Monday, February 27, 2012


By John McKee

The year 2012 has seen big crowds at the criteriums in Southern California. Ontario #2 saw very big crowds. Many of the races were sold out including the 50+ at 100 and 45+ at 125. The 55/60+ categories saw about 60 riders come to the line. Sho Air/Rock N Road chose not to contest the race. Mark Hoffenberg was away on business until late Sat. and chose not to do an early start at Ontario. Nicolette and Schnepf were doing hll training for San Dimas while Pelky was mixing it up at Ontario in the Pro/1/2  race. 2nd week in a row  for Pelky to do that. I guess he is getting too fast for the rest of us mere mortal 55/60+ racers. UC Cyclery saw a limited number of riders. Still if this wasn't a record number at Ontario it was close to it.
In 55+ Spy/Swami's had near a full squad. The other clubs looked a little depleted. In 60+ Paramount had been looking for a one, two, three finish but one of Paramount's riders with the initials HM showed up 10 minutes before the race and couldn't get in. So much for the podium sweep.
The temperature was around 55 at game time which was about 17 degrees warmer than Ontario #2 in 2011. That was really cold. The women cat 4 rode a clean race and had no crashes so the 55/60+ race was able to start on time. 7:35 am was the scheduled time and true to the schedule we were off! 40 minutes of criterium racing on the popular grand prix course in Ontario. Mike Birditt and Monty Pettus were the Ontario Series point leaders in 55+ and 60+ after the first race.
The pace for the first few laps was modest. No Sho Air to pick it up like at the last CBR race. After the first 5 miles the pace started to pick up. There were always some effort at breaks and Mike Birditt chose to sit in near the front and monitor things. Those that I saw in early breaks were Steve Bernede, Steve Hensler, and Dale Luedtke. Dale is starting to feel better and his form is coming on after a flat start for 2012.
No break got very far away. Mostly the normal flow of the race would get the breaks so close that they just gave up. Rick "The Lawman" Swanson was watching everything and if anything looked like it might be dangerous or the break started to get a little too far away, Rick would go to the front and lay down the law. Not on my this course, not today!
The primes no matter what they are for always bring out the testosterone in the racers. Prime prizes are very minimal at Ontario. Doesn't seem to matter though. Mike "I weigh my food" Birditt won some food/energy bars but wouldn't share after the race with this writer. What a bum.
The race came down to 7 laps to go and the Ontario Series points prime came up. This always gets the riders going. Everyone was following Mike Birditt around. Monty Pettus moved near the front and was shadowed by 2011 Ontario Series 60+ winner, David Lang. David says he isn't riding much these days but looks trimmer than last year and sure seems to be riding well. David came off of Monty to take the 60+ bonus points while Dale Luedtke took the 55+ points prime.
It was now down to serious business. Steve Bernede tried another break attempt and had 2 other riders join him. Steve and cohorts stayed away for several laps. Monty was a little worried with Steve being 60+ but I was counting on "The Lawman" to maintain law and order on the streets of Ontario and sure enough the wandering threesome was brought back to the peleton.
The bell lap came and everyone was in a big bee swarm. Spy/Swami's had tried to keep the pace up but didn't have the firepower to do it for all of the last laps. Mike Birditt was going to have to play off other wheels which he is a master at plus with his speed...well who wouldn't like to have his sprint. Unlike the prior Sunday Velo Allegro was going to line up for Ricky Shorts. Rod Mallory was heading up this task.
After the only right turn in the race Doug Knox tried one of his patented 1 k efforts for the finish line. Doug had a long ways to even get to the front but gave it a go for a short while. Doug likes to build up speed heading toward the front quite close to the edge of the peleton so riders can't see with him their peripheral vision. Once near the front he gets out of the saddle and jumps hard and rides clear. That's the plan anyway. Didn't work at Ontario.
