It’s a shame there’s not a seasonlong team competition. In the 3’s, it would be down to WDT, which would own anything flat, and Team Get a Grip Cycles, which would clean up on anything steeper than a driveway, and I’m not sure who would come out ahead at the end.
Get a Grip continued its hot streak Sunday by going 1-2 at the Fox River Grove Criterium. Steven Vandeven got things started with a solo attack on the third lap. Teammate Seth Meyer, showing strong legs despite wrapping up the weeklong Tour of Ohio the day before, latched on to a bridge attempt from Jason Knauff (Team Clif Bar Midwest). Eventually Meyer ditched Knauff and crossed the finish line raising arms high with his teammate; Knauff was able to hang on for 3rd. (Meyer subsequently applied for his Cat 2 upgrade, so we in the 3’s won’t have him to kick us around anymore.)
The fields were pretty small for the weekend’s local crits. Only nine contested the Fox River Grove P/1/2 race. Perhaps people were scared off by the rain, or were getting some rest before the upcoming state championships. It’s too bad, because even with the weather it seemed like everyone had a good time. And as the Wall Street Journal reported this weekend (albeit somewhat dubiously, IMHO), small, underattended races can be a great opportunity to get some easy results.
Speaking of results, special congratulations go to Chris Padfield, who won the Cobb Park 5’s race to get what I believe is the first road win in the debut season of Team Pegasus.
Here is a Cobb Park story from the Daily Journal.
Several people headed north to avoid the weather but found the Whitewater races no easier to stay upright at. A 180-turn at Saturday’s crit proved as dodgy as last year’s minefield, and a nasty pothole took out several riders in Sunday’s road race. Matthew Smith (Big Shark) e-mails me with a description of his tumble in the 4/5’s:
“I saw a guy one or two bikes ahead of me hit the pothole. He freaked, he teetered, he leaned on the guy next to him, then he went down. Oh, ****. Frequently, it seems, I have the bad luck to be directly behind some chucklehead who has no idea how to ride a bike. I run over chucklehead’s bike, I go down. Josh Green (XXX Racing-AthletiCo) goes down, as does a teammate of his. Several other guys go down. When I get up, I see someone inspecting his newly taco’d rear carbon wheel. Ouch!”
Smith also reports that Ben Levitt (Northwestern) got crashed out right after winning the 4/5 sprint. Unlucky.
Let’s work on our 180-degree turns, people. The Tour of Elk Grove is full of them and the fields will be much less forgiving than those of Whitewater. (The Editor will be enjoying the races from behind the camera, thank you very much.)
Cobb Park race reports
Brian Boyle (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 3): “A local radio personality ... hosted one of the two parties on the course complete with a roasted pig. This despite the rainy day.”
Eric Goodwin (Team Clif Bar Midwest; 3): “Time to assess my odds in a sprint. Wait ... I can’t sprint. Nuts. As if sensing my thoughts, Ansgar the Barbarian pulls up next to me. ‘Don’t even theenk about it, stick man.’ Nuts.”
Frank Rowley (D’Arcy; P/1/2): “The crash happened: 3-4 guys sliding all over and myself heading right towards them. I tried to dive inside and the front was washed out with a bright-ass yellow curb heading straight for me. Somehow I was still upright and clipped in. I noticed a large tree with some padding. That was going to be my landing spot. I ejected, flew over the bars and missed the tree, winding up about 2 feet from the Kankakee River, in a mudhole.”
Tim Hermanas (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): “I started debating if I throw my hands up after I won or if I should rock the baby like Vino when I took a quick look back and saw the field gaining on me fast and there was nothing I could do but throw my bike.”
Chris Padfield (Team Pegasus; 5): “No one seemed to want to break, so I did. I was about five or six people back and got a decent acceleration as I swung around the left side. Before hitting the turn I shed a little speed, dropped two cogs coming out and hit it.”
Shane Winn (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 3): “With two laps to go, the pack
let a solo attack roll off the front. With a lap and a half to go I was sitting on the front with my heart rate barely at an endurance level trying to convince my fellow racers that we could still catch this guy.”
Melanie Wong (Team Get a Grip Cycles; W-open): “On the last lap for the first two stretches of road, we were rolling so slow I almost fell off my bike.”
Cobb Park photos
Team Clif Bar Midwest
Fox River Grove race reports
Larry Allingham (Unattached; 4/5): “Legs cramping and burning, filled with more lactate than blood. Lungs turning themselves inside out as they try to fill themselves with air. Heart rate somewhere in the stratosphere, tongue on the top tube.”
Ron Cook (ABD; 3): “About halfway through the race, people finally got tired of just racing for 2nd place and the attacks came. This is where I got off the bus and said goodbye to the main field.”
Andy Daley (Team Clif Bar Midwest; P/1/2): “At less than 18 minutes into Sunday’s race, I was a slobbery mess of a rider with numb arms, getting dropped.”
Jason Knauff (Team Clif Bar Midwest; 3): “As a wise man once told me in my youth, this is bike ‘racing,’ not bike ‘winning.’”
Bryan McVey (Vision Quest; 4): “My plan was to attack at the top of hill and go flat out on the downhill to get a gap for the finish ... Someone else attacked on the hill before me, so I had to chase him down on the backside with one other person. I came out of the last turn in third position from our group of now 3, but there wasn’t enough distance to the finish to pick up enough speed to make a move.”
Seth Meyer (Team Get a Grip Cycles; 3): “We crossed hand-in-hand for the 1-2. I guess they still score you even if you do something like that, though, and my tire was like a few millimeters in front of his in the photo. Whatever. It was purely a team victory today.”
Fox River Grove photos
UWW race reports
Jason Knauff (Team Clif Bar Midwest; P/1/2): “A Cat 4 racer from XXX said it was a rollercoaster and the fields were broken up all over the place in every race that day. The Cat 3 race would prove to be no different.’”
Brian Carlson (Wheaton Franciscan Healtchcare; M4/5): “I positioned myself to be at the front coming around the last turn and when we hit the corner I took the inside line and everything opened right up for me and I was able to fly up the right side of the road to a 3rd place finish.”
Lyle Hanson (GDVC; 3): “With about a mile to go, somebody jumped and the group followed. I got swarmed a little bit but didn’t panic, and opened up my sprint at the bottom of the finishing climb.”
Andy Reiland (Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare; M4/5): “There are times when I think we aren’t going very fast and then others where I am on the rivet giving it all I have.”
June Upshaw (Unattached; Men’s 45+): “I heard the next day that many people rode one lap and went to their cars and went home, forfeiting their 25 bucks in the process.”
Matt Waite (Brazen Dropouts; 3): “A Wheaton guy rolled slowly off the front and created a gap. I really should have gone with him, because he stayed off solo until the end and won. The field didn’t do anything, and never really chased. They just wanted to be together and save some energy for their precious little sprint for 2nd at the end. Nothing happened for the next 2.5 laps. It was slow and boring. I almost fell asleep.”
Jeff Wat (XXX Racing-AthletiCo; 4): “I informed the stronger riders that I would not contest, but would work with them as much as I could.”
Melanie Wong (Team Get a Grip Cycles; W-open): “If I solo attacked, the America’s Dairyland girls in the pack would chase me down. But if I didn’t, I was sitting in a pack with people I may not be able to out-sprint, but who weren’t strong enough or weren’t willing to bridge a 1-minute plus gap with me.”