Wednesday notebook

Jun 30, 2010
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  • » Another round of announcements from the Chicago Cyclocross Cup, including a call for sponsorship.
  • » Half Acre Cycling is hosting a Sept. 11 cyclocross clinic for women.
  • » It’s a little quiet this weekend, but there’s still racing: The Tour of De Villas nearby in Des Plaines and some good money available at Indiana’s Marion Classic, downsized this year after being an NRC race in 2009.
  • » Soldier Field Cycling has not announced a make-up date for last week’s rainout, but there will be one, and the schedule will be shuffled to accommodate a 6 p.m. start for women.
  • » To celebrate Bastille Day, the July 14 races at Soldier Field will have a French flavor, with crepes, music and special prizes for any French riders.
  • » Speaking of France, there is not much time left to make your Tour de France picks at Rouleur Derby.
  • » Superweek pre-registration closes Thursday, July 8, but a late fee gets added starting July 7. Note that there are more women’s 3/4’s races than usual this year, including what should be an interesting road race in Willow Springs on Tuesday, July 13.
  • » I will never tire of tales from Tati.
  • » Emanuele Bianchi (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) is curious about what you’re looking for in a gear bag.

ToAD wrap-up IV

Jun 29, 2010
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Race reports, Tour of America's Dairyland,

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Some final Chicago highlights from the Tour of America’s Dairyland, which wrapped up Sunday in Waukesha:

  • » Jannette Rho (Chicago Cuttin’ Crew) was a rock star all week. Though she never took the top step, she was no stranger to the podium in the women’s 3/4’s, taking 3rd four times and 2nd twice. Wisconsin’s Whitney Gaggioli (Amore & Vita) was too dominant to be challenged in the overall, winning eight of the 10 races, but Rho came home with 2nd overall, followed by Cathy Frampton (Project 5) in 3rd. These were large fields, too, including more than 40 at Thursday’s challenging Greenbush Road Race.
  • » Verizon u25 fought hard to defend the overall position of Mike Sherer after he donned the P/1/2 yellow jersey at the Road America Road Race, but despite several top 10 finishes he lost his podium on the final day, finishing 5th overall. Don’t miss the great videos the team produced over the week.
  • » Matt Samples (North Branch) won the 35+ 4/5’s race Wednesday in Sheboygan.
  • » Jared Craft (Psimet) raced all week in the 4/5’s and came home with six top 10’s, including a 3rd Saturday on Downer Avenue, finishing 10th overall.
  • » Brian Conant (Comma-Van Wagner) had a consistent week in the 35+ 1/2/3’s: 6th twice, 10th twice and 11th twice.

Full results.

Series reports
Nat Bricker (University of Florida; P/1/2): “Beer feeds and high fives make even the worst of races suddenly not so bad.”

Chicago Cuttin’ Crew (W-3/4): “Pretty f’n killer, J Rho.”

Matt Riezman (Spidermonkey Cycling; 4/5): “I went rolling off the course and hit a cement post that fortunately had padding around it.”

Jared Rogers (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4/5): “The guns that were fired in this battle were no small ones and I think I held up pretty well.”

Hogan Sills (Verizon u25): “He had to fight against pro teams for 11 days, and he managed to hold off some super-strong riders below him until the final stage.”

Joe Tortorelli (Verizon Wireless; 3): “We had at least 3 minutes on the field at one point, and that’s when i stopped working. Sure I’ll take some flack for that but it’s bike racing.”

Waterloo reports
Jerel Lynn Waide (Project 5; W-3/4): “This is perfect. Cathy can go and get away.”

Greenbush reports
Brian Morrissey (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 35+ 1/2/3): “I remained up against the yellow, which was my undoing amidst the final argy-bargy of the last two miles.”

William Pankonin (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 3): “I just couldn’t ride around waiting for the end, and I could not end this race with fresh legs.”

Nathan Phelps (Big Ring Flyers; 35+ 4/5): “In hindsight I wonder if I couldn’t have gone harder during the bulk of the race and in the final sprint.”

Luke Seemann (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 35+ 1/2/3): “Better to have broken away and lost than to have never broken away at all.”

Jerel Lynn Waide (Project 5; W-3/4): “A challenging race course that allowed me to use all of my gears. Wish I had a few more.”

Andrew Zens (Spidermonkey Cycling; 4/5): “This was racing bliss. Sure it’s great to win, but it’s also great to race.”

Fond du Lac reports
Cathy Frampton (Project 5; W-3/4): “While the visit to the podium was sweet, the cow jersey remains the real elusive treat.”

Brian Morrissey (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 35+ 1/2/3): “I was waiting for the jump, and when none came, I looked behind and saw a huge gap.”

Downer Avenue reports
Cathy Frampton (Project 5; W-3/4): “I not only had to stop pedaling, but also reverse the bike a bit so she didn’t hit my front wheel. Dang!”

Kim Gialdini (Flatlandia; W-3/4): “Never look back! Just go.”

Waukesha reports
Kim Gialdini (Flatlandia; W-3/4): “I was very close to bridging up. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t yell out the women behind me to take a pull and help too.”

Photo by Luke Seemann

Peoria wrap-up

Jun 29, 2010
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You'd think that Chicago's Burnham Racing would mix up its strategy just to keep things interesting for spectators, but no: It won Sunday's Cat 3 state championship in hot and humid Peoria in much the same way it won in 2009 and 2008.

After lining up nine-deep, Burnham controlled the race before firing off solo fliers in the closings laps. As those efforts wore down the field, it kept its sprinters rested and in good position to pounce. This time it was Nate Iden's turn to capitalize, with teammate Chris Curran not far behind. Iden launched well ahead of Turn 7 to enter Turn 8 and the homestretch with a decisive gap, crossing the line with an enthusiastic -- if somewhat wobbly -- post-up. Iden wasn't the only one to make an early jump. Both women's races splintered into small groups, and the winners made their final moves with two corners yet to go: Cathy Frampton (Project 5) took the 3/4's and Heidi Sarna (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) barely fended off a surging Jeannie Kuhajek (Team Mack) in the open. Of course, the earliest jump came from Dave Moyer (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) in the P/1/2's. He slipped away from his 10-man break with 25 minutes to go and came so close to lapping a field thick with teammates that officials pulled the field early. Moyer, shown being congratulated above, extended his gap enough to finish with no one else in the photo, followed by Andrew Lister (Dogfish) and Hogan Sills (Verizon u25). All eyes are on you once you've won a road race championship and been interviewed by the cycling media, but Kyle Selph (Tower Racing) was still able to score the Cat 4 double by outkicking Quentin Capista (Project 5) in a bunch sprint. It took three tries, but after figuring prominently in both the 50+ and the 30+, Tom Doughty (Amgen-UBS) finally earned a 2010 jersey in the 40+, winning a two-up sprint against Randy Warren (XXX Racing-AthletiCo). Can't say there were big surprises in the other two masters races: Verizon Wireless had only two riders in the 30+, but it played its cards perfectly and finished 1-3 behind Dave Stone and Chris Mosora, and Wayne Simon (Verdigris) won the four-up sprint to take the 50+. In the juniors, Brandon Feehery (South Chicago Wheelmen) defended his 15-18 championship. Samuel Bianchi (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) finished 2nd to Jacob Schilling (Team Mack) but was the top Illinois rider in the 10-14, and Gina Johnson (Smart Cycling) won the girls race. Full results.

Race reports Burnham Racing (3): "Delivering a race into the hands of our sprinters is a gamble and a thrill."

Shawn Delk (Project 5; 4): "I would have given him my only bottle if I needed to. The goal was for him today."

Colm Flannery (Proctor; 40+, 4): "To heck with the consequences, I'm going to have fun, leave it all out there and do my tiny bit to let people know that they've been in a race."

Cathy Frampton (Project 5; W-3/4): "On the backstretch of the last lap, wind in our face, the three of us eyed each other. You could feel how antsy we were getting."

Arron Hampton (Psimet; 4): "Following a strong rider with excellent handling skills is always nice."

Dave Moyer (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; P/1/2): "25 minutes is a long time to stay off the front in a state championship race, and I suddenly noticed that it was 85 or 90 degrees out."

