climb of 14 miles at 6%. Due to the small field size, a last minute change was made to do one mass start. Masters were staged at the back, and with the tailwind this lead to 30 minutes of Crit level racing from the gun, as everyone scrambled to hold the wheels of the Pros, Cat 3s, etc. by jumping across gaps as they opened and fighting to stay in the bunch through the lower section of occasional cross winds. By a half hour in the peleton had completely blown into mostly solo efforts, save a group with Jim Morehouse, a number of 55 and 45+ and Lisa Campbell and diminutive lady cat 3 who ultimately showed all of us her rear wheel. Bruce was the last of the 60’s to come off that group and I was able to make it back up to him about 15 minutes later. In another 15 minutes along comes Mike Crystal and we voted unanimously to minimize the suffering by working together and let the final climb sort things out. Crossing the 1st KOM at 7800’ we dropped into a winding descent at speeds approaching 40mph which dropped us into a 5mile, or so, long section of almost Paris/Roubaix style pave’ and rollers, where we swapped pulls into an increasing 15-20 mph head wind. This finally dropped away into a descent of 7-11% down into Eureka Valley, (the far north end of Death Valley), and proved to be one of the most harrowing descents any of us have ever ridden. While not at all technical, we were greeted by very gusty winds of 45+ coming from side to side. Everyone we talked to after commented on hitting the brakes on straight sections and being afraid of literally being blown off the road and possible the bike. Mike and I went into one corner with him in the lead when a gust blew us completely across the road. Gladly all rode well and with safety in mind there were no incidents. At the turn-around neutral support handed us bottles and we picked up Mikes lovely wife and her friend and set up a 5 person rotating echelon into the stiff headwind down in the valley. After a mile or so this wind turned up the 4500’ climb and Mike, Bruce and myself set off up the 7-9% grade together. As we neared the end of the Paris/Roubaix section and approached the final short 7-9% climb to the finish, with three and a half hours riding and 7000’ of climbing already in our legs, they were not even attacks, it simply came down to who was the horse for this course. Jim was just finishing as we approach the bottom of the final climb, where Mike’s steady rhythm became a bit too much for Bruce, and myself. The three of us finished, with Mike being 1 minute in front of me and I was only 2 minutes ahead of Bruce which meant we were still potentially tied with the steepest 10 miles in the US coming up tomorrow, Onion Valley. Don, who got stuck riding this solo, suffered from not having any help in the Paris/Roubaix headwind miles, and still put in a great ride to minimize his loss to us to only 15 minutes. I don’t know the details, other than Gary Shuey was ahead of climbing legend Bill Tippets by 1minute 15 seconds after what must have be quite a battle. This power climbing course being a bit better suited to the 6’+ powerhouse that Gary is, while the following days 10 miles at 9+ % would shift in the favor of the smaller pure climber, Bill Tippets, making for a nail biting final at 9400’, which neither one of them new who won, when I headed back down Onion Valley, on Sunday.

Day 2 arrived with the best weather I have ever been treated to in 6 climbs up Onion Valley. With tired legs and a neutral start, we were treated to a reasonable 1st mile out of the town of Independence. As we got onto the lower section of the 13 mile course, (the real climb hits at about mile 5 when it shoves a couple miles of 10+% into your face), the pace again became painful as we all fought to hold onto the cat ½ pro driven group. I knew this entire climb would have a duration of less than two hours, and both Bruce and I seemed better in the short/intense early part of the race, while Mike showed his pedigree in the long haul. So my thinking was to hang on to the front group as long as possible and put a minute plus into Mike and then somehow hang onto the lead to leap over him into 2nd, at the same time defending against Bruce doing the same. All the while hoping against reality that Jim’s effort of the day before would lead him to crack big time. The harsh reality, again the strongest prevailed and Jim rode off and left us. I got my gap, and the brief hope of being 2nd on the road, but Mike, riding stronger and smarter, rode his own pace and caught me near the top of the steepest section with about 6 miles to go. Somehow I was able to hold his wheel until a mile from the top when I cracked and congratulated him as he rode on to a great 2nd place. Bruce, who has too many fast twitch muscles and was up in SF the previous week working rather than training, dogged me all the way to the finish in another epic day we were all happy to be over. Don came in soon after and the 5 of us all got together for a podium picture with Jim hoisting a shoebox-sized chunk of granite over his head for 1st place. I think we all felt that the podium picture had to include everyone, as the words of Ron Skarin have never been truer, when he said, “Everyone who finished is a Winner”.

