Tuesday, July 13, 2010


This past weekend marked the beginning of the infamous Superweek. Known to some as "Stupidweek" or even "Stoopidweek", Superweek is a loose collection of 17 races on consecutive days in the Chicago and Wisconsin area. While the races were not as stoopid as many make them out to be, the organization was laughably poor compared to the Tour of America's Dairyland.

The race on Saturday was in Geneva, IL, a short-jaunt on I-88 from Chicago. I headed out with my teammates Dan and Zens (with a guest soigneur/driver/awesomelogisticsplanner appearance by Jamie) and met up with Drew. As our race was first, we had lots of time to pre-ride the course. The course was a fairly simple 0.8 mile, 6-corner crit. The notable features were 2 brick corners, a small rise on the longest straight away coming out of turn 4 and everyone's favorite turn: turn 3! Turn 3 was a downhill, off-camber, narrow turn with crappy pavement and a manhole. It was scary to take every time, but of course, being 4's and 5's, we followed the rule that if a turn is dangerous, we will take it safely (unfortunately the inverse applies, but we can save that for later.) The race was 20 miles so it was going to be a long and hot one.

I staged well and clipped in well. I raced well for the first couple of laps, maintaining a top 40 position which I thought was fine for me in a 4/5's race. The problem arose with that darn rise after turn four. Midway through the race, huge gaps started forming on the hill and getting caught behind them made my race tough. After tail gunning for a couple of laps, I dropped off and eventually got pulled with 5 to go. Getting pulled sucks, but I was happy with my own performance. Drew made life even better by winning and Dan took a very respectable 5th. I learned an important lesson that I need to quit trying to sit at the back of the main field and move up earlier. Getting caught behind gaps was my fault for not moving up earlier.

Me and the boys after the race.

Sunday was a fantastic course in Homewood, IL. It was an 8-corner crit that was basically flat but had a headwind on the longest stretch of the course. My goal for the race was to move up earlier and finish with the pack. The race went off almost an hour late (ok, stoopid). I raced well but ended up getting dropped after about 8 laps. There was a fairly large contingent of riders off the back and we ended up forming into somewhat of a chase. There was a sizable crash (or two) in the lead group which lent our chase a few additional riders. I felt fairly good in the chase group and planned on finishing with them. However, I ran out of something...whether it was calories, water or just plain fitness and ended up sitting off the back of the group. I was the last rider pulled with a couple laps left which sucked as I got to watch the chase group I was riding with get to finish.

Reflecting on the weekend, I was actually really happy with how I raced...which leaves me in a strange place. I was happy with my effort and performance, but it was not good enough to finish either race. I had a great time in both races and had an immensely enjoyable weekend. However, I was not competitive in either race. So I am left with lots of motivation train and some serious excitement to be back in an all 5's field for a couple of races. Overall, my first season of racing has been an awesome ride so far and I am excited for what is to come.

A little dose of pain face from Downer's Ave (photo credit: John Wilke, Peloton Pix)

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