Let the racing season begin

An Accidential Win

Everything about Saturday was a little odd from the start. It was pouring rain at 8:00 with no look of a let up on the radar. After a conversation with M Shea we decided to make the journey to Blue Island anyway. As we pulled up the rain began to let up, and that was the last we saw of it all day. How does that happen. I was so sure of rain all day that I did not even bring the race wheels. Shea raced first in the 4/5’s and got the Spidermonkey squad off to a good start with a 4th place finish. Next came the 4’s. Based on a previously discussed game plan of being a leadout for Nick of VitaminWater Trek, I also decided to do the Masters 4/5 which followed immediately after the 4’s.

The raced was also odd. There were only 25/ 30 riders in the 4’s (which I will get into later), and the pace was anything but fast. Maybe partly because of the added time for superweek. I spent most of the time shadowing Nick, chasing down a 3 man break, then slowing that break as to not let them get away, and blocking for my teammate Alex when he went on a strong flyer for 5-6 laps.

With about 3 to go, everything was in place. Chris from Pegasus was going to cover any moves, and I was going to jump right out of corner 3 with Nick on my wheel and hopefully bring him to the mexican joint where he would be in the clear. Chris did a great job holding the pace and we were all set up to go, then came corner 3. As soon as I brought the bike back upright, I jumped to the inside and opened a gap. I just put my head down and went. Came thru corner 4 in the lead, not exactly knowing where Nick was or who was behind me. The final sprint was 400 or so meters. I passed the taco stand and still had the lead, still grinding, just waiting to be over taken, but it never happened. As I crossed the line, I saw Nick to my left about 1/2 a bike lenght back coming in 2nd and Alex to my left coming in for 3rd. I had mixed reactions, the goal was for Nick to win, on the other hand, I was excited that I was able to jump and hold the sprint like I did, and it was great to feel what it is like to race with tactics. Funny thing is, I would never have jumped where I did if I had not set out to lead Nick out.

The masters 4/5 race went off right after the 4’s and I was tired. Basically was lucky to be able to sit in the first 15 laps before I moved up for the last 5 laps as the race again was very uneventful. Coming down the back stretch on the final lap, 2 SCW made a move to the front, and were followed up with a 2-3 XXX guys. I lost a few positions coming in corner 3 but was able to get out of the saddle and make up some good ground for a 4th place finish. All in all a great day for the monkeys. It is great to be on the podium with a teammate and a good friend.

Olympia Fields or Ghetto Fields, I say Ghetto Fields

Definitely was looking forward to racing after yesterdays performance, that is until I saw the course. Rode down with the Ken, which now meant we had a third teammate, and Brian showed up with his girlfriend for a little support dressed in his monkey gear. The course was in a new development and was going to be short anyway. Then it was shortened even more because of a raised manhole cover on the inside of a left hand turn. Course now = .48 of a mile, 3 corner, one sweeping turn, uphill into the wind finish, downhill back stretch in a slightly more then 90 degree corner with loose gravel, dirt and raised gutters. Awful course and dangerous. Corner 3 produced no less then 5 crashes in the first 2 races. Game plan get out early, stay in front and do not crash. Oh and to top it off, the 25 miles we were supposed to race was cut to 12. Again poor turnout 25- 30 riders. All in all things worked out ok. None of us crashed, Alex came in 5th, me 3rd and Nick 2nd. That is all I can say about a 12 mile race. Side note. I was a total bitch in the corner and was getting gapped everytime I came thru, never got comfortable with it, or overcame the fear. Gotta work on that confidence. Wasted to much energy chasing back every lap.

Now lets get to some things. This race was a frickin disaster from the time we got there. My race was the second race and supposed to start at 11:45, did not start till 12:40. They were still setting up fencing gates etc at 10:45 WTF. Have you guys not set these things up before. By this point, you should know how long it takes. Ok so we start an hour late, things could be worse. Then the race distance gets cut in half. I timed my race at under 30 minutes WTF I thought this was superweek. The course was a mess with loose gravel, and dried dirt that was blowing in the leaders face the whole race from the pace car.

Whatever, it was a new site and it was better then not racing at all. The course would not ruin superweek, but I think the scheduling has. I am very confused as to what they have done. First race 4/5, second race 4’s, third race masters 4/5 then they do the same thing, Masters 1/2/3 followed directly by the Cat 3. The first 2 races of the series in the 4’s have been way under sized from what I remember. Maybe some of that had to do with the early morning weather on Sat. but I think more of it had to do with the back to back races. First why have a 4/5??? Why not just have a 5’s race followed by a 4’s race? Why allow the 4’s riders 3 races to choose from. All that is happening is that the strictly 4’s race is being spread thin. Either have a 5’s only race or a combined 4/5 race and fill the field. It is a joke that we are doing superweek races with 25 guys….. Or think about spreading out the times to allow guys to do more then one race….. Can’t be that hard.


  1. Awesome read – you guys are rockstars and it’s great to see you both on the podium…with flowers!! Can’t wait to see it live next weekend :)

  2. I think they added the fields because last year’s local crits sold out. They may have just overestimated the demand. So now instead of one 75-rider 4/5’s race, you have three 25- to 40-rider races.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily a terrible thing. It essentially adds a 5’s race and gives less-experienced riders a chance to be competitive. Sure, you’re only racing against 25 people in the 4’s race, but think about it: You’re only really racing against the same 10-15 people anyhow in the 4’s. Everyone else is fodder. More wheat, less chaff.

    But I agree, the timing could be tweaked: They’d get more entries if people could double or treble up without having to race back-to-back.

  3. Looks like you have a nice long sprint!

    I’m glad we made it out there…it could have been soooo easy to just say fuck it and go back to bed.

  4. Well, at least you are living for another day…cin cin to a great weekend…

    See you tomorrow?

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