Article by Pittsburgh Tribune Review Newspaper Writer Rochelle Hentges:
2006 DD Photos: Shot by Keith Biehl and hosted by David Petrou.
2006 DD Photos: Taken by Chris Mayhew.
2006 DD YouTube Videos: Taken by Chris Mayhew.
2006 DIRTY DOZEN RESULTS
The 24rd Annual Dirty Dozen was held on Saturday, November 25th. The best weather in DD history - high temperature of 66 degrees F (warmest) and sunny skies brought out the most riders ever. 79 (63%) of the 125 riders to start were rookies. It was also the most competitive/highest caliber field, making it very difficult to score points. Strong climbers such as Billy Kanarek, Jody Lobert, & John Brockenbrough (they usually score points) were shut out this year. It was only the 3rd time (in all 24 DDs) that I failed to win a hill. The top 4 finishers (points thiefs) hogged up the majority (127 out of 195 available) of the points. This left only one more place open - the rest of the riders had to scramble for. However, all 5 (myself, Bob Gottlieb, Johnny Knotts, Ryan McDermitt, & Steve Cummings) former DD winners did manage to score points. Of the 16 (only 12.8% of the field) people who scored points, 5 (31%) were rookies.
Last years 3rd place finisher Mike Stubna won the first two hills, but defending champ Steve Cummings was 2nd on both. I knew it would be difficult to keep such a huge pack of riders together all day. Like I had done in past years with smaller groups, I waited a fairly long time at the top of the first two hills for what I thought were the last riders, but it was taking me too long to catch back up to the front between hills. I did not know that a lead group of about 20 riders broke away between the 2nd & 3rd hills. Stubna bridged up to this group - catching them at the base of hill #3 (Berryhill), and passed enough riders up the hill to get 5th place - this gave him his maximum lead of 3 points over Cummings. Cummings was raving because he wasn't in the lead group, and got no points. In the lead group, sprinter Mark Nicoll won the hill in his big chainring for the 3rd consecutive year.
Luckily, the lead group waited just after the 3rd hill for the rest of us to catch up. I explained the importance of keeping the group together between hills for a fair race, and so that the front of the pack could hear my whistle blown to start each hill. This worked for the rest of the day. At the bottom of Berryhill, Brian Hopkins snapped his rear derailleur cable, forcing him to walk up it. Since the support vehicle wasn't at the top of the hill (it went on ahead to set up the first food stop atop the next hill), Hopkins had to ride up hill #4 (High St./Seavy Rd.) in his 39x14 gear. At the food stop, I got a spare cable out of my tool box, and my friend Ty Provosty (from Cincinnati which he thought was hilly until the DD taught him otherwise) installed it for Brian.
Cummings won the 4th hill after which he was tied with Stubna, and then led the rest of the day. Cummings has his 3rd consecutive DD mathematically won after winning the 11th (Welsh Way) hill. The one point difference at the end suggests a much closer race than it was. Stubna won the last two hills on which Cummings went pointless. Stubna scored points on 12 hills - more than anyone else. In the battle for 3rd place, last years 2nd place finisher Joe Vallese had as much as a 6 point lead over rookie Stig Somme in the middle of the race, but Somme finished strong -scoring 7 points on the last two hills, and beating out Vallese for 3rd place overall by 4 points. Scoring just 7 points on the last two hills, I was the first 40+ rider, and tied with Ryan McDermitt for 8th place overall.
The 6th hill [Pig Hill(Rialto St.)] is difficult to stage because it is very narrow, and we go down & turn around at the bottom & ride up. I always go down in the first heat (they get all the points) which consists of all riders who scored points on the first 5 hills, and all former overall DD winners. This group was a dozen riders this year. Right after I blew my whistle to start the hill, former DD winners Bob Gottlieb & Ryan McDermitt crashed at the bottom. Standing on a bridge over the hill near the top, rider Chris Mayhew shot video of the crash and the entire hill - showing winner Nicoll passing Cummings. Thanks to Mayhew for shooting it and posting it on YouTube.com
After hill #8 (Sycamore St.), we all stand together on a Downtown Pittsburgh overlook on Mt. Washington. As we were leaving the photo shoot, leader Steve Cummings noticed his rear sew-up/tubular tire was flat. He managed to get a car ride with Mayhew's wife Cheryl to the bottom on the next hill (37% grade Canton Ave.) where he got out, pumped up his tire, and rode up the hill with the middle of the pack. He then got a spare tire he had put in Keith Biehl's support vehicle. This means he did not ride the entire course - missing the connecter hill Crane Avenue, but he did ride up every hill. After former DD winners walked/ran (carrying their bikes) up top parts of hills (following crashes) the years they won, I created a rule in which the winner has to ride all the way up every hill. Do I now have to come up with another rule which states the winner must ride the entire route?
