Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chicago Criterium Yields Great Results

The inaugural edition of the Chicago Criterium we extremely well for us as a team. We started 8 riders in 3 different reaces. While I'm not sure on every one's results I do know that we placed top twenty in each race including an 11th place finish for Sergio in the second heat of the 5's race.

Having only seen the Masters 4/5 race I will only comment on that for ow until I can recieve some updates from the guys that did the first two races. The race started out quick as usual with the field being stretched to its breaking point after just the first lap. Turn two which was supposed to be the worst corner on the course remained incident free for the duration of the 40 minute race.

Elvis, Tony and Jim managed to keep themselves out of trouble for the first half of the race, while Jorge and Dan were working further back in the field in two smaller groups. Tony was feeling feisty and managed to take a $100 prime, the first of his career. After snatching the prize, Tony planned on sitting up and rejoining the field however he had such a large gap that he gave another dig to try and separate himself even further. The field was having none of this after last week's victory in Bensenville and quickly brought things back together.

With about six laps remaining Tony and Elvis found themselves sitting in the top 10-15 places and things looking good for another possible victory. It was about this time that any one that was not with the main group was pulled from the race, whether they posed any sort of threat to the safety of the race or not. Having been there many times myself, I am always frustrated when officials do this. As riders we not pay a lot of money to race, but we earn a certain satisfaction for having completed a race, no matter where we may have placed.

With just a few laps to go in the race Tony made a move on the backside of the course that I happened to catch on the Jumbotron just as he jumped. However, that side of the course also had a headwind that would occasionally kick up and Tony didn't stand a chance by himself with a hard charging field behind him. He came around turn 3 still in the lead, but the rise over the bridge proved too much and he was brought back into the field. When it came down to the sprint Elvis still had a fresh pair of legs and snatched 13th place.

Congratulations to everyone that raced well today. The Chicago Criterium was a great venue to hold a bicycle race and I for one can't wait until next year to have another try at it.