The racing went on.
Sunday was a difficult day for everyone, but especially for XXX Racing-AthletiCo, which lost beloved teammate Beth Kobeszka in Saturday’s road race. Its women raced with hearts drawn on their uniforms to reflect the hearts broken within. One of its men, Mike Kirby, told me he “raced angry,” channeling emotions into a third-place finish in the masters 4/5 race, his best ever.
An emotional parade lap preceded the women’s P/1/2/3 race. This would have been Kobeszka’s race, had she gone through with her plan to upgrade after the road race. Church bells tolled in the background.
I haven’t pored over enough race reports to do much reconstruction, and the weekend’s tragedy seems to have quieted many diarists, but here are a few notes:
- » XXX Racing-AthletiCo came home with four state championship jerseys, two on each day. Tamara Fraser won the women’s 35+ race, her first victory, and Kevin Krakovsky came in third but was the first Illinois finisher in the 30+ 4/5. In Sunday’s criterium, Joe Ebenroth won the 30+ 4/5, and emerging sprinter Jeff Wat won the elite 4/5.
» I’m not aware of any Project 5 victories in 2007, but that changed Saturday when Cory Hickman won the 3’s race. Teammate Carlos Garcia followed by being the first Illinois finisher in a large break Sunday to give the team a sweep of 3’s jerseys.
» It took me awhile to tally all the championship jerseys won by Team Mack. I count seven: Gabe Looker (4’s RR), Robert Brokaw (40+ 4/5 RR), Mike Ozwent (60+ RR and crit), Katie Weidner (W-4 crit), Michael Zellmann (30+ open crit) and Mark Tank (40+ 4/5 crit). Whew!
» The women’s open road race came down to a good-old-fashioned game of cat and mouse. The mouse won, with Melanie Wong (Team Get a Grip Cycles) biding her time long enough to beat June Upshaw (Unattached). Upshaw would come back strong the next day, however, to secure the omnium.
» Bicycle Heaven is a new team (as well as a a new shop in St. Charles). Its Ken Delo came in behind Wisconsin’s Cole House (Wheel & Sprocket) to win the jersey in what looks to have been a stacked P/1/2 road race.
Road race reports
Ryan Baumann (ABD; P/1/2): “Survival mode turned on. I was thinking of how much I really want to take a nap for most of the rest of the race.”
Amanda Miller (Atlas; W-3): “I couldn’t feel my legs and my head was beating to the pounds of my heart. I rarely push myself to these limits.”
Jason Schifo (Bushwacker; 5A): “As we rotated we each found just a little something extra to get us through our 30-second pulls at the front before drifting back in the line to rest. It was crazy and at the line we were spent hanging over the bars.”
Mark Swartzendruber (Delta Faucet; 40+ 1/2/3); “As it turns out, the Hubbard is the Missouri state time trial champion, which explains the appearance. Time trailers as we all know are a special breed of strange.”
June Upshaw (Unattached; W-P/1/2): “I saw she was taking the hills in her big chain ring. I figured I would have a better sprint if I used my small. Three hills, then the last one came up, huge and looming.”
Lou Waugaman (All9Yards; P/1/2): “Things were going to get ugly
Melanie Wong (Team Get a Grip Cycles; W-P/1/2): “Right up until the jump, I did not think I was going to win. I kept anticipating getting dropped on a hill, beat in the sprint, or caught by the pack.”
Criterium race reports
Ryan Baumann (ABD; P/1/2): “I was hurting knarly style and all around 1 hour into the crit, but that voice in my head told me to get ‘er done in case things reshuffled near the end of the race.”
Amanda Miller (Atlas; W-3): “It reminded me of the way my body felt at the end of an 800m run in track. I guess that’s a good thing, right?”
Jeff Wat (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): “This truly was a special day for me because we have both been racing together all season and to achieve these results together on the same day was quite amazing!”