Thursday, March 29, 2012


By John McKee

The Redlands Criterium was scheduled for March 25th, 2012. The weather report varied coming into the race but there was a threat of rain. The Redlands course is technical, fun and hard but would be quiet difficult and maybe dangerous in the rain. The specter of rain may have held down the sign ups for the event. The results showed almost exactly the same number of finishers in 2012 as the prior year and just slightly short of 2010. I do believe we could have had a bigger race. The promoter and people that put on the Redlands Criterium do a great job and put on a first class event. The payout is $225 for both 55s and 60s out to 4 places. The podium ceremony is very good and they actually have podium girls which is always a nice touch. The criterium is done in conjunction with the Redlands pro race for both men and women and Sunday is the conclusion of that event dovetailing with the criterium. Cycling is definitely the focus in Redlands this weekend. Great to see.
55/60+ lineup at the 2012 Redlands Criterium
The Sunday of the race the weather actually turned out great. There were few clouds in the sky and temperature was in the low 50s which wasn't bad. Spy/Swami's showed up with a strong team, UC Cyclery had a good showing but was missing a few of it's stronger riders, Sho Air was a complete no show which was a shame, and Velo Allegro had a strong squad there. Breakaway from Cancer only had one rider there but Malcolm Hill counts for more than one since he is so strong and crafty. The 60s had a strong field but were missing a few of the top stars like Kenny Fuller(Kenny choose to go to Vegas with the lure of a free room and show) and Mike Marotta.
The race was scheduled for an early time this year(7:55am) and that couldn't have helped matters since it is quiet a drive for everyone. None the less, 33 riders lined up to contest the 2012 Redlands Criterium. The racers were off without a hitch and the pace was brisk but not eye popping. The 1st prime revved things up and Mike Birditt took that one. From there on out Malcolm Hill pushed and probed looking for an opportunity to get away with another rider like Mike Birditt. They tried to combine several times but Paul Rodiguez of UC Cyclery and some of the Velo Allegro guys were ever present to chase down this dangerous combination. Two of the best 55+ racers in the country in one race together off the front. Give credit to those guys chasing. Made for a lively race, for sure.
Race lined on with Rubcic, Caheill, Hill, Shorts R., and Wagenaar
Ricky Shorts is leading the pack with Rod and Birdy following
Joh Wagenaar leading the field into the last corner mid way through the race
Rod Mallory jumping the field with 7 laps to go. He sure got everyone attention as you can see
There were some good primes in the middle of the race and the best one that I heard was $50 cash and Rich Swanson of Spy/Swami's pulled that home. Malcolm Hill was watching all the primes and except for one that he pulled home Malcolm would counter attack. Like I mentioned Mike Birditt got on board several times and once with Paul Rodiguez. Velo Allegro must have really chased hard and maybe had some help from someone I don't know about. What a threesome but they were chased down if you can believe that. I have a hard time believing it. Ricky Shorts told me me he wasn't going to let Malcolm get away like at Brentwood last year. No matter what he was going to track him down and I guess that is the answer. Glad to hear some real spark out of Ricky.
 There was one prime just for 60+. The pace was pretty slow on that lap with the 55s looking around. I was hoping it would be fast because I was at the front but no... Ricky said something to me like "go for it" but I actually didn't hear it. Don Davidson took it upon himself to go for it coming out of the chicane. He wasn't contested and picked up a couple of Vittoria tires.
The officials showed 7 laps to go and all the riders were together after chasing Rod Mallory of Velo Allegro down. It looked like a bunch sprint coming. I think a hard effort by Malcolm could have snapped the band holding everyone together but it would have been a risk and he didn't take it. It would have made for an exciting end to the race. The course gives you a break on the downside chicane unless the pace is very high and it wasn't most of our race.
 The last lap came and everyone was mixing it up trying to get good position. Rick Swanson went to front for a bit to pick up the pace. Velo Allegro took over with the pace making. After the right/left chicane there was a hesitation at the front and then Malcolm Hill went to the whip and on his own butt. Yikes! Mike Birditt had been on Dale's wheel until Malcolm hit it. Mike went to the whip himself and went around Dale and several other riders on the downhill stretch. Mike then got on Malcolm before the second to the last corner and Dale got on Mike. Mike then thought he had a  chance to win again. Once Malcolm came around the last turn, Mike jumped him having been in perfect position. It was no contest coming home across the line for Mike. Third win in a row at Redlands. Malcolm kept the pressure on as best he could but Dale just got around him the last 10 meters to take 2nd. Malcolm 3rd. Paul Rodiguez riding a strong race came in 4th. followed in closely by Ricky Shorts and Steve Cahill.
John Rubcic came across the line near Paul Rodriguez to win the 60+ race by 3 or 4 bike lengths. This was John's 4th win in a row and his 6th in total. JR likes Redlands! Monty Pettus was next in 60+ with John Wagenaar fairly close to Monty for 3rd. I took a bad last few corners and JW came by me there and I placed 4th. The race pace was 24.7 mph. A tad slower than some of our races but the course is slightly slower with the one 120 degree turn. The average power was 250 watts with the normalized or when one is pedaling at 286. Similar numbers as compared to Brea and Roger Millikan. Roger Millikan felt harder to me. The field size was twice the size of this field. The numbers are from Jim Swigart. Thank you, Jim. Good clean race. It was a shame the threat of rain kept the attendance down. Everyone must know and especially you guys that cherry pick races, no shows can lead to lost race opportunities especially for the 60s. Thanks to all that came out. It is always a fun event at Redlands. Full results are below the podium pics. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

