Tuesday, April 17, 2012


By John McKee

Going into the 2012 version of San Luis Rey Road Race(April 14th, 2012) the weather report showed the possibility of rain. The masters races for those 55+ and older were scheduled for starts at 7:35 am and 7:40 am. Driving to the event the roads were wet and there were a few showers here and there but by the time I got to the venue start area the skies looked like they were clearing and we would have a dry race. Little did we know that it would hail after the finish of our races but at least it was AFTER our races finished.
There were at least 53 racers to start the event. For those 65+ and older, this would be the SCNCA road championship. The 55/60+ racers started at 7:35am and would do 3 laps or about 44 miles. The racers 65+ and older would do 2 laps and a shorter distance.
The races were off without a hitch and fairly clear skies and damp roads. The 65+ and older racers rode neutral down the hill on the first lap. After that portion of the race the 1st lap was mainly the Bill Langstaff motor pace event. As most of you know once you turn right back toward the start/finish area, the course is almost all uphill with different percentage slopes. Unfortunately for Bill once the trip turned toward home and the pavement hit a bigger slope, Bruce Steele said "See Ya" "Thanks for the memories, Bill". Bruce upped the pace and Bill was gone. The race dropped a few guys on the way up but the pace was modest on the way down and on the flats so most of the racers were able to chase back on including myself. I was the last one to chase back on and it took a while. The cat 5s went around us on the flats on the 2nd lap after the turnaround and then they sat there like cat 5s. Lol. The motor ref had to give a stop sign for about a minute before the cat 5s got some life in them and decided to race again. I will go through the supermasters races 1st and then talk about the remainder of the races which was the combined 55/60+ race.
The supermasters race shook out again further up the slope on the 2nd and last lap. There was a tail wind that helped lesser riders hang on. Jean Villiot hit the pedals pretty hard going up and riders started to come off. I came off first. Then further up Don Kimper and Butch Richardson came off. Nice to see Butch racing again. The race was down to 5 riders- Jean Villiot, Fritz Tomasello, H, and Bruce Steele in 65+ and Daniel Wulbert was the only 70+ left. All except Fritz aged up this year in 65+. The 70+ title was a given but the 65+ title was to be determined. There was a 200 meter mark to the line set up on the road. Since it was mostly uphill it was a long ways or felt so in the warm up. Fritz knew Jean and Bruce were buddies and heard some interplay between Bruce and Jean and decided to not wait for any dual strategy. Fritz launched from 300 meters out. Bruce Steele tried to counter but has had major asthma problems lately and couldn't come up with the air to come close to Fritz. Fritz Tomasello won the 65+ SCNCA road championship. Bruce came across the line for 2nd and Jean Villiot was the last podium placer. Dan Wulbert won the 70+ race. Bob Lllamas followed in for 2nd place in 70+. Further back Robert Paganini bested much taller but not faster Leon Sowers for the 75+ title.
In the 55/60+ race early break efforts included- Bob Pelkofer, Mike Birditt, Kal Szkalak, & Alex Collins. The early efforts were brought back but then Pelky and Mark Huffman got away a little later with Mark Ainsle. Joe Lemire joined them. Joe is from a different area and isn't known in Socal but USA Cycling knows him and rated him to beat Kenny Fuller using their new ranking/rating system which I hate actually. Beat Kenny Fuller in a road race with an extended climb. Yea, right.
The 4 of the riders worked it through most of the race. Kenny Fuller was not liking it. He was always chased down when he tried to get away from the main pack. Kenny played another card. Talk his way away from the group. Kenny convinced the powers of the pack(55+) that it didn't matter that he get away from them. Apparently Kenny talks a good game as well. They let him go. Kenny was 1 minute down but was able to make this up. Not sure exactly how the break group played out but Mark Ainsle was the 1st to go.
The last time up the hill Kenny put on the power like he did last year. The 1st guy to pop was Pelky. Then Mark Huffman. Lemire hung on but Kenny was several bike lengths ahead at the line for the win in 60+. Joe Lemire was 2nd. Kenny is 64 this year and beating all the 55s. Wow! Nice going. I know I hear we let him go but you put any 55 on his wheel going up that climb. Can they hang on. We don't know but we do know the 2 55s and they are strong in Huffy and Pelky got dropped.
Mark Huffman came across the line for 1st in 55+. Nice job there. Mark broke a rib at Tucson a while back in a crash so this was a very good effort. Bob Pelkofer was 2nd. Bob is riding exceptionally strong this year. Mark Hoffenberg won the bunch sprint for 3rd place. Mark didn't even want to be there but that's another story. Lol. 3rd place in 60+ went to Paramount strongman Howard "I wear old kits" Miller. My goal is to get Howard in a new kit that has myself on the jersey as a clothing sponsor.
After the race it started to hail. Glad we didn't have to race with hail stones hitting you. I still can't get to excited about the new course at SLR. Not very exciting. The old course was cool but we were going over 50+ mph at  Hwy 15 so I am certain that crashes in the past and the Highway Patrol were a factor. Good clean racing though and a decent turnout considering the weather and the high fee for the race($39) plus $11 for same days. Thanks to Terumi Paganini for the podium pictures.  Pod pics and complete results are shown below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

