Thursday, June 27, 2013


By John McKee

June 23rd, 2013 and time for another Ontario criterium race only this time it is the SCNCA championship for the criterium. For a number of years Paramount has been hosting the championship but Eric Smith of the SCNCA decided it was time for a change in venue and I agreed that this was good for the sport. Ray Moreno who promotes the Ontario race series went the extra step to make this a special event over and above what he normally does. Ray provided $300 for both the 55 and 60+ categories. There were special banners made up for the registration area, the announcer's booth and a back drop for the podium AND had custom jerseys made up for the winner of each championship race. I was impressed.
44 55+ racers and 29 60+ racers signed up to compete. We had been slated for separate start times like we should and would have at a Paramount race but Ray forgot to include a women's 35/45+ race like is required in the SCNCA. When he put them on the schedule he put the 55s and 60s together. A travesty to have to race together in a championship situation but things were worked out with the help of Eric Smith again. We were allowed to have separate races with a one minute separation at the start and everything worked out fine.
The 55s lined up first with the 60s behind. The 60s started one minute after the 55s.
60+ racers line up.
Kal Szkalak takes off like a rocket!
 I was in the 60+ race so I have first hand knowledge of what went down there. The 55+ race is only hear say. Both races played out in a similar manner. The Rokform/Rock N Road squad was very strong in the 55+ category and used their strength to their advantage. The UC Cyclery squad looked the strongest in the 60+ category and was also trying to muscle their way to the top spot on the podium.
In the 55+ race there were a number of shuffles with Rokform being prominent in all of the break attempts. Swami's was put on the defensive as was UC Cyclery. Bob Pellkofer played the cards a number of times and the winning break was started with a solo move on his part. Bob was joined by his teammate William Ralph, Bruce Hartley, Lee Romans, and later Steve Hensler. The 5 worked together but you can see from the photos they weren't that far ahead late in the race.
In the 60+ race Kal Szkalak started out the race like a rocket. It was the strategy of UC Cyclery to attack and counter attack and get one of their men in a break. Kal was joined by Bruce Steele and a 3rd person that I am in unaware of. This had the making of a strong move but Kal is fussy about who he works with in a break and he didn't seem to like this hand. John Roest put his foot down chasing and this threesome was soon caught. Rick Roberson then counter attacked. Caught. John Rubcic counter attacked. Caught. Paul Rodiguez then countered again. He was out there for a lap and it looked like he was throwing in the towel but Jonathan Livesay decided to come across the gap. Bruce Steele, Doug Knox and Phil Richards were at the front and released Jonathan. Jonathan joined Paul and there were now 2 strong riders that just aged up to the category in 2013.

Jonathan Livesay leaves the field to join Paul Rodiguez. Some good blocking going on at the front.

Paul and Jon working together.

Tom Reilly working hard to bring back the break.

Is Jonathan getting tired?

Paul pulling now.

Monty making a go of chasing the leaders.

There is a little over one lap to go. Knox shuts down on Rubcic. Marotta locked on.

Paul Rodiguez wins!

Kal bests Mike Marotta for 3rd.

McKee gets by Rubcic for 5th.

