What a great race series the 2011 Tour of America’s Dairyland was. I’m already looking forward to next year. This year featured 9 criteriums, 1 road race, and 1 time trial. The criteriums were a mix of hilly technical courses and flat, fast courses. This was my first time to race more than six days in a row. By the end of two weeks of racing and riding, I had ridden/raced 824 miles (383 miles the first week and 441 miles the second week). To put that in perspective, that is 15 miles longer than our drive home from Madison, WI to Birmingham, AL. The 441 mile week is my sixth 400+ mile week of the year and most likely the second longest week of my entire racing career. I had a 500+ mile week in college.
All of our criteriums were timed at 90 minutes and depending on the average speed worked out to be around 45 miles in length. The race was so well organized, thanks in part to having a nearly identical schedule very day. I didn’t have a lot to do besides race, so I would frequently start warming up during the pro women’s race and continuing warming up during the masters 1-2-3 race before checking out the course for a few laps during the downtime that was scheduled between the end of the masters race and the start of the pro men’s race. That down-time meant that every one of our races started on time because any kind of delay earlier in the day was worked out by the time our race started.
The road race was an excellent course through the Kettle Moraine state forest area. The hills and crosswinds combined with some rain during the first half of the race made for a challenging course. I was disappointed that I put so much effort into an early break that was brought back and then missed both the break of the day plus a large chase group. I was stuck in the field until the last lap when I bridged to a solo move and worked together with the rider I caught to finish just ahead of the field. It was a good finish to an otherwise disappointing race performance.
Favorite picture and favorite video… the picture is Lapham Peak where I rode to on my rest day in lieu of the Ripon time trial. The video is the last lap sprint of the last race of the series in Madison, WI.
Panoramic view from the top of the Lapham Peak tower (click to enlarge)
Here is a summary of all my results from the races. I was hoping for more top 20s, another top 10, and a top 5 in the road race. So my results weren’t quite what I was expecting, but it was still great experience, great racing, and the longest race series that I have ever done!
|Day 1 – Shorewood Criterium
|Day 2 – Thiensville Criterium
|Day 3 – Grafton Criterium
|Day 4 – Waukesha Criterium
|Day 5 – Greenbush Road Race
|Day 6 – Schlitz Park Criterium
|Day 7 – Ripon TT (rest day)
|Day 8 – Sheboygan Criterium
|Day 9 – Fond du Lac Criterium
|Day 10 – Downer Ave Criterium
|Day 11 – Madison Criterium
Finally, here a few maps to help illustrate the scope of our fun summer bike racing adventure…
Annotated map showing our entire trip.
Annotated map showing all the places that I raced.
Map showing all my races and commutes to/from awesome host housing in Brookfield. I saw quite a bit of southeastern Wisconsin frequently opting for side streets and country roads instead of interstates.