Sunday, August 22, 2010

THE 55/60+ DAN CRAIN MEMORIAL RACE @ ONTARIO SERIES #5

By John McKee

Announcer Ralph Elliott with official Betty Roebuck
It's August 22nd and one week after Paramount's Dan Crain passed away as a result of injuries from an accident while cycling and tangling with an SUV in Newport Beach. The officials, announcer Ralph Elliott were most helpful in making the race a commemorative event honoring the loss of a 60+ Paramount team member. This particular race was renamed "THE 55/60+ DAN CRAIN MEMORIAL RACE". The last race of the year at Ontario is always hot though we always go off early and thankful of that at this race. We were scheduled to go off early. I gave Ralph the script well before the race start that I wanted him to read before our race about Dan. I also talked to the officials and asked if we could do a neutral lap with Paramount members Monty Pettus and myself leading everyone around. No problem there. I brought black ribbon to wear around the arm and offered it to whoever wanted to engage in this act of solidarity toward a fallen 55/60+ comrade. Probably half the field did so. 100% of the Velo Allegro team wore the black ribbons. There were 26 55+ racers including 2 women(Cynthia Sjogren and Sanda Timba. Sanda just completed the women's 3/4 race prior to our race and had the best finish of her life with a 2nd place. Way to go Sanda!). There were 11 60+ racers there to race with the 55s but were to be scored separately. Dan most likely would have made it 12. He did this race last year.
55+ State Champion Mike Birditt at the line with black arm band
Prior to the scheduled start the announcer Ralph Elliot had this to say from the prepared text: "The next race today will be the 'THE 55/60+ DAN CRAIN MEMORIAL RACE'. This past Sunday August 15th, 2010 Paramount's Dan Crain passed away as a result of injuries from an accident in Newport Beach where he was struck by an SUV while cycling on August 3rd. Dan had not been racing long but his cycling accomplishments were extensive. Dan had completed 106 double centuries since he started serious cycling in 1996 and was inducted into the Triple Crown Hall of Fame in 2001. He set a 2 person age group record in the Race Across America in 2005 making it across the country in less than 9 days. He also set a record at the Firecreek Furnace 508 of which he did 7. Dan had many other accomplistments in his life and will be sorely missed by a lot of people. Let's have 10 seconds of silence to commemorate his loss...... Thank you. Today we are racing for you, Dan."
Neutral 1st Lap in Honor of Dan Crain
After the announcement the chief referee gave us our instructions and mentioned that the first lap was to be neutral. The racers were off at the whistle. Monty and I led the first lap around the course and then it was game on. Steve Horine took off solo to see what he could do. Don Davidson back after a mid season layoff took off himself in pursuit of Steve and caught him but they couldn't work together well enough to hold off the pack. The pack was powered by some fast legs like Mike Birditt and Al Shorts. Al is finishing the season very strong. We hit speeds up to 32 mph approaching the finish line coming off the slingshot corner that is a 1% down grade.
Don put in another harder effort and was looking good so I went to the front to pull him back and took a hard pull and then Al pulled through and we got so close that Don threw in the towel. Most of the middle of the race was rather slow with a few break efforts here and there. It looked like we were headed for a bunchie.
Group all together passing by finish line 1/2 way through race
The 2nd prime lap late in the race got the attention of Mike Birditt and Ricky Shorts again and they sprinted for Ontario series points. Mike had to dig deep to pass Ricky. Ricky turned to the crowd and said "Got me again".  We had a double counter with Rick Swanson and Mark Planellas and the second attempt proved successful. Al Shorts got right on this and the 3 were working it pretty good. Don Davidson went off in pursuit and hung in between. Steve Cahill also took off and got on Don. Don took a hard pull and fatigued himself and Steve went on to connect with the break group and Don went back to join the pack.
The 4 breakers worked it with pulls around 25 to 28 mph. UCC was denuded with Kal Szkalak at World's and the majority of the UCC race squad MIA. Steve Horine of UCC couldn't pull them back by himself. Mike Birditt choose not to chase his buddie Steve Cahill. They aren't on the same team currently but most likely will be next season. Velo Allegro and SC Velo had riders to pace and block so as the lap card came up 5 I knew that there was no way the group wasn't going to finish ahead of the rest of us. I was just hoping that a few guys would still go to the front and pace just to get things safe. A number of guys did so including Don Davidson, Steve Horine and Kirk Freeman to name a few. The last lap came and the pack could barely see the break group ahead. The foursome continued to share the load on the last lap but with 2 corners to go Al Shorts decided to start his effort for the line. Al has a long sprint and took it to everyone coming home in 1st place for his 2nd win in 3 weeks. Great way to finish off the season or at least the SCNCA criterium season.
Break group- Shorts, Swanson, Cahill & Planellas
Steve Cahill finished 2nd with Rick Swanson 3rd and Mark Planellas 4th. That left the peleton to finish and the pace was frightfully slow. I was following my teammate Monty Pettus as per pre race strategy. Monty was on Carlos Cruz. To win the Ontario Series Monty thought he needed to win the race and myself place after him. This actually wasn't correct but that's what we thought. At turn 3 I got bumped and my bike got hit and it did a death shimmy but I held on and didn't go down. Lost 3 spots though in the lineup. After the next corner I moved back up and took Monty's wheel back. Back on track. I believe Rod Mallory of Velo Allegro was leading us. The pace was slow going into the last corner and I knew Monty was going to jump and he did on Carlos's left side. Dale Luedtke and Mike Birditt were coming up the right side. Ricky Shorts was following Mike. Coming home Dale was the first rider across with Mike next, Ricky, Monty and then myself. Monty won the 60+ category with myself 2nd. Fitting in honoring Dan Crain that his teammates finished 1/2. Raffy Gomez followed me in with Carlos next. This turned out to be important. Monty actually needed 2 riders to come between himself and Carlos just to tie and Raffy saved the day for Monty. Monty and Carlos tied which was great. Both got a series jersey. Dale Luedtke won the Ontario Series in 55+. Complete results are below. Photos below are the various podiums for the race and the Ontario Series(5 races).
55+ race podium-Steve Cahill(not pictured), Al Shorts, & Rick Swanson
60+ race podium- John McKee, Monty Pettus & Raffy Gomez