Paul and Jonathan went all in. The main chasers were Tom Reilly and Kirk Freeman. Throw in some good efforts by Monty Pettus, Angela Wimberly, Phil Richards, and Howard Miller. John Roest and Mike Marotta had hit the snooze button. They were the strongest chasers left in the bunch. Mike in my opinion was the strongest and the fastest racer out there. He had to race the event solo though. No teammates like Gary "I don't race criteriums" Shuey. Gary was there but didn't want to mix it up with us.
John and Mike sat in near the front but were just "observers".  I guess they assumed that the 2 guys were eventually going to come back and they almost did. I also sat in figuring 2 Paramount members chasing was enough. The 60+ race came down to 2 laps to go and Paul and Jonathan were still out there. Somewhere counting down toward the bell lap Doug Knox attacked. Doug made a nice move and John Rubcic saw an opportunity here. He chased Doug and got on his wheel near the start finish line. The 2 of them were only 40 to 50 meters or so from Paul and Jonathan. Doug shut it down. Doug thought he had enough stuff to catch the break but didn't want to take JR with him. Behind them Mike Marotta woke up from a deep sumber and hit the go button. We all rode behind Mike and caught Doug and JR. Now Paul and Jonathan were pulling away. Monty Pettus made one last desperate effort to bring the race back together but no such luck. No one even got on Monty's wheel. We were going to sprint for 3rd place.
Paul and Jonathan had done it and rolled across the line 30 meters ahead! Nice job guys. Paul was probably the strongest and pulled away at the end to win the championship. Paul won the road championship as well. Great double. Jonathan rolled across for 2nd place. 3rd place came down to a sprint between Kal Szkalak and Mike Marotta. Kal won this one. I think Mike was still a little tired from the chase it put in with a little over a lap to go. I bested John Rubcic for 5th place and I can never remember coming around "Rocket Boy". The rest of the field followed in closely. It was a fun race and pretty fast for only being 60+. 25.3 mph which was only .4 mph slower than the 55+ which had a bigger field and were of course younger.
60+ podium with Jonathan Livesay 2, Paul Rodiguez 1, & Kal Szkalak 3. Paul has lost weight and looks fitter than last year. 
In the 55+ race though the break group never got much of a lead they were able to hold off the field.  Rokform played the sprint out to perfection with William Ralph winning the race and Bob Pellkofer taking 2nd. Lee Romans rode a good race and finished 3rd and took the last podium spot. Steve Hensler and Bruce Hartley were a bit further back but rolled in for 4th and 5th place. Ralph is a repeat winner from the 55+ road race.

Early action in 55+.

Break with about 5 laps to go. Pellkofer, Hartley, Romans & Ralph.

Luedtke working hard for Swami's.

Steve Hensler has joined the other 4 with 2 to go.

Lee Romans pulling hard in the break!

Romans comes off Pelky and Ralph comes off Romans.

Ralph wins! Pellkofer 2nd and Romans 3rd.

Hoffy bests Birdy for 6th place.

In the 55+ bunch Henry Schnepf lead it out for his teammate Mark Hoffenberg. Mark let Henry create a bit of a gap so Swami's had to come around and chase. Dale Luedtke put it in high with Mike Birditt on his wheel. They caught and passed Henry but Mark locked onto Mike's wheel. Mike tried to sprint at the end but had problems with his cassette and couldn't get it in anything but his 12. He stayed in the saddle as he felt insecure with the chain making a racket. Mark bested Mike. Mark had a max speed of 38.7 while Mike had a max speed of 38.4 mph. Mark was 6th and Mike was 7th. Mike came back and got 4th in the 50+ race with a lower max speed. Turns out Mike's derailleur hanger was bent and misaligned.
Pellkofer 2, Ralph 1, Romans 3.
Rokform squad- Hoffenberg, Ralph, Pellkofer, & Schnepf. Not shown Bleth.
It was a great day for Rokform/Rock N Road and UC Cyclery. Good races. Pictures courtesy of Emily Cramer, Maki Yamazaki and myself. Full results below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

