Featured Team: Tower Racing

Mar 31, 2014
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Team Name:  Tower Racing
Founded: 2009
Website: www.towerracing.net
Members: USAC Roster (82 total in club)
Robert Berg
Douglas Braun
Anthony Cacchillo
Edward Castellan  
Joe Cheff  
Bryan Connelly  
Edward Ekstrom  
Ryan Jones  
Michael Junius  
Christopher Koster  
B-Laurent Miller  
Mark Misicko  
Michael Murphy  
Paul Niekrasz  
Terry OGrady  
Chris Patterson  
Ralph Schroeder  
Peter Schwob  
Charles Snyder  
Thomas Will  
James Willett  
Zach Wong  
Sponsors: BikeRacing411.com, Chicago Mac Experts, Ultimate Pro Bikes, Karin Hanke Interiors, McHugh Construction., KME, FactSet
Training Rides: Saturday/Sunday-7:00 am from WS Starbucks-Tuesday/Thursday-Tower Only Training-Wednesday/Friday-6:00 am from WS Starbucks
About the Team: We are a group of riders drawn together by camaraderie, a passion for cycling, and a desire to be a premier Masters cycling team. Our name is inspired by the famous water tower of Western Springs, Illinois, in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.  We welcome all riders who have an interest in stretching their abilities and are interested in an exciting and intense experience on the bike.  With a strong reputation in the Chicago area, our Saturday rides attract riders from all over the Chicago area.  On the racing front, Tower is known as a strong and formidable presence that is generally well-represented for the finish line sprint.

Sunday Night Journal

Mar 30, 2014
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​Check out recently updated Featured sections on BikeRacing411:

  • News: Latest race results
  • Personalities: Latest interviews and team news
  • Photos: Great visuals from races and training rides
  • Cool Stuff: Product reviews including a number of entries from the NAHBS

The Pavé Liga: Team Championship Payout Schedule

Mar 28, 2014
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The Pavé Liga Team Championshp payout schedule has been published.  The cash purse has increased from $7,500 to $8,200.  If your team has not registered, please look for Pat’s email and register, or contact us and we’ll resend the information.


Race Preview: Spring Super Criterium

Mar 27, 2014
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Ten days - Saturday, April 5th - South Beloit. Countdown to the Spring Super Criterium. Ready or not - and we know you are - let the racing begin! The SSC marks the start of the 2014 CBR road race season, not to mention the first race of The Pave Liga Team Championship, and the Illinois Cup. Here’s the technical guide from last year (2013) - the basic information is accurate - but not the date or race schedule, so double check to be sure you have it correct!

The Course - Held at the Blackhawk Farms Raceway, the 3 KM (1.9 miles) course is pancake flat, but features three 90 degree right turns, two sweeping curves (one right, one left), and several twists. Its wide open which definitely impacts race strategy.

The Weather Conditions - Given this winter, its anyone’s guess. The 10 day forecast is predicting 50 degrees and dry. The course is sheltered by trees in some sections, but fully exposed in others and the wind will be a factor.  

Race Tactics - The flat, wide open course makes it, well, a race track.  Speeds are fast (weather and wind notwithstanding), and solo breaks are difficult.  Given good size fields and team representation, smart team tactics should allow 4-6 rider breaks to stick.  Look for multiple successive attacks until the right combination forms.  

The Sprint - Coming out of the final 90 degree turn, the longer than it seems 400+ meter drag to the finish can be tricky to judge. Wind direction plays a huge factor.  The wide finishing straightaway opens up the possibility of multiple lines.  If a race comes down to a bunch sprint we could see battling lead-out trains.

Teams to Look Out For -  The SSC is a popular race with 500+ racers.  Fields will be big with the usual suspect teams well represented.  Perennial strongmen (and women!): xXx, ISCorp, Burnham Racing, Scarlet Fire and Bicycle Heaven will all have large contingents.  But also look for a number of teams significantly strengthened for 2014. EGO p/b Sammy’s Bikes - always strong in the elite categories - will bring strong Cat 3s and women. There are also any number of up and coming teams such as Bonkers, Ultimate Pro Bike, and the new BFF Racing team, that will all be in the hunt. 