Monday, June 14, 2010


The weekend of June 12 & 13, 2010 saw a lot of racing opportunities for 55/60+ racers and especially 55+ racers. With Sisquoc Road Race on Sat.(55+ only), Death Valley on Sat. and Sunday and the SCNCA Track Champ on Sunday, racers had a lot to choose from besides the CBR Crit #6 which was called La Habra Cyclery Criterium. Same course. Same place. Different direction which I think is a little harder.
24 riders showed up to do the criterium race on Sunday at Dom. Hills. 17 55s and 7 60s. The race saw the return of Howard Miller of Paramount and Richard Stahlberg of Ironfly. Howard looked slightly heavier but was feeling better but not near his old form. Richard was a little further from his former self but felt good enough to get out there and stay with the group. His hamstring is still bothering him besides the other problems that kept him in the hospital for 9 days. These guys are tough and are most certainly welcomed back to racing.
The race was scheduled to go off at 7:45 am and too early for some lazier 55s that choose to snooze in and come out for the 50+ race a little later. The race was off on time with Velo Allegro having 4 team members in the race. I can tell you that it seemed like they were everywhere in the race and I was surprised that they had only had 4 because it seemed like there were more. The first parade lap was lead by SDBC president Steve Borer. After that Velo Allegro started working Rod Mallory, Ricky Shorts and Al Shorts in efforts off the front. Dale Luedtke and Kal Szkalak of UCC were always alert and ready to cover any move necessary. There were a number of small break groups that included Velo Allegro and either Dale or Kal but one that really caught my attention and my effort to catch on was about half way through the race. Kal was with the 3 Velo Allegro 55+ riders and gained a small gap. I went off the front to see if I could catch on and ride the group in to the finish if they were able to stay away. I actually made it across by turn 3 and was breathing hard but about the time I got to the group they were weaving and bobbing going up the hill. Pretty sure Kal was just sitting on hoping the VA riders would self destruct and they did. By turn 4 all riders were back together.
Ricky Shorts of Velo Allegro was going for most of the primes and staying away for a bit seemingly inviting someone to come out and ride off with him. Not many takers and no real hard effort with anyone that got to Ricky. The effort that looked dangerous started with Al Shorts and Kal covering the move. Kal is very analytical and sizes up the rider or riders he is with and whether he wants to put in a hard effort to try and stay away. No wasted effort for Kal. Kal saw that Al was riding pretty good and has better form than he had earlier in the year. Al had a couple of training spills that hurt his form and training and is now just starting to feel better. After staying just slightly off the front for 2 laps, Kal put in a hard effort going up the hill and the 2 of them were well away with just 5 laps to go. No 55s were bringing them back. The 60+ race was still out there although it was a denuded 60+ field because of many reasons.
The pace was lukewarm within the 5 last laps and new rider Kirk Freeman choose to take a flier with 3 laps left. No one knew Kirk and had any idea what he could do. Kirk tried out the RAM in 1988 and had to pull out because of a leg injury in Utah. Kirk has taken the last 18 years off from serious cycling and is trying his form out.
Within the last lap and between turn 3 and 4 Al told Kal he wasn't going to contest the finish and Kal spun off to take the 55+ victory. Al was second of course and a good effort by him. Kirk Freeman held everyone else off to take 3rd place overall and 3rd in 55+. Nice job by Kirk.
The field sprint was going to center around Dale and Ricky. I kept my eye on Dale but got a little buried going up the hill between turn 3 and 4. Carlos Cruz of Cal. Pools was ahead of me and I kept the pressure on and kept passing riders including him before turn 4. Dale exploded before turn 4 and wasn't contested coming home for 4th place. Ricky followed Dale across the line for 5th place and the last paying slot. I was the 6th place overall rider and the first 60+ rider to cross the finish line.
Nice job by the 2 women in the race, Sanda Timbal of Velo Avanti and Cynthia Svorgren of Possibilities Elite who hung in there the entire race. The pace was 1 mph slower than the last race here but the field was bigger and stronger with KK, Paul Rodriguez and Michael Birditt in that race.
The race results in each cat were:

