New this year is the ability to listen to our race announcers live, from anywhere in the world! From your mother wanting to hear you go for that prime, to you, in the parking lot, wondering when the weather delay will be over (shhhh, don’t jinx it!).
It’s been a minute since we’ve done this (all of us). so please be patient as we remember how to do bike racing, and tell your friends who don’t read these emails what’s up.
Reminder: day-of registration will only be online via BikeReg and will open for that day’s racing each morning, with each category race closing 90 MINUTES before its start time.
Also, the daily flyers and tech guide are posted on the racer info page.
We are kicking things off with the ‘Leg Breaker’ this year … good times! But to be serious, we are excited to be back in West Dundee for a fifth year, and the locals are stepping up their game with a lot of food and fun.
Parking at this venue is mostly in the neighborhood, so please respect any posted signage and requests from the residents. I know we probably don’t need to tell you this, but please ask before setting up a tent, trainer, slip-n-slide in someone’s yard.
Numbers go on the RIGHT.
The Tour of Lake Ellyn is next on our schedule, and is one of the most beautiful settings for a race — and one of the more challenging courses with just about everything thrown at the racers, from sweeping to sharp to 180-degree turns, ups and downs, and even a Euro-style roundabout.
In order to race at this great venue we have to have very specific parking requirements, and we need you to adhere to them in order to be able to return in the future. See the second ‘parking’ map on the venue page. The main racer parking is across the railroad tracks, and is not far from the course (you need a warm-up anyway!). There is also some parking on certain side streets, but be mindful of any posted parking restrictions. Quick load-in for team tents is possible at Hawthorne and Lenox.
Numbers go on the RIGHT.
A new venue for us, but will be familiar to a lot of local racers. We are using the south course, but the final four races on the day will be doing a longer version, with even more climbing! You’re welcome?
SCHEDULE CHANGE Due to an unforeseen circumstance, we have modified the schedule. This will only affect races beginning with the Men Cat 2 and after, with earlier start times. Please check the new schedule.
This venue also has dedicated racer parking, noted on the course map. All parking will be just north of the railroad tracks in the commuter parking lots. Please utilize this parking as the local organizer needs to keep roads open for business access..
Numbers go on the LEFT.
We know you all understand how challenging it is to secure courses and permits, which is why we have these requests; so pretty please, follow the instructions.
Intelligentsia Coffee now has pre-packaged ready-to-drink coffee, and every registered racer will get one when you pick up your number!
Participate in a paid research study about bike racers!
Healthy adults, 18-50 years of age, racing a minimum of five consecutive days or seven total days at Intelligentsia Cup are needed for a research study that is investigating the stress, hydration, and recovery from multiple days of criterium racing.
You will meet with the research team before your first race and after your last race. On completion of the study, you will receive a $20 Target gift card and a detailed report explaining your measurements (body fat percentage, heart rate variability, etc.).
We are excited to announce the creation of a beginner racer program for women new to bike racing, including coaching/mentoring from elite women racing in the Intelli Cup! Thanks to the support from MiiR and TrainingPeaks. Find out more information here.
We are excited to reveal our full lineup of venues and other details of this year’s series!
But before we get to that, we want to thank you for your patience and understanding this year. Not to belabor the point, but it has been a lift. Of course, there is always going to be some level of uncertainty, but our ongoing consultations with health experts and recent announcements from local authorities, gives us confidence in proceeding.
Some things will be different for this year, and others will be missing, but that we are happening at all is … well, you get the point.
Now, on to the good stuff.
A lot of changes in our schedule, including the two new venues joining the series — Winfield and Mundelein — but also some shuffling of days, and with a day off on Wednesday.
Speaking of changes, have a look at our daily racing category menu:
Category 4/Novice Women
Category 4/Novice Open
Junior 15-18 Open
Junior 15-18 Women
Category 3 Open
Masters 50+/60+ (Cat 1-4) **
Category 2/3 Women
Category 2 Open
Masters 40+ (Cat 1-4)
|** scored separately|
Yep, some changes in there too. We consulted both previous entry data and various stakeholders in making the above changes, and we believe the changes will give something for everyone and enhance the racing.
Registration will be opening soon, and we will have a lot more information on our web site in the coming weeks.
Now for some messages from our sponsors. Please consider supporting those who support bike racing.
Science in Sport is dedicated to working hard to help you push even harder on race day, packed with 22 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates with no need for added water.
As the official Energy Gel Partner for the Intelligentsia Cup, Science in Sport are offering all Intelli Cup participants 6x FREE Energy Gels with any order on site, simply use code INTELLI in your basket to claim.
Borah Teamwear is the official apparel sponsor of the Intelligentsia Cup and a proud supporter of elite race teams like Above + Beyond Cancer Cycling.
