By Foreign Correspondent K. Fox
Dateline: Wankerville, CA
If you thought the day before CBR was going to be chill at the Donut today, well, it wasn’t.
Leaving the SB in Redondo, the initial neutral climb out of Redondo leading into PV was soundtracked by a couple of riders lamenting the sad state of racing events currently sanctioned by USA cycling:
“Are you racing this year?”
“I was going to, but every time I find a race on the calendar, it disappears. I saw that USA cycling will be doing a Nationals for Gran Fondos this year, with wins just for the segments. I guess people don’t want to race the whole ride anymore.”
“That seems to be the direction it’s going.”
But not at the Donut today!
Racers heading out to CBR tomorrow used today’s ride as a stone to file the sharpening edge on the axe tip of their racing legs, priming them for optimal racing tomorrow. That, combined with no red lights, made for a tough, fast, and steady ride out to the Switchbacks.
Coming out of Malaga, Jon Petrucci, as could have been predicted, laid down the watts on his favorite climb, the kicker at the cove, putting all in the box early on, at a pace aptly described as “Fuck.”
Jon P. and Ivan Fernandez took turns keeping the pace hard into the roller just before Lunada Bay, where Wes Morgan attacked, Jon P. going with him, and stringing out the field all the way down to the stop sign. My computer said 43.7 mph going over the second bump and down into the bay. Wes held his gap through Lunada, with some hard chasing by Scott Fleming, Attila Fruttus, Bob Reichmann, Andy Engel, and Tom Duong, and the group was able to rein them back in on the Pacheco bump coming out of Lunada Bay and back onto PVDW.
The pace stayed hard all the way up to Hawthorne, where the light was green and Wes again took this chance to attack on the small downhill, Scott Fleming joining him, getting a lead on the group they would hold until Portuguese Bend.
The group led a constant chase, pulled by David Wells, Attila, Andy, Chris Tregillis, and Bob Reichmann, who closed the gap for the group on Wes and Scott just as we came up the last wall out of the bend and into the pre-Trump flat.
On the short flat the pace slowed, but only so Wes could catch his breath for another attack, which he launched on the first climb going towards Trump, with Scott Fleming again going with him. This smashed things apart by the time we were into the descent leading up to the last hill before the Switchbacks, where the pace stayed blistering until the left turn to the climb.
Now the climbers took off, with Andy, Stathis Sakellariadis, Chris, Ivan, Attila, and Greg Seyranian fighting for the Domes win. But in the end it was Andy who took it, with Stathis coming in second.
Without Evens and Jon Davy, the ride through Western and San Pedro was rather neutral and back to a normal Donut pace, but at Via Colinita, with Arturo Anaya, Ivan, Greg, Andy, and Scott Fleming throwing down a crushing pace, the race for Domes 2 was on. It was again climbing smasher Andy Dengle who handily won, riding away with his second coffee card of the day, seemingly unbeatable on the hill segments. But! There was still one more to tackle…
On the way back through Portuguese Bend in reverse, the Methods to Winning duo of Charon Smith and Arturo Anaya hammered the group, aiming for the win at the church sprint, and it was Arturo who got it, narrowly beating “bearded guy” from Big Orange who almost took him at the sign.
No Seth Davidson today meant that the flat and rollers from Hawthorne to the base of Zumaya was not a living hell, and it wasn’t until the right turn up Paseo Lunado that the battle for the climb began, with a small group of Rich Mull, Andy, Greg, and one other rider in green leaving the field for the race to the top.
After winning both previous climbs and carrying a solid lead towards the top of Coronel, Andy was SURE he had the win…but at the stop sign just before the final 100 feet to the top and the end of the Donut, Rich Mull pulled around him, riding away and getting the win up the final climb, in what Andy said was the “Quietest bike attack in history. I had no idea he was there.” Rich’s response “He practically had his arms already raised in the air!” Until you have crossed the finish line … you ain’t crossed the finish line!
Stathis Sakellariadis 5
Seth Davidson 3
Andy Engel 2
Leo Bugtai 2
Arturo Anaya 2
Rich Mull 1
Nigel DeSota 1
Jon Petrucci 1
Charon Smith 1
Kevin Phillips 1
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