Second year of its revival sees the Tour Of Glen Ellyn reaching a peak of excellence. The back stretch has been repaved and is smoother than the salesmen driving the pace cars, the roundabout has had the barriers pulled back a bit, and presents an option, go round or hop over the low kerbs TdF style. Even the U-bend at the bottom of the course seems smoother and less troubling. The setting is still magnificent, so picturesque. The eponymous lake glittering in the sun of a 78 degree day.
So much for a recce (recon) lap. After the womens race ends we stage straight up, and some politeness at the gap in the barriers leave the HAC crew of self, Jacob and Jeff well at the back.
My ever recalcitrant keo blades finish the job, by turn one I'm probably 40 of 50.
The hot laps that then unfold leave me in a good old fashioned organ grinding, gasping and struggling to make up places. After about 8 laps I’m finally up to a comfortable position. Not great but within the smoother riding lead group, neatly cornering. I can make up a place or two a lap just on the back straight or surprisingly up the little hill. But what’s the hurry, I can cruise along for a bit. Get a breath.
Crash. The sound of carbon and rider hitting the deck and sliding. Just ahead.
One has overcooked a turn, collected another and two more pile right in. I'm just behind. Brake. Swerve with surprising coolness over to the inside. Dodge the loose bike that slides across the road towards. Accelerate away from the mayhem hard, with the callous cruelty of a roadie.
I'm joined by one other but we are gapped 100 yards from the lead bunch of 12 who are similarly kicking their opponents to death while they are on the floor. From there on the chase is futile and we team time trial in swapping pulls and neat cornering lines to the end, when the devious bastard pips me at the line. Thats road racing right there.
~Bevan Brookfield, M35+ P14/52