Wednesday, July 27, 2011


By John McKee

It was quite a weekend for climbers with the Sisquoc RR and the San Marcos Criterium on Saturday and Sunday. Most racers did one or the other but there were a few "fanatics" like myself that did both. I have already written about the Sisquoc RR so here is the story about the San Marcos Criterium held on July 24th, 2011. The SMC is held on the campus of San Marcos State University. The course has developed quite a reputation and rightfully so. It is hard. A 1.7 mile circuit with 5 sides and 3 of them are up. The 4th leg has the power climb but what makes the ride so difficult is once you make it to the top of the power climb and turn right for home your winded and its still unhill. Modest yes but you have no speed after the power climb and it feels like your wheels are stuck in tar. It's at least 350 meters to the start/finish line. Most of the downhill is in leg one after a quick right from the start/finish line but you have to waste a lot of that energy braking going into a right turn. You don't want to over cook that one and go into the cones. Leg 2 is slightly downhill and very fast. Leg 3 after and a 45 degree turn and a roll over bricks is slightly uphill and leads into the power climb. Wow. I get tired just writing about this monster of a course.
The rep of the race and the fact that there was a crash last year may have held down the entries in 60+ but not in 55+. UC Cyclery/JW Flooring was there in force with their A team and most of their A team had fresh legs. Swami's was there but all of their A riders had ridden the Sisquoc RR the day before and worse had to drive so far to get to and from the venue. In 60+ there were only 6 racers that showed for the race. Bob Wright and myself are locked in a Socal Cup points race which he forged to a decent lead after the Sisquoc RR. We were lined up in 60+ along with Fred Nicolet, David Lang and Don Kimper as contenders though this wouldn't be David favorite course.
30 riders in all showed up at the line at 7:45 am. There were a few pre reg no shows. The race went off and the early pace was brisk but everything that moved out front was covered. The 1st 3 or 4 laps were hard but everyone was together. Mike Mueller and Paul Rodiguez were sitting back waiting for the right moment. Both are riding very well right now and Mike was in the winning break the previous year with Kal Szkalak. Kal lined up this year again and this was his 2nd race back after his crash at Ontario. Kal did well at Sisquoc. Better than I thought was possible but Kal is super motivated as all of you know. Glad to have Kal back. For sure!
The first decisive move would come on a prime lap which would be no surprise. 4 laps in and Ralph Elliott announces a $50 prime at a local bike shop. Gary Shuey of Swami's is leading the field in with Mike Birditt on his wheel. UCC is watching carefully looking to catch Swami's in some oxygen debt sprinting for the prime. Mike tells Gary to go for it when they get to 100 meters of the line. Gary wins the prime and UCC goes. There were a few gaps because of the prime sprint and  Paul Rodiguez and Mark Helvie go! Mike Birditt has no problem jumping aboard. Might have been a little harder for Gary but he also got aboard the the lead train as did Fred Hoblit and Steve Hensler and also UCC's Mike Mueller. Mike M. tilted the race to UCC.
Once the dart for freedom settled down after a couple of laps, Mike Birditt suggested that everyone work together to get a decent gap on the field before everyone attacks each other. All the top riders were in the group anyway except for  a few other UCC strongmen like Kal and Mark Huffman. They couldn't chase so this group was "Bound for Glory".
In 60+ action Bob Wright and myself were usually fairly close to the front and I felt good I was hanging in there since I got dropped the previous year. Fred Nicolet and Don Kimper were also hanging in there well. The lead break group worked together except that Mark Helvie and Fred Hoblit hung back and wouldn't pull. Mark was saving himself for later. For sure. Fred must have felt out numbered.
A mini break formed later and included Mark Huffman, Bob Willcox  of UCC and Mark Dufour of SDBC.
Kal Szkalak joined it a little later as the small group was less than 100 meters from the rest of peleton. Bob Wright made his move for 1st place in 60+ by coming across the gap at the hardest point which was the last leg to the start/finish line. Bob made it and wouldn't be challenged after that in his category.
Up front UCC would be able to take advantage of their numbers over Swami's and they also had fresher legs. None of the 3 UCC riders were at Sisquoc the day before but Gary, Mike, Steve and Fred had been. Paul Rodiguez jumped with 3 laps to go. Solo effort. Steve and Gary were working the front trying to keep Paul within reach. On the next to the last lap Gary Shuey hit it hard going up the power climb but this only helped UCC as Mark Helvie jumped across the gap to Paul. 2 UCC riders now in front.
On the last lap Mike Mueller hit it hard going into turn 4 just before the power climb. Mike Birditt covers this and counters going up the hill. At the top Mike Birditt is pretty gassed and Mike Mueller jumps off of him toward Paul and Mark. In the end it is a UCC trifecta. Paul Rodiguez is the winner. Mark Helvie is 2nd and Mike Mueller is 3rd. Mike Birditt came around Fred Hoblit for 4th with Fred taking 5th followed in by Steve Hensler and Gary Shuey. The next mini group came in with Bob Wright as mentioned earlier. Bob Wright 1st place in 60+.  Fred Nicolet had shown some energy near the end of the race with a solo effort to reach the mini group ahead but died and looked like he was going back, back, back and he's gone(the baseball background in me coming out). No he rebounds off the wall and makes a comeback.
The main field was lead to the power climb on the last lap by Rick Swanson who was trying to set up Dale Luedtke. Steve Borer was on Rick and I came charging up the hill but I was gassed at the top and Fred came by and looked super strong coming home besting Dale across the line. I asked Fred later what got into him and he said he thought I was on his wheel. No Fred. This is not my course. Barrio Logan Si. San Marcos No! At least I didn't get dropped and finished 3rd in 60+ but lost more Socal points to Bob Wright.
Good hard race and a good course. Pretty good showing actually. In 55+ that is. Not 60+. Complete results below. No photos were taken. Sorry. I wish there were. That's all for now! Train hard and race safe!

