My race wheel started out the week like this after the Iron Hill tire roll:
So the first few days of riding I had to bug my friends at SRAM to give me a rear race wheel before I finally had that one back up and ready to roll
More importantly on to a quick race reportage...
I'm sitting in an Extended Stay hotel at the moment with a nice mini fridge, after the first 3 days of 7 racing in IL and WI in the International Cycling Classic, a.k.a Superweek!
After Friday night track races last week I road to Superweek with Scott and we made the best of the long drive. To make things a bit more interesting than they already are when your driving for 11-12 hours I decided to make my phone die. I was sending a text msg and it just blacked out. I called verizon and they said it sounded like a warranty issue...so we used Scott's fancy GPS and I called verizon stores till I found one in reasonable distance off the highway and with a phone to possibly replace mine. In the mean time I removed the water damage sticker from the battery b/c it might have been dropped in a sink...I mean just maybe...So I got lucky and they found that it was the battery with an issue...surprise, suprise...and they gave me a new one, NO charge! Yeah!
A bit later we realize that we were going right by Gary, IN, which happens to be the location of a scene in the musical The Musicman, which Scott apparently remembered. So it was a given that we needed to drive through Gary and see what was up. As Scott was afraid it was a bit of a disappointment as it didn't quite live up to his expectation of band kids in the streets everywhere and marching around, rather this is what we found...
First of all we had to take a detour because things can never be simple when your traveling and the exit we wanted to get off at was closed
This is Gary
Scott driving in Gary
Not too far up the road we get close to Chicago as the sun is setting!
The Windy City
We get to my fiend Dee Dee's at a reasonable time and get to chat with her for a bit! Somehow I didn't get any pictures with her, but I will try to remember if she comes to the last day of races. A big THANK YOU goes out to Dee Dee for letting Scott and I crash at her place for a few nights, buying us food, helping with directions, etc...couldn't ask for much more!
The first day we are in town is Sunday and I don't start racing until Monday but we head off to the men's races for the day where we will meet up with a few of Scott's team mates. Unfortunately this is what we arrive to
you may not be able to tell from this picture but they have basically created a course in the middle of a new subdivision development...and part of the course was deemed unsafe by the officials so they had to shorten it to less than a half mile! It was a simple rectangle and these guys were suppose to ride 100K on it?!?!?...pretty ridiculous. Then they realized it might not be so safe to have 120+ guys on such a small course and they made a big fuss about it and called a riders meeting
I'm not big on complaining and criticizing races too much because I understand a lot of what goes into putting such things together and I know it can be difficult and you will never please everyone, but if you are going to run something like Superweek it seems there needs to be far more organization and planning in order to make things run smoothly, rather than what I was observing on Sunday.
The highlight of the race day was probably when I was over at the SRAM pit and the sprinklers turned on, starting to soak the bikes and go in the support car windows...opps
Now Monday rolls around and I get to start racing as well! I meet up with the girls at the race. Our team for the week will include Theresa; who is coming back to racing after her broken hand at the start of the summer, Jessie; the "rocket" Australian, Lisa; who has taken a week off work with her husband Walter and their dog Toby; and myself. Gary is here as well and does a great job of keeping things rolling smoothly. Also an appreciative thanks goes to Walter who has been handing off wonderfully cold water bottles and had cold towels at the finish of our races!...it's so nice to have that, and it allows Gary to worry about other things, which just turns out better for us all!
Day one goes according to plan. I should first do a bit of explaining for those less informed about this bike racing stuff. Many times when you have a stage race or a multi day race they will give points for good finishes or toward some designated jersey. So in this case each day they give a jersey away to the stage winner, to the overall leader (yellow jersey) and to the top sprinter (red jersey). There are 3 sprint laps spread out in each of the crits with points going to the first 5 across the line toward the sprint jersey classification. Our team was shooting for myself to take the sprint jersey and for Theresa to take the win.
I won every sprint lap, with incredible help from Jessie and Lisa, who where there for each one with a solid lead out. Theresa also helped to keep the pack together by pulling in a few small gaps during the race. Then we worked together again for the finish. Jessie was on the front with about 4 to go and keeping things steady. I took over with about a lap to go, let another girl pull us around a bit and then charded the front to give Theresa a lead out for the win!
1 lap to go...you can see me on the left of the girl in front with Theresa right behind me...
Theresa winning, her first race back of the year...not so bad!
Following our race I chilled out to watch the boys...
Scott racing...the bike with the bright green fork
Day two of racing got really hot and although our plan didn't work quite as well as we would have liked but we still finished well with Lisa taking 3rd after being off the front!...great job Lisa! Also, Theresa and I kept the leaders and sprinters jerseys.
Warming up on our rollers, in the shade
Me on the front
Day three we picked things back up a bit and controlled th race more again. I got 2nd in one of the sprint laps and won the other two, with help from the team once again. Then Jess kept things under control for the final laps and I lead Theresa out again for another win!
Pictures I snagged from cycling news:
About a lap to go I'm getting ready to put Theres in a good spot
T-bird taking the win!
Scott's team also did well with Scott taking a preme in the men's race and then leading his team mate Tommy out for a 3rd place in the field sprint.
I'll try to keep updating all this, but as you can probably tell we are doing well and things are good!
Day four is another good day. I won all the points premes for the sprint jersey and I'm gaining points on that. Theresa won the race playing off of other teams as I was shot from my sprints and from attempting to take a big money preme late in the race. So we still hold the yellow and red jersey. Theresa and Lisa did get caught up in a bad crash early in the race but they were both ok, although both of their bikes are going to require some repair...I was glad to see them both walk away safe and able to continue the week!
Day Five was a bit of a stinger with a short course that just went up and down. The "up" grade wasn't too severe but when you have to do it 50 times in a row back to back it gets to take it's toll. It was a rough day for my legs. Everyone was a bit tired but we raced pretty well, not letting anyone dangerous to our lead get ahead. I did well in the sprints. Theresa and I were very close to getting wrapped up in a crash in the last lap as a girl directly in front of us slid out and spun across the pavement, but somehow we both came out upright, although all my momentum had been killed and it was a fight to get back to the group. All in all we kept our jerseys and were looking forward to the next day after it was over and we were all safe.
Few pictures again...
Gary has been getting podium pictures so hopefully I will get those off of him soon!
Day Six is another good one! Jess got on a break off the front and took the sprint for a win. I did well in the sprints and still lead by a large margin. Theresa won the field sprint easily and is still in the leaders jersey!
Day Seven also a good run for the team. I easily held the sprint jersey. In the end Jessie kept things going at the front just to make sure Theresa and I would have a good run for the finish. I was going to try to sprint for the finish but got a bit mixed up in the last lap and with tired legs I didn't get where I needed to be. Luckily Theresa got in good position and got a good run before blazing by everyone to take another win! Yeah! So we finished the series with the Leaders Jersey, the winners jersey and the sprint jersey!
Great job girls!
The team left, heading home and I stayed to watch the men's race and then hang out with Scott and his team mates for another day of racing before heading home.
The boys betting ready for their road race
Spencer checking out his cracked crank...yeah he cracked a Durace crank arm...pretty impressive
Tommy trying to show off his man muscles...this guys is quite the character!
I was just hanging out in the feed zone