The Great Egyptian Omnium (GEO) is the only cycling race in Southern Illinois so I was sad to see it canceled last year. In all honesty I didn’t expect it to come back, it was a great event, but we don’t have a big cycling community in Southern Illinois and putting on a multi-day event is a lot work. I’m glad to say that the event is back thanks to the good people at St. Nick’s Brewing Company and the Bike Surgeon. As in previous years there will be a time trial, road race, and criterium events taking place over the last weekend of July, but they’ll be hosted in a new location.
The new location is the DuQuoin State Fair Grounds, the road course and crit both stay within the fair grounds while the time trial ventures off the grounds. This location lacks the hills around Stone Fort and Creal Springs of previous years, but it comes with many big benefits. First all the racing will be staged from one single area, the fairgrounds is a perfect place to host events and more importantly this area will be closed to traffic. No traffic means much safer racing and the race will not be crammed onto just one lane.
The crit is totally flat and the road course has some very slight elevation changes this will be a fantastic course for riders like me, big guys!
If you haven’t raced before let me tell you, it’s something you’ll never forget and this will be your only chance to race in Southern Illinois. Come out and support the event and spread the word!