Last Saturday was my turn to show the Heritage Race Club colors outside Chicago at the Heart of Illinois CX #3 in Peoria, Illinois. The 5 race series is new to Central Illinois and shows the growing popularity of cyclocross. Wild Life Prairie Park was the perfect venue for the race which included a variety of single track, off camber turns and open power sections. I lined up for the Masters 50+; the officials give us 30 seconds between Masters 30+, 40+ and 50+. I quickly settled in second wheel from the gun letting a local Bushwhacker rider take the lead, half way into the first lap we came up to the back of the Masters 40+ field. Not wanting to get caught up in traffic I attacked the leader and open a small gap riding a technical double bunny hop followed by a short but steep ledge. I went full gas to put as much track as possible between me and a rider who came all the way from Indianapolis who looked the strongest of the bunch. I figured you don’t drive 3 hrs. to a race unless you know you can do well, the attack worked and I kept riding hard passing all except the top 3 Masters 30+, taking 1st place in the Masters 50+ and notching my second win in the series.
Sunday the Chicago Cross Cup took the show to Woodstock, IL for round #8 of the series. Sadly the team was missing Matt Schweiker who crashed and broke his thumb the previous weekend and Lindsay Knight who was forced into office hours to grade papers.
Staged at the front row of the Masters 50+ I had my worst start this season, failing to engage my pedal at the whistle, I quickly lost at least 10 spots which forced me to go all out on the paved section to recover from the mishap. Made it up all the way to 4th wheel entering the wooded dirt section but, the damage was already done. I had put myself into the red from the gun which was against my plan on the tough race course, suffered for the first 2 laps riding in 6th place. Lap 3 hurt badly on the run-up and lost contact with 6th& 7th place, somehow I recovered and felt my strength coming back at the end of the lap finishing feeling much stronger in lap 4. Great feeling but not good enough to reel back in riders, finishing 8th place.
Patch Cebrzynski keeps carving his way to the top in the Cat 3’s with a solid performance finishing 10th after a hard fought battle.
In the Cat 1/2/3 race, team mates Mike Phillips and CCC series leader David Reyes blew up the field asserting their dominance in the elite category this season finishing 1st and 2nd. Mike took the lead early on setting an hard pace forcing the field to chase with David in tow. It was obvious the inevitable attack would come at any time after the Pony shop rider had buried himself chasing Mike. David launched his attack making contact with Mike 3 laps into the race, Mike and David seemed to be riding enduro motor bikes leaving the field to fight for 3rd place.
The team is currently ranked 3rd place in the Team Overall classification behind powerhouses Pony Shop and Verdigris teams, just awesome for a first year small team. We hope this will keep our sponsors engaged.
Next weekend the CCC moves to the NW burbs for back to back rounds #9 and #10 at the Hilton Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, IL a great venue for a weekend of racing.
See you at the races!
Heritage Race Club