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Cycling Thu Jul 17 2014
While the world's premier cycling event powers through France, the Chicagoland area will play host to it's own bicycling competition, the Intelligentsia Cup, from July 18 to July 27, with a stage near downtown Chicago set for the penultimate day of racing.
Intelligentsia Coffee, started right here in Chicago back in 1995, is the title sponsor of the Prairie State Cycling Series that will hit Waukegan, Lake Bluff, Crystal Lake, Willow Springs, Beverly, Elmhurst, Chicago, and Downers Grove over the eight days of racing. Prizes will be awarded to the winner in every category each day, along with overall winners receiving podium treatment after the final day of competition based on points accrued for finishes each day.
Anyone wishing to register and race on the day of the Chicago event must have a valid USA Cycling License and pay a fee of $53 ($63 for Women/Men Pro 1/2), but note that there is a limit to the amount of participants in each field. A strong payout structure for, at minimum, the top three finishers in each group awaits to the racers, along with jerseys for the winner in almost every group.
The "Local Event" on the Chicago Criterium flyer [PDF] is the inauguralFyxation Open, where riders are only allowed to ride "fixed gear track style bikes with drop bars and no freewheel or brakes." There is a registration fee of $30 and is open to anyone over the age or 18 -- no license required. This fixed gear competition is a throwback race similar to an event that used to run 50 miles between Elgin and Chicago, and will have prizes for the top three finishers.
The Chicago race will take place mainly on Fulton and Walnut streets in between Paulina and Damen. The course map can be found here.