Monday, July 28, 2008

The Chicago Criterium!!!

This Grant Park venue for today’s race was second to none! The promoters did an outstanding job through and through. Everything ran as an event should-Superweek promoters could learn a lot from these people. Punctual start times, friendly volunteers, smooth check-in, 2x JUMBO-tron’s & more… Thank you sponsors and City of Chicago!

Now to the race report… The course layout was great. The second turn was the only real concern I had (slick pavement and tight corner with 4 lanes consolidated to 2) as it was recipe for disaster.

As I took a long warm-up amongst the sea of the large local teams, I was anticipating a very fast & very tough race that would see many attacks. I needed to stay at the front all day (ready to go with an attack & stay safe).

Unbelievably, none of that took place. There were a few attacks but nothing worth chasing. There were some large prime’s that the field was more interested in so I just sat in near the front and waited for an opportunity. I started to chase a prime but wasn’t in the right sport coming out of the last turn so I sat up. I needed to be top 5 out of the last turn at the finish…

Last lap and the field was in tact & incredibly jumpy. I was about 1/3rd back and managed to find some holes on the back-stretch. There was 1-away (early attack) and the field was bunching up in the turns (with others diving into the corners) so I jumped. I figured it was my only chance to place or stay safe through the finish. I made a clear break from the field with 1 in tow while approaching the last turn. I hit the last turn full-tilt & ready to jump again and then it happened…

Some morons decided to dive into the last turn and take me (and many others) out from the side. It’s ridiculous, stupid and just plane lame!
I went from 2nd, to DNF, to medical, just that fast. I ended up sliding across 4 traffic lanes and through the metal barriers. A great venue & great race ruined by selfish & ignorant racers with the inability to handle a bike!!! Jackasses! Major jackasses!


Anonymous said...

323I saw that accident and it really was scary. Only my 3rd race with the other 2 being a bit more spacious ( 2007 Tour of Missouri final leg) and more parade-like (2005 Tour de France final day). To see some 12-15 bikes, and 2-3 bodies flying over the barricade was a scene I hope to never see again. I hope you recover and make it back to the saddle soon. As part of the management of the race I appreciate your kind words about the event. Best wishes!

Mike ( and Megan) said...

Hrmpf, Wisconsin riders!

That sucks. Not sure what the problem was this year with guys not knowing how to ride. All it takes is one...

Sounds like you had a great race minus the last lap.

Heal up, upgrade to a 2 and tell me what it's like to race and not have to worry about being taken out in every damn corner!

Great seeing you again this year, hopefully next year I'll actually be able to see you race :P

Eric said...

Please, let me be the first to congratulate you on your perfect bike-racing pedigree. Not only have you never caused a race accident, but apparently you have some inside connection in the cosmic control room indicating that you never will. At least, I hope that's the case. Some of us tend to believe karma's a bitch.

If a racer is man enough to post that he could have handled a 35 mph, split-second situation better than he did, it's a dang shame that you couldn't step up to that level and accept his explanation. Calling people "jackasses" and posting your personal shopping list of bike parts on a fellow racers' blog is, at best, an immature attempt to lay an undeserved guilt trip on someone you don't know. Criteriums are chaotic. 100-person fields, huge prize lists and DEVELOPMENTAL categories are chaotic. Further, we all learn in Racing 101 not to race upon parts that you can't replace.

The punch line is that from other reports, the rider you tried to electronically trample on wasn't even the true cause of your crash. Not to mention that he is both a highly skilled racer AND a sincere, polite and selfless guy that I'm lucky to call a teammate.

We're very proud of the race scene here - the races are fast and intense and all the major players have an intimate knowledge of each other's strengths and weaknesses. We also have an intimate respect that goes deeper than a crash or two, which is why we don't go on name-calling sprees on the interwebs.

I sincerely wish you good luck back in Texas, where the racers aren't bloody murderers and y'all tip your hats before passing on the left. If the Superweek organizers bow to your demands (many of which I do agree with) we'd be happy to have you back for a second shot at a cleaner finish. Safe roads and tailwinds - Eric Goodwin, vitaminwater-Trek

Anonymous said...

Hey, that guy is offering a portion of the $15 he found to anybody who was involved in the crash he (may have) caused.

You should get in on that. How much do Zipps cost these days?

Good luck

Anonymous said...

You racing Downers this weekend? Podium party like last year?
Tim Keeley