AMR had two participants in the WORS #2 at Crystal Lake, Ross Rushin and Arild Haugene. Both raced in Sports Cat 2 and both won their age classes. Ross was # 4/16 overall, and Arild # 10/110 overall.
The track was about 15 miles (2 laps), and in a very good condition. A mile with gravel road and double track from the start straightened out the pack before we went into a very nice but challenging singletrack. The trail was a mix of singletrack, doubletrack with hills and cornerings, and the trail was pretty fast. No scary jumps – good for the older bikers! The race was a great experience, worth the drive up to pleasant Rheinlander.- Race Report by Arild Haugene
Great Job by Ross and Arild- Next WORS Race will be Battle of CamRock June 1st 2014 in Rockdale, WI
Race Report by Travis Säler (Stork)- Saturday found these two monkeys marking off our transition area for the 6 hours of bradys run which isn't to far off of the Ohio Line just inside PA.
This was to be Julies first mtb race this year and her second ever. With a new Trek Cali SLX Carbon wrapped with some new XR2 tires she was prepared and a little nervous...okay a lot nervous.
The co-ed duo field was filled with some pretty good teams but we had entered this race to get Julie some trail time and experience with passing & being passed on the trails. Never the less I still put in some efforts and rode steady & smooth which always pays off in an event like this. Going out of the gate in a blaze of glory never helps (most of the time those riders are hung over the bars just out of sight from the effort). I prefer to wind up to speed and carry it steady for a while.
I even did a lap on my single speed once it rained. The mud was thick and given the never ending ups and downs of the course the 37T x 21 was a little tough at moments.
Julie stayed dry for her first 2 laps but no one was able to avoid the mud that came as a result of the rain. She made some wise choices and rode within her limits. Even finishing a 4th lap with a broken master link on her chain. I was so proud of how she handled the situation by not shifting and running some of the steeper climbs. I still cant believe the chain didn't come completely apart.
Well we hung on for a 4th place finish out of a dozen or so teams so heres to a few "happy Angry Monkeys.
-Race Report by Travis Säler (Stork)
2 Part Race Report by Joe King & Muse Davis
Race Report by Joe King:
We had a perfect day for a mountain bike race. The sun was shinning and the trails were dry but not dusty -- if anything they were tacky but there are so so so many rocks it hardly mattered.
There's a You-Tube video from my Go-Pro here, http://youtu.be/6mpG9JSmJD8. Above.
The you-tube gives you the idea of a Le Mans start but what it doesn't show we started running at the bottom of a long hill. Besides being a bit gassed when I got on the bike, I left the bike geared for mounting half way up the hill. The video shows about 10 people going past as I struggle to get the bike out of the small ring.
The first two laps were really hard and I struggled to keep a good pace. After that I went into a bit of decline. Still the other racers are so relaxed and polite and the Kettles are gorgeous. The loop is a bit less than 10 miles and three loops were on the menu today. It's almost all single track with some steep climbs all of which are littered with large round stones. A few of the climbs had loose stuff as well.
I took two falls, the first is on the video where a large round stone in the center of blind corner stopped my forward progress instantly and I fell over. My ankle turned funny and I could not for the life of me get unclipped. I was about to try to take my shoe off when I finally just lifted myself up with aid of a tree. That's my upper-body workout for the year completed - check!
The second crash was similar in that I failed to notice the large, loose round stone in my path. This time I went over the bars and hit my head. I think I'll be wearing a souvenir of this incident on my forehead for about a week.
I was really happy to finish the course still smiling. In fact, this is a really fun place to ride. The rocks make you feel like a punching bag but one loop at a tourist pace would be a gas. There's nothing super technical like the man-made stuff in Lake Geneva. There are flowing sections (still rocky though) and there are plenty of technical bits.
Before the race, Angry Monkeys Racing teammate Muse Davis and I were sitting around talking about doing the 6 hour or 60 mile course. Yea, before getting beat up on this 30ish mile course this seemed like a really good idea. Next time, I think I would skip the 1-loop, 1-hour preview of the course. Notice I said, "next time". These WEMS events really are fun -- I'll be smiling for days.
