The Bicycle Heaven road team had a good number of strong guys on the line last Sunday in Wooddale Illinois for the masters 30+ ABR Illinois State Criterium championship.  Our plan was to cover breaks as best we could for a good shot at the win.  Peter Kelley, Andy  Kerr, Ara Oggoian and Jim Siegle took on the heavy lifting by hooking up with anything deemed a threat.  Matt Haiduk’s job was to chill and then go for the field sprint regardless.

The race was very animated with all kinds of moves going off the front.  Our team stuck in and did everything needed to either make the breaks or chase them down….until Scott Knopke launched like a mo fo without us!  Two guys from the always tough Enzo’s team joined Scott and off they went.  10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds and up to 40 seconds off the front. 

Bicycle Heaven did a great job of keeping the momentum up and never lost sight of the fact that we had this guy – Matt Haiduk – waiting behind us in the group like a jilted bride.  A couple of fast, hard efforts brought the break back and just in time with only 2 laps to go. Enzo’s put a few guys on the front to lead their sprinter out and whipped the finale up to a frenzied pace by the time we hit the last turn, just 180 meters from the line. 

Then here comes Matt, following Ara, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes!  What’s impossible for most has become the M.O. for Matt.  The guy can hit the last 150 meters like Mike Tyson. Sure enough, and from about 8 guys back, Matt poured out his great big bucket of watts.  You could feel surprise coming off of the couple of guys that were in contention when the big-light-blue went flying past them.  

After the race Matt was pumped that he won the field sprint, thinking that the break was still off.  When told that he won the race he said “really?”, and when told that he won a jersey he said “really?” again.  So moral of the story is to keep your eye on the prize and Matt’s was to win the field sprint.  Way to go Matt, and you also won the championship! 

Matt’s goal last year was to upgrade to category 3 and he did so without too much problem.  When we talked about his upgrading to category 2 by the end of this season he didn’t seem all that convinced.  Having just beaten a bunch of good 1’s and 2’s you can bet that Matt is at least a little more convinced. 

We are proud to call Matt a Training Bible athlete.  We’re also also proud as heck that Bicycle Heaven (powered by Training Bible) finished 1st, 3rd and 4th in that race!

The Spoils