UCLA Road Race: Men’s 35+
By: Adam Livingston
The UCLA Road Race, which is basically the shorter, harder version of Devil’s Punchbowl, is one of those love/hate races in SoCal. I love when it’s over and I haven’t frozen to death or been blown off of the road. This year, at least, there was no snow or gale force winds. But there was a strong field of more than 40 racers.
The first time up the climb was mellow as always, with the pace heating up on the rolling terrain after the long, 50mph descent. There were several attacks by MRI and Time, but nothing really got anywhere. The second time up the climb was steady again, and I was getting anxious to put in some efforts. I took off halfway up the climb, chasing a solo CA Pools, rider but we were both caught after the long descent.
There was another flurry of attacks leading up to the 3rd time up the climb, and finally Gary D. from MRI split things up on the steep part of the climb. There were 2 MRI riders, 2 Time guys, and 1 other who got away over the stair-step section of the climb, but a chase group of about 10 of us caught them just before the start of the last time up the climb.
4 of us from the chase group attacked during the regrouping. We stayed away until the steep part of the climb, when Gary picked up the tempo again and blew things apart. The small group split into Gary, Rudy and Mike from Time, and Nunes in front with a few of us behind left to chase. Mike eventually got away solo with Gary chasing in 2nd. 6 of us remained to fight for 3rd, which went to Phil after the sharp, uphill sprint. One more painful edition of the UCLA RR complete! Thanks for all of the suffering, fellow masters racers.