Nowak Report: Cross Cup Round #1 @ Jackson Park

Hi everyone, back for another exciting season of 'cross!

Yesterday was the first race in the Chicagoland Cyclocross Cup series at Jackson Park on Lake Michigan. Now for most people, it was a perfect day for riding your bike, but for most cyclocrossers, it was anything but perfect. The sun was shinning, the temp. was above 60, and not a cloud in the sky...

Ken Krebs and I drove down to Jackson Park and when we arrived at 8:30, the course was still being setup. Due to the Chicago Park Dist. putting in curbs on an access road, the area that the course was going to be run would be a bit different. Many of the typical areas from previous years would be used, but the long asphalt section and short run-up was gone. The course was almost pan flat, with two very short run-ups, several long bumpy grass sections, q few short pavement sections, and an interesting "run-down". Overall, the course was more technical than in past years and required exceptional bike handling skills with big efforts out of 180 degree and 90 degree turns to get back up to speed.

The most impressive aspect of the race was the large fields that came out. The first races were the 30+ Masters, 40+ Masters, and Women's Open. There was a total of 94 racers in those 1st 3 races alone. The 30+ started, and once they were out of the start chute the 40+ started. ABD did not have a presence in the 30+ race, but there was me, Ken, Scott Boyd, and Ed Bartley in the 40+. Before the first lap was even halfway done, we were already integrating with the backend of the 30+ which made for some difficult riding. I had my typical good start and was with the leaders, but after 2 laps the efforts of closing gaps due to the technicality and slower 30+ riders began to wear on me. I lost contact, and started to be passed by some guys, but slowly recovered and continued to increase the pace. I ended up 11th, Ken was 15th, Scott 21st, and Ed 25th.

Other ABD'ers was Sue Semaszczuk in 5th and Gina Kenny 7th in Women Cat 4. I didn't see anyone else, but also was gone before the Cat 3, Cat 1/2, and Cat 4 races started.

Right now there are 6 races total in the series (up from 4 last year). Check out www.chicrosscup.com for details.

ABD is hosting one of the races on Oct. 28th. We have secured a park in Bartlett for our venue, and this is the first "shout-out" for volunteers. We will need registration folks, and course setup and tear-down. Also, we could possibly use a few people to hang by the barriers to make sure that there are no issues with them. I'm sure Ebert will be sending something out also.

Next week is another "Bandit" 'cross in Buffalo Grove (see www.harperride.net for info).

There may be a 'cross practice the weekend of Oct. 6th depending upon a few things. I may also try to do something on a Wed. also. This would be low key and the focus would be on technique (similar to Ebert's bumper bike). I'll let you know. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading,


Marshall Report: Kenosha Crit


I competed in last weekends crit race in Kenosha. It was my second crit race ever, having done my first in Lombard earlier this summer.

Anyhow, after cycling 66 miles the day before, I wasn't sure just how I would do, but after a fairly good warmup, I went to the start line for the Masters 50+ race.

Being behind schedule they decided to shorten race from 45 min. + 2 laps, to 30 min. + 2 laps.

Were off...took it right to the back, and settled into a relaxed mode. After about 10 minutes, a couple guys attacked, stayed on, mostly in or near the back. Somewhere around 25 minutes things started to get crazy.

Again, survived the attacks, and on back stretch somewhere around 27 minutes, Richard Adamczyk turned head to look back, and in doing so, touched Andy Kerrs wheel, and went down, pretty hard too (I was behind and witnessed his crash).

Ok, now were around the 3rd corner, and I make a very subtle sweeping move to the front, right around the start line, and clock is showing 28 minutes. I clear turn one, and continue around to turn two, with group right on my tail.

Then on back stretch, into the wind, I start to build a small gap. I stayed very relaxed, focused (per Mike Eberts advice)and came around to see clock out, and were onto the final +2 laps.

I continued pressing onward, working pretty hard, still relatively relaxed, mostly pushing hardest on the windy back stretch. Ok, now around turn four and hear bell lap...and wow, I'm about 150 meters or more ahead of the attacking field.

I pass start line and onto final lap, thought maybe I can hold this lead, so worked pretty hard on stretch one and two (with wind & cross wind sections), but slowed on windy stretch into a resting high cadence rythem....BIG MISTAKE OF THE DAY!|

Not knowing it, Richard Adamczyk got a FREE LAP (JUST BARELY BEFORE 3 LAP RULE)...and guess what he is charging hard, around final turn he catches me. I try to come back on him, but it's too late, as I'm was probably in to big a gear to get a sprint even going. I do close on him, but he wins by a little over a wheel!

