I hardly know where to start this story. As most of you know I crashed at CBR on June 10th(there is a vid below taken by Mike McKinney. Be warned..it's not pretty) and haven't written until the Brentwood race. I started back racing at Brentwood and got dropped early there so I entered the Ladera Ranch race on Aug. 12th and low and behold I end up on the pavement again. Damn! What a season. Ladera is a narrow treacherous course and I hit a pedal down going fast and leaning too much at turn 3 and there I went. I didn't break any bones but lost lots of skin and was way discouraged. It looked like a good race after my crash but I wasn't in it. Just leaking blood here and there. There was another crash on the last lap at the last turn which is one of 3 narrow sections. The lead pack caught 2 lapped riders at the exact worst time and Dale Luedtke hit a curb and flew into a hay bale. Dale was OK but pissed that the chief referee didn't pull the lapped riders before the last lap particularly on this course which is so narrow. A wider course like Ontario can accommodate lapped riders much easier but at Ladera. No way. Many of the neighbors don't like us there anyway so it is doubtful this race will be back. The course is crafty and fun in a way but still treacherous. Mark "Larx 3" Hoffenberg(you will have to see "Bourne Legacy" to get this nickname) won besting break partner Wayne Stetina at the finish.John Rubcic won the 60+ race in a pack sprint.
OK, back to Ontario. I wasn't thinking of racing Ontario #6 after Ladera. One of my knees was very stiff and I was "down". Got a decent ride on the road on Wed. and then rode at the track on Thursday evening with Mike Birditt and others. After the training Mike asked if I was going to do Ontario and I said there was a 10 percent chance. Mike reply was "You'd better". This was Mike's own way of encouraging me to get back out there. I did some sprints on Friday and my top end was decent and then did 50 miles on Sat. morning. Most of that with Monty and felt better. I was locked on to going out to Ontario. I had told my oldest daughter during the week when she saw my wounds on Facebook that I would have to be crazy to race again the next week. Oh well. What a liar! Trisha doesn't read my blog anyway. Lol. I think getting out there and getting a positive race experience under my belt was just what the doctor ordered. Where better than Ontario. I can do the GP course in my sleep. I have done at least 4 races a year there for the last 12 years.
The weather has been hot and steamy in Socal and the last Ontario is traditionally hot. Our race starts at 7: 35 am so that is much better than being in the afternoon. I talked my wife into going. The last 3 races which were DNF with 2 crashes, she wasn't there. June 10th she was in Colo. and had to fly home that day to help me. I needed a change in the way I do things.
|60+ Paramount trio- Pettus, McKee & Miller|
|Kirk Freeman leading some of the early action at Ontario|
|Mike Birditt marking everything during the race|
I knew without being told that Mike would be working for his teammate Dale but in the race and you could see it the way he was racing. Mike found himself off the front with Mike McConnell late in the race but told Mike that he couldn't work with him. A number of riders were heating it up and of course Don Davidson would do his share of work and then some.
|Felt good to get in the action safely- I love to race|
I saw 5 laps to go and was thinking this was like old times but knew it would be tough at the end and I was pretty sure I couldn't hang with the best riders. At 4 laps to go Mike Birditt went to the front to try and keep the pace up. Good work. This is what teams need to do to keep things in order and safe but I don't often see it. There are certain riders that you see churning up to the front near the end and you know the pace isn't fast enough. I saw some of that but not that much at this Ontario race. The pace at the end was pretty darn fast. Mike kept it up through 2 to go. Mike took his foot off the gas and I don't know who went to the front but I got worried. When we turned the second time with 2 to go Don Davidson went to the front and set a very fast pace. As we turned for home for the bell lap, I was thinking I was hurting and wish we didn't have another one to go. As we got to the line the pace eased a bit and I got to catch my breath. Wow! Thank you! One to go! One to go as announcers always say.
I got on my teammate's wheel, Monty Pettus. It seemed that David Lang wanted it more than I did and I wasn't in the mood to fight with anyone for a wheel. We flew left around turn 2 and David's rear wheel skidded right and I was right there. Anxiety hit me for sure. David got control of his bike but set a bad tone for me for the finish.