55+ race series podium- Mike Birditt, Dale Luedtke & Rick Swanson
60+ race series podium- Raffy Gomez, Carlos Cruz, Monty Pettus & John McKee

That's everything about the race itself. I have one more thing to put in my write up. Saturday on the 21st was the service for Dan Crain and was well attended. Dan was very well liked where ever he went. He came from a large family and was the first sibling to pass. His sister Cindy Barr adapted an Elton John song, rewrote some of the words, and the rewrite fit well into the theme of the service which was the celebration of the life of Dan Crain. It was very well done and here are the lyrics:

DANIEL MY BROTHER

Daniel is riding forever around the bend
I can see his red curly hair blowing in the wind
And I can see Daniel waving goodbye
Oh it looks like Daniel,
must be the clouds in my eyes

They say the Tetons are pretty,
though I've never been
Daniel says it's the best place he's ever seen
And he should know, he's been there enough
Oh I miss Daniel, Oh I miss him so much

Daniel my brother, you are now a memory
Your spirit rides free and becomes part of me
Your eyes have died, you now see more than I
Daniel you're a star in the face of the sky

Daniel my brother, ahead of me ride
And I'll catch up to you on the other side

                                          -Elton John
                     -Adapted by Cindy Barr


That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Summer End GP  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 14
2 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 11
3 3793 Raphael Gomez Cycles Veloce 10
4 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 9
5 48651 Carlos Cruz Canyon Velo 8
6 48252 Joseph Wells Team WM 7
7 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 6
8 45342 Domenick Forte Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 5
9 236498 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen 4
10 48278 Donald Davidson Citrus Valley Velo 3
  Don Kimper was left off the finish list and was between Cruz and Wells


