Three In A Row

Secondary to a WORS first which occurred in June of this year, when for the first time in thirteen years WORS postponed an event, WORS racers completed another first for WORS: three races in three weeks.  This concentrated segment of WORS 2004 sponsored by Subaru left the WORS staff scrambling just as the clean up from one event overlapped the prep for the next race.  As a result, some of our usual post race follow up was delayed, specifically a website article on each event. The result is this article which will attempt to recap all three events.

August 21st & 22nd brought WORS to Calumet County Park on the eastern shores of Lake Winnebago for the Calumet Sun Run.  A part of WORS since 1996, the Sun Run, directed by Marc Wildemann and Scott Protheroe, has been a WORS racer favorite.  Blessed with dry conditions and moderate temperatures the race went off near flawlessly as after a mile and half lead out competitors pounded their way around the four mile course of short power climbs, very firm singletrack, and a wide open ridge top sprint.  While there was exciting racing in all classes, Citizen Youth through Elite,  the Elite race was particularly noteworthy as the absence of last year?s champions left an opening that was quickly filled by those coming into second half fitness.  The men?s race displayed a coming of age of sorts as going into the final climb, 16 year Cole House (All Aboard Fitness/Team 2/BelGioioso) faltered with a chain slip allowing 20 year old A.J. Ettmayer, Jr. (Team Pedal Moraine) to power to a 4 second victory with veteran Brain Matter (PCW Cycling) holding off House in a sprint for second.  The Elite women?s race saw Kim Eppen (unattached) continuing with a breakout year in her mountain bike racing as she rode her way to the top of the podium.  Jeanna Zander (NicoletBike.com) was 38 seconds down with Susan Juedes finishing third.  Complete results for the 783 participants in this event can be found on the results page of this website.  With a large and enthusiastic volunteer staff, Marc and Scott continue to provide WORS racers with a high quality event while benefiting all area off road riders as their race supports the Fox Valley Chapter of WORBA (Wisconsin?s trail advocacy organization). 

?Don?s Dirt Circus? barely had time to regroup and hit the road for Franklin, Wisconsin on August 28th & 29th for the running of the previously postponed Alterra Coffee Bean Classic.   With significant Friday night and Saturday morning rains the event again seemed in jeopardy as the clay trail surface when saturated can quickly adhere to tires in amounts enough to stop mountain bike wheels from turning.  Saturday?s pre-ride was postponed and then canceled when light rain beginning in the late afternoon became steady until about ten o?clock in the evening.   Thankfully clear conditions and drying winds appeared Sunday morning and though there were several wet areas in the course, they had minimal effect on the race or trail damage and 630 racers were able to add race #4 of WORS 2004 sponsored by Subaru to their resumes.  The BelGioioso Elite race portion of the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic again provide great viewing for cross-country race fans with the decision coming down to last lap as Brian Matter (PCW Cycling)  continued to ride strong hold off singlespeeder Jesse Lalonde (Kenwood/Gunnar) for the win with hard charging A.J. Etmayer, Jr. one minute back.  Kim Eppen (unattached) remained hot as she grabbed her second WORS consecutive victory leaving Anne Grabowski (Penn Cycle/Nature Valley) and Jenna Zander (NicoletBike.com) to settle for second and third respectively.   Complete results for this event can be found on the results page of this website.  I wish we had the time and space to recognize all the winners of this race.  The free Alterra coffee products made all in attendance winners.  Race director, Tony Gonzales and the Alterra Coffee Mountain Bike Team deserve the appreciation of all connected with WORS for going through all that it took to complete this event. Mountain bike racers of the Milwaukee are very fortunate to have the Alterra team and Metro Mountain Bikers to facilitate local racing.

The next week left WORS scrambling even more than the previous.  With the start of school, time that WORS auxiliary staff could commit was significantly reduced and the upcoming Rudy Rack Big Ring Classic was to be held without a local partnering organization.  WORS return to the trails of Nine Mile Mile Forest in Wausau, WI some how came off on schedule and to WORS standards.   Race #10 of WORS 2004 sponsored by Subaru presented WORS racers with a fast firm course of rolling hills, and well ridden in singletrack.  The 8.5 lap of the Sport and above course required over 80 directional signs and 5000 feet of marking tape to direct racers.  The weather gods once again smiled upon WORS as the predicted scattered thunderstorms avoided the and instead racers had to deal with temperature in the eighties and heavy air to challenge their aerobic capacities.  However, as always at WORS events, exciting racing ensued with with 709 racers displaying their efforts in the WORS Citizen Youth, USA Cycling Citizen, Saris Sport, Clif Bar Comp, and BelGioioso Elite race of the Rudy Rack Big Ring Classic.  Again the Elite men?s race displayed excellent competition with the final result undecided until the last of four laps.  A five man race at the end of lap one was reduced to four by the start of lap four.  Cole House (All Aboard/Team 2/BelGioioso) emerged first out of the final singletrack and held off Brian Matter (PCW Cycling) for his first WORS Elite win.  Brian Eppen (Atlas Cycling) was just under nineteen seconds back for third while his wife Kim Eppen (unattached, sponsorship wise) made it three in a row finishing 53 seconds ahead of Susan Juedes (Bike Hub) and over two minutes up on Jenna Zander (NicoletBike.com).  As always, complete results for the Rudy Rack Big Ring Classic and all other WORS races can be found on the results page of this website.  A huge thank you to all Karen and her family, my family, friends, friends of friends, the Nine Mile Ski Patrol and WORS volunteers  that made this event possible.  Now we have three weeks to rest up and prepare for the Iola Bump and Jump.  Hope to see you all there!  Don?t forget about the WORS 2004 Awards Banquet coming up October 30 at Devil?s Head Resort.
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