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Results and Reports for June 1-7, 2002
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California/Nevada State Championships
Vandenberg Air force Base, June 2, 2002
By Mark Wilde
The women's field started out in the morning under cool, overcast skies and a light wind blowing in off the ocean. The first few miles were used for warming up and conversation, typical for experienced riders with a big day in the saddle ahead of them. As the day progressed, the pace as well as the wind picked up. These two factors influenced the selection process, creating a final elite group of 10 strong women.
The pace out, on the first lap was fairly easy, with only a couple of accelerations. The turnaround is a 180 degree tight turn which strings the field out. The riders then receive benefit from a strong tailwind and rollers that push them to speeds of 35-40 m.p.h.. Riley McAlpine of Helen's had a slight mechanical mishap, and this was the first example of the intricacies of cycling and the importance of teamwork. Two of Riley's teammates got word of her slight setback and came back to help pace her back to the peloton. All three regained contact a few hundred meters before the first climb heading back. Dotsie Cowden of the U.S. National Team set a good tempo up the climb and the selection process had begun as riders started coming off the back.
The first assault of the feed zone climb saw additional riders off the back and the group stringing out. The women regrouped quickly on top as they headed into a steady headwind and the pace slowed. Fatigue from the climb and the slowing pace resulted in the first mishap. Several women in the middle of the pack went down, but quickly remounted and the chase was on. There must have been contenders in the mishap, because several of the women up front were continually looking back checking the progress of the chasers. Team tactics and the importance of teammates are an integral part of cycling and are impressive to watch. The field regrouped in a few miles.
However, once again the pace slowed dramatically. As riders once again replenished with food and drink, the second mishap occurred with several riders hitting the pavement. Erika Schwarz of Red 5 Racing was involved and provided her team with a chance to show their strength. Her teammates received word and two of them slowed to provide her aid. These three chased for several miles and regained contact after a steady, but not frenzied chase. This decision to not panic and expend too much energy proved fateful later.
The pace was becoming higher as the race wore on. The first climb coming back on the final lap selected the strong. The final assent up the feed zone was at a furious pace and separated the best from the rest. Up on top, the final 10 women regrouped and rested just enough to organize their thoughts.
The last 5-7 miles saw the most aggressive and animated racing of the day. The ten remaining contenders attacked and countered each other ferociously in an amazing show of hard, determined racing.
In the closing couple of miles the women slowed and rested for what was now going to be a furious finish. One kilometer out, positioning was vital and the wait was on. The attacks came 200 meters from the last turn and everything was laid on the line. Team strength allowed Erika Schwarz to take the win and the State R.R. Championship with Jennifer Stevens (LaGrange) second and Riley McAlpine (Helen's) third.
Wind plays havoc with state champs
By Chris Evertsen, Team Helen's
California's strongest women were on hand as nearly 50 riders lined up for the start of the 2002 edition of the California State Championship Road Race. Set to the backdrop of rocket launches, the race took place on the Vandenberg Air Force Base where security was extremely tight, but the men and women in uniform were exceptionally polite.
The course was a grueling 38.5-mile loop of which the elite women did two laps totaling 77 miles. It starts off flat for a few miles then drops into a normally blistering fast descent which leads into a long series of rollers as you head west towards California's coast. As you near land's end, the course doubles back on itself. Once again it's through the rollers and now climbs what was the descent. The feed zone is also located on this, the climbing side of the course. At the top of the climb the route turns right into an 11-mile flat section, heading you back to the start/finish line.
Over the past several years the course at the Vandenberg Air Force Base has been cold and cloudy. This year Mother Nature decided to add howling winds to the mix. No matter which way you turned it seemed the blustery conditions were blasting you with a 20mph head wind.
Most of California's top teams were represented in the race, and from the beginning it was clear that team tactics and support were going to make the difference between winning and just finishing the race. The strongest representation came from Minute Maid/La Grange, Red 5 Racing and Team Helen's/Trek/VW, all of which had at least six riders in the field. There were also several individual standouts like Dotsie Cowden who rides for the US National Team.
The start the race was quick, but not overwhelming, as riders stretched their legs and checked out the competition. It wasn't long however before teams began "racing" as Team Helen's set a hard and fast early pace attempting to break up the field. This was only going the trim some of the fat from the field and the other teams knew it. It was a long race, the conditions were tough, and the other riders knew that no one was going to win a 77-mile race in the first 20 miles.
The first time up the major climb, Team Helen's was still driving the pace hard as the rest of the field came through the feed zone taking on additional fuel they knew they would need to finish this race up front.
