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

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