CBR Interview: Bryan McVey, Race Director Winfield Criterium

Jul 10
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​This weekend is the Winfield Criterium ABR National Championships p/b ABD Cycle Club.  Now in its 15th year, the race has established itself as one of the premier criterium events of the road season—which is the reason we picked is to be part of the Pave Liga!  We caught up with Bryan McVey to learn more about the event.

CBR: Please tell us a little about yourself—how long you’ve been cycling, involvement in race directing, and the Chicago cycling scene. 

​I got into cycling after 10 years of competitive running, which ended my junior year of college in 2006.  After that I raced my first season around Chicago, then one collegiately and in Belgium, and the domestic Pro/Am circuit and locally since then.

My involvement with race directing has been mostly just in a support role.  My first priority has always been as a racer, but I’ve been getting more and more involved with helping ABD out in any way I can help.

I have been witness to the Chicago bike racing scene for 8 years  now, and it has been dynamic for sure.  The biggest changes that come to mind are the demise of Superweek, and the subsequent creation of Tour of America’s Dairyland and then the Prairie State Series.  I think road cycling is ready for an upswing once again as it seemed to have 6 or 7 years ago.

CBR: You ride for Athletes by Design (ABD) Cycling Club , tell us about the team and your teammates.

I’ve been with ABD for 4 years.  These past two years we  have had much of the same roster, consisting of a tight knit local based team with a good young rider base and a few veterans focused on developing the team through the ranks.  We’ve had many category 2 upgrades the past two seasons and hope to continue to develop riders that compete with us, to that elite level.  Adam Liebman, Brian Arfman, Konrad Witt, Dave Ross and Mike Wilkie are some of the recent upgrades into the world of Pro/Am racing.

CBR:  Winfield is now in its 15th Year – and is ABR’s National  Criterium Championship – that’s a great history.  Tell us about your relationship with ABR and its mission. 

ABR is the grassroots cycling foundation, and operates as a no frills, lower cost alternative to the mainstream USA cycling races.  It was been a great relationship with ABR and the Winfield race weekend over the years, especially with being able to host as the Criterium National Championships for the organization.  ABR’s mission continues to be based around these principles, and has been a great partner for the Winfield race.

CBR: The course is great, not your typical 4-corner crit – any recommendation on race tactics?

This course went from good to great with the addition of the extra turns on the uphill section.  It caters to different types of riding abilities including climbing, technical descending and sprinting.  The tactic that has usually played out has been a hard move over the top of the hill with a fast descent, setting your position up for the sprint which doesn’t see much change in placement after the final left hander.  Coming through that last corner in second place, or with a gap off the front are both great positions to be in.

CBR:  As we know these events don’t happen without sponsors—tell us  about your sponsors.

Winfield couldn’t happen without the support of a number of  people and companies.  Obviously I need to start with Prairie Path Cycles which is the title sponsor of the ABD team and the Winfield race. PPC has been in Winfield for over 20 years and owner/managers Mike Farrell and Mary Lee Geraghty play a key part in all of ABD’s events. And of course none of our events would happen without ABD’s awesome team of volunteers that help the events run smoothly and safely. Rich Johnson for the Winfield Criterium website, the event committee, the Redlich’s, the Witt’s, Cannella’s, Lisa Pena, the list goes on and on!  This is our third year working with Advocates of the Riverwalk. Their mission to improve the community, enchanting the new bike pathgoing through Winfield, makes them an exciting partner to work with.

CBR: What else should we know about the race?  I know last year there were some great event activities other than bike racing going on…

This is a party race!  Coming back this year we have a BMX stunt show going on all day long in Oakwood park, a kids  race at 3:50pm and also as in years past the neighborhood really gets involved with front yard picnics and crowd premes.  There is also a free bike raffle for two bike giveaways and to promote bicycle safety.  To receive up to 6 tickets, entrants just need to complete the Illinois Bicycle Safety Quiz Challenge at www.bikesafetyquiz.com



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