Monday, September 19, 2011

Cross Weekend Report: Chicago Cross Cup - No Park is Safe!

Hot socks and chicks on cyclocros bikes. It's gotta be Chicago Cross Cup at Jackson Park.

The new whip. Better than me.

Packed up and rolled into the first week of racing on the road for 2011 like it was yesterday - and it was. Last week, due to the heat we had, I'm marking down to a warm-up. Thanks to all the promoters that wasted $10,000 worth of course tape so I could have a warm-up. You guys are awesome. This week is was Chicago, some rain, a little mud, hundreds of racers and tons of fun.

Great fields and great crowds that love cheering on the racers.

Fabulous first week of racing kicked off with the Chicago Cross Cup opener in Jackson Park. Must have bee 650 racers - jammed packed fields, and lots of fun. These people know how to put on a show.

 As well as knowing how to heckle. It's an artform in Chicago. I think there's a Heckling Museum of Cross downtown somewhere near the Watertower.

 Who's this in Chicago? Why it's our own Jurrien aka Etho Bastard, flying the colors of FreeWheeler in a packed field of 100 racers. 

Jurrien started DFL and ended up mid-pack which means he busted about 50 racers in a tight and twisty course. Other Grand Rapidians not seen: Kim Thomas, who took 5th in the Women's Elite, followed by Laura "Cupcake" Melendez who also had a good showing in Women's Elite. Laura was also on the podium in the Heckling department. She should could hang with the best of the Chicago Hecklers. Well done Laura! They won't forget you right away. (Check out the video of the Juniors!)

 Entertainment on course: a polka band of course. Hey, it's Oktoberfest okay.

And how about a first lap jamboree for the women's 4 field? Nothing but fun ladies.

For even more attitude: check out this 4A action - nice heckling - love the "Tokyo Drift Baby" heckle. Also - "It's a fast corner, you should be going fast!" I ran over a dude in this corner during my my race. As I rolled over his legs I looked down and simply said, "Awesome dude, you should get up!"

The Juniors also had a huge field. You couldn't believe how some of these kids could race! This clip features our favorite junior Cassidy, that Cupcake mercilessly heckled every time she came through this barrier.

You can see the attitude of the Chicago Cross Cup series in season "teaser" video below.

Get Ready from Heather Jurewicz on Vimeo.

While back at home there was racing in GR and at Tailwinds. I hated missing the Double Cross opener at Waterford. This year's course was better than ever (got to test it out last week at a practice race). Wished I could have been there. New reports on the way home had Jeff Haney (Slayer) taking the podium on Saturday and Sunday, even after suffering a rolled tubular. Well done Jeffy! Amy Haney also was on the Podium both days with an outstanding effort fighting through mechanical and a trip through the tape. It was a tough course, and you need to be tough to handle it. Way harder than the Chicago course.

Here's a video from the practice at Waterford the week before. You can see some of the obstacles and such. Long and demanding I don't know why I wished I was there ... but I did. Can't wait to get back racing that series again a week from now.

Speaking of practice, I'm going to try to figure out a day for some barrier practice. After watching a few races, I've seen, and heard, that there's still a need for some more practice and polishing of technique.

Hopefully I'll have more photos and videos of the races here, and Tailwind tomorrow.  Until Single Speed Tuesday - later.

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