3Ft – It's The Law – Masters Cycling Race Team

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Henelyville 55+ 9/26/15

Henelyville with Doug, Tracy, and Kevin

 

Henelyville is 3 laps around a flat 18 mile loop course. The finish leaves the loop and ends at the top of an very short hill.

The first lap saw some halfhearted attempts to break away by John Marengo (Team City), Frank Winters (SASBA) and Dean Abt (Team Oakland) but they were all covered and ran out of gas.

Half way into the second lap Kevin surged at the front several times and eventually got a gap. He was joined by Kurt Bringolf (Kovarus). At the far turn a couple small groups got loose but within a few miles it was all back together. Going into the 3rd lap Marengo got several small gaps but was brought back by 3Ft each time. He went again and this time 3Ft tried to coax some other riders to chase. That turned out to be a tactical error. He increased his gap out to thirty seconds. A haphazard chase began but it was ineffective and he time trialed to a minute lead and was gone. The peloton started attacking each other about halfway into the 3rd lap. Doug initiated  with a short time off the front with one other rider. As he was brought back Tracy went with Dean and Kurt on his wheel. Frank tried to bridge with Doug and Kevin on his wheel but ran out of gas. Doug flew by Frank and pulled Kevin across the rest of the gap to complete a group of 5. We were able to distance ourselves from the rest of the peloton. Coming down the final stretch Tracy went and Dean followed. Kurt tempoed back on with Kevin on his wheel. Doug, who is still sporting some big ugly painful purple patches from an intimate meeting with a hay bale at ~25 mph two weeks ago, had helped all he could and abandoned. At the bottom of the hill Dean accelerated. Tracy came by and took second. Kevin couldn’t quite get by and ended 4th.

 

Later that evening back in Tahoe, Kevin raced a night mountain bike race.  Sprinting past local Bill Smaine at the finish he grabbed the top podium spot.podium 3

 

Masters Road Nationals Ogden UT 9/9-9/12 by KW

TTT on Antelope Island 9/9

Dave Montgomery and I tackled the 110+ national tandem time trial in Ogden Utah. 110+ means the combined age of the 2 riders is at least 110.

We were only able to practice 4 times before the race. The bike was borrowed from some friends (thanks Gus and Angie). It definitely wasn’t a custom fit nor the lightest setup we saw at the race but it was very functional. It came with areo bars and we added a rear wheel cover and tri-spoke front.

We were given the 2nd to last starting spot in front of the defending champions. The 34k course is a bit hilly for by TT standards with ~800 ft of gain on the out and back profile.

At the turnaround we hadn’t lost much if any time on the 3 teams ahead of us but Elsbach and Elgart (defending champs) had closed significantly on us. As we approached the final 2 1/2 minute climb I could tell we were even or ahead of everyone but the team behind us. We tempoed the climb so as not to blow up at the top and pushed hard to the finish. The other teams were out of sight and we had no markers as we charged to the line. We wern’t sure how we had done til the results were posted.

We finished 2nd beating the 3rd place team by 6 seconds.20150909_191543

 

Crit Downtown Ogden 9/12

I enjoyed the course last year and hoped to improve on a 2014 12th place finish.

The Crit course was an 8 turn affair with a short half block 20 foot punchy climb going into turn 2. The city had patched most of the deep holes and evened the manholes level with the road eliminating the problems from last year. The crop of new strong 55s including Bickel, Foster, and Thompson from NORCAL created a more animated race then 2014. Break attempts were constantly being attempted by the non-sprinters. Midway thru Alan Roberts attacked and I went with him. We held a decent gap for a lap but were brought back. Larry Nolan and Bubba Melcher had to repeat their bridge efforts from districts and eventually it was all back together with 4 to go. Position was key and I surfed my way close to the front but not quite far enough as the surge for the line occurred with 2 corners to go. Positions stayed pretty static from there. Bubba gapped off for 1st with Larry pulling the pack in for 2nd. I move up 3 places from last year with a 9th place.

Dunnigan Hills 55+ 8/15/15 by KW

Dunnigan Hills 55+ with Doug and Dave

We had a full field of 50  riders for this years version of a really fun Dunnigan road race. Starting at the north end of the usual course we hit the rollers first then sections with significant side winds and down wind before heading up wind and finishing on the first set of rollers. In addition to the wind we had some smoke in the air and temps approaching 95 degrees.