2012 Redlands 55+ podium- Luedtke, Birditt & Hill

2012 Redlands 60+ podium- Pettus, Rubcic and Wagenaar

Redlands Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
2 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 11
3 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Floors 10
4 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 9
5 49424 Howard Miller Paramount Racing 8
6 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 7
7 3793 Raphael Gomez Rage Cycling 6
8 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 5
9 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
10 48278 Donald Davidson Citrus Valley Velo 3

Redlands Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 47255 Michael Birditt Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 14
2 47262 Dale Luedtke Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 11
3 156650 Malcolm Hill Breakaway from Cancer Masters 10
4 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Floors 9
5 52251 Ricky Shorts Velo Allegro 8
6 204724 Steve Cahill Celo Pacific 7
7 52086 Cyril Hunte
8 230085 Albert Shorts Velo Allegro 5
9 34753 Rick Swanson Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 4
10 352540 Scotty Bohlman Jessup Auto Plaza p/b P.S. Cyclery 3
11 177958 Kevin Ryan METALMTN Cycling 2
12 107559 Rodney Malloy Velo Allegro 1
13 36299 Daniel Valentin Citrus Valley Velo 0
14 58799 John Ward Citrus Valley Velo 0
15 49410 Michael Gilb High Desert Bicycles Team 0
16 167453 Bob Estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 0
17 178495 Steve Diamond Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 0
18 126668 Joey Valdivia UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
19 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


