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,

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