Friday, May 15, 2015


By John McKee

The 1st Saturday of May is always Barrio Logan. Traditional date year in and year out. The Dana Point race has moved around because it had to match with the National race calendar but has now settled into the Sunday slot. 1st Sunday of May. Barrio Logan has almost always had a 55/60+ race. DPGP has in the past had a 55/60+ race but dropped the 60 part a number of years ago but it was brought back in 2015 because 60+ is a Socal Cup category and DPGP is a Socal Cup race though the promoter does not have to include all the categories if he doesn't wish to. They did and both races made this weekend the best crit duo in Southern  California and probably California/Nevada/Arizona combined.
Start line @2015 Barrio Logan

Barrio Logan has been promoted by SDBC from the beginning and our favorite announcer Ralph Elliott does a lot of the pre race grunt work and of course announces the race. The race location is in the city of San Diego in a mostly Hispanic populated area that is being redeveloped in sections and has a mixture of new and old buildings. 
New Barrio Logan highway sign

The race course is entirely in the older section and the road surface is notoriously poor but that is part of the charm of the whole thing. Kind of like racing on cobblestones though not that bad of course. The race being at the southern part of the SCNCA district has a hard time drawing large fields and that holds true for the 55/60+ field. Especially for the 55+ group.  There can be 40 to 45 55s in some races but this race drew less than 20. Barrio Logan is a Socal Cup category but in 2015 55+ is NOT a Socal Cup category. There was a generous purse of $250 for both the 55s and 60s. The technical nature of the course does deter some riders though it is really fun compared to your standard Industrial Park crit course for most experienced criterium riders.
Barrio Logan was scheduled for 7:50 am and drew a total of 30 riders. 18 55s and 12 60s. Chris Black likes this race and comes down from Northern California to do both Barrio and Dana Point. Chris is a very strong 55+ racer and likes to mix it up and charge off the front. Very aggressive rider. The riders were off and everyone got a feel for the course on the 1st few laps. The course has 6 right hand turns and 2 left handers. The course is fun and hard at the same time. As expected Chris Black attacked and off he went after a few laps and even in those laps Chris did a lot of the work at the front.
Chris Black on early breakaway

The strain of Chris pulling at the front and the chase of him off the front had consequences at the back of the peloton. Riders in both 55 and 60 were dropping back or going "off the back" as spoken in bike talk. There were a small number of SDBC and Cyclo Vets riders that were in the race because it is in home territory but you have to be strong and an experienced crit bike racer to hang in here. You have to race more than a few races a year to have the experience to do this event successfully.
With Chris being in the 55+ category the 60s weren't super motivated to chase. There were some strong 55s left to work the front and try and reel Chris back in. Chris went around and around and got a decent gap but not overwhelming. After about 4 or 5 laps he began to tire and he came back to about a 100 meter lead. He wouldn't quit though and the peloton kept him about that distance. Sadists! Finally he was put out of his misery. Most mortal racers would then sit in hope for a chance in a bunch sprint but no! Not Chris. The weather got a little nasty and it started to mist. My glasses had started to fog up on the inside and got rain drops on the outside. I don't know how everyone else was doing but I was having a hard time seeing! I pushed my glasses down my nose a bit to look over them and the added air flow cleared the inside of the lenses. We had gotten the cards and had 5 laps to go. Still couldn't see great but better than I had. 
With 3 or 4 laps to go, Chris Black went again and James Edwards and Malcolm Hill went with him. I am not sure how this played out in the pack with the rest of the 55s but this was the cream of the 55s so the 60s sat in and waited for a field sprint for their finish.
Chris Black leading the charge late in the race

I don't know exactly how the 55+ group played out but you can see in the sprint photo that James Edwards won the 55+ race and Chris Black was 2nd and Malcolm Hill 3rd. In 60+ the race was still in doubt. On the last lap there was controversy. Kal Szkalak was on Dale Luedtke's wheel but Tom Gates wanted it too. Both guys ended up unhappy and finished lower than they wanted. Dale jumped off a 55's wheel coming to the last right turn. One left to go. A new guy to the 60 group was a track rider from Arizona. His name is Lionel Space and he stayed close to Dale. Dale smoked everyone though and won the 60+ category. Lionel finished 2nd. Kal came across the line in 3rd even though he was gesturing. Myself and Howard Miller came by Tom Gates who had basically quit and freewheeled to the line in 6th. In 55+ some new faces in Matt Hahn, Steve Cullinan and Scott Claes sprinted out for 4, 5 and 6 in their category. I won't go into some of the post race stuff but it wasn't pretty. Everyone calmed down after about 30 minutes. Barrio Logan is a great race and it is a shame that the fields are so small there. Having Dana Point the next day surely hurts. For most of the 55/60s racers that came out it was fun and a good race. Not as hard as it could have been. Thanks to SDBC and Ralph Elliott for including us in their great race! Part 2 of the race weekend report will follow the additional pics below. The pictures were taken by Alicia Mckee. There are additional pictures and a video by Lothar Cramer on the 55/60+ Bike Racing Facebook page. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
James Edwards wins the 55+ sprint
Dale Luedtke wins the 60+ sprint

The field coming home

More and more racers coming home

60+ podium- Space 2, Luedtke 1, Edwards sitting in for teammate

55+ podium- Black 2, Edwards 1, & Hill 3

No comments:

Post a Comment