Posts from 201010

Update: 2010 WORS Awards Banquet Saturday

The WORS End of Season Awards Banquet will be held Saturday, October 30 at the Ramada Inn in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

The schedule will be much as it has been in the past:

  • 11:00 - 2:30         Closed Race Directors meeting
  • 3:00-4:00        Open riders meeting
  • 4:00 – 6:00        Social time with cash bar
  • 6:00 – 7:00        Dinner Buffet
  • 7:00 – 10:00        Awards and Raffles

For those who have never attended the WORS Awards Banquet, a video of the 2009 Banquet is below.

Ticket prices for this year’s banquet are $24 for adults and $13 for children (12 and under). Tickets go on sale September 25 at the Bear Rock & Roll and will be available online beginning September 27 through WORS online registration system.  The last day to purchase tickets is October 24.

A block of twenty rooms are on reserve at a rate of $79 for Saturday evening and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  To reserve a room contact the Ramada Inn at 800-998-2311 by October 9, and tell them that you plan to attend the Wisconsin Off Road Series Banquet.

WORS race report: Sheboygan Wigwam MTB Challenge

Kylander-Johnson and Phillips win at WORS Series Finale in Sheboygan
by Claire Cannon. Report also online at

The 2010 Subaru-sponsored WORS Series came to a close in Sheboygan, WI at the 16th annual Wigwam MTB Challenge. BelGioioso Elite Series overall winner Abby Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) was beaten for the first time this WORS season by 3-time former WORS Elite Series champion Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek Mountain CO-OP). With 10 individual race wins in 2010 for the series overall, Strigel is now the first person to ever win the WORS BelGioioso Elite Overall four times.

In the men’s race, Mike Phillips (Adventure 212 / Specialized) rode away with the $800 purse for first place at the Wigwam MTB Challenge, while Tristan Schouten (Mafia / Felt) was crowned 2010 WORS Elite Series overall winner in absentia.

WORS Sheboygan 2010
Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek CO-OP) rides one of her favorite sections of trail at WORS Sheboygan. Photo by Danny Marchewka.

The Sheboygan course begins with a sprint prime less than a mile from the start line. In the women’s race, Strigel led the group to the stretch of pavement within sight of the prime banner, when Kylander-Johnson sprinted to take the prime.

“Abigail led the start, and I was really glad she did, because I just did not want to work that hard,” recalled Kylander-Johnson who felt the effects of a cold in the week before Sheboygan, and was unsure until that morning whether she would start. “Then we sprinted. Abby’s fast, so I had to work really hard to get ahead of her. It’s great to see her going so fast.”

“I didn’t really know what was going to happen once we got on the pavement,” said third-place finisher Robin Williams (Mercy Specialized). “It felt really fast. We had all lined up on the trail, but then we hit the pavement before the prime and all of the sudden we were five-wide going towards the hole-shot. The dynamics were constantly changing before we got into the singletrack.”

Coming into the race at Sheboygan, Strigel too felt the ill-effects of a cold and considered Kylander-Johnson the favorite. Despite being seemingly unbeatable on many WORS courses for nearly three years, Strigel has yet to win at the WORS season finale, where Midwest stars Jenna Rinehart and Sara Kylander-Johnson have traded dominance since 2005. Strigel’s strategy was to conserve in the early moments of the race and then attack in the singletrack.

Once the race entered the woods, however, the two women were closely matched. Strigel was hot on the heals of Kylander-Johnson but was unable to pass outright, and both recalled a fierce battle for control of the race during the first lap.

“We were basically sprinting, side-by-side, whenever the singletrack was wide enough,” recalled Strigel.

WORS Sheboygan 2010
Abby Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) crossing the creek at Sheboygan. Photo by Danny Marchewka.

Kylander-Johnson did not cede control and ultimately surged ahead. Despite cramps during her third and fourth laps, she ended the day with more than two minutes of margin to collect the $750 prize for first place. Despite some mechanical troubles with shifting, Strigel chased hard and finished nearly 6 minutes ahead of third place.

“The women that I was racing with today were amazing,” said third place finisher Robin Williams, of Iowa City. “I had so much fun. This is my first time racing here, and the course was better than I could ever have guessed it would be.”

Although the Iowa racer suffered a slow puncture of her rear tire on the last lap, she was able to hold off Lori Sable and Lindsey Kriete for third.