Summer End GP  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 230085 Albert Shorts Velo Allegro 14
2 34753 Rick Swanson Radsport Cycling Team 11
3 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 10
4 47262 Dale Luedtke UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 9
5 47255 Michael Birditt Swami's Cycling Club 8
6 52251 Ricky Shorts Velo Allegro 7
7 47314 Gary Prideaux Lightning Velo 6
8 66553 John Sinz Canyon Velo 5
9 107852 David Lang Team Hot Wheels 4
10 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 3
11 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 2
12 107559 Rodney Malloy Velo Allegro 1
13 15625 Demi Hechanova Southern California Velo 0
14 12354 Kirk Freeman Santa Clarita Velo 0
15 66019 Brian Cote Team Sho-Air 0
16 257503 Philip Walters Encino Velo Cycling Club 0
17 177510 Richard Bassett jr Southern California Velo 0
18 289270 Sanda Timbal Velo Avanti Cycling Team 0
19 271566 Alex Gonzalez Velo Allegro 0
20 277180 John Roest Unattached 0
21 271949 Cynthia Sjogren Team PossAbilities Gary Fisher Subaru 0
22 311649 Rogellio Padilla Unattached 0
23 245777 Steven Borer ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
24 9271 Pete Dern Herbalife LaGrange 0
25 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
 


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

THE LIFE OF A PARAMOUNT BIKE RACER - DAN CRAIN

DAN CRAIN

 By John McKee

Dan Crain member of the Paramount Racing team and the Orange County Wheelmen passed away on Sunday, August 15th, 2010 at the age of 65.  Dan was involved in an accident with an SUV on Tuesday August 3rd, 2010 and was badly injured. As all of you cyclists know, it is open season on us on our highways and Dan is another victim.
Dan started cycling at age 50 and started to excel at endurance cycling. He completed his first double century in 1996 and went on to complete 106 of them. Some of them with his long time tandem partner, Lynn Katano. Dan competed in the 2005 Race Across America in a 2 man team (with Fred Boethling) and set a course record for a 2 man 60+ team in less than 9 days. Dan competed in the Firecreek Furnace 508 7 times.
Dan along with Joe Brown set a 2 man(each 60+) record at the 2007 Firecreek Furnace 508.
I could go on and on about his ultra cycling accomplishments but they are credited on Chuck Bramwell's excellent blog tribute to Dan which is at http://caltriplecrown.blogspot.com/. There is another post after Chuck's and there may be others later but Chuck's is excellent. Chuck knew Dan well and has done an excellent job documenting Dan's cycling achievements. You can link to the blog on My Blog List on the right. Many cyclists that knew Dan are making comments on this blog. You can comment below or go to Chuck's blog to make a comment if you like.
Dan decided in 2009 that he wanted to experience more from cycling and thought he would give bicycle racing a try at the age of 64. Dan joined OCW/Paramount in April of 2009. Dan's very first race was the tough  San Luis Rey Road Race in May of 2009. Dan missed the start of the race trying to make a last minute adjustment to his bike and had to chase the entire race. Racers don't wait for anyone. This didn't discourage Dan and he went on to race 6 more events garnering valuable SoCal points for the team. Dan kept at it in 2010 and did pretty good. In the very fast and difficult Long Beach Grand Prix Dan hung in there where some veterans fell off the back or crashed out and finished a respectable 9th out of 16 racers in the 60+ division. What made the race extra hard was the speed paced by younger 55+ racers and 40 time National and World Champion Kenny Fuller.
Dan's last race was the fast Manhattan Beach Grand Prix and Dan hung in there again and made another very respectable finish. 55/60+ racers have a fairly tight fraternity and Dan was just getting to know many of the guys and getting comfortable racing at the speeds that we do. Dan will be sorely missed!!

Dan's Memorial Service, or the celebration of his life, will be this Saturday, August 21st, at 11:00 a.m. at Harbor Christian Church, 2401 Irvine Avenue, Newport Beach 92660

The photos are from Alicia McKee and Kenny BZ.
2010 Bakersfield SCNCA Road Race Championship


Dan near teammate Jim Morehouse at the 2010 Paramount GP


Dan in front of myself at the 2010 Paramount GP- Dan was always willing to help a teammate


2010 Paramount GP
Dan between Jim Morehouse and Hylton Murphy(the tall one). Also in the pic teammates Mike Duck, H, and myself before the start of the 2010 Paramount GP

2010 Paramount GP
Dan working as a volunteer at the 2010 Tour of California
2009 Paramount GP
2009 Paramount GP
2009 Paramount GP


12/09 Paramount Track Day

Dan on the track with myself and Scott Sharp

12/09 Paramount Track Day

12/09 Paramount Track Day

12/09 Paramount Track Day

12/09 Paramount Track Day

12/09 Paramount Track Day
This is the 2009 Paramount GP and I think this epitomizes Dan as a bike racer and as a person as I knew him. Always looking to help someone else out. This was the SCNCA championship race and I had asked Dan if he was able to on the last lap to go as hard and as long as he could trying to string it out and make the race safer for everyone and help set up the other Paramount racers. Dan was glad to do what he could and as you can see him in this picture giving it everything he had! Great job, Dan! We all will miss you!!
 Below are the racing records for Dan in the SCNCA for 2009 & 2010.

