One year ago, Ashley Korol showed up at Monsters of the Midway and did this crazy thing- she won for the first time. It was awesome. She and Mara both went on to have fantastic years, and they’re both now fighting the good fight in Cat 3( EDIT: Ashley just got upgraded!). If you haven’t seen Ashley race, she’s a pretty good sprinter. As in “pretty good” at beating a lot of the guys on our team. With Monsters being the ultimate sprinter’s race, we had hopes for another good finish this year. Then Ashley did another crazy thing- she upgraded to a new Cannondale CAAD 10 Force (with a Peter Sagan paint scheme, even).
Would Ashley’s new bike carry her to her first win as a Cat 3 in the same place she picked up her first Cat 4 win?
The answer to that is clearly, “No” as she already won as a Cat 3 at Cobb Park!
But it would carry her to her second… and third!
That’s right. Ashley and her new bike (which is begging to be nicknamed) won the Women’s Open by half a bike length for her second win of the year! Not to leave anything on the table, Ashley later took to the Women’s 3/4 and won by a convincing margin for her third win in her last four starts (the other resulted in a second place, by the way).
In a very cool move by race organizers, the University of Chicago Velo Club, Ashley was asked to step up the microphone and get interviewed. Always classy, Ashley didn’t even thank her new bike, [who’s nickname would be inserted here if we had one], but instead mentioned her teammate who wasn’t even racing, and also the help provided to her by Rob Kelley.
And, in case you haven’t been following along, this is another one of those races where our sponsors (this time it’s the Bicycle Heaven Shop) put up money for race reimbursements on podium finishes. So, if you’re scoring at home, Ashley won cash from each of her race winnings. She’ll also be getting a reimbursement check for her entry in both races. For the second race in a row, she’s essentially raced for free, and walked away with a bunch of the organizer’s money. Not bad for a weekend hobby!
The Cat 3 team has been inching closer to a decent result all year. Matt lined it up nice but failed to close it at Lincoln Park. Bryan put himself in great position but un-clipped in the last corner at Cobb Park. For Monsters we had a strong, capable 5-man team looking to hit the top 3 and win some of their entry money back.
Everybody on the team raced great, and the guys topped their previous season’s best with a fine 4th place. Eric nailed the leadout… unfortunately our sprinter failed to follow or it may have been better. See the entire race from Gary’s point of view here:
Nearly all of the guys who’d raced the 3’s joined the fast guys in a large P/1/2/3 field. Not intent to sit in, everybody took turns doing work and Nick even managed to take a bit of a flyer at one point.
Like nearly every other race, though, this one came down to a field sprint. As the pack thundered for home, Rob found himself racing up the pot-holed filled right side of the roadway. Pulling off one of the more fantastic full-speed bunnyhops seen this side of the X-Games Bicycle Freestyle competition, Rob leaped into 6th followed closely by Ara at 7th.
Next week will see most of the team tackle the Saturday race at Elgin, and Sunday at Fox River Grove.
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