San Marcos Criterium  (Rank 1.5)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 39024 Bob Wright Santa Clarita Velo 21
2 26089 Fred Nicolet ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 17
3 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 15
4 271696 Bruce Coffey SJBC 13
5 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 12
6 107852 David Lang DARE 10

San Marcos Criterium  (Rank 1.5)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Floors 21
2 15760 Mark Helvie UC Cyclery/JW Floors 17
3 46688 Michael Mueller UC Cyclery/JW Floors 15
4 47255 Michael Birditt Swami's Cycling Club 13
5 16360 Fred Hoblit Santa Clarita Velo 12
6 15874 Steve Hensler Team Redlands 10
7 44197 Gary Shuey Swami's Cycling Club 9
8 59572 Mark Huffman UC Cyclery/JW Floors 7
9 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 6
10 69952 Robert Willcox UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
11 250331 Peter Dufour ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 3
12 47262 Dale Luedtke Swami's Cycling Club 2
13 61193 john wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
14 1254 Mark Ainslie Ranchos Cycling Club 0
15 325878 Lamont Loy Swami's Cycling Club 0
16 338398 Bernie Bogard 0
17 18156 Craig Jones Velo Avanti Cycling Team 0
18 245777 Steven Borer ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
19 23055 Reed Mayne Swami's Cycling Club 0
20 34753 Rick Swanson Swami's Cycling Club 0
21 178495 Steve Diamond Swami's Cycling Club 0
22 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors  

