Mine’s a Pint - Glencoe Grand Prix 6/3
I remember in one report remarking with perhaps a little exaggeration that Glencoe is where people pop out for a pint of milk, in a Ferrari. Today its Glencoe Grand Prix day, and as I unload the team tent from my Rover, lo and behold there is a F430 parked up in front of Grand Foods on Hazell Ave.
So yes, this is the fantasy land of Glencoe. John Hughes, 16 Candles, Ferris Bueller, fabulous wealth, private beaches et al
But once again the folk of Glencoe have embraced cycling for the day with a big heart, and generously turned over their town center and lovely leafy lanes to our sport. It’s the biggest race of the year here and I’m happy to be part of it - as is the Half Acre Brewery - providing beer concessions and extensive sponsoring signage.
The HAC tent is up, and I’m warmed up ready for my Masters 45+ all cats race. It’s a great field, Burnham, Weather Channel, Intelligentsia, Zipp yep the gang’s all here. Glencoe does race numbers and callups by USAC rankings, and I’m bib #8, my best ever here, so I get to toe the line front row.
After the off, I realize I’m hardly #8, more like #last as I struggle with the criterium turns and the pace changes. My first crit of the year and skills feel very rusty. Gradually I get into the groove and it gets smoother. Sometimes the pace is electric, all out single line barely hang on. Sometimes it’s slow and the bunch swaps ends and bumps around. No breaks go off despite the primes and watch sprints. It’s generally a bit unmemorable mid-race, I wish we got to do the long course…
Overall the pace is high and riding exemplary, no crashes, no corner bombing. In fact, my going two wide into a corner causes unnecessary complaint at one point. Sir, you need to recall your last cat4 race 20 years ago or whatever, and the 5 wide crazy shit that went on there. A single line is not going to happen here and I don’t care who your sponsor is.
Unintimidated I work up the field from a pretty lowly position on the last lap and find a way around the outside on the back straight that gets me a few places. Around the last turn on the inside and charge the line, but the lead guys are so fast.
7th isn’t bad, and in this company I’m happy. I improved on my bib # by one. High fives from the team tent on the warm down lap. Enjoy the rest of the day watching the racing and lapping up rays. No pint of milk, no ferrari, but I will be popping back to Glencoe next year.