Saturday, April 7, 2012


By John McKee

It was one busy weekend for racing in 55+ and up. No doubt about that. The last race of the weekend was the 55/60+ race at the Cyclo Vets 2012 Spring Classic Criterium. Sho Air/Rock N Road, UC Cyclery and Spy/Swami's were loaded for bear in 55+. UC Cyclery had their ace 60+ racer in John Rubcic and Paramount's duo of Monty Pettus and myself had John in our sights. It looked to be a hard fun race and I can tell you that it didn't disappoint. There is no way I can recall everything that happened in this race or even knew. I got summary write ups from Mark Hoffenberg and Mike Birditt. Were they writing about the same race?? Lol.
There were 27 known finishers including the hardy and brave young lady, Angela Wimberly. Way to go girl! Well over 30 started. A number of riders didn't finish. The weather which had shown some signs of rain but cleared a bit. No rain. Yeah! Still a little cool but not like at 7 am. The race start time was to be 9:20am. Everyone seemed to have their number on the correct side and right side up so we could start on time. On time it was. Off we went. The fireworks started right from the whistle. Bob Pellkofer jumped out of the gates like a bullet from Clint Eastwood's 45 in the movie "Magnum Force". Dale Luedtke covered this move and was fairly quickly joined by Paul Rodiguez. A very strong threesome for sure. The break was short lived. Once caught Mike Birditt jumped. Dan Nicolette jumped with him. Mike pulled hard and they got a gap. Mike wanted to "roll it" but Dan couldn't. Sho Air was worried about Mike and Socal points. Mike actually isn't targeting Socal Cup this year per Mike. In any event it was all back together. UC Cyclery must have chased and Steve Cahill did a lot of chasing through the day. I chased myself twice.
Mike Birditt a little frustrated that Dan Nicolette wouldn't "Roll It" with him but he was working for Mark Hoffenberg
Mike Birditt explaining to Mark Hoffenberg that he wasn't going for Socal Cup in 2012
There were many break attempts and small groups. Pelky was super active and got away off of a prime and Kal Szkalak joined him. The two worked it for a while. Spy/Swami's didn't like this of course. Mike Birditt went on a chase and started pulling everyone around. Kal wasn't happy with Pelky's effort there and all came back together again.
Bob Pellkofer and Kal Szkalak are off the front
I don't often chase in 55/60+ races but I had a job to do and needed to get to my teammate and help him if I could
Another break formed and this one was large. Must have been 8 to 10 riders and included 60+ racers John Rubcic and Monty Pettus. I wasn't sure if there was another 60+ rider in the group. I had a job today and that was to try and help Monty best Mr. Rubcic so off I went to try and get across. No matter that I was bringing the entire pack with me. Mark Hoffenberg took a free ride. By the time I got there I was gassed. Hoped for a respite and got a short one. That's all there was today. Hard race. The next break was a 4 or 5 pack of dangerous riders including Pelky. Was he active or what! Riding very strong right now. He likes to race the pro/1/2 events at the end of the day. After this race he was going up to Torrance to do the Pro/1/2 race there.
The small break group didn't include Spy/Swami's again and it was late in the race. Panic attack for Spy/Swami's. Was there going to be a race that they didn't get on the podium? Mike Birditt tried to get across solo. He got part the way there and decided to hold off. Sho Air saw Birditt off and Dan Nicolette gathered up Hoffy and off they went. They came around turn one there was Mike dangling and waiting. The chase group was together. Daniel Yeager and Steve Diamond of Spy/Swami's came to the front to try and help their team pull back the break. Mike Birditt recovered a little and took another pull. The break group must have not been working that well together because it was all back together again.
Less than 5 laps to go and all the riders are there. Some fresher than others but all were showing the effects of a hard race except for Mr. Pellkofer. Friggin' energizer bunny. Going to the last corner inside 3 laps to go and Hoffy accelerates a bit and Pelky springs off of this solo. Pelky goes "all in" now. He is going to try and take it to the finish. No can or will chase Bob down. Bob Pellkofer takes it to the house! Nice win for the most active rider in the race. Well deserved win.
The mere mortals are hammering it out trying to get position for the finish sprint. The 60+ race was still in doubt. On the back stretch I could see Monty was in good position compared to John Rubcic and in the pack there wasn't anything I could do to help him and told Monty so.
Mike Birditt was tired but starting picking off riders moving toward the front coming to the last corner. Coming into the corner Mike got to the front and was in the lead except for Pelky. Kal, Hoffy and Dale wanted Mike wheel after coming around the last corner. Mark got it and came around Mike for 2nd place. Mike finished 3rd. Dale came around Kal for 4th and Kal took 5th.
In 60+ action Monty felt he was in good position at the last corner but John Rubcic ever the smart racer took a sharp turn and came in toward the line along the curb and got a clear lane to sprint in. Monty had some 55+ riders ahead of him and couldn't quite give it his all. Rubcic 1st for the win and Pettus 2nd. I was following Don Kimper at the last corner and he was a bike length ahead of me. I closed the gap coming to the line but Don got the last podium spot by half a wheel. Good race for Don. I was followed in for 60+ by Steve Borer, Jim Swigart and Bruce Steele.
This was the most active race we have seen this year. Sho Air really has the goods. Hard race and fun!
Complete results below the 60+ podium picture. No 55+ pod pic exists that I know of. Nice vid by Alicia McKee below taken on the I Pad 2. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

A 55+ pod showed up- Birditt 3, Pellkofer 1, & Hoffenberg 2

Spring Classic 60+ podium- Kimper 3, Rubcic 1, Pettus 2. Ralph Elliot looking on
Spring Classic Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 47652 Bob Pellkofer Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 14
2 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Sho-air/Rock 'n Road 11
3 47255 Michael Birditt Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 10
4 47262 Dale Luedtke Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 9
5 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 8
6 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Floors 7
7 1254 Mark Ainslie
8 125061 Michael Hines UC Cyclery/JW Floors 5
9 204724 Steve Cahill Celo Pacific 4
10 178495 Steve Diamond Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 3
11 177591 Kenneth Caldera CA Pools /CFS Mortgage 2
12 203308 Daniel Yeager Spy-Swami's Cycling Team 1
13 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
14 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
15 225555 Michael Holcomb San Diego Cyclo Vets 0
16 224838 John Berry
17 57008 John Stellenwerf

Spring Classic 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 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 10
4 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 9
5 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 8
6 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 7
7 236498 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen 6
8 51026 Theodore Lee ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 5
9 180041 Angela Wimberly CALCOAST Bikes San Diego 4
10 206266 James Ring ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 3

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