McLaughlin, Klug, and Collegiate Racers Power to the Podium in Chicago
By Imelda March
This installment of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup traveled to the southern suburb of the Village of Lansing. The course was flat as a pancake; however, filled with multiple twisty sections and a loose sand pit. The tricky part of this course was a barrier just before the sand pit which forced a dismount followed by a quick mount straight into the sandpit. This section was renamed “hecklers lane” because it was lined with enthusiastic spectators who got creative as the race went on. The group decided to provide the riders with the un-official “dip for dollars” prime. The “hecklers” placed half-sunk dollar bills into the sand which forced the passerby riders to dismount and grab the dollar bills as they ran bye. The course itself was bone dry with no mud in sight since no precipitation had fallen the day before.
The weather was partly cloudy with periods of sun through out the race. Temperatures stayed steady in the low 30 degree Fahrenheit; however, as the day progressed things did not get any better as the wind picked up and the thermometer dipped south. By late afternoon a few flurries started falling and embrocating was highly recommended.
Twenty one collegiate riders represented the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) in which they earned points in their respected categories.
In the Elite Women’s race, it was Killjoy vs. Verdigris Custom Homes. The Elite Women kept a close watch on each other; however, Holly Klug (Killjoy) took the opportunity to take on the duo from Verdigris Custom Homes. Klug (Killjoy) kept on the gas and gained a slight lead. She kept her lead all the day to the finish. She was followed by Debbie Dust (Verdigris Custom Homes) in 2nd with June Upshaw (Verdigris Custom Homes) rounding out the podium.
Elite Men and Collegiate Men A
The Collegiate Men A race was combined with the Elite Men. This combination represented a 25 man field. In the first part of the race, Scott McLaughlin (Sram) was concerned with staying ahead of the both the collegiate and the other Elite riders. He pushed the pace hard. Further back two Lindsay Wilson College men were keen on catching McLaughlin. Clayton Omer (Lindsay Wilson College) and Daniel Estevez (Lindsay Wilson College) caught up with McLaughlin (Sram) and began playing tag. Fast forward to 1.5 laps to go and McLaughlin gets dropped by Omer who rode the sandpit cleanly. Omer kept the effort hard and McLaughlin was not able to gain on him. Clayton Omer (Lindsay Wilson College) was the eventual race winner followed by Scott McLaughlin (Sram). The win for McLaughlin (Sram) in the Elite Men division represented his fourth win within the series. Kevin Klug (Killjoy) rolled in after McLaughlin earning 2nd in the Elite division followed by Daniel Estevez (Lindsay Wilson College) who earned second in the collegiate segment. He was followed by Brian Conant (Pony Shop) who earned 3rd in the Elite category while Derek Lan (Purdue University) pick up 3rd in the collegiate division.
Lindsay Wilson College did not want to leave anything to chance, as a result, two women from this mountain bike powerhouse showed up to earn the top points. The collegiate women were combined with the category 4 women and this made for a crowded 22 women field; however, only three represented the collegiate segment. Ashley James (Lindsay Wilson College) took immediate command of the race and pushed hard with each lap. Her lead reached a gargantuan 60 seconds. She earned the 80 points with little difficulty. James swept the collegiate weekend that began Saturday at Purdue University. Ashley James will be part of Team Kenda NRC Elite team for 2009. Emily Benson (Lindsay Wilson College), her teammate took 2nd while Rebecca Chan (University of Illinois) took 3rd.
The next stop for the Chicago Cyclocross Cup is the Ed Brophy Memorial Cross #9 scheduled for Sunday, November 23 in Woodstock, Illinois. This cause event will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Additional information about his race and the series can be found by visiting http://www.chicrosscup.com