The Fyxation Open Omnium is a wrap and the first champions of our new 4 race Omnium have been crowned. Congratulations to Josh Tyrell for winning the Men's competition and to Ash Duban for taking home the Women's series championship. We had a blast getting to know all these great competitors and are looking forward to an even bigger and better event in 2017. Now for the final race summary!
Event Recap: Chicago Criterium
After a few hours rest we headed down to Chicago for the 4th and final race in the 2016 Fyxation Open Omnium. This is the third year that we've held this race in downtown Chicago and was the first year that we did the race as an omnium, so there was a ton on the line.
The Chicago Criterium takes place in the Fulton Market area which is part of the West Loop. This area has historically housed warehouses and a small residential area but with companies like Google and Uber moving in, development has taken off. Our race is held right outside the Goose Island Brewery and Tap Room and the roasting facilities of Intelligentsia Coffee. Both of these companies are very involved in the local cycling community and both are large sponsors of the Intelligentsia Cup.
The Fyxation Open events were scheduled for the middle of the day and as the road criteriums were taking place, riders checked into our booth for their pre-race bike check and riders started warming up.
After taking the win the previous day at the Lake Bluff Crit, Beth Franklin was looking to take home a second straight victory and to try to edge out series leader Ash Duban to take home the Omnium. Once again we didn't field the largest group of female competitors but the racing was fast and fun to watch.
The usual suspects separated from the group and in a final push Jen Sharp took home the win, Nicole Mertz took second and Ash Duban took home her 3rd podium at the Fyxation Open on her Fyxation Eastside (steel is real!). The win was enough to put Duban in the overall lead for the first ever Women's Fyxation Open Omnium and she took home the series crown.
The men were up next and there was a lot on the line. Local Milwaukee rider and series leader, Nate Labecki, was leading the Omnium points series and Josh Tyrell from Montreal was a close second sitting at 5 points behind. Emile Abraham who had only raced in 2 of the 3 races was sitting in 3rd place after a win at the Downer Classic and a very close second place the day before in Lake Bluff (Lake Bluff Race Recap).
The field of 38 riders shot out of the start/finish line and the race was underway. This was far and away the fastest field of riders we had seen at the Fyxation Open and the racing was competitive throughout the event.
The Fulton Market course is a great location to watch a fixed gear street criterium because of it's industrial location in the heart of the city. In order to show the rest of the cycling community what a great venue this is for a race, the Intelligentsia Cup team had a bit of a surprise for everyone in our field. The race would be broadcast live on the Internet so that fans all around the world could tune in and watch the Fyxation Open live! To our knowledge this is the first live broadcast off a fixed gear criterium race and the professional announcers did an outstanding job and really helped elevate the race coverage of this year's Fyxation Open.
There was a lot of back and forth in the Men's race and unlike previous years at the Fyxation Open, there was a tight group of riders competing for the win. After starting a break half way through the last lap, Josh Tyrell gutted it out and came home with the win, followed closely by Simon Jones, Nate Labecki, and previous Fyxation Open winners Sebastian Salinas and Emile Abraham.
There was a bit of confusion at the race in terms of who the overall Omnium winner was as Josh Tyrell and Nate Labecki were tied at the end of the overall series. After reviewing the results with USA Cycling, Josh Tyrell was the overall Omnium winner due to his 1st place finish and his 2 second place finishes in Milwaukee.
Even though there was a bit of confusion on the final podium, our 3 series leaders got to share the stage on the last day of racing. We want to send out a huge thanks to all the riders that participated in this year's Fyxation Open Omnium and we want to let you know that we're already laying the foundation for next year's event. Stay tuned and thanks for supporting this amazing event!