Peoria Journal Star: "Race officials said it was one of the most dominating victories in the race's history."

Scott Rosenfield (IS Corp; P/1/2): "When the move went in Peoria, I didn’t react. In fact, I don't know when or how it went."

Luke Seemann (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+, P/1/2): "The essence of bicycle racing had distilled itself into this break. As much as I wanted the race to be over, I didn’t want to let this moment go."

Photos Luke Seemann

XXX sweeps state championships

Jun 27, 2010
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Heidi Sarna (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) and Dave Moyer (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) are your 2010 state criterium champions.

Nate Iden launched a long sprint from before the penultimate corner to win the 3's, the third Cat 3 criterium championship in a row for Burnham Racing, Cathy Frampton (Project 5) took the women's 3/4's and road race champ Kyle Selph (Tower Racing) won the 4's in a bunch sprint. Full results. Full wrap-up to come.

More golds, silvers from Bend, Ore.

Jun 25, 2010
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After winning the road race at the U.S. Paralympic National Championships on Tuesday, Greta Neimanas (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) went on to sweep the series, winning both the criterium and time trial.

Meanwhile, Joe Berenyi (Psimet) earned the silver medal in the Paralympic criterium, and defending national champion Jessi Prinner (ABD) earned a silver in this year's 17-18 time trial, improving her time but falling 18 seconds of 26-time national champion Coryn Rivera (Peanut Butter & Co.).

FLASH: Soldier Field canceled

Jun 23, 2010
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Because of severe weather forecast, tonight's Soldier Field Cycling Series races are canceled. Stay tuned for makeup information, if any.

Wednesday notebook

Jun 23, 2010
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This weekend’s races: June 26-27

Jun 22, 2010
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First, a reminder about this week's weekday races: Tonight's Matteson races will take place rain or shine at the Autobahn in Joliet, perfect for anyone who opened their legs at Monday's Road America Road Race. Tomorrow night, ABD's West Chicago series takes a breather and the action goes to Soldier Field for the first evening of the Soldier Field Cycling Series.

Both evenings are good final tuneups for Sunday's state criterium championships in Peoria. It's a fun eight-corner course with wide, smooth roads and a short kicker right before Turn 8. Elsewhere, the Tour of America's Dairyland continues in Wisconsin, including the thrilling Downer Avenue Classic on Saturday, and Ricardo Otero (WDT-Allvoi) tells me he recommends Indiana's Morgan-Monroe State Park Road Race, whose Bean Blossom Road climb is among the toughest climbs in Indiana.

Sunday Proctor Cycling Classic USAC criterium Peoria, Ill. Distance from Chicago: 3 hours Previous wrap-ups: 2007, 2008, 2009

Morgan-Monroe State Park Road Race USAC road race Martinsville, Ind. Distance from Chicago: 4 hours

ToAD wrap-up III

Jun 21, 2010
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Some Chicago riders had a great day at the Road America Road Race today in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Early returns include Brian Haas (Alberto's) winning the 35+ 1/2/3's and Heidi Sarna (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) placing 2nd in the women's 3/4. In the P/1/2/3, Mike Sherer (Verizon u25) made it into an 8-man break that stayed away for much of the race, placing 5th behind winner and former ABD rider Frankie Dierking (Team Wisconsin). With double points for the road race, however, that puts him into the yellow jersey -- the second Verizon u25 to take the overall lead in this series. Full results.

Race reports Patrick Haley (Velo Trocadero; 35+ 1/2/3): "It was pretty dicey from there on out: shouting, gesticulating, head shaking and swarming like Cat 4's on the last lap."

Cathy Frampton (W-3/4): "Heidi hit it. With that, the field that had been packed coming up the long rise spread out so those that still had some energy could go."

William Pankonin (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 3): "The strongest riders were sitting in and waiting until the very end."

Verizon u25 (P/1/2): "The remaining breakaway riders waited to duke it out on the long slog up the final climb."

Andrew Zens (Spidermonkey Cycling; 4/5): "With a strong Chicago crew in the house today, I took it upon my shoulders to be the workhorse."

ToAD wrap-up II

Jun 21, 2010
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A few highlights from Stages 2, 3 and 4 of the Tour of America's Dairyland:

  • » ToAD showed women some love, and women have returned the favor, turning out in large numbers in both the P/1/2/3's and the 3/4's. Chicago women did very well at Saturday's big race in Grafton, with Stacy Appelwick (Bouledogue Tout Noir), Jannette Rho (Chicago Cuttin' Crew) and Cathy Frampton (Project 5) going 1-2-3 in the 3/4's. Later in the women's P/1/2/3's, Debbie Dust (Bouledogue Tout Noir) placed 3rd in the field sprint, 5th overall.
  • » Rho hit the podium again Sunday in Appleton, finishing 3rd, with Downers Grove's Meghan Lapeta (Smart Cycling) in 5th.
  • » The masters fields have also been big and very fast, but Bob Karlowe (Verdigris) is keeping up, placing 2nd at the Giro d'Grafton, and Brian Conant (Comma-Van Wagner) has two top 10's to his name.
  • » Bryan Witry (Spidermonkey Cycling) delivers our final podium, sprinting to a 3rd in the 4/5's on Saturday.
Racing continues today with the first road race, on a closed-course motorway in Elkhart Lake, Wis. I'm curious whether the conclusion of the Nature Valley Grand Prix will send any more talent our way. Full Friday results. Full Saturday results. Full Sunday results.

Thiensville reports Nat Bricker (University of Florida; P/1/2): "I'm usually alright in the rain, but not today."

Verizon u25 (P/1/2): "Rain and a short lightning delay did little to slow down the second stage."

Andrew Zens (Spidermonkey Cycling; 4/5): "I thought I could make a jump to the inside and help spring Bryan but I botched the turn and the rest was history."

Giro d'Grafton reports Nat Bricker (University of Florida; P/1/2): " Lots of people yelling and screaming, sirens, noise, beer. Everything crit racing should have."

Shawn Delk (Project 5; 4/5): "Felt fine the first 35 minutes and then just started to crack."

Debbie Dust (Bouledogue Tout Noir; W-P/1/2/3): "There was a lot of horsepower in the field and a fifth place finish is a strong result."

Luke Holtan (Velo Trocadero; P/1/2): "As you came blaring outta turn two into the incline all you could hear was the vuvuzela."

Ginger Sides (Project 5; W-3/4): "It was so great to see our Chicago area ladies take the entire podium."

Bryan Witry (Spidermonkey Cycling; 4/5): "I saw my lane on the far left and went."

Appleton reports Andrew Zens (Spidermonkey Cycling; 4/5): "I continued my attempted to tailgun each lap"

Photo by Luke Seemann

Cobb Park wrap-up

Jun 21, 2010
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A few highlights from the Cobb Park Criterium, which drew the usual suspects but also quite a few unknown Indiana riders on a perfect day for racing along the Kankakee River.

  • » Verizon Wireless continues to be in a roll, getting wins from up and down its roster. Dave Stone (Verizon Wireless) started things by winning the 40+. Later, Steven Broglio (Verizon Wireless) spent the last 20 minutes of the P/1/2/3 race in a three-man break. After a seven-man chase caught with three to go, Broglio was able to take the win in the sprint.
  • » Whenever Chicago's Burnham Racing brings its full force to bear on a race, you know there will be fireworks. In the 3's, Jason Knauff (Burnham Racing) was out of the saddle and attacking with the starting whistle. After the ensuing seven-man break was neutralized, he immediately attacked again. (You have to admire the panache of a rider who counterattacks his own move. It's what Jens would do.) This time he was covered by Mike Seguin (XXX Racing-AthletiCo), and before long Scott Knoepke (Psimet) bridged up. Thanks in part to effective blocking in the pack, the three of them, shown above, built a lead of more than a minute. Knauff, perhaps modeling his move on the XXX Racing-AthletiCo rider who won the 30+, opened hostilities with three to go and solo'd the rest of the way for the win.
  • » I've heard tales of Fabio Orlandi (PYOC), but until Saturday I'd never had the pleasure of seeing him perform in person. Perform he did, riding away from the 50+ field in convincing fashion.
  • » The six riders in the women's open race stuck together from start to finish, with Francine Haas (Alberto's) winning the sprint.
  • » Bevan Brookfield (Unattached) of Evanston has been getting some solid results, and he finally hit the top step of the podium, winning the 30+ 4/5's after getting 2nd in the 5's. Quentin Capista (Project 5) was also a first-time winner, taking victory in the 4's.
Full results.