SCNCA Masters Crit Championship  (Rank 3.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Floors 42
2 21364 Jonathan Livesay Montrose Cycling Club 33
3 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 30
4 72880 Mike Marotta Swami's Cycling Club 27
5 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 24
6 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Floors 21
7 30596 Wayne Rosenkrantz Pinnaclife Racing Team 18
8 277180 John Roest Southern California Velo 15
9 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 12
10 49424 Howard Miller OCW/Paramount Racing 9
11 219074 Leo Pettus OCW/Paramount Racing 6
12 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 3
13 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
14 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 0
15 254258 Hugh Lothrop 0
16 9271 Pete Dern Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders 0
17 155459 Thomas Reilly Santa Clarita Velo 0
18 12354 Kirk Freeman CA Pools/ Primal 0
19 3793 Raphael Gomez 0
20 45763 Robert Paganini PAA/REMAX 0
21 236498 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen 0
22 107852 David Lang DARE 0
23 50498 Richard Rodriguez Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 0
24 126668 Joey Valdivia UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
25 180041 Angela Wimberly Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 0
26 238828 Phillip Richards Citrus Valley Velo 0
27 45552 Douglas Knox TIME - Velo Pasadena Team 0
Total # of riders 29      
SCNCA Masters Crit Championship  (Rank 3.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 125834 William Ralph Rokform/Rock N' Road 42
2 47652 Bob Pellkofer Rokform/Rock N' Road 33
3 110259 Lee Romans Paramount Racing 30
4 15874 Steve Hensler UC Cyclery/JW Floors 27
5 45431 Bruce Hartley Radsport Cycling Team 24
6 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Rokform/Rock N' Road 21
7 47255 Michael Birditt SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 18
8 38811 Jay Wolkoff Radsport Cycling Team 15
9 61128 Gilbert Hatton Team Alliance Environmental 12
10 125061 Michael Hines UC Cyclery/JW Floors 9
11 291027 Bill Pinckard Microseal Racing Team 6
12 52251 Ricky Shorts Bahati Foundation p/b Major Motion Cycli 3
13 93812 Donald Denegal Velo Allegro 0
14 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
15 36299 Daniel Valentin Citrus Valley Velo 0
16 177958 Kevin Ryan METALMTN Cycling 0
17 60602 Daniel Swietlik OTR Racing 0
18 64439 Nelson Alaan Lightning Velo 0
19 107559 Rodney Malloy Bahati Foundation-CA 0
20 258639 Timothy Meza Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
21 54084 Lothar Cramer 0
22 109383 Benjamin Weekes Major Motion Cycling Club 0
23 50302 Richard Lee San Diego Cyclo Vets 0
24 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 0
25 23303 Michael McConnell UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
26 58799 John Ward Citrus Valley Velo 0
27 266002 Laszlo Lukacs 0
28 222764 Thomas Buescher South Bay Wheelmen 0
29 52086 Cyril Hunte Southern California Velo 0
30 49191 Kim Bleth Rokform/Rock N' Road 0
31 15625 Demi Hechanova Southern California Velo 0
32 178640 Reginald Jones Lightning Velo 0
33 70853 Henry Schnepf Rokform/Rock N' Road 0
34 98996 Mark Sauer Cycles Veloce 0
35 72467 Marlon Cortez South Bay Wheelmen 0
36 203308 Daniel Yeager SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 0
37 167453 Bob Estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 0
38 47262 Dale Luedtke SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 0
39 45582 Cleaveran Law Lightning Velo 0
40 2734 Richard Barron Coates Cyclery Cycling Club 0
41 177283 Eugene Poyorena Swami's Cycling Club 0
42 16360 Fred Hoblit Swami's Cycling Club 0
Total # of riders 44    

Thursday, June 20, 2013


By John McKee

It's June 9th, 2013 and time for CBR # 6 in Costa Mesa. What makes this race special is a series of tragic
happening that don't occur very often and thankfully so. Chris Contreas lost his life in a bike race accident at CBR #5 on May 27th, 2013.Chris was a long time racer with a wife and young son. He was a member of Time-Velo Pasadena Team. Chris Lotts of CBR made a decision to dedicate the race to the memory of Chris (Cono) Contreas with the proceeds going to his family. All the racers knew this and showed tremendous support in the way of pre registration and actually racing the event. Many racers including 55/60s signed up with no intention of actually racing the event.
Prior to the race a fund was setup to raise money for the family. The target was $30,000 and as of this writing the fund has raised $29,711 from 315 contributors. Notable pro racers such as Lance Armstrong, Dave Zabriste, and Ivan Dominguez put money into this fund.
In case someone still wants to contribute there is the link.
Start of the race with Armin Rahm leading the group in a memorial lap. Armin is in a black kit in the center.
23 60+ racers and 22 55+ pre registered for this race and it is on the same date as the SCNCA track championships in Encino, Ca. 45 signed up but 35 showed up to race. The 55/60+ racers were slated to race with the women 1/2/3. Chris Lotts put the 2 groups together and were racing for no money. This day it didn't matter. We were racing to show our respect and to support the family of Chris Cono. We had been told we would race together with the women and be scored separately. At the line it was decided by the officials that we would race separately and self regulate ourselves without a motor ref.

