The Intelligentsia Cup powered by SRAM will feature THREE actual individual road races, along with seven criteriums, in the 2017 series. We know road races are rare in the U.S. and are happy to provide you with as many as we can, as well as a variety of courses throughout our series.
The Wintrust Willow Springs Road Race will again host the Illinois Cycling Association State Road Race Championships on Sunday, July 16. The next day we return to South Chicago for a flat but potentially windy “kermesse-style” race, this year on a longer course to qualify it as a road race. Finally, on Tuesday, July 18, we are bringing back an old favorite from the Four Bridges of Elgin days (hey, check out that U.S. Postal rider with the nice tan lines!) with the Dennis Jurs Memorial Road Race.
Now before you say “yeah, but that’s a circuit race, not a true road race” or something similar (we know there can be a lot of confusion over these terms), indulge us as we take a moment to provide a primer on road race event nomenclature:
(We’re mostly using USA Cycling rule book definitions, but also borrow some from the UCI rule book too.)
Road Race: a bicycle race performed on a road surface (i.e. not off-road).
Individual road race: a mass-start race in which competitors must complete the entire distance of the race to finish and be placed. Can be run on a course that is either point-to-point or on a circuit of at least 5km. Lapped riders may not work with riders from their category or different categories on the course at the same time. Free lap rule* does not apply. **Center line rule can apply.
Criterium: a mass-start race run on a short closed circuit between 800 meters and 5km. All riders finish on the same lap and lapped riders can either be removed and placed or left in. Free lap rule* applies.
*Free lap rule: in criterium races riders who suffer a recognized mishaps or crash are allowed to reenter the race in the position held at the time of the mishap from the official pit.
**Center line rule: individual road races can be run on roads open to vehicular traffic running in the opposite direction. In this case the center line rule (a.k.a. yellow line rule) means that riders may not cross the center line of the roadway.
Basically, all the Intelligentsia Cup powered by SRAM events are road races run on circuit courses. (Point-to-point courses, especially in the Chicago area, are not very feasible.) Even the mighty Tour de France has has “circuit races” in the past, though this was a 180km-long circuit.
Better yet, let’s call them all road events, three of which are “road races” and the rest “criteriums.” Different rules for each, like the “free lap” rule, but fun racing in all! Registration is open through Sunday, July 9!