Race reports Bill Barnes (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 5): "This is the second most I’ve worked in a single race, and it was hard work."

Rob Curtis (Psimet; 30+ 4/5): "I felt fairly good and chalked it up to an easy crit."

Eric Goodwin (Burnham Racing; 3): "It may be June, but school is definitely in. "

Luke Seemann (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+, P/1/2/3): "Attack early, eh? Attack on a climb, eh?"

Photos Paymon Danesh Luke Seemann

CBR interview: Kyle Selph

Jun 18, 2010
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One of the most important pieces of advice I give new riders is to expect to suck. It takes time to figure out the vagaries of bike racing, even for experienced riders and strong athletes. Typically it takes a season to get comfortable in a given category, then a second season to thrive.

There are exceptions, however. As a Cat 5, Kyle Selph (Tower Racing) won[Kyle Selph] his first four races late last summer, including two Cat 5 heats at the state road race in Willow Springs. He's continued to find success in the 4's. This Saturday he sprinted to a win at Sherman Park, just a week after winning the state road race in O'Fallon. Cycling is far from his first foray into athletics. The 24-year-old Lombard resident is an operations manager in the fitness industry, and after growing up in Uruguay, where his parents were missionaries, he played goalie for an accomplished soccer program at Judson University. This week I caught up with Selph to learn more about his short journey from newbie to state champion.

What was your athletic background before cycling? I grew up participating in a variety of sports and athletic hobbies, however soccer was my primary pursuit.

How did you get into cycling and bike racing? When I was young my father instilled in me a love of cycling via family-oriented bike tours and vacations. Post soccer, I needed a sport that would both exercise my competitive demons and remain flexible to my busy work schedule. Cycling was a natural choice.

How did you hook up with Tower Racing? I knew I wanted to find a team where I could learn the sport step-by-step from seasoned racers. Enter Tower Racing, I found the team via the USA Cycling team page and decided to join them on a Saturday team ride in the spring of 2009 only two weeks after buying a bike. I found myself among an incredible group of men and women who were ready and willing to invest their time and tenure into an eager rookie.

Tower Racing is one of the few teams I've noticed be able to put together a good leadout train in the lower categories. How much planning goes into that? Do you guys practice? Do you assign roles before each race? Without giving away any team secrets, I would credit this advanced racing skill to our well-organized and purposeful training rides. We designate portions of our rides with sprints and hill climbs that force the group to keep a race-like mentality during training. `For a team to be successful we must race as a team not individuals. In one word, “selfless.”’As a team we like to discuss strategy before races. However, it always comes down to who is willing to work for whom. For a team to be successful we must race as a team not individuals. In one word, “selfless.”

How nervous were you before your first race? It was the unexpected that made me nervous.

You won your first five races. How surprised were you by that? It was a great surprise! And a great honor to be supported so well by my wife, family and team no matter what the next outcome would be.

You had no teammates at O'Fallon. How did that affect how your rode in the race? As a sprinter, racing alone seems hopeless. However, the front riders did a great job during the race of pulling back any attempts at a breakaway that I would have surely had to join or bridge to in order to keep a podium spot alive.

Take us through the final kilometer, starting with the last big hill. Approaching the final hill it was stay on the outside and run the risk of being pushed out over the center line, leading to disqualification, or stay on the inside and touch wheels or get boxed in. Well, I picked the latter and fortunately the group took the hill slow and allowed me to move up going into the final left turn. At that point I was at the front of the pack and as the other teams were organizing their respective leadout trains. Nearing the 1km mark I realized that the chance of finding a wheel to follow was not going to happen, so I decided to lead myself out. I proceeded to mash my pedals as hard as I could expecting a leadout to come around me at any moment, and luckily I held off the pursuing riders long enough to solo across the finish.

What's your plan for upgrading into the 3's? After getting wrapped up in a number of crashes already this year caused by unsteady riders, `I proceeded to mash my pedals as hard as I could expecting a leadout to come around me at any moment.’I would like to upgrade by the end of the season if possible in hopes to race at a more consistent and organized level.

What are your bike racing goals beyond that? I don’t want to take myself too seriously. That said, I would like to make it into the 1/2 fields someday soon.

Now that you're a cyclist, what do you care about more: the World Cup or the Tour de France? I think you're trying to get me in trouble. I love the Tour but the World Cup is only every four years! Let's just say I will be watching a lot of both.

Well, I have Uruguay in my pool, so I hope they can stick it to Mexico. Right on! They don’t have any superstars, but when they play together as a team it’s a beautiful thing.

Verizon u25 gets big ToAD win

Jun 17, 2010
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The Verizon u25 team got the biggest win of its inaugural season tonight when Ryan Freund won the Shorewood Criterium to kick off the Tour of America's Dairyland.

Freund got in a small break with four to go. With the pack bearing he won a two-up sprint against defending champion Chad Hartley (Kenda), followed by Rahsaan Bahati (Bahati Foundation), who won the field sprint for 3rd. After earning the first overall jersey of ToAD, Freund used his Droid to Tweet that he now just needs to get permission to skip work in order to defend it Friday in Thiensville, Wis. Full results.

Race reports Nat Bricker (University of Florida; P/1/2): "It was definitely good just to get into the swing of things on day one and finish the race."

Patrick Haley (Velo Trocadero; P/1/2): "I went to what my bro calls 'The Dark Place, 'where you have dug as far as you are gonna dig and you gotta decide if you are a man or a boy, a storm trooper or an Ewok, a grizzly bear or a dude with a bell."

James Pradun (GDVC; P/1/2): "The yo-yo effect was terrible, having to accelerate from 10-35 mph between every turn and straight."

Verizon u25 (P/1/2): "'The whole time I was just thinking, "How am I going to beat Chad?” '"

Photos Peloton-Pix Verizon u25

This week’s races: June 17-27

Jun 16, 2010
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It's go time. Thursday evening kicks off the Tour of America's Dairyland, and with it begins two months of fast, intense, frantic racing.

ToAD made its debut last season and although turnout was smaller than I had expected, it was well received and very professionally run. Word of mouth goes a long way, so this year should be even better. It will be some of our first exposure to national-level pros on both the men's and women's sides, including Bahati Foundation and Kenda, and it will draw some of the region's best amateurs, too. I've not done been to all the venues myself, but here are a few noteworthy stages:
  • » Giro d'Grafton, Saturday, June 19. If it's possible for a criterium to be a queen stage, this would be it. The race has a good track record for being fast and spectator-friendly. Expect a huge turnout for the twilight P/1/2 race, which boasts a $9,000 purse and this year joins the USA CRITS Championship Series.
  • » Road America Road Race, Monday, June 21. After the spring races in Joliet and South Beloit, we should be experts in motorway race courses. This is an interesting one, a 4.4-mile, snaking course with some not-insignificant climbs. Here's a video preview.
  • » Greenbush Road Race, Thursday, June 24. It's too bad we don't return to the popular and challenging Blue Mounds course, but this could be the next best thing. Hopefully the race will live up to the dramatic soundtrack that Peloton-Pix used to accompany its video preview.
  • » Downer Classic, Saturday, June 26. The Downer Avenue course has long been a centerpiece of Superweek, and it now does double duty with ToAD. Unlike Superweek, ToAD's edition will have a full slate of amateur racing, and the primes will be enormous. The Ben’s Cycle Ultra Prime may even trump the overall purse, which will make the P/1/2 race super fun to watch.

ToAD is a big, big deal, but don't forget Saturday's Cobb Park Criterium in Kankakee, right near the one-time home of former Gov. George Ryan. It's a fun triangle of a course, with a long, shallow climb between Turns 1 and 2, a quick chicane between 2 and 3, and then a flat run along the Kankakee River in the homestretch.