Morgan Stanley and Thirsty Bear raced aggressively.  Almost immediately they had Stan Terusaki  MS and Joe Lemiere TB off the front.  With 6-8 riders echeloning thru the first really tough side wind section probably half the riders were got split off the back. Both Dave and Doug were caught up in the carnage.  Down wind John Marengo and a PA Masters RC racer rolled off the front. Thomas Coulter MS bridged across. For a while it looked like this split would fail but with only a couple of us pushing the pace and Steve Archer MS disrupting the flow they slowly edged away and caught the leading two near the end of the down wind section. Another side wind leg and more echeloning whittled the group to about 10 with 5 up the road. After a number of individual attacks were brought back Max Thompson TB opened a gap. Steve MS bridged and with no cohesiveness left in the group plus Alan Roberts TB left in our group to stall any attempts, Steve and Max pulled away and eventually caught the lead group. The long up wind section saw the lead group of 7 increase their lead with Steve eventually winning followed by Max. Our group slogged towards the finish with Alan pulling the group except for an occasional doomed attack from the group. About 3 miles from the turn heading to the moderate stair-step hill finish Kurt Bickel surged off the front. Shin Umeda attacked about a mile before the turn and gapped into space between Kurt and the rest of our chase group. Shortly after the turn (~1 mile) to the finish Shin caught and passed Kurt. With Alan powering on we went thru Kurt and started up the first of two stair steps. I attacked at 200 m as we crested the first rise and gapped ahead. I was able to hold it to the line passing Shin 75 m from the finish for 8th.

Davis 4th of July Crit 7/4/15 by KW

There was a good size 45 field and  a small 55 field mixed in. Melcher, Apt, Miranda and Urban were the main competition. Bubba went once early and I jumped on him. We had a gap but he backed off.  He went for the last prime and I half followed but drifted back to the chasing 45s. The 45s let him take it and reeled him in. The race was reversed from the previous 2 years and was back to the original course, counterclockwise 6 corners. The last 4 corners are fairly close and the finish was not far from the last turn. Position was everything19462377092_87f80be2a9_k and after not being aggressive enough at the 805s I pushed to come out of the last corner well up in the 45’s and 1st 55. It paid off as I was able to hold it to the line.20150704_133858

Lompoc 805 Crits 6/19-6/21/15 by KW

Took a long weekend down to the 805 crits in Lompoc. Ended up being the only 3Ft rider as Jonathan who had planned on going hit the deck at the Tour de Nez the previous weekend and still is very sore with cracked ribs.

The three crit races in 3 days were at the same venues as last year but each course was tweaked a bit.

Hancock Twilight      This year clockwise instead of counter clockwise.

Better course direction similar result. The Amgen Masters team had three strong riders including Malcolm Hill and Mark Hoffenberg and controlled all the attempted breaks. With one to go Hoffenberg and James Edwards rolled off the front. I thought it would come back together but it didn’t. I held good position but way underestimated the distance to the finish (not the last of my mental mistakes) and used up my matches 100 yards to early. Rolled in 10th

Avenue of the Flags      This year the finish was at the crest of the uphill rise.

Hoffenberg and Edwards went off 2 laps into the race and stayed away. The other Amgen riders covered and broke up all the attempted chases. Malcolm apologized for the negative racing when it was over. Shin Umeda the only other NorCal rider took a field prime. To set up for the finish you needed to be at the front two corners before the sprint. Shin got there and I was a little late. We finished 1st and 3rd in the field sprint. 3rd and 5th overall.

Valley of the Flowers      Same general area, still an 8 corner flat crit but counter clockwise and slightly different layout.

Many breaks were attempted but if Amgen wasn’t in them they were brought back. Half way thru a different Amgen rider got a gap and Edwards jumped to it and the field including myself let them slowly roll away. This years course had a longer straight finish. Shin was 2nd in the field sprint and I was 4th. 4th and 6th overall

Steel City Showdown – Pittsburg, PA 5/31/15

Pittsburg, PA, Steel City Showdown, May 31 – 5th Place

Less than two hours southeast of Cleveland, Ohio is the rust belt city of
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. When I learned about a great criterium in
downtown Pittsburg, I figured – why not. This was a .9 mile, 4-corner crit
adjacent to the beautiful Pittsburg Pirates PNC Bank Stadium. The course
crosses the Allegheny River twice via the Andy Warhol Bridge and Roberto
Clemente Bridge. Pretty cool! Each bridge crossing climbs and descends 10
ten to 15 feet so that makes this course surprisingly tough.

Tamara, her 10-year-old nephew Josh and I traveled to the race with me in a
cold torrential rainstorm. However by the time we got to Pittsburg it was
85, sunny and humid. It’s been 35 years since I was in Pittsburg. This
gritty city has been transformed to a beautiful town with lots of shops,
restaurants and even bike lanes. Downtown was bustling on the Sunday morning
of the race.