CBR races are dog friendly events. I am partial to min pins. Beautiful dog.

Doggie chillin' it during the races at the Costa Mesa course.

Teammate and friend of Chris Cono, Armin Rahm was going to lead our group in a memorial lap. The women were to start after us with another team member leading them in a memorial lap. After one lap the race was on. Bob "Early Bird" Pellkofer went to the wipe to start things off. Bob is a cat 1 racer and can race in the very fast 35+ category and do well and can race in the men 1/2 races and also do well. We are a little slow for him as far as the pack speed but he isn't strong enough to stay away on a flat course like this one like he has at a course like Red Trolley. I could see it was frustrating for Bob. His faster teammates weren't here as well as the Swami's squad.  A number of riders went to the front to keep the speed up and a few tried to break away and form a small group off the front. Included in this group were Rino B., Brad House, Rick Swanson, Bruce Hartley and several others. Bob was always up for that but couldn't get in all the moves. Pedro Ordaz was very active but didn't have the muscle to make anything stick but he kept trying.
Rick Swanson drilling it early in the race.

Early race action.

Pelky trying to get a break group going. "Blue Boy" is chasing.

SC Velo has the advantage in this break group.

Paramount trying to set up late in the race. Lothar "Blue Boy" Cramer is 867.
Bob definitely worked hard and teamed up with half the SC Velo team and Mike McConnel but that was only good for SC Velo and was shut down.  Bob also started a move that included a couple UC Cyclery riders and I joined this group by tagging along with Bruce Hartley who bridged across the gap. "Blue Boy" Cramer though pulled everyone back up to them. Seems Swami's is the only squad that really understands the subtle aspects of blocking.
We raced with the women 1/2s on the course at the same time and I was surprised that we saw them so early in our race. We passed their main field and there were 3 women off the front of their race. Suzanne Sonye, Rebecca Siegel and one of the young Swan sisters. There are 3 Swan sisters and they all are good and race in the junior categories. Dad brings them out and sets up their trainers and such. Fun to watch.
Anyway we passed the women's main field and the 3 breakaway members but they came back and passed us. We went back and forth for a while but in the end they were behind us. The 55/60+ race came down to 5 laps to go and no one was away. All together. Not what Pedro Ordaz wanted. He jumped the field. He wasn't shown much respect and got a gap. With 3 laps to go Bruce Hartley jumped himself and caught a tiring Pedro Ordaz. They worked together as this was their only hope to stay away. The pace with the field was mild with SC Velo and mainly Rick Swanson taking the lead in chasing the wayward twosome. Dale Raymond of the same team also helped chase.
The last lap and things got chaotic as usual. Nelson Alaan got himself in very good position. I was on Cyril Hunte wheel. His teammate "Big John" counseled me to to be cautious. The breakaway twosome was caught between turn 3 and 4. Bob Pelkoffer ramped it up and was the first to the last corner. He was followed closely by Mike McConnell, Alex Collins and Nelson Alaan. They went way wide toward the outside curb on the closing stretch. John Rubcic choose to take a sharper line to finish and cut it right up the middle. Everyone else was pretty much all over the place. Howard Miller had gotten himself in good position and several bike lengths ahead of me at the last corner. You can see the finish photographs but the wiley and speedy John Rubcic bested everyone. 1st across the line and of course the 1st 60+ racer. The next four riders were all 55+ and 3 of them were exceedingly close. Alaan, McConnell and Pelkoffer were right there together with Nelson Alaan declared the winner. McConnell 2nd and Pelkoffer 3rd. Great finish. Alex Collins rolled in for 4th and a tiring Cyril Hunte taking 5th in 55+. Howard Miller hung onto 2nd place in 60+ though I was gaining on him. I took 3rd place in 60+.
Bruce Hartley jumping the field and looking to team with Pedro Ordaz who is ahead.