55+ podium- Shown- Pelkofer 2, Hoffenberg 3 & Hines 5. UC Cyclery can't get one guy on the pod with a sponsored jersey?? They won 3 of the spots.

60+ podium- Lemire 2, Fuller 1. Since I hit UCC, I have to say after 50 years of racing Kenny can't get a  jersey on.
65+ podium- Steele 2, Tomsello 1, & Villiot 3. The 65s get it! Sponsored jerseys!

70+ podium- Llamas 2, Wulbert 1

75+ podium- Sowers 2, Paganini 1

San Luis Rey RR  (Rank 2.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 59572 Mark Huffman UC Cyclery/JW Floors 28
2 47652 Bob Pellkofer Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 22
3 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 20
4 46688 Michael Mueller UC Cyclery/JW Floors 18
5 125061 Michael Hines UC Cyclery/JW Floors 16
6 47255 Michael Birditt Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 14
7 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 12
8 203308 Daniel Yeager Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 10
9 250331 Peter Dufour ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 8
10 69952 Robert Willcox UC Cyclery/JW Floors 6
11 195618 Stephen Horine UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
12 193819 Chuck Thompson Polli Veloce 2
13 272891 wayne hermes Cycles Veloce 0
14 15760 Mark Helvie UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
15 287584 Charlie Tatarian Canyon Velo 0
16 Richard Gently Citrus Valley Velo 0
17 45431 Bruce Hartley Pinnaclife Racing Team 0
18 266002 Laszlo Lukacs 0
19 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
20 104199 Mark Parra Team Redlands 0
21 1254 Mark Ainslie 0
22 178495 Steve Diamond Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 0
23 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
24 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
25 177591 Kenneth Caldera CA Pools /CFS Mortgage 0
26 279093 Moshe Ovadya Velo Club LaGrange 0
27 110056 William Arsenault 0
28 66553 John Sinz OCW/Paramount Racing 0

San Luis Rey RR  (Rank 2.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 46765 Kenny Fuller Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 28
2 46799 Josef Lemire SHO-AIR/ SERT 22
3 49424 Howard Miller Paramount Racing 20
4 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 18
5 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Floors 16
6 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
7 26089 Fred Nicolet ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 12
8 58899 Mark Sullivan 10
9 269972 Fred Haim Velo Club LaGrange 8
10 126351 Steve Bernede Team Werks 6
11 189814 Leo Longo Bike Palace 4
12 350180 GINO DAGOSTINI 2

San Luis Rey RR  (Rank 2.0)
Masters 70-74
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 46904 Daniel Wulbert UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
2 162224 Robert Llamas Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders 0

San Luis Rey RR  (Rank 2.0)
Masters 75-79
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45763 Robert Paganini PAA/REMAX 0
2 351238 Leon Sowers San Diego Cyclo Vets 0

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