Monday, July 25, 2011


By John McKee

The Sisquoc Road Race was scheduled for July 23rd, 2011. 2 laps of the 14.2 mile course was due to all that signed up and lined up. The course was deceptively hard. Only 600 ft of climbing a lap but when you turn for home on Dominion Rd. the climb kicks up to 7% and the pavement is very rough making for a poor roll and you can't fake it or just tough it out. You have to climb at speed.
The Sisquoc RR is located near Santa Maria and for those that live south of San Fernando Valley is quite a drive on Friday and Saturday. The field size considering was very good at 34. There are a number of "road race only" guys and add to that some all arounders, Socal Cup point chasers, and a few local lookyloos. There were kids all over the place since it was Jr. SCNCA championship and good for them. Nice to see kids doing something quite healthly. There were 6 porta toilets but always seemed to have a line to get in. The SDBC gals had there own idea and went into the bushes and just did a drop and go. Pretty good all around turnout considering how hard it was getting there and the low payouts with a lot of them merchandise only. More on this later.
The 55/60+ race was scheduled to go off at 10:15 am giving a few guys the opportunity to drive up on Sat. morning. I drove up on Friday like a lot of people and stayed at the opulent Holiday Motel in Santa Maria with Gary Shuey. Not much of a place. Lol. We did have a good meal at the Magic Dragon on Broadway. Veg only for us. Of course. Kung Pao Beef(fake) and Lo Mein.
Kal Szkalak was back! Very glad to see Kal back in the saddle and racing again. As mentioned 34 guys lined up pretty close to the 10:15 am. Swami's was there in force. Santa Clarita Velo had several riders. Keith Ketterer is a team all to himself and rides for Breakaway from Cancer. The course was all rolling and down for the first 10 miles or so. KK was constantly attacking drawing a number of riders to cover like Gary Shuey and Kim Bleth. I was midfield or slightly further up and could see the attack go and knew it was going to cascade back for a very hard effort. We were plainly going very fast most of the time. Basic crit riding actually with a few short hills. Nothing too long though.
Once the field turned onto Dominion Rd. which would lead directly back to the start/finish line the race hit its decisive point. For myself and others. Guys were dropping off and forming small groups. George Chester told me before the race that this would happen. George loaned me some arm warmers as it was pretty chilly in the morning there.
The pace up Dominion Rd. was heated and I looked ahead and saw the road continue up and knew the jig was up for me. The road was mostly 4 to 6 % with some points at 7 %. Don't know for sure but assume KK was pacing up the harder parts. I went backward fast and that was that. See Ya! Rick Szkalak of Santa Clarita Velo joined myself and we rode most of the course together.
Ahead of me the field kept chasing KK and dropped off a few more riders. I believe that 18 riders hung in there in the main field including 60+ racers- Bob Wright, Mike Marotta, Bruce Steele and Mike Crystal.
There was a small group in between myself and the main peleton and that included Dale Luedtke, George Chester, Leo Longo and Fred Haim.
The main field kept in contact with KK until about half way into the second lap. Not even on Dominion from what I heard. He got a gap with Steve Bernede but Steve was dropped and it was see you later. Turn out the lights. The party's over as Dandy Don use to sing on Monday Night Football. KK has a lot of natural talent but like Kenny Fuller and maybe even more so he REALLY works hard in his training. At the Paramount GP he did 3 races and worked hard in them and then went over to the track to do more work. At the Bakersfield Masters Champ race he did 2 races. At this event he went for a 3 hour tempo ride after the race.
KK then did a TT into the house for 1st place in 55+ and 1st of course overall since the payout was to be overall. In the main field coming for home Gary Shuey was setting a brisk pace on the uphill sections and gaps were forming but the gaps closed on the downhill portions. There was a fairly good downhill section before the final 200 meters or so uphill to the line.  Jim Parkhurst of Simple Green was the first one to jump for the finish line but was way too early. Mike Marotta then went and we know that is his MO. He is strong and can hold his sprint for a long time. Mike Birditt was holding back and then sprang forward in his 53 x 13 and was the first across the line for 2nd in 55+ and overall. Kal Szkalak was 3rd. Nice result for Kal's 1st race back. Fred Hoblit was 4th and Steve Hensler was 5th. The 55s had the 1st 8 places so no 60+ rider got anything for their effort.
Since Mike Marotta went a little too early, he paid the price and Mike Crystal's jump got around him at the line by the width of a tire. Nice job, Mike. Nice to see you win a race. Bruce Steele was 3rd in 60+.
The finish line took a very long time to come up and it came up separate because that is what the chief judge sent to Marilyn Allen. Marilyn had to send it back because the payout was mixed. They had to go over the finishes completely again and came out with one list to help the promoter with the payout. The payout turned out to be one bottle of wine for the 1st 4 places. Don't know what 5 and 6 got. We were suppose to get $250 in merchandise but..... I have a message into the promoter asking for clarification on the payout but haven't heard from him. You will have to check the SCNCA website for complete results when available. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


By John McKee

"You all"(My Bama roots showing through) got the scope on the background of the 2011 Paramount GP held on July 17, 2011 in the 60+ write up. The 55+ race was being sponsored by Rick Swanson who had put in some money into the Paramount 55+ race in 2009. Rick wanted to do so again in 2011 and doubled up on the amount that he would put in but he didn't want the name of the race to have his business name on it. Rick instead wanted the race in the name of his long time friend that has since pasted, Steve Hedrick. I told Rick that we could have some script written up and read by the announcer but he wanted to say a few words himself. I worked with the officials and that was no problem. In attendance was Steve's wife, Gale and his son, Carson.

