Race Preview: Spring Super Criterium

Mar 27
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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.



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