Fine day of racing. I spent the morning watching the races and saying whatever I damn well pleased over the loudspeaker (for all to hear!). Undoubtedly you've read the race reports or heard about the Cat. 5's, 4's women's 3/4, Juniors and kids race. Cat. 3's were on deck at 1:30pm.
I put down the mic and suited up.
At the start were Marcus, Brandon, Shover and myself. The field was a bit smaller than I was used to but it was a select group including Adam Lesnikowski (2nd Downers Grove Cat 3 2004) and Matt O'Keefe (1st Downers Grove Cat IV 2004). By the start the day had reinvented itself and the course was almost dry the entire way around. We set off as though it was a glorious day and carefully applied the hammer. Because the field was small, no attack got away unanswered. The surging field was nervous about missing a vital separation although as it turns out one formed anyway. XXX was very aggressive and covered most moves ultimately landing 2 riders in the break that stuck. Shover and I were in the well represented break with only Vox Vodka and the all-encompassing "unattached" squad of which Mr. O'Keefe belongs to left scrambling to reel us in.
The break worked relatively efficiently together. Most members of the break were willing to take the front. Marcus and Brandon worked to control the field. Just before one to go, Shover came to the front and gave it the gas pulling us into a single file line. Shover pulled off coming into turn 3, the pace lulled and the organization went out the window. There were a few anxious looks, "what now?". We were really too far from the finish to begin the sprint. People were jumping all over the road. I grabbed the nearest wheel and rode it into the last turn. I jumped in the 13 shifted to the 12. I was praying for an extra cog. Luckily I put on the 'I live in Chicago' cassette for Sherman Park. Hello, Mr. 11! I was able to come around but missed the leaders and settled for 3rd.
It was a great day of racing and another reason I'm really proud to be a member of XXX Racing.