Pave Liga Strategy - A new dimension to race strategy is The Pave Liga. Teams are competing for over $8000 in cash, and this is the first event for teams to mark their intentions.  Motivations will be high.  Close proximity to Wisconsin, should ensure good Badger State turnout.  Also the opportunity to race in 2 or 3 categories will allow smaller teams to enter more races, get more results, and accumulate more points.  Looking at last year’s results as a test, we had “smaller” teams right there in the mix. Pay attention to the scoring -  its not just about team size.

Facilities and Amenities - This is really a great venue for racers and spectators alike. Heated indoor facilities, concessions, a roof top spectators area, and heated showers are available.  The infield provides a great area for setting up tents.  Bring the family - then you can do 2 or 3 races!

Registration and Day of Logistics -  Online registration is open and pre-registering will make your life much easier. Your going to do this race, so just sign up. Also keep in mind that the race schedule definitely encourages racing multiple events.   In terms of travel, its about 2 hours from downtown. But don’t forget that I90 is under construction, so anticipate traffic delays.  The address is: Blackhawk Farms Raceway Llc, 15538 Praire Road, South Beloit, IL 61080. Once at the Raceway, you’ll have to sign a waiver. Build in some extra time - you’ll appreciate a longer, stress-free warm-up.

Pick up Your Trash - Don’t Litter!  Seriously. Be good citizens and pick up after yourself.  Otherwise Eric Goodwin has to do it, and that’s just plain ignorant.

Wednesday Notebook: March 26

Mar 26, 2014
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  • Results for the ​Kenosha Spring Training Races p/b Kenosha Velosport - March 16 and March 23 are posted; and the final event #3 is this Sunday, March 30 - here’s the flyer.
  • A number of teams headed to the St. Louis Omnium last weekend - Sat results and Sun results posted. A number of notables: Bonkers Cycling Thomas Kehrer had a very impressive podium hat trick with two wins and a third; also Anthony Vicino / xXx Racing had a 3rd and 1st; and podiums by Andy Giniant / Burnham Racing, Hayley Giddons / ISCorp, and Brian Rach / LAPT, 
  • Check out a race report by newly appointed Bonkers Cycling Sportdirektor Werner von Mannmithammer - seems like an interesting guy.
  • The Staenberg Group Gateway Cup which runs over Labor Day Weekend in St. Louis has been added to the 2014 Women’s Prestige Series.
  • Chris Wiatr is organizing a fast training ride in downtown Long Grove (intersection of Robert Parker Coffin Road and Old McHenry Road) starting in April. Contact Chris via email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.
  • Check out the latest Midwest cycling news on BikeRacing411.com

Send us your latest news, events or just plain gossip to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Featured Team: BFF Racing

Mar 20, 2014
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Team Name: BFF Racing

Website: http://www.bffracing.org

Location: Chicago, IL


Vanessa Buccella (Cat 3; Team Captain; results)

Annie Byrne (Cat 3; Team Captain; results)

Kathy Austin

Ronit Bezalel

Carol Bontekoe

Kate Christenson

Fernanda Guzman (Cat 4; results)

Jocelyn Hare

Sara Laurino 

Katie Lindsay

Kim Phistry (results)

Isabel Reyes-Todd

Amber Ritter

Mary Russell

Yasmeen Schuller

Carrie Smith

Christine Tejada

Kristen Tully

Jasmin Welter

Julie Yeagle

Sponsors: BFF Bikes, Gambit Coaching, Giant Bicycles

Team Highlights: BFF Racing is new for 2014. A women’s team, the mission is to encourage women to try out racing and group rides, creating a structured yet low pressure team environment. Team Captains Vanessa Buccella and Annie Byrne, have put together a strong roster including a number of Illinois State Road Race Champions!  With a full 2014 race calendar, the BFF team is focusing on the Illinois Cup and The Pave Liga. The Midwest Women’s cycling scene adds another formidable competitor!  Good luck in 2014!