Rick Swanson talking about his friend Steve Hedrick before the "Steve Hedrick 55+ Memorial Race" at the Paramount GP
After the short presentation the racers were off. Over 50 strong. The 55+ field was near as strong as any other during the day. The race was going to be probed by Breakaway from Cancer and UC Cyclery/JW Flooring. Swami's was looking to contain all the moves and set up a bunch sprint for "on form" Mike Birditt and Dale Luedtke. Dale's form was unsure after a medical problem 9 days before but he was feeling good and ready for the race.
Malcolm Hill of Breakaway from Cancer leading the field around early in the race
Keith Ketterer and Malcolm Hill of Breakaway from Cancer were active early as was Paul Rodiguez, Mike Mueller and Mark Helvie of UC Cyclery/JW Flooring. Swami's was using Kim Bleth, Rick Swanson, Mike Birditt and Gary Shuey to counter and control the race. Early on Gary broke his chain and he was out of the race. Velo Allegro and Santa Clarita Velo were also looking to get into the action. Kenny Fuller was there for his second race and definitely was looking to get in a breakaway.
Paul Rodiguez and Mark Helvie of UC Cyclery/JW Flooring probing early in the race
Early break with Malcolm Hill, Mark Helvie, Paul Rodiguez, Mike Birditt, Fred Hoblit and Bob Pellkofer
None of the breaks lasted long even the one you see above. It looks like the "Heads of State" as Paul
Sherwin would say are in this group with almost all the teams represented. It didn't work. Another strong group got away in the picture just below but KK will shutdown if anyone is in the group and will not pull through unless there is some communication from the others. Swami's master plan was a bunch sprint and it looked like it was going that way but not if Kenny Fuller had anything to say about it.
Mike Mueller, Steve Hensler, KK, Kim Bleth and Ricky Shorts(blocked out)
Kenny Fuller jumps from the peleton with Breakaway and Swami's responding immediately
Kenny Fuller was very active late in the race and very serious about finishing it off in a break. The break you see above was covered quickly so Kenny goes again but even later in the race. Within the last 5 laps.
Kenny Fuller jumping the field late in the race
Why don't you chase him
 I can just hear what these guys were saying:

Mike Birditt: Why don't one of you guys chase him. I'm tired.
Mike Mueller: I don't feel like chasing him either. What about you, Bob.
Bob Pellkofer: Back in the day when I raced cat 1 with Kenny we use to....
Mark Helvie: Knock it off Bob. We don't want to hear about the good old days. What are we going to do now! He is a "beast".
Kim Bleth puts his head down and pretends not to hear any of this.
Malcolm Hill: I know he is a "beast". I train with him on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the Coffee Crew training ride. I am tired also. Someone has to do something or he will be gone.
Bob Pellkofer: He is over 60.
Mike Birditt: Yeah but he doesn't race like it.

