The story for the 2011 Masters SCNCA Road Race Championships started many days before the start of the race. The 55+ and 60+ groups have had separate races for many years going back to the days when we raced at the great course at Vandenburg AF base. What views there were there. Challenging course but no extended climb and had a flat finish. The last few years we have raced at the Oildale course in Bakersfield. We have had separates races there as well for the 55s and 60s. It took a little work but we did have them and they were well attended, especially in 55+.
The flyer for 2011 came out with the 50s, 55s, and 60s racing together and scored separately. The prior year the flyer said something similar so I didn't think much of the new flyer. Mike Birditt raised the point to me and had me thinking. I decided to message the promoter, Sam Ames. Sam waffled and looked to Eric Smith who is the president of the SCNCA. Eric pointed out that there were but one follow vehicle so where would it go if the 3 groups were split. To cut this short, several people came forward to volunteer to man follow vehicles and that road block was jumped. The final ok was given by the chief referee, Rich Savitt. Done deal. SEPARATE RACES! More competitive and fair racing. I am going to write about the 55+ and 60+ race separately.
55+ SCNCA Masters Road Race Championship
The pre registered list was long but not as strong as 2010. There were several missing riders for a number of reasons but injuries were a major factor. Kal Szkalak is recovering from his extensive injuries. Kal was 2nd in 2010. Alex Collins as I just heard on race day had very extensive injuries the day before Kal hurt himself. Alex crashed on a training ride and separated his shoulder, broke his collar bone and a few ribs. Alex is just now getting back on a trainer. Alex came all the way to the event to drive a follow vehicle. It's great to have guys like Alex that are dedicated to our sport and the 55/60+ group. Thank you, Alex. In fact 6 of the top 10 finishers from 2010 didn't show including the defending champ, Bob Wilcox. Bob had an untimely infection that left him weak. A 7th rider, Mike Marotta aged up to 60+. A different ball game in 2011 for sure and especially with Keith Ketterer and Malcolm Hill of Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters entering the race. KK is 56 this year but Malcolm just aged up to 55+ in 2011. It was rumored that he was racing the 50+ event that he won in 2010 but he was going to do the 55+ race this year. Swami's had Kim Bleth and Mike Birditt who is climbing better all the time. UCC had Mike Mueller who won at SLR.
|55+ Podium- Keith Ketterer and Malcolm Hill were in the 45+ race- Mike Mueller (3rd) and Mark Huffman (4th) are shown|
The group crossed the last intersection and Mike Birditt was thinking of maybe catching everyone with their pants down. He did it at the Paramount SCNCA champ crit race. When he got near where we entered the dirt parking area he hit it hard. Very hard. He got a 30 meter gap on Malcolm who started to chase with Mike Mueller and Mark Huffman in tow. Mike started breathing hard and looked up for the finish line and it was still way far away. UH OHHH!! Mike had started too soon but there was nothing he could do about it. There is an old saying "No guts, no glory". Nice try but it didn't work out. They were racing for 2nd place any way. Malcolm was the 1st across the line followed by Mike Mueller, Mark Huffman, Wayne Hermes, and then Mike. Hensler and Bleth followed in for 7th and 8th.
Good race but KK is in a class by himself at this time. 30 miles of racing wasn't enough for him so he and Malcolm did the 45+ to do another 60. OK. Lol!
60+ SCNCA Masters Road Race Championship
The 60+ guys were last off. Kenny Fuller was there in his NatzMarotta and Bob Guglielmelli. Phil Richards is riding well and of John Rubcic is always a challenger. John was there with his vid camera on his bars(Hopefully at some point John will post on a photo sharing program-I will keep you posted). Jim Morehouse had a sore knee and Jean Villiot is recovering from his very bad crash a few months ago and both couldn't make it. Jim and Jean pushed the pace last year going up the hill with Kenny long gone.
|Bob Guglielmelli with Kenny Fuller on the podium- no Mike Marotta but he doesn't seem to believe in podiums|
|Top 60+ climbers- Mike Crystal, Kenny Fuller and Bruce Steele|
There's a crazy little shack beyond the Oildale tracks
And ev'rybody calls it the sugar shack
Well, it's just a coffeehouse in the oil fields and it's made out of wood
Expresso coffee tastes mighty good
That's the reason why I've got get out
To that sugar shack, whoa baby
To that sugar shack.
There's this 60+ bike race a way out there
Everyone knew that Kenny would win the dash
Might as well drink a lotta coffee, spend a little cash
smoke some cigars and talk some trash
You can understand why I've got to get out
To that sugar shack, whoa baby
To that sugar shack, yeah Phil
To that sugar shack, whoa yes
To that sugar shack.
Once Phil road about 3/4 of a mile on dirt roads some oxygen got back into his brain and he saw the whole "Sugar Shack" thing was a mirage. Damn. He turned around and went back to the road and everyone was gone. The voice in his head lied to him! Damn! Double dog damn!!
