Photo by Ellen Wight
Photo by Luke Seemann
Photo by Ellen Wight
Things looked grim as the sun rose on Sherman Park Saturday. After a week of devastating storms, rain continued to sprinkle, and standing water encroached on the course at several points. But by the end of the morning’s first race, the weather had turned for the better, and an XXX Racing-AthletiCo bucket brigade combined with more brooms than “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” had beaten back the flooding.
Speaking of sandbags, Matt Smith (Big Shark) has been involved in a lively sprinting discussion here at CBR. Smith proved he knows what he’s talking about by sprinting to a win in the 3/4’s race and to a 2nd in the masters 4/5’s, narrowly losing to Tim Keeley (ABD).
The 3/4’s race surprised me when no break got off. The pack was wary of letting any of the host team get too far away, and thanks to a stream of primes—
including suicide-prime Cubs tickets won by Jon Tenney
(Team Get a Grip Cycles) —
the pace stayed hot the entire race.
Other than these two races, every race featured breaks and solo attacks.
The 5’s race didn’t take long to splinter. About 10 riders formed a lead group, and it was Peter Strittmatter (XXX Racing-AthletiCo), using the race as a warm-up for the next day’s Chicago Triathlon, who won a handful of primes on his way to winning the race, his second in as many weekends.
Tamara Fraser (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) rode away from the women’s 4’s/masters race, spending the last several laps all by herself, gaining time on every pass, thanks in part to sound blocking from teammate Jeanette Schrand. One can’t help but cluck, however, at Fraser’s lack of a satisfying post-up. Not even a fist pump from the masters state road champion.
Perhaps she can get a post-up clinic from Emily Hutchins (Team Get a Grip Cycles). I’ve lost track of how many races Hutchins has won in this, her first season of racing. She won again Saturday by taking a three-up sprint in the women’s P/1/2/3’s, the inaugural Beth Kobeszka Memorial Race, a race that frustrated at least one observer for its excessive collegiality in the face of primes. C’mon, ladies: Vitamin Water, MOJO bars and Cubs tickets! Show us your sprint!
Thanks to Olin Kruetz-like blocking from Project 5 and XXX Racing-AthletiCo, two small groups slipped away from the modest masters 1/2/3 field, much to the dismay of the teams not represented. (Sorry, gentlemen.) It was Tim Henry (Project 5) winning a four-up sprint to take the win. Randy Warren (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) broke his chain in the first chase group, but limped across the line for 7th overall and 1st 40+.
Juniors fields were small as well, and it was John Tomlinson (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) lapping his 15-18 opponents and Konrad Witt (ABD) riding away from the 10-14 juniors.
Finally a five-person break got away less than halfway through from the day’s last race, the 70-minute P/1/2/3: Julian Baumgartner (Team Clif Bar Midwest), Brian Rheude (MetCycling), and Andrew Rizzo and Brad Menna (Higher Gear) and Brian Zink (Proctor). With two to go the break lapped the field, and its members scrambled to organize with their teammates in time for the sprint. Team Clif Bar Midwest had it lined up for Baumgartner with one to go, and fellow breakaway artist Scott Pearson (Higher Gear) towed Rizzo and Menna forward, but it was Rheude, a 4 earlier this year, who crossed the line first in a photo finish.
Julian Baumgartner (Team Clif Bar Midwest; 3, P/1/2/3): Hot video action!
Jay Corgiat (ABD; 40+ 4/5): “I continued my unabated winning streak in the Men’s 40-44, Unincorporated Wheaton, Full Time Job, Three Kids, Hairy Legs and a Beat Up Ridley Division, the only category that truly counts.”
Tamara Fraser (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; W-4/35+): “Jeanette signaled again and I jumped. Hard. I just pounded it ... and I got away!”
Jeff Kao (XXX Racing-AthletiCo): “Sherman Park was completely terrific. I’d have to break another tibia to miss this race again.”
Brian Morrissey (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+ 4/5, 3/4): “My breath was coming in hoarse rasps as I futilely tried to stay in the draft. The fight just left me. I wasn’t going to place and I knew I was done. But I was happy.”
Matt Smith (Big Shark; 30+ 4/5, 3/4): “I was on the left. Everyone was waiting…waiting. I did not want to wait. I shot up on the left side of the road and hugged the edge of the pavement.”
Ben Vancouvering (Team Pegasus; 5): “I like road racing more now that I’ve actually finished a road race.”