Different races are fun for different reasons. Some, like Elgin, are on a fun course. Others, like the Lincoln Park Crit, are in such unique places that racing there is a privilege. The most fun races, though, are the ones that take place in cool neighborhoods where the people turn the street closures into a party.
Cobb park is one of those races.
With the course being run counter-clockwise this year, the last turn is a hard left into a bending finish straight. On the outside of the turn somebody (or several somebody’s) had set up a proper party. They had several tables of what looked to be very tasty food. From the large crowd that had gathered it also appeared there were beverages. With so many people, maybe next year they’ll set up bleachers for folks to sit and watch. Oh… they did that, too.
So, first thanks to the residents of the Cobb Park area (we hear George Ryan is one) for shutting down the streets and making this race such a great time!
While we’re thanking people, let’s heap some praise on the South Chicago Wheelmen. If you ever pull the permit list for the amount of stuff they put on, it’s truly impressive. Anybody who’s ever put on one race in one year knows what an undertaking it is. Somebody somewhere is burning the midnight oil to not only put on so many races in so many years, but to have Cobb Park consistently appear on the calendar year-after-year. Thanks to you folks.
Let’s talk a little racing, shall we?
If you’ve been following along, you know that Cobb is the first of several key races for us. Our sponsors are giving the team extra-incentive to race the events we love by reimbursing entry fees for podium finishes. At Cobb Park, we were doling out ROK Coaching’s money. A win in a category race meant every team member would get full race entry reimbursement. Second place meant 75% back, and third gets you 50%.
Pretty cool, right? That’s what Ashley and Mara think. In fact, they think it’s so cool that they’re already waiting in line for they money. They earned it, though- Ashley won a drag race to the finish of the Women’s 3/4 race for our first win of the year! Both the girls, who have been red-hot all season, then also lined up for the Women’s Open. With two-to-go in that one, Mara set a torrid pace on the front with Ashley a few riders back. In another drag-race to the line, Ashley took an impressive second, narrowly missing out on her second win of the day!
So, lets do a little math here. Ashley’s two podiums won her a healthy mitt of cash race winnings, as the payouts were extremely generous. This week she and Mara are also going to get a $50 jersey reimbursement for buying a jersey with all of our new supporters. The ladies are also each getting another $25 in entry reimbursement from ROK Coaching’s support of the team. Why would anybody want to be on Bicycle Heaven, again?
The guys got to do a little racing, too. Several of the guys were suiting up in BH kit for their first races on the team, as well. Thanks to Baird Nabholz, John Rockwell, Nicholas Gierman for joining us over the off-season and making Cobb your first race.
Speaking of new guys, Tim Barrett found us last season and joined the team. According to Strava he dedicated himself to the trainer this winter. According to actual racing, he scored the first top-10 of his racing career at Cobb with a solid 8th place! Something tells us Tim will be sniffing around the podium before too long.
Then there’s there’s that Rob Kelley dude again. While Pete and Ara stayed pegged at the front of a large 1/2/3 field, nothing got away. That usually means one thing- fast race. And, fast it was. With the group thundering towards a field sprint, the team lead Rob out to an impressive 5th place, just a tad off the wheel of 3rd.
Not a bad way to spend a spring weekend, at all!
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