Category: news

Matt McNamara Joins PV as Team Coach; Clark Natwick Retires, receives lifetime PV membership

coachmattWe are pleased to announce that Matt McNamara of the Sterling Sports Group has joined PV as our new team coach. Matt comes to us with a B.A. in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado and 20 years of experience in coaching and team management. He is a USAC Level 1/Elite Coach with power certification, a USAC certified skills instructor and helped to develop the curriculum for the USAC Beginner Racer Program. He is known to many racers in the NCNCA district as one of the co-directors of the Early Bird Training Series (the Early Bird Crits). He is also a contributing author for’s product reviews and its “Toolbox” section which deals with current research and coaching trends in endurance sports. Check out his most recent article documenting his experience at the Taiwan KOM Challenge. Welcome aboard, Coach Matt!

mg32285baspMatt will be building on the successful PV Racing Program developed by retiring coach Clark Natwick. Clark has been involved with PV for over 20 years, starting as an athlete and also serving as a board member and president prior to his 16-year tenure as team coach. However, Clark will not be leaving the PV family – he is being recognized for his many contributions to the success of our club with the first-ever lifetime membership in Pen Velo. Clark brought to PV a wealth of experience both as an athlete (10 national championship medals) and as a coach (USA Olympic Training Center, USA National Cyclocross Team, USA National MTB Team). In 2012, Clark made a brief comeback to competition as a masters athlete racing in Pen Velo colors, earning two NCNCA District Championships on the track and a bronze medal in team pursuit at the USAC Masters Track Nationals. Under his guidance, Pen Velo athletes achieved numerous team and individual awards on both the regional and national level. Thanks, Clark, for your service to PV and best wishes in your future endeavors!

PV Road Racing Success Recognized at NCNCA Awards Banquet

Pen Velo was recognized for a highly successful 2015 road racing season by the NCNCA at its annual awards banquet on October 17, 2015. Best All-Around Rider (BAR) Awards went to Erik Salander (M55+ 1/2/3/4) and Chris Levins (E4 – Spring). Erik was also recognized for his contributions to NCNCA as Results Coordinator with the Outstanding Volunteer Award. Additionally, Helen Casabona was recognized by the NCNCA Women’s Committee for finishing in 4th place in the 2015 Women’s Series. This was despite having her season cut short by injury. Topping it all off was the trophy for 5th Place in the Overall Team Points (BAT) Competition, rewarding a lot of hard work, training and outstanding race results by the entire team!

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In addition to the NCNCA awards and recognition, the following individual and team accomplishments are worthy of an honorable mention:

M35+ Cat 4 BAR (Fall) 5th place – Marco Constantino
M45+ Cat 4 BAR (Fall) 5th place – Mark Massey
W35+ 1/2/3 BAR 4th Place – Helen Casabona

E4 Team – 5th place
M35+ Cat 4 Team – 2nd place
M45+ Cat 4 Team – 3rd place
M55+ 1/2/3/4 Team – 2nd place
W35+ 1/2/3 Team – 3rd place

Teamwork nets double wins for PV at Central Coast

Teamwork by PV racers paid off handsomely at the Central Coast circuit race on August 2. Seven PV racers competed in the combined 35+ cat 3/4 and 45+ cat 3/4 races and with a smart race plan and solid teamwork, PV came away with wins in both categories. Enjoy this slide show of photos by Jeff Vander Stucken and read Menko Johnson’s race report below!

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Race Report by Menko Johnson

After a great time getting back to racing last weekend, I was eager to give it another try so I signed up for the 35+ cat 3/4 race at CCCX Seaside.  The course is a 2.5 mi out and back that has a few small rollers with wind blowing in your face one direction, and at your back in the other.  The finish line is on the uphill section into the wind, making it quite a challenge.  As we lined up, I saw many sets of calves bigger than my head, and knew I would have no chance at all if we left it to a sprint.

Strategy for these combined category and age group races is really intriguing.  Because the 35s and 45s race together but are picked separately, it adds some complexity to breakaway situations because its difficult to know what categories are up the road, and cooperation can be impacted by that composition.  One group may be hanging back for a sprint and won’t contribute to a chase, while the other may have a break up the road and have to chase.  Before the race, Erik said that in the previous race a solo attack from a 55 rider prompted a 45 rider to bridge, and they rode away together and stayed away.  I felt this would be the best chance for me as well and figured I’d wait until 3 to go and make an a go.

