Monday, June 23, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot Racing

...all around CA this past weekend.

I didn't go to any, but was instead given the assignment of gathering the Platinum road team's results and writing a report. I'm a bit out of practice writing reports for general consumption (i.e., with no distasteful, non-PC jokes and with good grammar and stuff). Here's what I came up with...

Three Platinum road riders showed their grit this weekend in two rough-and-tumble grand-prix races in the LA area. While many road racers in Southern California have burnt out by June, Platinum is still going strong and posting impressive results.

On Saturday, Chester Gillmore, Seth Zaleski, and Brian Cook raced at the La Mirada Grand Prix where temperatures on the pavement topped 100 degrees. The two-mile rectangular course had one up-hill leg to test the riders' fitness and a fast final corner to test their bravery. Chester survived a big pile-up in the cat-4 race and placed 7th, continuing his string of top-10 finishes. You won't find a rider with more heart and raw enthusiasm than Chester and now that he's figured out how to focus his energy, he won't be long for the cat-4 world.

Seth rode aggressively in his first-ever cat 3 event. Not one to be intimidated by the faster riders, he attempted to break free from the pack but the stifling heat made it difficult to keep a high pace alone. In the end Seth recovered and finished 14th.

Brian rode the P/1/2 event that featured some of SoCal's best professional riders. An early break with a couple of Rock Racing guys looked threatening but they melted in the heat and were eventually caught. Soon another group of three escaped including Santa Barbara's Chris Walker. Brian rode intelligently in the heat and finished 7th, right in the midst of SoCal's top field sprinters.

Sunday's race, the San Pedro Grand Prix, was on the waterfront and a much more pleasant 80 degrees. This course had some sharp technical turns to test the riders skills, and appropriately it served as the Elite criterium championship for Southern California.

Chester took a couple more steps up the ladder and finished 4th.

Seth was feeling good in the ultra-competitive Cat-3 field and was ready to attack in the closing laps when he got caught up in a huge crash that split the field. Fortunately he wasn't hurt and after untangling his bike from the pile-up, he continued on and finished in the middle of the group.

Brian demonstrated the wisdom that comes with age and decided to skip the San Pedro race, which proved wise because the final lap of the P/1/2 event had two catastrophic crashes, including one that took down Santa Barbara's Cody O'Reilly.

Is that ok? Or does it put you to sleep?

Tune into the C-Ranch blog to see how those guys did. All I've heard so far is that Brett H. got caught in the cat-4 crash and burned off some more skin. He's one tough cookie though because he hopped up off the stove-hot pavement and continued on to finish. Stud!


Throwing this on the heap because it featured SB native son Adam Duvendeck. Keirin final at the American Velodrome Challenge up in San Jose. Wild racing, eh?!


And in case you missed it, read Dave Lettieri's post on local street sprints over at C-Ranch central.

And here's Dave (on the left) in a tight battle.

Let's see: international crit star, Olympic track cyclist, MTB, BMX, and now street sprints... What's next, maybe a bit of CX this winter?


Billed as the coolest race in America, the Tour de Nez wrapped up this weekend, and lo and behold, SB's resident big-timer Aaron Olson won the gc. That's what two solid months of stage racing will do for you. I'm probably leaving out a grand tour or three, but since April, AO has done Tour of Georgia, Tour of the Gila, Mt. Hood Classic, Philly Week, Nature Valley Grand Prix, and now Nez! I'd say he's earned a SB summer vacation!!

Here's a pic I lifted from Lyne Lamoureux, author of one of the very best blogs covering US domestic bike racing, Podium in Sight. Check it out!


This was said about one of my teammate's father-in-law:

He is one sick old piece of jerky! He rides a rigid singlespeed, and is the holder of some really ugly climbing records down in SoCal. He really has logged million plus feet of climbing years. He's a grandfather, and he's the only person in this, or probably any other contest, who sent a picture in of himself on his bike, with a broken neck.

...and now he wants to do some sicko brutal MTB event called the Hell Ride, but he needs your help to get in, so...

Rock the Vote!!!


Finally, a bit of accidental paparazzi for ya... I did the Sunday Worlds ride yesterday, and wanted to try out my new pocket camera. (My previous one had an untimely demise when Gina slammed it to the ground, accidentally she says, when she saw me with my arm around a bikini-clad silicon beauty in front of a surf shop in Dana Point.) So anyway, I brought my camera to the ride and snapped a couple pics of riders climbing up Bates Rd. and I caught this rider from the All Star Green Giants team:

I knew who he was when I rode up along side and chatted with him, but I asked him his name anyway. "Mark-Paul Gosselaar", he responded, seeming a bit surprised that I wouldn't know. Hey, I've never seen an episode of "Saved By the Bell" in my life! I'm sure he's heard a lot of snickering as a former teen-idol actor turned bike racer, but results don't lie and this guy's moved up the ranks to a cat 2 thanks to bravery and a speedy sprint.

On this day, Mark-Paul couldn't beat the always tough Cory Welles...

...but he easily bested "Pop-guns" Gary D'Velo:

...and a recently un-retired Genghis Hahn!

Ciao y'all!


anony-miss said...

Thanks for voting everyone. He's gotten a boost already! Let's send my dad to Hell. Oh, um, I mean Downeyville for the Hell Ride.

Greg Knowles said...

Great Stuff Mark! Your camera skills are impressive.

jen said...

Lyne's stuff is awesome!

She has a cool interview with Steve Cozza up here too.

Marco Fanelli said...

Miss Anony- A single-speed MTB is uncomprehendable to me, but to do that Hell Ride thing on one is beyond crazy... He deserves to win.

Greg- ...Not!

jen- Yes, those are camera skills.

...and why didn't anyone tell me the link to Podium in Sight was messed up?!? Guess I need to do some quality-control on this blog, eh?! (It's fixed now btw....)

anony-miss said...

He tells me that I don't need a full suspension bike - that my knees are my rear suspension. I tell him I'm a wimp and need to sit down.


That's Zack? Weird! Steve said he had no idea when he was on that ride.