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Thursday, February 2

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Cycling Mon Aug 18 2008

Downers Grove to Oak Brook

While summer's heat still rages, the regional criterium racing is starting to wind down. Superweek was a blast, same with Elk Grove, and the Chicago Criterium, and now cyclists are setting-up their cyclocross bikes, ordering their cowbells, and practicing their dismounts for the upcoming Chicago 'Cross Cup. However, 'cross season's not here yet - there's still plenty of road and crit racing to be had.

This past weekend saw a whole lot of race action in Downers Grove, in which Rahsaan Bahati of Rock Racing earned the stars and bars and became the National Criterium Champ, by coming in ahead of Alex Candelario of Kelly Benefit Strategies and Mark Hekman of Toshiba Santo.

In the men's 3/4 race, Ryan Freund, a member of the IIT/Cycle Smithy squad, took first, leaving second and third place to Julian Baumgartner of Burnham Racing and Ricardo Otero of Team Mack, respectively. Local cycling talent in the Women's 1/2/3 race was shut out from the top places, but in the 3/4 race Catherine Burnham of Bartlett came in third place.

Looking ahead, the Tour of Oak Brook on August 23, which also serves as the Illinois road race state championship seems to be the biggest highlight. The course, a winding 3.2 miler (nearly the minimum distance for a road race, and not much longer than a crit) should break up the field with two hills, or whatever passes for hills in Chicagoland.

Registration's filling-up fast, so if you want to earn the right to sport the Illinois Champ's jersey for next year, better head on over.

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