PV had a large contingent in both races with Lenny, Phil and myself in 35s, and Erik, Tom, Steve and Markus in the 45s.  This was ideal because then we effectively had two teams working together and I simply talked with Phil and Lenny quickly to keep it simple—“nothing with any 35 gets away without 1 of us in it.”  With such a non-technical course, it was very easy for people to sit in and save energy while those out in the wind worked hard.  The first 2 laps there were some half-hearted breakaway attempts but they always came back.  PV was very active with Tom, Erik and Phil each putting in efforts to stretch things out and test the waters.  I sat back and watched to see who reacted, and started memorizing who might be my biggest threat while watching how things happened on the headwind and tailwind.  Making sure nobody took me out in the corners was about as exciting as things got.

The race was pretty uneventful until Markus decided he’d had enough of this and literally just accelerated away from the field. (VIDEO 1 at 15:30)  This was the key move of the race, because it allowed all of us to sit in and do zero work at the front, and reveal who cared enough to try and chase.  As it turns out, Markus was away for a good 15 minutes solo as we would close but never close and then it would open again.  Eventually Erik also went and was able to successfully bridge to Markus.  Now PV had 2 guys in the 45s off the front.

Phil rolled up to me with about 25 minutes left and I told him to cover anything that comes up his side, and I would do the same on mine.  The group at the front was slowing, and you could hear the gears clicking behind and riders prepared to make a jump.  A blur up the left side was all I saw and Phil was like a racehorse bounding out of the gates, immediately gluing himself to the rider trying to get away.  I am also accelerating as fast as I can, but waiting for just a moment to have someone come around me to pull me up.  Big calves responds, and I glue on and don’t pull at all.  We herd into the corner and so starts the 2nd half of the race.

I hear some tanging of equipment and screeching behind me, and I make a split second decision to try and bridge up to the break.  Luckily Tom was just in front of me, so as I attack he latches on while successfully preventing anyone else from getting onto his wheel (VIDEO 2 – 00:12).  I put my head down for 30 seconds and give an all out effort that spikes my HR up to 193 bpm before we hit the top of the roller.  I look back and see Tom and Markus on, and I desperately beg for help.  Poor Markus, spent from his efforts, pulls through and falls off the back as I do 400 watts in Tom’s draft to hold on.

As we’re heading downhill I can feel we can’t go as fast as the chasers, and wonder if this was a bad idea as we’re still going to see 3 laps to go and only have a few seconds gap at the turn around.  But Tom is strong and I figure we have to put in two hard laps and keep our gap before they give up.   With Tom next to me, I try and just push as hard as I can on the hill sections, and let him pull on the flatter sections where he is faster.  One lap goes by and the gap is still probably only 5-10 seconds.  As we make the turn around, I accidentally put a few bike lengths on Tom and he mentions that perhaps I would be faster by myself.  “Hell NO!” and I just tell him to hang on.  My mind wanders as my body screams at me and I’ve never been happier to have a teammate there to keep me going.  We keep going and finally the elastic stretches, and then breaks.  The chase loses a rider and drops to 3, and we can see the gap opening. At 18 minutes in, we’ve got the race-winning gap and just have to keep the gas on until the top of the hill to make sure we don’t give it up.  We come through the last corner to cheers all around from our PV cheering section, and Tom and I finish side-by-side with the biggest smiles we could muster while trying to recover our breath!  It was one of the most satisfying days of racing I’ve had in a long time, and it was just like we were back at training camp in January pushing each other, but this time the reward was much sweeter!

Impressive Medal Haul for PV Trackies at District Championships

Congratulations to our track racers who competed at the Masters District Track Championships at Hellyer Velodrome on July 11-12. The team brought home a total of 14 medals, including 7 gold. Click HERE to see the gold medal M55+ sprint team in action. Scroll down to see all results.

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All PV Results


55-59 Scratch Race: Bill Brissman 2nd, Erik Salander 3rd

55-59 2K Pursuit: Erik Salander 3rd

50-54 2K Pursuit: Ross Tinline 3rd



50-54 500M TT: Ross in 3rd

55-59 500M TT: Ray in 1st (State Champ!)

55-59 48 lap Points Race: Bill in 2nd

55+ 3K Team Pursuit: Bill Brissman, John Suarez, Erik Salander, Kurt Bickel (Reno) 1st (State Champs)

45+ 3K Team Pursuit: Ross and 3 other non-PV racers 1st (State Champ)

55+ Team Sprint: Erik, Bill and Kurt in 1st (State Champs)

55+ Team Sprint: Ray and 2 others in 2nd


Medal Count

7 Gold; 3 Silver; 4 Bronze


Brissman: 2 x Gold, 2 x Silver

Tinline: 1 x Gold, 2 x Bronze

Gildea: 1 x Gold, 1 x Silver

Salander: 2 x Gold, 2 x Bronze

Suarez: 1 x Gold

Pen Velo Women take Sattley by Storm!