By John McKee

There is a new race on the calendar and was scheduled for March 24th, 2012 and called the Rosena Ranch Circuit Race. Rosena Ranch is a new residential development up highway 15 and just past Fontucky. Very nice looking development and they are looking for as many ways as possible to get exposure. They hooked up with Majestic Cycling and with a couple of revisions came up with an out and back course very much like LA Circuit but with some butt kicking climbs. Nothing over 3.7% but an extended period uphill going to the finish line. The turnout was modest but decent with about 35 entries. Separate purses of $250 for both 55s and 60s. A climbers course but a power rider could do well here or maybe a rolleur like Jens Voigt. You have to have some punch at the end if you make it that far.
I got to the course 2 hours ahead of time with my teammate Monty Pettus. It was foggy and tough to see. No wind but this area is known for windy conditions. The course is 3.74 miles and was being raced clockwise. The course gained 187 feet per lap. The only way they could do it with the turns and the finish(Eric Smith asked me later if I thought the course could be raced counter but my opinion was no. Too close from the last 180). The 3 road entries were closed off by CHP officers but vehicles(off road) were getting on the course and with the fog and riders going in the opposite direction of what traffic would flow made for a dangerous situation. The officials thought about changing the direction but didn't. I didn't see any other problems while I was there. Off road trails lead up to the road which was the problem.
Sho Air/Rock N Road's twosome of Mark Hoffenberg and Bob Pellkofer showed up and planned to take it to everyone. Make the race as hard as possible. UC Cyclery showed up with a number of riders lead by Kal Szkalak. UCC top riders besides Kal weren't there though. Jeffrey Moreton of PAA was there and plenty skinny and looked like a good climber. Never seen him before. I guess he picks and chooses his races carefully. In 60+ Kenny Fuller and Mike Marotta pre reged but didn't show but John Rubcic did a same day reg.
The race started on time at 10:55am with the 35 riders. Bob Pellkofer was the 1st to attack and he was caught. Hoffy attacked and he was caught. Pelky attacked again and he was caught. The next time Hoffy attacked he did so from the rear and Jeff Moreton who was marking Mark went with him. They gained a small advantage on everyone. Kal was very animated and trying to get his team to chase. They were doing the best they could.
At 2 and 1/2 laps into the race Mark noticed that the pack was bearing down the him and Jeff. At the far turnaround Mark accelerated up the first hill coming back for home. Jeff Moreton was dropped. Mark hung out there solo for a whole lap going full gas. He wasn't far away but still plugging along. He seemed to get caught just before the far turnaround at 3 1/2 laps into the 6 lap race. His teammate Pelky came up and at the turnaround they upped the gas. 180 turnarounds seem easy enough but is hard for riders in the middle or back of the pack. If the leaders charge off after the turnaround, it makes it hard to stay on. Have to go full gas and that was the way here. Everyone was going full gas and there was a split in the field. The back third split off. Don't know who cracked. Steve Borer of UCC tried to bridge back and got part way there and was getting tired. I tried to go then and hit a wall so to speak. Monty Pettus then took over and got everyone but 2 riders back on. The rest of the race didn't see the furor of this one stretch. All together now for the main pack.
Mark Hoffenberg made a false move to see what would happen and Kal and a number of riders jumped on Hoffy. Bob Pellkofer than countered. Perfect team work. Jeff Moreton locked on the Bob and off they went. They didn't get far ahead but kept pushing it. UCC struggled chasing. Kal was marking Hoffy and not chasing. Mark just played it mellow and waited.
On the last part of the last lap, Jeff Moreton did most of the work.  Jeff thought for some reason that Bob was a 60+ rider. Don't know why. Jeff doesn't race with us so I guess he doesn't who is who. Bob jumped and got a gap on Jeff and held it to the end. A win for Bob Pellkofer and Sho Air. Great work there.
Hoffy saw Jeff falter and sprang for the line. He came up a few bike lengths short and took 3rd. Everyone else followed in. John Rubcic came in as the first 60+ racer. Fred Nicolette was 2nd and Monty Pettus was 3rd. A good tough race on a challenging new course. Limited results are listed. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
55+ finish list- top 6
1- Pellkofer
2- Moreton
3- Hoffenberg
4- Ainsle
5- Hartley
6- Luke

60+ finish list- top 6
1- Rubcic
2- Nicolette
3- Pettus
4- Swigart
5- Miller
6- Borer
55+ podium- Moreton, Pellkofer, & Hoffenberg

60+ podium- Nicolette, Rubcic, & Pettus

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


By Mark Hoffenberg

San Dimas Stage Race is in its 13th year. It is a big nationally  recognized race on the calendar for all categories, and certainly one of the most difficult events on the So Cal Calendar for 55+ racers. Friday's venue was a 3.7mi time trial up Glendora Mountain road, Saturday featured a Road Race on a rolling to hilly circuit around Bonelli Park, and Sunday was the Old Town Grand Prix, a six turn technical criterium in Historic Old Town San Dimas.

