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August 1, 2016

Intelligentsia Cup 2016

Intelligentsia Cup 2016 came to an end this past weekend, Kayla Doan describes the series in these three words: “Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!” Team Wisconsin had four U25 riders racing this series: Kayla Doan (racing age of 24, racing the WPro1/2), Riley Hankes (racing age of 19, racing the M2/3), Carlos Guzman (racing age of 14, racing the M4/5), and Fernanda Guzman (racing age of 21, racing the W2/3). It was a tough series, as Chicago showed its unpredictable weather. We had temperatures of above 90°F, dangerous thunderstorms, and strong winds [this was kind of expected, as we were racing in the Windy City].

The second stage of this series,The Packey Webb Ford Tour of Glen Ellyn pb INTENT Coaching, had the team’s favorite venue.The views it offered were beautiful, which made the course an incredible one. Carlos said that it was one of the most unique courses he has done this whole summer. In Riley’s words, the course was a fantastic and very technical one, which made the peloton strung out and forced everyone to keep the pace high. Kayla remarks that in this race positioning was key, and that was a fact. Fernanda and Carlos agreed with their teammate’s remark, as this race was the toughest one for them both because they had troubles positioning well at the turns.They both voiced that their performance during this race was not the best, but that they surely won’t forget this peculiar course. Thank you to INTENT Coaching for helping organize this unforgettable race!

Riley Hankes going up the first hill Carlos Guzman

Riley Hankes (left) going up the first hill and Carlos Guzman (right) enjoying the views and the wildlife.

The next day was the Wintrust Willow Springs Road Race, which was also the Illinois Road Race State Championship. This race was the highlight for three racers of the U25 squad. Carlos took the win in the U15 race, which got him the IL State Champion title, Fernanda took 3rd in the WCat3 IL State Championship, and Kayla took 8th place in the WPro/1/2 race, she said that she was really excited to crack the top 10! It was a race filled with strong competition and very hot weather, as Riley narrates, a lot of racers showed up, which added another aspect to this difficult race. This course was also a very beautiful one; the racing might have been aggressive, but the setting was a very soothing and calming one. Thank you Cook County Forest Preserve for a beautiful and challenging course!

Carlos Guzman Podium Fernanda Guzman Podium

Carlos Guzman on the top step (left) and Fernanda Guzman on the 3rd step (right)

Kayla Doan

Kayla Doan racing fiercely!

The weekend that followed was the Northwestern Medicine Lake Bluff Criterium and the Goose Island Grand Prix. Both events were Pro Road Tour (PRT) events, which attracted many cyclists to these races, making them really fast! They were also faced with strong and dangerous thunderstorms, which resulted in early finishes/cancellations for some races. Kayla shared that the Lake Bluff Criterium was the hardest race for her, that even though the race was cancelled after 20 minutes, it started at a very hard pace and she was hanging on for dear life! These two races were difficult because of the tough competition, the high temperatures, and the thunderstorms, which made it extremely humid. Thank you to Northwestern Medicine® and SRAM for making the ending of Intelligentsia Cup a remarkable one!

Fernanda Guzman Riley Hankes

Fernanda Guzman (left) and Riley Hankes (right) at the Goose Island Grand Prix

As the second weekend was coming to an end, the team reflected on the experience as a whole, and came to a conclusion that cycling is way more than just a sport. Riley explained that his highlight from the series was seeing old friends and racing against them. Carlos and Fernanda conquered with Riley’s highlight, as theirs was also seeing old friends and having a great time on and off the course with them. The four U25 racers raced with all their hearts, as they all have a huge passion for the sport. No matter how hard the competition was, or how unpredictable the weather was, they always had energy, perseverance, and a smile on their face.

Carlos Guzman Fernanda Guzman

Carlos Guzman at the Lake Bluff Criterium (left), and Kayla Doan at the Goose Island Grand Prix (right)

Kayla Doan, Fernanda Guzman, Riley Hankes, and Carlos Guzman, are all in development. They are all young and have a great future ahead of them. They’ve all expressed their gratitude towards the team, Team Wisconsin, and towards the great sponsors, which have made their development easier and smoother. Riley remarks that the future of bike racing is bright and not slowing down anytime soon. Fernanda conquers, and says that their love towards cycling will push them into pedaling ceaselessly.

Thank you to everyone that worked hard to make the 2016 Intelligentsia Cup a memorable one, and thank you to KS Energy Services, LLC, Midwest Orthopedic Speciality Hospital, Emerys Cycling, Triathlon & Fitness, CLIF Bar, Trek, DeFeet, Bontrager and COUNTRY Financial, for helping us keep our passion moving forward.

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