June 4, 2013
It was a rainy day at the Glencoe Grand Prix, but Brad White (UnitedHealthcare) and Erica Allar (Care4Cycling-Solomon Corp) both secured victories on Saturday, stop No. 6 on the USA Crits Championship Series.
“Looking at the weather, we knew there was a chance at rain,” White said after his win. “The Midwest can have storms in the afternoon, but we figured that it would be a 10-minute downpour and then it would be gone. The first two laps, everyone went really slow through the corners,” White said. “It was just kind of slow motion out there, and it’s hard to get away in the rain. You can’t attack well going into a corner. Everyone was a bit jittery.”
The win was White’s first victory since he took top honors at the Ithaca Grand Prix of Cyclocross back in 2012, and he was thankful for his team’s support.
“When you’re given an opportunity like this you have to take full advantage of it,” White said. “It was a perfect situation … and what’s so cool is that all the guys know how hard I work for them [during the rest of the season] and when they see me win they get so excited about it.”
Earlier in the day the situation was significantly less perfect when the women’s field hit the road. The race had already been shortened to just 20 laps when the rain began to come down in force as the riders got under way.
“In my 13 years of racing I don’t think I’ve ridden through puddles the size of what we rode through yesterday,” said Team TIBCO sprinter Sam Schneider. “In one of the corners the sewer wasn’t draining so it was just putting more water into the road. It was probably a foot deep. At one point I really couldn’t see where we were going or if we were turning because it was pouring so hard.”
Schneider answered an attack by Allar with the help of 2012 Glencoe Grand Prix winner Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and together the three riders worked hard to stay away from the field and minimize the risks because of the bad weather.
With only 20 seconds’ advantage, the breakaway was brought to a halt along with the rest of the field when a crash neutralized the race with only four laps to go. Following the restart, they added an additional 25 seconds to their lead before the cat-and-mouse tactics began.
Van Gilder struck out once the trio reached the midpoint of the final lap before Allar countered going into the last corner. Schneider held the Care4Cycling rider’s wheel heading towards the line, but she was only able to manage second once Allar put her sprint into overdrive.
“I have a lot of confidence myself in the rain,” Allar said. “Also, I’m coming from Chattanooga and I had a real hard road race out there so my fitness is all right. My handling skills in the rain are okay, and I have a pretty good sprint. And after last year I knew how to win this one. I executed the same tactic, but luckily I didn’t get passed in the end.”
Pactimo is proud to have been the official apparel partner for the 2013 Glencoe Gran Prix
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