1997 Mount San Bruno Hillclimb

distance=3.8 miles; climbing=1070 feet

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San Bruno HillClimb Race Results
01 January 1997
Senior Pro 1/2
1.  Glen Winkel         USPS                    17:11
2.  John James          unattached              24:08

Senior 5
1.  Tracy Colwell       Alto Velo               16:46 (fastest man)
2.  Willis W. Su        unattached              19:02
3.  Eric Rescorla       unattached              22:50
4.  Barry Johnson       unattached              24:08
5.  Scott Paz           DFL                     25:28

Senior 4
1.  Dan Connelly        TNT                     18:37
2.  David Bruetle       Chico State Cycling     19:43
3.  Kevin Pontuti       Vulcan Velo             20:09
4.  Wayne Smith         Alto Velo               DNF

Senior 3
1.  Casper Rubalcava    NorthCoast              16:49
2.  Tim Clark           High Sierra             19:22
3.  Andrew Suaffer      SanJose Cycling Club    19:42
4.  Randy Denton        Team Peddler            21:59

Master 35
1.  Ken Eichstaedt      DFL                     18:42
2.  Jay Kinney          unattached              21:33

Master 45
1.  Gerry Burney        NorthCoast Express      19:45
2.  David Longhetti     ICCC/Int                19:45
3.  Frank Yancey        NorthCoast Express      21:16
4.  Brett Hawkes        Peninsula Velo          21:21
5.  Dave Crew           NorthCoast Express      22:03
6.  Ron Lebard          unattached              22:23
7.  Jim Lombard         Peninsula Velo          22:58

1.  James Hibbard       Peninsula Velo          19:41
2.  Kevin McDonald      NorthCoast Express      20:21

1.  Elizabeth Benishin  Alto Velo               22:30  (fastest woman)
2.  Julie Cowell        Alto Velo               25:00
3.  Phyllis Olrich      Alto Velo               25:21
4.  Patt Baenen         Alto Velo               25:45
5.  Caryne Mount        Peninsula Velo          32:07


     place  name               team                 cat       time
         1  Tracy Colwell      Alto Velo            Senior 5  16:46 
         2  Casper Rubalcava   NorthCoast           Senior 3  16:49 
         3  Glen Winkel        USPS                 Pro 1/2   17:11 
         4  Dan Connelly       TNT                  Senior 4  18:37 
         5  Ken Eichstaedt     DFL                  Master 35 18:42 
         6  Willis W. Su       unattached           Senior 5  19:02 
         7  Tim Clark          High Sierra          Senior 3  19:22 
         8  James Hibbard      Peninsula Velo       Juniors   19:41 
         9  Andrew Suaffer     SanJose Cycling Club Senior 3  19:42 
        10  David Bruetle      Chico State Cycling  Senior 4  19:43 
        11  David Longhetti    ICCC/Int             Master 45 19:45 
        12  Gerry Burney       NorthCoast Express   Master 45 19:45 
        13  Kevin Pontuti      Vulcan Velo          Senior 4  20:09 
        14  Kevin McDonald     NorthCoast Express   Juniors   20:21 
        15  Frank Yancey       NorthCoast Express   Master 45 21:16 
        16  Brett Hawkes       Peninsula Velo       Master 45 21:21 
        17  Jay Kinney         unattached           Master 35 21:33 
        18  Randy Denton       Team Peddler         Senior 3  21:59 
        19  Dave Crew          NorthCoast Express   Master 45 22:03 
        20  Ron Lebard         unattached           Master 45 22:23 
        21  Elizabeth Benishin Alto Velo            Women     22:30 
        22  Eric Rescorla      unattached           Senior 5  22:50 
        23  Jim Lombard        Peninsula Velo       Master 45 22:58 
        24  Barry Johnson      unattached           Senior 5  24:08 
        25  John James         unattached           Pro 1/2   24:08 
        26  Julie Cowell       Alto Velo            Women     25:00 
        27  Phyllis Olrich     Alto Velo            Women     25:21 
        28  Scott Paz          DFL                  Senior 5  25:28 
        29  Patt Baenen        Alto Velo            Women     25:45 
        30  Caryne Mount       Peninsula Velo       Women     32:07 
        --  Wayne Smith        Alto Velo            Senior 4  DNF 