Thursday through Sunday, June 27 Tour of America's Dairyland USAC criteriums and road races Various Wisconsin locations Previous wrap-ups: 2009 I, 2009 II

Saturday Cobb Park Criterium USAC criterium Kankakee, Ill. Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours Previous wrap-ups: 2007, 2008, 2009

Wednesday notebook

Jun 16, 2010
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Links, Race news, Glencoe Grand Prix, Superweek,

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  • » Important note for Tuesday night Matteson riders: The South Chicago Wheelmen will celebrate the solstice's extra daylight by racing at the Autobahn Country Club, 3795 South Patterson Road, this Tuesday, June 22. (Entry will be $20 rather than the usual $10.) Racing will be rain or shine.
  • » Project 5 will host the Tour of Villas on Saturday, July 3. Race fees are $20 plus a food donation.
  • » Superweek registration is open.
  • » Only four Cat 5 spots remain in the The Cat 5 field at the Glencoe Grand Prix is full. Congratulations to Robert Bramlette (South Chicago Wheelmen) for being DFL.
  • » Voytek Glinkowski (WDT-Allvoi) tells me that fields are filling up at the Allvoi Cup on the track. Because of light 55+ interest, that field has been eliminated and replaced with a 4/5 field, which will enable 5's to participate in the mass-start races. There had been worry that the women's field would be suspended, but after a surge or pre-registration it is officially off the chopping block. In fact, fewer than 10 spots remain.
  • » Chip times are available from the Illinois state road race in O'Fallon.
  • » Try to kill a cyclist, get curfew. Meanwhile, two cyclists this week were attacked near Lawrence and the lakefront path. Stay alert.
  • » Steve Dennis came up with a very clever illustration to celebrate the Giro d’Italia.
  • » ButtonHole Chamois Creme is the latest enterprise of Wayne Simon (Verdigris). I haven't tried it yet, but I'm told that, yes, it has the tingle.
  • » Love is in the air.
  • » Something to think about next time you interact with an official.

Weekend wrap-up: June 12-13

Jun 16, 2010
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Elsewhere this weekend:

  • » The Verizon family had a fantastic weekend in St. Louis with the u25 squad proving it could hang with the big boys. At Sunday's Tour de Grove, Hogan Sills (Verizon u25) and Danny Robertson (Verizon u25) got a nice leadout from Dave Stone (Verizon Wireless) and went 1-2 after an 11-man break emerged from a large, deep 2/3's field. (Earlier, Stone had won the 40+.) The P/1 race, an entry in the National Racing Calendar, drew full Kelly Benefit Strategies and Jelly Belly teams, but Verizon u25 was unintimidated. It was active in the race, and Mike Sherer won the field sprint for 3rd, finishing ahead of noted sprinters Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Mike Friedman (Jelly Belly).
  • » Wisconsin held its criterium championships over the weekend. The Illinois presence was light, with the top local result coming from Julio Jacobo (PYOC), 2nd in the 3's.
  • » The inaugural Burlington Cycling Classic had a dismal turnout, no doubt hampered by the weather forecast. Peloton Star reports the masters, 3's and P/1/2's raced together. Just as he did the day before in Sherman Park, Ben Damhoff (Geargrinder) took the field to the woodshed under wet conditions, winning after getting off the front with teammate Ryan White.

Saturday results EcoFest Criterium Wisconsin state criterium championships

Sunday results Tour de Grove Wisconsin state criterium championships

Burlington Classic reports Kim Gialdini (Flatlandia; 3/4, W-open): "Last turn, came out wide and sprinted to the finish. Past two men. I was happy."

Tour de Grove reports Mike Sherer (Verizon u25; P/1): "I jumped around Ryan 20 feet out of the turn, dropped it into the 11 and didn’t chance a single look back."

Hogan Sills (Verizon u25; 2/3): "As we came out of the final turn, Dave swung wide and I opened the gas with 200 meters to go."

Photo by Luke Seemann

Sherman Park wrap-up

Jun 14, 2010
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I'm not sure I've ever seen an amateur race quite like Saturday's P/1/2/3 race at Sherman Park in Chicago. I have my biases, sure, but I have a feeling the day will be forgotten only by those woolly mice who stayed home.

The race started under a light drizzle. What comes down must go up, and the upspray quickly covered faces in a layer of dirt and wood grime, a side affect of racing in the verdant and bucolic environs of a city park. After 20 minutes of animated racing, a decisive break of a dozen riders finally came together. It was typical for this race, and in typical fashion the field sat up and patiently waited to be lapped. Among the break was Ben Damhoff (Geargrinder), above, who has not done much USAC racing in the past few years. This spring, however, he was a terror on the collegiate circuit, including two top 10's at collegiate national championships. Damhoff attacked the break as it came close to lapping the field. After successfully lapping the field alone, and with the remains of the break less than 10 seconds back, he went straight to the front, draped his wrists over his bars and began laying down a breaktaking tempo. The pace was fast enough that the break lost time and soon turned on itself, in doing so losing all hope of joining Damhoff in going a lap up. Meanwhile, in his wake the field was stretched out like a string of dirty, slobbering mules. Damhoff's pace was relentless. To serve CBR readers better, your correspondent embedded himself in the pack, where he spent his time conducting interviews, including questions like, "Who is this guy?" And, "Will he ever give us a break?" And, "Have you ever seen anything like this?" The rain finally let up, but Damhoff never did. He continued to pull for the final 40 minutes of the race. It was like following a derny. One rider told me that even though he had a teammate in the break, he was tempted to go help Damhoff as a way of offering his compliments and admiration. Only six other members of the original break stayed off the front, with Tomasz Boba (WDT-Allvoi) taking 2nd. Another five got swallowed by the field on the final lap, followed by Henry Loud (ReCycling) winning the field sprint for 8th. Afterwards, riders had the blackened faces and bleary eyes of rescued coal miners as they congregated at the finish to debrief, deconstruct exactly what had just happened and congratulate Damhoff on his feat. Other highlights from the day:
  • » I was happy to see a big turnout for the women's 3/4's race. It came down to a bunch sprint, and Cathy Frampton (Project 5) provided a well-timed leadout to help Ginger Sides (Project 5) get the win. Alberto's women's squad continues to put out good results, and two of its riders, Angie Rochester and Nancy Heymann, finished 2-3 to round out the podium.
  • » After brief thunderstorm delayed the masters 4/5's race, the Cat 3's enjoyed the best conditions of the day, but it also drew one of the smallest fields. Newt Cole (Ritte Van Vlaanderen) sprinted to a much overdue win, a smile on his face from the final turn.
  • » Cat 5's will no longer have to live in fear of John Kalnins (XXX Racing-AthletiCo). After winning both 5's races -- and at least one Saris bike rack prime along the way -- he has the 10 race starts he needs to upgrade.
  • » Speaking of primes, Jeanne Kuhajek (Team Mack) picked up quite a few out of the five-woman selection in the women's open race, including a custom one-off skinsuit from Pactimo. On the final lap, however, it was Jeannette Rho (Chicago Cuttin' Crew) who took the final sprint for the win.
  • » Both the 4's and 30+ 4/5's came to bunch sprints: Rich Lenski (Spin Doctor Cyclewerks) had a good gap coming around the final corner of the 30+ 4/5's to finally get the first win of his career, while in the 4's it was state road race champion Kyle Selph (Tower Racing) who won a drag race to the line.
  • » It wasn't until the masters open races that we saw some breaks stick. In the 30+, Marc Zionts (Alberto's) won out of a two-man break that stayed off for much of the race, while in the 40+ Bryan Rheude (Comma-Van Wagner) made a gutsy but well-timed escape and stayed away solo for the final seven laps or so, finishing more than 30 seconds up on the field. Brian Easter (RRB Cycles) got away from the 50+ with two Team Mack riders and it looked like he might have been able to skip enough pulls to be fresh for the sprint, but Gary Doering and Don Lowe fended him off, going 1-2 respectively.
  • » The South Chicago Wheelmen have been churning out good juniors results, and three of their boys swept the 15-18 podium, with Ryan O'Boyle, Brandon Feehery and Trevor Rolette going 1-2-3.
Finally, a quick non-cycling anecdote: As XXX Racing-AthletiCo set up the course early Saturday, the smell of smoke wafted over the park. Across the street, a carriage house had caught fire. Mike Seguin, a member of the Chicago Fire Department, sprinted to the scene, dialing 9-1-1 as he ran. After finding the first floor of the structure engulfed in flames, he ran up the stairs to the second floor and kicked in the door to check if anyone was inside. There was not; the building had in fact been vacant. On-duty firefighters arrived a few minutes later, and soon Seguin was back on the course, pushing around a gas-powered blower to free the tarmac of glass and debris. This is not the first time that Seguin and his CFD colleagues have mixed business with pleasure at our races. In addition, Seguin was not the only firefighter to have raced Saturday: He has been organizing a cycling team to compete at the National Firefighter Games, and some of them gave it a go in the 5's. Be sure to give them a welcome next time you see them on the start line. In our race reports we talk a lot about heroics and sacrifice, but these are the men and women who literally lay their lives on the line for others. Respect. Full results. (Further weekend wrap-up to come.)

