This weekend was the richest amateur race of the year in Elk Grove just outside of Chicago. While the pro's had a 3 day stage race for big money we got a nice 60k crit with $17,000 up for grabs. This is a nice tune up before nationals as pretty much the same guys will be there... A few teams missing but pretty much everyone turned up in numbers for this one. We only entered 5 guys as the travel was a bit much with nationals in the same spot next weekend. So it was myself, R2, kiwi, Frankie D, Gammer, and Ian. My legs have been mint the past couple of weeks which made Charlotte even more frustrating but I'm over it... So I told the team they needed to look to me today... We wanted to place myself or Frankie in a break or set me up for a field sprint. The weather was ridiculously hot and humid again and the race was quick from the get go.. Frankie pretty much went with everything trying to make the move but with 7 $500 primes up for grabs nothing went anywhere. I tried my legs out a few laps in and I was going good winning a $500 prime by 5 bike lengths.... It was tough to recover in the heat and you payed for anything you did.... but another 5 laps went by and my $500 prime needed a friend.. so I opened it up again winning my 2nd $500 prime.. cha ching! I tried to relax and look after myself for the finish after I was a G up... and with 5 laps to go on the 2.3 mile circuit I parked myself in the top 5.... It was super sketchy and we could not get the team together so I was on my own to free-lance off of everyone else's trains... I just bounced around from train to train holding my position. Priority Health put in the last big dig and the sprint was crazy... The finish came a little quicker this time and I left it a hair late... but passed 5 guys in the last 200 meters and came even with one guy at the line. We both threw our bikes and it was too close to tell... but in the end I came up short losing by inches... DAMN! So all in all it was a success and the legs are going good with only a week till nationals. Guess banking $3,000 in an hour and 15 minutes wasn't bad either:-)...with no race on Sunday for once I jetted home and Tara and I are spending some much needed down time chilling by our pool and enjoying the nice weather (and possibly a few pina coladas)... next up.. Elite National Criterium Championships... lets do work!