Tracy Colwell, overall 1997 San Bruno Hillclimb winner and 1996 Low-Key Hillclimb series men's champion
(photo Linelle Betts, Pen Velo)
Report from the Lead Vehicle

I have never been in the "lead" vehicle before, it was really exciting. So, here is a view out the back window as narrated by four racers who decided we felt more like Phil Ligget than Pantoni.

Wednesday morning was wet and windy. Registration was under a canopy with a great deal of concern about mud and rock slides. The flags above the parking lot area were sticking straight out from the wind. We sent our club president as scout to make sure the road was safe and clear. He reported the race would start with a 50 meter tail wind, then a major head wind for the next three and a half miles. The road was clear but there were small rocks and plenty of water.

Almost everyone who registered showed up. There were 5 women and a large group of 45+, more than we expected overall.

This was a mass start as usual and for the 30 seconds when the riders assembled it looked like the rain may abate. It was only a tease, as the officials started the race the heavens opened again with a new gale of water and gusts of wind.

As the race started three distinct groups formed in the first 500 meters. There was a group of around 7 in front that quickly reduced to 5. By the time the group reached the ranger station (around half way) the lead group was down to 3.

The speeds varied from 15 mph on the steep portions to more like 18 on the less steep climbs. We were using the car speedometer so this is a vague estimate.

Tracy Colwell (Cat 5) lead almost the entire race. When the race started he stayed with the lead group and let them set the pace. Pretty quickly he took the lead and never relinquished it all the way to the top.

The three at the ranger station were Tracy Colwell, followed by Glen Winkel, last Casper Rubalcava. Casper has a very rocking style of climbing. It appeared to us he was struggling just to stay on for most of the race. In retrospect that may just be his riding style. Glen was breathing hard but did not appear to be hurting.

Three or four times Tracy made half-hearted attempts to move over and let Glen lead. Glen stuck to him like glue. The head winds were a major factor. As noted by Liz, the women's leader "I am really glad I did not use my Zipp's".

Around 1/2 mile to go Tracy started weaving back and forth. Those of us that do not climb well use this technique of "paper boying" up a hill to reduce the steepness. We were guessing he was trying to force Glen off his wheel since there were lots of little rocks and gusts there. I asked Tracey later and he said he was trying to put Glen in the wind to minimize the final sprint.

Around 1/4 mile or less to the finish is a sharp hill before the rolling finish. On the hill Tracy put the hammer down effectively losing Glen. Casper seemed to have some sprint left in him, but not enough. There was a clear 2-3 bike length lead when Tracy crossed it. The three seconds difference in their finish times does not show the dramatic difference between the two finishes.

There were many very heroic efforts. Alto Velo swept the women's division with the top four finishers as well as the fastest man. Caryne Mount, who had a baby a few months ago completed the race. Three folks RODE their bikes to the race, an official, a spectator and a racer. One of the DFL riders went up the hill on a fixed gear mountain bike. What is a little rain to REAL racers? To my dismay, everyone was clothed and nobody wore dresses or PJ's. Guess I have to do more 'cross for that kind of entertainment.

Where was BBC this year? We missed Narda and some of the regulars.

Most of our photos are awful, the rain and fog limited vision and the lens got pretty wet. We will see if we can salvage any of them.

After the race Tracy and Liz were awarded the Hill Climb Series Yellow Jerseys by Kevin Winterfield. Classy!!

Many thanks to Kevin Keil and Rick Sutton who did registration, Geo Kitta gave up racing to organize course marshalls, Gene Condon for the awning, Gavin for medical (thankfully we did not need him), George Mount and Skaates for taking times at the top of the hill, Rudy for the porta-potty, Bianchi for all the good prizes, and hosts of others who helped.

What fun. My rain boots and coat are finally dry. On to early birds....