The Tour of America’s Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board kicked off today. The new series, seven criteriums and three road races across nine Wisconsin cities, runs from June 18th until June 28th, 2009. Prizes will be awarded for each race and points are accumulated for the overall omnium.
No up to date start list is available, but riders from Kelly Benefit Strategies, BISSELL, Jelly Belly, Trek-Livestrong U23 and lots more amateur teams will be racing at some or all of the events. With Trek based in Wisconsin, the U23 boys should be quite aggressive in the race. Women’s teams include Team Type 1, Team Kenda, Team BH, Lip Smacker and Verducci/Breakaway Racing.
The event started off with the Blue Mounds Race of the Future road race, on the course proposed for the 2016 Olympics. The 22-mile loop delivers three considerable climbs totaling up to 2,200 feet per lap with an additional finishing mile stretch that averages a grade of eight percent.
In the men’s 88-mile race, Matt Busche (Nova ISCorp team), who was the Best Amateur at Nature Valley Grand Prix, powered away from the break in the final miles to take the win. The Kelly Benefit Strategies duo of Cheyne Hoag and Andy Bajadali finished second and third.
“I felt good until the top of pinnacle but after that felt my legs start to cramp at the base of Blue Mounds but I just put my head down and prayed for no cramps,” said Busche in the race report. “Blue Mounds was a race that I wanted to do well at , and with good preparation, my strategy was to just go out and ride hard.”
According to Steve Tilford’s blog entry, “the course was way too hard for the group that was racing it” – so much so that only 26 riders finished out of 79 starters.
In the women’s 44-mile race, Amanda Miller (Lip Smacker) took the win ahead of Devon Haskell (BH USA) and Sarah Maquire (Priority Health).
“It’s a great course if you like hills, and that’s kind of my thing.” said Miller in race report.
Both Busche and Miller took home the black and white cow print winners jersey as well as the yellow and white cow print leader’s jersey. The top slot in all categories, in addition to a cash prize and jersey, also gets the coveted milk bottle filled with chocolate milk, courtesy of title sponsor Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Friday brings the Trek Waterloo Classic, 1.6 mile circuit which starts off with steep climb up a narrow park drive, out of Fireman’s Park and into the city to wind past city hall and a gradual descent into the start/finish area in Fireman’s Park. The women start at 3pm for a 60-minute timed race and the men at 6pm for 90 minutes.
Saturday is the Giro d’ Grafton twilight crit, a 0.85 mile criterium in downtown Grafton with six fast turns with a slight uphill coming out of turn two. The finishing stretch is long and flat leading into a great final sprint. The 60-minute women’s race starts at 4pm and the 90-minute men’s race is at 7pm.
Sunday June 21st is the Maritime Bay Classic in Manitowoc raced on a traditional 4-corner flat 0.65-mile crit course. The 60-minute women’s crit is at 3pm and the 90-minute men’s crit starts at 6pm.
After a rest day on Monday June 22, the racers head to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin for the next two days. Tuesday is the Attitude Sports Road Race on a rural 10.3-mile loop with lots of dairy farms and rollers with the last leg of the course (Golf Course Rd) being a little easier on the legs with some flatter terrain. The 60-mile women’s race starts at 9am and the 80-mile men’s race is at 1pm.
Next is the Fond du Lac Cycling Grand Prix, a flat, 4-corner circuit located in the heart of the downtown business district of downtown. Wide streets and sweeping turns allow for fast-paced racing with a 900-foot run from the last turn to the finish line on Main Street. The 60-minute women’s crit starts at 3pm and the 90-minute men’s race is at 6pm.
Thursday June 25 is the Sheboygan Harbor Centre Family Day & Bike Race, another 4-corner crit on a flat 0.8-mile course. The 60-minute women’s crit starts at 3pm and the 90-minute men’s race is at 6pm.
June 26 brings the third and final road race in Greenbush, Wisconsin. The 9.8-mile loop of the Greenbush Road Race starts off with a gradual 3 mile climb into the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Once in the forest, racers will face a winding road with bits of steep up-hills and fast down-hills on the narrow road way. Then ride through some Wisconsin country side until hitting the wall coming back into the start/finish area. Starting at 9am, the women do 40 laps, and the men’s 80 lap race starts at 1pm.
Saturday June 27 takes the racers to Milwaukee. The Downer Classic is raced on a 0.9-mile triangular crit course with a sharp 2nd turn and a long sweeping turn 3 which should allow riders to pedal through it and keep their speed high coming back on the finishing stretch. The 60-minute women’s race starts at 4pm and the 90-minute men’s race is at 7pm.
The final race is the Carl Zach Cycling Classic in Waukesha. This course features a fairly flat fast 6-corner 0.85-mile criterium with turns that vary from sharp to gradual. The entire course takes place in the dense urban heart of Waukesha. The 60-minute women’s crit starts at 3pm and the 90-minute men’s race is at 6pm.
Results available here