Mike Sherer (Verizon u25) picked up his first win of an otherwise blockbuster year in a big way by winning Saturday's 1/2's at the Glencoe Grand Prix.
Sherer, shown above leading at 75 meters, jumped well ahead of the final corner and held off newly crowned masters road race national champion Andy Crater
(Aerocat), who as he crossed the finish line took exception to the line Sherer took in the sprint. (Peace was soon made.)
The two were part of a six-man break that had formed early in the 65-minute race and would build a lead of more than a minute. Other local riders to make the break were Rob Kelley
(Bicycle Heaven) and Dave Moyer
(XXX Racing-AthletiCo), who finished 4th and 5th, respectively.
After a week of the annual chatter over whether international riders belonged in the U.S. national criterium championships, American men were locked out of the profession podium, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd going to Canadian David Veilleux
(Kelly Benefit Strategies), Australian Bernie Sulzberger
(Fly V Australia) and Italian Alessandro Bazzana
(Fly V Australia). Daniel Holloway
(Bissell) was the first American, finishing 4th, and took home the stars and stripes. Holloway previously won a national championship as an elite rider in 2007
They were all members of a 12-strong break that finally established itself a little more than halfway through the 100km race. It was an aggressive and chaotic race up to that point, chaos no doubt influenced by the prohibition on race radios, with multiple crashes on the course's tight turns, and groups were constantly forming and reabsorbing one another.
The break hovered at 50 seconds with UnitedHealthcare and Kenda taking up the chase, but it wasn't until the final turns that the decimated field started gobbling up riders. By that point, Veilleux and Sulzberger had escaped together and Bazzana was in no-man's land, with the eight Americans in the break eyeballing one another closely. Some of the break got swallowed up, and Bissell ended up with three of the top five Americans: Shane Kline
out of the break was 4th American and Kyle Wamsley
from the field was 5th.
Former champion Rahsaan Bahati
(Bahati Foundation) was involved in one of the early mishaps -- captured nicely
by Graham Fisk --
and officials initially ruled that he was a lap down on the field. That was later reversed, but nonetheless he was riding solo in the peloton with no teammates to contribute to the chase. For a moment it looked like he might have a shot if the field caught the remnants of the break, but that catch came about 30 seconds too late for him to be a factor. He would finish 14th overall, 8th American.
A break of six escaped from the women's P/1/2 race in the final few laps. Vera Bradley Foundation had two riders in it, but veteran Theresa Cliff-Ryan
(Colavita) outprinted the lot of them. In her return to the Chicago area, Devon Haskell
(Tibco) finished 16th while Kristen Meshberg
(Flatlandia) took the final money position in 20th.
Despite the technical nature of the course, which contributed to huge attrition across all fields and several crashes (Ed White
(Bouledogue Tout Noir) captured one from the 1/2's
, and Nicole Goers
caught Nick Frey
(Jamis) going down
), buzz was overwhelmingly favorable. The turns were tighter than Downers Grove and many found the kicker to be more challenging than Downers' climb, and there was virtually no spot on the course to expect a respite. The final stretch provided a better runway for sprinting, too, although in almost every race the first rider out of the corner was the first across the line, just as was always the case at Downers Grove.
The Glencoe Grand Prix certainly raised its game to present the national championship, but after decades as a Chicago fixture, the USPRO National Championship will go to bid in 2011. Here's hoping that after saving the race this year Glencoe can be in the running.
Chip times are online
Full wrap-up to come. In the meantime, follow updates at Podium Insight
and the Glencoe Grand Prix blog