Just before the start of the Pro 1/2/3 race, Michael Zimmerman introduced Wade Franks brother Travis. From the steps of Iowa's state capitol, Travis talked about how and why the race weekend came to bear the name of his brother. Wade was tragically killed two years ago, on a Sunday morning at 10 am by a man convicted multiple times of driving while drunk, and had been up since early in the morning drinking. Earlier this year Senate file 444 became law, and Iowa now has a sobriety monitoring program that is similar to the program used in South Dakota where impaired-driving offenders travel twice daily to a monitoring center for a breath test. Much of this was made possible by the great deal of effort and energy that Wades parents put in to see this legislation through. I hope they find some comfort in that something good has come from Wades death.
An afternoon of racing
I arrived around noon as the category four race was starting. This years Wade Frank Memorial Cup criterium is also the state championship for each category, so all of the race categories had their own start times and a chance to see who gets to be the State Champ without being combined with another race category. While the 4's have a wide range of abilities among them, they don't lack for putting in a great effort.
Just before the bell lap, on the last corner and a loss of traction causes these Jason Quinn and Jesse Benshoof to hit the pavement.
The Journeymen of Bike Racing
The cat 3's get to race for 50 minutes and the payout is seven deep. In early August the heat coming off the pavement can feel like a blast furnace. Today's unusually cool weather should help keep the pace up the Grand Avenue hill high.
Conner Bernstein (Northstar Racing) putting some time on the field on the long drag up Grand Avenue.
Corey Phillips (Sakari race team) takes the prime with three laps to go, and next thing ya know it's back to back primes!
The Headline Event, Pro 1,2, and 3
Just how much racing is 70 minutes in the East Village and up Grand Avenue? About thirty miles and 2600 feet of climbing!
Aaron Wrabeck (Sakari racing), 2016 Gravel worlds champ trying to bridge up to Sam Fritz.
Mark Savery (Harvest Racing/Trek) and Masters World Cyclocross champ taking a strong pull onto Locust street.
For much of the race, Sam Fritz (Above and Beyond Cancer/Sheels) dangled off the front with his teammates taking control at the front of the peloton.
Hitting speeds of 40 miles an hour coming into to turn onto 6th avenue.
Michael Zimmerman rings the prime bell with seven laps to go.