After all that Mark Helvie puts his head down and charges off to pull everyone back to Kenny. He doesn't get there but sets up teammate Paul Rodiguez who comes across the gap to join Kenny. 2 strong but KK also charges off from the back of the pack with Ricky Shorts in tow. D. Asuncion of SBW made it 5. Pretty sure that KK saw Ricky "The Shadow" Shorts behind him and shut down. That made the break just Kenny and Paul. 2 laps to go and Kenny was pulling hard. All in for Kenny. Paul was pulling through as well but not quite as hard. 1 lap to go and the 2 of them were still ahead but Rick Swanson and Mike Birditt kept them close and Rino B. and Bob Wright of SCV closed them out between turn 1 and 2 of the last lap. A bunch sprint it be, my laddies!
Dale Luedtke has a long sprint and he started his from a longs ways out. Longer than usual up the inside or right side about half way between turn 3 and 4. He got clear of most everyone. Don Denegal was on his wheel but was barely hanging on. Mike Birditt was caught in the pack for a bite but broke free before the last corner and put the after burners on. Dale used that sprint of his to race for home. Dale Luedtke the SCNCA Criterium Champion! Mike Birditt 2nd and Don Denegal 3rd. Fast hard good race. The highest purse in $1,000 of any 55+ race in the country. EVER! Paid out to 14 places with a way cool event glass to go with it. Thanks to all that came out and thumbs down to those that didn't. Full results below. Photos courtesy of Jodie Borer(outstanding) except the podium pic which was taken by Scott Sharp of Paramount. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Don Denegal comes in for 3rd place
Podium shot- Don Denegal, Dale Luedtke and Mike Birditt
SCNCA Masters Crit Championships  (Rank 3.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 47262 Dale Luedtke Swami's Cycling Club 42
2 47255 Michael Birditt Swami's Cycling Club 33
3 93812 Donald Denegal 30
4 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Floors 27
5 52251 Ricky Shorts Velo Allegro 24
6 156650 Malcolm Hill Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters 21
7 18156 Craig Jones Velo Avanti Cycling Team 18
8 219074 Leo Pettus OCW/Paramount Racing 15
9 206734 John Huber Velo Avanti Cycling Team 12
10 50532 Deogracias Asuncion South Bay Wheelmen 9
11 48434 Keith Ketterer Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters 6
12 16360 Fred Hoblit Santa Clarita Velo 3
13 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
14 107559 Rodney Malloy 0
15 47652 Bob Pellkofer FRANCO MRI Racing p/b Wins Wheels 0
16 15874 Steve Hensler Team Redlands 0
17 15760 Mark Helvie UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
18 222764 Thomas Buescher South Bay Wheelmen 0
19 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
20 50911 Richard Stahlberg Ironfly 0
21 167489 Jon Miller Platinum Performance Cycling Team 0
22 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
23 174212 Brian Carrico PAA/REMAX 0
24 230085 Albert Shorts Velo Allegro 0
25 46688 Michael Mueller UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
26 52086 Cyril Hunte 0
27 222523 Rick Carrera Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
28 178495 Steve Diamond Swami's Cycling Club 0
29 47314 Gary Prideaux Lightning Velo 0
30 49191 Kim Bleth Swami's Cycling Club 0
31 61504 Andrzej Fidelus Ranchos Cycling Club 0
32 277180 John Roest Rock N' Road Cyclery 0
33 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
34 49424 Howard Miller Paramount Racing 0
35 189814 Leo Longo South Bay Wheelmen 0
36 9271 Pete Dern Herbalife LaGrange 0
37 301372 Tom Herman South Bay Wheelmen 0
38 187428 Michael Evans 0
39 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
40 66553 John Sinz Canyon Velo 0
41 23055 Reed Mayne Swami's Cycling Club 0
42 50302 Richard Lee San Diego Cyclo Vets 0
43 167453 Bob Estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 0
44 245777 Steven Borer ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
45 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 0
46 46765 Kenny Fuller Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
47 126668 Joey Valdivia UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
48 238828 Phillip Richards Citrus Valley Velo 0
49 177283 Eugene Poyorena Santa Clarita Velo 0
50 34753 Rick Swanson Swami's Cycling Club 0
51 101582 William Carvin 0
52 39024 Bob Wright Santa Clarita Velo 0

