This weekend’s races were supposed to be smooth, safe affairs. So what’s with all the crashes? Bad handling? Riders lulled into inattentiveness? Fainting spells?
Here's video of Saturday's 4/5's race in Menomonee Park
, which shows the difficulties people had turning left.
, and I believe this may be the spot where a pileup
A pileup elsewhere in the race took out several riders with just a few laps to go. In fine euphemism, Brian Boyle
(XXX Racing-AthletiCo) alludes to a "complication between two riders" in his report of the Cat 3 race, and here's video of said complication
. (Be sure to go to the 1:00 mark to see exactly how complicated it got.) Finally there is this sad photo gallery
from Andrew Nordyke
(Chicago Cuttin' Crew), who had a tough time negotiating the final corner of Sunday's 4/5's race. Hard man that he is, once he finished bouncing down the tarmac he bounced to his feet and shouldered his bike to the finish line for 35th --
neither DFL nor, more important, DNF.
If we can’t handle gentle courses like these, how will we fare come the screaming, technical turns of Downers Grove? Oh, right. This is how.
But enough about that. Let's talk racing!
In Saturday's Menomonee Park criterium, two Illinois riders beat all their hosts in the day's first race, with Kaleb Koch
(Smart Cycling) and Aaron Harrison
(Redline) going 1-2 in the 10-14 race. Kristin Arntzen
(Alberto's) hit the podium in the women's open race, and Matt Smith
was the top Chicago-area finisher in the masters 3/4 with 6th, followed by a 7th in the 3's, a race in which Tomasz Boba
(WDT-Allvoi) came in 2nd.
Sunday, ABD/Geargrinder continued its white-hot start to the season with another P/1/2 victory from Ryan White
. Recovering triathlete Peter Strittmatter
(XXX Racing-AthletiCo) gave his team the year's first non-collegiate victory by winning the 4/5's. Good masters results came from Scott Pearson
(Higher Gear), coming in 6th in the masters 1/2/3, and Rob Ehrman
(Vision Quest) and Tim Keeley
(ABD), who came in 5th and 6th in the masters 3/4's. And in the women's 4's race, XXX Racing-AthletiCo teammates Tamara Fraser
and Gigi Norcross
came in 6th and 8th.
I've been alerted that although Chris Hurst
(Baraboo Sharks) is licensed as a Wisconsin rider, he is in fact a Chicago high school student. He's had an amazing run this spring, including 1st and 3rd in the Kenosha Cat 3 criteriums and winning the Hillsboro-Roubaix juniors race. Saturday he placed 3rd in the Cat 3 race, and Sunday he got 3rd in both 15-18 juniors and Cat 3 races.
In Sunday's Cat 3 breakaway, Hurst was followed by two more local juniors: Dekalb's Alex Bowden
(Team Type 1) in 4th and Chicago's John Tomlinson
(XXX Racing-AthletiCo) in 5th.
Speaking of juniors doing well in the elite races, young Chazz Martin
(Smart Cycling) cracked the top 10 in both days' 4/5 races, in addition to coming in 3rd and 6th in the 15-18 events.
I'd love to see what these juniors could do with grown-up cassettes. Then again, I'd also love to see what they'd do with 40-hour jobs and 35-year-old lungs and joints. Fact is, we old-timers need every handicap we can get, and gear ratios seem like a good start. I propose rubbing brake pads, lead weights and blindfolds be next.
(I kid! I kid! Great work, gentlemen. Now hurry up and upgrade out of my category.)
Finally, at least one rider headed to Indiana for some road-race action, with Lindsay Koren
(Team Get a Grip Cycles) placing 2nd in the women's open at the Ceraland Road Race.
Full Menomonee Park results
. Full Great Dane results
Great Dane photos
Punk Rock Cycling
Menomonee Park race reports
(XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+ 1/2/3, 3): "I was driven off course to avoid some complications between two riders."
(Team Pegasus; 4/5): "Screw FTP, screw zones, I wanted to bleed lactic acid and make my lungs burn. You know, like I had really raced."
(Vitaminwater-Trek; 30+ 3/4, 3, P/1/2/3): "OK, rollin' rollin' rollin', last lap and we're rollin', stay on Mindy's whe-el, aw hell! Can't you do anything right!"
(XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4/5): "This was not the way to win a race, but you race you learn, It’s April, so it’s better to make the mistakes now than when it really counts."
Ben Van Couvering
(Team Pegasus; 4/5): "Shawn and Jason both called out for me to reach into my suitcase of courage (actually they said, 'Come on, Ben!'), but I was hobbled. I limped through the last lap."
(Vitaminwater-Trek; 3, P/1/2/3): "How is it possible that we can race at an average of 27 mph in the P/1/2/3 race on the same course without a single incident and yet the masters Category 3/4 race was a mish-mash of twisted metal, yelling and brake squeaking? I seriously feared for my life."
Great Dane race reports
Chicago Cuttin' Crew
(4): "What did [Andrew Nordyke
] do after the accident? After cracking his helmet? After he trashed his bike, shoulder, back, hip, knee, shin, elbow, wrist, hand, everything except his eyelids? He hopped up and shouldered the bike and he ran a few hundred meters to cross the finish line."
(Vitaminwater-Trek; 4): "Coming into the final turn, one rider wrecks after clipping the ground with his pedal. I am making the turn right towards him."
(ABD; 30+ 3/4, 3): "In reviewing the finish video (my wife always takes one so that when I tell her I got top 10 in a race she can replay it and show me that I was in fact 45th or whatever), I noticed that the guy who passed me was turning about 120 rpm, myself about 80."
(XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 30+ 3/4, 30+ 4/5, 4): "The first race I was killing the hill. Now it was killing me, and I didn’t have enough left to react in time to anything. "
(ABD/Geargrinder; P/1/2): "A junior pops off the back. Right in front of me. At first I don't even notice, and then, suddenly, there's a 20m gap. At first, I can't even react. I mean, I'm so far into the red that I can't go above LT to save my life."
Ceraland race reports
Team Get a Grip Cycles
(W-open): "Koren used tactics ,strength, and some old guys to eliminate the advantage held by teams with a large number of riders. "