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

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