H was marking Monty. I came up on his wheel between turn 5 and 6 out of 7 and decided to go around and mix in ahead of him. Mike Birditt was biding his time and playing off wheels. Dale Luedtke was showing some old spark and started moving on up. Nelson "Sit in" Alaan was also moving on up. If the pace was ever high all the time in the last few laps, Nelson would have a hard time getting to the front but we don't have the firepower in the teams to do that.
Hitting the last corner Mike Birditt was on Ricky Shorts and had a small number of riders still ahead. Ricky went left and Mike went right. Mike came upon a small group of riders that someone parted like the Red Sea in the "Ten Commandments" for Charlton Heston(Yikes-I think I used that already). Mike stayed in the saddle almost all the time churning away with those powerful legs. Mike was in the clear and looked back and saw Nelson Alaan to his right and thought he might have to get out of the saddle and kick it in but looked back one more time and saw that Nelson was maxed out and rolled across the line for the overall win and the 1st 55+ rider across the line. Nelson Alaan was 2nd in with Dale Luedtke powering in for 3rd place.
Monty Pettus used his awesome form to pass riders coming in and placed 4th overall and the 1st 60+ rider for the win in that category. Ricky Shorts rolled in next for 4th place in 55+. H came by me at 150 meters to go. My legs were feeling like cement and he was flying. H was the 5th finisher and the 2nd 60+ rider. I came in later for 3rd in 60+ followed closely by David Lang for 4th place.
There were no real close calls except for Ken Burns almost getting taken out by his teammate Demi. Demi came across Ken's wheel and Ken went 45 degrees but saved himself but with one lap to go he was out of it. It was a good fast race. The average speed was somewhere around 25.4...25.6 mph depending on which puter you get the info from. Good speed for this course and the seven turns.Complete results are below. There will be photos available soon at this site: That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
Finish of the 55/60+ race- Photo courtesy of Greg Castaneda
Dare To Race GP 2  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 14
2 315702 Harold Schneider Cycles Veloce/ Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 11
3 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 10
4 107852 David Lang DARE 9
5 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 8
6 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 7
7 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 6
8 243425 mark wisnosky ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 5
9 61278 Mario Seri Velo Club LaGrange 4
10 61504 Andrzej Fidelus Ranchos Cycling Club 3
11 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 2
12 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 1
13 50406 Michael Edwards Velo Club LaGrange 0
14 57726 Ernest Hoffer Velo Club LaGrange 0
15 301363 Mick Iwadare South Bay Wheelmen 0
16 203244 cary alpert South Bay Wheelmen 0
17 126351 Steve Bernede Team Werks 0
Dare To Race GP 2  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 47255 Michael Birditt Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 14
2 64439 Nelson Alaan Cal-Pacific Export Packers / LV 11
3 47262 Dale Luedtke Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 10
4 52251 Ricky Shorts Velo Allegro 9
5 15874 Steve Hensler UC Cyclery/JW Floors 8
6 1254 Mark Ainslie 7
7 52086 cyril hunte 6
8 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 5
9 30596 Wayne Rosenkrantz Pinnaclife Racing Team 4
10 36299 Dan Valentin Citrus Valley Velo 3
11 204724 Steve Cahill Celo Pacific 2
12 93812 Donald Denegal Velo Allegro 1
13 107559 rodney malloy Velo Allegro 0
14 45431 Bruce Hartley Pinnaclife Racing Team 0
15 277180 John Roest Team CF-Club 0
16 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
17 104199 Mark Parra Team Redlands 0
18 266002 laszlo lukacs 0
19 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 0
20 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 0
21 352540 Scotty Bohlman Jessup Auto Plaza p/b P.S. Cyclery 0
22 222523 Rick Carrera Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
23 155459 Thomas Reilly Santa Clarita Velo 0
24 311649 Rogellio Padilla 0
25 58799 John Ward 0
