By Marie Coming off an impressive night at the track, including hours upon hours of reviewing every single team tactic possibility of podium sweep contenders, C3PO rolled in ready to conquer fears at 2011’s Glencoe Grand Prix.
Stone. Cold. Ella.
As Daph, Jamie, and I show up to the course, Ella is just finishing the last laps of her race. Setting the tone for the day, Ella races with all the big boys and finishes strong against a girl literally twice her size. Little did we know, not only can Ella grab those bronze medals (to hang next to her inaugural track performance), she can climb a tree in bike shoes like nobody’s business!
With CCC lining three deep in the Women’s 4’s, D, J, and I are ready for anything. Due to years’ previous crashes, most of the women are timid, grabbin’ handfuls of brakes ‘round every bend. The first fifteen minutes show for long, laborious laps led by the Daphinator. No one’s moving to break away til the prime laps are announced, with Michigan’s Amanda Schaap stealing ‘em all, Daph chasing and holding her wheel grabbin’ those 2-deep primes. Three laps to go, and there’s still little movement...except James passing around the field with precision! We’re down to the bell lap, and I’m pushing with all my might to catch the token orange jersey. A bike throw and cool down lap later, I learn that we got James sitting at 4th, me with the fiver, and Daph concluding with a solid ninth. Because Schaap won, our top Illinois women included Sarah Rice (Tati), Amelia Katz (Alberto’s), and Glencoe’s very own hometown hero, Jamers!
Double Up Squad features Doc Morell and Avi, their first race being the Master’s 30+ 4/5's. Morell sustains a solid effort (in addition to a surprisingly strong showing in the ping pong tournament the night before), concluding with 11th place ca$hmoney. Avi manages to grab the most points for the Sprint Title, and more importantly, an amazing orange and black Swiss Army watch prime!
Sprint Winner! + Master's 4/5 podium. Credit to Erica
After a walk to and meal at the generous Gavin-Smyth home, the crew heads back to the course to spectate Part Deux of the Double Up Squad: the notorious Cat 4, also known as Teen Dream’s Last Stand. The forty-five minute run has to be handled carefully if DUS and TD are going to dominate. Our men stay with the pack throughout the entire race, supported by Brian’s ever present family on the sidelines. The standings come down to a tight finish, and a particular finish full of life lessons: even if you throw your bike with the gangliest of arms, sometimes the other dude will get ya by a millimeter at the line. Awarded his silver Illinois medal and second place flowers (given to his ma, of course), Bri proves to show maturity in his skill, positioning, and attitude. Avi finishes just at the back at the pack, and the Doctor once again comes through in the money.
Throw what ya got! Credit to Tati
Remember Jannette’s showing last year? Well, never doubt a lady with revenge in her eyes. The original 70 minute race is shortened by 10 and held at an exceptionally fast pace. Jannette is not to be held down, as she plows through the hill, ten technical turns, and a stampede of Vanderkitten and Tibco PROs. After a hearty hour of power, Jannette grabs that bronze Illinois medal and a tenth place finish, with an abundance of post-race pride. JRho conquered her demons with a big smile!
Jannette knows what's up. Credit to Erica (again)
At the end of the day, we took home podium spots in every category entered, a belly full of delicious food and beers, and a desire to continue successful teamwork! Special thanks to all of the race’s sponsors, in addition to the Neurohr fam, my family contingency flying in from all over the country, Sarah’s excellent massaging skills, the Teen Dream Team, Maria & Andrew for making the trip out to cheer, and the welcoming Gavin-Smyth household!
Chicago Comfy Crew. Credit Bill Draper