I went to the two major crits on the USA Crits, and NCC schedule this last week on the North Shore of Chicago. You can check out the articles (and give them the ol’ FB like) on Cyclingnews.com
- Devon Gorry Wins at Lake Bluff
- French Canadian ignores donuts in my bag and wins Lake Bluff
- Beth Leads Out at Glencoe But Can’t Take Van Gilder
- Former Marc Pro Strava rider drives winning break
I rewrote the headlines to reflect a strong NorCal presence in women’s races. It was cool to see the NorCal’s finest take on some of the country’s best and do well. Frida night was the Lake Bluff Twilight Criterium and Liza Rachetto and Devon Gorry took off with Kaitlin Antonneau for pretty much the whole race. I got to cheer on Newell, Liza, Devon, Kachorek, etc at Lake Bluff Twilight Criterium and then at the Glencoe GP ran into the whole Vanderkitten crew. Obviously I got a photo of them while i was there with Matthew Modine who just favorited my tweet. Wish he had RT’d it… i expect more from him.
I had dinner with Beth and I was reminded how hard it is to try and be a cycling pro, much less a woman cycling pro. These riders cobble together an existence while begging for time off from their employers since there is no way they can pay the bills. Jaime Carney (RideClean), who is very cool and has an opinion on everything, was pontificating about supporting womens racers. For the record his team supports both men and women who are at that crossroads of being big time. Some of the data he was rattling off, from his pro team DS days, made it all sink in so much more…
- Top female pro – $25k
- A few points down in NRC $18k
- Somebody that was overpaid in the market? Under $40k…
- Of course one of this includes Kristen Armstrong
I have my own opinion on the salary situation which I’d like to articulate at some point but it really drives home the point how much these folks love the lifestyle and sport to make it work.
A rider like Liza is all in. She’s made it work for almost 10 years at this point and is still winning national level races. I was so excited to see her and Gorry take off and take the top two spots on the podium. Liza lives without fear and in the moment. NorCal is lucky to have one like her around to help shephard the willing.
Now.. all that being said. Lake Bluff and Glencoe are another world. If god retired, and wanted to live in a picture perfect village in a sweet house, I bet it would pick one of these towns. The community was out in force for the party and event, and they had lawn chairs set up on every corner. I’d seen something similar at Sommerville before, but that was NJ. This was a whole other level. One house in Glencoe had about 20 chairs on the yard, a grills, drinks, you name it, and they were offering it to all the folks who walked by. All the neighbors though the bike race was the greatest thing in the world. I suppose the sweet spot for bike race locations is hole in the wall central Valley California towns, and highend-Chicago-suburbia.
I kept thinking to myself, this would be the perfect place for a single masters racer (i’m totally imaging Patrick Briggs here even though i have no idea what his relationship status is) who could still hang in a pro race, to come and try and pick up a divorcee in her late 30’s early 40’s at the after parties which seemed to be going pretty strong at both races. I like bike race parties. Maybe the midwest isn’t all bad.
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