“I felt and heard a loss of air going over a root. Then, in the swooping turns by the river, my traction started to feel almost too good. Just digging into the trail. But I knew it wouldn’t last,” laughed Williams. “I was gentle in the turns and pushed it on the flats and I was glad to hold my spot.”

The remaining two steps on the podium went to Lindsey Kriete and Lori Sable, who traded positions many times throughout the 4-lap contest and crossed the line less than 30-second apart.

“Lori Sable and I spent a lot of time in the singletrack together today, going back and forth,” recalled fourth-pace finisher Kriete. “That was really fun. It’s always nice to have someone to race with out there. This course is technical but very fun.”

WORS Sheboygan 2010 Photo Contest Finalist
The BelGioioso Elite Women's Podium at the 2010 WORS Wigwam MTB Challenge in Sheboygan. Photo by Amy Dykema.

Phillips takes a career-first win at Sheboygan

“I felt really good, it was very comfortable today,” said men’s winner Mike Phillips. “I had to go pretty hard towards the end and it kind of caught up with me, but for a WORS race, I felt pretty good. I usually do pretty well here. It’s technical with punchy climbs, but mostly a power course and that’s good for me. I’ve always wanted the top spot on the podium here, so it’s pretty awesome.”

WORS Sheboygan 2010
Mike Phillips (Adventure 212 / Specialized) in the lead at WORS Sheboygan. Photo by Danny Marchewka.

In the men’s race the sprint prime went to Phillips’ teammate, Darrin Braun.

“I was sitting third wheel,” recalled Braun. “Nathan [Guerra, Mr Tree Racing / PowerBar] was on Ted [Hanes, Fond Du Lac Cyclery]. I just poked out and put in a couple quick pedal strokes. I was surprised to get it.”

WORS Sheboygan 2010
Darrin Braun (Adventure 212 / Specialized) over the Subaru Log Jump at WORS Sheboygan. Photo by Danny Marchewka.

“Today I tried to not go out really hard, like I normally do,” said Phillips, who did not contest the prime. “Darrin took the prime and Nathan [Guerra] took over the lead. I tried to ramp it up more gradually, and eventually I got around Nathan.”

“I thought I was going to pull it off in the first lap,” recalled Guerra. “I got the holeshot into the singletrack and started getting little gaps. I felt really good on that first lap, but Mike stuck with. We got a gap, then, going up the Equalizer, he got a little gap on me and laid it down. He’s really good at the steady power, and I couldn’t hold his wheel on the flat. I thought I’d catch him in the singletrack and started getting closer, but I clipped a pedal on a tree and went down hard. After that, I was chasing and battling it out with Darrin.”

WORS Sheboygan 2010
Nathan Guerra (Mr. Tree Racing / PowerBar) climbs the Equalizer. Photo by Jared Brodjeski.

Braun and Guerra, who sometimes train together, exchanged both places and banter at Sheboygan. “I was saying to him out there, ‘don’t let me catch you!’”, laughed Braun. Eventually, Braun did pull ahead to finish second, while Guerra took third. For both, it was a career-best performance at the WORS season finale.

The fourth step on the podium was taken by Chris Peariso, while singlespeed racer Ron Stawicki took fifth.

“I had a poor start today and a teammate up front, so I didn’t really feel like chasing,” said Adventure 212 / Specialized’s Peariso. “I ended up riding with Scott Kylander-Johnson and Seth Lenss. We had a great time, you know, riding and talking. And I think a got a couple good cookie recipes from Seth. It's always good to race in Wisconsin.”

WORS Sheboygan 2010
Men's BelGioioso Elite Podium at WORS Sheboygan. Photo by Amy Dykema.

With the 2010 WORS series at an end, the 2011 WORS Series schedule has been announced. The 12-race series will begin in May 2011 and conclude in October. WORS will once again host the Pro XCT Series at their Mega-event, the Subaru Cup, in June.

Videos of WORS Sheboygan

Note: The race cam movies below are from the Elite course at Sheboygan. Citizen and Sport class racers ride many of the same trails, but not all.

Women's MTB Clinic at Sheboygan pre-rideworswomen_trekvtrek untitled-1

WORS Women is hosting a women's mountain bike gathering, presented by Trek Women, during the pre-ride for the WORS Season Finale at Sheboygan, 3 PM - 5 PM on October 9.