Back to the real race. Now this is not as much fun and actually very hard. Once we all turned right it was game on. Kenny went out and started riding hard tempo. It was like he was riding up Newport Coast Dr. on Tuesday mornings after the coffee crew ride and he is riding circles around John McKee and still going up at an amazing speed. The line of riders at the race started to spread out based on the ability to climb. Pretty soon it was Bob Guglielmelli and Mike Marotta on Kenny. The follow group included John Rubcic, Bruce Steele, George Chester, Mike Crystal, Bob Wright and Fred Haim. The 3rd group not far behind included myself, Don Kimper and Leo Longo. Everyone else was pretty far back because I couldn't see anyone when I looked around. Going further up Bob and Mike dropped off Kenny Fuller. No surprise the way Kenny is riding. I was 99% sure he would be able to do that. Bob and Mike formed up and rode together. A little further back Bob Wright and Fred Haim fell off of the chase group. Leo went ahead of Don and I but once all down the mountain the 5 of us formed a group(Wright, Haim, McKee, Kimper, & Longo).
Kenny was solo and using that world champ power to hold everyone off. Bob G. and Mike M. were working it but Mike's cassette was stuck in the 16 tooth and he wasn't able to keep top speed up. Kenny soloed in for another win added to his 750 lifetime wins. Good job, Kenny. No surprise of course. Bob Guglielmelli beat Mike for 2nd and Marotta had to settle for 3rd.
|Sprinting this hard for 8th place- Socal Cup at stack, baby! Lol. From left to McKee-8, Wright-9 and Longo-10|
The main chase group came in and Mr. Rubcic won that sprint for 4th. Following in were Bruce Steele, Mike Crystal, and George Chester. My group of 5 came in and Leo lead it out hard. He was making me hurt. Bob Wright came off his wheel for the line but maybe a little soon and I was able to get by Bob for 8th place and a few points picked up for the Socal Cup. We are tied after this race for 1st place in the cumulative Socal Cup. Leo followed in with Don Kimper and Fred Haim next.Complete results are below. Both cats had hard fair and competitive races. The favorites won but that's why they are the favs. KK and Kenny are amazing riders. I want to take a few lines to thank Sam Ames the promoter for working with me and a few of us that contacted him and getting us separate races. Thank you, Sam! That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
|Master Road Race Championship (Rank 3.0)|
|1||46765||Kenny Fuller||Cycles Veloce||42|
|2||14374||Bob Guglielmelli||Central Coast Tire CCT||33|
|3||72880||mike marotta||Action Sports/Simply Fit||30|
|4||48760||John Rubcic||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||27|
|5||236498||Bruce Steele||South Bay Wheelmen||24|
|6||8283||Michael Crystal||METALMTN Cycling||21|
|7||196820||George Chester||LIVESTRONG Army KC / Midwest Cancer Care||18|
|8||180386||John McKee||Paramount Racing||15|
|9||39024||Bob Wright||Santa Clarita Velo||12|
|10||189814||Leo Longo||South Bay Wheelmen||9|
|11||195498||Donald Kimper||ACQUA AL 2/SDBC||6|
|12||269972||Fred Haim||Herbalife LaGrange||3|
|14||72139||Armen Khachadourian||Echelon Gran Fondo/Zteam||0|
|15||45763||Robert Paganini||Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA)||0|
|16||273411||Paul Anderson||South Bay Wheelmen||0|
|17||113281||Barry Nazarian||Montclair Cyclists||0|
|Master Road Race Championship (Rank 3.0)|
|1||48434||Keith Ketterer||Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters||42|
|2||156650||Malcolm Hill||Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters||33|
|3||46688||Michael Mueller||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||30|
|4||59572||mark huffman||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||27|
|6||47255||Michael Birditt||Swami's Cycling Club||21|
|7||15874||Steve Hensler||Team Redlands||18|
|8||49191||Kim Bleth||Swami's Cycling Club||15|
|9||291027||Bill Pinckard||Barry Lasko DDS Race Team||12|
|10||16360||Fred Hoblit||Santa Clarita Velo||9|
|11||58847||Paul Rodriguez||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||6|
|12||61193||john wagenaar||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||3|
|13||204724||Steve Cahill||Celo Pacific||0|
|14||61353||Reed Moore||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||0|
|15||162650||Jim Parkhurst||Team Simple Green/Bike Religion||0|
|16||170892||Fernan Lozano||Team Velosport Club||0|
|17||47262||Dale Luedtke||Swami's Cycling Club||0|
|18||34753||Rick Swanson||Swami's Cycling Club||0|
|19||245777||Steven Borer||ACQUA AL 2/SDBC||0|
|20||18156||Craig Jones||Velo Avanti Cycling Team||0|
|21||15625||Demi Hechanova||Southern California Velo||0|
|22||29477||James Reilly||Bike Palace||0|
|23||50765||richard Roberson||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||0|
|24||66553||John Sinz||Canyon Velo||0|