Thursday, March 21, 2013


By John McKee

Velo Allegro was thrown a strong right cross by the Bahati Fountation racing team. A number of members went across to Bahati leaving fewer members to work their event. None the less they decided to do the entire race themselves and despite having trouble with the flyer and payouts and the 50 % rule they are off in the right direction. The payout to the top 55/60+ racers was totally merchandise and to only 3 people. No payout for 60s. The race course is the popular Hughes course. Wide and seemingly safe with 2 soft turns and wide turn areas to turn into for the other 2 corners. Fast course. Overall the race was a huge success with racers. 758 race entries including 2nd and 3rd races by riders. The course is in Long Beach near the 405 and 710 freeways. Central location.
Start line with the 55/60+ racers at the Velo Allegro Criterium
Signups for 55/60+ racers went slow before the race but their were 32 before pre reg ended. In the end there were 53 racers. 35 55s and 18 60s. Good turnout. Mark Hoffenberg and many of his Rokform/Rock N Road teammates were not there. Taking a break between the Tour of Murrietta and Sam Dimas Stage Race. As mentioned this was a flat fast criterium course and should be safe. LOL.
Another start line picture
I predicted a bunch sprint but after the race got going there were a lot of break attempts. Once one got caught, another would get going. No grouping got much of a lead. Mike McConnell was super active. He definitely takes the "Energizer Bunny" award. Mike Birditt was quite attentive. Sizing up efforts and getting in some breaks and chasing others. Even Robert Paganini got in on one break attempt. One break that I actually got in had all the teams in it with about 10 riders. Sometimes though  you have a few maverick/independent riders or someone from out of the area like this Webcor guy. He chased this group and closed the short lead down. "Blue Boy" also likes to chase but he has been racing in a white jersey lately so I guess I should jettison his nick name.
The thing to do with them is isolate them when they are the front. Create a little gap to their wheel. Subtle blocking is in order here when your teammate is ahead. Pretty soon they look around and where is everyone. Make the other riders come around you if they wish. Nothing dramatic. Blocking seems to be a lost art.

Bruce Hartley having a go with "Blue Boy" pulling the pack

Cleave Law and Don Denegal off and away

Even sprinter Cyril Hunte tries his hand at getting away with Guido Quezada

Brain Carrico and Mike Birditt with Don Denegal chasing on

Mike McConnell with Deogracias Asuncion

This is the big group break thing falling apart. I am looking around like "Am I suppose to chase the 'Energizer Bunny'"??
McConnell applying the pressure late in the race. Ron Mallory is pulling everyone back to Mike
None of the efforts you saw stuck. The lap card soon came up with 5 to go. Without Rokform/Rock N Road who was going to keep the speed up late in the race? It was a mismash as to the pace and who would be at the front. This is where our all category race can get us in trouble. You see promoters actually can't restrict the 55/60+ race to cat 1-4 like in other lower masters age categories. The race would not be eligible for Socal Cup points. Plus national championship races are all category for 55+ and up. I am pretty sure that's why the SCNCA made it such. We can try for a rule change next year to exclude cat 5 racers. Their are plenty of venues around(El Dorado, Great Park, Fiesta Island weekly crits, etc.) to hone their group racing skills.
Their were a number of riders that tried to help at the front including Mark Planellas and Cleave Law but the pace was not very feisty with the laps counting down. The bell lap came and the Swami's train hadn't kicked in yet. Birditt was near the front with Fred Hoblit, Dale Luedtke and Mike Marotta. I was a little further back behind Mike McDonnell who was behind Peter Allen who was behind a "new guy". A cat 5 racer with what looks like 2 group races under his belt. He is a former triathlete and pretty strong but his group racing skills were lacking. At turn 2 with the pace picking up our new racer found himself over his head and that wouldn't be that much of a problem usually. Riders would just go around him when necessary but our new rider took a bad line through the corner. He leaned his bike way over and kept pedaling. Bannggg, zooommm! Down he goes. Peter Allen was right behind him and you can see from the pictures what happens to him. Craig Jones, Tom Herman and I believe Mike McConnell went down. Tom had a very sore back but no one from later reports had any broken bones. I went way wide left to get around and just made it before the door closed there. No exit left as riders piled up there.

Rider down alert!

Peter Allen tries to fly over the rear wheel of the downed rider

Gravity took over Peter's flight. Wayne and Dale ride by on the inside

The pace set ahead wasn't that fast so I chased back on. The riders that were able to get through on the inside also closed the gap. I was breathing kind of hard and tried to sit on and catch my breath before the sprint. Lee Romans moved ahead and passed many riders on the outside. Fred Hoblit was in the lead and Mike Fleming was right behind him with Marotta and Birditt stacked up right there. As we rounded turn 3 Fred soft pedaled leaving Mike Fleming in the lead and scratching his head as to what to do.
Mike Marotta got out of the saddle and started a lead out for Birditt. Cyril Hunte was on Birdy's wheel. As they rounded the last corner Cyril took a shorter radius in his turn then Mike and overlapped his wheel. Mike started his sprint right after coming around the corner and moved to his right to get clear of Marotta. Cyril did a shuffle and came out of his right pedal to avoid Mike's wheel. Mike got clear and sprinted toward the line almost uncontested. Mike Birditt the 55+ winner. Cyril had to reclip and then sprint. In the mean time Dale Luedtke came flying around the corner and showed some of his old form sprinting for the line. Dale was 2nd in 55+ with Cyril taking 3rd. Lee Romans who used some of his matches getting to the front on the back stretch finished 4th in 55+. Mike Marotta had enough left to hold off Wayne Rosenkrantz and Kirk Freeman in 60+. I came in behind Kirk for 4th. This was a crash marred race that didn't have to be that way. A shame all the way around. All the photos are courtesy of Maki Yamazaki and Lee Romans. Lee did a video cam for the last 4 laps. Here is a link to it on You tube.
Full results below for those that were able to roll across the finish line plus the 50+ results. The 55+ racers are in bold print in the 50+ results. Mike Marotta was the 1st 55+ racer in the 50+ event and Mike as you know is over 60. Nice job, Mike. Pags was the oldest rider of course and I was the 1st 65+ rider across in the 55/60+ and the 50+ race. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
Birditt rolling to victory!