The GMR time trial, with its many switchbacks and steady 5-7% gradient presented an ideal venue for the climbers. I am not one of them, but I had hopes of doing reasonably well after working hard this winter to shed 13 lbs. It didn't work out that way. Kevin Susco, from Webcor in Nor California won the stage in 17:00. Wayne Stetina (BFC) was 3 seconds back, and Owen Thomas took third. I had not even heard of the 1st place or third place riders and had to do some homework to learn their skill sets. Kevin has a long history of doing well in hilly races, and Owen seemed to have most of his cycling success in cyclocross. Wayne requires no introduction and was the obvious GC favorite after the TT with two teammates, Malcolm Hill and Eddie Morris in the field. Mike Mueller and Kim Bleth rounded out the top 5. Other GC candidates included Tom Doughty (7th) and Malcolm Hill (11th). I finished 10th, 30 seconds back. My plan was to average 310-315 watts, which I did. The problem I discovered after talking to Wayne after the race, was that his plan was to average 360w, which he did, and at 157lbs, he is only 7lbs heavier than me.

Rain was predicted for Saturday, and the meteorologists certainly got it right. As we waited for the start, the rain was already falling and the temp was 48 degrees. A number of riders chose not to start, including Mike Birditt, who was kind enough to come to the start anyway (under the protection of an umbrella) to see us off. There were several time bonus sprints available and I originally had my mind made up to go after them and chip away at the GC standings. On the lap leading up to the first sprint, the pace was high up the climb. Once over the top and onto the finishing headwind stretch, the pace slowed dramatically and I launched an attack to grab the bonus time. I went too early and a group of four caught and passed me. A gap had formed and Wayne quickly assessed the situation and realized his chance to take time from the leader. The break included Wayne and Malcolm from BFC, Mueller and Kal from UC cyclery, and me. The gap held steady at less than 60 seconds for the next hour and a half of wet, cold miserable riding. By the last lap everyone was starting to hurt and Wayne was driving the break. As the pace slowed, Malcolm made a move. It wasn't a violent attack, he just slowly slipped away, and it was UC Cyclery's responsibility to go after it. Mike did his best, but it was too little, too late, and Kal had nothing to offer, as he watched from the caboose. I knew if I contributed too much Wayne would attack me on the final climb, so I resigned myself to knowing Malcolm was going to win the stage, and set my sights on 2nd. Malcolm indeed won in spectacular solo fashion, opening up a 50 second gap in the final 4 miles. The final climb was anticlimactic as everyone was out of gas. Michael did most of the work on the final stretch to the finish, trying to preserve his GC position. Wayne led out the sprint, I came around him for 2nd, Kal 3rd, Wayne 4th and Michael 5th. He lost a few seconds in the final 500 meters that would prove critical later on. The chase group had dwindled to about 7 guys with a few additional coming in more than 10 minutes down. The ugly conditions forced a number of riders to DNF.

The sun peaked through the clouds on Sunday, and the roads were partially dry by the start of our race. Only 15 guys lined up for the final day! It would take some major event to change the final GC Podium positions, with one possible exception. I started the day in fourth place, 10 seconds behind Michael Mueller. If I could collect at least one second time bonus in the  intermediate sprint, and win the stage, I would have a chance to move into third if Mike was unable to grab any bonus time. The race stayed together with Malcolm setting a hard steady tempo to discourage attacks. Kal was hunting for bonus points to secure his lead of the green jersey, while I looked to grab a 1 second time bonus, which I managed to do. The stage was set for the final sprint. Eddy Morris came to the front to string it out on the last lap. Then stage 1 winner Kevin took over with two turns to go. I planned on going through the last turn first, feeling like I could possibly win it from the front, and not wanting to get swarmed. Kal decided to pass me just before the turn. Curiously, Mike was not on his wheel, and I immediately came back around after the turn to take the win. Kal 2nd, Wayne third, Mike 4th.

