What's Cool In Road Cycling

Intelligentsia Cup: Tour de Crystal Lake

Sunday, July 14, 2013: Tour de Crystal Lake presented by McHenry County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, day 2 of the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series, exuded all that is right with a gorgeous summer day in the Midwest, despite the cotton-candy sticky sweet upper-eighty degree sweat.

Team tents dotting the course, competing bike shops coming together to support the event and our favorite sport, a tight course, iced Intelligentsia coffee, and sign-toting spectators. Several in the day’s fields called Crystal Lake home, and even those not hailing from the city, felt the connection.

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Just fifteen minutes into the Pro Women’s 60-minute contest, Nathalia Acevedo (Specialized Columbia) and Nicole Mertz (ISCorp-Intelligentsia) went up the road. Acevedo fell off, with a new break of Mertz, Crystal Lake native Jeannie Kuhajek (VanderKitten) and Skylar Schneider (Team TIBCO), jumping on a mid-race prime, taking control. Mertz popped off the back with a dozen to go, feeling the effects of the day’s heat. The field was noticeably affected by the humidity as well, as evidenced by the dwindling tires on the road, with each lap.

SpiderMonkey Cycling-312 Beer put forth a valiant effort toward the end of the race but ultimately it was 15-year-old Skylar Schneider (Team TIBCO) besting Kuhajek (VanderKitten) with Skylar’s sister Sam winning the field sprint for third.

In the Men’s Pro Race, the humidity wasn’t thick enough to stop Alexander Ray (ISCorp-Intelligentsia), Rob White (Team ShareCare) and Calixto Bello (AG Bicycles-Guttenplan Coaching) from launching off the front just 20 minutes in. In an incredible feat of strength and determination, the trio held off the field, with a gap a nearly a minute at one point as the field sat up periodically in exhaustion and defeat.

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With a dozen remaining, White’s ShareCare teammate Chad Hartley made the successful attempt for a solo bridge with a 10 second gap, albeit with Bello’s team namesake David Guttenplan sticking to him. Meanwhile, the break remained 20 seconds ahead of the field. A let’s-see-if-this-might-stick cornucopia of bridges were attempted to pull back Hartley and Guttenplan to no avail. Astellas and ShareCare attempting to reign supreme over the filed, the break was breathing hot and heavy down the necks of the collective field with two laps remaining.

But visibly relaxed and refreshed White (ShareCare) stuck it to ISCorp-Intelligentsia’s A-Ray, with Bello (AG Bicycles) taking third. Equally notable are Hartley (ShareCare) and Guttenplan (AG Bicycles) who are looked upon as Series soothsayers by many up-and-coming riders. Hartley and Guttenplan secured fourth and fifth for the day.

Skylar Schneider (Team TIBCO) and Rob White (ShareCare) both went home in the Yellow Leader’s Jersey for Pro Women and Men, respectively, through two days of competition.
Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series continues Wednesday in the southern Wisconsin community of Sharon for an incredible 11.4-mile lap road race. The Pro Men will start their day with 68.4 miles of a road race before finishing with 45 minutes on a closed crit course.

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