St Patricks Day Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 47255 Michael Birditt SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 14
2 47262 Dale Luedtke SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 11
3 52086 Cyril Hunte Southern California Velo 10
4 110259 Lee Romans Paramount Racing 9
5 Don Denagal 8
6 50532 Deogracias Asuncion South Bay Wheelmen 7
7 36299 Daniel Valentin Citrus Valley Velo 6
8 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 5
9 107559 Rodney Malloy Bahati Foundation-CA 4
10 106988 Guido Quezada Velo Allegro 3
11 45431 Bruce Hartley Radsport Cycling Team 2
12 393555 Larry Castillo Velo Allegro 1
13 64439 Nelson Alaan Lightning Velo 0
14 271566 Alex Gonzalez Bahati Foundation p/b Major Motion Cycli 0
15 148853 Dale Raymond Southern California Velo 0
16 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 0
17 45582 Cleaveran Law Lightning Velo 0
18 174212 Brian Carrico PAA/REMAX 0
19 88537 David Tonello Peaks Coaching Group Racing Team 0
20 16360 Fred Hoblit Swami's Cycling Club 0
21 45552 Douglas Knox TIME - Velo Pasadena Team 0
22 55635 Pedro Ordaz 0
23 314194 Steve Hernandez Lightning Velo 0
Total # of riders 35      
St Patricks Day Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 50+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 35248 evan teske 0
2 135047 Stephen Gregorios Pinnaclife Racing Team 0
3 182097 James Wiznura Pinnaclife Racing Team 0
4 21278 Troy Lindstrom CA Pools/Primal 0
5 68549 Craig Miller BBI-SIC Cycling 0
6 188885 Brian Schroeder CA Pools/Primal 0
7 219611 Kurt Bickel UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
8 249644 Tod Smith Bicycle Haus Racing 0
9 23409 Steven McDonald Pro Bike Supply 0
10 285925 David Fetah Radsport Cycling Team 0
11 188986 Gary Wall Pinnaclife Racing Team 0
12 306544 Chuck Winn South Bay Wheelmen 0
13 72880 Mike Marotta Swami's Cycling Club 0
14 47262 Dale Luedtke SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 0
15 171706 John Bergman PAA/REMAX 0
16 73132 Gregory Page Lightning Velo 0
17 72177 Ed Marcelo Team Velocity 0
18 177283 Eugene Poyorena Swami's Cycling Club 0
19 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 0
20 108680 Michael Carro Surf City Cyclery/STERLING BMW 0
21 107559 Rodney Malloy Bahati Foundation-CA 0
22 160306 Alan Morissette South Bay Wheelmen 0
23 61161 John Cardenas Southern California Velo 0
24 393926 Frank Carone 0
25 80089 Lee Ziff Velo Club LaGrange 0
26 62673 Michael Joseph Bahati Foundation p/b Major Motion Cycli 0
27 50775 Stuart Anderson San Diego Bicycle Club 0
28 333410 Frank Picarelli BBI-SIC Cycling 0
29 52086 Cyril Hunte Southern California Velo 0
30 271867 Lane Reid South Bay Wheelmen 0
31 60231 Steve Morton GST Racing 0
32 191929 John Camilli METALMTN Cycling 0
33 45249 Brad Decker Win-Team Racing 0
34 69591 James Nelms Pinnaclife Racing Team 0
35 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
36 209072 Eric Richardson Big Orange Cycling 0
37 23303 Michael McConnell UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
38 54084 Lothar Cramer
39 88537 David Tonello Peaks Coaching Group Racing Team 0
40 186377 Christopher Allen Breakaway from Cancer Masters 0
41 222764 Thomas Buescher South Bay Wheelmen 0
42 379784 Alfredo Tadeo ADOBO VELO 0
43 272791 David Cranston Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 0
44 174212 Brian Carrico PAA/REMAX 0
45 138633 chris keller 0
46 51400 Mark Rich Southern California Velo 0
47 47255 Michael Birditt SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 0
48 30596 Wayne Rosenkrantz Pinnaclife Racing Team 0
49 45431 Bruce Hartley Radsport Cycling Team 0

St Patricks Day Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 72880 Mike Marotta Swami's Cycling Club 14
2 30596 Wayne Rosenkrantz Pinnaclife Racing Team 11
3 12354 Kirk Freeman CA Pools / Primal 10
4 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 9
5 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 8
6 170779 Edgardo Potes 7
7 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 6
8 9271 Pete Dern Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders 5
9 45763 Robert Paganini PAA/REMAX 4
10 62271 Louie Rivera ADOBO VELO 3
11 257503 Philip Walters Encino Velo Cycling Club 2
12 101582 William Carvin 1
13 50406 Michael Edwards Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 0
14 266647 Allen Kizuka Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 0
Total # of riders 18    

No comments:

Post a Comment