Monday, July 19, 2010


By John McKee
It's July 18th, 2010 and it's time for another go at the Ontario GP course. I could do it in my sleep as I am sure most of you could as well. There was a good turnout of 44 riders with only 15 of them 60+. At one point in the season the 60s were matching the 55s but obviously not now. There were a face or two that I hadn't seen all year and there were some missing faces as well. Mostly in 60+. John Rubcic was there but as a motor ref. Loren Stephens was also there but as a spectator after his successful heart surgery.  Loren is definitely on the recovery trail. Great news there. The weather had been very hot coming into this Sunday but fortunately our race was to start at 7:35 am and last 40 minutes.
The field was off near the start time and Kal Szkalak took off like Arnold S.  in "The Running Man" being shot off into the "game zone" by Richard Dawson. Kal was going good but Alex "The Enforcer" Collins was there and he was having none of this. Alex went to the front and pulled Kal back before the first lap was finished. Without Alex there this could have been a very different race. The second move which was the most dangerous of the day was also intiated by Kal. Mark Planellas was right on his wheel. I hesitated and decided to not react which certainly was a mistake for me in many ways. Kal and Mark got going and created a small gap which started to grow. Mike Birditt was riding very near the front and as people peeled off, he was on the front. Mike at first didn't want to chase. Rino B. went up front and took a couple of pulls but Kal and Mark were still pulling away. It took "The Enforcer" to come to the front and start pulling and pulling hard. Alex would take a break and Mike would lend a hand but not with the same power. Rick Swanson and Steve Cahill also gave a shot at pulling the pack up toward the breakers. It took 3 or 4 laps but Kal and Mark were back into the fold mainly the result of work done by Alex Collins. The field could have used the assistance of Steve Bernade, Vito Czulak, Al & Ricky Shorts but they weren't there.
I think a break of 3 or so riders could have worked that included Kal or Dale and Kal tried a few more times as did Dale but both were closely marked and  the pack reacted quickly in those cases. It didn't seem long before we got the 5 to go sign. The pace had been moderate through most of the race and would vary widely in the last 5 laps with unfortunately the slowest pace of the day was on the last lap. Within the last 5 laps Steve Borer and Reed Moore had a go at a break. This is a dangerous time for a break because riders don't want to chase and tire themselves out. After a couple of laps the breakers were back and the pace really slowed down. No one went straight over the top. The pack almost did a total mix. An indication that things weren't going nicely for the favorites. The one lap to go sign came up and it wasn't really bunchie and getting worse. The peleton was getting extremely twitchy(Please excuse some of the Paul Sherwin talk I threw in. There are some words and phrases he loves and uses over and over). Steve Horine went to the front and set some pace for a while but once he was done there was no one left. Too many teams with a few riders and no one to spare for leadout duties. There maybe downsides to having dominant teams in a race but here is where you would like to see it.
I was following Monty Pettus as was our team plan with Mike Duck to mark Bruce Steele. Monty was getting buried after the last right turn which was turn 4 out of 7 and I was really worried. We had been on the right side which was the side I figured the winning move was going to come from but got funneled onto the other side when approaching turn 6. Mike Birditt got out into the wind on the right side and moved up. He saw Alex Collins hit the gas and Mike went with him. Mike started his sprint a little early and Dale and Kal came flying toward the finish line with Dale taking 1st and Kal just getting by Mike for 2nd. Mike was 3rd and Steve Cahill riding like a light tower on his top bars came across for 4th in 55+. Alex hung on for 5th and Mark Planellas was 6th. The 7th person across the line which was Carlos Cruz was the first 60+ finisher and he knew it raising his hand as he came across the line. Carlos had an albatross around his neck the last 6 or so races and that was me but he definitely buried me on Sunday as did most of the riders. Monty used his finishing speed(38.3 mph) to pass a lot of guys and nipped Mike Fleming for 2nd in 60+ with Mike taking 3rd and Joe Wells doing his first race of the year getting 4th. Joe has been ill since last Nov. and didn't expect much at Ontario but did very well but he does look a few pounds heavier. Glad to see Joe back. Joe was on one of his custom made Tsunami Bicycles. Joe is a master craftsman with aluminum.
Some how this wasn't as fun or as challenging as many of the races this year and didn't have the action, pace and fast final laps that we have seen this year. The race also saw some hip checks of which I received a couple and since no one went down I guess you have to say no harm no foul. Full results below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Ontario GP  (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 204724 Steve Cahill Moonlight Velo 9
5 46255 Alex Collins Canyon Velo 8
6 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 7
7 34753 Rick Swanson Radsport Cycling Team 6
8 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 5
9 15625 Demi Hechanova Southern California Velo 4
10 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 3
11 297255 Mitchell Odell Unattached 2
12 66019 Brian Cote Team Sho-Air 1
13 66553 John Sinz Canyon Velo 0
14 107852 David Lang Team Hot Wheels 0
15 177510 Richard Bassett jr Southern California Velo 0
16 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
17 186482 Rick Skalak Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 0
18 243425 mark wisnosky ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
19 245777 Steven Borer ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
20 289270 Sanda Timbal Velo Avanti Cycling Team 0
21 12354 Kirk Freeman Santa Clarita Velo 0
22 9271 Pete Dern Herbalife LaGrange 0
23 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
24 271949 Cynthia Sjogren Team PossAbilities Gary Fisher Subaru 0
25 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
26 257503 Philip Walters Encino Velo Cycling Club 0
Ontario GP  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 48651 Carlos Cruz Canyon Velo 14
2 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 11
3 129293 Michael Fleming Coates Cyclery Cycling Club 10
4 48252 Joseph Wells Team WM 9
5 3793 Raphael Gomez Cycles Veloce 8
6 236498 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen 7
7 58170 Sydney Duck Paramount Racing 6
8 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 5
9 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 4
10 61278 Mario Seri Herbalife LaGrange 3
11 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 2
12 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 1
13 45342 Domenick Forte Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 0
14 99906 Michael McKinney Radsport Cycling Team 0
15 50406 Michael Edwards Herbalife LaGrange 0

No comments:

Post a Comment