26 174212 brian carrico PAA/REMAX 0
27 25023 Jeffrey Moreton PAA/REMAX 0
28 56643 robert shupper Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 0
29 9271 Pete Dern Velo Club LaGrange 0
30 66553 John Sinz OCW/Paramount Racing 0
31 302695 John LaGrandeur OTR Racing 0
32 271566 Alex Gonzalez Velo Allegro 0
33 222764 Thomas Buescher South Bay Wheelmen 0
34 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0
35 178495 Steve Diamond Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 0
36 45582 Cleaveran Law Cal-Pacific Export Packers / LV 0
37 187428 Michael Evans 0
38 167453 bob estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 0
39 34753 Rick Swanson Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 0
40 45552 Douglas Knox Time Factory Team 0
41 148853 Dale Raymond Southern California Velo 0

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


By John McKee

It's Sunday Feb. 19th, 2012 and time for the 2nd CBR event. CBR was moving the event over to the Carson course. Slightly different than the standard Paramount course but similar. The power climb on the 3rd leg is slightly harder. The first race this year saw the largest 55/60+ in the history of CBR at 66 riders. I expected a smaller field but wasn't sure what it would be. Swami's, UC Cyclery and Santa Clarita Velo were not targeting the event with a full squad. Velo Allegro and Sho Air/Rock N Road were there with near full squads. Sho Air doesn't have the numbers of VA but all of their riders are young and very strong. Near 55 lined up this time with 50 of the riders finishing. The weather was cool but not near as cold as it can be this time of year. Overcast and a little gloomy. The average temp during the race was 57.5.
Sho Air/Rock N Road's Murders Row- Hoffenberg, Nicolette and Schnepf
Many of us had raced the day before in Imperial Valley but VA and Sho Air were a no show and would be fresh. Sho Air was itching to bring it so to speak but really got reved up when Mark Hoffenberg heard that Mike Birditt wouldn't be there. Racers have their ebbs and flows and early this season the 2 hottest riders were Mark and Mike. Ricky Shorts has shown great form at the track but hasn't been able to bring that form to the road. His team also isn't clicking on all cylinders as far as support. Was this to be a lopsided affair? You never know until you put the needle on the record and see which song plays out. In 60+ action Monty Pettus of Paramount was certainly the favorite with 3 wins this year including the 1st CBR race. Mike Marotta of Spy-Swami's has been building his form slowly this year and this would be his 3rd race. I am always in for a criterium race and had one win, 2 2nd and 2 3rd this year. I was 3rd to Mike and Monty in the last CBR race. H of Simple Green was doing his first race of the year and is a dangerous racer. Richard Stahlberg was also there for a pretty strong 60+ field. The 60+ fields have been lacking in numbers this year.
The race started on time at 8:15 am and everyone was to race for 40 minutes though all the races so far this year have fallen a minute or two short. The race director's way of making up time and keeping on schedule. The racers were given the signal to go and off we went. Sho Air went to the whip right away. The pace was very upbeat and it didn't take long for 4 riders including Mark Hoffenberg, Doug Knox, Ricky Shorts and one other Sho Air rider. The group got a small gap but it was closed after a couple of laps.
Mark's thinking was to keep attacking and catch everyone breathing hard from a chase and get a quick gap. Mark kicked it in again and again. The fourth time he and his teammate Dan Nicolette went and took Bruce Hartley of Pinnaclife with them. Monty Pettus almost caught on but got gapped on the power climb. The threesome maintained a short gap and 2 other riders tried to get across. Henry Schnepf of Sho Air was one of them and was escorted half the way there and then had to close the remainder of the gap by himself which he did. Yikes! 3 riders from one team in a 4 rider break. Henry was still a little gassed and pulled for a while to keep things moving and then dropped off  and went back to the peleton. This was the only mistake that I saw Sho Air make the entire day that I could see if you could call that a mistake. A one, two, three finish would have been way awesome!
