The Intelligentsia Cup is on right now in the Chicagoland area – with the big races coming this weekend. Tish Kelly, creator and owner of the CWA Racing p/b TREK team, took a few minutes from racing (and partying) to share some thoughts on what makes this race event special.
• Tune in to this weekend’s Live coverage of the Intelligentsia Cup and the live audio feed from the stage is available HERE
Please introduce yourself and give us a little back ground on on you and your team fit into this whole bike racing scene.
I am Tish Kelly, creator and owner of CWA Racing p/b TREK. I am a huge fan of cycling and have been for 15 years riding at home in Naples Fl in our awesome groups as well as cycling around the world for fun . (Mallorca, all over France and Italy). I caught the racing bug in Florida, after a long tennis life, and did that for a number of years until my daughter Madison Kelly joined me and a couple others and a team was born. (by accident!) 7 years ago we started traveling around and Intelligentsia Cup was one of the highlights and we have come back every year. Our team just snowballed from there. (We started out sponsored by Papa John and Capital Wealth Advisors took over). Most of our sponsors like Capital Wealth, Safetti, Boyd wheels, Trek, etc have been with us from the start. Plus in Naples we a lot of people and riders from the Chicago area have homes here. We have awesome housing with Nate Iden and family.
What do you think makes this race unique from other races?
We like that it’s over a week long. The Team can really get a groove. Plus individuals can race and get noticed. Everyone is welcome and these events couldn’t be more inviting and inclusive. Love the vibe in the welcoming towns. Chicago is a cool city and supports cycling. My favorite I think is Lake Bluff. Just beautiful. Goose Island is fun. All the towns are cute.
Any special memories or stories from racing here in the past?
Well we always have been top 3 and won the last one in the Omnium with Caroline Baur. One year we made our own “Alpe d’Huez” party corner with locals we knew from Naples and had a blast in Niles.
What are your goals for this weekend and what do you and the team hope to achieve?
Emily Ehrlich is in 3rd spot so we would like to keep her there or even move her up! One never knows! Always chase.
What would you say to riders and fans who haven’t seen this race before?
Funny I was just telling a great new cat 1 fellow, from Naples, on Miami’s Aminorip team , that instead of chasing one day events cross country with limited budget, to come to Intelligentsia Cup and set up shop for ten days and race daily. Really hone your skills and practice team tactics together. Then the trip is worth it. Plus it’s so fun and you really get to know each other. Ya still might get a butt whooping but ya may get lucky and also improve!
As for fans it’s a party! You get to see the racers every few minutes zooming by at speeds over 30 mph while you enjoy a cocktail and maybe a cookout. It’s super exciting. The Nascar of cycling. Brad and company are great at explaining what they are seeing which helps.
Anything last thoughts you’d like to add?
I think the promoters should be commended for a job well done and thanked. I always drive it home to my team the fact that without promoters busting their butts and without all our sponsors supporting us and bike racing we all would have nothing. I do think all events should welcome anyone that wants to race and make it one big happy club and treat racers and teams well. Without them spending money and time promoters would have no participants! Right. For cycling to grow we all need to work together.
PS we well be back in 2022! We are all set! 👍💙🇺🇸
• Tune in to this weekend’s Live coverage of the Intelligentsia Cup (http://intelligentsiacup.com/). The live audio feed from the stage is available HERE
Brad Sohner and Todd Busteed provide the coverage.