Race reports Nat Bricker (University of Florida; P/1/2/3): "Cold and rain. My two favorite things!"

Kevin Butler (Wheel Fast; 30+ 4/5): "We don't have rain-outs. We suck it up, pull on our big-boy Spandex shorts and ride -- fast."

Lew Chin (Rhythm Racing; 4): "The wind-up starts with about 200 meters to go into Turn 4 and riders are jumping around each other and into holes that I thought only a unicycle would fit in."

Lew Chin (Rhythm Racing; 30+ 4/5): "I had left my glasses in my bag and as a result looked like a weeping Tammy Faye Baker by the end of the race."

Thomas Kabacinski (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+, 40+): "I worked to make sure I could hang in and make sure xXx was represented."

Jared Rogers (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4, 30+ 4/5): "With one to go I found myself on the inside and everything looked to be moving good."

Jannette Rho (Chicago Cuttin' Crew; W-open): "One to go! Let the games begin!"

Luke Seemann (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+, P/1/2/3): "You’ve been best friends with this person for the past 30 minutes ... but now you must betray them. That’s racin’."

Ginger Sides (Project 5; W-3/4): "As the end was approaching Cathy offered me her wheel and put it down."

Photos Julie Popper Luke Seemann Randy Warren

Glencoe registration is open

Jun 13, 2010
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The Glencoe Grand Prix, site of this year's men's national criterium championships, opens registration for the amateur races at 8 a.m. Monday.

This will be one the summer's premier events in Chicago. There is only one Cat 5 race, so I expect it will sell out quickly, if not within a few hours. I wouldn't wait to the last minute to register for the 4's, either.

This weekend’s races: June 12-13

Jun 09, 2010
Filed in:
Race previews,

Comments (8)

I have absolutely no idea whether travel time is something riders consider when picking their races, but it's exciting to note that the next Illinois Cup race will be within city limits. One can race and be back home for brunch.

I'll also note that Saturday's Sherman Park Criterium is an important race to me personally, as it is the race that my team hosts. It is no easy thing to hold a race in the city, and this is no easy neighborhood in which to do it, but it's important to XXX Racing-AthletiCo and our values that we continue to race at Sherman Park. Indeed, the fact that both 5's fields filled weeks ago suggests that we are fulfilling our mission to introduce bike racing to city riders. There's still plenty of room in other fields, however, and it would mean a lot to me to see you there. The course is a milelong loop through a historic South Side park. There are no hard corners to speak of, nor any elevation changes, save for a slight rise coming into the final turn. It's a wide tarmac, and some sprinters find success coming around on the outside rather than taking the short line and risk getting boxed in. Here's video of the 2007 Cat 3 sprint, and here's a promotional video from the 2008 edition. The most technical part of the course will be the occasional pothole, but those who train on Sheridan Road may not even notice. Lower categories should take heed: Stay cool. In any race, but especially when there is imperfect pavement, havoc can occur when inexperienced riders overcorrect for bumps or cracks. Don’t swerve, don’t panic. Keep your body and arms loose and absorb any bumps. Elsewhere, Wisconsin has two days of criterium championships in Ripon, there's a criterium in South Bend, Ind., and RDS Cycling expands to Wisconsin with a new criterium in Burlington. (Registration for that is extremely light, but RDS is always a fun host, and this may be one of your last chances for a small, low-key race before the frenzy of TOAD and Superweek.) I also expect a handful of riders to head to St. Louis for the Tour de Grove, which is on the National Racing Calendar. If I were a betting man, I'd put a few dollars on hometown hero Brad Huff (Jelly Belly).

Saturday Sherman Park Criterium USAC criterium Chicago Distance from Chicago: 0 Previous wrap-ups: 2007, 2008, 2009

Wisconsin State Criterium Championships USAC criterium Ripon, Wis. Distance from Chicago: 3 hours

EcoFest Criterium USAC criterium South Bend, Ind. Distance from Chicago: 2 hours

Sunday Burlington Cycling Classic USAC criterium Burlington, Wis. Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours

Wisconsin State Criterium Championships USAC criterium Ripon, Wis. Distance from Chicago: 3 hours

Wednesday notebook

Jun 09, 2010
Filed in:
Links, Race news, Tour of America's Dairyland,

Comments (6)
  • » Great news from West Chicago: ABD's Wednesday night series will continue through the summer, except for the nights that conflict with the Soldier Field Cycling Series. (ABD has always been scrupulous about avoiding conflicts with other races.)
  • » The Illinois Cycling Association has added a feedback form to its race calendar. You must be a registered user to see it. Comments will not be posted, but they will be shared with the race promoter, officials and ICA leaders.
  • » Online preregistration for the Tour of America's Dairyland closes Saturday night.
  • » The Wisconsin Cycling Association has canceled some of its remaining races.
  • » I noticed this only this week: The Great Egyptian Omnium is a stage race that will take place downstate in July. Stage races are always great fun, and these courses look interesting.
  • » Kristen Meshberg (Flatlandia) will be riding on a composite women's team at next week's prestigious Nature Valley Grand Prix. Her NVGP profile page includes a fun video of her and her junior mechanics.
  • » Courtney O'Neill (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) will soon be riding across the country to help build affordable housing with Bike & Build. She is tantalizingly close to her fundraising goal.
  • » I can be a delicate flower sometimes. Thanks, all, for the kind words this week. It's nice to feel appreciated.

How to get your name in bold

Jun 08, 2010
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Every now and then I get a polite e-mail from someone wondering why I didn’t include their result in my weekly wrap-up.

It’s complicated. It takes me 2-5 hours to research, write and edit each wrap-up. That’s time I could spend sleeping or training or hanging out with my friends, but that’s OK, because I don’t like doing any of those things. Instead, I do what I do because I feel most people enjoy reading about results and whatever context I can add to them. While scouring for results and reports, I consider a complicated matrix of factors.
  • » Whether you’re from Chicago, or on a Chicago team, or on a team that races near Chicago a lot. That’s what the ‘C’ in CBR stands for.
  • » Whether I had the good fortune of seeing your race. If I didn’t see your race and if nobody in your race has written a report, I have nothing to go on. I’m just performing stenography of the results. I don’t do stenography.
  • » The prestige of the race. Big-name races with big purses get more attention than industrial-park crits.
  • » The size and competitiveness of your field. Cat 1’s and 2’s get exalted more than 4’s and 5’s. Get top 10 in a 120-person NRC race? Impressive. Win a race with five people? That might pass without mention. Sorry. Alas, this means that men’s races tend to get more attention than women’s, juniors and masters races. Again, sorry. (But please note how consistent I try to be in pointing out women's results and using photos of women racing.)
  • » Whether there’s a story. Is this your fifth podium in a row? Have you won this race three consecutive years? Did your team get 5 of the top 10? I try to notice such patterns and highlight them.
  • » Whether it’s a busy weekend. If there are a half-dozen races on a weekend, each with a dozen fields, it is impossible to celebrate each winner. I must be picky, or the 2-5 hours will become 5-10 hours.
  • » Whether you’re a nice person and a good sport. Just kidding. That has no bearing. Unpleasant people will sometimes be celebrated, nice people will sometimes be ignored. That’s racin’.
And yet, despite all this careful consideration, deserving results sometimes fall through the cracks. Oversights happen. I’ll try to get you next time.