The wind was wreaking havoc on the field, blowing riders in directions they didn't want to go, slowing speeds to 10mph where usually they would be tipping 30-plus mph, and playing part in a couple of crashes. One such gust claimed Jennifer Stevens riding for La Grange, but the team was right there for her. Team Captain and one of California's best sprinters, Katie Safford, dropped back to switch out Jennifer's damaged bike with her own, and then helped pace Jennifer back up to the field.
Another crash caught Red 5 Racing's Erika Schwarz, one of the race favorites. Taking advantage of this unseemly opportunity, Team Helen's went to the front to attempt to put some distance between the race leaders and Erika. But once again, team efforts played a major role. Every Red 5 Racing rider dropped back to help Erika, and after an all-out effort in a grueling chase, which cost two riders their opportunity to finish the race, Erika was back with the leaders.
With just 12 miles to the finish there were only 15 riders still in the lead group as they neared the crested of the final climb. Now the attacks would have to come and they did. Individuals would attack and the others would have to follow if they could. Into the final mile only six riders were still in contention. Erika Schwarz, taking control, charged towards the final corner leaving everyone grappling for her wheel. But the launch sequence was set and all rockets were firing as Erika Schwarz blasted to the line, taking the California State Road Racing Championship.
"This was a team victory, I couldn't have won with out the team, its to bad we couldn't all stand at the top of the podium together because they are the ones who really deserve to be up there." Said Erika after the race.
Jennifer Stevens for Minute Maid/La Grange was second and Riley McAlpine for Team Helen's/Trek/VW was third.
We would like to extend a warm thank you to Team Tailwinds for putting this race together and to all the gracious personnel at the Vandenberg Air Force Base for letting us use their facilities.
By Chris Black
The 111 mile Senior men's road race started with a blistering pace that never let up. The 37 mile scenic circuit on Vandenberg Air Force Base featured a little bit of everything; climbs, flats, and treacherous winds. Eric Sternlicht (Simply Fit) was the early antagonist with several attacks in the opening miles. Sternlicht' s repeated attacks saw a group of seven riders go 30 seconds clear at the feed zone on the first lap. The group included Sternlicht, Patrick Caro (Helen's/Trek/VW), Victor Ayala (Team DARE), Ryan Lane (Zombies), Fred Whatley (F-2 Consulting), Matthew Sadauchas (UCSD) and year 2000 National Road Race Champion Patrick Heaney (Webcor/Alto Velo). The gap yo-yoed from 15 seconds to a maximum of 2:30.
The second lap saw Sternlicht and Whatley dropped from the lead group on the climbs. The remaining five kept the pace high through the flats and the beginning of the final tour of the circuit. Chris Walker (Zombies) launched a vicious attack on the firehouse hill, and only Mattis could hold his wheel. They made contact with the leaders shortly thereafter. Sadauchas was not working and Heaney took him out the back of the break. Neither rider ever rejoined. Walker attacked repeatedly, but was unable to snap the rubber band. Walker's attacks did, however, see Caro and Ayala dropped on the climbs in the cross/tailwind section.
Walker continued his attempts at shedding his companions, but Mattis covered every move with Lane sitting on. At this point the field had disintegrated into a chase group of six riders (with two Alto Velos), another group of six, then the field scattered over several miles in small groups. Walker attempted to lead out teammate Lane into the final turn, but Mattis drew even to begin a 100 meter drag race to the line. An exuberant Mattis claimed the victory by one half a wheel over the hard working Lane, who had been off the front for 90+ miles. Walker rounded out the top three.
