6 May 2012
Cat's Hill Criterium
Yesterday's Mike's Bikes Cat's Hill Classic Criterium, presented by the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club, exhibited bicycle racing in grand fashion. Nineteen-year-old James LaBerge (Team Mike's Bikes) won his second Men Pro-1-2 race of the 2012 NCNCA Bikereg.com Premier Series, and his third win in three starts. The Women 1-2-3 put on a tough race with Jasmin Hurikino (Vanderkitten-Focus) emerging victorious. And, in the race for Master Men, Chris Phipps (IronDataThirstyBearCycling.com) put in a terrific effort to lead out a three racer breakaway only to succumb to Andres Gil (Michael David Winery Cycling Team) on the last lap.
Master Men 45+ and 35+ 1-2-3
This was a combined-field race with some renowned NorCal racers including Larry Nolan (Team Specialized Racing Masters) and Gannon Myall (California Giant Cycling). Dean LaBerge (Team Specialized Racing Masters) led the field around the final turn on the first lap but it was Chris Phipps that put in early attacks. Phipps continued to stay out front and then led out a three-racer break with Jason Walker (Team Specialized Racing Masters) and Andres Gil. This break built up a lead of 24 seconds with two to go. "I have to take my hat off to Chris Phipps", commented Gil, "He kept the momentum all the time going, going and going."
It was Gil that turned the final corner in the sprint to the finish and was able to hold off Walker for the win for Master Men 35+ 1-2-3. "It was pretty much like moto pacing, just punching up the hill, waiting for the end, and making the right move." continued Gil, "It was just riding smart more than anything else and having the legs." Phipps took a distant, and probably disappointing, third. Patrick Briggs (Sierra Pacific Racing p/b Dayka and Hackett) finished fourth with Jeromy Cottell (Peninsula Velo Racing) in fifth.
Kevin Klein (HDR Racing p/b Lombardi Sports) was the winner, for Master Men 45+ 1-2-3, ahead of Mike Pugh (Davis Bike Club Race Team) in second and Larry Nolan in third. Fourth place went to Scott Leahy (SJBC) with Don Langley (Team Specialized Racing Masters) earning a fifth place finish.
Three teams, Metromint Cycling, Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo, and Vanderkitten-Focus, fielded six or more racers in a field of thirty for this race. However, the early leader was the lone SportVelo Racing rider, Rebecca "Wombat" Werner. The first break came from the Vanderkitten-Focus pair of Jasmin Hurikino and Emily Collins. This grew to four racers as Marley Smith (Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo) and Kate Chilcott (Vanderkitten-Focus) joined Hurikino and Collins up front.
After Chilcott fell back, the field eventually caught the break setting up an attack by Jennifer Reither (Vanderkitten-Focus) with three to go. At this late stage, the field was not going to let this go as Kira Prokopakis (Los Gatos) led the charge up to Reither. Hurikino then came around the last corner for the final lap with an insurmountable gap and took her second win in three years for this race. Hurikino said, "I got back in and gave it my all in the last lap; it worked out well for the team." Vanderkitten-Focus team mate Emily Collins was second with Rebecca Werner finishing third. Marissa Axell (Touchstone Climbing) came home fourth ahead of Nicole Justice (Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo) in fifth.
Although there was a fair amount of attrition in this race, the field stuck in there and refused to let anyone get away. Several racers took turns leading the race. A few made breakaway attempts including Alton Dunnigan (Fremont Bank Cycling Team), Patrick Briggs, and fifteen-year-old Jack Maddux (Team Specialized Racing Juniors). John Wilk (Webcor/Alto Velo) was the last in the list of breakaway attempts but the field was "grupo compacto" with four laps remaining. On the last lap, Rand Miller (California Giant/Specialized) was out front going into turn 1 to help his team mates, Benjamin Swedberg and Jared Barrilleaux.
However, it was James LaBerge (Team Mike's Bikes) rounding the final corner in the all-important first place for the sprint. LaBerge was able to hold off Swedberg and Barrilleaux to win the race. "It was really hard, a lot of guys were attacking all day," said LaBerge, "We had some trouble as a team following the attacks all day. Once you [get around] that last turn first or second wheel you have the best chance to win." Swedberg took second with Barrilleaux in third. Chuck Hutcheson (Marc Pro-Starva) was in on the sprint and finished in fourth place whilst Tyler Brandt came home in the fifth spot.
All-in-all, it was a great day of racing as one local youngster said at the end of the day, simply, "Wow!"
E3 from the hill, Steven Woo, Third Pillar Racing
W12, Brad Goodson, P12, Webcor/Alto Velo
Naoto Sato, Other work
Garrett Lau, Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club
Tim Westmore, Argentum Imago, Still-In-Motion
Sandi Burgar, The Leader Jersey
Dale H. Lewis, Other work
F.J. Jasinski, P12, MYi2U™
Doug Pearl, other work
Thomas Preisler, Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club
Paul Doran, Other work
Ronald Mariano, coming soon, Other work
John Schiefer, E4, Tri Valley Velo
Eamonn Gormley, Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club
Denin Savohic, E3 crash, Squadra SF
Wente Vineyards Classic Road Race
30 April 2012
Racing at Saturday's Wente Road Race was a feast for the eyes on a beautiful, sunny day. Although many fields were strung out on the taxing course, there were a couple of brave long breakaway attempts foiled by remarkable racing to determine the outcome of the race.