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


By John McKee

It was July 17, 2011 and the date for the 2011 Paramount GP and the 2011 SCNCA Masters Criterium Championship. Back in November 2010 when the SCNCA had their scheduling meeting Paramount had put in for a May date but conflicted with Ontario and Paramount was put out in July. The date seemed like a decent date and had no local conflict though their were pro/cat 1 races(Cascades and Super Week) and one stage race in Utah(Capitol Reef Classic). The Paramount race was a criterium so a few of the masters climbers weren't there but everyone else that likes to race in Southern California certainly would have a chance to race. Carmageddon was this weekend which was another impediment but for those that didn't stay home their was little or no traffic delays on the alternate routes.
The 60+ field at the 2011 Paramount GP/Masters Crit Championship
There will be separate write ups for the 60+ and 55+ race. Every other race the 2 categories race together and are scored separately and there was pressure put on Paramount to combine the 2 with the incentive to  save money on officials and the County Sheriff fee. Paramount had received some money from UC Cyclery/JW Flooring to co sponsor the race and get on the USA Cycling racing permit and fulfill their obligation to the national organization. Because of that and this being a championship race made the decision easier to keep the races separate. There was also generous monies coming in from Rick Swanson as a sponsor but will get into that in more detail when I write about the 55+ race.
Paramount had 31 enteries for 60+ and that made the minimum of 30 I had in my mind as acceptable as a separate race. I got at the race at 5:15 am to do some last minute things and only thing around besides a guard at the NEC building were coyotes. When race time of 8:15 am rolled around I had 3 hours in and and 8 more to go before my day was over.
The 60s lined up and the announcer read the script I had provided to mention something about the sponsors of the race which were and UC Cyclery/JW Flooring. He kept saying blogsport instead of blogspot but oh well. Everyone knew where the money came from.
The field was very strong with the defending Natz champ Kenny Fuller entered along with new 60+ strongman Mike Marotta. John Rubcic has enough races under his belt to be "on form". Several other riders including Monty Pettus, Bob Wright, Rich Stahlberg, myself , David Lang and Bruce Steele would be considered challengers. Bruce rarely does criteriums any more but with this being a 60+ only field the conditions would be more suited to his strengths. The field strength was near Natz quality. No other local organization of USAC  in the country would be near this good in this category.
Bill Langstaff doing some early pacing
After all this the racers were off. Phil Richards and William Langstaff did a lot of the early pace setting. Mike Marotta was always at the front and jumped on anything that moved. There were primes throughout the race including prizes from Pinnaclife and Amino Pure. The biggest prize would be half way through the race and that was the teeth whitening donated by the field dentist, Bill Langstaff. This was a $500 value and Kenny Fuller has won this before and was targeting this one.
Phil Richards doing some early prime killing- Go Phil!
All of the early break efforts were easily covered by Mike Marotta and everyone else. Kenny wasn't expected to make a move until the teeth whitening prime had come up. The prime killing was being done by Mike Marotta and Phil Richards. Hylton Murphy who was the defending champion in this race made a few moves early but Hylton commented later that the pace was pretty high and the race felt hard. I think most of felt this as well. A lot of pumped up riders and a strong field.
It came to half way through the race and the call came up for the William Langstaff teeth whitening. I went to the outside of the pack looking for Kenny to make his move early but he waited until between turn 3 and 4 of the 4 corner .8 mile course. EVERYONE was on him and he was picking up the pace quite high. Monty was on his wheel and figured he could come around but was going to concede the prime to Kenny but Mike Marotta jumped hard. He got it by 10 to 15 feet. Kenny later felt his legs weren't acclimated to this kind of effort at that time.
60+ racers coming into the very fast turn 2
After this Kenny went on the attack every couple of laps. John Rubcic, Monty Pettus and Mike Marotta were those that chased the hardest. There were others but those guys were always there. Kenny would shut down because no one would pull through and everyone else got back on. The thing that Kenny doesn't realize is almost everyone is totally gassed after chasing him down. Not sure about Marotta because he is riding very strong right now.
After a while it almost looked assured that the race would end in a bunch sprint. Pretty sure even Kenny thought so. The 5 lap card came and went and the group was all together. Bruce Steele was thinking of a way he could do well. Maybe even win. He figured he had nothing to lose. Bruce didn't contest the sprint at MBGP and finished 17 out of 18 but that was a combined 55/60+ field. Bruce won on the Dom. Hills course in 2009 when he was in a breakaway with Kenny and John Rubcic. He jumped them on the last lap and held them off. In 2010 Bruce got in a 2 person break with Hylton Murphy and conceded the race to Hylton. What to do? Why not jump the field when they are the most vulnerable. When is the pack the most vulnerable? The last few laps if there aren't any strong teams. If everyone is racing for themselves, they don't want to chase someone down and give up their chance for a good finish. The team in the race with numbers was SBW. Bruce's team.
With less then 2 to go Bruce jumped away on the down stretch between turn 1 and 2. No one reacted. Bill Langstaff and Phil Richards did some pacing but NOT chasing. The lap card came to 1 to go. Bruce was still off the front but not that far ahead. After turn one Hylton Murphy went to the front to pull for his teammate John Rubcic. Hylton wanted his friend and teammate to win but remembered that Bruce had conceded the title to him the previous year. Hylton went 85%. Fast enough to keep everyone from swarming John Rubcic but not quite fast enough to overtake Bruce or to get the pack close enough to overtake Bruce in the sprint.  Hylton may have been in front of John Rubcic but John had his eye on Mike Marotta. Myself and Kenny Fuller were marking John Rubcic. After turn 3 Kenny let me have Rubcic's wheel. Monty was on me. I knew the script in all the prior crits that Mike Marotta has done was to jump early and hard and try and keep it going to the line. Midway up the power climb to turn 4 Kenny jumped on the left side with Monty on his wheel. At almost the same time Mike Marotta jumped further ahead. Rubcic got right on this. I hesitated like I didn't know this was coming like a dope and Rich Stahlberg filled the breach in front of me. Bob Wright was right on my wheel.
As the field turned the last corner it was evident that Bruce Steele wasn't going to get caught. Bruce kept the pressure on none the less. Bruce came across the line for another SCNCA Criterium Championship to a rider that is better suited to road racing and time trialing but Bruce is better at crits than he likes to put on. Very strong all around rider.
John Rubcic was showing really good form and easily came around Marotta with Kenny Fuller on his wheel. Kenny couldn't come around John and it was good night Irene for the podium. JR 2nd. Kenny Fuller 3rd. Mike Marotta was tiring more coming down the stretch and Monty Pettus went around him for 4th place. Mike was 5th. I came around Rich but Bob Wright came around me in the last 100 meters for 6th. I was 7th and Rich was 8th. Here are a series of finish photos courtesy of Paramount member, Scott Sharp.  Podium pick below those. The earlier photos are courtesy of Alicia McKee. Good hard race. The feedback that I got was that the 55+ race wasn't that much harder. Thanks to all that came out. It was a good day for 60+ racing though we could have had a bigger field. Complete finish list below. Video of the finish at the Paramount Racing facebook page. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
Bruce Steele steam rolling to another SCNCA victory!

