More than 500 people hit the bricks Saturday for the seventh running of the Hillsboro-Roubaix.The performance of the day may belong to Chicago's Mike Hemme (Killjoy), who in his first road race attacked from the start of the 4/5 race and spent the next 44 miles off the front with a Ghisallo rider. Often the trickiest part of being in a break is remembering to switch from "collaborate to stay away" mode to "crush your opponent" mode, but Hemme pulled it off perfectly, attacking on the bricks to take the victory. Just as impressive in this race was Al Urbanski (Chicago Cuttin' Crew), who slipped away with 15 miles to go and solo'd through a stiff headwind to pick up 3rd. Coincidentally, a Ghisallo rider also attacked from the gun in the 3/4 race, this time accompanied by Shane Winn (XXX Racing-AthletiCo). They, too, would stay off for about 44 miles. Unfortunately for them, theirs was a 66-mile race. Victory in that race
Photos Rick Cosaro Ficks Photos Vitaminwater-Trek XXX Racing-AthletiCo
Race reports Julian Baumgartner (Vitaminwater-Trek; 3/4): "The hills were taken at a gentleman's pace. The bricks were somewhat effective in softening the field, yet a group of 10 or 15 rounded the final corner together. Though we were now fighting for crumbs everyone was as hungry as ever."
John Boggs (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 5): "It was a lonely ride with nasty wind for several miles."
Sydney Brown (Team Revolution; W-open): "I'd given everything I had and it was about 400 yards too little. Oh well. Lessons about breaks and bridging were learned and those mistakes won't happen twice."
Kevin Clark (Half Acre Cycling; 4/5): "Overall the pack was horribly disorganized. If i want to keep road racing I think I'm going to have to do some serious kissing up to officials for an upgrade or just start time-trialing so I don't have to ride near other people."
Rick Cosaro (Unattached; 5): "There were some others around me, but I was toast."
Andy Daley (Vitaminwater-Trek; P/1/2): "I was mid-pack, trying to eke out a draft from a guy already riding very close to the gravel edge of the road. That was not nice. The four horsemen of the apocalypse were taunting me."
Graham Dewart (Mesa Cycles; 3/4): "It was amazing how well we worked together while barley knowing each other. It was a great feeling to work that hard and have it all work out with the win."
Marc Engelhardt (Ghisallo; 4/5): "Someone behind me plows into the pile. My bike is totaled, the second guy's body is totaled, and the guy who falls for no reason gets up and rides away. This was going 25 mph on a straightaway. Road racing. So, I'm done road racing."
JT Fisher (Ghisallo; 5): "Those Joker attacks were phenomenal. I was physically in the red zone for a long time and stayed with the attack group for a good distance
Tamara Fraser (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; W-4): "I charged up the hill, passing two more riders. I passed a fourth in the turn and then bombed the descent. I hit the bricks at 37.4 mph and caught up to a couple more women."
Team Get a Grip Cycles (W-4, W-Open, 3/4): "The Hillsboro-Roubaix Road Race would determine if we could keep it together or would just devolve into a tribe of wild chimps."
Mike Hemme (Killjoy; 4/5): "As soon as we cleared the neutral zone I stood up and sprinted, hit 43 mph, and off we went. Let the good times roll."
Ed Hernandez (North Branch; 3/4): "First the left leg went 'KABOOM,' and then the right leg went 'KABOOM.' Finally, my entire body yelled 'FUHGETABOUTIT.'"
Jeff Holland (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4/5): "I started to redline during the second section of headwinds, but gritted my teeth and burnt a match to bridge a gap and grab a wheel on the back of the lead pack. I recovered soon enough, but started to worry."
Emir Jaganjac (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 5): "The next turn was right into the headwind, and that was it for me. I felt pain in my lower back, and that's the way my body tells me: 'Hey, you suck!'"
Gina Kenny (ABD; W-4): "The two that passed me slowed way down for the cobblestones so I barreled past them."