Nineteen riders entered my 55+ race including Aubrey Gordon, National Crit
Champ in 2012 and 3rd at Nationals last year. The race had a $500 cash purse
and two $50 primes. The bumps over the two bridges required 450 watts
sitting in and 500 to 600watts when I was at the front. Midway through the
race I was in a break with Aubrey, Joey from Philly (the winner of last
years 55+ and 45+) and couple other guys. We were working well together for
5 or 6 laps, however the field somehow pulled us back. That was a surprise.
The next lap was a prime and Aubrey went for it followed by a guy I later
learned was a former USA Track Olympian. Those two held off the field and
finished, Aubrey 1st and track guy 2nd.734-20150531-DSC_1758-L

I worked with State Champ, Joey from Philly and one other guy in attempt to
chase the two-man break down. No one else would work. Joey is a big Bubba
like character with a thick Rocky Balboa Philly accent. It was awesome
hearing him yell and denigrate our chase group to try and get them to work
with a Philly tough guy accent. Joey jumped with a lap to go. I was too
gassed to get on his wheel. He finished 3rd. Jim from Youngstown, Ohio
jumped at the top of the first bridge with half a lap to go. But I reacted
too slowly. Jim won the Race At The Lake event I did two weeks prior. I
chased Jim down and made up a lot of ground but lost by less than a wheel at
the finish. I got 5th and $50.IMG_2792

After the race 10-year-old Josh told me he wants to race bicycles. This kid
plays baseball, football and basketball. Josh is already a little star in
basketball in his area. Next month when I¹m back in Cleveland I¹m taking
Josh to the new Velodrome in Cleveland to enroll him in the track program
for kids.IMG_2793

ICCC Dash for Cash 5/30/15

ICCC Dash for Cash Crits
Kevin Willitts, Tracy Muegge and Jonathan Laine raced for 3 Ft – It’s the Law team in the combined 45 3/4, 55 1/2/3 race May 30, 2015.

Jess Raphael was on the microphone, doing a great job with commentary, and showing off his brand new knee replacement. (And if you think cycling gear is expensive, price out a new knee sometime!).

This is always a bit of a strange crit, as every lap for the first 20 are given primes, which seems to limit the possibility of a break away. This is a flat 4 corner crit, but almost always with plenty of wind, and this race provided enough wind to be a factor. Kevin attacked early for a few primes, but was reeled in,18284990716_ab4bf2b4f8_k then Tracy spent time off the front, and took home 4!17690341453_8652950987_k Jonathan was in the pack, and followed a few half-hearted attacks, but the group came into the final lap together. Larry Nolan was the star racer in the peloton, and everyone was gearing up for his wheel. The group slowed a half lap from the finish, and Jonathan got swarmed and shuffled back a bit, while Tracy maintained good position. In the final corner, Larry dived to the inside, and Jonathan had to touch the brakes and took a longer line outside, then all sprinted for the line 400 m away. Larry took the W, Jonathan 2nd. Kevin and Tracy were 7th and 8th. (I do think Larry is beatable, but to do so one has to race the finish flawlessly. And Jonathan added too many flaws to seriously contest the finale!)18124647889_5c219cf3cc_k

ICCC always does a great race set up with lots of free food, and prizes were generous. Jonathan won a large 3 lb. Hammer product tub of energy drink and a bottle, and, curiously, a $100 discount for the local Chill Lipo Center! His kids loved the irony of giving the racers who end up on the podium a discount for fat sculpting treatment that promises to “Eliminate Stubborn Fat for Good.”

Doug’s Excellent Adventures

Sequoia Crit, Barrio Logan Crit and Race Around The Lake.

If you only race in Northern California, you’re missing half the fun and excitement of masters bicycle racing. There are good racers and great racing all over the country.

A few weeks ago I started my racing wanderlust with a trip to Visalia, CA for the Budweiser Sequoia Crit. This was a classic L-shaped downtown crit in a California central valley town south of Fresno. Pavement was great in most places and bad with a few monster potholes in others. My race had a $2500 combined prize purse for 45/55+ racers. With that kind of money, it drew a lot of crit guys from SoCal.

The race was fast and furious with a total field of about 45 guys. I felt good and raced well. With two laps to go I pushed my self to the front of the field. But I just didn’t have the power on the last lap to hold my position to stay with the likes of 55+ guys like Thurlow Rogers and Chris Black and 45+ dudes like Dean LaBerge and John Fairbanks. Still I finished 6th made $85 cash, but just a place off the Budweiser Podium. I was disappointed about that.

