By John McKee
It's July 11, 2010 and CBR's 7th of 9 criteriums is scheduled for where? Domiguez Hills of course. The course was to be run clockwise which is the more standard direction. The course is slightly easier in this direction. 36 55/60+ racers showed up with 22 of them being 55 and 14 60+. 34 of the 36 got into the official results. The morning was typically overcast and cool with the temp running in the mid 60s. The weather has been running cool since June and we even got some rain on Tuesday morning during the OC early morning Coffee Crew ride(July 6th).
The 55/60+ race was scheduled to go off at 7:45 am and all 36 riders were off on time. Kal usually starts things off but not this race. Michael Edwards decided to not just lead us around but go off the front. After one lap Michael was back with us and the direction of the race was yet to be told. Kal and Dale decided to hold back early on and let teammate Steve Horine chase anything that looked dangerous. There were many attempts at breaks but none of them seemed to have the pop or commitment. Michael Birditt spent the most time off the front. Michael was there to do some speed work and pick up what primes were available. Michael won 2 bottles of wine, a CBR free entry and a package of Kool N Fit. Michael gave one bottle of wine to Al Shorts because Al led him to the promised land on that prime.
There were many riders off the front but to name a few: Ken Burns, Mark Planellas, Kirk Freeman, Dale Luedtke, Kal Szkalak, Rick Stahlberg, Howard Miller, and several others. None of the efforts got too far away as the pack kept close tabs on the efforts plus like I said earlier none of the breaks seem to have the right mix to make a go of it. Kal is very picky as to who he will roll with and will not roll with Michael Birditt and carry him to the finish line and take the chance of getting out sprinted. Many racers chased and I put in 2 chases when things looked a little too dangerous and there were 5 or more riders off the front. The first time I chased Chris Lotts called me "conpression sock guy" as I went by the start/finish line. I have been wearing compression socks lately. I brought everybody with me.
Kal decided he was going to try and solo it in with 2 and 1/2 laps to go. There was a cadre of guys that chased and had a gap on the main field. Not sure if they actually met up with Kal. With 1 and 1/2 laps to go I chased this group and brought the peleton back and I thought everyone was all together but Kal was still away. The one lap to go came up to my surprise(I thought we would have 2 laps to go) and I was still a little winded but after turn one and after the downhill I felt fine. At turn 2 I came upon a rider that was breaking and going backward and I had to wait until around the corner and make up ground as at least 6 to 8 riders came by me. The pace wasn't too stiff between turn 2 and 3. Kal was still slightly ahead of everyone. This put UCC in a great position. Dale sat on the rider or riders chasing Kal getting an armchair ride to the sprint zone. Either Kal was going to solo it in or Dale was going to have a great chance of sprinting off the chase/leadout. Ricky Shorts started somewhere around turn 3 leading it out with Dale on his wheel and Don Denegal following. At around turn 4 the chasers had caught Kal but Kal wasn't going to quit. Ricky was leading coming around turn 4 as you can see in the picture. There is a small gap to the rest of the field. Dale came off Ricky and Don Denegal tried to come around Dale at the end but didn't have enough speed and power to do it. Dale Luedtke was the winner of the 55+ race and the overall win. Don and Ricky followed in for 2nd and 3rd and Kal hung in there for 4th. The 5th overall rider and 1st 60+ rider was Monty Pettus. Mark Planellas, Wayne Rosenkrante, myself(2nd 60+), Howard Miller, and Carlos Cruz(3rd 60+) followed in with the pack right there. The race saw a lot of action and there were no crashes or close calls to speak of. Some of the placings are below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!