The second weekend of the Fall Fling brought perfect July weather to the Chicago area: high 80s and humid, and riders wilted in the heat, especially in the shelterless expanse of the road race course.
Host ABD exploited the crosswinds (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!) to create a separation in the 1/2 race, but eventually most of the field came back together, leading to Josh Carter (ABD) and Rob White (PCW) sprinting away to take 1-2. Despite many attempts no break would stay off in the next day’s criterium, and again Carter would win ahead of White, but it wouldn’t be enough to make up for the extra points White earned the first weekend.
Riding in the same group were the 3’s, with Tomasz Boba (WDT) and Cory Hickman (Project 5) taking turns beating one another. The difference in the overall would come down to the initial time trial, with Boba coming away with a five-point margin of victory.
Why have I gone all year without hearing about Alex Voitek (Turin)? He rode away from the criterium last weekend, then was an engine in a four-man break that got away halfway through Saturday’s road race (and thus avoided the usual last-lap 4’s carnage). But after twice finishing second to Voitek, Ryan Cooper (ABD) finally finished ahead of Voitek in Sunday’s criterium, giving himself the overall win. Voitek didn’t compete in the time trial, and one wonders whether that could have been the difference.
Eric Christiansen (Unattached): Your table in the 4’s is ready for you. Welcome.
I had predicted an exciting wrap-up in the 40+, but I got the players wrong. Wayne Simon (Colavita) and Ben-Jamin Widoff (Powerbar) scored big points in the road race, then finished high enough on Sunday to leap past Mike Jones (MetCycling) into a tie for the overall. Simon took it, thanks to having finished one spot ahead of Widoff in the series’ final race. (Mark McCrimmon (D’Arcy) had a hard fall in the road race and has the nasty, heart-breaking photos to prove it. Speedy recovery, Mark.)
The 50+ was just as tight. Tom Doughty (AMD/Discovery) and Fabio Orlandi (Paddle Your Own Canoe) woke up Sunday tied for first, and it was Doughty finishing in 4th ahead of Orlandi’s 6th to lock up the overall.
Your three participants in the women’s open series: Jessi Prinner (ABD), Irene Pang (ABD) and Marilyn Powell (ABD). Your road race results: Prinner, Pang, Powell. Your criterium results: Prinner, Pang, Powell. Your overall results: Prinner, Pang, Powell. (Are you down with PPP? Yeah, you know ABD!)
The women’s 4’s contest was livelier, with Cecile Redoble (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) summoning help from teammates in her bid to defend the leader’s jersey she earned with the time trial. Lynne Arrigoni (Skypoint Chiropractic) proved too much, however, winning all three mass-start races to take the overall by a mere two points.
Two other notes on the Fall Fling:
First, I’m told there were several disqualifications for yellow-line violations. I applaud this. While a yellow-line violation did not cause July’s Proctor fatality, that tragedy reminded us why the rule exists. We need officials and promoters to adopt zero-tolerance policies, and riders, myself included, need to learn to suck it up and deal.
Second, big thanks to WDT for sponsoring the leaders jerseys. We don’t have many stage races around here, and having someone visible in yellow adds to the drama and intrigue.
And that, dear friends, is your 2007 road racing season. See you at Parkside ... maybe?
Full road race results. Full criterium results. Full overall results.
Road race reports
Peter Allen (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): “I was able to keep them at a good distance for about another lap before I realized my chasing had become fruitless.”
Ron Cook (ABD; 3): “I don’t really see anybody left behind me so I’m thinking, This is it. I have to make this group or I’m done. “
Ryan Cooper (ABD; 4): “The pace was awesome! All-out just flying in a rotating pace line.”
Andy Daley (Team Clif Bar Midwest; 1/2): “This residential development just off Highway 20 should go by the correct name of ‘The White Dungeons of Lake Doom.’”
Tamara Fraser (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): “I saw one of the other women crack and I passed her! Unfortunately, Cecile Redoble (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) wasn’t able to outsprint the other racer, and she came in second, with me right behind.”
Uwe Krueger (Team Get a Grip Cycles; 3): “Riding a tire for 33 miles with maybe 15 psi in it was slowly wearing me down, the corners were also very tense.”
Mark McCrimmon (D’Arcy , 40+): “We were 20 miles into our race when the rider up a bit on my right caught the wheel of the yellow jersey and fell into me while going 25mph in a pack of about 30. Down hard into the oncoming non-closed traffic lane.”
Seth Meyer (Team Get a Grip Cycles; 1/2): “Fourth and fifth laps, ABD drilled it in the gutter. I went up to help for a while, and it was actually just as hard rotating through the echelon than being stuck in the gutter and dealing with the crosswinds alone there.”
Matt Smith (Big Shark; 3): “I rode in the gutter for a long time with no draft and got dropped. Here I am waiting for people to catch up to me so that I could suck wheel the final two laps.”
Matt Waite (Brazen Dropouts; 1/2): “About four Cat 3’s in front of me decided to give up and I had to chase.”
Criterium race reports
Ryan Cooper (ABD; 4): “Being able to attack off a pace like that is freakin awesome and kind of sick and just forgetting about the outcome and just racing fast, well that is so much fun!”
Andy Daley (Team Clif Bar Midwest; 1/2): “I tried my darnedest to gallop up the road to glory, but at the bell, I was limping home at the rear of the pack, exhausted and with a shirt pocket full of burnt matches.”
Debbie Dust (Team Kenda Tire; M-40+): “I hung tough the entire way - actually bridged a few gaps and even took a flyer off the front at one point. I was ready to do whatever I needed to in order to secure a high place for Mike Jones (MetCycling) today.”
Ed Hernandez (North Branch; 4): “I jumped out of the saddle with ~200m to go. Everything went silent. I kept trying to look for shadows of incoming riders to the left and the right, but there wasn’t anyone there. I couldn’t even hear the crowd during the sprint. All I kept thinking about is how that finish line was taking its sweet time in coming up to me.”
Uwe Krueger (Team Get a Grip Cycles; 3): “The fitting end came when another rider from a previous race decided to hop onto the street and ride the course in reverse right at me while in the final sprint 100 meters from the line.”
Seth Meyer (Team Get a Grip Cycles; 1/2): “Three sat on [in the break], and in a terribly disrupting fashion, may I add, letting gaps open in the eight-man group, and one guy tried to attack the move. Seriously? Eight guys with 30 minutes to go in an oval crit and you attack the break?”
Jared Rogers (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; citizens): “Coming up the slight rise between 3 and 4 it happens, people in front of us start blowing up and we get trapped. A convoy of riders on the outside begin to light it up in turn four for the final 200M sprint and there is no way for me to get out.”
Matt Smith (Big Shark; 3): “We rode fast, people tried to make breaks, I had to physically remove people from my person at least three times. It was great!”