Sr. 1/2/3 (111 miles) 102 Starters 1 James Mattis (Webcor/Alto Velo) 2 Ryan Lane (Team Zombies) 3 Chris Walker (Team Zombies) 4 Matthew Sadauchas (UCSD) 5 Robert Polski (K.B. Homes/I. Matin) 6 Victor Ayala (Team DARE) 7 Ted Huange (Webcor/Alto Velo) 8 Chris Hahn (Labor Power) 9 Michael Anker (K.B. Homes/I. Matin) 10 Dario Falguier (Webcor/Alto Velo) 11 Neil Shirley (Unattached) 12 David Bly (Helen's/Trek/VW) 13 Louie Amelburu (Labor Power) 14 Daniel Hopley (F-2 Consulting) 15 Donovan Douglas (Mercury) 16 Patrick Heaney (Webcor/Alto Velo) 17 Roger Worthington (Labor Power) 18 Todd Terlecki (Helen's/Trek/VW) 19 Dryl Roose (Helen's/Trek/VW) 20 Linsay Blount (Simply Fit) 21 Chris McDonald (Lipovitan B3) 22 Richard Pego (LGBRC) 23 Jeff Caton (Hapa Valley Velo) 24 Josh Horowitz (Team DARE) 25 Keith Horowitz (Team Zombies) 26 Gustavo Gomez (Unattached) 27 Kevin Klein (Unattached) 28 Camaron Brenneman (K.B. Home/I. Matin) 29 Kal Szkalak (Simple Green/Mazda) 30 Geoffrey Rappoport (UCSD) 31 Gen Kogure (Cyfac/3BRT) 32 Keith Szolush (Webcor/Alto Velo) 33 David Jaeger (Helen's/Trek/VW) 34 Peter Armitage (Helen's/Trek/VW) 35 Erik Sternlicht (Simply Fit) 36 Stuart Press (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 37 Jon Erskine (LGBRC) Women 1/2/3 (77 miles) 42 Starters 1 Erika Schwarz (Red 5) 2 Jennifer Stevens (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 3 Riley McAlpine (Helen's/Trek/VW) 4 Joy Shaffer (LGBRC) 5 Carla Koehler (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 6 Kirsten Raudenbush (Red 5) 7 Dara Rogers (Helen's/Trek/VW) 8 April Henderson (Helen's/Trek/VW) 9 Colleen Kelly (Red 5) 10 Dotsie Cowden (U.S. National Team) 11 Erin Kassoy (Palo Alto Bicycles) 12 Deborah Durand (Helen's/Trek/VW) 13 Julia Whitesdie (Paramount Racing) 14 Troy Watson (Webcor/Alto Velo) 15 Taitt Sato (LGBRC) 16 Desira Utzig (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 17 Carol Neal (Simple Green/Mazda) 18 Dorothy Wong (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 19 Erika Coble (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 20 Cheryl Roth (Helen's/Trek/VW) 21 Cynthia Maree (Helen/sTrek/VW) 22 Carla Hukee (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 23 Amy Babcock (Spokesman) 24 Colleen Fris (Velo Allegro) 25 Nicola Koyana (Team Zombies) 26 Betsy Bloom (Red 5) 27 Amy Hunter (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 28 Annette Pudilla (Velo Allegro) Women 4 (40 miles) 17 Starters 1 Denise Clark (Echelon Santa Barbara) 2 Ramlah Nehring (UCSD) 3 Monica Flesher (Unattached) 4 Jane Wallacve (Hancock McQuire) 5 Kristin Thomas (Santa Clarita Velo) 6 Linda Nichols (Velo Allegro) 7 Michelle Webster (Red 5 Racing) 8 Terri Hodkins (Cyclone Racing Team) 9 Jennifer See (Unattached) 10 Jeanine Curcione (Velo Allegro) 11 Irene Thomas-Johnson (Santa Clarita Velo) 12 Lorraine Daly (Team Zombies) 13 Tiffany Valentine (Cycles Veloce) 14 Lauren Beastall (Schroeder/Incycle) 15 Jeanine Conner (Merrill Lynch/PAA) 16 Sheryl Damiani (Tangelo Velo) 17 Lisa Grusis (Unattached) Sr. 4 (77 miles) 41 Starters 1 Brett Hondorp (SyCip) 2 Matt Willinger (Robinson/Terellio) 3 Tim Jones (Simply Fit) 4 Frazer Hazlett (Simply Fit) 5 Jeremiah Wiscontch (Incycle) 6 Chappy Wood (Robinson/Terellio) 7 C. Casper Casparian (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 8 Joel Trinity (Simply Fit) 9 Mike Ivarone (Team Tailwinds) 10 Christopher Jones (San Diego Bicycle Club) 11 Brian Duff (Team Zombies) 12 Ralph Coolman (Cycle Veloce) 13 Shawn Flukey (SCV Velo) 14 Erik Flockoi (Simple Green/Mazda) 15 Elliot Jaimillo (Robinsons Wheelworks) 16 Ken Strickland (Velo Allegro) 17 James Welch (Simply Fit) 18 David Benoff (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 19 David Larsen (Echelon Santa Barbara) 20 Mark Housebery (Southbay Wheelmen) 21 