Velo Allegro had their full complement of riders and initially let things slide with the 3 person break which was a definite mistake but Ricky was tired from his first effort at a break and Al Shorts did what he could but after a bit it got mellow in the peleton. The pace was good but not enough to catch the breakers. The distance seemed to be about the same through the race as we could see the breakers at least half the time when we would turn a corner. As the race went on things got a little more desperate for VA. Short pulls were taken by all the team members and even Ricky lent a hand. It seemed like we were getting a little closer but when it got down to 5 laps to go it seemed quite apparent that we weren't catching Mark, Dan and Bruce.
It got down to 2 laps to go and up front the Sho Air guys decided to work Bruce Hartley over. They noticed his pulls were getting shorter and weaker and wondered whether he was saving for the finish. They challenged him on the power climb and were able to drop him. What bums but that is racing. Lol.
In the pack I got on Ricky Shorts thinking this was a good wheel. I had been following Mike Marotta around all day but lost his wheel and went to Ricky certainly thinking Velo Allegro would line up for his finish. Not!
Up front Mark and Dan came across the line together with Dan giving the win to Mark so he could build Socal Cup points against Mike Birditt and the rest of the 55+ field. Hoffenberg 1st and Nicolette 2nd. Bruce Hartley was cruelly left to fend for himself and fought like a junk yard dog. He barely hung on but did for a well deserved 3rd place finish.
Back in the pack it was chaotic for sure. Spy-Swami's Dale Luedtke was moving up. Monty Pettus had got himself in good position and I was sitting on Ricky who was content to sit in the middle of the pack. Nelson Alaan was coming up the left side of the pack where he likes to make a charge for home from just below the hill on the outside. After turn 3 it really got chaotic and riders were out of the saddle trying to get themselves set up for the final sprint for the finish line. Monty Pettus was 3rd wheel coming around the last corner and with his sprint right where he wanted to be. Monty jumped it and smoked everyone for the 4th person to finish and the 1st 60+ racer for the win. Monty was followed in by Nelson Alaan, Dale Luedtke, Mike Marotta(2nd in 60+), Ricky Shorts(he finally got going), Henry Schnepf, Don Denegal, H(3rd in 60+) and Al Shorts. I came in for the 4th spot in 60+(I felt 100% better than the day before when I had nothing at 100 meters to go. I had reserves at the end of the CBR race would have liked to have had a run at Mike and H. Monty..I don't think so. Lol. He is riding so well) and Rich Stahlberg rolled across for 5th.
The average speed for the breakers was 25.2 mph while the pack came in at 25 even. The first race was at 25.0 as well. Mark showed 273 watts for his effort in the race which is up there. 20 more than at Roger Millikan for him but he sat in there most of the race. All in all it was a good race with a good size field. Full results and up to date Socal Cup point totals are below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

CBR # 2 winners- Hoffenberg- 55+ and Pettus- 60+
SoCal Cup Crit Series 2  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 14
2 26090 Daniel Nicolette Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 11
3 45431 Bruce Hartley Pinnaclife Racing Team 10
4 64439 Nelson Alaan Cal-Pacific Export Packers / LV 9
5 47262 Dale Luedtke Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 8
6 52251 Ricky Shorts Velo Allegro 7
7 70853 Henry Schnepf Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 6
8 93812 Donald Denegal Velo Allegro 5
9 230085 Albert Shorts Velo Allegro 4
10 52086 Cyril Hunte
11 21803 John Luke Santa Clarita Velo 2
12 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 1
13 187252 John Velez Velo Club LaGrange 0
14 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
Ed Kurzenski
16 18156 Craig Jones Velo Avanti Cycling Team 0
17 151059 Joseph Mastro Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
18 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0
19 126668 Joey Valdivia UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
20 178495 Steve Diamond Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 0
21 187428 Michael Evans
22 25023 Jeffrey Moreton PAA/REMAX 0
23 266002 Laszlo Lukacs
24 155459 Thomas Reilly Santa Clarita Velo 0
