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    

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