A cycling tradition since 1896
2003 season sponsored by
Road Race #13 - Boca Road Race
1. Mike Henry
1. Shawn Pearson
1. Jeff Dickey
2 great days of racing.
Tuesday the Wheelmen Criterium Championships were held at the Air Center
course.and it definitely lived up to its billing. Wilting heat, strong
fields, and a great crowd made the race one big ball of fun. The C event was
fast from the gun with more than a few riders willing to attack and
establish a winning break. But each acceleration would be swept up after a
few minutes of hard riding from a hungry field. And though the field was
stretched single file much of the race, the elastic never snapped and it
came down to an exciting field sprint. The cagey veteran, Dan Brown, jumped
on the inside and was driving for the line but a resurgent Mike Henry would
come around him in the last 50 meters to stake claim to the championship.
The B event would see much of the same sort of aggressive riding with rider
after rider launching out of the field. But as with the C's, the field would
enter the few last laps together to contest the top placings. But there were
still riders willing to bid for solo glory - first to launch off would be
the young Nick Blades, attempting to fly away from the chasers. He would be
caught and on the immediate counter-move was Paco's Brian Jitloff. Brian
would solo for 2 laps, but would be swept up just as the bell rang for the
final lap. It was looking to be a full field sprint and the crowd was up on
the sidelines, ready for the fireworks. All eyes were on the final corner,
300 meters away, straining to see who would be the daredevil to lead out the
final straightaway. And it would be.Ross Klobuchar? And he has a gap? Yes,
the big man had attacked with 600 meters to go and was hell-bent over his
bars, crushing a monstrous gear for all he was worth. Oh the agony!
The field would rocket around the corner in a blaze of chase and rubber. The
sidelines were roaring with support for the loan rider, risking all in an
attempt to steal the championship. The seconds were an eternity as we
watched the break-away rider and field charging for the line. At 100 meters
it looked as though Ross would survive the most improbable of attacks but,
alas, the last 50 meters would see a HUGE acceleration from the already
crowned Road Race Champion, Shawn Pearson. All year I've been telling this
guy he has top-end power, but only in the last couple of weeks have we begun
to see him really unleash it. Not more than 10 meters from the line would
Pearson push past Klobuchar and double up in the Championships. But that
would be the only rider to come around Ross, he would break the line a
valiant 2nd for his best result this year.
What a race!
The A event was more a boxing match than bicycle race. Riders would slug out
attack after attack, looking for the knockout blow. Kyle Dixon would launch
off solo a couple of times but he has become a marked rider and the field
would not let him get away. Bike Warehouse, in particular, rode an extremely
intelligent race - chasing him down when he got away, but in measured and
controlled pacelines. Well done. And of course, after each chase, there
would be a BW rider counter-attacking - serious body blows to the field,
causing fatigue and frustration. The knockout blow came directly after the
last points preme. Kyle Dixon would make a big effort to win the points, a
bit of pride there, and immediately on the counter was Jon Anderson, Wayne
Avery, Jason Chalker, and Casey Guthrie. These 4 would put 15 seconds in to
the fatigued group immediately and the crowd sensed it would be the winning
move. Also getting a whiff of this was the Carson rider, Jeff Dickey. Jeff
would storm out of the field as they were looking at each other to chase and
attempt the solo bridge. It would take 3 laps, but he would make it across.
What an effort! But the fireworks weren't done yet.
After what would end up being too long of a wait, the field would begin a
full chase of the leaders. The riders would work hard to try and bring down
the gap with Jason Walker, Steve Kauffman, Kyle Dixon, Dustin Sweet and
others rotating through. But it was not a smooth chase and the gap would
shrink very slowly. And with 4 laps to go, the knife came to the group in
the form of Chad Timmerman putting in a vicious attack to bridge across to
the leaders. The break would consist of 2 Bike Warehouse riders
(Chalker/Guthrie), 1 Motion-Potion/BW (Avery) rider, the independent Tuttro
Ferro (Anderson), and the Carson (Dickey) rider. Since Chad was also a BW
rider, he would have the free ride as the Wheelmen and other independent
riders attempted to chase the lead group down. Sitting in and measuring his
energies, Chad would gauge the gap to the leaders, wait for a slight
slow-down in the field, and then launch his attempt. Perfect strategy.
This is an excellent example of just how incredibly important the TEAM is in
advanced cycling. In a B or C event (USCF category 3,4, or 5) - a strong
individual will very often be able to just plain ride everyone off of his or
her wheel.just with fitness. But, in the more advanced categories of racing,
where fitness levels are more similar - it's all about the team. There is an
adage that rings very true to the experienced bike rider's ear - "The
smartest will beat the strongest 9 out of 10 times." The Bike Warehouse team
planted riders in every break on Tuesday. The winning break would have 3 BW
riders out of 6. Those are great odds. As it turns out, they were just up
against superior sprinters. Jeff Dickey is, without doubt, the fastest man
in our region. There is no rider who can beat him in a straight-up sprint.
He would pull away from his break-away companions for an extremely
well-earned championship. 2nd across the line was the gutsy Wayne Avery for
his best result of the year in the Twilights. Chalker, Timmerman, and
Anderson would finish out the podium.
Just plain beautiful to watch.
And lastly, a quick report from Wednesday night's Alta Alpina race on the
new, Ron Leiken designed and organized, race at Lakeview. What a course!
About a 2.5 mile circuit with roughly 250 feet of climbing per lap,
hopefully this course will be one we can use again. The C's would see our
own Kyle Smith solo away from the field. The B's would have a 3 man lead
group form of Alan Biaggi, Ron Leiken (using a little home-field advantage),
and the Wheelmen's Spencer Erickson. Spencer would attack late in the race
to secure a very convincing win with Ron charging hard for 2nd. In the A's
it would be Jim Barkley showing why he's the District Champion, riding very
hard and pushing me the entire race. The 3rd time up the main hill would see
the two of us locked in the big-rings, head-to-head on a punishing pace. Jim
would fall off just a hair and it would be just enough incentive for me to
dig a bit deeper and go for the winning move. From then on we would both
time trial the course and come across 1-2. Paul Tindal would be 3rd with
Troy Walters nabbing 4th.
Thanks a lot Ron and the AA folks for the fantastic race.