A great weekend of hard racing. Kudos to the promoters for doing a really great job. Here is a video of the criterium finish-

Final GC Podium:
1. Malcolm Hill
2. Wayne Stetina @ 20 sec
3. Mark Hoffenberg @ 39 sec
4. Mike Mueller @ 40 sec
5. Kal Szkalak @ 2 min, 13 sec

KOM Leader: Mueller
Points leader: Szkalak

Malcolm Hill wins the road race at the 2012 SDSR in 55+
Photo courtesy of

Mark Hoffenberg wins the last day's criterium over Kal Szkalak at the 2012 SDSR in 55+
Photo courtesy of
San Dimas Stage Race Road Race  (Rank 0.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 156650 Malcolm Hill Breakaway from Cancer Masters 0
2 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 0
3 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
4 34063 Wayne Stetina Breakaway from Cancer Masters 0
5 46688 Michael Mueller UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
6 49080 Eddie Morris Breakaway from Cancer Masters 0
7 186898 Kevin Susco Webcor/Alto Velo 0
8 274212 David Benner Wolf Pack Cycling 0
9 25023 Jeffrey Moreton PAA/REMAX 0
10 193819 Chuck Thompson Polli Veloce 0
11 69952 Robert Willcox UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
12 60602 Daniel Swietlik Team Hollywood 0
13 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
14 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0
15 1254 Mark Ainslie 0
16 302695 John LaGrandeur OTR Racing 0

San Dimas Stage Race GC  (Rank 2.5)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 156650 Malcolm Hill Breakaway from Cancer Masters 35
2 34063 Wayne Stetina Breakaway from Cancer Masters 28
3 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 25
4 46688 Michael Mueller UC Cyclery/JW Floors 23
5 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 20
6 186898 Kevin Susco Webcor/Alto Velo 18
7 60602 Daniel Swietlik Team Hollywood 15
8 69952 Robert Willcox UC Cyclery/JW Floors 13
9 25023 Jeffrey Moreton PAA/REMAX 10
10 193819 Chuck Thompson Polli Veloce 8
11 49080 Eddie Morris Breakaway from Cancer Masters 5
12 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Floors 2
13 302695 John LaGrandeur OTR Racing 0
14 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0
15 1254 Mark Ainslie 0
  San Dimas Stage Race
March 16-18, 2012
CRITERIUM RESULT: Incycle/Cannondale San Dimas Classic
Masters 55+
Average Speed of Winner 23.10 MPH 37.17 Km/H
Pl Bib Name Team Time Bon(Pen) Behind
1 891 Hoffenberg, Mark Sho-Air/Rock N Road 31:26 11 @ 0:00
2 894 Szkalak, Kalman UC Cyclery/JW Flooring " 6 "
3 897 Stetina, Wayne Breakaway from Cancer Elite Ma " 4 "
4 896 Mueller, Michael UC Cyclery/JW Flooring " "
5 887 ainslie, mark " "
6 885 Susco, Kevin WEBCOR/Alto Velo " "
7 889 Hill, Malcolm Breakaway from Cancer Elite Ma " 3 "
8 873 Moreton, Jeff PAA - Re/Max " "
9 899 Swietlik, Daniel Team Hollywood " 2 "
10 869 Burns, Ken Southern California Velo " "
11 898 Thompson, Chuck Polli Veloce " "
12 892 Willcox, Robert UC Cyclery/JW Flooring " "
13 883 Morris, Eddie Breakaway from Cancer Elite Ma " "
14 874 Horine, Steve UC Cyclery/JW Flooring " "
15 877 LaGrandeur, John OTR Racing 31:37 @ 0:11
DNS 870 Benner, David Wolf Pack Cycling

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


By Mark Hoffenberg

It promised to be a hard three days of racing, and in the end it certainly turned out that way. Friday set the stage with a 4.5 mile TT on a Euro style course. The first 2.5 miles was mostly flat, smooth road. Then after an right hand turn it headed uphill, and shortly thereafter the road turned to loose dirt and gravel, with quite a few turns, ruts and washboard. Not your everyday time trial! I made the decision to get there early to pre-ride the course after hearing that several riders had crashed last year. It turned out to be a wise decision as I was able to choose my lines and also realized that I needed to change my wheel choice. I opted for my Zipp race wheels with 100lbs pressure. There were some widely varied choices of equipment for this race with some optiing for full on TT gear and others riding their standard road bike. I dont have a TT bike, so I went for my road bike with a custom single clip on bar that I fabricated from a MTB bar. I ziptied it to my stem in McGyver fashion. Malcolm Hill blistered the coarse in 10:53 for the win, Hoffenberg 2nd @ 11:10 and Birditt third @ 11:21. I was pretty impressed with Birditt's TT since he used his standard road bike with low profile wheels, no clip on bars, and a standard helmet. Kim Bleth mentioned that he had started 30 seconds behind Mike and had almost caught him by the time they hit the dirt road, then Mike quickly disappeared from view as he ripped through the dirt section.. My pre race prediction was Malcolm in first, Mike Mueller second. I wasnt exactly sure  where either Mike or I would end up.