In 2001, rookie leader/winner John Oshlick got defeated on Canton Ave. Running with his bike up the last 3rd of the hill, he still managed to get 4th place and 2 points. He did not try again, and therefore did not ride all the way up. In 2002, leader/winner Justin Pokrivka crashed on Logan, and ran up the rest of the hill with his bike to 3rd place and 3 points. He did not try again. On Canton, he crashed again, walked up the rest of the hill with his bike, but this time he didn't score any points. He did not try again, so he failed to ride all the way up 2 hills. The DD is not a mountain bike or cyclocross race in which carrying or rolling your bike in perfectly acceptable. The goal and challenge of the DD is to ride your bike all the way up every hill without crashing or stopping. So from 2003 onward, I created the rule: the winner has to make every hill.
Except for the very first DD back in 1983 when all 5 of us were rookies, the only rookies to win the overall and make every hill on their first attempt were Doug Grauel in October, 1984, and Johnny Knotts in 1996! Other strong riders have made every hill their rookie year, but they did not win. I am the only person to ever beat current reigning champ Cummings overall - his rookie year in 2003. Stubna has yet to win. Canton Ave. (the hill that claims the most casualties) can terrorize even the toughest riders. 2004 2nd place finisher Peter Culley only made Canton for the first time that year in the DD after many failed attempts in training.
A party atmosphere developes atop Canton Avenue each year. Those riders who have already made the hill stand at the top, and cheer on those riders attempting to make the hill (some needing more than one try). Many rookies fail to make Canton their first attempt because either they don't take the hill seriously enough or another rider(s) crashes in front of them. In the Canton Avenue Challenge (cyclist versus runner) this year, sprinter Ryan McDermitt (on bike) barely beat shoeless runner Joe Ross on the cobblestones. A triathlete, Joe finished the DD this year. You may remember Joe on the cover of Sundays Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper last year - running against Cummings (on bike) up Canton. In another challenge, Joe Vallese & another cyclist (both on bikes) clearly beat triathlete Billy Kanarek (DD finisher this year) who ran up the steps alongside the cobblestones. Rather than just wait, some people feel the need to ride up (conquer) Canton multiple times such as 52 year old Greg Ellis who climbed it 4 times.
Ryan Mele won the sprint out of the Liberty Tunnels, and finished 10th place overall. He rode his first (only other) DD back in 1999 at age 14 with his father John. The longest anybody has ever taken to come back to the DD is 22 years. Lawyer Scott Dismukes rode this year. His only other DD was the 2nd - held way back in January, 1984. Besides myself, he is the only other person who has ridden both the smallest (4 riders) and largest (125) Dirty Dozens. Of the 4 women who started this year, only two (Carolyn Fisher & Carol Clemens) finished. The youngest rider this year was 14 year old Eddie Grystar. The youngest riders to ever finish were all 14 - Max Bergholz in 1987, Josh Smith in 1990, Mele, & Grystar. The youngest rider to score points was 15 year old Smith in 1991. Josh was also the youngest rider to ever win the overall at age 16 in 1992. He nearly won the overall again in 1997 in a classic duel which came down to the final hill against me.
