Because road races are far and few here in Illinois I once again had to venture to the holy (cycling)land that is Wisconsin. Like 90% of my races this season, this one started with a caffeine induced extremely early morning 2-hour drive to the northern lands.
The first(and only real) road race of of the bloated superbeast that is Superweek was the 40 mile hilly, Pharma Pacific Tour of Holy Hill. As per the online information provided, the course was an 8.1 mile hilly loop through hilly farmland north of Holy Hill Church (now thats a hill I’d like to ride up). Of course the “hills” were more like rollers, neither super steep or long enough to really give a climber an advantage. Only one or two of these were long or steep enough to attack or breakaway, but they were all followed by steep long descents where all the bigger* guys would quickly catch up. All in all a pretty fun course especially for this flatlander.
After a delayed start, the pack of 4/5s of about 60-ish strong rolled out. After a short neutral section the gun went off and the pack ever so slowly started. Of my six road races this year none have ever started this slow. The pack was crawling, however that didn’t stop my heart rate from hovering, nay skyrocketing into the 170+ area, a sign of things to come. After a few miles of the first 8 mile lap, gaps started to form. Positioned in the mid-back of the pack I could hardly see what was going up front. From the beginning of the race I had noticed that xXx and the Cuttin’ Crew were strong in numbers. I had overheard xXx’s marking various CCC guys mainly Urbanski (Al). However team tactics would not really be on my brain today as i was riding solo with my main goal being to stick to a Cuttin’ Crew wheel to hopefully ride to a pack finish. Soon the gaps grew, my body redlined and before I knew it there was a big one, right in front of me. As the rear of the pack rounded a blind corner into an uphill wooded section I heard the familiar scraping banging of bikes on asphalt. Sure enough as I turned the corner several riders were collecting themselves off the ground…
That was where my race pretty much ended, as I went around the fallen dudes the pack had crested the hill and were off never to be seen again except in the distance whenever I was at the top of a hill. The rest of the 4 laps turned into survival mode. Working with several different dropped riders, I managed to finish in the 40s, with a bike throw nonetheless. The race would have been more fun had the fatigue of the previous weeks three crits not been there. However a shout-out to the state police escorts they rocked at the race, they made all oncoming traffic stop and pullover to let us pass. I wish I could see that more. Oh Superweek you sure do know how to make me hurt.
- Adrian Silva
*At 135 pounds 95% of the Peleton is bigger than me.