Saturday was the downtown criterium. This was a technical six turn course with some narrow sections exasperated by windy conditions and a 100 rider combined 45-55 field. The pace from the gun was fast and furious, with Amgen Breakaway from Cancer(BFC) squad doing a lot of the attacking. I chose to ride right at the front to avoid problems. I had no teammates, and Malcolm had eight from their 45 squad. Mike Birditt had a couple of teammates, and  UC Cyclery/JW Flooring had five or six guys. I felt a bit vulnerable. Eventually a break developed with Brett Clare (BFC) and Benny Parks. BFC, led by Thurlow contained the field. This actually worked out well for me because it kept Malcolm in check. The last couple of laps were hectic. BFC lined out their train. On the headwind backstretch I decided to sprint into the wind to  to pass the trains before the final two turns. It hurt, but paid dividends, as I was able to distance myself from my 55+ rivals for the win. Birditt passed Malcolm in the final sprint for second. The GC at the end of day 2 came down to a three person race for the top spot.

Hoffenberg 50 pts
Hill 49 pts
Birditt 46 pts

Sunday's circuit race would prove interesting. Malcolm, Birditt and I had all done the math in our heads. All Malcolm had to do was place ahead of me and he would have the win. Mike would need some luck or help from others to leapfrog both Malcolm and me. Henry and Danny came to help me on Sunday and that would prove to be a deciding factor in the outcome. The first few laps were very fast. Eventually Thurlow and Leibert escaped. I knew that would stick with a myriad of teammates thwarting chase efforts. The 55 racers were pretty passive in this race with the vast majority of the animation coming from the 45s. Henry and Danny saved their bullets for the last lap, with Danny keeping an eye on Mike and Henry keeping an eye on Malcolm. I patrolled the front to stay out of trouble  in the crosswinds. Henry ramped the pace on the hill, riding the right hand gutter, leaving just enough room for me and exposing most of the field to the strong crosswind. On the tailwind backstretch it got a bit hectic as expected. Henry used his last bit of gas stringing out the field before the final series of turns to the finish, leaving me in an ideal position, ahead of any 55+ rivals. Brett Clare and Dan Vogt battled for the field sprint with Dan taking it for 3rd place on the day(1st in the field sprint). I tucked in behind, a few riders back protecting my 55+ position for the win. Complete GC results are below.

Road Race top 3 results:

Final GC

Final GC podium- Birditt, Hoffenberg and Hill
Tour de Murrieta GC  (Rank 2.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 28
2 156650 Malcolm Hill Breakaway from Cancer Masters 22
3 47255 Michael Birditt Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 20
4 46688 Michael Mueller UC Cyclery/JW Floors 18
5 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 16
6 125061 Michael Hines UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
7 204724 Steve Cahill Celo Pacific 12
8 1254 Mark Ainslie
9 270177 John Robertson BMC/Walmart 8
10 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Floors 6
11 352540 Scotty Bohlman Jessup Auto Plaza p/b P.S. Cyclery 4
12 49191 Kim Bleth Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 2
13 193819 Chuck Thompson Polli Veloce 0
14 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
15 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
16 26090 Daniel Nicolette Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 0
17 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
18 247382 Richard Gentili Citrus Valley Velo 0
19 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 0
20 34753 Rick Swanson Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 0
21 59805 Jean Villiot CA Pools /CFS Mortgage 0
22 198038 Scott Olson
23 27989 Richard Pfeiffer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


