Local Cyclists Shoot for the Pros at the Glencoe Grand Prix | Bleader

Local Cyclists Shoot for the Pros at the Glencoe Grand Prix


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The Verizon Team
  • The Verizon Team
This Saturday at 2:30 PM, five members of the Chicago-based Verizon U-25 Cycling Team will compete in the Glencoe Grand Prix, the host for the U.S. National Criterium Championships. Besides the criterium, there are several smaller races, and the Verizon team will compete in the amateur Millard Group Category race. Besides winning the $1,300 grand prize, they're hoping to be noticed by sponsors and teams that will allow the amateurs to go pro.

The Verizon team, formed last February, aims to help promising amateur cyclists transition to the pros. There aren't a lot in the U.S.: team director Mike Ebert estimates that there are about 100 professional riders on ten teams.

But with six wins so far this season, the team—which consists of eight riders, all between the ages of 19 and 25—has high expectations for this year’s Glencoe Grand Prix. Mike Sherer, a 24-year old Winnetka native who placed fourth in the event last year, seems particularly promising. In June he was the top-finishing amateur (and fifth overall) in a field of roughly 100 at the pro-am Tour of America's Dairyland. "He's a really good sprinter," says Ebert. "He doesn’t back down."

A block party with a beer garden, live music on three stages, and kids' activities kicks off at 11 AM at the Center Court Parking Lot, just north of the intersection of Hazel and Vernon.

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