Lakeview Cycling Classic
Heritage Bicycles has partnered with the Prairie State Cycling Series, and the Lakeview Chamber, to produce an all-day “criterium” road race in the Lakeview neighborhood with the start/finish line on Lincoln Avenue at or near the intersection with Wellington and Southport Avenue.
Criteriums are a uniquely American style of bike racing and they are really fast and exciting. Crits are run on a closed-off course usually a mile or less in circumference. Because of the high speeds and short course length, the cycling fans get to see the racers come around every few minutes.
The working title of the event is the “Heritage Lakeview Cycling Challenge”. The proposed racecourse is posted below, which we think will provide a challenge for riders, and a full day of entertainment for spectators.
The tentative date of the race is Friday, July 16th, with The Intelligentsia Cup Series running from July 15th to July 24th, 2016. Multiple racing categories would go on from 9:30am to 7pm, making up 10 separate races. The Lakeview Cycling Classic could see 450+ racers take to the start line over the course of the day.
For a vibrant neighborhood such as Lakeview, we can expect a significant number of residents to spectate in the first year of the event, along with racers' family and friends.The popularity of unique cycling events grow over time, and we can expect more racers and spectators in the second and subsequent years of a well-run event.
The highlight events of the race day are the professional women and men’s races, and a local event like Kids Races are always highly popular with families and spectators. On race day, bike racing will go forward – rain or shine. Racing may be temporarily suspended due to severe weather conditions and will be resumed as soon as conditions allow.
Creation of an exciting and family-friendly summertime sporting event that is free to the public creates favorable economic impact to the area surrounding the event. Spectators and racers come from the surrounding and far-flung neighborhoods, Chicago suburbs, and out of state to compete and watch elite-level cycling races. This exposes the Lakeview neighborhood to new customers for businesses, creating repeat business, and solidifying the area as a festival/event destination.
These benefits are expected to increase over time. Of course, closing the streets around the racecourse will have an impact on the convenience of some of the residents and businesses in the community. This can be mostly mitigated by plenty of advance communications about the event to residents and businesses that may be affected. Our experience has been that the vast majority of people who have never seen a bike race before will enjoy the event – and this includes all age groups.
Are you a resident of the area surrounding the race? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Background and Vision of Intelligentsia Cup Series
The Intelligentsias Cup Series was launched in 2012 with one venue and expanded to seven successful venues in 2013 and eight successful venues in 2014 under the title sponsorship of Intelligentsia Coffee. Eight or more venues are planned for the Chicago Metro area in 2015 in the following communities:
• Chicago – W. Fulton St.
• Willow Springs
• Chicago – Beverly
• Lake Bluff
• Downers Grove
• Other venues TBA
Our vision is to produce quality events that serve the Chicagoland bicycle racing community and that positively impact neighborhoods and towns with a high-energy, family-friendly day of bicycle racing.
Here’s some community feedback from the 2014 Intelligentsia Cup Series:
Lake Bluff resident: “Speaking as someone who typically doesn’t care in the least about bike racing, I’m amazed at how exciting it is to watch these races, right here in Lake Bluff! !..It was done spectacularly well. My hat’s off to the people who had the vision to conceive the possibilities and the determination and energy to make it all happen.”
Executive Director of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce about bike racing: “It’s very explosive, very exciting. People are always blown away when they come and watch it for the first time. It’s a really high-energy experience, and really one of the most spectator-friendly sports there is, partly because the racers keep coming by every minute.”
The Intelligentsia Cup Series brought bike racing back to the Village of Downers Grove in 2014, after a five year hiatus. Mayor Martin Tully said, “I’m very excited to see the bike race back in Downers Grove! This is terrific news and I hope it takes solid root back in our community where it belongs.”
After the Downers Grove event, the Planning Manager of the Village sent a letter with the following: “Congratulations to Prairie State on a successful running of the DG Criterium. It was nice to have the Criterium back in the Village and your event staff did a great job of supervising the event!.The event was exceptionally undertaken as the course set-up and clean-up was completed in a professional and quick manner!and Prairie State and the Village worked together well.”
More info can be found at intelligentsiacup.com/