By John McKee

Abbott: Who is on first!
Costello: I'm asking YOU who's on first.
Abbott: That's the man's name.
Costello: That's who's name?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: Oh no! Lets not start this again.
Mike Birditt of Spy/Swami's
Abbott: OK, then who won the 55/60+ race at CBR # 3.
Costello: Mike. 
Abbott: Mike who?
Costello: Mike of Spy/Swami's.
Abbott: Oh, Mike of Spy/Swami's.
Costello: Yea, that's what I said.
Abbott: Which race?
Costello: What do you mean...which race!
Abbott: Well, the 55s and 60s race together and are scored separately.
Costello: Is that right.
Abbott: Well, yes it is.
Costello: Now we're getting to the bottom of it.
Abbott: Then who won the race.
Costello: Mike.
Abbott: Which race?
Costello: The 55+ race.
Abbott: Are you sure.
Costello: No.
Abbott: Why aren't you sure.
Costello: It was so close.
Abbott: Did you see the vid?
Costello: Which one?
Abbott: The one that Chris took.
Costello: Who's Chris?
Abbott: He's the one that calls everyone "Cupcake".
Costello: Oh him. I like him. He says he's fatter than me.
Abbott: OK, did you study the vid in slow mo. Did you go frame for frame?
Costello: Yes I did.
Abbott: Then who won?
Costello: I don't know.
Abbott: He's on second.
Mike Marotta of Spy/Swami's
Costello: Here we go again.
Abbott: Concentrate!!
Costello: OK, OK.
Abbott: Well then who won the race?
Costello: Mike.
Abbott: Are you talking about the 55+ race or the 60+ race?
Costello: 55+.
Abbott: I heard he won the 60+ race.
Costello: Mike of Spy/Swami's?
Abbott: Yes, Mike of Spy/Swami's.
Costello: You talking about the Mike that is short with the BIG legs.
Abbott: No. Mike is tall. Rides a white Cervelo. Married to Lee.
Costello: Lee?? I thought Lee was dead.
Abbott: No, wrong Lee. You must be thinking of that Confederate general. 
He died years ago. Besides, he is a man.
Costello: Well this is California. Prop 8 was overturned in the courts.
Abbott: Lee is female and alive.
Costello: Is Lee cute?
Abbott: Certainly.
Costello: Would you introduce me?
Abbott: No, of course not. You Casanova. She is married to Mike.
Costello: Mike who?
Abbott: Stop it!! Who won?
Costello: I got it! Mike Birditt won the 55+ race and Mike Marotta won the 60+ race.
Abbott: How do you know that.
Costello: I went to 55/60+ Bike Racing Facebook page. The 55/60+ results are always posted there. So there. Now lets read what that writer guy has to say about the race.

Now we got to the bottom of who won. Let's talk about how did we get to the finish. That is the question. It was a Sunday like many race Sundays but much hotter than you would ever expect for this time of year. March 4th, 2012 and time for the 3rd race for CBR now under the SCNCA banner. You would expect large fields as there have been at almost all the races so far in 2012. The 55/60+ field topped out at around 60 racers at the Ride Like You Stole It Criterium. The larger 55+ field was racing for $250 and the 60+ field was racing for $100. 
This race in 55+ looked to be a shootout between the Sho Air/Rock N Road team and Spy/Swami's. Mark Hoffenberg has been the top dog for Sho Air and Mike Birditt has been so for Swami's. Neither faced off against each other in the prior 2 weeks of racing. Both riders and teams are racing very well. Velo Allegro was out in force and had all their riders and has a lot of cards to play.
It looked to be a hot race from the start but all the teams started the race with a cautious attitude. Sho Air was looking to do 3 races during the day and decided to converse some energy unlike CBR #2 where they attacked from the gun. Swami's was playing a wait and see game. Hoping for a field sprint for Mike Birditt. Velo Allegro looked to be playing a very cautious game as well. 
The first break effort got going with the ever active Doug Knox getting things going. Doug was joined by Henry Schnepf, Fred Hoblit and Rick Swanson. The foursome got a decent gap going. No one seemed to be chasing. Sho Air and Swami's had riders in the break. Velo Allegro didn't seem to be concerned. After 3 or 4 laps off the front the cohesion of the break group kind of fell apart.