Wednesday Notebook: March 19

Mar 19, 2014
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  • ​This Sunday, March 23rd, is race #2 of the Kenosha Spring Training races at the Business Park of Kenosha
  • BFF Bikes opened their doors this week - congrats to Annie, Venessa, and all their supporters!  The store is geared towards women’s cycling, the fastest growing segment of the industry (true fact!).  Not to mention they’ve got a great new team for 2014.  Grand opening for the store is on Friday, March 28th 7- 10pm
  • The Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series officially announced the Superior Ambulance Elmhurst Cycling Classic on Friday, July 25th.  Last year was hot, but the course is great and the town gives a ton of support.  And its part of The Pave Liga!
  • Looking at the Tour of America’s Dairyland schedule, they added The Beloit Bike Classic on Monday, June 23rd.  Check out the course map - it really looks like one worth calling in sick for!
  • The Gapers Block Crit series Mar 31 - Apr 3 is sold out except for Women Cat 4 (only 5 spots as of today!)
  • Registration is open for the xXX Racing - Lincoln Park Criterium on April 12th.
  • Hillsboro Roubaix is starting to fill-up, especially in the Cat 4 and Cat 5 fields.  Remember field limits are smaller - 75 riders. Worthwhile pre-registering.  And also be sure to get your hotels because there aren’t a lot of nearby options.  We’ll be organizing some shared rides, so look for more info shortly.
  • Last Sunday’s Road Race Clinic p/b Tuxedo Thunder Cycling had to be postponed due to poor conditions.  More info coming, but tentative reschedule is Sunday, April 6th.

Send us your latest news, events or just plain gossip to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Pavé Liga: Team Registration and Rosters

Mar 18, 2014
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Team registration for the Pavé Liga is open.  Team Directors should have received emails with the BikeReg link from Pat McNally.  We are asking teams to register as quickly as possible, so please let us know if you have any questions.  Also, as a reminder regarding Team Rosters, the Pavé Liga rules require that a racer be either listed on the team’s USAC roster, or be licensed as “unattached” and listed with us as belonging to their designated team.  All rosters have to be finalized before the Spring Super Criterium on Saturday, April 5th.  

CBR Interview: Eric Goodwin

Mar 17, 2014
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The Spring Super Criterium on April 5, 2014, has become the de facto season kick-off for many CBR teams.  Now in its 7th year, the SSC p/b Burnham Racing and Spidermonkey Cycling will be the opening event for both the Illinois Cup and The Pave Liga Team Championship. Registration is open.   Luke Allingham spoke with Eric Goodwin, Race Director of the Spring Super Criterium.

CBR: Please tell us about yourself – how long have you been involved in cycling, do you race / ride, etc. 

Eric Goodwin: I am the race director of the Super Criterium and I’m the managing director of Burnham Racing; both of them are kind of the same. I’m not really directing much, but I’m kind of in the service capacity. I have been racing bikes since 1992; I started in duathlons because I was a runner in high school and college. I picked up the sport again in 2003 and then Burnham was formed in the end of 2005. This is our ninth year, so we’re really looking forward to our ten-year anniversary next year as a team. 

CBR: Give us some background on your race - how many years, location, sponsors, club sponsor, typical fields, etc

EG: The Super Criterium started in 2007, so this is our seventh year. It’s really intriguing - it’s the perfect race for its spot on the calendar. It fills it’s role as the first big early season race for a number of unique reasons. The venue, first and foremost. We talk about the venue in two terms; the race is held at a rally auto racecourse at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, IL . Because of that, there are a number of facilities available to the competitors that wouldn’t normally be available at a race venue; things such as indoor registration, indoor showers and restrooms, indoor concessions, and the best part is that there is indoor spectating. Another thing that we like to talk about is that because of our relationship with Blackhawk Farms, we have a level of medical response available to us that is far above and beyond any other race that we’re aware of for it’s size. We have a full staff of paramedics and multiple ambulances on site.