My next race was the Barrio Logan crit the following Saturday in the barrio of San Diego. This is an awesome, fast .8 mile, 8 turn course with a fast decent and two part up hill to the finish. I loved the course. The race was the kick off to Cinco de Mayo in the Barrio. How cool is that!

While I was in Socal I rode every day in including one day of old guy Strava KOM hunting in mountains above Malibu. Also a 4 hour ride in the Oceanside area Thursday with friend, Josh Hayes. Josh is 4 time American Superbike Champion. That dude can also ride a bicycle. Cav often comes to SoCal to hang, ride dirt bikes and train with Josh in January.

Unfortunately I was no mas at Barrio. That was a no bullshit course with plenty of very strong riders. I rode at the back of the field mostly. I tried to get in a move with Malcom Hill(3rd) and Chris Black(race winner)with about eight to go. Trying to bridge up to them killed me. I rolled in 14th.

On to my old stomping grounds in last week Ohio, so I raced at the Race At The Lake on Saturday, North of Akron, Ohio on May 16. There are plenty of strong guys here. Just not as many as Cali. Lots of Cat 1 and 2s. My race was a combined 40/50+, 16 laps on a 1.4 mile circuit with 40 feet of elevation gain per lap. The course was damp, temps about 80 and lots of turns.

My 50+ group had 12 guys – 6 Cat 2s and 6 Cat 3s. The 40+ group had another 20 guys. That race had an attack every lap. In this race I saw my highest normalized power for the year – 258 watts for 50 minutes. I followed everything attack for the first 30 minutes. Not smart. Then after I eased up for a breather, I missed two critical breakaways in a wide parking lot portion of the course with 5 laps or 6 laps to go. . This race is like their Red Kite, they race their often and local knowledge helps on what is a technical course. I did win the field sprint for 4th and $20.

The timing and scoring at Race At The Lake is done with transponders. It puts NorCal races to shame. Check this out and you can see the whole race in animation:

http://www.results.crossmgr.com/2015/05-16/2015-05-16-Races%20at%20the%20Lake-r4-.html

 

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Modesto 55 1/2/3 RR 5/17/15

Modesto 55 1/2/3 Road Race
3Ft – It’s The Law was represented by Dave Montgomery, Tracy Muegge, Kevin Willitts and Jonathan Laine.

This course is six 9 mile laps of field flat course with 12 turns

Race started early, at 8:10, which meant an early 3:45 am wake up for Jonathan who was driving from Truckee so he could be on the road . Perfect cool central valley day, upper 50’s at the start, with enough wind so as to be a factor in the race.

Kevin got into a break, but unfortunately with only 1 other rider. He was out alone (nearly alone as he was doing almost all the work) for nearly half the 63 mile race. A flurry of attacks by Ornstil and Gossi nearly got away, with Jonathan, Tracy or Dave in every one. At one point, with Kevin off the front, the pro field went by and we slowed, and thought that Kevin’s break would stick, but it came back with just over 11 miles to go (he’d been solo for most of a lap). Tracy also got into a long break, and again the team covered every bridge attempt. Dave did some long heroic pulls to bring back several dangerous breaks near the end. This was a very lively race, with attack after attack!

The group was together with 3 miles to go. The plan was for Kevin hit it with about 800 m to go. He actually went really hard and opened up a gap on the field. Jonathan and Tracy jumped after him. Kevin was near the left side of the road, and Jonathan and Tracy were boxed in. Jonathan yelled for Kevin to move right, and just as he did, they squeaked by him on the left, barely staying in the small gap of road between the dirt and Kevin. This move prevented anyone from grabbing Tracy’s wheel, and they took it to the finish with Jonathan 1st, and Tracy 2nd!

This was clearly our best race as a team. Everyone contributed, and everyone was responsible for the finish. Kevin and Tracy in long breaks. Dave bringing back many attacks, Jonathan chasing down attacks, and Kevin doing the final lead out for Jonathan and Tracy.

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Jonathan got a nice trophy

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RK Crit #6 55+ 1/2/3

Red Kite Crit. 55+ 1/2/3

This was a combined race with the 45’s, and a small field of perhaps 25 total. Jonathan Laine was the only 3Ft – It’s The Law in the field. He got up the road with O’Rouke once, then as soon as the field brought them back, O’Rouke attacked again with 2 others and stayed away. Tom Rice from the 55 field made a valiant attempt to bridge up and stayed away for the win in the 55’s.  Jonathan won the field sprint to take 2nd overall in the 55, after narrowly avoiding a crash in the last 150 meters. He collided with another rider in the sprint and developed a high speed wobble, had to hesitate a moment to get the bike back under control, and was able to finish the sprint, and received many nervous congrats for staying upright from those behind him! Shin Umeda took 3rd

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