Bruce Hartley and Pedro Ordaz off the front with 2 laps to go.

Sprint Finish

Rubcic(left) wins 60+. Mike McConnell(center) and Bob Pelkoffer(right) shown fighting it out for 55+.

Rubcic wins the 60+ race but the other 3 are racing 55+ and it is so close. Nelson Alaan on the left won.
 In the end it was a good hard race. Not as hard as Pelky would have liked it. Pretty slow the last 5 laps but we did average 25.5 mph in the race which was faster than the last time we were here which was CBR #3 and that race had Hoffy and Birdy.
The widow of Chris Cono was there and showed amazing strength. She was in the podium pictures I have. The action photos are courtesy of Lothar Cramer's lovely wife. Thank you! There also is a great video of the race taken and edited by Mike McKinney. . Thanks also to all that contributed through the fund or entered the race. Racers tend to come together at times like this and look past inconsequential things like payout, etc. Full results below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
55+ podium showing Nelson Alaan wearing the memorial winner's jersey. Mike McConnell also shown.

Chris Contreas's widow with their son in front of the 60+ podium with myself and the winner John Rubcic.

CBR 6  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
2 49424 Howard Miller OCW/Paramount Racing 11
3 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 10
4 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 9
5 219074 Leo Pettus OCW/Paramount Racing 8
6 277180 John Roest Southern California Velo 7
7 61193 John Wagenaar UC Cyclery/JW Floors 6
8 18156 Craig Jones Velo Avanti Cycling Team 5
9 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
10 101582 William Carvin 3
11 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 2
12 257503 Philip Walters Encino Velo Cycling Club 1
13 9271 Pete Dern Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders 0
14 45763 Robert Paganini PAA/REMAX 0
15 50406 Michael Edwards Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 0
16 126668 Joey Valdivia UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
Total # of riders 23      

CBR 6  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 64439 Nelson Alaan Lightning Velo 14
2 23303 Michael McConnell UC Cyclery/JW Floors 11
3 47652 Bob Pellkofer Rokform/Rock N' Road 10
4 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 9
5 52086 Cyril Hunte Southern California Velo 8
6 107559 Rodney Malloy Bahati Foundation-CA 7
7 266002 Laszlo Lukacs 6
8 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 5
9 54084 Lothar Cramer 4
10 16837 Brad House Big Orange Cycling 3
11 48659 Brian Poliquin 2
12 178640 Reginald Jones Lightning Velo 1
13 203308 Daniel Yeager SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 0
14 55635 Pedro Ordaz CA Pools/ Primal 0
15 45582 Cleaveran Law Lightning Velo 0
16 45431 Bruce Hartley Radsport Cycling Team 0
17 34753 Rick Swanson Southern California Velo 0
18 148853 Dale Raymond Southern California Velo 0
19 314194 Steve Hernandez Lightning Velo 0
Total # of riders 22      

