Redlands, CA - March 17, 2001
As with all PIRS events, each stop consisted of a criterium race and
a sprint race. The criterium took place around 8:00am on Saturday
3/17 for the masters and around 1:00pm for everybody else. Men and
women raced separately. The sprints for world-class competitors were
held on Sunday 3/18.
An advanced category was added to the criteriums at the persistent
request of local skaters. Unfortunately, advanced attendance was
poor, but not bad considering the very late notice. Only one female
registered for the advanced masters race. In total around twenty
skaters the advanced criteriums that day.
Skaters followed the short course through the streets of Redlands.
The start/finish line was on a slight descent followed by a somewhat
rough, gentle uphill before returning. Skaters proceeded
counter-clockwise on the course. It was sunny and beautiful for the
afternoon races with a high temperature of 74 degrees.
Advanced and world-class competitors raced together in the 16-minute
plus 2 lap criterium. In the women's race, Julie Glass (Verducci)
and Theresa Cliff (Hyper) broke away from the pack in the first lap.
Cheryl Matula attempted to chase, but ended up stuck in the void
between the lead skaters and the chase pack. Surprisingly, the gaps
between the female competitors only widened throughout the course of
The battle for first place came down to the end as Julie and Theresa
sprinted together down the final straightaway with Julie coming in
just in front of Theresa at the line. Cheryl finished by herself
well ahead of the chase pack that had given up. Betsy Atwater
finished first for the advanced women, followed by Arica Armitage in
second, and Sarah Irick for third.
In the men's race, the lead pack kept the pace high, but stuck
together for most of the race. Towards the end of the timed portion,
Chad Hedrick (Verducci) and Chad Burdzilauskas (Hyper) broke away.
They maintained their gap which led to another suspenseful sprint at
the finish line. Burdzilauskas managed to edge out Hedrick for the
win. Dane Lewis (Hyper) finished at the head of the chase pack for
third. For the advanced men, Carter Holland finished first, followed
by my second-place finish, and Paul Lomangino (Sonic) for third.
Although skater participation was less than ideal, this was a fun
race. Many spectators lined the streets and there was plenty of
media coverage. It was USARS' first attempt at entertaining the
advanced skaters and they showed a lot of potential. Jay Ingram at
USARS should be thanked for responding to the requests of local
skaters. We look forward to the other PIRS events in California
later this year.