WORS 2004 Gets Rolling

With rain and cool temperatures leading up to the race, many may have been scared off from attending the Alpine Valley Open at Alpine Valley Resort, East Troy, Wisconsin this past weekend. However, the 975 that did attend enjoyed a mostly sunny day in the low fifties that contrasted from the snowy weather just over an hour away in Madison, Wisconsin.  As race number one of WORS 2004 sponsored by Subaru, this year?s Open course ran backwards from 2003 allowing a little easier climbing and more enjoyable singletrack.  With the exception of the creek crossings, the track was mostly dry, however, the tackiness of it had an energy zapping effect that left racers acutely aware of the status of their early season fitness.

The day of racing began at nine in the morning with race number one of the 2004 WORS Trail Run Series.  Twenty-seven runners competed on the long course and twenty-three on the short.  Most of the entrants reported a preference for the new Sunday starts and really enjoyed the challenge of the Alpine Valley trails.  Overall winners for the Long Course were Rosy Walsh (Rhinelander, WI), Tawnya Cook (Rhinelander, WI), and Kerry Sweeet (Mundelein, IL) respectively for the women and James Marschalek (Hartland, WI) with fast time 23:59, Mark Schaefer (Waukesha, WI), and John Brandt (Waukesha, WI) for the men.  On the Short Course, Nathan Sweet (Mundelein, IL) turned in fast time followed by Mike Borzick (South Milwaukee, WI) and Daniel Whitney (Mayville, WI) for the men and Dot McMahan (Jackson, WI), Antonia Leal (Greendale, WI), Alison Beckman (Ironwood, MI) were the fastest of the women.  Complete results can be found on the WORS Trail Run website: trailrun.wors.org.

Citizen Youth class headed into its second year and is once again run a half hour before the USA Cycling Citizen Series event which started with the first of six waves at 10:00 a.m.  Nathan Labecki and Jessica House posted the best times for the Youth 8-10 category with Bradley Peterson and Arin Lemke doing the same for the 11-12 category.  In the Citizen event, 228 competitors took up the challenge of the Alpine Valley course.  WORS?s Saris Sport Series event had 420 racers leaving the start in seven waves with fastest men?s time of 1:10:29.2 for three laps of the 4.2 mile course recorded by Charley Schmidt (Rochester, MN) in the Single Speed category. Katie Schneider of La Crosse, WI with a time of 1:30:18.5 was fastest for the women.  At 1:00 the newly formed Hayes Disc Brake Youth Race for novice racers twelve and under was held.

WORS top level competitors got there chance to test themselves on the Alpine Valley course starting at 1:30 in the afternoon as the Elite men competed in the Bel Gioioso Elite Series race.  The were followed out onto the course by the Clif Bar Comp Series competitors and the women competitors of the Bel Gioioso Elite Series.  The men?s race saw 2003 WORS champion, Doug Swanson (Trek/VW) battle 2001 & 2002 Champion, Tristan Schouten (PCW Cycling) ahead of the rest of one of WORS? largest Elite fields ever.  Swanson pulled the victory out in the end as he escaped Schouten in lap traffic.  Here is an excerpt from Doug Swanson?s homepage describing their battle: ?Leading now, Tristan was on the offensive, and having a much easier time passing people than I was. It was nearly impossible to stay on his wheel as we kept bumping into rider after rider. This is always a touchy subject at these races. Everyone has their own race to worry about, but when people are lapping you and fighting for the lead, they deserve the right of way. Maybe I'm biased, but I know if I had Roland and Ryder charging up to lap me I would get the hell out of the trail. I must say I'm sorry if I offended, cut off or bumped anyone too hard. We're all racing out there, and I'm trying my best to get by without incident. Back to the race, Tristan had me at the limit for a bit and by the fourth lap I knew I needed to get ahead of him in that singletrack. So, right before the first mud crossing, I had to make a pretty aggressive move on the outside of an off camber line. Tristan gave me a hard time for it later, but it was a clean pass, yo.?.   Brain Matter (PCW Cycling) was third with Brian Schaning (PCW Cycling) and Dan Swanson (Nature Valley/Penn Cycle) completing the top five.  In the women?s race, 2003 WORS Champion, Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek Regional Team) left Susan Juedes (Team Bike Hub), Anne Grabowski (Penn Cycle/Nature Valley),  Rebecca Cleveland (Team Bike Hub), and Jenna Zander (NicoletBike.com) in second through fifth respectively.   The Comp race had Tim Pacholski (New Berlin) with fast time followed by 16 year old Jonathan Kay (Shell Lake) and Chris Solan (Gurnee, IL).  Complete results will be found soon on the results page of www.wors.org.    

Once again WORS and TS Events combined to orchestrate a national caliber event.  Special thanks to race director, Kevin Eccles, chief of course, Jim Surges, head of registration, Debbie Surges,  head course marshall, Ed Bartunek, Butch Dushack, and all who volunteered.  WORS prepares now for the Kewaunee XC Adventure, May 16th  in Kewaunee and we all hope to see you there.
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