Jason Reynolds (Team Redlands) was spinning some quick little loops on the "infield", that closed bit of Cedar behind the MGE set-up. Just enough speed for that beard to blow back onto his left shoulder. Just enough to keep the legs warm and loose. Maybe a half hour earlier he had won the Cat 4 race in a nice sprint from a spot off the front. What I mean by that is, he already had a gap around the far final turn, but the chasing bunch was not ready to surrender without one last fight. It was not to be, though, and Reynolds was able to punch the air with room to spare.
Anyway, as he passed by during that spin I asked if he would be going for a double today. He gave a little laugh and said his previous best on a single day was a one-two, but admitted it would be nice. Yeah. Some forty minutes later as the 30+ 4/5 race rounded the far final turn, there was that free-flowing beard. First around the turn. Reynolds had a gap again, and by the time he reached the line, he had another fist pump finish to match the first. His first double-double, a two win day.
The heat of the day was beginning to rise. This might be expected for June, July, anytime middle of the year really. But this is February, so it is a little disconcerting to think there could be another eight months of heat. Ah well, what are you going to do. Get on with it and race. One of the interesting things about this course, and it is something you can say about many of the industrial park criteriums - the whir and hum of a hundred chains, and pairs of wheels, echoes around the canyons created by double and triple height walls of warehouses and office buildings. Like a mad army of worker bees. You can hear the approaching peloton from two, maybe even three in some cases, turns away. Well before the frantic throng comes into sight.
Imagine the waters dumped by a passing storm racing through the narrow, twisting passages of a slot canyon. Each turn around well-worn walls brings the surge closer, amplifies its roar. Vertical planes of striated sandstone marking aeons of time are replaced by concrete and glass, often distinguished by their own horizontal bands. The surge of mechanical invention propelled by human bodies send waves of sound to bounce off one wall, rebound off the next, until finally the tide comes rushing into view. The flow of riders in the bunch shares much with the flow of water. The restlessness of the surge, the placidity of the eddy, the constriction and expansion as it moves into, through, and out from narrows.
There were a few crashes today, just in the few middle of the day races I was there for. Most of the riders seemed able to hobble off on their own, but one racer in the 50+/55+ combined race required some extra attention. Hope everyone is able to heal up quickly and fully.
Your link to the Flickr set of a select 103 photos.
A few results from the morning:
Cat 5: 1st Luis Escajeda (unattached), 2nd SunKwan Cho (Cast a Shadow/Temecula Farmers), 3rd David Ortiz (SC Velo)
Jr Men 15-16: 1st Drew Kalasky (Team Rokform), 2nd Richard Salter (San Diego Bicycle Club), 3rd Matthew Park (Team Rokform)
Jr Men 10-12: 1st Tristan Mitchell (SC Velo), 2nd Alexander Lochmiller (Team Rokform), 3rd Kyle Mitchell (SC Velo)
Jr Women 10-14: 1st Megan Jastrab (SC Velo), 2nd Sarah Swan (Strive Racing), 3rd Makayla MacPherson (South Bay Wheelmen)
Women Cat 3/4: 1st Charity Chia (South Bay Wheelmen), 2nd Amy Firth (South Bay Wheelmen), 3rd (Jennifer Willis (OTR Racing)
Women Cat 1-3: 1st Tela Crane (JL Velo Ambassadors), 2nd Suzanne Sonye (Monster Media Elite Women), 3rd Holly Breck (Incycle Racing p/b Full Circle Cycling
Jr. Men 17/18: 1st Robert Freeman (Team Rokform), 2nd James Hilyer (Team Rokform), 3rd Joseph Tran (Tru Cycling - Jax Bicycle Racing)
Jr. Women 15-18: 1st Hannah Swan (Strive Racing), 2nd Rachel Swan (Strive Racing), 3rd Megan Jastrab (SC Velo)
Masters 50+/55+: 1st Craig Miller (BBI-SIC Cycling), 2nd Frank Schroeder (BBI-SIC Cycling), 3rd Steven Strickler (SOS Foundation/Trek) Though the finish was relatively close, and may have had something to do with a lack of celebration, I suspect that the crash at the far end of the finish straight may have had something to do the more subdued sprint, in deference to the injured back on the roadway.
Masters 45+: 1st Scott Cochran (Monster Media Elite Masters), 2nd John Slover (Breakaway From Cancer Masters), 3rd Craig Miller (BBI-SIC Cycling)
Category 4: 1st Jason Reynolds (Team Redlands), 2nd Bernard Labansat (PAA/REMAX), 3rd Mike Miranda (Velo Club LaGrange)
30+ Cat 4/5: 1st Jason Reynolds (Team Redlands), 2nd Sangjik Lee (Big Orange Cycling), 3rd Ivan Lopez (GBS Racing)