Mid race action- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki

Mid race action- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki

 The break group went backward quickly then and were back in the fold. There were other attempts. Not many. Mark Hoffenberg tried his hand a few times on the uphill segment of the course but was marked by Swami's Steve Diamond. No one else seemed interested in attempting to get away. Steve got kudos from his own team captain and the opposing team captain for his team work. Good work, Steve. Henry Schnepf always seems up for a break attempt but nothing seemed to jell. Velo Allegro was totally sitting in. The mid race lull set in. Not much action. The field was constantly churning and the ever present snake would come into play on the 3rd leg which was uphill. One of the up leg snakes bite Ricky Shorts. Ricky overlapped a wheel on the right side and someone came from Ricky's right and forced him into the wheel. What do lumberjacks say....timber! Down went Ricky. No one else went down.
The 5 lap card went up and everyone is all together. Not good for Doug Knox. Off he goes. No one really joined him but strung things out nicely for a short while. A bunch sprint was sure to come later. The bell lap came and everyone was looking around. Joey Valdivia of UC Cyclery had gone to the front to produce some pace. Mike Birditt was on Rick Swanson and they were moving up. Sho Air was lining up as well. I got on Mike and looked to move up with energy loss. Rick and Mike moved into a line and I got cut off but Rod Mallory let me back on Mike. After turn one we were going downhill and it was pretty fast. Rick moved Mike up more and moved back into a line and I turned to my right and it was Al Shorts. Al looked locked and loaded so I didn't ask to get back on Mike's wheel. I drifted back. After turn 2 some jockeying was going on. 
Mike Marotta took off going into turn 3. No calm before the storm on the 3rd leg. It was all out of the saddle go. A little back from the front it was slower going around turn 3 and I had to hit my brakes once or twice. Bad deal. Henry Schnepf had taken the Sho Air job of chasing Mike Marotta of Spy/Swami's. Mark Hoffenberg was on his teammate. Behind Mark...well I got 2 different stories. Sho Air's Dan Nicolette thinks he had the right to Mark's wheel and Mike Birditt thought it was his wheel. In the end Mike got it. 
Closing in on turn 3, Mike Marotta was still charging but was being caught by the group and especially Henry Schnepf with the favorites in tow. Mike Birditt decided it was time to go and GO he did. Mike jumped hard like few riders can. Al Shorts had maintained his wheel since before turn 2 and was in good position and jumped as well. The 3rd leg showed the rider strength. Some riders were going backward while others were weaving there way forward. Monty Pettus was coming up the outside and came by me before turn 3. I jumped on his wheel. I know a good wheel when I see it.
Up front, Mike Birditt hit the last corner first and looked to be cruising to an easy victory but Mark Hoffenberg wasn't going to concede just yet. Mike looked back twice over his right shoulder and didn't see Mark coming up on his left. Mike had to hit it again and the 2 of them threw their bikes. It looked like a virtual tie. It took the officials a long time to declare Mike the winner. 
Al Shorts was the next rider across the line. Very strong race for Al. Henry Schnepf was next followed by his teammate, Dan Nicolette. Mike Marotta showed great strength to hang on and finish so high after leading the entire 3rd leg by himself. Mike was the 1st 60+ rider to finish. Great win for Mike.
In 55+ next in were Cahill, Luedtke, Romans, Alaan, Ascuncion and Ainslie. In 60+ action I followed Monty in and he eased up a bit and I decided to ease up as well and maintain my space next to Monty and on our outside the hard charging H "K Mart" Schneider(H has a inexpensive Giro helmet that doesn't adjust and slides all over his head. Buy a better helmet H!!) came flying by and got me at the line for 3rd. Monty was 2nd and I was 4th.
 I was followed in by Swigart, Kimper, Miller, Borer and Fleming.
This was not the most exciting or agreesive race of the year. I got 25.1 mph while Jim Swigart got 25.7 with the same Garmin 500. Very similar speeds to the other 2  CBR races. The 50+ race was 2 mph faster while the 45+ race was just 1 for some reason. One person down is one too many. Too bad for Ricky. Snakes are dangerous. Hate to see them. Video of the finish below. Good work by Maki Yamizaki. Full results will show below when the SCNCA website comes back up. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!


Doug Knox charges off with 5 laps to go. Huber, Moore, Cahill and Roest in chase- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki