This was the 2nd annual Surf City Criterium! Enjoy the gallery from todays action. Only on Cyclingillustrated.com!
by Eric Johnson
The Rosena Ranch masters race had all the makings of a great race and it didn’t disappoint: celebrities, speed, drama, and, for me, a solid finish.
Only one fresh teammate from my SPY-Giant-Ride team bellied-up to the start of the race with me today. The rest of the team was our 45+ legends, who (only an hour prior) hammered out an impressive win of their own. Our plan today was simple, Josh and I knew our best bet in a field of larger teams was to let Helen’s and Monster Media play out their hands, and watch Surf City if it were to come down to a sprint. We would work in breaks, but we knew we would have to be particular as we only had a few matches to burn.
The race played out much like we expected. Riders attacked for the duration of the race, usually with a significant player in the mix. If Rudy Napolitano, Adam Livingston, or any number of the MRI team were in a break, the larger field chased. We always seemed to catch on the fast downhill. It was pretty easy. For the first three laps, my teammates were active working to get in breaks or bring groups back. But after lap three, we realized the finish was going to end in a sprint and so we became even more particular about efforts. Josh and MMX (Michael Marckx) are stubborn, aggressive riders, so they kept pushing breaks, but I was happily taking advantage of drafts and gathering myself for the last lap. I knew I’d need it. [Read more…] about All Hell Broke Loose at Rosena Ranch by Eric Johnson (SPY-Giant-Ride)
ROGER MILLIKAN Race Report Master’s 35+
By: Michael Easter
On Sunday, all of SOCAL cycling showed up for Roger Millikan or so it seem. In fact, I neglected to pre-register and was wait listed at day of registration and was told to return 15 minutes prior to the start to see if I made the start sheet. So there I am, thinking I am so cool in my new Stars and Strips Skinsuit that I just received an hour earlier, and I may not even make it to the start line. In an effort to not miss my chance, I chose to warm-up on my rollers next to the registration tent. As promised, the registration folks began calling names and handing out numbers to those riders on the wait list. They gave out ten numbers and I was number 12 on the list….bummer.
More than “bummer,” I am totally pissed, pissed at myself for not pre-reregistering and honestly a little pissed at the Cat 3 rider who stood next to me pinning his number and proceeded to tell me he was just doing the Master’s 35+ as warm up for his Cat 3 race. Lucky for me, my team mate Armin Rahm/TIME-VELO Pasadena (Winner of the 45+ race) gave me his number. Unlucky for me, it put our team down one strong rider.
We had are pre-race meeting, which went like this: “Hey Rudy you attack, if you get caught, I will attack, then let’s repeat that until something sticks.” Really there is not much more to it, Rudy and I believe we are two of the fittest riders in the group and our best option for a Win is out of a breakaway.
To the start line we go. The usual admonishment from the official and the whistle goes. Rudy and I stuck to the plan, attack, attack, attack. Unfortunately, are efforts were only good enough for a 3rd Place. Why?
First, you have to look at the course. The course was square, fast, super wide, with corners you could pedal through, and it provided no benefit to an attacking style. This begs the question, “Why did we attack and not sit in and wait for the sprint?” Rudy and I don’t have the luxury of a 17 man team like Charon, which can chase every move and deliver us to a 100 meters sprint. Even if we did, Rudy and I are more all-around bike racers than sprinters, meaning you are just as likely to see Rudy (National Road Champion) and me winning hilly road races as we are flat criteriums.
Second, the “others” in the race, a term not meant to be derogatory, but a simple term to describe everyone else that is not on Surf City or MRI. These are your free-lancers, small shop teams, recreational races, and of course the Cat 3’s who need a warm-up. The “others” can play a huge roll in criteriums, more so than a road race where variances in fitness levels can limit their roles. In a criterium, “others” with limited race experience will chase down breakaways for the simple enjoyment of having a productive effort in the race, which does little to improve their chance of winning, but more to make their mark on the race, maybe even feel like they got their monies worth. I bring up “others” because several times I would look back to see who is chasing and it would be an “other.” This makes no sense to me, “others” should look to follow moves, not bring them back. “Others” should force the big teams (Surf City) to chase back the moves. That style of racing would improve the “others” chances of a higher placing, because it would fatigue more riders from the big teams.
Third, MRI. MRI had good numbers in this race, but seemed to lack some critical depth in fitness to contribute to promising breakaways (granted it is early February). MRI also seemed a bit disorganized, which is rare when DeMarchi and Paolinetti are racing. Several times I saw less experienced MRI riders closing gaps to breaks that they should have left to Surf City or even attempting to bridge to a break they were already represented in, but instead creating links between the peloton and the break. Those mistakes only benefit Surf City’s strategy. Having talked to DeMarchi, who is always critical of team tactics, he will have those kinks worked out. On a side note, to those who asked why Paolinetti was wearing his Nationals Kit in the same race as me, here is the answer. Paolinetti (45+ National Champion), out of respect for the 35+ category approached me before the race and asked me if I had a problem and If I did he would wear his Team colors. As shocking as this will be for some of you, I told him no problem, you should absolutely wear it. I told him that, because I know how it feels to wear that jersey and be proud of what it represents, pain, sacrifice, and commitment. In fact, I love seeing Paolinetti, Matt Carinio (Art’s Cyclery), and Rudy (TIME-VEO Pasadena) wearing their kits. It is good for their team sponsors, their team’s moral, and an excellent display of SOCAL’s cycling efforts at the 2012 Nationals.
Fourth, is the Surf City team who has stepped up this year to field a large team that can burn riders just to catch my sweat as they sit on my wheel attack after attack. As angry as it makes me, you can’t fault their strategy. Keep the race together, keep the pace steady, and deliver their rocket (Charon) to the front around 100 meters and it’s a guaranteed win.
Fifth, and lastly I have to be critical of my mistakes and shortfalls as much as I want to be mad and pass blame for loosing onto the course, the “others”, MRI, Surf City, and Cat 3’s warming up. So I will fall back on a phrase that has got me through all my sporting endeavors, parenting three kids, the Marines, my current work assignment, and the disappointments that come with bike racing. The phrase came from my dad, who used it to encourage me as a child competing in team sports. Before the game my dad would pull me aside and say, “Son…Never, never…?” and I would reply, “Give up.”
Thanks Doug Knox (TIME USA) and Hrach (Velo Pasadena) for your support this year. Also, thanks to Brandon Hale at Cycling Illustrated for allowing us Master’s racers to still think we are something special.
If you are still reading, I have challenge for you. If you are a 35+ Cat 1,2,3 and believe you can out sprint Charon, I will secure you a spot on the TIME-VELO Pasadena Team. Auditions are being held every weekend at a SOCAL Criterium near you. Come find me before the race and I will give you a pre-race motivational speech. See you at the races.
Don’t Miss Your Chance
by Seth Davidson
You get one chance every year in Southern California to prove you’re a bike racer. In this case, “bike racer” doesn’t mean “dude who rolls around a business park for 45 minutes and outsprints 100 other idiots.”
It doesn’t mean “dude who goes all out for a few minutes on the velodrome and gets the fastest time.”
It doesn’t mean “dude who rides a $10k aero road bike on a TT course.”
It doesn’t even mean “dude who has the nicest Rapha stuff and hangs out post-ride longest at the coffee shop,” although that’s pretty darned close to the perfect definition of a SoCal racer, not to mention Manny Gooseman.
Nope, in this case “bike racer” means something sort of like this: “Dude who enters a long, extremely hilly road race with zero chance of winning and with every prospect of getting shelled and finishing alone.”
Who said anything about fun?
Please don’t tell me that you don’t do races unless they’re “fun.” Real road racing isn’t “fun.” It’s misery compounded by pain compounded by gradual collapse and marked by the relief of finishing. People who seek fun in bike racing have a whole world of events prepared for their pleasure: Crits, some TT events, some types of track racing, BMX, mountain biking, certain categories of ‘cross…
But real road racing? It’s the opposite of fun. It is a bad time gone bad. And Boulevard is the worst of times plunged into depression, inadequacy, and loss.
