2014 PSIMET Fox River Omnium
This Omnium encompasses my favorite and least favorite races to compete in. They are by far my favorite races to watch. The Omnium is comprised of the Elgin Cycling Classic and the Fox River Grove Criterium. The Elgin Cycling Classic is a six corner L shaped course. Flat through left-hand turns one and two, a short climb up the first quarter of the back stretch, level to the left hand turn three with a downhill into another left-hand turn five with a quick upslope into the only right-hand turn in six. Then a hundred fifty yard sprint to the finish. The course is a little technical and all of the corners give ample opportunity for someone to attempt a break.
My first race of the morning was the Men’s Cat 4 race. Eight-thirty start time has me warming up when it has even broken 50°. I’m really glad I packed my knee warmers. As far as the race, not much to write about here. I was feeling good… then I wasn’t. Fifteen minutes in I’m at the tail end of the back. The rider two wheels up gets gapped and I and next-to-last rider, Gary Dicicco from Bike Haven, attempt to bridge back for the next two laps. The Gary made a last attempt to bridge, and I was left with my thoughts for three laps. I hopped on with two other riders as they caught and passed me and we swept up two other riders. Five laps after seeing him go, I learned that Gary had failed in his attempt to bridge as we swept him up. We picked of a few more riders and had a rather anti-climactic sprint as we were pulled. The officials were considerate to give us a one to go before pulling us, so we got to pretend and sprint a little at the end. For whatever reason, I wasn’t feeling it and finished 29th.
The Masters 4/5 race was a big contrast. The sun came out, it warmed up and my cheering section extraordinaire showed up in the forms of my lovely wife, Lisa and son Matthew. We had a good number of PSIMET riders in the field including Andrew Lowe, Kurt Bentsen, John Meyer, Randall Swanson & Matt Sebo. I hung around the front of the field and about fifteen minutes in, Andrew Lowe is in a group of three that has eased off the front and is hanging about 50 yards off the front going down the back stretch. I’m content to hang on the front and set a false pace with the two xXx riders who also have a rider in the break. Then another xXx rider eases up and I’m boxed in. I figure that if xXx is intent on blocking then they done need my help and if we can establish a four man break with two PSIMET riders in it, all the better. I jumped going into turn three and by turn four I’ve covered half the gap. I’ve got a clear line going through the chicane and I’m able to ease onto the back of the group halfway to the start-finish line. Halfway down the back stretch we are caught by another PSIMET jersey, that has Tower bibs paired with it. I’m a little confused by this but welcome another red jersey being flown by Mark Misicko. Somebody apparently thought it was a bad idea to have three guys with the same jerseys in a five man break and while the field is strung out, it is pretty much back together headed for the chicane. About 27 minutes in, a Mad City Velo rider is off the front and a Bloomington Cycles rider attempts to bridge. Andrew Lowe is immediately on his wheel and there are several xXx riders, myself, Kurt Bentsen and Mox rider Chris Kim at the front. There ends up being about six riders in the break and Kurt and I do a good job of sitting on at the front and setting a false pace. xXx also has a rider in the break and three of their riders join and we effective control the rest of the field until, much to the dismay of his teammates, a xXx rider attacks and attempts to bridge to the break. He makes it, but has the rest of the field in tow. Going into the last lap, the Mad City Velo rider is off the front with a Wild Card rider and I’m sitting about fifteenth going down the back stretch. I picked up several spots between turn three and four and missed tenth by a half a bike length. I take eleventh, my best road finish to date.
Sunday is Fox River Grove. I’m not a climber. I didn’t finish last. Mercifully, I’m the first rider pulled. I end up 37th of 39 finishers. Back on my diet and additional hill training is added to the training schedule.