In a stupor: more from Super Week
Guest columnist Jonas Carney of Prime Alliance has been reporting on this year's International Cycling Classic in Wisconsin. This is his latest report. Every year the races at Super Week are difficult to win. This year is no exception. There are no teams with enough power to control the field, and so it's almost always a break. No matter what, you have to plan on some serious suffering. First, you've gotta make the break and go pull for pull with Viktor Rapinski or Hilton Clarke or John Lieswyn until you lap the field. After that you have to cover every attack. Then it's time to fight it
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By Jonas Carney, Prime Alliance cycling team
Guest columnist Jonas Carney of Prime Alliance has been reporting on this year’s International Cycling Classic in Wisconsin. This is his latest report.
Every year the races at Super Week are difficult to win. This year is no exception. There are no teams with enough power to control the field, and so it’s almost always a break. No matter what, you have to plan on some serious suffering.
First, you’ve gotta make the break and go pull for pull with Viktor Rapinski or Hilton Clarke or John Lieswyn until you lap the field. After that you have to cover every attack. Then it’s time to fight it out with every Tom, Dick (and there’s a lot of those) and Harry, in an insane field sprint after 100K.
Nobody gets an easy win at Super Week.
The good thing is that it is real racing. Not like the normal NRC crap we do with 10 riders per team. You actually have to read the race, be smart, and maybe a little lucky.
Sometimes, if you’re really powerful, you can cause the breakaway yourself. Regardless, you better be able to outsprint the fastest guys, which isn’t easy.
So far this year, Hilton and Viktor have proved to be the strongest. Each has won multiple stages. Unfortunately Viktor cracked Hilton on Sunday in the Benson, IL crit, so we probably won’t get to see them battle to the death.
Hilton quit the race out of frustration and somehow Viktor managed to win. With temperatures around 100 degrees and 90 percent humidity Dave McCook, Pelle Kil and Mark Southard got away early and stayed away all day.
The race touted $10,000 in primes, but after spending 40 miles off the front the breakaway had only brought in a combined total of $750.
Needless to say they were a little miffed. That’s right, miffed. Viktor made the second break and after they all lapped the field he took the sprint.
Hilton is now content to just go for stage wins. It has worked so far, as he was able to win the Green Bay stage. Twelve guys lapped and then we (Prime Alliance) sneak attacked the Schroeder leadout on the last lap in an attempt to deliver McCook. It didn’t matter though, as Hilton was the fastest and took win.
Things haven’t gone so well for us. Even with fresh guys coming in (Walrod and Candelario) we have yet to take a stage. In the Lake Front Road Race I made the nine-man break which stayed away all day. After being in the break for 80 miles I flatted out.
Harm Jansen tried to persuade the other guys to wait for me since I had worked all day in the break, but for obvious reasons they didn’t want to. I know damn well why Harm wanted to wait. A large breakaway will always gang up on the fastest sprinter, and without me, Harm was the fastest sprinter. So they ganged up on him and Kristoffer Ingeby of Sweden took the win. Harm was second ahead of Andy Crater (Ofoto).
The classic Holy Hill road race was this week too. Adam Bergman of Bianchi-Grand Performance soloed in for the win. His team has been knocking on the door and it was only a matter of time before they pulled one off.
In other news:
From time to time things tend to break when you race bicycles. At Super Week it’s always an adventure as there are no team mechanics to babysit us. For example, Chad Gerlach, and Eddy Gragus ripped their bikes off the rack at O’Hare Airport on Sunday. Somehow they pieced them back together and raced an hour later. On Wednesday I snapped my seat collar bolt just before the race.
Thanks to my pals from Pedro’s in the pit and a little innovation, I was able to race. Check the photo.
We resurrected our homemade produce-based artillery last night. After a year off “Florence,” our potato gun, fired up nicely and blasted a couple yams in into the night sky of Milwaukee. It is truly the best after-bar entertainment you can buy. Not recommended for children under the age of 31.
In the Green Bay crit I was trying to lead out Candelario and McCook when I was chopped hard by another rider.
After almost eating shit at 35mph, I lost it. I sprinted up next to him, chopped him back and made some sort of threat to his life that I cannot remember word for word.
After the race he approached me to say that it was all cool, but I should really keep my hands on the bars. Which was weird, because I only touched him with my shoulder.
Anyway, after some discussion, and my explaining that what he did was uncool, he said, “I figure if I can get in front of you and get in your way I’m doing something right.”
For all you young budding riders out there, let me explain something: Almost crashing the entire leadout of the number-one ranked team in America when you are a lap down is definitely not doing anything right.
Anyway, we were nice and Walrod said, “Here have an Archway Molasses cookie to celebrate us all having our skin.” At first he didn’t want it, but we persisted.
Walrod added, “They’re known to be good.” I followed with, “That’s a mighty nice goodwill gesture.” Reluctantly he took the cookie.
It was weird.