2009 SoCal Cup Record
Masters 60+
Daniel Crain
Place Event Points
15 San Luis Rey Road Cycling Classic 0
8 Mid-Season Criterium 5
22 SCNCA Masters Crit Championships 0
5 San Marcos Criterium 8
13 Brentwood GP 0
6 Ladera Grand Prix 7
14 Ontario 5 0
    -----
    20
2010 SoCal Cup Record
Masters 60+
Daniel Crain
Place Event Points
4 De Vlees Huis Ronde RR 18
23 Chuck Pontius 0
11 San Luis Rey RR 4
9 Long Beach Grand Prix 4
11 Master Crit Championship 6
13 Master Road Race Championship 0
10 Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 6
    -----
    38
                                              







































Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BOOYAH! FULLER WINS 41ST @ 10 NATZ CRIT

By John McKee

"Booyah!!" is exclaimed by the announcer after Kenny Fuller wins the 2010 Criterium National Masters Championship in 60 to 64. The famous announcer that treats the Masters cyclists like rock stars at the championships knows Kenny Fuller very well. He has said his name thousands of times over the years. Kenny has been racing for 49 years. This year the Masters Championships have come back to Louisville, Kentucky for the third and last time. The racing started on August 3rd with the time trial. Kenny Fuller won that with a good showing by Ken Louder. KF then won the road race in a much closer than anticipated contest. Kenny pulled it out in the end with a good finish over local favorite Brad Swope. Brad just aged up this year and his father is a well known car dealer around the area. Since Brad just turned 60, I kind of doubt the "old man" is still closing deals on the lot but his name Sam Swope is still in lights.
The last day of the championships was the 8th and the 60- 64 criterium was to be held starting at 11:45 am and running until the leaders did 35 kilometers or 35 laps of the local course in Jeffersonville, Indiana on the Ohio River. Jeffersonville is right across the river from Louisville and a change over the unpopular Churchill Downs course. The new course is a 4 corner rectangle with a number of very rough spots. USA Cycling should have done a better job seeing that the course was in better shape. I saw the City Manager on Friday the 6th on the course and I complained about some of the spots and he brought some people out to look at one bad area and they talked about fixing the spots but the races were to start the next day so I guess there wasn't enough time to fix the problems. If USA Cycling had put some pressure on the city, I am pretty sure they could have taken care of some of the bad areas.
26 racers from around the country signed up to do this category but only 18 showed up. The 18 riders were off close to the selected start time and the pace was brisk. Ken Louder was determined to make it hard and weed out the weaker foe. A number of riders helped out but KL was the one that always raised the pace. Sometimes to 29 to 30 mph. Lined everyone out. There were a few moves but nothing substantial. Kenny Fuller was happy to just sit in the back and wait for the right time to strike. After about 8 laps Kenny went over the wrong part of the road pictured above and his magnet starting clicking against his transmitter. He tried to reach down and fix it but knocked the unit down the fork. He went into the Shimano pit because the unit was knocking against the spokes. The USA Cycling rep in the pit told Kenny he couldn't have a free lap so he had to get going again with the condition unresolved. Kenny was now quite a ways off the back. He had to reach back and pull all that time trialing strength to catch back up. The first 10 laps were done in 25 mph so he would have to really pick it up. I had no idea that he was in trouble but John Elgart saw Kenny go into the pit and knew he was in trouble although he couldn't have known whether he was going to get a free lap or not. It took several laps but Kenny made it back on. He sat in and used a couple of laps in the pack to recover. 15 or so laps had gone by and everyone was together except a few riders that had fallen off the pace.
Kenny decided it was his turn to make a move and flew up the right side. Kenny made 2 solo moves but each time they were covered by some pretty strong riders. This was a strong field. Brad Swope was active in covering Kenny. The second time Kenny was covered Ken Louder countered with a move of his own with 17 laps to go. Michael Krywanski out of Missouri and David Stevens of North Carolina went with him. I knew this was trouble. They weren't far ahead but were a magnet for Kenny Fuller to jump to. I was up near the front patrolling but not at the front. I had ridden a smart race so far and stayed near the front or the middle of the pack and never took a pull at the front. Stayed within myself. I had let the first break get away from me and I now saw Kenny make his move on the right with John Elgart right on his wheel. I had riders all around me and only one made a move and that was Brad Swope. I was still boxed in and saw Kenny fly away with 2 riders in his wake. I think I could ride Kenny's wheel but I couldn't come across a gap when he was charging away. I knew almost immediately that 6 places were gone.
