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Cycling Mon Jan 03 2011

2011 Racing Starts Now

It's sometimes hard to think ahead a week, let alone a month, but with only a few short months until the first races of 2011, it's time that the mind starts wandering toward planning goals and target races. By now, most Chicago cyclists are in the depths of winter training hell, with the end goal the promising glimmer of spring.

One of the first races of the year is the Tour de Groundhog on Feb. 20 in New Salem State Park, near Springfield. This is a cyclocross race, so it'll be run rain, shine, snow or mud. And that early in the year, expect lots of the latter two.

Also coming up is the ABD Indoor Time Trial series at Winfield Middle School in Winfield. Three indoor TTs on Jan. 23, Feb. 20, and March 19 serve as training for the outdoor John Fraser Memorial TT on April 10. How does one do an indoor time trial? Special computer-controlled trainers attached to a central computer monitor a racer's time and change the resistance to simulate terrain or wind.

Further on down the calendar, some of the must-do events include: The Gapers Block/Half Acre Cycling criterium series in Chicago's Calumet Park, March 21-25; Barry-Roubaix on March 26 in Yankee Springs, Mich. (two hours away); and Hillsboro-Roubaix on April 2 in Hillsboro, Ill. (five hours away).

Expect full race profiles closer to those dates.

On a different note, NYVelocity.com, a bike racing website in New York City, has an incredible profile of one Damian Lopez Alphonso. At the age of 13, Damian was electrocuted while attempting a rescue of a kite from an electrical wire. He was severely burned and lost not only his hands, but was burned over large portions of his body.

He is also an amateur bike racer in his native Cuba. And has won races using a modified bike. Read his story here.

 
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