Photo by Luke Seemann

Weekend wrap-up: June 5-6

Jun 08, 2010
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More highlights from this state championship weekend:

  • » Zach Reed (Dogfish) was the only Illinois rider to make the break in the P/1/2 state championship, but Will Nowak (Verizon u25) put in a Herculean attempt to bridge, riding in no-man's land for the final 30 miles to finish 4th. Defending champion Seth Meyer was also able to pop free late, taking the bronze medal to round out the state podium.
  • » In less than a year as a 3, Chris Curran (Burnham Racing) has won only twice, but he's made them count with both wins coming at our state road race championships. He was part of a group off the front for much of the final lap Saturday, but after it was caught was able to recover to win a fast bunch sprint. Going back to 2008, Burnham Racing has won three of the last five Cat 3 state championships on the road, the other two coming in the criterium. (Curran rode for Bloomington Cycle in 2009.)
  • » Kyle Selph (Tower Racing) also picked up where he left off: He won two 5's races at last year's state road race championships, and this year he won out of a bunch sprint in the 4's.
  • » Residency played a big factor in the masters races. In the 50+, six out-of-state riders went down the road, leading to a field sprint for 7th and the state championship, won by Wayne Simon (Verdigris). Because of a small 30+ field, the 30+ and 40+ raced together, with Justin Armstead (Team Mack) and Mark Swartzendruber (Verizon Wireless) finally breaking free to take the respective wins. (Because there were only two Illinois riders in the 30+ field, however, I believe only Swartzendruber gets to claim a state championship.)
  • » All due respect to my friends at Half Acre Cycling, their podium shoes have not exactly been broken in yet when it comes to road racing. That changed in a big, big way Saturday when they put together an impressive train at the end of the 4/5's race in O'Fallon, finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th behind Jamie Sanchez, Todd Simeone, Isaiah Jay and Patrick Kenny.
  • » A not-small number of riders received centerline disqualifications, including the initial winner of the 4/5's race. Such DQ's will never be fair or complete. There will always be someone who strayed farther or advanced more or crossed with more nefarious intention. To a rider, the DQ'd just crossed for a second, and it was because they got bumped, or the rider ahead slowed, or there was a gust of wind. That's racin'. It's always a bummer to be the one to have an example made of, but examples must be made -- I would not have been shocked to have been one myself -- and I applaud the officials for the extra enforcement.
  • » Cathy Frampton (Project 5) was first to finish the women's 3/4's race, but she, too, was DQ'd, but for passing the pace car, the result of a confusing overlap with the P/1/2 field. If there were a medal for sportsmanship, however, Frampton would earn it for appearing to have taken the disappointment in stride.
  • » Ian Murray (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) had hoped to finish his 4's career with a state championship, but fell short, finishing 3rd on Saturday. He used that leg opener to his advantage, however, winning the 4's criterium in O'Fallon on Saturday.
  • » New state champion Jessi Prinner (ABD, above) also doubled up, winning the women's open on Sunday as well.
  • » Don Lowe (Team Mack) rolled a tire and took a tumble last weekend, so it's good to see he was able to come back for a 2nd in the 50+ at the O'Fallon criterium.
  • » Let's say it's late in the race and you're about to bridge to a solo rider. You're cooked from the effort, and you have a split second to decide: Sit on his wheel, or keep on going? The temptation is to grab some quick rest, but almost always the right move is to get out of the saddle and punch it before he can react. That's what Tim Speciale (Psimet) did at the Wonder Lake 3's race, riding through a dangerous move on the last lap and barely holding off the field for the win.
  • » Early candidate for rookie of the year Cady Chintis has joined Alberto's and is continuing her winning ways, winning the women's 4's race at Spring Prairie. Dave Keil (W2 Racing) is also off to a near-perfect start, with four podiums in four outings; he won the out-of-state 4/5's race out of a large field sprint. Mark Winston (2CC) was our other local winner, winning the 30+ out of a nine-man selection.

Saturday results O'Fallon Grand Prix road race

Sunday results O'Fallon Grand Prix criterium Spring Prairie Road Race Wonder Lake Lakeside Criterium

O'Fallon Grand Prix road race reports Chris Curran (Burnham Racing; 3): "All of a sudden I was alone and it occurred to me that I'm going to win. Pure adrenaline rush. I didn't want anyone to pass me so I pedaled harder."

Cathy Frampton (Project 5; W-3/4): "With the guys jamming up our race, I went by the pace car and said 'We gotta go!'"

Tamara Fraser (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; W-open): "I had tantalizing glimpses of the yellow kit of the racer ahead, and finally at 2500 meters from the finish, I caught her."

Ian Murray (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): "John sat on the front for the last two miles, keeping me in perfect position coming into the final climb."

Will Nowak (Verizon u25; P/1/2): "I attacked and attacked but was continually get chased down by the dwindling field."

Rob Raguet-Schofield (Wild Card Cycling; 4): "This final stretch was closed to traffic and the road was five lanes wide. 40 relatively fresh riders now decided to sprint to the finish. It was pandemonium."

Jannette Rho (Chicago Cuttin' Crew; W-open): "Hills, twists, turns, wind, repeat."

Jamie Sanchez (Half Acre Cycling; 4/5): "It was so cool approaching the line. We had four guys in great position going for it."

Luke Seemann (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; P/1/2): "The peloton shrugged. '80 miles in the blazing sun? Ha!'"

Mark Swartzendruber (Verizon Wireless; 40+): "I did a Cancellara move, tapped my brake hood, activated the super secret motor thingy and while still seated, mysteriously accelerated as I shifted gears and pedaled harder."

Joe Tortorelli (Verizon Wireless; 3): "We get another and then there is a group of seven up the road and we are putting time into the field!"

O'Fallon Grand Prix criterium reports Cathy Frampton (Project 5; W-3/4, W-open): "The pace stayed high and attacks were associated with primes."

Ian Murray (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): "I was out for blood in the crit on Sunday."

Will Nowak (Verizon u25; P/1/2): "This pattern continued for the remainder of the race. I attacked, people followed me, and then they sat up."

Mark Swartzendruber (Verizon Wireless; 40+): "Yadda, yadda, yadda, I beat him in the sprint and took second."

Joe Tortorelli (Verizon Wireless; 3): "I felt like Ballan and his attack at the world championships. I knew I had to go and just dropped down and gave it everything I had to go past them."

Spring Prairie reports Ronit Bezalel (Half Acre Cycling; W-4): "Once the iron cage lifted, I started biking faster, but I still was by myself."

Debbie Dust (Bouledogue Tout Noir; W-P/1/2/3): "There were times along the way where this 'race' was more like a freakin' goat rodeo."

Jen Groen (Half Acre Cycling; W-4): "We might not have come anywhere near placing, nor rode the prettiest bikes, but we both 'rode with heart' and added a chapter (or more) to our racing knowledge."

Luke Seemann (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+): "Hitting the corner in 3rd, I went full gas."

Spring Prairie photos John Wilke

Wonder Lake reports Shawn Delk (Project 5; 4, 30+ 4/5): "Just dug it as hard as I could to the line."

Arron Hampton (Psimet; 5, 30+ 4/5): "A combination of getting squeezed and popping in Turn 3 had me toasted."

Tony Rienks (Beverly Bike/Vee-Pak; 4, 30+ 4/5): "It was a slow-paced race with just a couple of accelerations."

Tim Speciale (Psimet; 3): "It wasn’t exactly my intention to drop him but there was no way I could slow down."

New Superweek details

Jun 07, 2010
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Superweek has updated its 2010 schedule and filled in the remaining gaps.