Kenny guided his group forward with Brad taking a pull now and then but Elgart just sitting in. It wasn't long before it was 6 together. I had a group of 6 but with Louder and Fuller ahead and clearly the strongest riders I was doomed. I had hoped for a podium spot which is top 5 and had a good chance in 2007 and 2008 and thought I was one of the strongest and fastest riders then but the race didn't play out well for me and I ended up 6th both those years. I may not have been one of the 6 strongest riders this year but if I played my cards right I could have been there at the end but it wasn't to be in 2010.
Kenny kept attacking his group and was always covered but shed David Stevens late in the race. With 5 to go Kenny figured it was going to be a bunchie and sat in to save his strength for the end. My group of six stayed together until 2 to go and David Linden went off the front. He said he wasn't trying to get away but was gaped off. I wasn't sure what the point was to doing a solo for 7th place.
The final lap card came up and right at turn 2 the lead pack caught my group of 5 and shot by with Louder in the lead. Our group jumped on the back of their group but I wasn't going to do anything that might effect the final sprint for "the shirt". Half way down the back stretch Kenny decided to take things into his own hands. He was last wheel in his group and jumped. Brad Swope got on him and it was lined out going into turn 3. Kenny lead into this turn but Brad Swope decided to not wait until the last straightaway and jumped Kenny back on the inside and hit the last corner in the front. He actually got a little bit of a gap on Kenny and the group. Kenny put it into his biggest gear and tried to get on top of it and soon as he could to get max speed. Brad jumped out of the saddle but seemed to be in too small a gear and also looked like he was tiring. I will give you the call of the announcer. The vid below is good but blogspot is not excepting sound any more. To see the vid larger and with sound go to: https://rcpt.yousendit.com/925042937/bc6db695ee994d9c67731b663859489e.
The call by the announcer is good. "And on the front its Swope, Swope, no Swope falters and it going to be Kenny. It is! Fuller wins again. Kenny Fuller wins again! Make it 41 National Championships!! BOOYAH!!! WOW!" Nice call there. Swope held on for second with Elgart taking 3rd. Krywanski rolled in for 4th and Louder took 5th. Stevens was given 6th. 7th went to David Linden who was in front of the lead group and it looks like he is in front in the vid but he is one lap down. The motor ref should have neutralized him on the back stretch but he did stay in front of the leaders and didn't cause a problem but could have. Complete placings are below. There were a lot of Socal 55+, 60+, 65+ and 70+ and tandem riders at the 2010 Masters Natz but I believe that Kenny Fuller was the only one that got on the podium in an individual race. Natz moves to Bend, Orgeon next year. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Men - Open - Master - 60-64
Place Points NameCity, StateTimeLicenseBibTeam
1150Kenny Fuller Corona Del Mar, CA53:23.4 46765 382 Cycles Veloce
2135Brad Swope Louisville, KY53:23.6 47984 402 Sonovelo/Fetzer Cycling Team
3120John Elgart Sacramento, CA53:23.8 45071 396 Alto Velo Racing Club/Webcor/Al
4105Michael Krywanski Rockford, MI53:24.5 77307 386 Priority Health Cycling Team
590Ken Louder Salt Lake City, UT53:25.8 179491 375 Velosport Racing
685David Stevens Vilas, NC53:50.1 248476 371 VeloProject.com
780David Linden Beavercreek, OH54:48.4 190519 393 Team Dayton Bicycling/Michelob
875Loren Simons St Johns, MI54:48.5 47936 408 Priority Health Cycling Team
970Charles Hetrick Edmond, OK54:48.6 62551 388 Oklahoma City Velo Club
1065John McKee Westminster, CA54:48.7 180386 409 OCW/Paramount Racing/Paramount
1160Charles South Fort Wayne, IN54:48.8 33532 401 Men Of Steel Racing LLC/Men of
1255William Stone Columbus, IN54:48.8 47749 404 Indie Hops / Labor Cycling Team
DNS0George Liolios Munroe Falls, OH
45603 361 Summit Freewheelers
DNS0Harry (Jerry) Fondren St Louis, MO
195525 372 Mesa Cycles Shop and Racing Tea
DNS0Bill Cole Savannah, GA
239860 373 Savannah Wheelmen/OSP
DNS0Dan Meyer Lake Elmo, MN
117486 380 Loon State Cyclists
DNS0Walter Lay Louisville, KY
20594 392 Bike Clicks/Team Louisville Bic
DNF0Thomas Lobdell Indianapolis, IN
45607 1168 Scarlet Fire/Verizon Wireless R
DNF0Robert Cattanach Minneapois, MN
180477 397 St Paul Bicycle Racing Club/Bia
DNF0David Fishel Indianapolis, IN
58350 410 MOB Squad (Motivated Over Bicyc
DNF0Robert Brust Hutchinson, KS
60610 398 River City Racing Club
DNF0sam roberts Tulsa, OK
275927 418 Tulsa Wheelmen
DNF0Randall Maddox Greenville, SC
81544 383 Greenville Spinners Bicycle Clu





