April 13th, 2014 has the prestigious LA Circuit race. This year the promoter Brad "Tool Bag" House had a separate race for both the 60s and 55s. There is a 4 mile up and back loop that makes it possible to put 2 groups on the course at the same time. This is a big benefit to both the promoter and the racers. More races more opportunities for racers and more racers more money for the promoter. Brad is promoting it for the Big Orange Cycling Club in conjunction with Back on Track Productions.
The 60s got their own race and it was to start at 8 am. 2 races later at 9:30 am is the 55+ race. Both races were to be 20 miles rather than the usual 40 minutes criterium race. Brad was hoping we would get 35 racers but I thought 30 was a better target number. We got 25. Thanks to the guys that did come out. I know Sea Otter is at the same time and kept some 55/60+ racers away but the ageless one did some Sea Otter and drove back down to do LA Circuit. Your the best Robert Paganini!
|It's the man! Brad "Tool Bag" House. Brad raced the 55+ race with his tool bag on his bike. Brad has been the long time promoter of LAC and a big friend of 55 and 60+ racing.|
|Prior to the beginning of the 60+ race the National Anthem was sung.|
|Christina "Rico" Ricafort singing the National Anthem. I saw "Rico" later at the track. She was doing a short TT. Photo courtesy of http://www.cat-ears.com/.|
|There was a lull in the action coming half way through the race. I was chided by Dale Luedtke for not taking a pull and I could have here off of Howard Miller.|
|Alex Gonzales chasing the 2 break partners- Mike Birditt and Reid Moore.|
With about 2 laps to go Mike "Staples" Birditt jumped out there and Reid Moore went after him. They teamed up and got a quick gap. They didn't have much of a gap and you could see them at the 180 turns just ahead. There were just a few people chasing like Kurt Freeman, Alex Gonzales and Rino B.
The race seemed to go by so quickly and actually was a longer race than we normally have. The lap card came up with one to go. The bell was rung. Early into the last lap Robert Mosier tried to jump across the gap and looked like he was going to make it but ran out of gas just short of the prey. Robert came back to the group. Mike and Reid were sharing the load. Reid was getting a little tired but they hung in there. Reid knew he stood no chance at beating Mike at the end but the word chance will definitely come into play here.
The Paramount team and SBW didn't even try to catch the 2 guys making the bunch sprint good for the last spot on the podium or so it seemed. We came up to the last corner and there would be one mile to go. Just as we turned the corner and got upright on our bikes there was Mike Birditt on the right going very slow. Flat tire! A staple entered his tire and let air escape about one mile too soon. Bummer! The race now took on a little different complexion.
I got on Kal Szkalak's wheel thinking this was a good wheel to be behind. Monty Pettus was going to freelance it and pick his spot. Up front Reid Moore was proably in shock that his partner in the break got a flat and he was going to win solo at LA Circuit. He indeed rode across the finish line in 1st place. Kudos to Reid for being aggressive and taking it too the sit in sprinters.
The sprint train was coming back toward the finish line but not a very fast pace. Being on Kal was a decent spot but the slow pace allowed riders to come around us and all of a sudden I wasn't in good positon. Monty came up the right side and lanched his sprint pretty far out and everyone else got out of the saddle. There was no clear favorite here but I might have put money on Dale Luedtle. Dale is riding very well this year.
Monty got going and he didn't slow down. He smoked the field for 2nd place. Mike Marotta sprinted in for 3rd place and the last place on the podium. 4th place was a surprise with Rick Lilliberg flying in for a very good finish for him. He got a new Trek just like mind. Same color only it is a faster model. Rick almost didn't get a chance to race because he had a flat before hand and didn't have a long enough extender to work with a new tube. Monty gave him what he needed and saved his bacon.
Dale rolled in for 5th followed in by Kal. I sprinted by Jonathan Livesay and let off the gas a bit and Leo Longo "Kimpered" me at the line. Leo 7, myself 8 and Jonathan 9. Kal was upset after the race that the leadout wasn't fast enough but he could have forged his own trail like Monty did.
|60+ podium- Marotta 3, Moore 2, & Pettus 2|
The 55 race was the same distance at 20 miles and played out remarkable the same. The players were different though and there were no flat tires. Kal Szkalak was still smarting from the 1st race and decided to take things in his own hands. Mid way through the race Kal jumped off the front and went by Cleve Law. Jeff Moreton saw this as an opportunity since sprinting is not his long suit and he jumped across to Kal. Cleve gave up and came back to the pack.
Kal and Jeff got a bigger lead than the 2 breakers in the 60+ race. I believe it was around 20 seconds. The last lap came and they were still away. In fact they finished 1/2. No contest there for the win since Kal is a good sprinter but 2nd is a good finish here for Jeff. Good job, Kal Szkalak and Jeff Moreton.The sprint built up for the field was almost the same as in the 60+ race but not quite that slow. Danny Nicolette came flying out of the pack to finish 3rd and fill out the podium. Mike McConnell(Mike hasn't raced with us this year. Get with it buddy! Lol!) finished 4th followed in by 60+ racers and buddies Dale Luedtke and Mike "Staples" Birditt. 11 of the 1st 25 finishers were 60+ so maybe I wasn't blowing smoke earlier.
|55+ podium- Nicolette 3, Szkalak 1 & Moreton 2|