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      

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