video

Monday, August 2, 2010

CBR #8 DIFFERENT DIRECTION BUT SAME RESULT AS #7 FOR 55/60+

By John McKee

It was August 1st, 2010 and CBR is having its 8th of 9 criteriums at Domiguez Hills. At this time of year you are left with the hard cord racers. Guys that do all the races. In 55/60+ there were more 55s than 60s that have the stomach, moxie, stupidity, or whatever label you want to put on it. No one of course races more than UCC's Kal Szkalak in 55+ but I am pretty close and definitely out log any of the 60s in 60+ races. Kal's teammate Dale Luedtke is pretty close in racing miles and was looking as the favorite in this event along with Paramount's Monty Pettus. Monty is reasonably healthy and when he is can smoke any 60 around at the end of a flat crit. Monty has got his training and racing cycle down. He sucks on the Tuesday training ride while his teammate shines but his teammate sucks on Sunday and Monty wins. Wonder who that could be. LOL. Velo Allegro's Ricky Shorts has been in good form lately and he had the most teammates of any squad with a new team strategy to bring him home for the win.
At game time there were 20 55s and 9 60s. The lowest total of the year for CBR but all the races would have the same problem. At the begining of the year racers were all over the parking areas, clogging up freeways, Starbucks(if you could find one in this area), etc. This especially applies to the cat 5s but our one of our cats as well. The 55s have been pretty steady through the year including the Aug. 1st race but the 60s were half the showing of the 2nd CBR race in Feb. I guess the older guys wear down faster.
The 55/60+ race which had been scheduled at 7:45 am most of the year got moved up to 7:30 am but no big deal with the weather being no problem in August. The 30 +- racers were off on time. Now please understand that its hard to make a crit at Dom. Hills sound exciting. The difference in ability is closer between the best riders and the pack rider in 55/60+ racing unlike the 50+ category where "Turbo" Rodgers and a few other 50s dominate the racing although I will say that "Turbo" is willing to put it all on the line to get away in a break. We have a lot of fairly conversative racers that will try to work it out front but not go all in. This course of course isn't near as hard as San Marcos but does have a little power climb going counter clockwise. The course is a litte harder this direction especially in the afternoon wind but we only did that once(late start) this year and it was hard.
Kal Szkalak got us off quickly again but everyone was pretty aware of his start the prior week at San Marcos and Mike Birditt who got caught snoozing at San Marcos was right on him. Everyone else jumped as well and it was lined out for a short time when Kal threw in the towel. After that the race was pretty tame. Kal was the most active racer with Steve Horine the UCC patrolman and Dale "36" Luedtke sitting in and waiting to clean up a bunchie. Dale's father showed up to watch and it turned out that Dale and I lived on the Kaneohe Marine Base at almost the exact same time(the last 50s). I am 8 years older than Dale so no way we could have known each other back then. Small world sometimes. Also turned out that Mike Birditt was also on Oahu at about the same time but not at the Marine base.
OK back to the racing. Velo Allegro had their own plan which they don't wish to reveal but it surely was to get Ricky Shorts to the finish line first unless one of their teammates could get in a break. Al Shorts was surely the team "enforcer" being as strong as he is. Paramount's strategy was for Pettus to work for McKee. PAA had the twosome of Tom Riley and Cully White. Both are back from a cycling vacation watching and riding at the T d F locations. Both were pretty excited about how much fun they had. Tom is a breaker and Cully is mostly a sprinter. Pags is also a PAA member but has left for Natz already. Pags likes to drive so he wasn't at our race on Sunday.