Please don’t tell me you’re not doing the 2013 Boulevard road race, but you’re going to do another road race later this year, as if that makes up for your slinking cowardice. Unless the “other race” is Devil’s Punchbowl or Vlees Huis, those other races lack the quintessential feature of Boulevard, which is that you will get dropped quickly and struggle by yourself for hours on a lonely, desolate course frequented only by drug smugglers, gun runners, human traffickers, and mobile home people who are badly drunk and made a wrong turn coming home from the Golden Acorn casino or the meth lab.
Please, please don’t tell me you’re not doing Boulevard because it’s too far and a waste of money. Traveling even 100 yards for a bike race is too far, and wasting money is the very foundation that the pyramid scheme of cycling is built on.
No, you’re not racing Boulevard because you’re going to lose before you even line up, and your tender ego is too weak to handle the message “YOU REALLY SUCK, YOU FAKER!” shouted at you by you about in large, internal capital letters. You’re not racing because you’re going to be eviscerated. Because your mathematical chance of victory is a perfect zero. Because the racer you wish you were is the racer you’ll never, ever, ever be.
So why do it?
You shouldn’t. Far better to stay home and test your mettle at Food Park, show your sparks on the Donut Ride, or flex it up on Swami’s.
This way you’ll be fresh for the crit on Sunday, when you can play bike racer again, and duke it out in the final 500 yards.
For you, if you were to do Boulevard, it would be far too harsh on your tender ego. You would see all of your friends ride away the moment the peloton crossed the railroad tracks. You’d be shrieking to yourself, “Shit! There go all my friends! I’ve only done part of the first lap, which was all downhill!”
Then you’d realize that none of them are your friends, especially your friends. They would prove this as they recede in the distance. They would not think about you at all, except perhaps like this: “He really sucks.”
For you, the pain of being dropped and abandoned would be compounded when you slowly slogged through the start-finish area. If anyone cheered for you, it would be with embarrassment. Since it’s the first lap, they might cheer slightly loud enough for you to hear. They’d look at you, not with admiration, but with a kind of satisfied contempt that said, “He really sucks. What’s he doing here? He’s no bike racer.”
This would get a thousand times worse on the second lap, because you’d have been picked up and dropped by someone who flatted, or by riders in another group. Each one would pass you and drop you and think, “He really sucks. He should stick to the easy stuff. He’s not tough enough for real bike racing.” You’d feel their contempt. They’d shout it with their pedals.
The second time up the long climb you’d feel okay physically, just slow and fat and worthless, but when you go went the start-finish no one would even look at you. “Why’s he still out there? Why doesn’t he just quit? He’s proving nothing besides what he’s already proven: He sucks. Now it’s just demeaning.”
On the final lap you’d completely run out of gas with most of the lap to go. Each pedal stroke would hurt. You’d get passed by old people, weak people, fat people, bony people, and finally by the carload of drunks again who would feel so sorry for you they’d pull over and offer you a ride home, wherever home is. You’d decline, but only because the car was filled with cigarette smoke, empty beer cans, three weeks of dirty laundry, and couple of flatulent old hounds.
There would be two people at the finish, one of them an official. As soon as you crossed they’d mark your name off and the race would be over. For you, for everyone. They’d give you that look like, “Because of YOU we had to stand out here in the fucking cold for an extra hour. Why’d you even show up? We hate you.”
So, enjoy your weekend
Once you got home, you’d ask yourself, “Why in the hell did I just do that?”
You’d have no good answer, but many bad ones.
I just wanted to prove I could do it. (So what’s next, proving you can survive a fiery 10-car pile-up on the freeway?)
I wanted to be there for my teammates. (Who think you suck and who were embarrassed by your miserable performance in THEIR team colors.)
I think it will help my crit racing. (You are now, in addition to being officially crazy, officially stupid.)
I was goaded into it by guilt and by the Wankmeister. (Add “officially pathetic” to the list.)
It was a good chance to get some quality racing miles under my belt. (No, it wasn’t, unless you plan to do future races at 12 mph.)
I’ve heard so much about Boulevard that I just had to do it. (Yes, but have you ever heard anything good about it? No? Me, either.)
