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Saturday, July 2

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Cycling Tue Jul 22 2008

Big News in Bikes

The lycra-clad hordes descend this Sunday upon Grant Park for the first ever Chicago Criterium. Look for national pros from Rock Racing and Jittery Joe's, but remember that racing in the amateur categories can often be just as, if not more so, exciting. The racing's more disorganized and chaotic, but the faces are familiar. Everyone loves to root for the hometown effort, anyway.

Speaking of hometown crushers, Christian Vande Velde of Team Garmin-Chipotle has a fighting chance to podium in this year's Tour de France. Looks like his training regimen of cranking into Chicago's killer headwinds has helped out more than some of us thought. Wind's never scared me off from a training ride, but maybe now I'll relish the experience rather than curse it as is my custom.

Oh, the BK Stacker took more than its fair share of souls and skin at last Sunday's Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Grand Prix of Cycling criterium I got up to Evanston just in time to catch the start of the Pro/1/2 race and within 10 laps, a large portion of the field had laid their bikes and bodies down. That time everyone got back up, but later on, a rider was taken away by ambulance to the hospital with injuries, temporarily neutralizing the race. Seems most other races throughout the day experienced large amounts of crashes, too. Maybe next year a course revision could be in order.

And if you're more interested in rolling around in the dirt, the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic mountain bike race is happening this Sunday, July 27, in Franklin, Wisconsin. According to the WORS website, "Alterra Coffee Roasters will once again have its coffee bar open to pour the free, locally roasted coffee, whether your preference is hot or cold. Also, our other sponsor, Lakefront Brewery, will have ice-cold beers on tap."

Sounds good enough for me.

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