So this past weekend I raced the Inteligencia Cup in Chicago. This would be a series of four pro criteriums that I would compete in out of the 8 total races they had scheduled up in Chi-town.
The race seems to be the one that basically took over the old Superweek Races. For some you may have never heard of Superweek, but they were the bomb back in the day. Funny thing about the old Superweek races is, its one of the first places I ever raced.
Yep, thats right. My dad used to race and he would go up for the summer races and take me with him. So I have some great memories of those races.
All in all the race was well ran, but had extremely high entry fees; this definitely had to have an impact on the field size. We had around 50-65 racers every night, but lower fees and higher payouts, surely would have drawn double the field size. It literally was so high that we now have a running joke about the things that cost less than the entree fees at the Inteligencia Cup.
Anyways, the race was super fast and aggressive. Ill have to double check my Garmin, but all the races combined last I checked came out to an average speed of over 29 mph. Not bad for over 6 hours of racing. As for my racing, I did a bit of mixing it up with some solid attacks, especially since I knew I would not stand a chance in a field sprint with these guys.
The good news is one night my aggressive style actually paid off and I made a last second break and got to the line for a 9th place finish and actually cracked the top ten.
I have to say, I really enjoyed racing with these guys and I was feeling better and better as the days went by. I guess it probably had to do with me getting comfortable with the change of pace.
It definitely was some of the best racing in the Midwest/East Coast that I have done, but I think it could have been even harder if the field sizes were larger. However, like I said, this was the race organizations fault for the high entry fees.
On another note, I finally got to race the infamous Downers Grove course, which was one of the funnest crit courses that I have done. The thing I liked about it was that it was a mix bag, it could end in a break or it could end in a sprint, but you really wouldn’t have an idea until the final lap. I love that!
At the end of the day, I learned a lot from the racing I did up there and I really think that it helped make me become a way better and faster rider. Especially now that I know I can attack the big dogs.