So I've been slacking in many ways - I've now raced 4 times (sort of) and haven't posted a thing.. I haven't finished my tour of Albania from nearly 6 weeks ago, and I haven't figured out what races I'm doing this year... Work has been quite busy.. 2009 Race Report #1: ABR National Master's Championships, Winfield, IL - June 7, 2009
This has to be the most uneventful race of the last few years for me. I planned ahead to do the race, knew my way to the course, got there on time, had money and my license, warmed up properly, made the start line on time, moved through the pack on the final lap, came out of the final corner in decent position and then ended up 3rd in the field sprint, 7th in the race (4 guys off in breaks) and 4th in the Men's 40 master's nationals. Afterward I was changing and missed the podium call, but the real highlight of the race was spending the post-race vibe hanging with fellow Wolverines Maia, Brent, Cruise, and Luke at a local restaurant.
2009 Race Report #2: Sherman Park Criterium - Pro 1/2, Chicago, IL - June 13, 2009
Thwarted twice! Last year I experienced the reverse breakaway where the Triple XXX team practically pushed the field backward from a large breakaway - now this year I missed the start altogether. I had printed out the flyer for this event about a month before and lo and behold, they had changed the time - earlier by 30 minutes. Underestimating Chicago traffic as usual, I arrived after fighting traffic for over 2 hours with only 30 minutes to spare and was devastated to discover that the race just heading from the start line as I stood at registration was MY race. The guy working the registration, when I showed him my flyer with the incorrect time said, "so sorry man - not sure what happened.... Why don't you just jump in on the backside and at least get some laps in..."
So I did - I got my skinsuit on and kept on my number from Winfield and jumped in 10 minutes later on the backside and rode the remaining 70 minutes of the Pro 1/2 race with the medium sized field. I felt really good but knew I couldn't do anything or sprint for the finish, so as a gesture of defiance, I led out a friend on the backside of the last lap gaining 100m on the field and setting him up for an easy field sprint win - it felt good and I felt good. I skidded to a stop and rode over the grass to my car before the race was over and headed home.
2009 Race Report #3: Tour of America's Dairyland Stage 8: Sheboygan Pro-Am - June 25th
The Sheboygan course looked like candy for my sprinter's sweet tooth, but I had meetings until 5pm on Thursday - or so I thought. Mid-day I realized we would be wrapping up early, and that, if I was out of the office by 2:30, I just might make the start of the big Pro race up in Sheboygan as part of the new "Tour of America's Dairyland" series put on by Tom Schuler and Bill Ochowicz. I sped up 294 and realized a couple things enroute: 1) I didn't have my helmet - I had only planned to ride at Bussy woods, not race, and 2) 294 traffic is horrible right now due to construction.
It took me 3 hours and 15 minutes to make it to the course and I changed in the car enroute. I assembled my bike and sped to registration even as they were doing the pre-race announcements. The reg ladies were awesome and let me just leave my credit card and license to finish up later, and they gave me a number. I stripped off my shirt right there on the sidewalk and put on my number, and then sped around the barriers as they were about to start, casting about for a familiar face. Aha! Mike Beuchel and Kent Savit - I borrowed Mike's sweaty helmet and rode to the line just as they were about to start. I had time to text Jay Moncel and Kelly Patterson that I was lined up next to "tool #1" with his short shorts (an IS guy we like to laugh about) and then we headed off.
The race was fast - we averaged 28.7mph - but my kind of course - I only had to pedal in 10 second spurts, so I never really suffered too much. The last few laps saw leadout men take the helm and it strung out and the draft was hard to find as we screamed around the course at 35, 36, 38mph down the backstretch. I was sitting 15th into the last two corners - the heart of the a!*hole zone but I was unable to get far enough up due to the pace and sure enough, there was a crash in the last corner. I breaked hard and dodged bodies and bikes and gave my remaining effort into resuming speed. I maintained position into the finish line crossing 18th - in the money. I was pretty happy actually considering...
2009 Race Report #4: Tour of America's Dairyland Stage 10 - Downer Avenue, Milwaukee - Masters
I knew I was not ready for the Pro Peleton at Downer Avenue - actually I'm quite sure I'll never race pro there again - the course just does not favor my limited abilities - you have to pedal for more than 10 seconds in a row for god's sake! So I decided to join my cronies in the master's event - including Joe Holmes - friend from Toledo since 1983, Aaron Frahm - fellow Morocco world championships teammate from 1986, veterans Mike Beuchel and Kent Savit, and fellow "Slurpee" - i.e. 7-11 team member Jeff Bradley on the line for the 70 minute event.
Either the pace was not so high, or I'm in better shape that I've been for a while, but I didn't hurt too bad (my cyclometer got bounced around too much and refused to read speed/distance) and found myself a contender for the sprint. I moved up just right and came around the final corner 4th and finished... 4th. Too long a sprint with a slight incline - not the best sort of finish for me. Beuchel was 5th, Frahm was 6th, and Jeff Bradley was 7th, so I was in front of good company... Feeling good about the coming season..
Speaking of which, here's a tentative schedule:
June 7 (complete) ABR National Criterium Championships, Masters: Winfield, IL - 4th place
- June 13 (complete) Sherman Park Criterium, Pro 1/2: Chicago, IL - missed the start, raced for training and pulled out on the last lap to avoid trouble
- June 25 (complete) Tour of America's Dairyland - Pro 1/2: Sheboygan - 18th place
- June 27 (complete) Tour of America's Dairyland - Masters: Downer Avenue, Milwaukee - 4th place
- July 5, ABR Illinois State Criterium Championships, Wood Dale, IL: Masters 12:30pm, Pro 1/2 3:30pm - 2nd place
- July 11, Superweek, Blue Island Pro-am: Pro 1/2 - 5:45pm - 100km - dnf
- July 12, Superweek, Elgin Cycling Classic, Elgin, Il: Masters 9:45am - 40 miles - 4th place
- July 14, Superweek, Arlington Heights, IL: Masters 12:50pm - 35 miles - 7th place
- July 15, Superweek, Bensenville, IL: Masters 12:00pm - 30miles - 9th place
- July 19, Superweek, Evanston Grand Prix, IL: Pro 1/2 5:30pm - 100km
- July 23, Superweek, Racine: Masters - 12:35pm - 35 miles
- July 24, Superweek, Kenosha Pro-Am: Pro 1/2 - 5:30pm - 100km
- July 26, Chicago Criterium - Grant Park - Masters 12:05pm, Pro-Am, 2:15pm
- August 1, Elk Grove Criterium #1 - Cat 1/2: 1:45pm, 70k
- August 2, Elk Grove Criterium #2 - Masters 10:30am
- August 8, Grand Rapids Cycling Classic - Masters and Pro 1/2 (tbd)
- August 15, Downers Grove Nationals: Masters 4:10pm, Cat 1/2 7:10pm
- August 16, Downers Grove Nationals: Cat 2, 10:00am
- August 30, Windsor, Canada: Tour de Villa Italia Pro Am, 5:00pm 100km