Intelligentsia Cup cycling race series kicks off in West Dundee with 'The Leg Breaker'
The first of nine bike races known as the Intelligentsia Cup had racers tightening their bike chains and checking their tires as the course known as "The Leg Breaker" greeted hundreds of bikers Friday in West Dundee.
The West Dundee River Challenge, the first contest in the series, is considered one of the toughest, featuring a sharp downhill with a sharp turn to the right, followed by a massive incline that is enough to make the most seasoned racer nervous.
Two racers were taken out of action at that spot Friday and sent to the hospital, one with a broken collarbone, officials said.
"The Intellegentsia Cup is in their ninth year with this being the sixth year in West Dundee," said Russ Larson, senior staff member. "It's closed-course bike racing, and I liken it to NASCAR on bicycles."
The course is three-quarters of a mile long on Kane, Geneva, Lincoln, Washington, Seventh and Sixth streets, taking the cyclists around the neighborhoods and by the river.
Racers come from across the U.S. and as far away as Canada and other countries.
Kaya Cattouse, from Belize, is being trained and monitored by Jenn Jacobs of Lake in the Hills, who first met the 31-year-old racer on university business while doing training on sport skills in the Central American country.
Cattouse will compete in all nine Intellegentsia Cup races since she is the only female from her county. Her strategy in racing is "trying to get on the (award) podium," she said with a laugh.
Upcoming races are in Glen Ellyn, Winfield, Mundelein, Lombard, Elgin, Lake Bluff and two in Chicago.