Posts from 201408
House Wins Again at Suamico. Markey also grabs a victoryReport by Todd Nutter Suamico, WI- After a short hiatus on cross country racing, the Trek Sponsored Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) returned with back to back race weeks. Last week, in Mount Morris Wisconsin, Cole House (Intelligentsia Coffee/ Broken Spoke) dominated the course for the Men’s race while Amber Markey (5 Nines/ Motorless Motion) chased down Abigail Strigel (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) to finish 2nd. This week they both House and Markey came back to win. Just outside of Green Bay, the “Reforestation Ramble” in Suamico has traditionally been a prep race for riders competing in the Chequamegon 40. With its similar terrain and longer distance than most WORS races, it gives competitors a chance to get familiar with a point to point feel while still doing a lapped race. Flatter than most WORS events and with more double track, the Reforestation Ramble is a big ring, high fuel race that pushes competitors to their limits. Pro mountain and road racer, Cole House (Intelligentsia Coffee/ Broken Spoke) has been on a hot streak in the past few weeks since winning at Ore to Shore and the previous WORS race, The Scarlet Knights Scramble. It also doesn’t hurt that the Reforestation Ramble happens to be a home course for House. In his typical style, House sprinted off the line to push for an early break away. KS Energy Services/Team Wisconsin pro, Joe Maloney is one of few that can answer the call to take an early sprint. Knowledge of every turn of the course allowed House to create a gap on Maloney, who did not have the opportunity for a pre-ride of the course. The chase came from current WORS overall points leader, Nathan Guerra (Vision Cycling/ Attitude Sports) and Tyler Gauthier (Bike Marquette/ Quick Stop) who worked together to try to reel in the two young pros. Although they were, as Guerra put it “the best of the rest,” they were not able to close the gap on Maloney and House. Maloney, however, was able to catch House at one point. Knowing that the gap was closing, an out of breath Maloney told House to go faster. He may have regretted the suggestion, not know how many matches House still had. But in the end, Maloney grabbed a very satisfying 2nd place with Guerra taking the lead over Gauthier for 3rd. Gauthier finished 4th. Gauthier’s teammate, Cooper Dendel (Quick Stop Bike Shop) has proven herself many times over this season. She was met with friend and rival, Amber Markey (5 Nines/Motorless Motion). Markey made only her third appearance with WORS this weekend, fitting it into her busy schedule of road racing. The prior weekend, she was narrowly beat by Abby Strigel (Honey Stinger/ Bontrager) at the Scarlet Knights Scramble. This week, in Strigel’s absence, Markey decided to take the lead and push the other ladies into a world of pain. Markey used her road racing fitness to her advantage, since the course is compiled of a plethora of road-like double track. At the previous race, Markey commented that she lost time on Strigel in tight double track and made up in the open areas. The course in Suamico played to her strengths. Cooper Dendel has a similar racing style to Strigel and is very fast in tight and technical sections. She had less of an opportunity on this course to make up time in single track. She did, however, put up a great performance with Markey as they battled for the lead through the first lap or two. Last year’s winner, Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212/ Specialized) finished 3rd. Recently returning from Colorado where she raced in the Breck Epic, Krayer was pleased with 3rd since she has not had a full recovery from her multi-stage epic.
Abby Strigel and Cole House Take Wins at WORS Scarlet Knights ScrambleReport by Todd Nutter Just because Cross Country Nationals are over doesn’t mean the competition quits in Wisconsin. The faithful and energetic racers and fans of the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) proved this on Sunday as the series continued in Mount Morris, WI. The newly renamed, Scarlet Knights Scramble, took place at Nordic Mountain, former site of the Subaru Cup Pro XCT Event. The USA Cycling Pro XCT tour utilized a new venue in Cambridge, WI for the WORS hosted pro events, dubbed the WORS Cup, prior to XC Nationals. But WORS regulars never lost their love for the spectator friendly and rider challenging trails at Nordic Mountain. The venue continues to be a mainstay on the WORS series calendar and drew a crowd this past weekend. In the Belgioioso Elite Men’s series, some of Wisconsin’s fastest guys showed each other who had the legs and who didn’t. Joseph Maloney (KS Energy Services/ Team Wisconsin) rocketed his way into an early lead. But he was soon overtaken by Cole House (Intelligentsiacoffee / Broken Spoke) in only his second WORS appearance this season. Chatter amongst the men during call ups hinted at concerns over House not getting preferred start due to his lack of series points. Those worries were soon dashed away as House pushed his way to the front without needing to start there. House previously had only raced the WORS Cup Pro XCT where he finished 11th in the XC race and out-sprinted Brian Matter (KS Energy Services/ Team Wisconsin) for a 2nd place finish in the Short Track. The young pro racer, whose primary discipline is road, also recently took his third consecutive win at Ore To Shore in Marquette, MI. Not to be left behind, Nathan Guerra (Vision Cycling/Attitude Cycling) hung to House’s wheel like a tailgater trying to save gas mileage. Guerra is currently the overall points leader for the WORS 2014 season. The trails at Nordic Mountain are a good mix of technical climbs and descents, with fast flowing double track to equalize the field. Both Guerra and House excel in these conditions. Following shortly after the two man break away were teammates Corey Stelljes and Isaac Neff (5 Nines/ Motorless Motion) along with Tristan Schouten (Rolf Prima/Attitude Sport). House took the win with Guerra falling only 37 seconds behind. Stelljes shook off Schouten by only 1 second for a 3rd place finish with Neff following in 5th. Maloney finished 6th in front of Ben Senkerik(Team Extreme) whose 7th overall was a nice early birthday gift before he turns 21 this week. Happy Birthday, Ben! As for the Belgioioso Elite Women, Abby Strigel (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) took her first win for WORS this season. Strigel holds the record for most overall season victories for WORS with 6. Strigel has raced less often this season than in previous years. But she still proves to the other women and fans alike why she has the title she has. Strigel was joined by friendly rival, Amber Markey (5 Nines/Motorless Motion) for the showdown this weekend. Markey, like Cole House, is know for her intermittent appearances while bringing a new awareness to the field whenever she races. Markey and Strigel put on a good show for spectators with their alternating strengths. Markey proved to out-climb Strigel in open sections making use of her big 29 inch wheels while Strigel weaved herself into a lead through the tight sections. No longer a Pro XCT race, race organizers were able to implement new sections of trail into the race. Described and flat and twisty be riders, the new trail helped Strigel open her gap for the win. Markey took only a minute longer to finish in 2nd. Lori Sable (Pedal Moraine) grabbed 3rd while also putting her 26er wheels to work in the tight turns as Anna Ganju (Colectivo Coffee) took the 4th step of the podium. The WORS series continues this weekend in Suamico, WI. Just outside of Green Bay, the Reforestation Ramble is definitely a bit different than the rest with longer laps containing a nice mix of single track, double track and the energy zapping rolling hills that have become a must have feature. The Reforestation Ramble is a good warm up for many riders that compete in the Chequamegon 40 as is contains similar styles of riding and greater lap distances than most WORS events.