So with the superweek racing starting off with a pretty good result, the next two days didn’t go all that hot. Two days ago was the Ray Basso criterium taking place in Bensonville, IL which is right outside of O’Hare Int. Airport. Throughout the race we were getting buzzed by jumbo jets taking off and landing. Wednesday seemed to be the single day that everyone took off because a lot of the big teams were not here. The MTN Continental team from South Africa took the day off, as did both Jelly Belly riders, the Taiwaneese team, Hotel San Jose and the Puerto Rican Team, needless to say the field was considerably smaller than the two days before. In addition to that the entire race venue was a complete ghost town. Aside from a group of toddlers playing at the playscape there was not a single spectator insight, a drastic contrast from the year before when there was a music festival and a boat load of people. Anyway Derek and I tried to stay aggressive in the early part of the race, thinking that an early move would go away due to the technical nature of the course and tough wind. Of course this was wrong and the big ‘lap the field’ breakaway went away midway through the race right after Derek and I had both been in moves and were pretty gassed. A few laps later Derek managed to make it into a 6 man break that didn’t quite lap the field but stayed away for the finish. This left me in a greatly reduced pack that pretty much soft pedaled untill the finish. We got lapped with two to go which automatically turned our race situation into one to go. The breakaway blew past the field like they were standing still, and I tried to jump on the train to maybe net some cash with a top twenty five finish. I finished 27th getting passed by two unlapped riders in the finishing sprint. Derek did manage to get 16th place making us $55 which meant total we made $20 for our three days of racing at superweek. That’s how it goes getting into the right move is always a crap shoot with a ton of really strong guys in the field.
Anyway two days of rest then off to Dayton for a few weekend races in Ohio that the entire Panther squad should be there for.
Enjoy this poorly shot video of some Arlington Heights criterium action (note the boat loads of spectators):