The Pen Velo women made their presence known at the NCNCA District Time Trial Championships this weekend, with four women competing in the ITT and TTT events. Yvonne Walbroehl and Cindy Mike raced the 20km ITT in the very competitive W55-59 division, with Yvonne taking the silver medal and setting a new personal best for the course. Sara Stearns and Norma Hilton earned silver medals in the W60-64 and W65-69 divisions respectively, with Sara also setting a new PR. Later in the day, all four women took on the 40km long course for the team time trial event. Although the competition was, well, non-existant, this event still prevented a challenge as three members of the team had never done such a long TT. Anchored by TTT veteran Yvonne, the team came together nicely and survived the crosswinds to take home the coveted Bear Jersey for PV!

While the women were the largest contingent of PV racers at Sattley this year, the men were well represented by Lanier Benkard and Jeffrey Patterson. Lanier earned the bronze medal in the M45-49 40km ITT in a very strong field.

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Jorge Delgadillo Memorial Ride

About 30 PV members and friends rode together on Saturday, March 7, in memory of our fallen teammate, Jorge Delgadillo. The route was one he often rode with other PVer’s – from Canada Rd and CA92 to the Stevens Creek Reservoir and back with a coffee stop at Peet’s in Los Altos. Everyone involved was moved when the group arrived en masse back at Rt 92 to find Jorge’s widow waiting to greet them. Here a few photos commemorating the event:

The group rode one of Jorge's favorite routes

The group rode one of Jorge’s favorite routes

Coffee stop at Peet's

Coffee stop at Peet’s

A moving scene when Jorge's widow met the group as they returned to Rt92

A moving scene when Jorge’s widow met the group as they returned to Rt92

In Memoriam – Jorge Delgadillo

Pen Velo is saddened by the tragic death of PV member and new racer Jorge Delgadillo in a bicycle accident on Monday, March 2, 2015. He leaves behind a wife and two teenaged children. He was remembered by his teammates as approachable and friendly with an easy going attitude and warm spirit. We will miss him.

A memorial service for Jorge will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at St. Dunstan Catholic Church, 1133 Broadway, Millbrae.

Obituary from the San Francisco Chronicle

PV Members please leave your thoughts, remembrances and wishes for the family at the following link (must be logged in to see the link):

PV Celebrates 2014 Successes at Annual Banquet

awards-bg2014 has so far been Pen Velo’s best season as a racing club in recent history. We recognized and celebrated our successes at our annual club banquet held on Saturday, November 15, 2014.

Phil Burt received the Bill Fallis Award in recognition of both outstanding athletic achievement and service to the club in 2014.

The following Annual Recognition Awards, as voted by the PV membership, were also awarded:

Man of the Year: Phil Burt
Woman of the Year: Yvonne Walbroehl
Best Advisor/Mentor: Menko Johnson (“I don’t always give advice, but when I do I keep it fresh!”)
Most Improved Rider: James Rainbow
Most Epic Race/Ride Report: Phil Burt, Rene Larro
Volunteer of the Year: Menko Johnson
Bill Fallis Award runner-ups: Jeromy Cottell, Erik Salander

In addition to the above awards, we celebrated many team and individual successes that we achieved so far this year:


Master Men 35+ Cat 4 Team Points – 1st place
Master Men 55+ Team Points – 5th place
Master Men 35+ 1/2/3 Individual Points – Jeromy Cottell, 2nd place
Master Men 55+ 1/2/3/4 Individual Points – Erik Salander, 2nd place
Master Men 35+ Cat 4 Individual Points:
1st place – Phil Burt
2nd place – James Rainbow
12th place – Scott Smith
14th place – Brandon Tyler
20th place – Lenny Lesser Premier Series

Master Men 35+ 1/2/3 – Jeromy Cottell, 1st place

District Championships:

Hillclimb: Yvonne Walbroehl, bronze (W50+)

Road Race:
Helen Casabona, silver (W50-54)
Yvonne Walbroehl, silver (W55-59)
Norma Hilton, silver (W60-64)

Yvonne Walbroehl, bronze (W55-59)
Norma Hilton, GOLD (W60+)

Masters Road Nationals: Norma Hilton, bronze (W60-64 criterium)

Collegiate Road Nationals: Jules Goguely, bronze (men’s road race)

Masters Track Nationals: Ray Gildea, GOLD (men 55+ team sprint)

Masters Track Worlds: Jeromy Cottell, GOLD (men 35-39 scratch race)

Congratulations to everyone for a fantastic season! And it’s not over yet – our cyclocross racers have been tearing it up all over Northern California this fall.