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Mine’s a Pint

Mine’s a Pint

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

Racing Happens. Rain or Shine

Glencoe is the sort of place where people pop out for a pint of milk, in a ferrari.  Growing up in the UK I used to watch movies like 16 candles, and think how unlikely it was, all these teens trashing big houses, driving rolls-royces and porsches. Not any more.

One thing the 1% cannot change yet is the weather, and the weather is not co-operating today, on Glencoe Grand Prix day.  Its 70 and rainy when I arrive. I number up and ride around the leafy avenues for a bit warming up for the masters 1,2,3 race. The 5s are racing. A cold gust of wind suddenly blows in, the temperature is plummeting faster than the economy with a Bush in the whitehouse. I scurry back to the car for another layer. 50 and rain. Great.

Race underway and the drenched course has to be cornered slowly, and watch for those drain covers. The masters hurl up the straights at quite a pace and braking is late but smooth.  Nobody is bombing corners, it’s all very fast and controlled. And wet.

There are plenty of attacks, but its hard to get away before the next rain soaked corner to brake for, so the bunch just gets strung out into a single line and reforms.  Holding a wheel with rain and grit flinging up into your face is unpleasant, so I’m happy to be pulling the group round for a lap, making sure I hold it long enough to get a shout out from Kenny Labb on the podium. Then it’s back to some glencoe exfoliating wash.

Its hard to imagine being wetter. Feet are soggy, everything is soaked and dirty, rain lashes down and splashes up from sheets of standing water. I’m shivering, shivering at 160bpm.
Final laps and things are getting a little rawer as the bunch snakes around seeking shelter and advantage. I’m moving over for the narrowing road after the finish line, and a wisconsin rider moves the other way to grab the wheel in front, oh shit. My shoulder and elbow meet him, he slides off me smooth as an eel, we are both still upright. Keep going.

Last lap and I catch a wheel up to top 5 and hold it there, but exhaustion and hand cramp from all the braking are hurting hard. You have to pull the brakes so hard when rims are wet . Theres some jockeying on park ave and I loose a spot, last time round onto the finish and the weather channel boys are up front, and its two wide through the turn, I’m inside and lose a touch of momentum. The long run to the line gets me those places back and 6th.  In the money and upright at the end. Next race will be warm and dry, please.

~Bevan Brookfield

Wheelin and dealin...

Riding towards the course, I looked up nervously at the oncoming storm clouds and took a deep breath and hoped that the rain clouds were moving slowly enough to not get to use for another 40 min or so. This year we got staring positions determined by our overall points. I looked around for the 25th marker and found my start position. The announcer welcomed us and to my surprise the crowd erupted. After the whistle blew I quickly moved up to about fifth. We passed through the maze of corners and up a slight hill completing the first lap.

Everyone continued feeling out the course and the race was rather tranquil until I was descending and entering a right hand corner and the sidewall of my rear tire exploded . Lucky I had noted the location of the SRAM neutral support location that was reasonably close by. As I ran up the hill towards the tent clicking and slipping all the way up I heard “jake no” and “shoulder that thing”. Upon arrival the mechanic worked quickly and my bike had a Zipp 404 on it. The lead group of riders came towards me and  3, 2, 1, go! I got a good push and was back up to speed and at the back of the pack -- it was not as much as a ‘brake’ as I would have expected.

I proceed carefully on the new wheel evaluating it for a half a lap before deciding it was up to the task at hand (not to mention I had a half lap before the technical section of the course). Moving back up to my original position I came down the incline took two right turns and in the middle of the road ahead was a rider on the ground. I smartly passed him and then a ferocious attack accumulated.

With two laps to go the aggression in the lead group peaked and every one scuffled for position. I lost a few positions. With one lap to go I realized that it was time to move up or lose my chance to do well. I attacked up the slight incline and latched onto a Spider Monkey for the lead out. Just then, I saw another rider who I thought would be a better wheel and switched -- to my dismay he was a slower rider. I passed through the last corner rather uncleanly. I may have burnt too many matches during the race and could not out accelerate anyone. Finishing 12th. 

-Jake Cramer


Taking Control at Glencoe

Sunday started by greetings with the other Half Acre's and to talk about each others goals. A few of us had 2 races but wanted to make some noise. With Chris confident he can keep the field in control, he recommended we all take a turn at the front, and keep to the front. We lined up near the front, it was 6 Half Acres and we had a plan.

Chris did exactly what we thought, after Jeremiah and I took a turn at the front, Chris maintained tempo of the race with a few other guys. We lost Ryan to a chain on lap 1, and Tim hit the front so hard he went to the back, Bryan stayed closer to the front. With the primes, we stayed on "alert mode" in the front and never let anyone get away, thanks in huge part to Chris.

With 3 laps to go I was expecting a rush to the front, so I stayed focused on keeping my position, the pace increased, I could see new riders near the front and I kept them away from slipping in, I was defending my position and ready to sprint at any point.

With the last lap bell, there was a push to the front and after turn 2...Jeremiah went completely off!! Taking a flyer up the side, with a few wheels on him, Jeremiah was at sprint pace, and as a result he strung out the front to a single line of about 10 riders into corner 4. I saw a bunch take a wide line and go around him, I took a slightly tighter line and started on a sprint to someone further ahead. I pushed as hard as I could and made up all the ground and crossed the line just short of his front wheel. An exhilarating and satisfying end to a very hot race!

If I were to ever have a race where our team could create the perfect plan to send me sprinting to the finish line, this was it. I can't say enough about my teamates Chris and Jeremiah, they created this to happen, and their efforts put Half Acre on the podium! Thanks guys.

 -Tom MacNeill-Zimmerman

Elite Cat 4 Report: the Elite was Understated

The day of Glencoe Grand Prix 2009 was one of those days that's now forever burned into my memory - literally. I assume every race report of this race will probably have some mention of the high temperature and thick humidity that was probably in the 100 degree range. I felt a little silly packing gear in the car and the dash telling me it's 92 degrees out, and that's at 10 am. I still managed a smile because I could reflect back to how much I hate Chicago winters, and that was motivation enough.

Getting to the start line I realized that I managed to easily find the back of the field. After a "D'oh" moment to myself while rolling up to the back of the start, I knew that it was going be a long day after all.

Fast forwarding to the end because it's all I really remember... after 45 minutes of profusely sweating and feeling as though I'm in a smelly uncooled unventilated high school boy's locker room with the stench overwhelming me (which was probably my own), riders crossed the finish line in spectacular fashion.

It was great to be out there with those that raced and those that came out to watch us. There's always winners and losers, but in a lot of ways I felt crossing that line was a type of win itself at Glencoe, and I've got some great sunburn as my prize. (Photo: Amy)

 -Stan Sterlinski

A good day at Glencoe

Race reports are coming (really, swear...) but Half Acre Cycling had a good day at the Glencoe Grand Prix! 

In total, 11 HAC riders toed the line in three different fields.  Congratulations to Thomas MacNeill-Zimmerman for his 2nd place in the Men's Category 5 field, with teammates  Chris Jensen finishing in 8th and Jeremiah Smith 15th, and to Stan Sterlinski for 6th place in the Men's Category 4.

Plus, the <a href="">Half Acre tent</a> was overflowing with teammates supporting our road crew, bringing a loud cheering section and even <a href="">a famed PMU waving hand.</a>  Word on the street is that they had several cases of fun.