Ten days of crit racing! That sounds like a tough race series. And it was tough. Our german crit team Team Colonia Kids from Cologne made their way to Chicago for the Intelligentsia Cup, a race series in and around Chicago with the big US teams.
Getting closer like a family
Racing in America is different. Preparing for ten race days also! The first two days were filled with sightseeing to soak up the atmosphere of this big city. Also the Kids were training to activate the legs for the next ten days. One very important piece in the puzzle is to work and live together as one team. While watching the last days of the Tour de France, the team became close like a family.
Successful start in West Dundee
Day one was a great start in West Dundee. The famous Leg Breaker Ramp towards the finish in West Dundee waited for the peloton. A course with many corners, a fast decent and the ramp towards the finish line.
The Kids showed off their skills right from the start and they could bring Alex Weifenbach into the group of the day. Alex had a famous company in the group, Jonathan Brown (Miami Blazers) and Mateo Dal-cin (Toronto Hustle), both were riding on Pro Tour Level before. In the end, Alex secured his spot on the podium and showed the peloton that the Kids from Cologne arrived.
About crashing and getting back up
Everyone is aware of crashing and crashing is one part of this sport. But it’s how you deal with it. Three riders hit the deck during the ten days in Chicago. On day three in Winfield, team sprinter Lennart Klein had bad luck. He tried to close a gap in a break, but payed it with a highspeed crash in the early part of the race. Luckily he could continue in the next days. Unlike than Kian Baumann, the youngest rider and just recovered from Covid, he was involved in a crash on the next day in Mundelein. His day ended in the Hospital with a concussion, stitched finger and bruised shoulder. There was no chance to get him back on bike. Nils Büttner had a touch down in Lake Bluff on the penultimate stage. “I was just not concentrated anymore. The days before have been so hard, it was my fault. With less than three laps to go, I was out.”, he summarized and ended the Race Series on his bike next day on Fulton Street.
Finding the position in a hectic peloton
After the first race and the podium spot for Alex, the team had to find it’s position in the peloton. Racing in America feels different. “They cut the corners different, the speed is high and it’s never quiet in a race. You always have to be awake”, they describe after the following days.
The Kids had to accept the difference between US Crit racing and the way they used to race in Germany. During the next days, the team always had one rider in a the top10 finish, but another podium spot was unreachable at this point.
What is as important as fast legs? A fast bike setup! And the kids had a fast and stylish setup with. Our R5 wheelset is the most aerodynamic wheelset, also super stiff and durable. Exactly what is needed during a ten days criterium series. Even with three crashes, there was no need for any change.
1 Clever Martinez – Miami Blazer
2 Brandon Feehery – Project Echelon Racing
3 Ethan Craine – Project Echelon
4 Simon Daniels – Geofco-Doltcini-Materiel-velo
5 Sean Christian – cinch rise
6 Cesar Serna – cadence cyclery
7 Lennart Klein – Team Colonia Kids
8 Curtis White – Best Buddies Racing
9 Ismael Collado acosta – Rockland cycling velo
10 Matteo Dal-cin – Toronto Hustle
15 Christian Noll – Team Colonia Kids
25 Alexander Weifenbach – Team Colonia Kids
39 Patrick Rumpf – Team Colonia Kids
41 Simon Happel – Team Colonia Kids
49 Claudio Heinen – Team Colonia Kids
The Kids will come back!
This trip was not the last to Chicago. Sure it was not the most successful participation in the US for the Kids, but they flew back home with a broad chest. To know how they are respected in the peloton and that the top ranks are in reach give them enough reasons to come back and fulfill their dream with a stage win at the Intelligentsia Cup.