I wanted to see if it was as tough as mountain biking. (Nothing is tougher than mountain biking simply because trees and boulders have zero give when you hit them with your forehead at 35 mph. But nothing hurts like a hard road race…haven’t you ever seen or heard of the Tour de France?)
I wanted to get out for the weekend. (East San Diego County isn’t “out.” It’s “in,” as in “in the crapper.”)
Of course by now the car is packed and you’re headed down to the race. Good luck. You’ll need it, along with a miracle. And in case you didn’t get the memo, there are no miracles. On race day at Boulevard, there are only sad stories of failure, defeat, and enduring the awful for no good reason. This…
…is bike racing.
An Open Letter To All SoCal Cyclists:
By Brian McCulloch (CashCall Mortgage Cycling)
Nearly four years ago I had the opportunity to live a portion of my dream… a long sought after and visualized dream. In 2010, I raced the Redlands Bicycle Classic as a member of a locally sponsored composite team. We had the specific goal of raising $5,000.00 for the races’ title sponsor, PossAbilities. PossAbilities is a community outreach organization that does incredible things for the local disabled population.
A group of many generous local community leaders and friends made it possible for me to race the event successfully as well as achieve our philanthropic goal of presenting a check for over $5,000.00. The presentation for the donation check took place before the start of the Downtown Redlands Criterium. Thousands of fans were watching the presentation and a positive charge in the air was created that can only be described as ‘energizing’. The crowd had just experienced the power of the PossAbilities hand-cyclists churning their heavy gears as they were speeding around the same course I was about to race on with 180 other able-bodied cyclists. That experience was easily the most powerful event I have been a part of in my cycling career.
Today, I was notified that the Redlands Bicycle Classic is in need of support from the cycling community to continue the nearly thirty years of racing tradition. For those of you who have not been a part of the RBC, it’s an experience you must have. This event is far more than a bicycle race. ‘The Classic’ is a premier event for the Men’s and Women’s professional peloton. It is also unique in that it showcases the world’s best hand-cyclists in a stage race format. Saturday is packed full of riding and racing options for the non-professional. Enthusiasts can participate in the RUFF Ride for cyclists of all levels. Those new to racing can try their hand at the Public Races and local school kids can race in the School Duel. The longstanding crowd favorite is the Shimano Youth Series races in the morning. Sunday the course is filled with Southern California’s finest amateur criterium racers as all SCNCA categories take to the course. This event is second-to-none, and yes, I am biased as a local resident. I encourage you to come to the event and see for yourself, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
This amazing event needs our support to continue to thrive. Everyone on the Redlands Bicycle Classic Organizing Committee, an ALL-VOLUNTEER group, is putting on their fund-raising hats and seeking sponsorships to secure another year of memorable racing in the SoCal sun. They have asked me, as the 2012 SCNCA Road Race Champion and a member of the CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team, to lend my support. I have responded by partnering with our friends at Cycling Illustrated to get the word out and ask for your involvement.
Personally, I am making a financial contribution to the event. Being an athlete in the professional stage race was a ‘shoot for the moon’ goal since I began racing road bikes in 2005.It’s important to me that young cyclists have an event of this caliber to see, experience, dream about, and race in.
The Redlands Bicycle Classic is an event put on by passionate community volunteers, some of which are cyclists, for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are a racer, a Course Marshall, or a Host Family this event will leave a powerful impression.
Any financial support or sponsorship that you can offer is beyond appreciated. Please take a moment to go to the following links to find out how you can get involved.
To Learn More About The Redlands Bicycle Classic:
When you come to ‘The Classic’, make sure to cheer on the CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team as we participate in the professional stage race. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Until April…Be Safe, Ride Hard, And Have Fun,
CashCall Mortgage Cycling Team
2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL – February 20 – March 11th, 2013
(San Clemente) Orange County, California may have the undeserved reputation, or stereotype of being too staid, too rich, or too conservative, but TRUTH be told it’s a very diverse, happening place that has always been a cycling capital.
