With all the drama of the past few weeks, one can almost forget that there’s still racing going on.
This weekend kicks off ABD’s two-weekend Fall Fling stage race. As with most ABD and ABR events, there’s a festive, low-key vibe to these races. Mike Ebert and company are good hosts. I haven’t missed an event in the past two years, and I regret that I’m not going to be able to do them this year.
It’s a great series for just about everyone. There’s a citizens field, making it a good opportunity for new racers to give this racing thing a shot before diving into it full-steam next year. For riders who may have gotten a late start to their training, it’s a chance to shine at a time of year when many others have either burned out or moved on to cyclocross. Finally, it’s an opportunity to end the season on a good note. Doing so will go a long way toward motivating those three-hour trainer rides in January.
Saturday will be a 10-mile time trial. The course is mostly flat with one turnaround. Wind is often significant, and it’s one of those magic Chicago winds that’s always in your face. The finish line is not at the same spot as the start line. You’ll want to note its position so it doesn’t surprise you at the end.
Sunday is a criterium in Lombard. The oval, office-park course will be repeated the following Sunday. Corners are soft and easy. There’s a shallow descent between Turns 1 and 2, then a steeper climb between Turns 3 and 4. Successful sprints will start right before Turn 4, so on the final lap make sure you start the climb in good position and be ready to jump. I’ve never seen a break get off in a 4’s or citizens race, but the 1/2/3’s and masters races will be all over the place.
Fall Fling Criterium No. 1
Distance from Chicago: .5 hour