By John McKee
|Photo C @ Danny Munson|
The teams with great showings were Santa Clarita Velo, Swami's, Velo Allegro and UCC/JW Flooring. Thanks to these teams and everyone that came out. Chris Lotts was quite pleased with the turnout. Congratulations to Chris and Vera of California Bicycle Racing for a great turnout at their event. Besides the great turnout of 57 in the 55/60+ race there were over 100 in the 50+ race with large fields in the other categories. The crunch will come when CBR bucks SCNCA races. I would propose that CBR flip their categories so racers had the option of doing both the SCNCA races and CBR. Many of us race nuts drove from LAX at the LA Circuit race to Redlands to do that criterium on the same day with a time factor involved in 2009 and 2010. I think this would be a popular idea.
|Excuse me ma'am but your bathing suit is eating your butt|
The weather was great considering the time of the year. There was a slight Santa Ana condition and it was windy in most of Orange County but not in Dom. Hills. Near perfect racing weather for 7:45 am, the start time of our race.
The race preview looked like UCC was conceding CBR races to the new Swami's lineup with just Kal Szalak being the only UCC rider to pre register but in the end 3 more greenies showed up to work the race. The new Swami's lineup has the "double barrel shot gun twins" of Dale Luedtke and Mike Birditt. Some of the best finishers in the country in their age group. Mike has lost some weight from last year and Dale has tuned himself up a bit as well. They are going to be tough to beat this year on the criterium circuit. UCC will counter with the ever present Kal Szalak and Paul Rodiguez. Both teams will have other strongmen to work breaks, chase, etc. like Gary Shuey and Kim Bleth of Swami's and Mark "Skin" Helvie and Reed Moore of UCC. It was unknown going into the race what Santa Clarita Velo was capable of. Velo Allegro had Al and Ricky Shorts, Rod Mallory and the newly added Don Denegal.
The preview of the limited 60+ field saw the Paramount duo of Monty Pettus and John McKee. Richard Stahlberg of Ironfly would certainly be a factor.
The race was off near the race time of 7:45 am. There was a quick break attempt that included Dale Luedtke but that was short lived. Just about every break attempt during the day included a new 55+ rider by the name of Bob "The Black Knight" Pellkofer of Franco MRI(???). Bob just turned 55 and looks quite strong.
|Photo C @ Danny Munson|
Most of the prime killing was done by Swami's. Mike Birditt won the free entry and Gary Shuey won the Now Energy bars and the 4 bottles of Razor's Edge wine. Great prime prizes. Gary was away with Paul Rodiguez near the end of the race and Gary went shooting away to win one of the primes above. Paul was a little dismayed that Gary wouldn't hold back and work toward making their break attempt stick. Both riders had strong teams to block in the pack. Mark "Skin" Helvie was also seen in a number of break attempts.
The 60+ racers just cruised in the pack. Often seen near the front were Monty Pettus, Richard Stahlberg, William Carvin and Mario Seri plus myself. Mario Seri was the oldest rider in the pack. Don't know what happened to the ageless one-Pags. Bob Wright of Santa Clarita Velo is a new 60+ rider. Completely unknown to myself and the other 60+ riders but was seen up front as well.
The race like it often does came down to the last lap. Dale Luedtke was cruising near the front with Witold Czulak right on Dale's wheel. Witold had been locked onto Dale's wheel for a long time. Mark "Skin" Helvie, Bob "The Black Knight" Pellkofer
Paul Rodiguez made the next move between turn 2 and 3 by jumping across the short gap to his teammate Mark, "The Black Knight" and Steve. Mike "Birdy"(This is from Kal. Don't blame me Mike)Birditt. Paul rolled by the twosome and kept going but looked back and saw a "Birdy" on his tale. Mike thought Paul would pick up Mark and try and take it to the line like he has in the past. Paul was probably thinking he didn't want to have another "Redlands 2010" and lead Mike to the promised land. Rod shut it down. Mike came through in the lead at turn 3 thinking....I don't want to be here now!! Ricky Shorts was trying to organize a VA train but without any success so 1/3 of the way up the slight sloop between turn 3 and 4, Ricky jumped hard. Going from left to right. Outside to inside. The race was on. It was going to be pretty much full bore from here on out. Kal had been looking to "Birdy" to make the next move but it was Ricky and Dale reacted quickly. Getting right on him. By the last corner Dale was really motoring and starting to pass Ricky. Wiford was on his wheel but thinking this was hard. Kal and Mike were shooting forward with Mike on the inside. Dale had the most and the highest octane in the tank and took it too the line in 1ST PLACE. Mike Birditt came in on the inside fairly close to Dale. Kal was coming on and almost overtook Mike who was totally gassed near the line. Mike 2nd and Kal 3rd.
|Photos C @ Danny Munson From left to right at the line- Birditt, Luedtke and Szkalak|
It was a very good day for 55+ racing but I certainly can't say the same for 60+ racing. The race was hard, fast and fun. There are some race photos at this website. www.dmunsonphoto.com Awesome pics of Dale, Mike and Kal at the end. The placing up to 20th in 55+ and all the 60+ placers are below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe! This was the first CBR race since the passing of Kenny Brant. We miss him! May he RIP. Vid available on You Tube- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMnAGYrH-4Y Production courtesy of Peter Carlson.