4 Hours of Temecula, Men 50-59 Race Report by Ken Winston
Team UCC/JW Floors had another good showing at the series finale of the So Cal 4 hour/8 hour series. The final race was held at Vail Lake in Temecula with the following teammates participating:
Open Women 8 hour - Rhonda Geiszler
80+ Men 8 hour - Bob Wilcox
30-39 Men 4 hour - Chuy Topete
40-49 Men 4 hour - Dan Mahlum, Pascal Bonaventure, Pepe Velez, and Bryan Taylor
50-59 men 4 hour - Ken Winston and Jeff Jacobson (JJ)
At the mass start (all categories), I settled in behind JJ and Cesar Mora as the course went gently up hill for a couple miles on smooth fire road but at a brisk pace. Cesar eventually accelerated up the road where I saw our dynamic duo of Dan and Pascal leading the way. About three minutes into the race, Chuy move past me in a hard acceleration to catch his training partner Cesar. They would soon team up to work together most of the race. As for JJ and I, our cooperation was part of a preconceived plan in the 50-59 class, which had 17 competitors.
As the race progressed, we worked together well, trading pulls into the wind on the gentle fire road climbs, and when necessary waiting for each other at the bottom of the twisting descents when slower riders would sometimes get between us. We assumed we were in the lead of our class, but were not sure. Each of us took turns commenting on the fast pace we had set for ourselves and we each wondered aloud if we could hold the speed to the finish.
On lap 5, JJ and I were still trading pulls, working equally together. As we were descending a twisting technical decent in traffic, a rider got between us, slowing JJ. As we started up the tunnel of love fire road climb, there was a 50 yard gap for JJ to make up. I slowed. As he closed to within 30 feet, he told me to go ahead on my own. A friendly 60 second argument ensued. To help convince me, JJ refused to close the gap to me as I soft pedaled. I’m convinced he had the legs to bridge but decided he wanted no part in slowing my race if he could not contribute pulls equally. I pedaled on without my friend, entering lap 6 with 61 minutes to go. This would be the final lap since all laps must be complete in 4 hours. My mindset was to pedal smoothly to the finish and not cramp. I was reasonably sure I was in the lead.
Shortly into the lap I came up on a tall slim rider from team Ninja as we winded our way through the south side technical single track section. I was clearly moving faster than him and easily passed him on a short, straight piece of trail. The rider started talking to me: “Are you doing the 4 hour?”, “Are you solo?”, “Are you in 50-59 class?”. I answered: “yes, yes, yes” each answer louder than the last as I pedal away. He then responded, shouting at this point: “I’ve been waiting for you!”, “I’m cramping”, “I’m done!”. Well that lit a fire under me, not being sure he was really “done” as claimed. I thought I was in the lead when actually I was in second place!
So I ramped up the effort, hoping that my legs would not also seize up with cramps and that my competitor would not recover and put on a charge. I finished the last lap with a faster time than my prior lap, about 2 and a half minutes ahead of the team Ninja guy (Thomas Teger) - 1st in category. JJ was also closing in on Thomas when JJ crashed pretty hard. He was uninjured by tilted and twisted his seat so badly he had to finish the lap standing on the pedals. JJ finished in 3rd in category.
I want to give a special thank you to Dave Sadeghi for helping to get my new Epic for this race. I absolutely love the bike!
4 Hours of Temecula, Men 40-49 Race Report by Pascal Bonaventure
I took a fast start. Dan was in my wheel. We were in front at the entrance of the “tunnel of love” single track. We finished the first lap in front with 2 young riders who were competing in a team division. Dan did all the work and kept the pace high. I only took one big pull on the 3rd lap, my average heart rate for the race was 158! On the last lap I crashed hard in a loose corner, no harm but I lost Dan’s wheel. He must be riding a better bike (he has the new 2018 S-works Epic)!
Dan won with the fastest time of the day. Pascal finished 2nd in a class of 14 finishers, with the 2nd fasted time of the day. UCC/JW Floors riders Pepe Velez finished 4th and Bryan Taylor finished 5th. Near total domination of the class!
Below are the remaining results for our team:
Open Women 8 hour - Rhonda Geiszler crashed on lap 3, breaking her ankle! She is recovering from surgery and doctors are optimistic for a full recovery. She is expected to be off the bike for many weeks. If I know Rhonda, she will come back stronger than ever.
80+ Men 8 hour - Bob Wilcox 3rd place.
30-39 Men 4 hour - Chuy Topete 1st place out of 13 finishers with the 4th fastest time of the day.
Dan, Bob, Rhonda, and I also won the series championship in our respective categories.
On a final note, UCC/JW Floors riders had 4 of the 5 fastest 4-hour race times of the day! Who else was in the top 5? Honorary UCC/JW Floors teammate and Chuy’s faithful training partner Cesar Mora!