Master Men 45+ 1-2-3
Cale Reeder (Echelon Gran Fondo/Charity of Choice) slayed his achilles' heel of a course with a determined win. During the race, Chris Courtney (SJBC) and Reeder's team mate Steve Heaton got away on a break that lasted almost the entire race. "Our plan was to just set a really high pace," said Heaton, "I knew my team mate would be up at some point. I was basically trying to go as hard as we could to make everybody work and have him [Reeder] get a ride up." In his description of the race, Reeder said "My team mate went off from the gun and stayed out for 4 laps. Then one of the guys attacked and bridged across. I sat on his wheel and we bridged up to 'em. Then the whole field caught us, or what was left of the field. And we just duked it out for the finish." On the strength of Heaton's lead out and his own determination, Reeder won the sprint by a few bike lengths. "Three of us got away from the field at the bottom of the climb and I took the sprint. Pretty simple," continued Reeder, "I love this course. This has actually been my achilles' heel. I've never done well at this race, always wanted to win it. For week's I've been saying I want to win this race." Heaton confirmed at least a month of e-mail messages regarding Reeder's resolve.
Master Men 35+ 1-2-3
Taking his second series win of the season, Andres Gil (Michael David Winery Cycling Team) continues his superb record for the 2012 NCNCA Bikereg.com Premier Series. "It was pretty smooth [early], nothing really happened. I attacked on the backside and then went clear for a lap and a half." said Gil, "Then I was caught by three guys [and] we were caught on the last lap. Everybody came together at the end and it was just a dash for the finish." Gil took won the sprint by a good margin over Ken Gallardo (IronDataThirstyBearCycling.com). Jan Weissenberger (GNARLUBE/LANDSHARK Racing) finished in third place, Jason Grefrath (Lange Twins Family Winery p/b Great Basin) in fourth, and Michael Buckley (Morgan Stanley/Specialized) in fifth.
Steven's Bikes presented by Pactimo were off and racing right from the start with Marley Smith taking an early lead; by the second lap, team mate Heather Van Sickle made it a two-racer breakaway. Beth Newell (NOW and Novartis for MS) put in an almighty effort, behind Smith and Van Sickle, to bridge to the leaders. It was Newell's second attempt on the last lap, along with Alison Tetrick (Exergy Twenty12), that did succeed. However, the winner came from even further behind as Molly Van Houweling (Metromint Cycling) brought up another group shortly before the uphill sprint. After some tactical waiting, Devon Gorry (NOW and Novartis for MS) was sprinting up the final stratch and took a look behind her, "I thought I was going to pop off but when I had that gap it was a little extra motivation." Gorry took the win ahead of Newell in second and Tetrick in third. Fourth went to Nicole Justice (Steven's Bikes p/b Pactimo). Van Sickle made it home in fifth place after racing out front with Smith for half the race on a difficult course.
John Piasta (Team Mike's Bikes) and Keith Hillier (Marc Pro-Starva) took off early in this race. Their gap to the rest of the field grew beyond 2 minutes at one point. Behind them, racers stretched out and failed to put in any significant attempt to bridge up. Team Mike's Bikes racers were always toward the front of the chase and seemingly, at the bell, it looked as though an organized attempt to reel-in Hillier and Piasta was not forthcoming. However, during that final circuit around the course, racers from behind the first chase group bridged up. The momentum continued with Hillier and Piasta finally caught within 5 miles of the finish. Track racer Austin Carroll (Full Circle Cycling powered by Pure Gear) sat biding his time, "I just let the two teams work around, watched everything. Toward the finish line [I] gave a little punch and got it." Carroll took the win by a good 10-bike lengths over Spencer Collum (Marc Pro-Starva). "I bridged with him," said Collum, about Carroll, "Up the climb I gave a little surge and he [Carroll] was right there. I couldn't get myself off the front, kind of was committed with about 500-out. [Then] he came around, had more left, and that was that." James Mattis secured third place for California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized. Eric Riggs (Team Mike's Bikes) aided his team's cause in the Premier Series by finishing fourth. Fifth place went to Keith Hillier.
AM wave, Steven Woo, Third Pillar Racing
Mark Adkison, Ph.D., Hors Categorie Photography
Alex Chiu, Rio Strada Racing
Ronald Mariano, Other work
Sandi Burgar, The Leader Jersey
Tim Westmore, Argentum Imago, Still-In-Motion
Mark Dawson Studios, Other work
Coming soon, Paul Doran, Other work
Coming soon, Rene Palileo, Other work