25 49410 Michael Gilb High Desert Bicycles Team 0
26 167453 Bob Estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 0
27 277180 John Roest Team CF-Club 0
28 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
29 45582 Cleaveran Law Cal-Pacific Export Packers / LV 0
30 271566 Alex Gonzalez Velo Allegro 0
31 6082 Ben Cardenas CarreraPromo/Competitive Edge 0
32 148853 Dale Raymond Southern California Velo 0
33 110259 Lee Romans Velo Allegro 0
34 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 0
SoCal Cup Crit Series 2  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 14
2 72880 Mike Marotta Swami's Cycling Club 11
H Schneider
4 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 9
5 50911 Richard Stahlberg Ironfly 8
6 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 7
7 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 6
8 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 5
9 101582 William Carvin
10 243425 mark wisnosky ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 3
11 61278 Mario Seri Velo Club LaGrange 2
12 203244 Cary Alpert South Bay Wheelmen 1
13 50406 Michael Edwards Velo Club LaGrange 0
14 301363 Mick Iwadare South Bay Wheelmen 0
15 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 0
16 266647 Allen Kizuka Velo Allegro 0

SoCal Cup Standings For 2012
Masters 60+
Place Name License # Team Name SoCal Points
1 John McKee 180386 Paramount Racing 84
2 Leo Pettus 219074 Paramount Racing 79
3 Donald Kimper 195498 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 65
4 Steven Borer 245777 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 53
5 john wagenaar 61193 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 51
6 Howard Miller 49424 Paramount Racing 47
7 Steve Bernede 126351 Team Werks 42
8 Fred Nicolet 26089 ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 36
9 jean villiot 59805 CA Pools /CFS Mortgage 35
10 Michael Fleming 129293 South Bay Wheelmen 31
11 Donald Davidson 48278 Citrus Valley Velo 30
12 Jon Miller 167489 Platinum Performance Cycling Team 28
13 Kenny Fuller 46765 Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 28
14 James Swigart 228631 ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 27
15 Richard Stahlberg 50911 Ironfly 27
16 Mike Marotta 72880 Swami's Cycling Club 22
17 Glenn Baldwin 45047 SLO Nexus-Gym One 20
18 mario seri 61278 Velo Club LaGrange 15
19 Robert Paganini 45763 Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 14
20 John Rubcic 48760 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
21 Edgardo Potes 170779 Bike Palace 12
22 cary alpert 203244 South Bay Wheelmen 12

SoCal Cup Standings For 2012
Masters 55+
Place Name License # Team Name SoCal Points
1 Mark Hoffenberg 45461 Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 109
2 Michael Birditt 47255 Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 96
3 Daniel Nicolette 26090 Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 45
4 mark huffman 59572 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 44
5 Michael Mueller 46688 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 34
6 Steve Cahill 204724 Celo Pacific 32
7 Dale Luedtke 47262 Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 27
8 Nelson Alaan 64439 Cal-Pacific Export Packers / LV 25
9 Alex Collins 46255 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 24
10 Bob Pellkofer 47652 Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 24
11 Chuck Thompson 193819 Polli Veloce 23
12 Albert Shorts 230085 Velo Allegro 23
13 Henry Schnepf 70853 Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 21
14 Steve Hensler 15874 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 21
15 John Luke 21803 Santa Clarita Velo 20
16 Paul Rodriguez 58847 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 19
17 Ricky Shorts 52251 Velo Allegro 19
18 Cyril Hunte 52086
19 Bruce Hartley 45431 Pinnaclife Racing Team 18
20 Fred Hoblit 16360 Santa Clarita Velo 17
21 Robert Willcox 69952 UC Cyclery/JW Floors 17

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


By John McKee

The Imperial Valley Classic has quickly found a place dear to my heart. The organizers/promoters give bags of veggies to all money winners. In 2011 it went to the podium placers but in 2012 it was veggies all around. 5 placers in BOTH 55 and 60+ got large bags of veggies in a reusable tote bag. All the veggies were donated by the Farm Bureau and tote bags were provided by Vons. THANK YOU! There were 22 finishers in 2012 in the 55/60+ race and 10 got the bonus gift.