So...I get second, in my second crit ever, and was still happy, as my original plan was to finish somewhere in the pack.



My second race was the Cat 4 Race....was pretty tired, didn't quit though....jus a 22 mph workout off the back! Sorry guys...no energy left to help...BIG THANKS TO BEN DEMONG, FOR WARNING ME AROUND TURN 3 THAT THEIR COMMING ON ME FAST....WENT WIDE TO LET THEM THRU!

P.S. - Received 22 ROTY points, however, I'm now a marked man...for upcomming Fall Fling Crits!

Bob Marshall/
ABD Multisport


Keeley Report: Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic

I travelled to Grand Rapids last weekend to race in the priority Health Grand Cycling Classic crit on Saturday. My bro-in-law (that got me into cycling) lives up there and it is always nice to see different riders and courses. It was the innaugural event and was held in downtown. The course was 1.2k and consisted of a few block- long rough cobble sections that were quite bumpy and was mostly flat. The payouts were quite nice with lots of primes ($200 to the cat 4/5 winner), so perhaps a good race for abders to check out next year. I was hoping for a large chunk of that prize list, but was only able to muster 13th place and a $25 prime. After racing 7 of the last 8 weeks, I think my body was a little worn out. In the race, I was pinched against a barrier on the outside of a pileup with 6 to go and had to chase back into the group. I was not in great position before the hold-up, so not sure if I would have finished better, but a guy can dream. Other than that, the pace was pretty high, as there was a prime almost every other lap and pretty safe (2 wrecks which I mostly avoided). Stuck around and watched the pro race, which was a bit thin but VERY entertaining. The "Stars and Bars" were there on the back of hometown here Kirk O'bee, but he faded in the last lap, probbaly working to position Karl Menzies, who took the victory in a field sprint. I watched it all from the terrace of some italian restaurant with a cocktail in each hand. Again, what a cool event...

Bertucco Report: Blueberries and Red Lions

Hello Racing Fans,

Did you know that Hammonton, New Jersey is "The Blueberry Capital of the World?"

Yeah...me neither. But there it was...a very official looking road sign in big letters along today's flat, fast and windy road race course. It would have been nice to see some actual cartons of blueberries at a roadside fruit stand, or at least some picked over blueberry bushes, but no such luck. I did see some juicy slices of blueberry pie at the local Red Lion diner (a diner that came complete with full-sized red-stone lion statue in the parking lot---c'mon, gotta love Jersey style!).

I've since decided that inspite of the lack of evidence, I will still believe that boastful sign. Mostly because once I heard this story on National Public Radio about how there are only a few states in this country that can grow cranberries and, yes, New Jersey is one of them. I know, cranberries have nothing to do with blueberries, but in my mind I've made some kind of bizarre berry connection.

Anyway, back to the racing action. The following is a list of reasons why I (and you) shouldn't care about my 4th place finish Sunday in the category 1/2/3 Blueberry Bicicletta Road Race:

Despite the cancellation of the nearby and extremely popular Bear Mountain road race, the Blueberry cat 1/2/3 start list grew to only 15 racers.
The advertised 63-mile, 4-lap race was cut to down to 47 miles.
The promoter, after asking if everyone had health insurance, informed us that the race would technically not be licensed by USA Cycling until the following Monday and gave us the option of not racing. Sketchy, right?
As the 4th place finisher, I am the winner of some apparently very expensive clothing items from the "$750 in merchandise" prize list. There is the 2005 Tour de France hat, a size XXL t-shirt that says "speed bump" on it, and a size small 2005 Tour de France t-shirt. I'm still undecided on whether I should gain or lose a tremendous amount of weight this winter.
So why I am still pretty happy to have placed 4th?
Because I've been racing long enough (downtube shifters anyone?) to know that for most of us, placing in a race comes few and far between.
Because smaller fields means fewer places to hide from the wind.
Because there were at least 5 guys (including myself) that wanted a slug-fest of a race making it impossible to remember all of the attacks and counter-attacks.
Because bike racing is hard. Period.
Because my brand new fiance (Sarah said yes Labor Day weekend in Vermont at the Green Mountain Stage Race) is proud of me. And that's what really matters.
Sometimes I think us racers are too critical, too quick to look for the negative, too quick to discount the value of small moments that don't matter to anyone but you and your biggest fans. Or maybe that's just me. But if not, the next time you do something good, head on over to the Red Lion diner and celebrate with a piece of blueberry pie.

-Marc Bertucco