Monday, July 23, 2012


Such a shame.

Yesterday I attended the Superweek race in Whitefish Bay.  What a disappointment.
This series, the International Cycling classic, was a big deal in its day. Its over 40 years running now and I just cant see how it can continue. At least not in Wisco.

The Pro 1\2 field was 28 bikes. We went home about mid race when about 10 bikes dropped.

This is the series that blew thru my hometown for many, many years before we picked up the Dairyland tour instead. For sure the newer series has grabbed about 99% of the local racers.

So what happened? Whats going on? I cant say for sure but I do know this.
The series changed hands a few years back and that always throws a "glitch" into the operations. Even tho the previous owner was still around to help with the transition it did not go well. I heard riders complain about payout checks bouncing. All in all it was not run well. At that time.
This I do know.
Several years back I was involved in the committee to organise the Super week race here in town. I just helped. And at the time I was the president of the MTB club here also. While every year the series charged the committee a fee to bring the circus to town. This fee was getting out of hand and was growing by thousands per year. I remember trying to raise 3 or 4 thousand to do this. All of a sudden the fee was 12K. There was no way we could meet that bill. We scrambled and came up with about 8k with our MTB club donating a thousand dollars alone. We offered the 8 and they took it. They had no choice I guess.
This just to get Superweek to show up.
Many other towns and race venues where in the same boat as us. We simply could not afford the International Cycling Classic anymore.
Thats when the Dairyland series was born. And it was a very cost effective alternative to Superweek. Dairyland took over several venues including ours and is doing a great job. For all practical purposes, Superweek could well be running well as far as operations go. But it just too late. At least for Wisconsin.
They have a ton of Chicago area races now and hopefully do better down there.
To me, this is like the IRL vs Indycar fight several years ago. And as a fan we lose.  I think Superweek had the best racing, at least it did years ago. I miss the 6 bike breaks where nobody spoke English. Lance was here running the series in 96'. Cadel Evans ran Superweek when he was making the transition from MTB's. With Dairyland we will never see the likes of that again. While the racing is affordable, its dummy'ed down a bit from what it was. The Dairyland series most likely will not sport a future TdF winner. But it is what it is. A very well run domestic series that sports the best local riders with a few other thrown in. And to the regular non cycling spectator, is all the same to them.

But its not all the same to me. I will not attend another Superweek race.
RIP International Cycling Classic. I for one will miss you.



Gary A. Goebel said...

I agree wholeheartedly, Dan. We all lose on this one, and I heard the same mumblings of discontent as you. Super Week was a huge international draw, and it will be hard to replicate the quality of racers it brought to Cheeseland. I used to vacation here from AZ, and routinely made Super Week part of my vacation plans.
Otto Wenz loved cycling. I am not sure the current administration is not only interested in the coin. It seems to make a difference. I never begrudge someone a profit, just put forth a good product to justify it!

Dan Dittrich said...

It for sure is not the same as when Otto was the owner. He was there last nite. I think they want him to still make at least a presence to hold on to what little they have.

Brian said...

They still owe us (Velocause) money promised from last year. My team has vowed not to race their events because of this. I think they are just poorly run on the organization and administration side of things as a whole. That's probably the main issue people have with them.