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. http://www.gofundme.com/32wvko
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.|
|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.|
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.|
|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.|
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. http://youtu.be/59Tl1eo8QR4 . 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)|
|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|
|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|
|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)|
|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|
|8||49110||Rino Barbagiovanni||Santa Clarita Velo||5|
|10||16837||Brad House||Big Orange Cycling||3|
|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|