The first Saturday and Sunday will be criteriums near Chicago, in Geneva and Homewood on July 10 and 11, respectively. Tuesday, July 13, previously scheduled as a criterium in either Palatine, Ill., or Hales Corner, Wis., will now be a road race in Willow Springs. No details are online yet, but Soldier Field Cycling Tweets that the 3.8-loop will be a triangle covering the hilly portion of last year's state road race: from Archer down Willow Springs Road to 95th Street, then a fast, sweeping descent back onto Archer. "Epic" may be a lot to ask for, but it will no doubt make the legs burn after a dozen or more circuits.

Prinner, Reed new state champs

Jun 06, 2010
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Jessi Prinner (ABD) and Edwardsville's Zach Reed (Dogfish) won the women's open and men's P/1/2 races at the O'Fallon Grand Prix on Saturday to become Illinois state road race champions.

Prinner won out of a six-woman sprint, while Reed, after spending much of the hot, 90-mile race in a four-, three- and finally two-man break, won a two-up sprint against Dave Henderson (Columbia Bike Club). Full wrap-up to come. Full results.

Glencoe Grand Prix info is out

Jun 03, 2010
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The Aug. 14 Glencoe Grand Prix -- this year's men's national criterium championship -- today updated its Web site and released information on its new course.

It's a technical, 10-turn, 1.3-mile circuit, completely different from previous editions. Roads look smooth though narrow in spots, judging from the provided video. It's mostly flat, save for a 30-foot descent and kicker on the back side. Unlike the former championship of Downers Grove, the finish from the final corner is flat, but just as short, a little less than 200 meters. With the start/finish in the same spot as previous Glencoe Grands Prix, albeit moving clockwise instead of counter, the final turn at the corner that used to be Turn 1, at Vernon and Park. An elite rider who's ridden it tells me not to expect anyone to make a pass, so just like Downers, it may turn into a race to the final corner. (We all remember how that sometimes works out.) The lineup and preliminary purses: Juniors 10-14: 25 minutes + 1 Juniors 15-18: 25 + 1 Cat 5: 35 + 1 Women 3/4: 30 + 1, $750 45+ 1/2/3/4: 50 + 1, $1,000 Cat 4: 45 minutes + 1, $750 30+ 1/2/3/4: 50 + 1, $1,000 Cat 3: 50 + 2, $1,000 Cat 1/2: 60+2, $5,000 plus jersey Women P/1/2: 55 + 2, $7,500 plus jersey Men's pro national championship: 100km, $15,000 plus jersey Registration will open on BikeReg June 14. With only one Cat 5 field, I expect that will sell out immediately. Cat 4's should not dally, either. In other news, registration is open for the popular Wednesday night Soldier Field Cycling Series: June 23, July 14 and Aug. 4. Each evening includes two juniors fields, a women's race, two for the 4/5's and a 60-minute P/1/23 race.

Photo by Voytek Glinkowski

Weekend wrap-up: May 29-31

Jun 03, 2010
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Some highlights from the holiday weekend's other races:

  • » Out of the youngest of the old at the Wood Dale masters races, Erik Tomlinson (Unattached) never placed higher than 4th in the 30+, but he was consistent enough to win the overall, one point ahead of Tomasz Boba (WDT/Allvoi), who won both Sunday (above, outsprinting Chris Mosora (Verizon Wireless) and Frank Rowley (South Chicago Wheelmen)) and Monday.
  • » The 50+ was just as close, with Monday's winner Tom Doughty (Amgen-UBS) finishing one point down on Wayne Simon (Verdigris), who won Saturday and Sunday.
  • » Like Simon, Wisconsin's Geno Tolli (CZ Velo) won both Saturday and Sunday in the 40+, ending up four points up on Rob Karlow (Verdigris).
  • » John Westergaurd (Unattached) and Edward Ekstrom (Tower Racing) both rode aggressively in the 40+ 4's. On Saturday I saw them repeatedly off the front, finally dangling off the front with Joe Berenyi (Psimet) and barely holding off the field to go 1-2-3. Westergaurd and Ekstrom traded 1st and 2nd place finishes the balance of the weekend, with Westergaurd taking the overall by a single point.
  • » Small fields from the women, but Stacy Appelwick (Bouledogue Tout Noir) continued to perform, sweeping the women's 30+.
  • » The inaugural Tour of Elkhart Lake had a regrettably small turnout. That's a shame for a rare stage race, but it's tough to go up against the big Iowa series. On the upside, nearly everyone went home with a top-10 finish. Jason Mindeman (Burnham Racing) was one of the few who came up from the Chicago area, and he nearly swept the 3's, winning the criterium and road race and placing 3rd in the time trial to clinch the overall.

Full Wood Dale results. Full Tour of Elkhart Lake results.

Wood Dale reports Debbie Dust (PACT/Dish Network; 50+, 40+): "I had about a tenth of a second to make a choice: Run him over or lean left and hope he sticks to the road."

Tour of Elkhart Lake reports Jason Mindeman (Burnham Racing; 3): "My teammate and I tried multiple times to set something up but the rest of the riders were just there to follow wheels."

Wednesday notebook

Jun 02, 2010
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This weekend’s races: June 5-6

Jun 01, 2010
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Race previews,

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It's hard to believe it's already state championship season. Our state road race takes place the earliest it's been in years, this time in the form of the two-year-old O'Fallon Grand Prix. I haven't done it myself, but I'm told to expect countless turns and many kickers and rollers, but nothing that should require kicking into the small ring. Some serious distances are available, including 67 miles for the masters and 3's and 90 miles for the P/1/2's, and the Sunday criterium counts for Illinois Cup points.

Registration is light, no doubt owing to its distance from Chicago. Registration also is light for Sunday's Wonder Lake Lakeside Criterium, another race from the promoter of Vernon Hills Grand Prix and Fox River Grove Cycling Challenge. People may be recovering from the intense racing of this last weekend, so it could provide a good opportunity to find success out of smaller fields. Also on Sunday is Wisconsin's state road race on the popular Spring Prairie course. It's a rolling 6.5-mile rectangle with high exposure to the wind. Senior fields will do between 4 and 10 laps. There’s a steep but short climb before the start/finish that with a steepest pitch of 18 percent can crack the legs of even the lightest riders, yet it’s not quite long enough to eliminate the non-climbers. Nonetheless, each time up is liable to cut a field in half: Be up front so you can "sag climb," be on guard for gaps and be sure to anticipate the climb by being in your small ring before Turn 4. Shifting on the climb will lead to unnecessary hardships. Save something for the top, because there’s a long false flat up to the finish line. Theoretically this can be the perfect spot to attack, but a long, straight descent following the finish line will give chasers a window to catch. If you attack, you need to commit early and you need to get organized. All it will take is for one mope to not pull through and your break will be, well, broken.

Saturday O'Fallon Grand Prix road race USAC road race O'Fallon, Ill. Distance from Chicago: 5 hours Previous wrap-up: 2009

McCormick's Creek Road Race ABR road race Spencer, Ind. Distance from Chicago: 4 hours

Sunday Wonder Lake Lakeside Criterium USAC criterium Wonder Lake, Ill. Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours Previous wrap-up: 2009

Spring Prairie Road Race USAC road race Spring Prairie, Wis. Distance from Chicago: 1.5 hours Previous wrap-ups: 2007, 2008, 2009

O'Fallon Grand Prix Criterium USAC road race O'Fallon, Ill. Distance from Chicago: 5 hours

Eagle Creek Park Fast Crit ABR criterium Indianapolis, Ind. Distance from Chicago: 3 hours

Iowa and Quad Cities wrap-up

Jun 01, 2010
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Iowa once again attracted some of the best riders from the Midwest and beyond this Memorial Day weekend. Some of the local highlights:

