This is the 2nd year that Masters National Championships have been in Bend, Or. The area is quite nice and the 1st year was a success though the criterium courses(2 of them) came under attack from the riders that raced them. The course for the 35 to 55s was downtown and a boring rectangle that had a rather narrow 3rd leg that looked dangerous and I heard it was dangerous. USAC designed a new course and it looked from the side lines to be pretty cool. The low down from the riders was that many of the corners were rough and the area where there was a chicane had many crashes throughout Saturday, Sept. 8th, 2012. The 55-59 age group was to go off at 11:45 am. Many riders from Socal were in attendance. Swami's, Sho Air, Breakaway From Cancer, and UC Cyclery had many riders ready to race. Malcolm Hill was returning for Breakaway From Cancer after a great race in 2011 where he placed 2nd from a 2 man break. Malcolm had former pro Wayne Stetina to back him and help as he could.
|Kal Szkalak and Danny Nicolette|
|In the background you can see Mike Mueller, Malcolm Hill and Rick Swanson|
|This is pic is out of order but too lazy to move it...ONE TO GO..ONE TO GO|
|Aubrey Gordon second from the front. Mike Birditt rounding wide|
Riders started to fall off the pace and in the end 16 riders left the race as DNF(Did Not Finish). 5 of them were from Socal. It was hard out there. Never got an accurate assessment of the pace or average speed from the riders but it did look fast.
|Mark Hoffenberg making it hard...again??|
The race hit the 9 to go and everyone was together. Chris Black would go to the front and push as hard as he could to keep the pace up like he would do when he raced with us in Socal. Chris is from Nor Cal. Chris would use what looked like a 53 x 11 on the flats. A real gear masher.
|Hoffy near the front again|
|Danny Nicolette on Aubrey Gordon's wheel|
The bell like came and it was chaos out there. Chris Black was drilling it. Danny Nicolette and Mark Caldwell were "vying" for Aubrey Gordon's wheel. Hoffy had to engage in some kind of circus act the last half of the lap to get himself near the front.
|Hoffy followed by Malcolm Hill|
Coming into the last corner it's Aubrey Gordon with Hoffy right there. Who had the best sprint or maybe enough juice left to unlease one's best effort. They are flying toward the finish line on one of the main downtown streets. Dave Towle the famous announcer was giving his best sprint description. Gordon, Hoffenberg.... Hoffenberg, Gordon... who would it be. They have a small gap to 3rd and 4th. IT'S GORDON by half a wheel. Mark gave it his best shot but the "doughboy" pulled it off with his vicious and fast sprint.
|Wayne Stetina leading the pack|
Wow! What a race. The USAC race predictor got it right. Aubrey Gordon 1st and Mark Hoffenberg 2nd. Mark rode his heart out and gave it everything he had . Silver at the National level is something to be quite proud of with this kind of a field and the speed they were doing. There are no more silvers then there are gold medals.
|Danny Nicolette following Chris Black's wheel|
Robert Downs of Madison, Wi was 3rd with Mark's teammate at Sho Air Danny Nicolette finishing a very respectable 4th place. Danny didn't even know after the race that he was getting a medal or that he would be on the podium. He seemed disappointed afterward but perked up when he got this news. The last podium spot went to Glenn Schneider of Florida. Locals Kal Szkalak placed 8th, Mike Birditt finally moved up on the last lap and placed 12th. Daniel Swietlik of Hollywood, Ca. was a real revelation in the race. Dan had been a mid pack finisher in the Socal circuit when he raced but had the race of his life and showed great potential with a 17th place finish at Nationals. Good job, Dan. I know we will see you a lot more in Socal next year.
