I wasn’t sure what to expect heading into an ABR superweek. Would anyone show? Would there be international riders? Would there be fast guys? The answer to these questions for the most part was yes. Part of me was hoping there would be 10 guys and I might win out of pure statistics and probability. This was almost the case except there were about 50 guys almost all from outside of the US and they were fast. Unfortunately for superweek the crowd turnout was fairly low but as to be expected for an industrial park crit. As for the race – The race started mildly fast however it was obvious that the biggest team there (Solar something?) which held the overall and sprinters jerseys were not anxious to be in a break. Finally 2 guys got away and things calmed down. A bit later Tim countered an attack in an attempt to bridge up to the break. This lit a match in the field and it was game-back-on. We caught the 2 man break and the attacks continued. Wood Dale is pretty much a speedway with a speed bump so it was going to be fairly tricky to get a move to stick without the ‘right’ people in it. Finally about 7 guys were up the road with 4 teams represented. I could feel the pace slacken and figured I better get in this move. I attacked hard and bridged up. There were 8 riders – 2 Germans, 3 south Africans, 2 guys I’m not sure about and myself. The break was cooperative until we had a gap. Then it was attack, chase, cooperate, repeat. I went with one of the S.A. guys and we stayed away for a couple laps but he either began to tire or wasn’t willing to work so we went back to the break. One of the S.A. teammates countered with a German and both managed to stay away. I attacked the 6 others riders on the last lap but was caught just before the line. I managed to hang on for 6th I believe.
Mill Race Cyclery Geneva Crit
This crit was more of a typical Superweek race – Big crowd, semi-large field (with the notable absence of some pro-teams) and a late start. I’m starting to like this course I’ve managed 2nd here twice before and usually end up lapping the field at least once.
Tiff, my Dad and Trinet were planning to come down to the race so I was hoping for a good result. My dog ended up getting sick so Tiff, like the wonderful mother she is, stayed home to care for our pup and let me go race.
As for the race – The course is semi-technical and a break can get out of site quickly so I wanted to stay at the front. However, Superweek races are loooooong so I didn’t want to be too active too early. I wanted to make one effort to get to the break and not have to go with 10 other moves. Tim helped a bunch with this as he covered some early attacks and came away with a prime.
I saw what I thought looked like a pretty solid break forming. It included the Colombian, a German, South African, and Brandon from ABD. I was able to get through technical section pretty wall so I attacked going in and was full gas coming out. I had a gap and was bridging to the break. Once in the break we quickly had a gap and rotated nicely. Because I was going through the technical sections well (Thanks to Psimet Wheels as I am no bike handler or risk taker for that matter) and the others were not I tried to make sure that I was always the one to pull at the front through this section. Partly because I wanted us to go faster through this section but mostly because I knew I would have a slight gap coming out and that whoever was in the break behind me would have to close it. Sort of a passive aggressive attack that would slowly wear on the break members (or atleast I was hoping).
As were coming up on the field the break started to slow and I’m not sure why. I decided to attack them and bridge up to the field just to see what might happen. Maybe not the smartest move but sometimes the unexpected is good and the legs felt good enough to be able and absorb one mistake. So I bridge to the field then immediately went to the front and tried getting away again. Unfortunately the S.A. team is well organized and they were not going to let this happen and eventually everyone from the break lapped the field. Things calmed for a while until the intermediate sprint point. I figured something might go here so I made sure to be near the front. Sure enough I could see a couple members from the original break keeping the gas on after the sprint so I decided to bridge up quickly. I believe there were 6 of us total in this break – The Columbian, S.A., one of the S.A.’s teammates, the German, rider from RGF and myself.
We got to work and again lapped the field. I tried to go with a couple moves after we lapped again however the S.A. team was set on a sprint. With 3 to go the Columbian attacked hard and the S.A. team chased hard. It looked like we would catch him and I was in a good spot to counter or to sprint. Then I heard that famous sound (insert tire flatting sound here) and for a split second thought maybe it’s not me. But it was. Flatting with 2 to go. I actually changed the wheel and finished the race. I believe because I was up 2 laps that I maintained 4th place unless they rule me as being in 8th. Either way it was a good race until this point.
I have to say thanks to Tiff again for helping with the dogs so I could race, Rob at Psimet (wheels were awesome), my dad, Trinet, Joel, Ashely, Katie, Jim, Emily, Gwenen and Oliver aka the gorilla and others for coming out to the race and showing support. Gotta love races where the crowd is into it.