Posted on: Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 6:48 pm by: superweek2009
The International Cycling Classic and Milwaukee Superweek Pro Tour Celebrates 41st Anniversary!
STARTING THIS WEEK: Enjoy 17 Consecutive Days of Professional Bicycle Criterium and Road Races, Scheduled in Wisconsin & Illinois. July 10 through 26
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (July 9, 2009) It’s been revered as the true American “Classic” series of bicycle criteriums and road races for good reason. That’s because SUPERWEEK is America’s longest-running, multi-day and multi-category series of bicycle races in the country.
And among its unique features: a series of especially challenging short-course criterium events that have prepared America’s top international cycling stars for Tour de France glory, including the legendary seven-time Tour winner, Lace Armstrong; and Greg Lemond.
In fact, in its 41 years of operation, nine other Superweek pro riders have leveraged their performances to go on to wear the Tour’s famous Yellow Jersey. Other Superweek top performers have gone on to win the Tour of Italy and other prestigious international events.
The 2009 Superweek Pro Tour is anticipated to be one of the best series ever, with riders representing more than 42 U.S. states, and over 20 different countries anticipated to be in attendance. All will be competing for a prize purse estimated to exceed $120,000.
These cyclists will be descending upon the Midwest for 17 consecutive racing days scheduled between Chicago and Northern Illinois, and throughout Southeastern Wisconsin, beginning this week!
The premiere sponsor of the 2009 International Cycling Classic and Superweek Pro Tour is Point Premium Root Beer.
The 41st Annual Superweek series begins in Chicago on Friday, July 10, and, 16 consecutive race days later, will conclude in Milwaukee for The Whitefish Bay Classic, on Saturday, July 26. These competitions have annually attracted crowds in excess of 300,000. And there’s something for everyone: Several amateur categories, for men and women, pro level categories, and even children’s races at select venues.
“Superweek features some of the most exciting, most colorful and most competitive pro bicycle racing you’ll find anywhere,” says Superweek veteran race announcer, Eddy Van Guyse, who celebrates his 31st consecutive year announcing the races.
“Superweek has a long and proud history of contributing to the development of our U.S. Cycling Teams who have gone on to win major international events. And one of them in particular has returned, as we cheer on Lance Armstrong in his effort to win yet another Tour title.”
You may recall Van Guyse’s role in the 1979 box office hit movie, Breaking Away, where, in his own words, he played the “Villain” Italian racer, riding for Team Cinzano. Breaking Away, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year, won the 1979 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Steve Tesich, and is listed 8th on the List of America’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies, ever.
“Yeah, I was the guy who messed up the gearing of the film’s star rider, and ultimately pushed my air pump through his wheels to slow him down. Of course, in the end, he goes on to win the main event and the top prize. It was a wonderful movie experience and, please let me be the first to acknowledge that, thankfully, we don’t see that kind of behavior during the Superweek Pro Tour!”
New This Year: Recorded Digital Audio Race Results and Highlights
“This year we’re going to be providing our global media editors with audio race day highlights recorded by our race announcer, Eddy Van Guyse, and distributed digitally through our media services group,” said Michael Garrison, marketing manager for Superweek. “As a former competitive bicycle racer, Eddy has a real passion for racing and loves to share his knowledge and experiences about the day’s events with our fans and media supporters. We hope that this new feature will help writers and editors get a real feel for these dynamic events.”
A Brief History of the Superweek Pro Tour
Superweek was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Otto Wenz, Jr., executive director of the International Cycling Classic and Superweek Pro Tour, who is a nationally recognized leader in competitive bicycle racing and a member of the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.
In fact, for decades, Wenz’s name has been absolutely synonymous with cycling in his hometown of Milwaukee where he devoted his life to promoting bicycle racing. Among his major lifetime contributions to the sport was to break the barrier of single-day racing events back in the early 1970s, when he created Superweek, the country’s first weeklong series of competitive events. Prior to that, competitive racers were only able to find single event opportunities, so this was a major change for the sport. Wenz also served as president of the United States Cycling Federation, and afterward directed and chaired various USCF committees.
