Right now I'm sitting in the back of Greg's car on the way to Chicago from Grand Rapids. This is the 3rd weekend in a row where we have been forced to navigate the permanantly congested highways of Chicago and surrounding 'burbs in search of prize money and results.
Last night was the Meijer Grand Cycling Classic in Grand Rapids, MI. It's put on by Bissel, so there was a nice chunk of their pro and elite teams in attendance, as well as a handful of Kelly Benifit guys, Kenda guys and Subway guys. We brought 8 guys, so we had enough man power to be as agressive as any team. We tried to put someone in every move, but missed out on one with Tom Zirbel and Jake Rytlewski. Those two got a nice gap and were holding it steady. We got 2 guys in a chase of 5 that looked like it was going to get away and catch those two, but it wasn't to be. The chase came back and Jake and Zirble stuck it. With the us in the field sprinting for 3rd.
Now you may recall, we've had some problems getting the team organized at the front to get a full on leadout going. Well with 5 to go, it was Panther on the front all lined up just like we've been trying to do the last few times we've had the full squad together. We had 4 guys on the front, with Chris on them and me sweeping his wheel. I kept looking out of the corner of my eye expecting to see a Ben Jaques-Mayne led Bissel train coming over the top of us, but it never came. All was well with Panther as we did our best team Columbia impression, until just over a lap to go when Vince broke his rear derallieur cable and that caused some chaos at the front, but we still had it together somewhat. Hayden Godfrey hit it with 1 to go and jumped around us, but Derek got back in front and lead it to the back side of the course. With 3 corners to go, Chris ripped his rear derailleur off with me still on his wheel. More mayhem and lost positions. I tried to jump back up to the front for the last corner, but just couldn't get there. I ended up 11th, with Paul in 12th, Derek in 14th and Moskal in 19th. Not really what we were looking for, but it was just tough to keep a handle on the end of the race, especially with the mechanicals thrown in. It's a step in the right direction, hopefully we can make another big step next week at Downers Grove.
If I feel like it I may check back in with a Glencoe repot on the ride home.
Until then, I'll be looking up facts about bear attacks in Colorado and suggestions on how to best beat up a Grizzley bear.