When you are as fast as these guys the only time you stop on a road to chat is to show off your gorgeous Borah Teamwear kits for a photo shoot. Click the link to the IG post and caption this photo with what you think the lads are saying. The funniest post wins a FREE Base Camp kit!
What a difference a year does (and sometime does not) make. Twelve months ago we were scratching our collective heads, wondering what the future would bring, both for bike racing and the world as a whole.
Fast-forward to now and a lot has changed. While we are still faced with levels of uncertainty, the latest guidance and trends are giving us cautious optimism for the summer, and we are hard at work making plans to race come July! 🤞🤞 But everyone plays a role in this effort, so keep wearing your mask and get the vaccine when you become eligible.
It’s clear many of you are eager to get back to racing (if our social media and email inboxes tell us anything). Of course there will be differences to the usual way of doing things to ensure the safety of participants, officials and the public at-large. We are consulting with USA Cycling and our local health officials to follow best practices, and we ask you to bear with us with these changes.
Speaking of changes, one of the big announcements is that two new venues are joining the series — Winfield and Mundelein.
Local racers will know the Winfield Criterium as it is a long-standing event, previously run by the Athletes By Design club. This year is the Village of Winfield’s centennial and as part of its celebration is taking over as host of the event.
“In addition to the centennial we are very excited for Winfield to join the Intelligentsia Cup as the Winfield Criterium and Summerfest,” said incoming Village president Carl Sorgatz. “In addition to top-flight bike racing there will be food vendors, family-oriented events, and raffles with prizes!”
And to answer our local racer’s likely question: they’ll be using the south race course with the fast finish line alongside Creekside Park. Giddy up!
While we were all in limbo last summer, representatives from the Village of Mundelein were already looking ahead to better days and reached out to us about adding a series stop in their northwest suburban town. We headed out there and, socially distanced, scouted a fast and fun course. A few meetings later and Mundelein is excited to be joining the series with a weekday race venue.
“We are delighted and honored to welcome the Intelligentsia Cup community to Mundelein,” said Mayor Steve Lentz. “We’ve planned a full day of activities and really look forward to showcasing everything Mundelein has to offer.”
Be on the lookout for the full series venue line-up announcement coming soon, as well as other exciting additions to the series for 2021. Online registration will open in mid-May!
Borah Teamwear, a leading custom sports apparel company based in Southwestern Wisconsin, will supply the Intelligentsia Cup series with the coveted custom winner’s jerseys for the next three years. Winners of each category across the 10 days of the racing will earn a custom Borah Teamwear OTW Spark jersey, the top-line racing jersey.
“Borah Teamwear is a great partner for our series, with both calling the Midwest home,” said series partner and former Olympian Tom Schuler.
“Borah’s top cycling line is worn by some of the best teams and racers in cycling, and the daily winners of these custom Intelligentsia Cup jerseys will be happy to show off their spoils on their home team rides.”
Buy an Intelli Cup mask or jersey
The silver lining of our current situation is that Borah turned the designs into amazing face masks and gaiters to use while training, grocery shopping or any other times you cannot social distance!
In addition, Borah designed us a special commemorative Chicago Intelli Cup jersey that we are offering for sale to you at cost!
It is Borah’s Team jersey, which is designed for every day training. The Intelli Cup store will be open now through August 7, so get your orders in today! You can also make a donation to support our official charitable partner World Bicycle Relief.
Note: shipping is a flat rate of $10, so order multiple masks/gaiters for your teammates, friends and family — they make great gifts!
We are sorry to announce that the 2020 edition of the Intelligentsia Cup is canceled due to COVID-19. This decision was not taken lightly and included input from venue partners, local municipalities, sponsors and riders. Ultimately, the safety of our participants, spectators, volunteers, staff and the residents of the communities that welcome us every year is paramount. We look forward to seeing you all next summer when the series returns July 16-25, 2021.
Many participants expressed their hope that the series would go forward this year, and communicated their intent to attend with great fervor. We appreciate the affinity our ridership has for the series, as well as the desire to return to some sort of normalcy. However, there are still far too many unknowns with COVID-19 to ensure the event could run in a safe manner and be the same quality experience for everyone involved.
“This was an extremely difficult decision to make, particularly after our enormous success in 2019 that saw the series become the largest USA Cycling road event,” said series partner Tom Schuler.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic we have held out hope that the situation would improve enough to hold the Intelligentsia Cup in a safe manner, and we have worked since to find a way forward. Unfortunately, the current facts at hand and expert guidance say otherwise.
“We are grateful to our title sponsor Intelligentsia Coffee for supporting the series by rolling the sponsorship forward to next year. As well, all of our sponsors and venues have committed to returning. We hope our riders stay safe and are able to join us next July!”
Why not postpone the event?