The race had its ebb and flow and none of it was really hard. The few break attempts were short lived. I was in a 4 pack with Mike Birditt but was quickly chased down. Didn't have a VA or UCC member in it. Cardinal sin! The only break that looked dangerous included Mike Birditt and Kal Szkalak but they couldn't work that well together and Al Shorts went to the front to put the damper on this effort. This was 3/4 the way through the race and the last chance for a small group to get away. It was a bunchie almost surely unless a sole brave sole could hold everyone off.
Mike Birditt looked very strong throughout the race and collected all the primes but the 2nd one which was won by Al Shorts. Mike was doing his last hard effort before Natz and was using the primes to simulate the chase recover that is necessary at Natz 55-59. Natz 55-59 is hard. Very very aggressive with guys doing what seems like kamikaze moves but some of them have paid off. Kenny Fuller rolled off the front with 10 minutes left and then the spent field couldn't chase him down. That was Kenny's last year in 55-59 in 2008. He is now my problem at Natz in 60-64.
The last lap bell in Sunday's race came and Tom Riley was off the front. Tom went with several laps to go. Steve Borer tried to come across the gap to make it a twosome but couldn't quite make it. Mike was routing for them but it was up to Tom alone and he surely would be caught. The last lap was not fast but most riders held their position unlike the last Ontario race. I had been on Monty the last few laps but when he started getting buried I left him and went up near the front. Between turn 2 and 3 I could see Kal was on Dale and just sitting in and waiting. Monty reappeared coming up on the inside or left side. No one followed him and I got on his wheel and back to plan A. At turn 3 Mike Birditt chased me off Monty but I stayed on him. I figured Mike was a good wheel to be on so no big deal but it did cost me later. Monty was leading the charge up the left side but in a controlled fashion. Approaching the last turn which is 170 meters from the line "the move" came on the right side and Velo Allegro started it. Mike Birditt decided to jump ship and leave Monty and go with the flow on the right side. I hestiated and didn't know whether to follow Mike or get back on Monty. I decided to stay with Monty but Carlos Cruz the strongest 60+ besides Monty and myself got between us. I figured ok I will follow them closely and try and come around after the turn but racing this direction the race is mostly TOO the last corner.
Velo Allegro was trying to spring Ricky Shorts but Dale likes to get to the last corner first and he did. Ricky was right on his hip with Kal following closely. Don Denegal also was in the hunt and cut the corner closely leaving Mike Birditt to choose between being aggressive or being safe and saving his body for Natz. He choose to save himself and his legs were pretty shot anyway from the prime killing. Dale kept Ricky on his hip all the way to the finish line winning the 55+ CBR #8. Ricky was 2nd and Kal 3rd. Don Denegal was 4th and Mike 5th.
In 60+ action Monty had been in the wind for a long time and hit the last corner first with Carlos and myself right behind. When I got up to jump out of the saddle I was in a 50 x 13 and coudn't go. I needed to be in a bigger gear but with the finish so close an error like that was fatal. Monty hung on for the win and Carlos was 2nd. I finished 3rd and T d F chaser Cully White was 4th.The complete results are below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

55+ Finishers

1-Luedtke
2-Shorts, R
3-Szkalak
4-Denegal
5-Birditt
6-Shorts, A
7-Miller
8-Mallory
9-Freeman
10-Prideaux
11-Cote
12-Sine
13-Barron(Lid Helmet)
14-Borer
15-Timbal
16-Horine
17-Walters
18-Sjogren
19-Gonzales
20-Riley

60+ Finishers
1-Pettus
2-Cruz
3-McKee
4-White
5-Stahlberg
6-Carvin
7-Kimper
8-McKinney