Posts from 200409

Fantastic Racing at the Bump & JumpAs WORS 2004 sponsored by Subaru, Diven by What?s Inside, winds down it would seem that the best may have been saved for last. The weather and the courses in the last couple of races have been some of the best of the year.

The Iola Bump & Jump, race number eleven in WORS 2004, was blessed with the kind of race weather that I wish we could bottle and bring to every WORS event. Staged at the Iola Winter Sports Area just outside of the small central Wisconsin community of Iola and staffed primarily by Iola Winter Sports Club members, the strong Scandinavian heritage of this part of Wisconsin gives this event the feel of a group of great friends competing in someone?s backyard. We should all be so lucky as to have such a backyard. Sandy pine forested singletrack, power climbs, and intermittent fast open ski trail are the trademarks of this course while the ?bowl? section of the course brings it an intimacy like no other in all of WORS.

Not only great for mountain biking, this venue also provided the perfect course for the final race of the 2004 WORS Trail Run Series. Forty runners lead off the day?s racing with Atonia Leal from Greendale and Dennis Raymark of Menomonee Falls recording fast times for the 2.5 mile short course and Dot Memanhan of Jackson and John Kann from Rice Lake finishing on top in the 5 mile race.

Although the great weather on Saturday produced a large turn out of mountain bike racers to pre-ride, the real racing was started with at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday as WORS 8-12 year old Citizen Youth competitors took to the Bump & Jump course. Nine year old Jessica House led the way for the girls with a time of 33.17 for the five mile lap while ten year old Myles Beach turned in top boys? time of 28.58. While the youths were finishing up, the first wave of the USA Cycling Citizen series race left the start chute at 10:00 a.m. Citizen competitors raced two laps of the Bump and Jump course with fast times being turned in by Roland Rieflin (Oconto Falls, WI) and Antonia Leal, fresh from her short course run victory, crossing the line at 47:40 and 55:38 respectively.

Racing continued with the 11:30 start of the Saris Sport Series portion of the Iola Bump & Jump. Sport, Singlespeed, and Sport Clydesdale competitors raced three laps and when the dust settled and times were posted the best times belonged to Marquete, Michigan?s Lori Violetta with a 1:18:41 and Depere, Wisconsin?s Joe Greatins with a 1:07:48.

WORS and Hayes Disc Brakes continue their commitment to introducing new young riders to off road bicycle racing with the running of the Hayes Disc Brake Youth race for riders twelve and under at 1:00 and the day?s racing concluded with the Clif Bar Comp series race and BelGioioso Elite series races. Comps raced for four laps and demonstrated their advanced skills and speed as the median time for the group was over 2 minutes per lap faster than that of the Sport men. Clif Bar Comp series overall leader, 16 year Jonathan Kay (Hayes on Track Race Team) of Shell Lake, Wisconsin looked very much on track to make the jump to the Elite class as he turned top time of 1:22:47. A little over 2:30 back, David Stahl (Team Wisconsin) and Jan Rybar (unattached) finished in second and third place respectively. In the Elite men?s race Salsa Cycle?s pro, Jeff Hall, powered away from second place Brain Matter (PCW Cycling) in the third of five laps and rode onto victory with a margin of 2:55 while singlespeeder, Jesse Lalonde (Kenwood/Gunnar) moved past the Elite series overall leader coming into Iola, A.J. Etmayer, Jr. (Team Pedal Moraine) and held him off in the singletrack to finish third. Brian Eppen (Atlas Cycling) completed the top five. For the women, Kim Eppen (unattached) notched her third consecutive WORS victory, moving into second place in the overall standings as she held off Jenna Zander (NicoletBike.com). Teammates Rebecca Cleveland (The Bike Hub) and Susan Juedes (The Bike Hub) finished third and fourth as a mechanical dropped series overall leader, Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek Midwest/Ski Hut) to fifth.

Race director, Phil Johnsrud and the Iola Winter Sports Club continue to provide WORS competitors with a first class mountain bike race and deserve gratitude and congratulations from all in attendance. Next up, the WORS 2004 finale: the Wigwam/Ultimax MTB Challenge in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on October 10th. With its AMBC (the American Mountain Bike Challenge) designation, the WORS #12 will afford NORBA annual members an opportunity to qualify for the 2005 United States National Championships. Although always great venue for racing and cheering on your favorite racer, Sheboygan will have the strongest Elite men?s field of this year?s WORS as a $1500 first prize is up for grabs. See you in Sheboygan.
Three In A RowSecondary 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.
Volunteers Needed For Big Ring ClassicThe Rudy Rack Bing Ring Classic being held this weekend in Wausau, WI, is looking for a few volunteers to help with course marshalling and parking. If you are interested in volunteering (volunteer points for series racers!), please contact wors@wors.org.

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