Lindsay Koren (Team Get a Grip Cycles; W-4): "When I got to the top I heard everyone breathing really hard and realized if I didn't go then I'd have to go over the bricks and crappy stretch in a crowd."
Sarah Lukas (Geargrinder; W-4): "I pushed whatever I had left to pass three women at my finish for a 9th place."
Megan McLaughlin (Yankee Hill Vet; W-4): "Two riders up front rubbed wheels and we all got tangled up in the wreck."
John Meyer (ABD/Geargrinder; P/1/2): "I covered lots and lots of moves, watched Steve Tilford remove half of his clothing in the middle of the pack, and also saw the biggest horse I’ve probably ever seen in my entire life."
Seth Meyer (Turin; P/1/2): "Whatever."
Adam Mills (P/1/2): "At mile 75, like a cannon, BOOM! Fireworks. Woo Hoo! Time to race."
Brian Morrissey (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4/5): "Through a 10-minute stretch I was at near-max fighting only to hang on to my place in the pack and not give up an inch even then."
Ben Popper (Killjoy; 4/5): "Mike Hemme and I had a pretty sweet half-assed strategy. Not being road racers, we did not how to road race. Mountain bike and cyclocross races are races from the get-go, and we figured that is how we would race this race too: 100 percent from the get-go."
Jessi Prinner (ABD; W-open): "And then, as if God himself had answered my prayers, the most amazing and spectacle of the 21st century occurred right before my scrappy little eyes: One of the ladies dropped her chain."
Jason Pope (Nebo Ridge; 3/4): "This is surely the kind of experience that inspired poet Stephen Dunn to write about 'the sincere "if onlys" of grown men in short pants.'"
Rob Raguet-Schofield (Wild Card; 5): "Every part of my bike rattled as the bricks attempted to tear it apart. At some point I heard a loud popping sound and almost immediately my back wheel started wiggling all over the place. 'Oh shit.'"
Team Revolution (W-open): "Through true tenacity she bridged to them. That effort, in the wind, by herself, is as awe-inspiring as a team win."
Luke Seemann (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 3/4): "Could these have been the lamentations of the women that Conan talked about? Now I just needed to see my enemies driven before me and I would know the 'best in life.'"
Sue Semaszczuk (ABD; W-open): "I started to feel some pain in my side and my breathing was getting short, but I was almost done. I could deal with that later."
Mike Sherer (Alderfer Bergen; P/1/2): "Gravel sections were by far my favorite part. It was so much fun just hammering through those sections with gravel flying and dust everywhere."
Matt Smith (Vitaminwater-Trek; 3/4): "My kingdom for a flat crit!"
Calvin Smythe (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 3/4): "It took all I had to get back onto the group not once but twice, but I did it and by that point I was pretty determined not to be at the back again."
Mark Swartzendruber (Lucas Oil; P/1/2): "My poor positioning back in the pack forced me to be caught behind guys who were weaving up the narrow climb like paper boys. I pushed my way past two such wobble knocks by physically shoving them out of the way as they blindly wobbled across my path."
Zach Thomas (Half Acre Cycling; 3/4): "The pack had leapt forward at the sound of Andrew Nordyke's crash, and I was left to chase with a few other stragglers. At the bottom of a windy, blind descent, I was maybe 300 yards behind the pack, but it was having no part of any hint toward waiting for me."
Steve Tilford (HRRC/Trek Stores; P/1/2): "I was having a pretty good day."
Al Urbanski (Chicago Cuttin' Crew): "My legs were on fire, I felt dizzy and I was seeing black spots, all to crawl up at 12 mph."
Bob Willems (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4/5): "Bomb the descent. GAG guy gets by me. I still think, despite calves cramping in flames, top of left quad stabbed repeatedly with a dull butter knife, I GOT this."
Tim Wozniak (Nebo Ridge; 3/4): "The field was fast and it was apparent that many teams had done a significant amount of outdoor riding to prepare to win the race."