By Jonas Carney, Prime Alliance Cycling Team
The Schlitz Park Criterium, right in the heart of Milwaukee, has turned out to be one of the best spectator events in the Superweek series. Tons of people gather on the climb with their coolers to watch the pros suffer. The climb itself isn’t too bad – it’s just that you have to do it 90 times. The race features some pretty gargantuan primes and a lucrative KOH competition.
A large early break got away that included some heavy hitters – Johnny Lieswyn (7UP-Maxxis), Sven Teutenberg (Bianchi), Gordon McCauley (Schroeder Iron), Paul Martin (Gomart-West Virginia), etc. Somehow, after taking a $150 prime, I ended up in this group and on the rivet, having a seriously bad day. When you feel like complete crap, there’s nothing quite like sprinting for a prime and then immediately ending up in a breakaway with Lieswyn, McCauley, and Martin.
They kept drilling it over the climb, and I wasn’t recovering at all. I felt like vomiting. It was only a matter of time before I blew to smithereens. Good thing there were only 70 laps remaining! The only option was to go back to the group, try to recover, and take some of those huge primes.
Soon after, the Eurodisney combine threw it down like maniacs on the front and caught the entire breakaway, except for Johnny, McCauley and Martin. They were gone, daddy, gone, and lapped the field after the halfway point. There were plenty of primes to keep us busy in the field, including some $350-$500 laps.
Closing in on the final KOH sprint we were wide open, single file, going 35-plus mph into the last turn, when somebody laid it down hard about 15 riders back. Ivan Dominguez (Saturn) locked it up and went straight toward the curb. He looked safe until the next guy in line, Timmy Reinhart (Saturn Development) tackled him from behind. I was next. Luckily, I had a two-bike-length buffer zone, grabbed a bunch of brake, and barely squeezed through. Most of the riders ahead of this fiasco were never seen again. Ivan was back in the race pretty quickly, but unfortunately Timmy fractured his wrist in the accident.
McCauley ended up getting away from a tired Paul Martin and a bonked Lieswyn to take the win. Rapinski pulled off another top-five finish.
Schlitz Park results:
1. Gordon McCauley (NZ), Schroeder Iron
2. Paul Martin, Gomart-West Virginia
3. John Lieswyn, 7UP-Maxxis
4. Harm Jansen (Ned), GS Magic Monkey
5. Viktor Rapinski (Bel), Saturn
Waussup in Waukesha?
I have no idea what happened in this race. I think some guys broke away and then sprinted against each other and then one of them was first and the others were second and third. It was very exciting. Rapinski is tenacious – even by cyborg standards.
1. Viktor Rapinski (Bel), Saturn
2. Pete Knudsen, Schroeder Iron
3. Gustavo Artacho (Arg), Colavita-Bolla
4. Gordon McCauley (NZ), Schroeder Iron
5. Robbie Ventura, U.S. Postal Service
Bensonville was prime-o, bro
You gotta like “Super Primes.” In Bensonville, Illinois, they actually had $10,000 in primes. There was $20 every lap for the leader, and loads of other lap prizes.
Nothing seemed to be able to get away, except for the Cuban Missile Crisis, who was absolutely raging. Ivan spent about one-third of the race off the front and raked in some serious cash. He seemed almost unstoppable until an old lady walked out on the course and he piled into her. Thanks, Mom!
After an extremely fast 45 miles, a 10-man group got away. I missed it. What a surprise. Fortunately I was able to redeem myself by making over a thousand bucks in primes in the last 10 laps, and still winning the field sprint. As John Walrod would say, “It’s better than getting kicked in the neck.”
Johnny L. and Knudsen escaped the group and took first and second, respectively. Johnny is possibly having his best year ever, having won the Beauce Stage Race, Shelby, a stage of Redlands, and now a stage of Superweek.
1. John Lieswyn, 7UP-Maxxis
2. Pete Knudsen, Schroeder Iron
3. Emile Abraham (Trin), Aerospace Engineering
4. Robbie Ventur, U.S. Postal Service
5. Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den), Glud & Marstrand Horsens
Coming up:Today the racers tackle the infamous Holy Hill Road Race. It’s a classic and should come down to a battle between riders like Lieswyn, Jansen, and Bergman. Tonight is Tom Schuler’s annual Bratfest. I’ll bring my camera and try to get some photos of your favorite pro cyclists gorging themselves on dead animal flesh.