In 2011 the promoters came up with 2 events back to back. The Imperial Criterium in the City of Imperial and the Cattle Call Criterium in the City of Brawley. The Cattle Call Criterium was a new event and a new course. The course was around a rodeo arena. One mile with a mini power climb and a near 180 turn at the top. Not bad. The area is open so winds would definitely be a factor depending on when one's race would be. In 2011 there was wind in the morning so the 55/60+ race was quite hard. In 2012 the promoters decided to drop the 2 day event and just do one race at the rodeo arena in Brawley on Sat. and leave the path open for the CBR race on Sunday. There is talk of bringing back a 2 day event. I would support the proposal. It's a long ways to drive for one race. 3 hours and 40 minutes on a Friday for me from my place in central Orange County.
10 60+ racers and 12 55+ racers lined up to do the 55/60+ race at the 2012 event. Green and white were the prevailing colors(8) which was UC Cyclery with 3 racers from Tenn. racing for the MOAB Masters Racing team. In 2011 Tom Gates of MOAB raced in the Imperial Criterium. This year he brought 2 more riders with him. One being 55+ and the other 60+. All very good riders as everyone would see. Tom has gotten to know some of the Socal guys and is staying with UCC's Paul Rodriquez while out west. Paul was taking the week off from racing doing a skiing trip.
The race started and UCC and MOAB had one common theme. Kick Michael "The Sailor" Birditt's butt. Beat him up. Knock him down. Kick him in the kidneys, groin, etc. until he couldn't ride in a straight line any more. Would the strategy work. Everyone was going to see but everyone was going to suffer as well. Attacking Michael and making him chase would make all the riders chase though not all the time. It seemed that Steve Horine of UCC and and Robert Gregory of MOAB were the most active attacking but many played the game. Tom Gates chose to sit in and watch the feastivities. Don Davidson in the 60+ group was very active attacking and chasing. Don didn't have a anti Birditt agenda. Don is an equal opportunity rider. Attacking and chasing everyone except a teammate of course. Speaking of a teammate. His attacking twin, the other "Everly" brother Phil hasn't raced with us yet this year but is rumored to be coming back soon. Angela Wimberly the only woman that raced with us teamed up with Don once and looked strong. Good job, Angela.
Once Mike would get on board in a small break group it was soft pedal time. This game went on for 3/4 of the race and "The Sailor" was up to the task and then....Mark Helvie attacked solo. Mike was a little tired and tried many times but would quit in a huff and use some colorful language with Mark still lurking off the front. Mike said he certainly understood but didn't have to like it. I would have thought MOAB would chase as well but they didn't. Maybe they had some kind of non chase pack with UCC. Don't know.
Off the couch comes Don "Superman" Davidson to the rescue. Don jumps into the phone booth and puts on the cape and off he goes in hard chase. If there was a 60+ only race this day, the 60s wouldn't have seen him until the podium ceremony and he was stepping atop the tri box. I was feeling lame. Trained hard on the road and track on Thurs. and I was just plain tired. The long drive on Friday didn't help me. I didn't drive 3 hours the morning of the race though like Robert Paganini. Robert was the oldest rider by a long ways and came the longest distance for the 55/60+ race. What would a race be without the "Ageless" one. Hardly a race goes by that Pags doesn't ask me "if I am going to be gentle" on him. Like I tell him, it isn't up to me. Blame the "other" guys.
OK. "Soup" charges off in pursuit of Mark Helvie. Mark must have been getting tired because one additional strong rider was all the "Sailor" needed to finish off the last major charge of UCC. It was all together with less than 5 laps to go. I was thanking the bike racing gods that this race was going to finish soon and the pain would be over.