The oldest riders this year were Ray Chester & Jeff Wolfe (both 58). 48 year old Dirt Rag publisher Maurice Tierney became the heaviest (230 pounds) rider to ever finish - breaking Ron Lutz's 225 pound 9 year old record. FAT Lutz once weighed over 300 pounds as a kid. He got down to 156 pounds to place 15th in the first Thrift Drug Classic pro race which climbed up Sycamore St. 14 times back in 1991. Lance Armstrong won the race 3 times before cancer transformed him into a lighter, stage racer. Lutz is now back up to 290 pounds. A similar outspoken, loud mouth like myself, Lutz has ridden many 200+ mile rides with me. Even at a mere 225 pounds, 5'7" tall Lutz was much thicker/wider than tall Tierney. The oldest person to ever finish was 65 year old IronMan triathlete Roger Brockenbrough in 1999. The oldest person to score points was 56 year old Oscar Swan in 1998. The oldest person to win a hill was 50 year old Billy Kanarek in 2003. The oldest person to win the overall DD was myself at age 41 in 2003.
Thanks to official Mark Powder, marshal Matt McDermitt, and refreshment/support vehicle (thanks to 1986 DD winner Bob Gottlieb for donating his pick-up truck) drivers ACA secretary Paul Ricci & Dale Hardy. Also driving support vehicles were Keith Biehl (he took 258 photos) & Julia Ross, Cathy Milligan (first aid), and Christa Ross (her hubby Frankie was riding & miked) & her Mobile Media Ventures film crew. Thanks to Billy Kanarek for donating all of the pop. Expecting 100 riders at most, I watched my 5 gallon orange Gatorade cooler empty fast on such a warm day. Paul and Dale had to go grocery shopping for more water after the 2nd food stop atop hill #7 (Suffolk/Hazelton/Burgess) on the North Side. Thanks also to Joe Ross for spray painting red DD arrows along the route between the last two hills.
In the early years when we had small fields (say 15 or less riders), I was able to monitor each rider up every hill and keep track of who didn't make it up. The rule was continuous forward/upward motion. This meant NO STOPPING! You were allowed to weave or tack (risky to do in a sea of climbing riders) as long as you didn't go backwards. If you failed to make the hill on your first attempt, you were encouraged to go all the way back to the bottom (fairly east to do on short hills like Canton Ave.) and start over. You kept doing this over and over again until you either conquered the damn hill, or admitted defeat - leaving the hill knowing that it BEAT YOU. Nowadays the field is so big that there is no way I can police every rider up every hill. So an honor system is used: Each riders knows if they deserve Chew official DD finisher status based on the above criteria.
Although 125 riders (started) left Washington Blvd. Track at about 10:30 am, fewer returned at about 4:30 pm. I should have counted the riders cresting the top of the last hill (Flowers/Tesla), but I bet it was less than 100. How many riders earned Chew official DD finisher status? Given how many riders I saw walking up hills, I would have to guess about 75. With such a big field this year, there was a very wide range of abilities represented. If riders were already having serious trouble on the first hill, they were in way over their heads.
2nd place finisher Mike Stubna held the 3rd annual post DD party at his Bloomfield apartment. The first two parties were held at John Minturn's South Side apartment, but he moved away. 2006 DD riders present were winner Cummings, Stubna, Somme, Nicoll, Minturn, myself, Gottlieb, Jared Babik, Brian Gierl, & Bill McNelis. Also at the party were two time ACA criterium champ Jake Lifson, womens ACA criterium champ Lee-Ann Beatty, Charlie Chulack, Brett Rothmeyer, Cumming's girlfriend Amy Garbark, Minturn's girlfriend Annie Corcoran, Stubna's sister Audria, Stubna's girlfriend Emily Mackay, and Stubna support person Paul Raff.
Within two months of winning the 1986 DD, Bob Gottlieb rode a Pittsburgh winter double century (200 miles) on December 29th. This feat has never been equalled, so to commemorate the 20th anniversary, Steve Cummings and I are planning a 200 mile ride sometime after December 21st. Leaving just before dawn, we plan on riding 140-150 miles all day before finishing up at the track (at night) where Steve's girlfriend Amy might provide refreshments. We will pick a good weather day. Who all else wants in on this adventure?