Race Report by Muse Davis:
The middle-Wisconsin weather was finally perfect this weekend for my first ever MTB race. The temps were between 65 and 72 and the sun was out. I brought my brand new single speed Ritchey P-29er that I had been building up since October—though I had put a few miles in on it on local trails, this would easily be the most I’d ever ridden it. Since I had not owned a mountain bike since early 1994 (no kidding), there was a lot of new technology and geometry to get used to. I had my first suspension fork and the first disc brakes of my life. I have put off learning how to deal with tubeless until I get more used to all the other technological ‘advances.’
Met up with Joey about an hour and a half before the race. We were both doing the 3 hour/30 mile race, so there were plenty of suffering 6- and 12-hour victims to watch in the infield. There was the obligatory LeMans style start, this time requiring maybe 120 yards of running, mostly up a pretty steep gravel road. Joey disappeared into the pack as I plodded along in the back and tried to remember the last time I went running. Once on the bike I was able to get several positions clear of the absolute back end before we headed into the singletrack.
The course was a fantastic 10 mile loop through rolling woods with plenty of large rocks and roots to keep it interesting. Not a lot of flow, at least for a guy still trying to make a 29er corner after nothing but CX bikes offroad for a decade or so. We wound our way around several tight valleys and were really only out of the woods for a couple of times through a power line cutover. After 30 minutes I recognized my unsurprising mistake of going out too hard. Could have used a lower gear for any of the 5 or 6 medium length climbs that kept popping up. Traction was good and the course was dry but not dusty—the best condition it’s ever been in for a series race, I’m told.
I came through the end of the first lap in reasonable condition, but really started hurting after another 4-5 miles. There was the occasional (extremely courteous) pass by the serious 6 and 12 hour folks, which was one part inspiring and two parts demoralizing. I wish I could say I fought on bravely for the duration, but the truth is that about 3 miles from the end of lap 2 I was thoroughly cooked. I crept past the start/finish for the second time and tapped out. I never saw Joey again during the day but I expect he did well.
Big learning curve for my first race. Get the starting pace right. Get a lower gear. Do an internet search of upper body and core strength that road and track people don’t use and maybe try to get some of that. MTB people are super mellow.
And I have to do this again. When I heal.
WORS #1 Iola Bump & Jump
Race Report By Brandon Andrews:
The first WORS Series race of the year, my first WORS Series race ever. It was interesting. There were a number of expectations and concerns coming into this race that I was a bit worried about. I have raced a number of XC races in the past in Georgia and apart of the SERC series. However I still haven't found my place in the confusion of categories. At one time reading the "description" of categories I thought I might be a 2, since I am not a beginner mountain biker. However I was quickly put in my place. :) Smaller local races I would actually do ok in, since they did not have the draw of faster competitors in each division. For the WORS Series and the change to Wisconsin I wanted to just keep my standing in USA Cycling as a 3. If I did really well in the first few races I would of course bump up. If I crushed it I would bump up immediately. Laura had no choice. She was upgraded to a 1 last year before we moved from Georgia and so she is required to race in with the Pro/Elite Class. Fitness is another concern of mine. I spend more time traveling and working than actually on a bike, joys of working for a bike company. A few weeks ago I went for a gravel ride, see earlier post, and started to cramp way too early. Since we are now living in Wisconsin, negative temperatures and snow has kept us from riding through the winter. This is officially one of the worst starts physically to a race season I have ever had. Laura too has be traveling, but she is always faster than me. So before we even raced or drove the 2 hours to go, I had my reservations of the trip.