  • » Argentina. Ukraine. Trinidad & Tobago. Those are the countries whose national champions lined up for Friday's Burlington-Wapello-Burlington Road Race. Will Nowak (Verizon u25) made it into a break with two of them, and with the pack bearing down on this threesome, he initiated the sprint, only to be overcome and have to settle for 3rd. As is becoming the Verizon u25 modus operandi, teammate Mike Sherer finished strong in the field sprint, coming in 2nd for 5th overall.
  • » In my preview of the weekend I neglected to note how dodgy the downhill finish can be at the Wapello-Burlington Road Race, especially in the lower categories. As usual, fast, violent crashes marred the end of this year's 5's race, but Owen Aronson (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) avoided the mayhem to finish 2nd. But here's your warning for next year: That downhill finish is dodgy as hell.
  • » Just how does a Ukrainian national champion riding for an Italian team end up in rural Iowa, anyhow? As usual, Steve Tilford (Tradewind Energy/Trek Stores) has some interesting thoughts on the matter. In any case, on a day where the heat was just as oppressive as the famous cobbled climb of Snake Alley, Volodymyr Starchyk (Amore & Vita-Conad) overcame a rear start position Saturday and proceeded to ride away from a blockbuster field like it was the kiddie trike race. Only Paul Martin (Texas Roadhouse) was able to present a challenge, but a dropped chain derailed that. Out of a large group chasing, Sterling's Bryce Mead (Texas Roadhouse) managed 7th, Ryan Fruend (Verizon u25) 13th.
  • » Fox River Grove proved to be the perfect tune-up for Snake Alley, helping Chicago assert itself on the famous cobbled climb, especially in the 4's, where 7 of the top 10 hailed from Chicago, including winner Ryan Fay, who overcame the leader on the final descent to take the win. Eric Christ (Bicycle Heaven) joined him on the podium in 3rd. XXX Racing-AthletiCo got two others in the top 10, and Rhythm Racing's Evan Jahn and John Villena finished 5th and 7th.
  • » Avi Neurohr (Chicago Cuttin' Crew) deserves a brick for racing three times at Snake Alley: two masters races and the 4's.
  • » I confess to giving juniors short shrift in these pages, partly owing to the size and competitiveness of their fields. Not so in Iowa, where the juniors ranks were large and impressive. Brandon Feehery muscled into the top 10 in all three crits, including a 2nd at Quad Cities. Strong finishes in the juniors races also came from IS Corp's Kaleb Koch and Chazz Martin, and Koch also found time to finish 3rd in the 4's at Quad Cities.
  • » Kristen Meshberg (Flatlandia) has been banging on the door at Quad Cities, finishing 2nd in both 2008 and 2009. This time she broke through, winning out of a strong women's 1/2/3 field.
  • » Dave Stone (Verizon Wireless) hit for the cycle in the 40+, placing 3rd, 1st and 2nd at Snake Alley, Melon City and Quad Cities, respectively.
  • » Top Melon City results include Ryan Freund (Verizon u25), who finished 5th after making the break in the P/1/2's. Cady Chintis (Alberto's), Mia Moore (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) and KIm Gialdini took 2nd, 4th and 5h in the women's 4's. Julio Jacobo (PYOC) has been paddling his canoe well all year; riding without teammates, he finished 2nd in the 3's. And Dave Reed (EMC2) got 6th in a 30+ race that saw three pros take the podium spots.
  • » In the notorious Cage Match of Quad Cities, Chicago riders went 1-2 in the 3's behind winner Ryan Zook (Comcast) and Henry Loud (ReCycling), and Ian Murray pulled off a 2nd in the 4's.

Full Burlingon Road Race results. Full Snake Alley results. Full Melon City results. Full Quad Cities results.

Burlington Road Race reports The Hawk Eye: "The Burlington Road Race exhibited an international flair Friday."

Lew Chin (Rhythm Racing; 3/4): "Everyone at the back wants to be up front. Recipe for disaster? Maybe."

John Meyers (Verizon u25; P/1/2): "I thought it was pretty funny just how chippy people were getting at the end of that race. We were bumping bars a solid 15 miles from the finish jockeying for position. It never stopped."

Matt Riezman (Spidermonkey Cycling; 5): "The last thing I saw was a carbon wheel near my head."

Joe Tortorelli (Verizon Wireless; 3/4): "With 30mph+ going up the roller we just couldn't shake the field. Bummer."

Verizon u25 (P/1/2): "In the field sprint the group was spread across the road as they barreled toward the finish."

Snake Alley reports Amore & Vita-Conad: "Sul traguardo in salita di Burlington lo scalatore di Amore & Vita – Conad non ha avuto rivali." (Translation.)

Ryan Fay (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): "This is the finest race I think I’ll have the honor of competing in and to get the win here means the world to me."

Kim Gialdini (Flatlandia; W-4): "The snake was everything that everyone had told me."

The Hawk Eye: "With four laps left, Starchyk came down Jefferson Street on his own." "Miller was in control from the start, and no one had an answer for her charge."

Lew Chin (Rhythm Racing; 4): "My eyes were rolled fully back into my head and the pounding of my heart distorted the sounds my ears were trying to process."

Chris Kinonen (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+, 3): "It wasn’t the result, but rather the journey."

Kristen Meshberg (Flatlandia; W-P/1/2): "I got a great start and got the 'hole shot' hitting the hill first."

Avi Neurohr (Chicago Cuttin' Crew; 40+, 30+, 4): "'Wheelie!' they cried, and the crowd I obliged."

William Pankonin (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): "This race is Fox River Grove on crack."

Jannette Rho (Chicago Cuttin' Crew; W-P/1/2/3): "I’m lapped by the two leaders. Cool with me. One less lap to do!"

Matt Riezman (Spidermonkey Cycling; 5): "Big man no go up hill."

Steve Tilford (Tradewind Energy (P/1/2): "Everyone was overheated and had held up the white surrender flag."

Chris Uberti (Panther; P/1/2): "Stuck with the group till five to go, then blew sky high, partly because of some dumb riding on the Snake, but mostly because of the heat."

Verizon u25 (P/1/2): "Freund confessed he worked often on the flats to make sure that he was on the front and could 'sag' climb the Snake each lap."

Snake Alley photos Morpheus3230 USA Cycling (video) Verizon u25

Melon City reports Lew Chin (Rhythm Racing; 4, 30+): "Halfway through and feeling OK, the heat begins to take its toll and I start to wonder which cards to play."

Shawn Delk (Project 5; 4): "The unique (and fun!) part is the speed hump at the very bottom of the downhill that if you want to carry your speed into the climb you need to bunny hop."

Kim Gialdini (Flatlandia; W-4): "I believe I really could have won this race if I was better prepared mentally for that speed bump."

Podium Insight: "Following the usual early aggressions a powerful group rolled off the front after 12 laps."

Kristen Meshberg (Flatlandia; W-P/1/2): "I do not have good feelings towards this race and just did not have my head in the game today."

John Meyers (Verizon u25; P/1/2): "Despite someone running into me from behind I managed to a) avoid being sodomized, b) avoid eating poo, and c) not break anything on my bike."

Jannette Rho (Chicago Cuttin' Crew; W-3): "It was again HOT and riders were cracking all day."

Steve Tilford (Tradewind Energy/Trek Stores; P/1/2): "I’d rather be riding great and finish fourth than be riding bad and finish 2nd. First is a different deal."

Chris Uberti (Panther; P/1/2): "The heat wasn't too bad and I got into a sick breakaway with ALL the strong guys of the race."

Verizon u25 (P/1/2): "Breaks that stay away at Melon City need to have boatloads of power."

Melon City photos McKimm

Quad Cities reports Kim Gialdini (Flatlandia; W-4): "A rider in front of me skidded her wheel. Almost crashed. I lost my chance to go around and pass like I wanted to."

Kristen Meshberg (Flatlandia; W-P/1/2/3): "I went into that race ready for battle."

John Meyers (Verizon u25; P/1/2): "Not like I was going to be powering the poop out of that break anyways."

Jannette Rho (Chicago Cuttin' Crew; W-2/3): "We get going and riders go down like clockwork at Turn 7 for the first 5-6 laps."

Steve Tilford (Tradewind Energy/Trek Stores; P/1/2): "It was enough for me to grab a handfull of brake and I ended up scrubbing so much speed I ended up 6th. I lost 3 places in 75 meters. I was not going to win so it didn’t really matter."

Joe Tortorelli (Verizon Wireless; 3): "Tail-gunnin' the first eight laps. Jumping around people getting shelled."