You! Who else?  Your girlfriends!  Your daughter!  Your mom!  Your sister! All are welcome.  All skill levels will be included, from experienced off-road rider and racer to beginner.  Trek Women

Saturday, October 9.  3 PM - 5 PM

Sheboygan’s Evergreen and Jaycees’ Quarryview Parks.  Google map here.  Meet at the Trek Stores of Madison tents in the main EXPO area by the WORS Start Scaffold.  This will be across the street from the parking lot at Quarryview Park.


  • Free!
  • All who pre-register will receive a special gift from Trek Women and a water bottle from the Sheboygan Bicycle Company! Please register online here.
  • A clinic including discussion and group ride with Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek CO-OP) and Abby Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison).  WORS Learn to Race clinic leader Claire Cannon (Trek Stores of Madison / Team WORS) will be there too, and we'll have some special guest leaders, to be announced. 
  • A raffle for a Bontrager Women's Evoke RX saddle - all women who are registered to race on Sunday have a chance to win!
  • Women's WSD bikes on display from Trek Stores of Madison and women's cycling products for sale from Sheboygan Bicycle Company


Thanks to:
  • WORS Series Director Don Edberg has supported WORS Women from the start!  He's helped to make all of our events possible, and is helping this event by providing support for our special guest instructors to attend.  Thanks again to Don for his support.
  • Trek Women Trek Women creates products designed specifically for women, and has created a community of women who share a love of two-wheeled adventures and the places they take us.  Trek Women is supporting this clinic by providing generous support for our special guest instructors to travel, free gifts to all clinic particiapants, the Women's Bontrager RX Evoke saddle for the raffle! 
  • Trek Stores of Madison At every WORS race, Trek Stores of Madison provide neutral mechanical support, free Bontrager wheel and tire demos and more.  Clinic leaders Abby and Claire both race for the Trek Stores of Madison team, so feel free to come talk to us about our bikes!
  • Sheboygan Bicycle Company Sheboygan's local MTB experts, SBC will have women's products for sale at the venue, and will offer a gift of an SBC water bottle to all participants who R.S.V.P. for the clinic!
Please check back. More details to follow!
CycleOps Trainers Go On Sale At SheboyganThe CycleOps JetFluid Pro trainers from the Saris/CycleOps Warm-Up Tent go on sale starting at 8:00 Sunday morning, October 10th. The JetFluid Pro, is one the most advanced trainer available in cycling today. It delivers road-like feel, progressive resistance, and best-in-class performance allowing for a real impact on your training program. The JetFluid Pro trainers carry a suggested retail price of $369.99 and can be purchased at the WORS tent during the Wigwam MTB Challenge for $229 plus tax on a first come first serve basis. No pre-sale orders will be taken. If you are unable to make to Sheboygan, we suggest you have a friend or teammate make the purchase for you. Also, WORS will have a list that you can be put on to purchase a trainer should any be available after Sunday’s sale. To be put on the list send an email to, subject CycleOps Trainers. Include your name, phone number, and best times to reach you.
WORS Bear Paw Race Report

Strigel Undefeated and Braun Tastes First Victory at WORS Bear Paw Rock N’ Roll

By Claire Cannon

As the weather cools in Wisconsin and the 2010 WORS Series approaches its finale, the contest for the remaining steps on the BelGioioso Elite podium remains hot. This weekend’s race along the edges of the beautiful Nicolet National Forest near White Lake, WI saw WORS Overall Series Leader Abby Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) maintain her undefeated record on the season, while first-year Pro Darrin Braun (Adventure 212 / Specialized) fought his way to the top step of the men’s podium with the help of teammates Chris Peariso and Ryan Krayer.

For the BelGioioso Elite racers, the course at the Bear Paw Adventure Resort is one of the most technical on the WORS circuit, with large rocks, roots and plenty of singletrack climbing. A steep hill and a long section of open fire road before the first singletrack climb strung out the field in both contests.

Leading the charge up the climb in the women’s race, series overall leader Abby Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) was closely matched by Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212 / Specialized), who has a firm hold on second in the series. The two rode away from the field in the opening minutes of the race, and Strigel led into the first section of singletrack.

WORS Bear Paw
Photo by Danny Marchewka. Video Interview with Abby Strigel, here.

“I think Lisa and I started to pull away,” said Strigel. “It hurt very badly. We rode together for quite a ways on the lead-out and at one point we both turned around and no one was there. We were both like, ‘woah!’ Then, in the first lap, I wasn’t getting away in the singletrack and I wasn’t getting away in the open. By the end of that lap, I was just doing anything I could to get away from her. Right after the first lap, I started to pull away a little. She was making me work very hard.”

