06 Jun Spring Prairie Road Race Wisconsin State Road Championship
The Enzo’s masters team decided to race the Wisconsin State RR in Spring Prairie, opting out of 10 hours of driving to O’Fallon and back. Why would we miss the Illinois State Road Championship’s? The location is ridiculous, being only a few miles from St.Louis. The distance from Chicago creates small fields and less than desirable racing. I attended this venue last year winning my category, which left me with less than a feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction, only racing against 8 other guys from Illinois. Enough said.
This would be my 5th time racing the Spring Prairie course, which I have always used as a training race, today I/we will being using a different approach. We will have 4 Enzo’s racers in the 40+ race with one member who resides in Wisconsin, Gene Tolli. The plan is to work for Gene helping him to a high finish.
We have David Jaggi, Wayne Simon, Marc Zionts, and Gene representing today. The race is 7 laps, 46 miles with a neutral roll out, having to climb the hill an extra time in route to the start/finish line. The hill is a nice part of the course being about 300 meters and my guess, an average of 14%. It may be steeper in a few places but not much, in other words, a big ring climb if you want to go fast.
The temps are perfect in the low 80’s as the group of about 50 rolls out. First time up the hill in the little ring at a moderate pace, seemed perfect for a nice warm up. This pace continues until one of the IS Corp boys throws a solid punch keeping the group honest. We are single file going 38mph, sweet, and are now approaching turn one quickly. Section two of the course is a tailwind section and the group slows, I am wondering what is going on since in years past the first lap of this race has always been fast. Nels Hackl takes a dig and is leading the group into turn two, which on the outside line is full of cracks that have been filled. The tar was quite hot and slippery sending Nels into a two-wheel slide with me on his inside. He straightens his bike and rolls into the grass while I enjoyed the sliding and rounded the turn. I will take the inside line for the rest of the day, not wanting to risk hitting the pave’. After turn four we have hurting crosswind from the left side, so I wind up the speed and force the group into the gutter. I am sure 32 mph had the race strung out nicely, keeping this pace until the false flat down, about a mile. I pull off and Marc Zionts counters the effort rolling away clean making it to turn four with about a 15 second gap. At the top of the hill Billy Jones (IS Corp) attacks and bridges to Marc with no chase or attempt to bring this move back. By the time the two boys reach turn one, I counted a 27 second gap, this is about .75 of a mile from Billy making contact with Marc. OK, Chris Halverson (IS Corp) Wayne and Jaggi are working the front, with no attacks, this is ridiculously easy. The 2.5% hill in the second leg of the course has a large mailbox at the top, which you can see easily, so I start counting when the break passes. When we reach the mail box I have 47 seconds gap, laughter. This is funny because we have a solid man in the break with the ral humor being, it will be a tough day for both of these boys sticking a now 40 mile two man TT.
So this is how the race plays out, the boys open the gap to over 3 minutes, well out of sight with only a few attacks, that we cover. On the bell lap I stay in the front to protect Gene so he can be in the top few guys going up the hill. About 1/2 mile from turn 4, I drop to the back of the field so I can watch the fireworks going up the hill. I see the front group gain a split quickly with Gene connected, perfect. The race is a sprint up this hill and I notice how slow everyone seems to be going. Leaving my bike in the big chain ring I increase the speed, my intention is to hit zone 5E by the start/finish line. This pace is silly fast and I have to weave through the entire pack, this is really fun passing everyone with the exception of the 5-man split.
The final score is Zionts 2nd, Tolli 6th, Simon 8th, and Jaggi 22nd. David said he started to cramp a little on the last hill and had to back off the throttle, smart. This was a really nice finish for the boys and a great ride by Marc, though it was not his intention to be in a two-man break all day, that’s racing. The Enzo’s squad was well represented today, hopefully Brian Karlow who was in the 30+ race, will write his first race report for us.
Lastly, it was another exceptional day on our team-issued PSIMET tubulars. These things continue to be just rock solid.
Next weekend is the xXx Galena omnium. A TT, road race, and criterium on the roads of Galena Illinois. Anyone who has ridden in this area knows it is very hilly and my guess is only the hard men will have high finishes. Until the next post, stay lubed with ButtonHole Chamois Cream and ride safe.