Late in the race UCC's John Wagenaar was saving himself for the finish. The prior year John tried a Helvie type of solo effort and almost pulled it off. This year it's one lap to go and everyone is there including Pags and race promoter, Brian McNeece. Brian got dropped in the previous year but hung in there in 2012. Big improvement. Easier this year without the blowing winds though. Coming off the mini power climb and the slow turn, the race was downhill for a while and Jim Swigart of SCBC went to the whip. Jim was showing some real strength and keeping the speed high. I was really hurting.
Once Jim was spent the pace slowed. No UCC rider was going to give themselves up for some reason to set pace. Don Davidson jumped and jumped hard. Mike Birditt got on Don and the pace quickly picked way up. Jim and Don are 60+ racers. Where are the 55s. Sitting in! Tom Gates was in the back of the bus and  by chose and not because his skin color was dark and he was in Alabama or his home state of Tennessee prior to 1955 and the year Rosa Parks said enough was enough. She wasn't giving her seat up front to a white man. This courageous act and the subsequent bus boycott by the African-American community in Montgomery, Ala. helped turn the corner for civil rights in this country.
OK, DD is out in front killing it. Fred "Base sticker" Nicolet came up the outside near the front. I was thinking damn. These guys are 60+ and I am hurting. What do I do now? Tom Gates decided to come off the bench seat in the back of the bus and sliced by Pags on the inside not making the "Ageless" one too happy. There was no lip between the asphalt and the dirt. Just A and D. Tom kept moving moving forward like a heat seeking missile with a mission in mind. Whip by the "Sailor" before the finish line.
We turn for home with less than 125 meters to go. It's out of the saddle if you have anything left. Birditt vs. Gates and I don't mean Darryl Gates of the LAPD. Tom Gates of MOAB. Mike was tired and Tom was fresh and fresh wins the day. Gates 1st! In 60+ action John Wagenaar got himself in great position in the front pack and rolled across is 1st place. His first win as a 60+ rider. Nice job, John. I thought Nicolet was the 2nd 60+ rider across the line. I got out of the saddle with Fred in mind but had nothing. 2nd place went to another MOAB rider in 60+ and that was Victor Rodgers. Fred was 3rd and I was 4th. Steve Borer 5th in 60+.
3rd place in 55+ went to another MOAB rider, Robert Gregory. Great day for MOAB. Wish they would race with us more but will be traveling home. 4th place went to Alex Collins of UCC. The first UCC rider to finish in 55+. 5th went to Kasey Haws of Team Redlands.
It was a pretty hard race. I got 24.7 mph and Jim Swigart got 25.1. Jim got 25 watts less than Roger Millikan and I felt better there. Cooked at IVC. Thanks to all that came out to a great event. Mike Birditt came back in the 45+ raced and finished 2nd to the "machine". 2nd bag of groceries for Mike and $215 besides. I actually don't know how he got it so ask him. Full results below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
60+ podium- Rodgers 3, Wagenaar 1, Nicolet 2- check out the bags of veggies...awesome!

55+ podium- Birditt 2, Gates 1, Gregory 2
Imperial Valley Classic  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45364 Thomas Gates MOAB Masters Racing 14
2 47255 Michael Birditt Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 11
3 50141 Robert Gregory MOAB Masters Racing 10
4 46255 alex collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 9
5 189931 Kasey Haws Team Redlands 8
6 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Floors 7
7 66553 John Sinz OCW/Paramount Racing 6
8 15760 Mark Helvie UC Cyclery/JW Floors 5
9 126668 Joey Valdivia UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
10 167453 bob estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 3
11 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Floors 2
12 180041 Angela Wimberly CALCOAST Bikes San Diego 1
Imperial Valley Classic  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 61193 john wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
2 58954 Victor Rodgers MOAB Masters Racing 11
3 26089 Fred Nicolet ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 10
4 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 9
5 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 8
6 48278 Donald Davidson Citrus Valley Velo 7
7 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 6
8 223941 P Brian McNeece Imperial Valley Velo Club 5
9 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 4
10 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 3