Mark Huffman was 21 and Mike Mueller was 22. Mark says maybe he likes criteriums after all. Of course Mark is moving into the 60+ category next year with Kal and Pablo also of UC Cyclery. They are going to be killer. Rick Swanson was 24th and Alex Collins was 28th. Finishing with this crowd was doing quite good. Great race. There was a bad crash in the 55-59 race as there would be through the day like in the 35+ category. That was brutal. Socal riders Jamie Paolinetti won the 45-49 category and Orange County's and Coffee Crew's Richard Meeker won the 50-54 category. Richard was first to the last corner. He wrote a very good story published in Cycling Illustrated. The one thing he didn't mention as I saw it was how close he was to crashing out coming out of the last corner. Richard was flying into the last corner free wheeling it. It looks like he may not get control of his bike before he hit the barrier on the other side of the street. Richard did get control of his bike but had to scrub some speed and I wasn't sure he could hold on but he did. Great win and the last for Socal in the criterium. 55 2nd, 60 2nd, 65 2nd, 70 4th and 75 3rd. Not bad but each of those riders would have loved to have moved up a slot or two. I know that for a fact since I was one of them. More on that in a later story. Full results below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
|1||145.73||Aubrey Gordon||Reading, PA||55:50:00||45388||222||Liberty Cycle|
|2||154.91||Mark Hoffenberg||Santa Rosa Ca||55:50:00||45461||228||Sho-air/Rock 'n Road/Team Velosport Club|
|3||164.09||Robert Downs||Madison, WI||55:50:00||9947||185||Planet Bike|
|4||173.27||Daniel Nicolette||Los Alamitos, CA||55:50:00||26090||239||Sho-air/Rock 'n Road/Team Velosport Club|
|5||182.45||Glenn Schneider||Lake Worth, FL||55:51:00||31697||247||GS Palm Beach|
|6||191.63||Charles Holbrook||Oconomowoc, WI||55:51:00||16496||229||Lakes Area Physical Therapy/LAPT CC|
|7||200.81||Kevin Willitts||S Lake Tahoe, CA||55:51:00||192774||259||Team Bicycles Plus/Sierra Nevada/Team Bicycles Plus|
|8||209.99||Kalman Szkalak||Capistrano Beach, CA||55:51:00||54522||254||UC Cyclery/JW Floors/Sun Coast Velo|
|9||219.17||Mark Sommers||Washington, DC||55:51:00||149858||274||Clean Currents p/b Beyer Kia/DC Velo Limited|
|10||228.35||Bill Crum||Eagle, ID||55:51:00||52372||265||Boise Cycling Club|
|11||237.53||Stan Urban||San Rafael, CA||55:51:00||178098||210||Morgan Stanley /Specialized/Morgan Stanley Cycling Team|
|12||246.71||Michael Birditt||Escondido, CA||55:52:00||47255||261||Spy-Swami's Cycling Team/Swami's Cycling Club|
|13||255.89||Christofer deHahn||Belchertown, MA||55:52:00||334414||266||Northampton Cycling Club|
|14||265.07||Charles Townsend||Mendota Heights, MN||55:52:00||46011||366||Bianchi/Grand Performance/St Paul Bicycle Racing Club|
|15||274.25||Mark Caldwell||Moraga, CA||55:52:00||40039||216||Morgan Stanley /Specialized/Morgan Stanley Cycling Team|
|16||283.43||Steve Matson||Tacoma, WA||55:52:00||171544||270||Old Town Bicycle (OTB)|
|17||292.61||Daniel Swietlik||Hollywood, CA||55:53:00||60602||209||OTR Racing|
|18||301.79||Thomas Gates||Franklin, TN||55:53:00||45364||220||MOAB Masters Racing/Moab/Middle Tennessee Velo|
|19||310.97||Robert Pinkerton||Denver, CO||55:53:00||81796||272||Natural Grocers Cycling Team|
|20||320.15||Jonathan Sek||San Jose, CA||55:53:00||45922||249||SJBC/San Jose Bicycle Club|
|21||329.33||Mark Huffman||Encinitas, CA||55:54:00||59572||191||UC Cyclery/JW Floors/Sun Coast Velo|
|22||338.51||Michael Mueller||El Cajon, CA||55:54:00||46688||238||UC Cyclery/JW Floors/Sun Coast Velo|
|23||347.69||Michael Newsome||Westminster, CO||55:54:00||50692||204||Boulder Orthopedics|
|24||356.87||Rick Swanson||Corona, CA||55:55:00||34753||275||Spy-Swami's Cycling Team/Swami's Cycling Club|
|25||366.05||Tom Hackleman||Tacoma, WA||55:55:00||58115||223||Old Town Bicycle (OTB)|
|26||375.23||Dirk Cowley||Salt Lake City, UT||55:56:00||7974||218||Velosport Racing|
|27||384.41||Chris Black||San Luis Obispo, CA||55:56:00||3814||262||Morgan Stanley /Specialized/Morgan Stanley Cycling Team|
|28||393.59||Alex Collins||Orange, CA||55:57:00||46255||183||UC Cyclery/JW Floors/Sun Coast Velo|
|29||402.77||Tom Potter||Browns Point, WA||55:57:00||206784||244||Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Cycling T/CBC Racing|
|30||411.95||Craig Hammond||Mercer Island, WA||55:58:00||264726||224||Bikesale.com/Union Bay Cycling/Bikesale.com|
|31||421.13||Joseph Brubaker||Saltlakecity, UT||55:58:00||303618||181||Ski Utah Cycling Team/Utah Premier-Ski Utah Cycling Team|
|32||430.31||Geoffrey Baynes||Olivenhain, CA||55:59:00||48257||175||Celo Pacific|
|33||439.49||Jim Gentes||Soquel, CA||56:00:00||13042||186|
|34||448.67||Malcolm Hill||Westlake Village, CA||56:02:00||156650||227||Breakaway from Cancer Masters|