“I love the course here,” said Krayer. “There’s good singletrack and, like I told Abby today, I was glad to have full suspension out there. I tried to stay with her in the singletrack in the first lap, and I almost did. She pulled away in the end. I had to let her go and ride at my own pace, which was too bad because I was by myself and it was a lot of fun riding with her.”

WORS Bear Paw
Photo by Danny Marchewka. Video Interview with Lisa Krayer, here.

Anna Ganju (Team Polska) took third for the women, in a career best-to-date. Ganju recently returned to the Cat 1 ranks mid-season this year after a three-year hiatus from WORS. Lori Sable and Renee Bach rounded out the top five women.

WORS Bear Paw
Photo by Danny Marchewka. Video interview with Anna Ganju, here, and Lori Sable, here.

With A Little Help From His Teammates

In the men’s contest, Team Adventure 212/ Specialized had strength in numbers on the start line. Teammates Darrin Braun, Chris Peariso, Ryan Krayer and Scott Cole have all ridden well this year and were called up in the first two rows. The team had a strategy for Bear Paw that Team Manager Chris Peariso shared after Braun took the win.

“With Brian [Matter] and Tristan [Schouten] out, we knew that we had numbers today,” explained Peariso, who took third place. “We wanted to lead out a little bit slower. We knew that Nathan [Guerra] raced yesterday, and he was pretty much the only guy we had to watch. So Darrin took the holeshot and held everything up. We made sure Ryan [Krayer] was in the group. Once we got a little bit of a break from everyone else, we started some team tactics. We started throwing things off the front to make Nathan chase, until finally we got Darrin away, and took the win today.”

WORS Bear Paw
Photo by Danny Marchewka. Video interview with Darrin Braun, here. Video interview with Chris Peariso, here.

“After the first two laps, I had Chris with me,” said Braun. “It was Chris, Nathan and I. We were going back and forth, putting digs in. Nate had his fair share, I had mine and Chris had his. On the third lap, I put in a little attack on the big hill. I think Nathan was tired, because he raced yesterday. I just hung out for a while and let him catch me, and once he had, I went again in the singletrack. I got away.”

“It was short and hard,” said Braun. “The short length today helped, but when it was hard it was really hard. This is a good course. The climbs are different here. There’s not much sustained climbing, but you’re hitting all the rocks and it’s punchy and always winding through little sections of roots. It’s good and hard.”

“I was good for the first three laps,” said Guerra (Mr. Tree / PowerBar) of his race. “Then Darrin put an attack in on the first singletrack climb and my legs just seized up in all of the places that they hurt yesterday.”

Braun and Guerra, who sometimes ride together outside of racing, have gone back and forth all year in the WORS Series. When asked about the start, Guerra agreed that Adventure 212 / Specialized had worked well together to try to control the pace of the race.

WORS Bear Paw Photo Contest Finalist
Photo by Kelli Piotrowski. Video interview with Nathan Guerra, here.

“All the big hitters were gone today except for Adventure 212, so it was the 212 train at the front of the race,” said Guerra, laughing. “They were trying to control the pace of the race. It was awesome team tactics on their part. After the climb, it started to come back together and I thought I was being boxed-in a little. I went to the outside and hit it hard, and tried to get into the singletrack first, but Darrin shut that down. In the end, I don’t know if the team tactics really played a part, because when Darrin put in that attack in the singletrack and rode away, I just didn’t have the legs and I couldn’t respond. He was riding really great. I’m really happy for him. This is his first big WORS win.”

Chris Peariso rode in solo to a third place finish while Ryan Krayer, who had lost contact with the lead group in the second lap, finished in fourth. Rounding out the top five was Ted Hanes (Fond Du Lac Cyclery), who fought from 10th to 5th after an early crash in the pack caused him to lose several places at the start.

The series now turns all eyes to the traditional season finale in Sheboygan, to be held on October 10 at the Wigwam MTB Challenge. The final WORS event of the year will feature a large cash purse for the winner of both BelGioioso Elite races, as well as a raffle during the Awards Ceremony and a special Trek Women skills clinic during the pre-ride on October 9. The women’s clinic will feature Abby Strigel and Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek Mountain CO-OP), and will be hosted by the WORS Women’s riders group. Check for details of the Sheboygan event.

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