Photo by Luke Seemann
Downers Grove wrap-up
More notes from the national championship weekend in Downers Grove:
- » Out-of-state riders kicked our butts in many of the amateur races, including the women's 3/4 race, where Sarah Maguire (Bissell) and Tara Tasma (Team Giant), both of Grand Rapids, Mich., went 1-2 and quickly congratulated each other afterward. (Either that or they're doing a Madison throw.)
» We did better in the 3's. Chip "Cover boy" Gray (Team Get a Grip Cycles) employed an old trick Sunday, jumping as the leaders hesitated on the final descent down Main Street. He was passed coming into Turn 7, but that let him recover enough to jump again coming into Turn 8. Three Chicagoans followed him in 2nd through 4th: Bryan Rheude (Team MS Racing), Keith McMahon (Van Wagner/Yojimbo's) and Matt O'Keefe (XXX Racing-AthletiCo). I believe this is the first road podium for Van Wagner/Yojimbo's, a micro-team that formed earlier this summer.
» The closest race of the weekend may have been the final 5's heat on Sunday, where Alex Rams (Colavita) surged in the final meters to pip Adam Lund (ce::four). Lund may be OK with that: He had already won once, in Saturday's first 5's heat.
» XXX Racing-AthletiCo showed off some of its up-and-coming talent: Kyle Wiberg soloed away from the masters 4/5 race after several attacks from his teammates had softened the field, and Tom Briney won the first Cat 5 race on Sunday in a sprint.
» I wasn't there to see it, but Hogan Sills (C-U Racing) took a hard fall in the juniors race and still managed to come in 5th.
» There were some hard crashes over the weekend, but it was nothing like last year, thankfully. From Sunday's men's championship, Julie Pusateri got a series of Kyle Gritters (Health Net) wiping out in Turn 7 on the last lap. The podium can be seen riding away in the background.
» VeloNews reported that 2006 national champion Brad Huff (Jelly Belly) had unclipped in the final sprint, but he says on his blog that his chain dropped. (I'm told the VeloNews reporter sought comment after the race but was rebuffed.)
» What's it like to be a national champion? Brooke Miller (Team Tibco) has a great report about what went into her win. (Her celebration is pictured above.) You can read more about Miller in her CBR interview, and you can learn more about men's champion Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing) in this interview, conducted by students at Naperville Central High School when Bahati flew into town to give a talk on Major Taylor.
» Some big primes were awarded in the women's championship, compliments of "More money for women's racing." Brilliant. I love clever advocacy, especially when it literally puts its money where its mouth is. But I never heard who was behind it. Anyone know?
» With Justin Williams (Rock Racing) having won the U-23 criterium championship in Anaheim, Calif., Rock Racing says Bahati's win makes this the first time two African-Americans have earned national cycling titles in the same discipline in the same season.
Saturday race reports Newt Cole (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+ 4/5): "I was too far back to contest for the podium, but I wasn’t gonna shut it down, even though my eyes were bleeding. I came through the last corner about 10th wheel and threaded the needle between the wobbly blown-out carnage Kyle had left behind in his jetstream of destruction."
John Coyle (Wolverine Sports Club; 30+ 1/2/3): "30 more feet to the race I might have been able to take it home."
Sarah Derer (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; W-3/4): "I pulled out once the bile started coming up into my mouth at the top of Main Street."
Karla Kingsley (Easton/ Sugar CRM/ Specialized; W-P/1/2/3): "Hello? I thought this was a warm-up race?"
Sterling Magnell (Rock Racing; Pro): "I owe this one to Rahsaan. I'm hoping I can return the favor to him today in the race for the jersey."
Brooke Miller (Team Tibco; W-P/1/2/3): "It is a great relaxation to have your teammate up the road- that let me just sit in and enjoy the race."
Mike Seguin (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+ 4/5): "I like to take some of the turns at an all out pace to see if those lines actual work, and what better time than on a prime lap."
Sue Semaszczuk (ABD; W-3/4): "I made sure I was at the front at the start and my goal was to lead out the first lap."
Chris Sherpitis (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+ 4/5): "I was so much in oxygen debt I don't really have a clear picture of the sprint finish."
Steve Tilford (HRRC/Trek Stores; P/1/2): "I woke up in Chicago early Saturday morning feeling like shit. Super achey, flu symptoms. Didn’t eat anything, but the $55 entry fee for the Saturday night race."
Kyle Wiberg (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+ 4/5, 5): "The men must have passed out pillows and sang some lullabies to put the whole field to sleep for me. I got a huge gap down the hill and made the pace car hit the turbo. Surreal when you're thinking about how to pass the pace car. Maybe, it was a messenger's reaction."
Saturday photos Jason Knauff Eric Schmuttenmaer Luke Seemann: 30+ 4/5, 30+ 1/2/3, 5, 3/4 Bob Willems John Wilke
Sunday race reports Rahsaan Bahati (Rock Racing; Pro): "Once I came out the last turn and noticed whom I was sprinting against and the celebration had already started in my heart and head I just needed to physically cross the line."
Ryan Baumann (Sakonnet; 1): "My rear tire flatted and I practically ate it in a downhill corner. Sweet."
David Dokko (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 5): "I sprinted for all it was worth and did not lose/gain any spots and finished for my first top 5 of the year. After going through the finish I immediately pull over and start dry heaving from the effort."
Debbie Dust (Kenda Tire; W-P/1/2): "I was happy with my place in the field on the final lap, until someone skipped her back wheel in Turn 7 and someone else scraped a pedal in Turn 8."
Brad Huff (Jelly Belly; Pro): "Less than 200 meters to go and my chain falls to the outside? Bad luck for sure. Great Criterium Championshits for me."
Karla Kingsley (Easton/ Sugar CRM/ Specialized; W-P/1/2): "I've been wanting to try out the SRAM Double Tap shifting for a while, but during the last four laps of the national championship criterium was not the timing I had envisioned."
Bryan McVey (Vision Quest; 1): "Today went well. Until three laps to go when some dude wiped out in front of me causing a giant traffic jam and ruining my race."
Sterling Magnell (Rock Racing; Pro): "The boys and I busted our asses and he cleaned up beautifully. It feels a lot like the days when we were juniors. Now we're all pro and shit so there's more at stake, but it's still just as fun."
Brooke Miller (Team Tibco; W-P/1/2): "I KNEW that I could take that corner full speed and I knew that I would hold it up. I trusted my equipment and trusted my bike handling. I was not nervous. Not at all."
Avi Neurohr (Chicago Cuttin' Crew; 5): "I poured it on and tried to keep it on, but didn't get much help, at least not when it could've counted."
Chris Padfield (Team Pegasus; 3): "The first ten minutes or so were the typical faster than normal pace and moving up to improve my position just wasn't happening."
Steve Tilford (HRRC/Trek Stores; 1): "Ken Hanson (California Giant) smeared everyone, so the race probably wasn’t winable."
Kristen Wentworth (Kenda Tire; W-P/1/2): "I was just happy to avoid the couple of crashes and finish off the season safe. The racing was top notch though and I had a lot of fun."
Sunday photos Karl Crapse Jason Knauff: Pro, 1, W-P/1/2 Clark Maxwell Mark Novack Julie Pusateri John Rowland Runaway Wind Luke Seemann Velogrrl John Wilke