Laura, Shimano (the pug) and I packed the car and headed up to Iola for the race. The drive was great seeing areas where green has started to cover the field where once everything was white. The weather was perfect. We got to the course and pinned the numbers. I went first racing as a Cat 3 Citizen racer in the 30-34 group. I lined up next to a guy who said he had only been Mountain biking for a little while. He was previously a runner, I told him he had nothing to worry about if he was a runner. His fitness would carry him through the day. He ended up 3rd in our age group, beating me by 2 seconds. The start of the race was on fire road/grass paths. I assume this is the place that people cross country ski. The younger age groups had already had a few minute start on us. I was positioned about 4th or so in the group of our age. We hit single track an started to really move. Since we were only doing 2 laps on the 5 mile course positioning was key. However in areas of slight technical or even up hill became bottle necks with the riders who were in front due to age groups being released a minute apart. I tried to pass when reasonable but still just tried to keep my cool and not over exert the first lap. There were a few spots where I had to dismount run and show off my Cyclocross skills getting back on the bike. The course was very easy for the citizen races. There were really only two steep climbs that I was able to ride up both, passing a few walkers. My first lap I realized that the arm warms and knee warmers that I was wearing were not doing any good. Second lap I started to move with another rider in a different age group, he and I worked around riders and moved together really well. I would get a bit of energy and pass him on some of the steeper climbs. Thankfully these were not the long climbs like in Clemson or North Georgia. I could power through and then relax on the downhill.
Last half of the lap I saw the "runner" who was in my group. I figured I should go ahead and catch him and pass him. This ended up being a bit more difficult to do. Due to the number of younger riders on the course who were ahead passing became almost impossible. Some of the kids around the age of 11 or so I would see him pass someone, then I would get closer to him. I was right with him when I miss shifted and dropped the chain. Dummy move on my part. I quickly hopped off and realigned my chain with the right gears then took off again. Knowing I needed to make up a bit of time I went over hard, hit one rooty section on the uphill with way too much speed and wrecked. Picking myself off the dirt thinking that shouldn't have happened, I searched for my Garmin, found it and again was in chase mode. This is when it really got interesting. Before the finish there really was only two areas to pass before the line itself. There was a climb to an open area that had space then the course switched to a straight section that was through the trees and bumpy, passing here would be difficult, but for about a second after that section you could pass before going into the last tree section. The timing would have to be critical. Right before the climb I saw him move past two riders. This meant I started the single track climb with the two in front of me, one was a young girl about 12 probably riding for her first time in a race, the other was someone who was just following her, he wasn't even in the race. I am all about the kids racing and having fun too, I loved cheering them on as I passed the kids. Or coaching them as I was behind them. This was a bit painful though. I sat behind the two of them and asked once if I could pass, the guy told me after the climb. It took longer than expected. I just sat there staying quite, I did not want to ruin her race or give her any anxiety. At the top of the hill she stopped just short of the top causing the guy behind her to staggered back, I had to do some quick maneuvering to go around both and back on course. I pressed on as fast as possible to catch my nemesis runner friend. As I hit the long bumpy tree section I saw him past the last turn before the final tree section. That was my last chance to get a good pass in. He had caught two other riders in another group. As we made the last exit out of the trees I tried to stand up and catch him but there was no room before the finish. I ended up 4th in the age group and 41st out of about 140 finishers. Missed the podium by that much.
Laura is a Cat1 racer and she is very excited to be in that field, although sometimes she doesn't express it. The Elite group does 4 laps totaling about 20+ miles. The weather started to get a bit warmer and two sections were added to the course for their race. Another long climb followed by off camber downhill to a steep short climb and more off camber fun. She knows that she will be training more to compete in these races. Today was just to evaluate where she was at. The first lap she looked good and was sitting in front of two girls. As the laps continued she worked hard to just stay within contact. Being again that she is new to the Elite/Pro field she did fantastic. She ended up 4th in her age group and 8th overall in the Pro/Elite group. While she raced Shimano and I took a few photos of her racing and took some quick naps on the grass. It was such a great day. Laura is still reminding me daily that it helped that I only raced for 10 miles instead of 20+, I don't think she will let me live that down.
We are looking forward to more racing in Wisconsin, although we will miss the next few weeks, but be back for CamRock! WORS #3 in June.
-Brandon Andrews (with insight by Laura Andrews and Shimano the Pug)
For more info on the WORS series check out this site-
Some of the photos posted here are used with permission by: Extreme Photography Unlimited
Others are shot by myself, www.bdandrews.com