Spring Super Crit means the start of road season. This year, Chicago Women’s Elite Cycling is partnering with BFF Bikes Racing to make the Spring Super Crit truly super!
CWEC is happy to bring back our bike handling skills clinic—originally hosted in 2015 with great success! All are welcome—please join us and brush up on your skills!
CWEC Bike Handling Skills Clinic: 1:30PM during the Category 3 Men’s Race—convene at the start/finish
We asked past CWEC teammates to share some thoughts and words of wisdom for racers. Study up!
Spring Super Crit—Should I do this? Can I do this? (Cliff notes: yes. Not convinced? read on)
By Rachel Wills
Are you mildly interested in riding your bike? Do you kinda like to go fast? Do you like to challenge yourself? Unsure of where to start? Well, BFF is hosting an event for you! The Spring Super Crit starts the season off with a relatively tame criterium style race on the closed circuit of the Blackhawk Farms Raceway.
Spring Super Crit is a great way to get the cobwebs out of the legs, and let old man winter know that it's time to race bikes. The course is a very flat, non-banked, race car track that typically follows a clockwise circuit. The corners are wide open, which makes this race very smooth in all categories. (Pro Tip: You shouldn't need to break at all! Use all your speed and handling skills to your advantage.) Wind can play a factor, so it's best to find a good wheel and make your moves count.
I've done this race as a solo rider (without teammates) and it's best to look out for the bigger teams that are testing their race tactics for the season ahead. You've got to follow moves and motivate the other solo riders to do the same. I've watched races where the breakaway sticks, but 9/10 times this race comes down to a sprint finish.
If you're a novice rider, this is a great race to start with as it's smooth, safe, and fun! And if you are unsure if this is something you can do, pop into BFF Bikes, and they may convince you otherwise. ;) Maria Larkin will be running a clinic at the race site; it will be helpful for beginners to experienced racers! Please reach out to us ahead of the race with any questions and we'll do our best to talk you into registering and preparing for this event!
Making the Super Crit Super Exciting
By Lauren Wissman
Super Crit sets itself apart when it comes to criterium racing. The course, an auto and motorcycle race track, is a unique course for a bike race because of its exposure and general lack of cornering. These two elements force a rider to observe wind conditions, positioning within a pack of riders, and if and where to place attacks differently and more intensely than some crit courses. For these reasons, it's a perfect opportunity for practicing tactical racing. Exposure is a huge factor when it comes to conserving energy and being efficient with your positioning. This race in particular is one where, if not attacking, you want to tuck in and even implement an echelon where possible - where riders are staggered behind one another based on where the wind is coming from. You may even naturally find yourself in that position. It's harder to get off of the front in this race if you find yourself there - something to consider. This race also is tough for attacks to stick because of those reasons as well as visual exposure. It's more of an incentive to chase down an attack when you can see how far off they are from you the whole time, which is the case here. Bottom line, if I were to attack on this course, I'd probably want to bring along a buddy. Those factors seem to lead to more conservative racing at this course, where attacks tend to happen near the end of the race or on prime (prize) laps - so maybe it'd be a good idea to mix it up...