05 Jun Glencoe Grand Prix Master’s 45+
The Glencoe Grand Prix is, in Enzo’s opinion, the best Criterium in the area. I personally think the course is a real test of Power and technical riding, great for a state championship requiring more than 1 skill set to win. This will be the sixth year I will be racing in Glencoe. Enzo will be looking for the hat trick, winning in 2010, &11. I grew up playing hockey, thus the hat trick reference, besides it is Stanley Cup finals week, with LA having a 2-0 lead over New Jersey.
Coming into this week, my teammates have asked if I am excited to be racing in Glencoe? It has been weird, the last years I have wanted to win Glencoe badly and was quite serious about it. This year I almost do not care, it is just another race. Do not get me wrong, This race has every thing a racer could want in a criterium, Great course, great crowds, it runs like a swiss watch, great prize money, a beer garden, a street fair for kids and adults, it is close to home, a perfect event. So going into the race I have no idea what to expect, though I know my training has been spot on.
Due diligence has been done, I know who the players could be. The bonus is 5 Enzo / Psimet team members racing, so on paper it is our race to loose. The only differences this year from 2011 are, the finish line has been moved 10 meters further from the final corner, and the announcers / officials trailer is on the right side of the course. During pre-staging I see Chip, Pat, and Louie, totally cool that they stopped their ride to watch the race. We talk a little then I introduce Louie to the boys, since he is an awesome sponsor of Enzo. The officials call us to the line, give us the instructions, then a few call ups, sweet. I go from the back row to the front. This goes well with the team plan, for me to be a rabbit, knowing if I go the group will chase hard. Then the boys will counter attack delivering the killer blow. The whistle sounds and I go into cyclocross mode, full gas sprint to 30 mph and put my head down. At turn two I peak and there is one person on my wheel and we have a big gap which is a surprise. I flick the elbows for a little help at the end of lap 1, the stow away looks at me and we slow from 28 to 24. Only one answer to his response, attack guess who is on my wheel going into turn one, exactly. Will not pull but can go hard enough to suck wheel.
Here is how I see it, this rider either thought there would not have been a split so quickly, or I was going to tow him around until someone else bridged. So I asked verbally this time, you came up here I need you to take a pull. Almost a good poker face, with the exception of the heavy breathing, attack again and put my head down, There we go, the freedom to suffer alone. Two laps later I see 4 guys trying to bridge but continue to make them work for it. When they arrive, it is Paul Swinand, Andy Kerr, David Jaggi( my teammate) and this other guy I have never seen before. A quick assessment, Jaggi is good, clearly took the free ride, text book racing, Andy and the stranger are breathing hard, with Paul barking directions to everyone to take a pull. This means Paul is perfect and the others are hurting, so PS pulls hard for two laps, SWEET. I am fully recovered and feeling good. I pull thrugh smooth and take a longish pull maybe 1/2 lap, then Andy and the break is now rolling nicely. Dave sits on for about 3 laps, this will wear on Paul and the others, I like it. Finally PS says it is ok for you to pull, then says to me we could use him up here, the group is still close.
This move is the race, soon we have a few more guys arrive, Dave Stone( ScarletFire Racing) Ward, the guy that pimped Druber at FRG and Newt Cole (Pony Shop). When I see Stone Pony, I attacked hard. This is a sign of respect, Dave is a great racer so he expected this. The others I am sure did not, laughter. So we rip off the stranger, and are rolling nicely again. All the sudden I hear a crash in turn one? This seems crazy because this is the second easiest corner on the course. I do not look back and drill it at the front, sorry boys, this is a crit, not a stage race.
Turns out the pimp rolled both of his tires, crashing Newt and Ward out of the race, free laps had just ended.
I am surprised the officials did not suspend this guy. I also wonder why officials do not test tubular wheels on the line any more. This was a standard back in the day. I am sure it has some legal ramifications, something like, well the official said my tires were good to go, lets sue USA Cycling. Sorry about the tangent.
So four laps to go and I decide to go fishing, taking longer pulls. Three laps to go and Paul bites on the hook, Attacking 10 seconds after I pull off just as I get to the back of the break, sweet. Now all alliances are off, it is a freaking cage match, with six guys in the octagon at the same time. Two laps to go I attack really hard on the small hill with Stone Pony countering, I love the way Dave races his bike. I think that move may have snapped Andy though I never looked back keeping my focus on the sharp end. I take the front position going into the technical turns with Jaggi on my wheel. PS hits us on the hill which showed me he was done. Stone pony attacks 100 meter from the last corner, same move I beat Druber with last year. I grab his wheel quickly allowing no gap. Stone Pony nailed the final corner, a perfect exit, holding all his speed, so I reached for an extra gear early. Winding it up to speed and give thanks to the GGP, for moving the finish line that extra 10 meters. I catch DS 4 meters from the line with a little more momentum and win by inches, throwing my bike just to be safe.
There is a photo of Stony looking at the tiny gap at the line with Jaggi’s finishing third. David Jaggi’s face shows how difficult the race was. Once again we kicked ass as a team. 4 in the top ten,two on the podium.
This could have been better if the double rolled tire guy would have stayed in his home state. Tolli and Zionts adding to the till. This is my first hat trick on the road, and I could not have done this without the Enzo’s team, you guys are awesome!
Now it is plug time. Thank you to all the Glencoe sponsors, this is an incredible race, without your support we know it would not happen. To Jon Knouse, the creator of the GGP. All the volunteers, without you there is now show. Alberto’s for the chip service, a pain in the butt to do, but having quick accurate results is so worth it. The USA Cycling Officials whom never get enough credit.
A.L.L Masonry for the support to Enzo’s and Psimet Women’s racing, you ROCK! To Rob Curtis, Psimet Wheels, for the fast race wheels. Giant Bikes and Lucky Brake Bicycle Shop, these bikes seem to be quite fast, laughter.
To my teammates who have helped me learn how to be more crafty racing as a team, you guys are awesome, I said that already, it is easy to speak the truth.
Last, Matthew Modine who I spoke with for quite a long time during the Pro race. Another cool person at the GGP.
If I forgot anyone, thank you for your help, I learn something from everyone, though it may not seem that way, laughing.
Next is xXx’s Galena stage race. Sign up NOW. This is one of the best road races you will ever taste, support this race, please. Glencoe 30+ race report soon.
Safe and fast riding,