Race Report: Subaru Cup

The Subaru Cup, Wisconsin Off Road Series' annual mega event, brought over 600 competitors to Nordic Mountain in Mount Morris, WI for two days of off road racing. The Subaru Cup Cross-Country Race, the eighth race in the 2007 Subaru-sponsored WORS line-up, also was a level three event on the newly created USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendar. The top ten racers in each age class at the Subaru Cup qualified for the 2008 USAC National Mountain Bike Championships.

Although WORS events are usually held on Sunday, as part of the two-day Subaru Cup mega event, the cross-country race was scheduled for Saturday. The Elite BelGioioso Series racers were the first to take to the track under persistent light rain. Initial lap times were fast as forest cover delayed the rain's impact on the single-track. By the third lap, mud and rain had necessitated a bypass of one of two bridges on the course, though the course was otherwise unchanged. Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek/VW) took top honors in the ladies' race with a time of 1:59:08 for four laps of the Elite course. The hotly-contested second place spot went to Susan Juedes (Bike Hub; 2:04:52). In the 5-lap Elite men's race, Jesse (2:05:17) and Marko Lalonde (2:07:51), both of Gary Fisher 29 / Bare Knuckle Brigade rode steadily to first and second place, respectively.

Ron "holeshot" Stawicki leads the men's Elite start up the first climb.

The WORS men's Elite podium welcomed back Tristan Schouten (Trek/VW) this week, who returned from an extended absence to edge out Ron Stawicki (Hayes) for a 6th place overall finish. The Elite men's race also welcomed Travis Brown (Trek FRS) of Durango CO, piloting the new Gary Fisher Superfly. Brown rode with the lead pack for 3 laps before a broken chain forced him to retire with a mechanical.

Showers intensified as the Cliff Bar Comp Series race began at 2:15 PM and the course was shortened to three laps. Dan Teaters (Beans and Barley; 1:32:38) had the fastest overall time, edging out current series leader Landon Lueck (Glyde Clothing/TREK; 1:33:56).

By the time the CycleOps Sport race began at 3:30, the steady rain had become heavy, the second bridge as well as a lead-out climb were bypassed for safety, and the race was reduced to two laps. In the women's race, 15-year old Kaitlynn Antonneau of Racine WI, outrode and outran her competition to finish first with a time of 1:32:03, ahead of second place finisher Claire Cannon (Milwaukee; 1:33:19). In the men's contest, Ben Koenig of Schofield WI led the field in 1:11:52, ahead of Michael Kohnle of Mequon WI (1:13:18).

Steady rain continued into the Hayes Disc Brakes Citizen Series event and racers leaving the starting line at 6:00 PM traversed a single lap of the very well-churned course. Spectators alongside the singletrack reported overhearing "run Forest, run!" as often as "rider through".  In the ladies competition, 16-year old Alyssa Borell of Ripon WI took the top spot with a time of 58:44. Second place went to 13-year old Moriah Griesbach of Rockford IL (1:01:48). Michael Ziegler of Milwaukee led the Citizen Men with a time of 44:07, followed by 13-year old Mitchell Bogardus of Kenosha WI (44:15). Citizen Youth racers 12-year olds Emily Shull of Libertyville IL (32:37) and Ryan Kay of Rice Lake WI (24:06) took top honors.

As part of the Subaru Cup WORS mega event schedule, the cross-country race was shifted to Saturday to allow series racers an opportunity to participate in other racing formats that were to be held on Sunday. Rain, however, continued through the night into Sunday.   Conditions forced the cancellation of the Impreza Short Track and the Outback Super D, events that were to be run on sections of the cross-country course that had been rendered close to unrideable and dangerous from use the day before.  WORS Director Don Edberg promises a contingency course for next years event. Gravity riders braved the mud during the Nordic Mountain Downhill at noon on Sunday and the Stoneridge Dual Slalom immediately after. Phil Ott of Fontana, WI (1:14.1), Troy Fisher of Kaukauna, WI (1:25.0), and Chad Ament of Plano, IL (1:25:4) took first place in the Open, Intermediate and Beginner classes, respectively. Be sure to check the WORS message board for links to additional photos and videos of these Subaru Cup events!

More photos of the event can be found online. And, as always, be sure to check Extreme Photography.

See you in one week, on Sunday August 26, in Rhinelander WI, for the Smokin' Spoke!

Article and photos by Claire Cannon.

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