55+ Results

2-Shorts, Al
5-Shorts, Ricky

60+ Results


Wednesday, June 9, 2010


By Bob Willcox
A truly team effort resulted in 1st and 2nd at the 55+ State RR championships in Bakersfield.  At the pre-race meeting, UCC planned to attack immediately on the 31 mile course.  Steve Horine and Rick Roberson got a 300 meter gap up the first 2 mile climb, and made the contenders chase constantly.  When those two got caught, Reed Moore and Mitch Weinstock attacked and this continued with John Wagenaar.  Paul Rodriguez and Dale Luedtke controlled the front and protected the rest of us.  By the time we got to the 4 mile climb midway through, Paul Rodriguez was off the front w/ 2 others from another team.  Bob Willcox attacked at the beginning of the climb to further soften the other teams.   Soon, the group caught up to Bob, and immediately Mike Mueller attacked alone, soon bridged up to Paul, and then left them on his own.  He stayed away the entire climb and descent, and the first 6 miles of the rollers back to the finish.  This was the key to the race, because after all the UCC  attacks, the other teams were tired and just waiting for the race to be over.  As Mike finally got pulled back in, Mitch and Mark went up to help Mike until the pack bridged up.  Mark and Mitch attacked again, and the group chased, all the while with UCC guys resting.  After coming back together Bob asked Kal if he should attack when he could get some separation and Kal said sure!  After a few more UCC attacks were caught, Bob attacked to make sure the other teams were tired by the sprint.  Bob got a good gap with over 4 miles to go and Reed soon  bridged up solo.  The two traded pulls for a few miles, then Eddie M. from Amgen bridged up and it was 4 of us out front.  Bob noticed Eddie resting up for the finale right after his first pull so Bob attacked again with 2.7 miles to go.  He got a good gap, and knowing that Reed would be fresh on Eddie's wheel, Bob kept going and pulled out a solo win.  Kal Szkalak won the field sprint for 2nd about 15 seconds later.
The quote of the day was from Mike, when he saw Bob get a quick gap - "Bob can win this" - thanks for the boost guys!  It was a phenomenal team effort as everyone put the team first and executed exactly what we planned.  Great job everyone.  I'm really proud to be part of this team and so glad I didn't let you guys down!
Master Road Race Championship  (Rank 3.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 69952 Robert Willcox UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 42
2 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 33
3 72880 Mike Marotta Simply Fit/Action Sports 30
4 202108 Warren Wicks Swami's Cycling Club 27
5 52251 Ricky Shorts Velo Allegro 24
6 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 21
7 126351 Steve Bernede Unattached 18
8 59572 Mark Huffman UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 15
9 55591 Mitchell Weinstock UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 12
10 204724 Steve Cahill Moonlight Velo 9
11 287584 Charlie Tatarian Canyon Velo 6
12 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 3
13 49191 Kim Bleth Platinum Performance Cycling Team 0
14 55635 Pedro Ordaz Unattached 0
15 44197 Gary Shuey Citrus Valley Velo 0
16 247382 Richard Gentili Citrus Valley Velo 0
17 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
18 46688 Michael Mueller UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
19 49080 Eddie Morris Amgen-UBS Elite Masters 0
20 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 0
21 14374 Bob Guglielmelli Central Coast Tire CCT 0
22 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
23 47262 Dale Luedtke UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
24 47255 Michael Birditt Swami's Cycling Club 0
25 230085 Albert Shorts Velo Allegro 0
26 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0
27 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
28 15625 Demi Hechanova Southern California Velo 0
29 269972 Fred Haim Herbalife LaGrange 0
30 46255 Alex Collins Canyon Velo 0
31 245777 Steven Borer ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
32 273411 Paul Anderson South Bay Wheelmen 0
33 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
34 170892 Fernan Lozano Sho-air/Sonance 0
35 66553 John Sinz Canyon Velo 0