by Kelly Clarke
Beverly Bike-Vee Pak hosts the third stop of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup (CCC), Dan Ryan Woods, which boasts the most elevation gain of the series. Rooted and punchy climbs, fast, off-camber descents combined with a succession of short barriers, to test bunny-hopping skills while redlining, create one of the most technically challenging courses in the CCC. Unseasonably hot weather and strong winds added to the defiance. Despite the Chicago Marathon and Trek CXC Cup happening nearby, races filled with stiff competition.
Annicka Campbell-Dollaghan (BFF Bikes) had the hole shot in the Elite Women’s race, but Amelia Moore (Chicago Cuttin Crew) passed her before the three short barriers, a quarter of the way through the first lap. Moore has a history of impressive race results, but took three years off to focus on school. In her second cyclocross race back, she held a lead for 45 minutes to win despite lacking confidence on the courses more technical aspects. Afterwards she exclaimed, “I forgot how much FUN that was!”
Kae Takeshita (Plus One Cycling), last year’s CCC Women’s Category 3 overall series leader, was anxious to race after being off the bike with a knee injury. Earlier this year she podiumed at the Barry Roubaix 62-mile gravel race in Hastings, MI and placed second at Gravel Worlds in Lincoln, NE behind Rebecca Rusch. Dan Ryan Woods was a harsh return to racing, but Takeshita was able to finish in second place. Lindsay Knight (Heritage Race Club), has been working her way through the CCC’s top ten of the Women’s Elite field the last two seasons. Here she earned a third place finish to tack on to her recent accolades. (Knight completed a doctorate in Political Science at the University of Chicago earlier this year).
Michael Dutczak (EGO p/b Sammy’s Bikes) and David Reyes (Heritage Race Club) both competed in Trek CX Cup’s UCI race Saturday, so they didn’t line up at Dan Ryan Woods with the freshest legs on Sunday. Brandon Feehery, who rides for Astellas Cycling Team during road season, won the Elite Men’s race at Beverly HILLS Saturday, the warm-up race for Dan Ryan Woods, held on the same grounds. All three men forged their way to the front of the field early in the Elite Men’s race.
On the second lap, Dutczak fumbled on a set of barriers that served as a bookend to the course. This left Reyes to fight through headwind on the long straightaway to start the third lap. Looking back after reaching the first long climb, he realized that he was now riding alone. This was not an ideal situation in strong winds, but this course’s constant elevation changes suited Reye’s abilities. He held this lead for the remainder of the race to win and earned the series leader jersey for the first time this season. Reyes was the overall series leader for the 2014 series.
Dutczak and Feehery were left to duke it out with Scott McLaughlin (SRAM Factory) and Andrew Giniat (Green Bay Cycles). These four riders stuck together like glue for most of the race, but the tenacious Dutczak broke away and brought the lead down to half a minute for second place. Feehery finished thirty seconds behind him in third.
The popular kids course was set up for riders less than ten years old. Imperial Oak Brewery supplied adult post-race beverages, and local culinary schools Kennedy-King College and Le Cordon Bleu, supplied crepes, all funded by the gracious race promoters, Beverly Bike-Vee Pak. Carbo Rocket kept the electrolytes in check in the unexpected heat with race and recovery beverages.
After a week of needed rest following this crusher of a course, the CCC rolls over to Main Street Bicycles Sasquatch Squadron’s new course at Randall Oaks Park, complete with petting zoo. The community is looking forward to a fresh race from these seasoned course designers.
For more information visit: www.chicrosscup.com