2016 Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium
Lets start of the coverage of this years' Roger Millikan Crit by recognizing one of the southland's most venerable Masters, Thurlow 'Turbo' Rogers. Thurlow and the Cronies, and the rest of those 45+ racers put on a fine display of aged athleticism in what was, arguably, the best race of the morning hours. If I was half the racer I never was, or half the racer I wished I was, or something, I might still be a crony. But that is a moot point anyway, and these days I let others do the racing. And did they ever. While Thurlow and the rest of the Breakaway from Cancer Masters brought a win-capable team to the race, they were not the only ones out in strength. At the end, though, no one's cronies were more powerful than the ever-strong Team Browning Automotive p/b Corridor Recycling, and their ace sprinter, Craig Miller, made the most of it, stomping the futile attempts of his nearest challengers. 1st: Miller, 2nd: Harold Martinez (StageOne Test Team), 3rd: Thomas Robles (Breakaway from Cancer Masters).
The 45+ race was a big field, and when they came swooping tight into the corner at full speed, I don't mind admitting that I was more than a little nervous.
Miller, victorious in the 45+ race.
Somehow, the morning turned abruptly from Masters to Juniors. But that was alright, as it gave me a little reprieve out on that corner. The fields were smaller and they didn't come in quite as tight, especially after an early lap crash right there in front of me. (No need to look in the Flickr album for the couple images but, if you are that rider who went down hard and want more proof, I will send you the files.) Anyway, in that race two riders, in particular, put out stellar efforts. The first was the lone teammate, Ama Nsek, of the one who fell; after essentially stopping to confirm his comrade would be alright, he was forced to chase. And chase. Eventually this Lux rider caught back on. When that happened, the rider shown above, David Picazo, recognizing the opportunity, attacked. Neither of the remaining two riders, who clearly considered Nsek the bigger threat, gave chase. The only question to answer was whether, or not, he had the energy to solo for another six, or was it still seven, laps. 1st: David Picazo (GBS Racing), 2nd: Osvaldo Mora (LAVA Junior Dev. Team), 3rd: Ama Nsek (Lux / Stradling p/b Specialized).
I would like to say there was more story to the Masters 40+ 4/5 race, but the one photo above really says it all. Peter Mundt (Velo Club La Grange) took off on the opening lap - alone. I suppose the peloton considered the move foolish and doomed to failure. Forty-five minutes later Mundt crossed the line - alone - with nearly a full lap lead. 1st: Mundt, 2nd: Klayton Sproles (S2c / Primal), 3rd: Jeff Wolfe (Cast A Shadow / Temecula Farmers / Specialized).
It was nervous time again out on the corner during the Masters 35+ 1-3 race. The group as a whole can be the fastest of the day, and they are most certainly not timid about hugging the corners. Surf City was the force to be reckoned with and though other teams, including Monster Media, Browning Automotive, Velo Pasadena, and others gave a try, none of them could not deny a sweep of the podium. 1st: Charon Smith (Surf City Cyclery), 2nd: Kayle Leo Grande (Surf City), 3rd: Gregory Romero (Surf City).
The last race of the day for me was the combined Women 3/4, and Women 1/2/3 race. Playing favorites, I waited to see how the lady Gauchos would do in the race, having missed out on cheering them on at the UCLA Road Race this year. Regrettably the one still in contention at the end of the race, crashed out in a massive pile up on the final lap. (Cat 3/4) 1st: Alexandra Reich (SDBC), 2nd: Lizbeth Urenos Armas (VC LaGrande), 3rd: Katherine Ellis (SDBC). (Cat 1/2/3) 1st: Christina Birch, 2nd: Jenny Rios (Monster Media Elite Women), 3rd: Renee Robinson (SDBC).
Joking with the officials after the Juniors' race.
One hundred nine photos make up the Flickr album for this years' Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium. Included are photos from the Masters 55+, Juniors, Masters 45+ 1-3, Masters 40+ 4/5, Masters 35+ 1-3, Women 3/4, and Women 40+ 1-4. There are an additional five hundred additional photos not in the album, so if you don't see who, or what, you were looking for let me know and I will see what I can find.