Midwest MTB Racing Recapby Jay Richards
May 15, 2012
Another great spring weekend of mountain biking. I didn't make it down to the Spring Fling as thoughts entertained the idea but instead had a fun ride nearby in Mary Yellowhead with Lars Ellefson and Jake. This week's tally sheet includes a special report from the Rasta Rally as Wisconsin Jr Rider Casey Hildenbrandt enjoyed perfect racing conditions and tidbits on dirt happenings. A busy weekend on tap with both series races in Minnesota and Wisconsin and the popular point to point race Cable Off Road Classic.
Great weather, a great course and record turnout at Camp Tesomas near Rhinelander for the Rasta Rally. Justin Piontek and Michelle Peariso took home the wins in the 24 mile race. Seventh place finisher and top JR rider Casey Hildenbrandt files a nice report:
Mothers Day is always an interesting day to have a bike race I think. Woke up and headed up to Rhinelander with my dad, who actually came out of retirement on Sunday. He hadn't raced in over a year and a half. We showed up to the race and pulled of the bikes from the top of the car only to notice mine was leaning on his and both of the bikes were only attatched to the rack by the boa wheel straps. Yikes!
Anyways, we warmed up together and then toed the line. 2nd row start for both of us and a few pros were even there to show us how its done. I wanted to get a good spot and avoid any possible trouble so I hopped into line sitting second wheel and then even lead for a few meters. Settled in third wheel and started to slide back as I let some fast guys ahead of me and sat in. Right before the first singletrack, after about a mile and a half or so, the selection was made with the top guys. I was at the back and it was stretching out. I decided to sit back and not blow myself up. This seemed to pay off later in the race.
We hit the singletrack and then crossed the road, which I prerode before the race which was nice. I was riding with Pete Karinen again, which seems to be a new trend. He's an awesome guy to ride with though, as he has mad skills on a bike. We would take turns leading, but Sunday it was mostly me following him around in the rocky, punchy singletrack. At the end of lap one we came through together and traded pulls keeping the pace somewhat hard. We caught up to Seth Lenss and followed him for a while before he ended up dropping us later in the lap. Pete put a small 10 second gap on me half way through as I tried to eat and get some energy for the finish, but on such a rough course it wasn't easy. I finally ate and started to chase, eventually catching him after getting worried for a while. With a few miles to go he started to fade and I managed to keep the pace up till the end. I got caught before the last section of singletrack and got attacked with about a mile of doubletrack to the finish. Closed down a 15 second gap to a pretty fast roadie, but came up .7 seconds short of 6th place and only 3 minutes back of 3rd overall. Managed 7th overall and first junior across the line, with the top 3 guys being pros. Not a bad race at all, especially with the course being 90%+ singletrack.
Thanks everyone from RASTA and all the other volunteers for making such a great event! It's awesome to see a local race getting bigger and bigger each year and attracting more top riders, that says a lot about the atmosphere and the race itself, keep it up! Next up is WORS #2 in Rhinelander this Sunday as I'll be going for back to back wins to open up the series. It won't be easy though battling it out with Pete again, but it sure it nice having someone to keep on your heels! Sorry mom for not spending as much time with you as I'm sure you wished, but that race was for you!
Camping with Matter at Michigan Tech
Campers should be prepared for 2 to 4 hours of training per day. Technicians will instruct campers to train at paces and riding levels that are appropriate for them. However, the camp may be intense for very novice riders. Athletic trainers are available to treat injuries and minor illnesses, reports camp directors.
Pinkish in Wisconsin
One of the Grand Tours of Road racing, The Giro de Italia is taking place this month. As of writing, a former mountain biker was wearing the pink jersey which signifies the leader of the three week tour after 5 stages. Canadian Ryder Hesjedal donned the pink after the first mountain climb. Hesjedal was a regular on the US National series and Tristan Schouten, made point on a twitter post of a particular short track race which Jake, Jon and former local mtber, Chris Ziegler and I, were witness to. Schouten posted a top 10 finish, edging out Hesjedal by a few spots! Other midwest placings to note include Doug Swanson in 30th and Jesse Rients in 37th (who was second in the Buck Hill series Thursday night).
Midwest Mountain Bikers On-Air
Ben Welnak has sent word of mountain bike interviews on Blog Radio. Catch the latest with special interviews from Midwest riders like Matter and Casey.
Steve Wenzel was one of 50 riders to hit up the inaugural Burleigh County Cup, a 75 mile gravel event in central North Dakota near Bismarck, tuning up for the mountain bike season. Read his report.
Thursday Night at Buck
The mtb races at Buck on Thursday night opened with the largest turnout ever! Brendan Moore and Rebecca Sauber put on dominating performances to take wins in the advanced class.
Summer Camp in Idaho
Last year when we were in Idaho for the US Mountain Bike Championships, we had the pleasure of visiting the Power House Pub Bike and Fit Studio and meeting founder Billy Olson. Billy passed along some information regarding summer camps for kids that looked sweet. The Hailey/Sun Valley area might not get the press of other mountain biking destinations out west but the trail network is incredible and many flow trails have been built in the area. Should note with the Olympics this year, the US Mountain bike championships, making a return to Sun Valley, will be one week earlier this year.
The popular point to point race in northwest Wisconsin, the Cable Area Off Road Classic, runs a bit later this year to avoid conflict with Mother's Day and inclement weather seen in other years including snow! Course includes a nice mix of forest roads, atv trail and the famous CAMBA singletrack.
The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series kicks off this weekend with the Freewheel Frolic at Afton Alps. The Afton race is typically a race or two later in the series giving riders a chance to season before the challenging course that contains plenty of climbing. The hills and fast descents will test riders fitness off the bat but with the unusually warm spring with good riding conditions, there has been no lack of opportune training.
Camp Tesomas near Rhinelander is host to another weekend of mountain biking with the Crystal Lake Classic, race #2 in the Wisconsin Off Road Series. The course is heavily forested, containing a mix of hardwoods and pine plantations. The soil is ideally suited for mountain biking, made up of rock, sand and clay, report race organizers and the best part is the opportunity to jump in the cool waters post race!
Keep the wheels moving!
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About the author...
Jay Richards maintains a very active lifestyle. He somehow finds time between managing a full-time resort (Maplelag) and bringing up a family of four boys with his wife Jonell, to compete in both mountain bike and a few cross-country ski races. Jay rides for Maplelag Resort, manages the Maplelag/Paramount mountain bike team and enters his 22nd year of racing and promoting mountain bike races.