The International Cycling Classic began as a single race at Milwaukee’s Summerfest in 1969 and quickly expanded into a successful week-long racing series in the Milwaukee metropolitan area under the name Superweek.
In 1985, Superweek added several races in cities to the north of Milwaukee. This expansion brought about the two-week racing format, which the International Cycling Classic (sponsored by Point Premium Root Beer) maintains to this day.
More recently, the event expanded southward starting with the addition of a race in Kenosha at the Food Folks & Spokes festival in 1991. In 2002, the Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic debuted in Illinois with the Bensenville Criterium, which was followed in 2003 by the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic on Chicago’s South Side.
Sanctioned by USA Cycling, the Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic is now the oldest and longest-running multi-category cycling race in the world with races in cities from De Pere in Northern Wisconsin to Chicago. The event has a long-running tradition of international participation. Each year, a European contingent travels overseas to compete in the Classic, many of whom are emerging stars on the European racing scene.
The International Cycling Classic has earned the distinction of being a world-class cycling event among the participating cyclists, sponsors, and spectators. Its many credits include:
• The longest running multi-day bicycle racing series.
• The Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic fields more competitors annually than any other American race.
• The event stages more races in a major American city (Milwaukee) than any other U.S. cycling event.
• Competitors are challenged with the most consecutive days of bicycle racing offered in America.
• The oldest and largest multi-day competitive cycling event for Men’s and Women’s Category 3 and 4 races, and Juniors.
• The first Pro/Am competitive racing series in the United States.
• Part of the first American Criterium Championship Series in 2003
• Hosted a stage in the 1999 Saturn U.S. Pro Tour
• Final Stage for the 1998 Tour of America.
• Provided the first national stage race and NPC Championship series for inline skating in Wisconsin.
2009 Superweek Race Schedule
(For the most up-to-the-minute schedule, please see the event website at:
www dot internationalcycling dot com slash schedule dot shtml )
Thu, July 9 Superweek Pro Tour Media Day Milwaukee, WI
Fri, July 10 Beverly Hills Cycling Classic,
Presented by Vee Pak/Beverly Bike & Ski
Sat, July 11 Metro South Medical Center Blue Island ProAm
Blue Island, IL
Sun, July 12 Sherman Health Elgin Cycling Classic — New Race!
Mon, July 13 Richton Park Criterium Presented by Chicago Dough
Richton Park, IL
Tue, July 14 Arlington Heights Criterium — New Race!
Arlington Heights, IL
Wed, July 15 Ray Basso Bensenville Criterium
Thu, July 16 – Daytime Races
Lake Front Road Race (Short Course)
Thu, July 16 – Evening Races The Shorewood Foundation presents
The Tim Hart DDS/Rainbow Jersey Shorewood Criterium
Fri, July 17 Hammer Nutrition Tour of Holy Hill
Sat, July 18 Schlitz Park – Endeavour Cyclng Challenge –
The Return to Brewers Hill!
Sun, July 19 The NorthShore University HealthSystem Grand Prix
Mon, July 20 Wheel & Sprocket Whitnall Park Road Race
Hales Corners, WI
Tue, July 21 – Daytime Races:
Schlossmann Whitnall Park Criterium presented by Honda & Subaru City Schedule Change,
Hales Corners, WI
Tue, July 21 – Evening Race:
Columbia St. Mary’s Urgent Care Cedarburg Cycling Classic Presented by WDSC,
Wed, July 22 AltoLab Lake Front Road Race presented by Hincapie Sportswear (Long Course) — Return of an historic course!
Thu, July 23 Racine.org Criterium
Fri, July 24 Chase Food Folks & Spokes,
Sat, July 25 – Daytime races: Humboldt Park Criterium,
Sat, July 25 – Evening race:
The Great Downer Avenue Bike Race presented by Midwest Airlines Home of the Super Prime!
Sun, July 26 Whitefish Bay Classic
Whitefish Bay, WI
For more information and to arrange personal interviews during the cycling series, please contact:
Michael Garrison, marketing manager, Breakaway Event Productions, LLC
Phone: 414 916 2200
James Dunn, media director, Dunn/Associates, Inc.
Phone: 414 375 7638