John Rubcic holding off Kenny Fuller- Monty Pettus taking on Mike Marotta

Finish Pic # 3

Monty Pettus overtaking Mike Marotta

Bob Wright coming by John McKee

Podium threesome(same as 2009- same order as well) John Rubcic, Bruce Steele and Kenny Fuller
SCNCA Masters Crit Championships  (Rank 3.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 236498 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen 42
2 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Floors 33
3 46765 Kenny Fuller Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 30
4 219074 Leo Pettus OCW/Paramount Racing 27
5 72880 Mike Marotta Action Sports/Simply Fit 24
6 39024 Bob Wright Santa Clarita Velo 21
7 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 18
8 50911 Richard Stahlberg Ironfly 15
9 170779 Edgardo Potes Bike Palace 12
10 71812 John Magnanti 9
11 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 6
12 3793 Raphael Gomez Rage Cycling 3
13 189814 Leo Longo South Bay Wheelmen 0
14 107852 David Lang DARE 0
15 101582 William Carvin 0
16 188249 Cully White Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 0
17 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
18 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 0
19 110233 John Fitzgerald 0
20 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 0
21 238828 Phillip Richards Citrus Valley Velo 0
22 45763 Robert Paganini PAA/REMAX 0
23 171652 Stephen Whitsitt South Bay Wheelmen 0
24 3794 Vicente Gomez Rage Cycling 0
25 49334 William Langstaff Cycles Veloce 0
26 72995 Hylton Murphy UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
27 99906 Michael McKinney Pinnaclife Racing Team 0
28 266647 Allen Kizuka Velo Allegro 0