With 3 corners to go Doug Knox set off on his standard shoot for the win from way out. Doug races 55+ nowadays because of a bad experience at a CBR race. Mike Birditt tried to close the gap but came up short. Danny Nicolette had more success and was able to get on Doug. This was a perfect launching pad for Dan. At some point Dan shed Doug and it was just Dan. Back with the mere mortals Mike Marotta was vying for the finish with Dale Luedtke. Cyril Hunte had come up on Dale leg near the end so Dale hit the turbo button.
Dan Nicolette finished 25 meters ahead of everyone for the win in 55+ and the first place paycheck. The payout is for one finish list while the riders(55+ and 60+) are separated for Socal points. The promoter Ray Moreno is the last promoter that I know that still does this. Hopefully this will change next year.
Even with the turbo charge in Dale's bike, Mike Marotta was the next rider across the line followed by Demi Hechanova(best race of his life that I know of) and Monty Pettus.
|Overall podium- Pettus 5, Marotta 2, Nicolette 1, Luedtke 3 and Hunte sitting in for Demi Hechanova 4|
We were missing some riders but it was still fun. Always fun to do the last race at Ontario. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe! Series podiums and full results below.
|55+ Ontario Series winners podium- Birditt 2, Luedtke 1, Hunte 3|
|60+ Ontario Series Winners- Lang 2, Pettus 1, & Miller 3|
Video of my crash at CBR on June 10th. This isn't pretty. Look out for those cones Mac!
|Summers End GP (Rank 1.0)|
|1||26090||Daniel Nicolette||Sho-air/Rock 'n Road||14|
|2||47262||Dale Luedtke||Spy-Swami's Cycling Team||11|
|3||15625||Demi Hechanova||Southern California Velo||10|
|5||36299||Dan Valentin||Citrus Valley Velo||8|
|6||64439||Nelson Alaan||Cal-Pacific Export Packers / LV||7|
|8||46255||alex collins||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||5|
|9||58799||John Ward||Citrus Valley Velo||4|
|10||155459||Thomas Reilly||Santa Clarita Velo||3|
|11||202041||mark planellas||Southern California Velo||2|
|12||34753||Rick Swanson||Spy-Swami's Cycling Team||1|
|13||66553||John Sinz||OCW/Paramount Racing||0|
|14||126668||Joey Valdivia||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||0|
|15||277180||John Roest||Team CF-Club||0|
|16||167453||bob estupinan||Citrus Valley Velo||0|
|17||47314||gary prideaux||Lightning Velo||0|
|18||12354||Kirk Freeman||Santa Clarita Velo||0|
|19||9271||Pete Dern||Velo Club LaGrange||0|
|20||52251||Ricky Shorts||Velo Allegro||0|
|21||95649||Ken Burns||Southern California Velo||0|
|22||23303||Michael McConnell||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||0|
|24||47255||Michael Birditt||Spy-Swami's Cycling Team||0|
|25||177283||Eugene Poyorena||Santa Clarita Velo||0|
|26||45552||Douglas Knox||Time Factory Team||0|
|27||148853||Dale Raymond||Southern California Velo||0|
|28||236421||Sven Amundsen||Team Redlands||0|
|Summers End GP (Rank 1.0)|
|1||72880||Mike Marotta||Spy-Swami's Cycling Team||14|
|2||219074||Leo Pettus||Paramount Racing||11|
|4||49424||howard miller||Paramount Racing||9|
|5||180386||John McKee||Paramount Racing||8|
|6||129293||Michael Fleming||South Bay Wheelmen||7|
|7||245777||Steven Borer||UC Cyclery/JW Floors||6|
|8||64127||Richard Lilleberg||South Bay Wheelmen||5|
|10||99906||Michael McKinney||Pinnaclife Racing Team||3|
|11||48278||Donald Davidson||Citrus Valley Velo||2|
|12||50406||Michael Edwards||Velo Club LaGrange||1|