Now the non-profit Orange County Bicycle Coalition, established in 1991 as one of the oldest groups of cycling advocates in the West, is launching their “2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL.” As a follow-up to their first 500-seat “Sold Out” screening, which brought “Chasing Legends” to the OC, during Le Tour in 2010, the OCBFF will remind OC cyclists of their history. This is the land of GT and FELT bicycles, which designed and engineered some of the world’s most aerodynamic racing bikes, for Gold medalists and World Champions. OC has lots of dirt, jumps and trails, “Sheep Hills is BMX,” so are S&M and fit bikes, half the county is parks, and a National Forest. Orange County hosts an “Over the Hump,” MTBike racing series, with up to 600 racers for 12-weeks thru the summer! Ain’t the place for yo Mama’s Schwinn factory (it’s not Chicago)!
Clothing and accessory makers are here, plus, Shimano’s US and OAKLEY’s intergalactic HQ are in our backyard, …PENDING NEWS … 2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL’s Industry and VIP preview, on February T.B.D.!
You think that we in the OC may be short a few bicycle messengers, fixies and hipsters? But we’ve got City Grounds, Livery Design, and 15 more 1-speed, fixie retailers plus sometimes more than 400 riders for the Fullerton / OC Critical Mass Friday rides. We’re Recycling Jerseys, Simple Green’s manufacturing biodegradable bike cleansers here and thousands of people riding up and over hills half the US can’t imagine!
In short, it’s not all Benz, BMW, or old Buicks here, we’ve got Bike Culture. The first medals of the 1984 Olympics were awarded to cyclists in Orange Co., in front of 250,000 fans, not in LA, but in “the OC.” The 2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL will be offering over 60 films, many foreign and domestic features, at 23 screenings, at 6+ theaters between Wednesday, February 20th and the Newport Beach Lido theater “Best of Festival” films and awards, on March 11, 2013.
In addition to our competiton winner for “Bicycle Shorts” submissions, awards will include the “Audience Choice,” “Best Commercial Short,” “Best Documentary,” a “Jury Award,” and from films that have appeared, at, at least four other festivals, the “Official Selection.”
Panel discussions and Q&A will include the producers “CRUZIN” which tells the story of a band of buddies, from casual recreational riders to former Tour, and World team pro racers, who gather together to take a 1,000-mile tour of Vietnam, in 12 days. Guys like your club buddies, on
For Immediate Release: 2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL – February 20 – March 11th, 2013 cont’d
an incredible journey where Americans were in the 60’s and 70’s and many OC residents have escaped, or immigrated from. “Riding Bikes with the Dutch,” producer will talk more about his family’s experience commuting by bike in Amsterdam, and now back home in Long Beach.
Special guests will include 91-year-old Dale Plueger, Laguna Beach apartment owner, who was a 6-Day Bike Racer, and still has an incredibly sharp mind, great memory, and a couple classic bikes and jerseys. Wait til you see some of his scrapbook items, these and other memorabilia will be reproduced for each day’s screenings. A series of films will trace back the history of bicycles, through the last century, with features, documentaries, and shorts, from around the world, from most decades from 1900 to 2000, the timeline culminating with a look at “Where’s (pro road) Cycling Going?” featuring pro racers, team owner directors, and hopefully the most influential race owner/director in America, Michael Aisner whose “Coors International Bicycle Classic” inspired riders like Greg LeMond, nearly every great American champion, and the visions of the AMGEN Tour of California (yet to visit Orange Co.!?). This show on Sunday, February 24th will include discussions of Performance Enhancing Drugs, suspensions, and scandals (as far back as ’67 and ’98) which led to the last few years’ “Clean Teams,” biological passports, and cycling’s stricter drug testing programs which are now the most frequently administered in any pro sport.
You expect the OC has millionaires and billionaires but you may not know there are bicyclists living under bridges beside the 25 mile long Class 1, Santa Ana River Trail! University Presidents and students, immigrant laborers, and company owners, elementary school kids riding safe routes to schools, and 80-90 year-old retirees, all ride bicycles in Orange County. From “Little Saigon,” to La Habra Heights, from the “Mountains to the Sea,” (w/Newport Beach’s “Back Bay” another popular Class 1 trail here), Orange County is anything but stereotypical. However, according to the League of American Bicyclists, it is America’s first “Bicycle Friendly County.”