As our series covers ten venues across eight municipalities, moving calendar dates is prohibitively difficult. Further, given the current information, it is unclear if mass participation events like the Intelligentsia Cup could happen in our communities in the months following the original series dates.
What about a shortened series outside of Chicago proper?
While only three of our venues are within the city of Chicago, current information suggests that the surrounding areas where our other venues are located are likely to follow a similar timeline of phased re-opening.
My local race is happening, why can’t the Intelligentsia Cup?
The Intelligentsia Cup is a national-level event that features large field sizes across many categories, with competitors from around the country and even the world, moving between ten different venues each day. As such, the safety concerns are exponentially higher for this event.
Why did you cancel now and not wait to see if the situation improves in the coming months?
Due to the complexity of producing the series — along with our venues, municipalities and vendors — a reasonable amount of lead time is required to produce the event. We waited as long as prudence allowed before making the decision to cancel.
Will all the venues be back in 2021?
All of our local venues have stated their intent to have a series race in 2021! Please save the dates: July 16-25.
Where can I buy the best fresh roasted coffee without having to leave my home?
Stock up on your favorite Intelligentsia seasonal single origin coffees and carefully assembled blends, along with at-home brewing essentials and equipment, branded swag and more from their online store.
Free shipping is being offered on all orders. Stay up to date on the latest news, like their updated coffeebar opening hours and special offerings, by following on Instagram @intelligentsiacoffee.
I’m still going to be riding and training for the 2021 series, what is the best nutrition for this?
Science in Sport is the official nutrition partner of the Intelligentsia Cup and has a wide range of products to keep you powered on your rides, whether they are online/indoors or proper socially distanced outside.
Visit theirweb site for a 20% discount (excludes special offers and clearance) using code: INTELLIGENTSIACUP20
First and foremost, we hope all is well with you and your families. For any of you on the front lines of this crisis, we applaud you from our various homes where we are practicing social distancing and other best practices to aid your efforts.
As is the case for many organizations at this moment, what we do not know is far greater than what we do. While we do not yet know if the 2020 series can happen, we are communicating with all stakeholders; from our local venue partners and municipalities to sponsors. You, our ridership, is a key stakeholder and we want to hear your thoughts and concerns. Please take a few minutes to answer our survey.
In the mean time, we are partnering with BikeReg and the #SaddleUpChallenge, with an entry to a future race day in the #IntelliCup on the line this week. Be sure to register, with a portion of the proceeds supporting Direct Relief.
The Intelligentsia Cup is back for 2020 with ten continuous days of pro/am road racing around Chicagoland, July 17-26.
A huge increase in ridership in 2019 made the Intelli Cup the largest road racing series in all of USA Cycling, and we’ve got more great racing coming this year. All of our 2019 venues are returning, offering you a variety of courses with something for everyone — flat and hilly, technical and wide open.
Some changes coming this year include a little refinement of our daily schedule that will allow for an increase in race lengths for many of the upper amateur categories, as well as increased prize money across the board! 💰💰💰 Continuing from last year are both the five-day juniors mini-series for 15-18 boys and girls and the five-day Masters 50/60+ mini-series.
Be on the lookout for registration opening in the middle of March with our 20% early bird discount, and make sure you book those PTO days with your boss/partner/pet!
Record-setting numbers across 10-day racing series
The 2019 Intelligentsia Cup pro/am bicycle racing series, in its eighth year and seventh as a multi-day series, saw record ridership with more than 5,300 entries across ten days – making for a 17% increase in total ridership from the previous year.
In addition to the total increase, there were significant increases within race categories. In particular, the pro/elite men’s category increased 37% over 2018, with an average field size of 123 racers per day, the largest average field size since the inception of the series.
Overall, nine out of ten categories increased in size, many by double digits. In particular the women’s 2/3 category continued its growth, up 14% year over year.
“We are ecstatic about the increase in ridership this year, showing that road racing is certainly far from dead!” said series partner Tom Schuler. “While there are many more event options for cyclists these days, events like the Intelligentsia Cup shows that cyclists appreciate quality, high-production value events. We hope to continue our growth trend as we have over the entire eight years of our event.”
The ridership came from 40 states and 20 foreign countries.
The fixed gear races also increased in participation, thanks in part to Chome taking over as title sponsor, with the Chrome Coveted Crits. Winners of the open and WTF categories received the rare Chrome Coveted Jersey and a one-of-a-kind Chrome backpack made from the same jersey.
Changes to the series this year included two age-oriented mini-series – a five-day junior series for 15-18 year-olds, and on the opposite end of the age spectrum, a five-day series for masters racers aged 50/60 plus, sponsored by Team MACK and The Meteor.
Planning for next year’s series is already underway with tentative dates of July 17-26, 2020.