Intelligentsia Cup cycling race series kicks off in West Dundee with 'The Leg Breaker'

  • Spectators watch as cyclists race Friday on the downhill portion of what they call "The Leg Breaker" during the West Dundee River Challenge bicycle race. The racers can reach 45 mph.

    Spectators watch as cyclists race Friday on the downhill portion of what they call "The Leg Breaker" during the West Dundee River Challenge bicycle race. The racers can reach 45 mph. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • The men race on the downhill portion of what they call "The Leg Breaker" during the West Dundee River Challenge. It is the first race in the Intelligentsia Cup Chicago series that began Friday.

    The men race on the downhill portion of what they call "The Leg Breaker" during the West Dundee River Challenge. It is the first race in the Intelligentsia Cup Chicago series that began Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • The scenic portion of the women's race in Friday's West Dundee River Challenge took them through the neighborhood near the Fox River.

    The scenic portion of the women's race in Friday's West Dundee River Challenge took them through the neighborhood near the Fox River. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Jenn Jacobs of Lake in the Hills works with racer Kaya Cattouse of Belize on Friday at the West Dundee River Challenge, the first of nine bicycle races in the Intelligentsia Cup Chicago series.

    Jenn Jacobs of Lake in the Hills works with racer Kaya Cattouse of Belize on Friday at the West Dundee River Challenge, the first of nine bicycle races in the Intelligentsia Cup Chicago series. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/16/2021 7:37 PM

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.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.