2014 SoCal Cup Criterium #3, Carson


I believe the Masters 35+ (4/5) won the bonus today. They got the rain. It may not have been pouring, like earlier in the weekend but there was enough wetness to make things interesting. The bunch avoided slipping and sliding and was successful in keeping largely intact and which, I assume since I wasn't around the finish line at the time, resulted in some kind of sprint. Coming out on top of the soggy beat down was Rahman Weimer (Big Orange Cycling), ahead of Bryan Salazar (OTR Racing) and Scott Torrence (Big Orange Cycling).

Following after that race was another group of 35+ Masters, the more accomplished (can I call them that) Cat 1-3's. They may not have had to deal with as much falling water, but there was still plenty around to get sprayed up into their faces. As seems to be a frequent occurrence in this bunch, the break proved decisive. Travis Wilkerson (Audi / Felt Cycling Team) started the selection process on the very first lap; it did not take long before a good cohesive trio formed around him - Charon Smith (Surf City Cyclery / Sterling BMW) was there, as was Jonathan Davy (Spy Giant Ride p/b MRI). Eventually, the strength of the break was bolstered by the legs of two more riders - David Koesel (Audi / Felt Cycling Team) and Patrick Bos (Surf City Cyclery / Sterling BMW). On this short course, the five were never seriously threatened with being reeled in; their lead was comfortable enough that with two laps to go Koesel attempted an unsuccessful solo move. A lap later the five were playing a cat and mouse game of you take the lead. No one wanted to give Charon any advantage, but  by that point in the game it was too late to stop him from taking another sprint win.

Still plenty of spray being tossed about during the Masters 35+ (1-3) race...

a race that would be won by Charon Smith.

Heather Nass leads the Women 3/4 race through a wet turn.

The Women 3/4 racers head up the center line.

Cat 3's round the final turn.

More Cat 3's around turn four.

OTR first across the line (Cat 3), but … a relegation by the officials sends him back to 2nd. (Incidentally, I just viewed a head-on video of the finish and did not see much out of the ordinary. From the perspective of the far side of the road they do look close in against the curb, but from head-on both riders kept their lines pretty straight,)

Action during the Women Pro/1/2/3 race.

Even though the rain ended with the finish of the Masters 35+ races, the sky continued to glower down on the rest of the morning and early afternoon action. The Women Cat 3/4 race came up next and put on a good show. Some riders fell by the wayside as the pace picked up, but the bunch mostly kept together all the way to the finish. The sprint was won by Nina Brandt (South Bay Wheelmen), ahead of Desislava Doycheva (OTR Racing), and Erin Miller (Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21). Thus far in the season riders from those three teams seem to be the ones to beat.

The Cat 3's formed up and raced a pretty straight forward fifty-five or so minutes. Where the normalcy took a wrong turn was a the finish. OTR rider, Rafael Oliveira crossed the line first with loud whoops of exhalation. Official results had him relegated to 2nd spot behind Robert MacPherson (South Bay Wheelmen). I am not sure what the infraction was but looking a the photos I suspect race officials may have judged that Oliveira sprinted out of his line, interfering with MacPherson. Bailey Eckles (Rokform / Rock 'n Road) claimed the third spot on the podium.

A strong field lined up for the Women Pro/1/2/3 race, including the Monster Media Elite Women's Team, current World Master's Champion, Melina Bernecker, and NOW Cycling's Kate Wilson. Priscilla Calderon represented Monster Media on the first step of the podium, with Bernecker and Wilson taking the next two steps down.

Besides the few photos here a select ninety-nine from the Masters 35+, Women 3/4, Cat 3, Women Pro/1/2/3 races are in this Flickr set.


  1. Spot on! I got relegated due to "not holding my line" but as everyone can see in the video that was a terrible call. Especially since I led the sprint out of the corner and had a bikelength gap on 2nd place.

  2. Instant replay for cycling? Seems like that challenge period after results are posted should count for something.


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