Friday, June 14, 2013


By John McKee

The weekend of June 8th and 9th and we see the 2013 SCNCA Track Championships being hosted at the Encino Track. Now in Southland California we have the nicest indoor facility in the country at the ADT track in Carson and the Encino track is "modest" at best but I understand the need to move the championship around. Only fair to the riders that train at this track. Long drive for most riders in Socal but that could be said for any criterium or road race that we do.
On Saturday the time trials were scheduled. Both individual and team. Sunday saw the sprint events including the group scratch and points races. I have not done many track events and it makes for a VERY long day when you consider how long you race and how long you "hang out". You just have to get use to that.
Yours truly with Kurt "Legs a Blur" Sato
In 55+ racing and over which is what I am covering saw some very good performances. Jay Wolkoff was the most outstanding all around performer. Jay dominated in the 500, 2k, 3 man team sprint, the flying 200 and the match sprints. Jay didn't win the group scratch race but you have to cut him some slack after doing all those events prior to that. Jay even beat one of the fastest 55+ men I have seen on a bike and that is Kurt Sato. To Kurt the 500 is an endurance event but for a short distance Kurt is really really fast. Kurt can hit 42 mph in training coming off a motor at the ADT track.
There were many other fine performances by 55+ men and women. I will try and mention or show in pictures as many of the racers as I can. Let's start with the 500 meter TT. The best performance here was by a young lady by the name of Bonnie Woodbury. I don't know the person but her time for her age was amazing! She raced 70-74 and her time was 44.00. Jay's time was outstanding considering the track and the fact that it is outdoors. Jay time was 36.34 but considering Bonnie's age I say her performance was the best.
In the team sprint it was no surprise that the team of Wolkoff, Sato and Patrick won the team sprint in 55+ by over 5 seconds. In 65+ there was something going on here that I really didn't like. A friend of mind had been offered a spot on a 3 man sprint team from San Diego to fill in for a teammate that had a medical condition. 15 minutes before he was to race he was told that he was being replaced. Wow. How important is it to win anyway and they did win when they brought in a world record holder. I was told the replacement was a better fit. OK. Enough here.
In the 2k TT Bonnie Woodbury turned in another really fine performance at 3:09.52 to win W 70-74. Also winning were Pat Riddle(W65-69), Jan Palchikoff(W60-64), Lynette Rock(W55-59), James Kloss(M70-74), Mike Duck(M65-69), Keith Peters(M60-64), and Jay Wolkoff(M55-59).
Jay Wolkoff in action at the Encino Track
The last event on Saturday for 55+ racers was the team pursuit. There was one team only for 65+ and 55+. The 65+ team included Mike Duck, Bruce Steele, Alan Wignall and myself. The time wasn't that great but gold none the less. The 55+ team that won was Dan Rock, Robert Kaplan, Andrew Mirzaoff and Keith Peters.
Some of the fine women racers at the Encino Track

James Kloss atop the podium in the 500 meter TT. You can see the world champ strips on his kit.

Mike Duck atop the podium in the 500 meter event.

The 55+ team sprint team of Jay Wolkoff, Kurt Sato and Mike Patrick- Very good time!

Mike Patrick atop the podium for the 500 meter TT- Mike had hip surgery 10 weeks prior!
He's at the top AGAIN!

3 of the members of the 65+ pursuit team-Steele, McKee and Wignall. Mike Duck not shown.
Sunday saw a different type of racing. More speed involved here. In women's only sprint event racing over 55+ Bonnie Woodruff won the women's match sprint. She had quiet a weekend of racing.
In men's sprints these men won: James Kloss showed his world record form and won the 65+ category over Ray Lafleur. Mike Patrick won the 60-64 category. Jay Wolkoff beat Kurt Sato in 55-59 in the match sprint and had the lowest 200 meter qualifying time. Very impressive to beat Kurt.
Sunday afternoon saw the group races on the track at Encino. In 60+ Henry Shibata won the scratch race. In 55-59 you saw what could have been a criterium podium with team Swami's crowding everyone else out. Eugene Poyorena won the race being a lap up on the field. Criterium speedsters Mike Birditt and Dale Luedtke filled out the podium.
Scratch race
55-59 podium- Birditt, Poyorena and Luedtke
In the 55+ points race Mike Birditt took the gold to finish out a great afternoon of track racing. There were a lot of great performances over the 2 days of racing. I enjoyed my day on Saturday though it was a really really long experience. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!