Masters Nationals: Part 2, The Criterium and Overall Comments
from John Elgart
The Men's 65-69 Criterium: After last year's crash marred races, the Nationals Criterium was moved from Bend to Redmond, a small town 15 miles from Bend. The new course had 8 corners and was smooth for the most part, but with a crown in the road and brick crosswalks in the turns. These are the kinds of turns that seem easy until you are doing them at 30mph and skittering toward the curb. However, since we only had 17 signed up for my race, it was pretty safe.
I have won this event that past two years -- and this year I was most concerned about a new rider in our field by the name of Ed Chamberlin. Ed, who grew up in Los Gatos, now lives at 9000 feet in Colorado and is built rather like Chris Froome, had won the TT and RR. In the RR he won by a minute. But could he sprint? Also in the race was my training mate, Ron Lebard, former AV, 2nd to Chamberlin/Froome in the Road Race, and a good sprinter. Ron, after this year, is also known as Mr Phyllis O. Also in the group was Ken Louder, father of the pro rider Jeff, who was 2nd in the tt by 2 seconds despite some health problems and John Rubcic, a good sprinter. All the way from Texas, Wesley Fanning had won the Marathon Mtb title this year.
The race itself was rather uneventful for the first 25 minutes, but then got going with a series of attacks from Chamberlin and Louder. I covered these and helped Louder with tempo, but though we dropped a few, we couldn't seem to get the right combination for a break. In the end I went to the front with 2 to go and rode a full lap, but at 19 mph. No one would come around! At one to go, Wesley Fanning jumped, I got into 2nd place through the backside turns, now going 25 or so, then led through the final 2 turns at about 90 percent. That left a 400 m sprint to the line. After 100 m I felt a presence by my side -- I think it was Ron Lebard -- but then went into the 11 and pulled away just a bit. Lebard was 2nd by less than a second and Rubcic was 3rd.
Results are here: http://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2013-16
* Phyllis Olrich, former AVer now living in the foothills, won the W 60-64 RR and TT. I was under the impression that Phyllis was retired -- since she said just that, and also something about losing her mojo and not wanting to race anymore. It was her first and second National Championship. You never know.
* Overall, SoCal did quite well in the Crit while some NorCal favorites like Larry Nolan, Chris Wire, Dean Lebarge, Lucia Mokres & Jennie Phillips came away with Silvers. In the RR, Chris Phipps and Phyllis won. NorCal RR Silvers were Joe Lemire in the photo finish, Dan Taylor, Marley Smith, Michael Vetterli, Molly Van Houweling. In the TT: Gold went to Kevin Metcalfe, Molly Van Houweling, Cammy Deluca Flaherty Silver to Phipps by 1 second to Richard Feldman, Michael Phelps, Jan Despas; Our Mary Ellen Allen was 3rd in the TT by 2 secs.
* The weather at Nationals was freakish, as it often seems to be. Hailstones the size of golf balls fell on the finish of one of the road races -- and completely covered the road, canceling the afternoon session. Our road race started and ended in the fog at 48 degrees. At lower elevations it was sunny and in the mid 60s.
* This was the 3rd year that Masters Nationals has been in Bend. Attendance for 3rd year events is always a bit down. I know in my categories it was. Next year we are looking forward to Ogden, Utah.
* On the way home, near Weed, California, Linda and I stopped at a small mountain that is next to the road across from Mount Shasta. We had spotted a trail that curved around the base. From the parking lot, we ran to the top in just 25 minutes. There we found a geodetic marker for Haystack Mountain with two nested tin cans, inside of which were two old notebooks, dating back 25 years. We wrote our note, then for a minute we took in the panorama of Shasta. 20 minutes later we were back to the car. Cross season has begun!
Tag(s): Race Reports