Friday, February 3, 2012

Race Duo for 55/60+ Racers in Los Olivos/Goleta- Part 2

By John McKee

Promoter Amando "Mondo" Requejo with the writer guy
We are racing on the road and this is what it is like elsewhere in the country like Denver. Hope I can still mountain bike there next week.
We all or at least most of us had one race under our belt for the weekend of Jan. 28th and 29th, 2012 after the Poor College Kids Road Race. Most of us relaxed in the Los Olivos area or drove down the mountain to stay in Santa Barbara/Goleta area. I came down the mountain so I would be closer to the venue and could take a shower before the long drive home. The 55/60+ race was 2nd in the day's lineup and set to start at 7:35 am.

Cold but at least it was dry in Goleta(I am sure racers in other parts of the country are saying- QUIT COMPLAINING). Last year was a major downpour in Goleta for the Mothballs Criterium. 6 inches of water standing in turn 1 early in the race. No mishaps though. 23 riders finished the race. We only had 5 riders more this year than last with the good weather. A shame. This is a good race and Armando "Mondo" Requejo(the promoter) has supported 55/60+ racing for a long time. Safe course and good support from the Echelon team volunteers.Next year we will move up in the food chain and start 3rd. Ahead of the cat 4s.In 2012 there were 17 55s and 11 60s. We use to get more local 60+ racers. By the time everyone lined up the temperature was in the upper 40s. Warmer then it has been in the past. Instructions were given by the officals. The race slated for 40 minutes would come down to laps based on the time the group did in the first 2 laps.
The 55+ race would have a number of players including Spy-Swami's crit duo of Dale Luedtke and Mike Birditt. They would have their lieutenant, Kim Bleth  to support them and mix things up. Mark Hoffenberg would be there with the outstanding form he has already shown in the early 2012 races to contest anything  thrown his way. In 60+ the Paramount duo of Pettus/McKee would tough to top. The race started on time and the 1st 2 laps were fast. Mike "The Stalker" Birditt was watching Mark Hoffenberg. Steve Cahill was watching Birditt. Monty Pettus was up front in case a break got going early. Monty usually patrols further back early on. There was a lot of probing going on early. Hoffy was willing to work with anyone off the front but  "The Stalker"  was always right there. Hoffy was working it from the front and he stockpiled this information for later use.
Race action mid race @ Mothballs
There were a number of 55s mixing it up. Mike Cicchi, Alex Collins, Kim Bleth, John Luke, and Rino B. were quite active but the few mini breaks were short lived. Doug Knox of the 60s was also active. I saw the 18 lap to go placard. Not sure I liked that. 18 more laps to go. Lol. Mark Hoffenberg was trying to calculate how to get free from the "The Stalker". 5 laps to go came up and Mark moved off the front and blended in the middle of the pack. John Luke and Kim Bleth tried a duo effort off the front. Mark jumped out of the middle of the pack on the left side on the back side of the course. Mark can jump hard and fast. Mike B. was locked in the pack and could only watch. Mike Cicchi was already ahead with Mark Ainslie. With about 2 and 1/2 laps to go the small groups up front got together but it wasn't fluid. Dale Luedtke went to the front to pull Mike Birditt back to the group or at least get him close enough to jump across. I was on Mike and Monty was near by. We knew we had to very attentive now. No 60s were up front but the thought was the payoff was to an overall finish list.
"The Stalker" watching Mark Hoffenberg
Mike B. jumped with less than 2 laps to go and it took a bit but he finally made it to the front. Coming to the last corner for the next to the last time, Monty Pettus jumped. He was trying to get across the gap. If he was going, I was going. Fred Hoblit was sandwiched between us. Near the finish line with one lap to go the 3 of us joined the other six. Mike Cicchi was at the front and keeping the pace high. Good for Hoffy and not good for "The Stalker". Mike was still in a bit of oxygen debt. Somewhere in the last lap John Luke and Kim Bleth went south. Steve Cahill was hanging in there.
Coming around the last corner Mark Hoffenberg hit it hard. It was a ways to the finish line but he figured Mike B. was still hurting a bit from coming across the gap. It was too early for a breeze which would be in the racers faces coming home but it was pretty still this time of the morning. No one else could muster the strength and speed to match these two. They were blasting down the straightaway. Birditt has that low sprinting position that no one else in racing can match.You can see the video. It looks like its its Hoffenberg.... no its Birditt....YES IT'S HOFFENBERG by less than a wheel. Great finish!
Kim Bleth and Mark Hoffenberg
in a break attempt
The second finish pod had Monty Pettus taking Steve Cahill by 6 inches but in the end it didn't matter. Payouts were split based on the separate finish lists of the 55s and 60s. Monty Pettus won the 60+ category. Monty hasn't lost a 60+ criterium yet. Mike Cicchi came across the line next for 4th place in 55+. The 3rd pod came in with Mark Ainslie and myself very close. Mark was 5th in 55+ and I was 2nd in 60+.
Doug Knox actually kept the pressure on through the finish line and got 3rd in 60+ followed by Mike Fleming.
Bill Pettus and Peter Carlson took some great photographs and Peter also did a great Youtube video which I will have the link. average speed was around 25.1 to 25.2 mph. Good hard safe race. Finish pics and group photos below plus full results. I want to give a shout out to my long time coach, John Howard. John blew out his L3 disc and won't be on a bike for 6 to 8 months. Here is to a speedy recovery!! That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
Hoffy by a bike throw!
Monty Pettus- 1st 60+, Cahill 3rd 55+ and Cicchi 4th 55+
Ainslie 5th 55+, McKee 2nd 60+, and Hoblit 6th 55+
Post race Swami's confab- Dale Luedtke, Jane Faulker, Kim "Always Tan" Bleth, Mike Birditt

Monty Pettus, Robert(The Ageless One)Paginni, and Doug Knox
Winners- Mark Hoffenberg 55+ and Monty Pettus 60+

Mothballs Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 14
2 47255 Michael Birditt Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 11
3 204724 Steve Cahill Celo Pacific 10
4 280887 Mike Cicchi Fast Friday 9
5 1254 Mark Ainslie 8
6 16360 Fred Hoblit Santa Clarita Velo 7
7 21803 John Luke Santa Clarita Velo 6
8 47262 Dale Luedtke Swami's Cycling Club 5
9 46255 alex collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
10 49191 Kim Bleth Swami's Cycling Club 3
11 203811 Barney Berglund Polli Veloce 2
12 288193 Ron Carlson METALMTN Cycling 1
13 364971 John Johnson 0
14 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 0
15 47380 Carlos Soto 0
16 141141 Steve Nelson Echelon Santa Barbara 0
17 193819 Chuck Thompson Polli Veloce 0
Mothballs Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 14
2 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 11
3 45552 Douglas Knox Time Factory Team 10
4 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 9
5 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 8
6 3793 raphael gomez Rage Cycling 7
7 170779 Edgardo Potes Bike Palace 6
8 61278 Mario Seri Velo Club LaGrange 5
9 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 4
10 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 3
11 126351 Steve Bernede Team Werks 2

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