Nathan Loyal (Helen's/Trek/VW) 22 Eric Reiser (Team Redlands) 23 Stephen Krutzik (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 24 Kevin Yates (Southbay Wheelmen) 25 Christopher Kafka (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 26 Steve Yurosek (Helen's/Trek/VW) 27 Brian Rutherford (Robinson/Torelli) 35+ 4/5 (77 miles) 25 Starters 1 Mark Luke (Echelon Santa Barbara) 2 Bari Waalk (Santa Clarita Velo) 3 Craig Nunes (Unattached) 4 Michael Elmer (David Bike Club) 5 Eric Forte (Echelon Santa Barbara) 6 Spencer Kenner (Davdi Bike Club) 7 Douglas MacCready (Unattached) 8 Kevin Knox (Team Adelante) 9 Steve Edwards (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 10 Rino Barbagioua (Santa Clarita Velo) 11 Alexander Childs (Simply Fit) 12 Gary Wall (Cycle Veloce) 13 Robert Martin (Cyclone Racing Team) 14 Boris Rozenberg (Unattached) 15 Michael Mangliers (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 35+ 1/2/3 (77 miles) 29 Starters 1 David Worthington (Labor Power) 2 James Edwards (Simple Green/Mazda) 3 Joe Otero (Team Tailwins) 4 Bradley Jones (Taylor Made) 5 Anthony Page (Canyon Velo) 6 Mark Fennell (Echelon Santa Barbara) 7 Larry Shannon (Excel Sports Boulder) 8 Hector Saldana (Cycle Veloce) 9 Michael Carro (Labor Power) 10 Dan Plummer (Excel Sports Boulder) 11 Matthew Hall (Cycles Veloce) 12 Clayton Holick (Team Velocity) 13 Brent Witters (Team Tailwins) 14 John Hershock (Simple Green/Mazda) 15 Mike Frias (Echelon Santa Barbara) 16 John Geyer (Cycles Veloce) Sr. 3 (77 miles) 61 Starters 1 Juan Munoz (Unattached) 2 Karl Holst (Team Zombies) 3 Charles Jenkins (Giant West) 4 Jose Estevez (Major Motion) 5 Todd Horton (San Clemente Velo) 6 Robert Graham (Canyon Velo) 7 Bryan Peterson (Canyon Velo) 8 Matias Mendigochea (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 9 Rod Palomino (Schroeder/Incycle) 10 Joel Biederman (Team Tailwinds) 11 Shawn Nelson (Team Adelante/Velo Pasadena) 12 Gabriel Sanctuary (Hancock/McGuire) 13 Paul Hewes (Schroeder/Incycle) 14 Tony Wang (Southbay Wheelmen) 15 Keith Donica (Cyclone Racing Team) 16 Eric Fraer (Team Adelante/Velo Pasadena) 17 Patrick Zahn (Anthony's Cyclery) 18 Michael Jones (Comerica Cycling) 19 Mark Shimahara (Santa Cruz Spokesman) 20 David Keire (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 21 Jeff Sanford (Simply Fit) 22 Robert Krauth (Southbay Wheelmen) 23 Martin Bjel (Comerica Bank) 24 Kenny Burgess (Major Motion) 25 David Keefer (LGBRC) 26 Karl Weber (Team Tailwinds) 27 Emmanuel Gomez (Budget Bicycles) 28 Greg Leibert (Southbay Wheelmen) 29 Daniel Rojan (Schroeder/Incycle) Sr. 5 (77 miles) 18 Starters 1 Daniel Vinson (San Diego Bicycle Club) 2 Greg Wooton (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 3 Greg Johnson (Unattached) 4 Casey Stephenson (Unattached) 5 Amando Ulloa (Team Adelante) 6 Dave Colvan 7 Christopher Sorrentino (LaGrange/Minute Maid/Dasani) 8 Joe Huber (Unattached) 9 Mike Edmonds (San Diego Bicycle Club) 10 William Thomas (Echelon Santa Barbara) 11 Jeremy Bowles (Tangelo Velo) 12 Scott deLaurentis (Dino's Bike Shop) 13 Steve Silva (Goleta Racing) 14 Jim Garwood (Echelon Santa Barbara) 15 Jonathan Beyea (Team Tailwins) 16 Robert Burdett (San Diego Bicycle Club) 17 James Neilson (Unattached) 45+ (77 miles) 28 Starters 1 Marek Sierski (Labor Power) 2 Butch Stinton (Labor Power) 3 Mike Gourley (Tangelo Velo) 4 Mike Mueller (SBS/B & L) 5 Mark Huffman (SBS/B & L) 6 Keith Ketterer (Camarillo Ravens) 7 Malcolm Hill (Mercury) 8 Eddie Morris (Amgen Cycling) 9 David Shackle (Team Zombies) 10 Jeff Hager (Team Zombies) 11 Mike Crystal (Simply Fit) 12 Bob Guglielmelli (Team Tailwinds) 13 Howard Miller (Paramount Racing) 14 Eugene Poyorena (Simply Fit) 15 Michael Vanlandingham (Tangelo Velo) 16 Nicholas Coe (Merrill Lynch/PAA) 17 Steve Grusis (Northwave/Colnago)