OCBC will continue to use proceeds from their film screenings to work for recreation and transportation alternatives here, to be an advocate for cyclists rights, and responsibilities on roads and trails (reducing fatalities!), for safety education and supplies (like lights for the poor, and for school children), and to make the OC known as one of the best cycling tour, travel, race or recreational destinations in the USA.
Contact: OCBC Executive Director, Pete vanNuys (949) 492-5737
OCBC’s 2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL Director, Jim Freibert (714) 389-0429
The Orange County Bicycle Coalition’s OCBike.org
JAN. 20, 2013, BAKERSFIELD, CA. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — Score one for the northerners. For the first time in the three-year history of the Nor Cal vs. So Cal California State Cyclocross Championship, the historically strong skills of the riders from “up state” were able to overcome the superior numbers of those from “down south.” A change in the points structure at the 2013 event, held once again at Hart Memorial Park in Bakersfield, California, helped level the playing field on a lovely, dry day.
The numbers don’t lie. The final score had the North with more points — 310 to 233 —and more than twice as many individual class championships: 11 to 5. There had been quite a bit of friendly social media smack talk going on between the two groups leading into the event, but everything was cool during and after it was all over. Nobody got stabbed in the neck.
The Elite Men’s race finally sealed the deal for Nor Cal, as Santa Cruz natives Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized) and Aaron Bradford (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) were unstoppable on a long, fast course punctuated by several brutal run-ups.
Los Angeles, CA: Team VRC is proud to announce its 2013 elite developmental program which will compete as Get Crackin’ U25. The team has a number of accomplished riders and has invested in the future by bringing in a large group of younger talent and will continue to support some of the nation’s best juniors. The team will attack an ambitious race schedule to help develop these young riders into successful, elite-level cyclists.
While the team has helped launch the careers of seven professional riders since inception, the team also places an emphasis on supporting charitable causes. Since its founding in , Team VRC has raised over $[300,000] for charitable causes such as the MS Society, Madison’s Foundation and Shred Kids Cancer. This blending of athletic excellence with social awareness and responsibility to support those who are less fortunate is a key element in what makes the Get Crackin’ U25 program so unique.
New rider Geoffrey Curran is already on the radar of some European teams after he notched several wins in European UCI races for 17-18 year-olds in 2012, including the overall GC and Stage 1 at Ettapen Rundfahrt (Germany) and Stage 4 at GP Ruebliland (Switzerland). Collin Berry, 2011 National Champion in the Madison (17-18’s) and 4th in the Madison at 2011 Worlds (17-18’s), continues to bolster his track racing pedigree with international Madison racing in addition to his continued development as a road rider.
Last year Effen Flores took the silver medal at the National Championship Road Race (15-16) in addition to wins at notable races such as Devil’s Punchbowl, Valley of the Sun (GC) and San Dimas State Race (TT). Adding firepower across all disciplines are 2012 State Champions Connor McCutheon (Oregon Criterium, Elite), Tyler Schwartz (SoCal/Nevada TT, 17-18), Daniel Gay (SoCal/Nevada Criterium, 17-18) and Eric Volotzky (SoCal/Nevada RR, 17-18).
|Collin Berry (20)
Taylor Clements (20)
Daniel Gay (18)
Cory Greenburg (25)
Morgan Ryan (22)
Erik Volotzky (19)
Will Chesebro (paralympian)
|Tyler Brandt (23)
Geoffrey Curran (18)
Efren Flores (17)
Bo Knickman (15)
Jos LeRoux (25)
Connor McCutcheon (22)
John Piasta (20)
Tyler Schwartz (18)
The team will again be led by former professional rider and past national team coach Roy Knickman, who will be assisted at select events by former US Professional Road Race Champion Bart Bowen.
Title sponsor Wonderful Pistachios returns along with Sierra Nevada Brewing, Olan Law, Tri-Fit Studios, Performance Fitness Concepts, Cynergy Cycles, Specialized bikes, Panaracer tires, Oakley eyewear, Capo clothing and Bonk Breaker energy bars. New supporters include Nozin nasal care, Skratch Labs hydration, 2Quik carbon technology and Speedplay pedals.