Englewood Opener Preme goes to E. Swartz and Karinen

Fall River, WI As May flowers roll around, so do the tires of the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) presented by Trek. The 2017 season kicked off with the Englewood Opener in Fall River, WI near Madison last Sunday. Ben and Christi Agnew, owners of the Englewood Grass Farm, were kind enough to host the WORS community for a fun filled weekend. The course snaked through the farm and along the ridge with fast grassy sections, sharp wooden berms and tricky rock garden.  Post-race entertainment included the awards ceremony, prize raffle, and live music.  All of which a paradise for racer and spectators alike. The Cat 1/Pro Women’s field brought in the biggest numbers we have seen in a few years. Big name returners such as Amber Markey(Wheel & Sprocket), Emma Swartz(Team Wisconsin), Leia Schneeberger(Broken Spoke Racing) and Lindsay Guerra(Vision Cycling) all lined up, ready to race for the Loft and Shove Preme. Off the start, Markey set a splitting pace, trying to separate the large women’s field. After the prologue lap, only Swartz had to lungs to stay on the wheel of Markey. Shortly after the start of the second lap Markey began to feel the effect of her early high pace so Swartz put down the throttle, going for an early solo effort. The 20 year old had no issue making the move stick as she rolled to the finish line, winning the WORS opener and the $1,000 Loft and Shove Preme. Following Swartz, Markey another Madison native, finished in second. Behind them many thought Schneeberger had third locked up.But after many efforts made by Guerra late in the last lap, she had finally closed the gap. As they sprinted to the line for 3rd place, Guerra’s efforts paid off narrowly edging out Schneeberger who fell to fourth.  Honorary mention goes to Anna Ganju as she rounds out the top five. Just as the Women’s field filled with big names, so was the BelGioioso Men’s Pro/Cat 1 field. Off the start, a lead pack formed including Broken Spoke Racing teammates Pete Karinen and Cole House, Colorado native Ben Schmutte(Unnattached), and the young sensation Caleb Swartz(Linear Sport/Trek). Following closely behind was last year’s overall winner Nathan Guerra(Vision Cycling), and Ben Senkerik(Team Extreme). Karinen and House worked together to pull away early in the race but the chasers were close behind. After a few laps, the two leaders found themselves in lapped traffic. On the last lap, Karinen noticed House was caught between lapped riders while in the rock garden.  Karinen attacked and gained a small lead.  He kept the gap open just enough to secure the win by 13 seconds, with House finishing second.  Closely behind the leaders, Schmutte and Swartz were together for almost the whole race until late in the last lap when Swartz surged hard out of a corner maintaining his speed.  He continued to speed up until he dropped Schmutte.  The two young riders finished about a minute and a half behind the leaders, Swartz coming in 3rd and Schmutte 4th.  Senkerik had a fairly solo ride to round out the top five. To see more of the results please visit http://wors.org/results/ To read on the next race, visit http://wors.org/schedule/iola/
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