Kiwi criterium champion Olivia Ray claimed her first victory of the summer this Saturday, winning the Tour of Lake Ellyn as part of Chicago’s Intelligentsia Cup. Ray is currently making her comeback from a devastating crash in which she broke her ankle, requiring surgery, during Spain’s Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.
“This win felt weird if I’m honest,” said Ray. “I was having some negative thoughts about whether racing was for me during my recovery, if I’d lost the will to be aggressive, especially with a crash during the first night of Intelli. But, my ankle break is no excuse, just a setback, and it makes for an even better comeback!”
Ray and teammate Madeline Bemis arrived in Chicago following the Boise Twilight Criterium where they had the opportunity to gel as a team.
“Madeline has been my saving grace,” added Ray. “Having her with me, the leading, the encouragement, and the support are unmatched. From the outside, you see her closing gaps for me but she contributes so much more.”
The Rally Cycling duo will take part in the first seven races of Intelligentsia Cup before traveling down to the team’s hometown of Minneapolis, MN for the 10th Annual UHCCF Century Ride on July 25.
“We’re here to take it day by day and have fun,” said Ray. “If we’re not having fun, what’s the point… but, also, if you’re not first, you’re last.”
For the latest updates from Intelligentsia Cup, check out the race’s Instagram Stories.