Former USPRO championship course set to cap 2014 series
Chicago — What was the pinnacle of criterium racing courses in the United States for nearly 25 years – the famous criterium course in the Village of Downers Grove, Ill. – is planned to return for the first time in five years as the culminating event of the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series.
Widely regarded across the U.S. professional ranks as one of the best criterium courses, the venue was the site of the U.S. Professional Criterium Championships for 23 years until 2009. The addition of Downers Grove to the Intelligentsia Cup will make for a fitting finale to the Prairie State Cycling Series. The unique pinched-eight course design offers variety, including six left turns and two right turns to keep racers on their toes.
The entire course is set on a grade with racers starting on an uphill towards a punchy power climb at the top of the course, affectionately dubbed “The Wall,” before returning downhill towards the critical final two 90-degree turns back to the finish. The start/finish line is located on an uphill portion of Main Street making for a challenging sprint for primes and the overall victory.
“We are currently working with our partners in Downers Grove to include them in our series and to bring back one of the hallmarks of American criterium racing,” said Prairie State Cycling Series partner Tom Schuler, himself a former US national cycling champion. “We anticipate Village approval of the event by June 3.”
“For those cyclists that were lucky enough to race the course previously they will remember it as one of the most exhilarating and challenging criterium courses that exists in the whole country. And this will make for a fitting conclusion to eight days of challenging racing.”
Following the initial reading of the permit application at the Village Council meeting on May 20, Mayor Martin Tully said, “I’m very excited to see the bike race back in Downers Grove! This is terrific news and I hope it takes solid root back in our community where it belongs.”
The original course was designed by two-time Olympian and U.S. Bicycle Hall of Fame inductee, as well as Chicagoland-native, John Vande Velde.
“I remember the first year we ran the race the place was absolutely jammed-packed; people loved it. I always like the figure eight design for a criterium course – it adds excitement and I love having that hill at the top.”
The entire series runs July 18-27, 2014 and features category racing from beginning racers to seasoned elite amateurs, culminating at the end of each day with the featured professional men’s and women’s races. Each venue will have a variety of food and drink to enjoy with the racing action and also feature its own local event, ranging from kids races to family fun rides, making for a great family activity for the summer.
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About Prairie State Cycling Series
The Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series is a competitive bicycle race series in the Chicago metro area, featuring top-level professional and elite amateur athletes. Each race venue includes exciting racing complemented by healthy and fun family activities, a lifestyle expo, as well as food and beverage from local vendors. For the complete schedule, please visit: www.PrairieStateCyclingSeries.com.
About Intelligentsia Coffee
Founded in 1995, Intelligentsia is a coffee roasting company and retailer headquartered in Chicago. Beans are purchased direct from growers in Central and South America, East Africa, and Ethiopia. Intelligentsia’s buying team cumulatively spends over 365 days each year at source. Insights, practices and expertise in preparation and processing garnered from their work around the globe are applied to each of Intelligentsia’s exclusive Direct Trade coffees.
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