CBR: Tell us about the course – distance, what should racers expect, what are some unique features

EG: The auto racecourse is 1.85 miles around. The reason we call it the Super Criterium is because is so big. It’s nearly a circuit race. Races go anywhere from half an hour to an hour long. The way our schedule works out, a lot of the competitors will have the opportunity to race three times in a day, because of the way the categories shake out. Because this is an early season race, we try to keep the entry fees low, and we offer the opportunity to race a second time for ten dollars. We also definitely want to mention that if the juniors pre-register, then the juniors race for free. That’s one thing we’ve always tried to do is tried to encourage juniors to start early.

The course is great, because it is very forgiving to newcomers. It’s forgiving in the sense that because it was built for auto racing, the corners are gradual for bike racers and there are no road hazards to speak of. The pavement is absolutely perfect, the course is very well maintained; there’s no debris or anything that is near the racecourse. It’s safe in that regard, but it’s still challenging because the wind plays a big deal into the way the races shake out. The races are challenging in the sense that you have to know how to play the wind. A veteran racer is going to be a little but more savvy in finding where to attack on the course to get away. Due to the fact that the course is wide open, you can see the people who are trying to escape, so you have to try that much harder to get away from the pack because you’re in sight the whole time.

One thing that is pretty cool about Blackhawk, though, is that it doesn’t favor one type of rider over the rest. Some courses will favor a climber, others will favor a breakaway specialist, and some courses will favor raw sprinters. The races at Blackhawk are pretty much decided every which way every year. Races have been won in solo breakaways and group breakaways, and a fair share of races have come down to sprints. The sprints are some of the most exciting in Illinois all year long, because of the finish straightaway that we have: it’s nearly an eighth of a mile long and it’s pretty intense to watch.

CBR: Tell us about your sponsors – what involvement in cycling, their support, etc

EG: We have a number of partners that we’ve worked with. Kozy’s Cyclery have come out and supported us. They’ve supported our team as well. Colnago, who is also another partner of Burnham, has supported the event. They’re both great partners, they’re both based in Chicago, and they care deeply about the image for the cycling scene.

CBR: What’s the best-case scenario that could happen in this year’s race, in your opinion?

EG: Best-case scenario for me as a race director is that racers continue to show up and test themselves, but also that we continue to have a great safety record. This race really does have a history of being one of the safer venues. Also, that everyone comes and gets as much racing as they can handle out of the day and go home exhausted, but happy.

This interview was conducted by ​Luke Allingham.  Luke can be contacted at Allingham’s Bike World.


Featured Team: Bonkers Cycling

Mar 14, 2014
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Team Name: Bonkers Cycling

Website: http://bonkerscycling.com/

Location: Chicago, IL


Andre Odendaal (Cat 3)

John Leopold (Cat 3)

Andres Alvear  (Cat 4)

Justin Taylor (Cat 4)

Zernyu Chou (Cat 5)

William Meister (Cat 5)

Thomas Kehrer (Cat 4)

Ryan Aydelott (Cat 4)

Jeremy Arnold (Cat 4)

Andres Romero (Cat 3)

Team Highlights: Formed in 2013, Bonkers has quickly established itself in the CBR peloton. The team had a number of upgrades, and picked up a number of guys from the Play it Again Sports team.  Notable results include 1st Rumbling Road RR (Tom Kehrer/Cat4), 1st and 3rd at the Prairie State - Sharon RR (Justin Taylor and Andreas Alvear/Cat 4).

Wednesday Notebook: March 12

Mar 12, 2014
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This is a great time of the year to promote the sport and encourage new racers.  And there are a number of “learn to race” events coming up.  Spread the word and let’s get road racing going: 

