Day 1 – People have said the Tour of Galena (TOG) circuit race is like a stretched out version of Chicago’s Fox River Grove criterium, and for me the similarities didn’t stop with the terrain. Much like at FRG, I tried to match the pace of a woman with a whiskered cartoon character on her bibs lap after lap. Much like at FRG, I was eventually dropped on the final set of climbs, then passed by someone who had probably been “staying within herself” on the earlier ascents. As they say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Day 2 – Therefore, I decided to be more conservative in the 60+ mile road race. I also wanted to keep JRho with me as long as possible to shepherd me down the descents. Though less technical than the descents in the circuit race, it was still a comfort to have her steady wheel to follow down. JRho did great, meeting her goal of completing the TOG road race for the first time. I came in second, in what I’ll claim as the most exciting women’s finish in TOG history–that is, more than one woman finishing at a time. This would be the only time in the weekend I would come in ahead of Lisa Johns, of Team Trek Midwest, who had bested me by three seconds in that morning’s TT.
Day 3 – With omnium placing and plentiful primes at stake in the final stage of the TOG, the criterium was sure to be full of action. Lisa would be defending a narrow points margin, and we were certain our Chicago crit cred would allow us to move up a step on the omnium podium. Having gotten plenty of practice in the rain at last weekend’s Glencoe Grand Prix, L.P.V. was riding aggressively, hoping to split the field. Fresh legs from PSIMET and Bicycle Heaven, made it hard to get away though, and a miscalculation in the final laps left L.P.V. out of the sprint entirely.
I rolled in right behind Lisa, which meant our respective omnium positions would not change. Somewhat disappointed, I soon realized that it had been an alright day: I lost no skin, yet gained a lot of confidence in my bike handling, not to mention the coveted $100 prime (picked up in last year’s TOG crit by JRho, BTW).
Big thanks to XXX-Racing for making TOG one of our favorite weekends of the summer–for the third year in a row, and to Johnny Sprockets and Morning Bird Studio for helping us get there. We were also fortunate to have L’il JRho assisting in the feed zone, and with naturopathic recovery and race prep at our Galena McMansion, which we shared with friends from Jus d’Orange and Tenspeed Hero Racing. Finally, the Cuttin’ Crew deserves a mention. Not only did they have solid results in every category entered, they showed us how you look after your teammates, and let me mooch snacks all weekend. You guys are the best!
Full TOG 2013 Results: http://www.tourofgalena.com/results/