One of the reasons I like going to Superweek is to race against different guys. And not just a different set of locals, but guys who come from all over the country to race. Looking down the start list you see WI, IL, CA, CO, FL, MN, TN, and a handful of other states.
I first went to the race in 1999 or 2000 and have come back most years. Many others do the same, so we’re no longer complete strangers. I know Chris Halverson will be there to drive a breakaway (and ride guys off his wheel); Chris Black will recount every lap of the race in detail; Gary Doering will shout out instructions to his Mack teammates. It’s great fun.
Riding around before or after the race, you can hear, “remember that time in Kenosha, when …”. Just like a bunch of geezers. Except when you look around and see how fit everyone is, and how fast the racing is, it almost makes you want to check the birth dates on drivers’ licenses.
Day 4 update:
Racine criterium: 8 turns with a long stretch of rough pavement. They patched the main craters, but it was still rough enough to launch a half dozen water bottles the first lap. Add some light rain in the opening laps and it was enough to have guys pulling out of the race.
After the usual series of attack-chase-attack, once again I found myself off the front solo. After a couple laps another rider joined me and we were holding a 15 second lead. A few laps later and another rider made it across and we grew the lead until we had the tail of the field in sight in the closing laps. Always a good feeling, but better still is to be able to finish the race with a win. Unfortunately my sprint wasn’t up to it, and I had to settle for third.
Kenosha criterium: 4 corner, fast, 1km course. With some tired legs, I figured I had probably 2 or 3 good efforts so tried to make the best use of them. Was in a couple of promising moves, but as often happens the winning move went as I was caught.
Actually the field was putting in a good chase until a rider — right in front of me — rode over the legs of the barriers in the S/F section. He went down hard. Both he and his bike were tumbling end-over-end. I still don’t know how I managed to avoid going down also.
The crash took the momentum out of the chase. The break of 3 stayed away. I tried several more attacks but everything was chased. Right idea … just not the best timing. More than anything I was just happy to have avoided the crash.
One race left: the race against the traffic through Illinois until it magically opens up when you hit the Indiana turnpike.