  • This Sunday, March 16th at 10AM, Tuxedo Thunder Cycling is putting on a Road Race Clinic at LaBagh Woods .   USAC coach Eric Blankenship of Gambit Race Smart will be teaching the fundamentals of racing including pacelines, group riding, and cornering, as well as the basics of a training program.    There’s a helmet raffle (thanks Bike Lane) and and free coffee (thanks The Wormhole.)   Register Here
  • Also  Half Acre Cycling is putting on a beginners racing clinic on Sunday, March 30th.  Contact Half Acre/ Erica Gaddy via email for more information
  • The ​Gapers Block Crit series p/b Half Acre Cycling is open for registration, and is a great intro to racing. Racing starts Monday, March 31st and goes for 4 evenings through Thursday April 3rd.  Races are on the south lakefront in Calumet Park, starting at 6PM.   Looks like they are about 80% full so get registered.
  • The South Chicago Wheelmen will be doing their Tuesday Nigh training series at the Joliet Autobahn starting April 22, and then will be April 29, May 6, May 13, June 24, and August 12.  This is also a great venue for both experienced and new racers.  Its only 45 minutes out there from the city - well worth it.
  • Also, check out the CBR calendar for all the early season races: Kenosha is the next three weekends (16th, 23rd, 30th), then first race of the Pave Liga is the Spring Super Crit on April 5th, followed by MATTS on April 6th, and xXx’s Lincoln Park Crit.

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Road Race Clinic p/b Tuxedo Thunder

Mar 11, 2014
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Tuxedo Thunder

This Sunday, April 6th, is the reschedule date for the Tuxedo Thunder  2014 Skills & Drills Road Racing Clinic at LaBagh Woods, Chicago. Open to all, this is a great opportunity to learn the fundamentals of racing and training.  Licensed USAC coach Eric Blankinship of Gambit Coaching will teach paceline, corning and other race skills, as well as the finer etiquette points of group riding.  This is a fantastic opportunity to introduce new road racers to the sport or to learn a few new tricks. The clinic starts at 10AM and will go about 3 hours.  There’s a nominal $10 charge, and there will be a helmet raffle thanks to the Bike Lane and free coffee compliments of The Wormhole.  And bring a friend or two! Register Here!

The Pavé Liga: Thinking Through the Scoring

Mar 11, 2014
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What’s it going to take to win The Pavé Liga? The basics aren’t complicated:  each team gets points from its top ten finishers plus one point for every teammate who is out of the scoring but still contributes (called participation points, up to a maximum of 10 per team at each race.)  It doesn’t matter what categories you race, how big the team is, gender, age, etc. When it gets really interesting though is when you start thinking about the dynamics of how each of the scoring components work.  Results points are determined by how big the field is, so the bigger the field, the more points.  But a bigger field means more competition.  Every field gets the same 15, 10, 5 podium bonus, so a smaller women’s or junior’s fields that don’t get as many result points can still contribute significant overall points.  While only the top 10 pointer earners count towards the team points, having a big team still gives an advantage to team tactics and up to 10 extra participation points.  There are 15 Pavé Liga races over the season so consistency matters – a lot.  We have no idea what the winning combination will be – there are countless scenarios.  Here’s how last year’s Spring Super Crit would have turned out:

Pavé Liga: Team Competition Scoring

Mar 03, 2014
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Pavé Liga scoring is posted.  Let the strategery begin!

Wolfpack Hustle 2014

Mar 02, 2014
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Damn this looks fun! The Wolfpack Hustle began in 2005 as a Monday night open invite fast paced bicycle ride at Tang’s Donut in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Marathon Crash Race, scheduled for Sunday, March 9th, is a road race across Los Angeles from the East to the Beach. The course is the pre-dawn Marathon route – approximately 26 miles of LA streets. At 4AM, Marathon workers begin to barricade the streets and shortly after that is when this race takes place.


2014 Red Hook Crit

Mar 01, 2014
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​I’ve seen a bunch of traffic re: the Red Hook Crit.  First race of this year’s edition is Saturday, March 29th.  Here’s an article about the founder David Trimble and the Red Hook from 2012.


The Red Hook Criterium is the world’s premier track bike crit featuring professional road racers, track specialists, bike messengers and urban cyclists competing over multiple laps around a fast technical circuit. Fixed gear track bicycles are mandatory, requiring riders to possess street-tuned handling skills and high levels of fitness.

With the first rounds held in New York City and Barcelona, the crit moves to Milan for the fourth and last round of the Red Hook Criterium Championship Series. This edition will feature two hundred competitors from fifteen countries comprising the most international field in the Red Hook Criterium’s history.

Oh, and sorry, registration sold out in like 10 milliseconds.  You’ll have to spectate - which actually looks pretty awesome.