. . Hill # . STARTERS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Total 1 Steve Cummings 4 4 . 5 5 4 5 4 . 3 5 . . 39 2 Mike Stubna 5 5 1 2 4 1 3 3 2 2 . 5 5 38 3 *Stig Somme 2 3 . 1 2 . 4 . . 5 3 3 4 27 4 Joe Vallese 3 2 . 4 3 . . 1 5 1 4 . . 23 5 Mark Nicoll . . 5 . . 5 . . 4 . . . . 14 6 John Minturn . . 3 . . 3 . 5 . . . . 1 12 7 *Dan Wilson . . . . . . 2 . . 4 1 1 . 8 8 Danny Chew . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3 7 . Ryan McDermitt . . 4 . . . . . 3 . . . . 7 10 Ryan Mele 1 1 2 . . . . . . . . . 2 6 11 Johnny Knotts . . . 3 . 2 . . . . . . . 5 12 *Turner Johnson . . . . . . . 2 . . . 2 . 4 13 Patrick Conneely . . . . . . . . . . 2 . . 2 14 Bob Gottlieb . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . 1 . *Andy Wiedrich . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . 1 . *Mark Tressler . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . 1 17 Mark Hess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Billy Kanarek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 John Brockenbrough . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Ray Russell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Bob Berg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Jody Lobert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Bryan Routledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Rich Zawacki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Joe Ross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 David Petrou . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Ryan Borcz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Rob Gaus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Mark Briercheck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Eric Hodos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Jeff Grimm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ed DeLuca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Jeremy Cornman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Lance Kennelty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Scott Dismukes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Bill Ehler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 John Heffner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Jonathan Fox 39 Mike Hess 40 Edward King-Smith 41 Todd Edmunds 42 Stanley Parker 43 Neil Shuman 44 Bill Wozniak 45 Brian Gierl 46 Frankie Ross 47 Greg Ellis 48 Doug Riegner 49 Mike Culley 50 Chris Popovic 51 CAROLYN FISHER 52 *CAROL CLEMENS 53 *VICTORIA DeDONATO 54 *LINDA DETRICK 55 *Ty Provosty 56 *Jim Manoledes 57 *Mike Henkel 58 *Jim Logan 59 *Dennis Ledgerwood 60 *Scott Ogden 61 *Bob Milyak 62 *Brian Curtis 63 *Brent Heitzenroder 64 *Jeff Dahl 65 *Bob Koster 66 *Ted McPherson 67 *Bob Ansell 68 *David Dockard 69 *Bob Kennedy 70 *Steve Feinstein 71 *Dave Coulson 72 *Ray Chester 73 *Ed Zabela 74 *Rick Cianfaglione 75 *Mike Helbling 76 *Jeff Wolfe 77 *Chris BeHanna 78 *Mike Tressler 79 *Ed Grystar 80 *Eddie Grystar Jr. 81 *Mike Jernigan 82 *Jared Babik 83 *Charlie Garrod 84 *Robbie Sedgewick 85 *Eliot Cannon 86 *Tom Grogan 87 *Chuck Wiedrich 88 *Paul Fiorino 89 *Juan Pacheco 90 *Ken Frankenbry 91 *Ross Clark 92 *Steve Roberts 93 *Marshal Hartley 94 *Brian McCandless 95 *John Steers 96 *Bill McNally 97 *Mike Wagner 98 *Ed Johnson 99 *Bob McMasters 100 *Brian Hopkins 101 *Mark Jakubowycz 102 *Jim Andreyo 103 *John McClintock 104 *Sean Ross 105 *Jonathan Kelly 106 *Joe Padalino 107 *John Ryan 108 *Tim Drook 109 *Jeremy Kirchin 110 *Kevin Sapper 111 *Charlie Shaffer 112 *Matt Pascal 113 *Matt Grove 114 *Ken Delraso Jr. 115 *Paul Stevenson 116 *John Wiesemann 117 *Bill McNelis 118 *Hung-Chun Huang 119 *Chris Mayhew 120 *Maurice Tierney 121 *Andy Munas 122 *Frank Hersh 123 *Justin Kanter 124 *Chance Regina 125 *Manny Samaniego . ................................ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Total . . Hill #
* denotes a first timer or rookie
ALL CAPS denotes a woman rider
If two riders end up with the same point total at the end, the tie breaker
is who has more wins, 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, & 5ths if needed.
Hill Wins Steve Cummings 4 Mike Stubna 4 Mark Nicoll 2 Stig Somme 1 Joe Vallese 1 John Minturn 1 .