Wisconsin Racing is going strong! The fourth race for the 2015 WORS series was located at Nine Mile Forest in Wausau, WI. Laura, Shimano and I (Brandon) came up on Saturday and camped out near one of the local lakes. Since the race is a bit far from Madison we did not have any other Monkeys at the race. The citizen course for me was fairly wet due to early morning rains and saturated grounds. We had a mix of double track and single track course that was not very technical at all. That is one of the negatives of being out of shape and not able to compete at a higher level yet. Technical courses seem to be a bit easier for me, its the endurance and race pace that I struggle with. I started out the race settling in about 7th in the group, when it opened to double track i tried my best to gain a few positions. The first lap allowed me to see a few more attack points for the next and final lap. I had one other age group competitor that I switched positions with a few times before finally getting some ground over him. Still knowing that he was only a little ways behind made me take the slick course a bit more cautiously so not to fall and have him pass. In hind sight I should have press harder had I know the 3rd place finisher was only 30 seconds ahead. The last double track to the finish I could hear a racer right behind me in the woods, as soon as it opened it I tucked my head and took off sprinting to the finish. I ended up 4th in the age group and 50th overall out of the over 140 Citizen racers.
Laura raced again with the Women's Open group. They had a very different course. The wet trails had dried out a bit from earlier in the morning giving better traction, however the open group raced the pro course so the difficulty was increased. While watching I saw a number of racers DNF with injuries and broken bikes. Laura came through the feed zone looking good. Shimano and I watched patiently for her finish. She came across the line in 6th for the overall Women's Open field. Later I found out that she did endo over the bars in one of the rocky sections of the course. Again the ability to pre ride the courses would have been a better idea, but it still was fun. She had some issues getting the stuck chain back on so she lost a position.
Overall it was a fun day of racing. We will have a few weeks off before racing again in July at Nordic Mountain. Other Monkeys are racing the WEMS race this weekend and possibly going to the WORS Race #5 at Eau Claire. Shimano did get 1st place in cuteness. He was one tired pup by the end of the weekend. -Brandon Andrews
Some of the photos are taken with permission from http://www.xtrphoto.com. Visit their site to view our photos from the race.
Trek 100 for 2015 has passed, but we are still raising money for this great cause. If you look at our team, our goal was met, but individuals are still working to raise money to hit their individual goals for the Trek 100. We have 6 weeks left to raise money for this great cause. Trek 100 looks to have a huge donation heading to the MACC Fund which is just Awesome! We had a number of riders from the team who had commitments to other fund raising groups. We had 4 members finish the entire 100 mile ride, Mio, Julie, Travis & Carl. Laura, Brandon, Kevin, John & Chris did the 100k (64ish miles) and Tyler was out there on the 19mile ride. Adam also did the 19 mile route with his son! Lots of fun and family time. Here are a few photos of some of the riders. Hopefully more to come. Visit our fundraising page.
Well you have seen the headlines and the twitter feed. Sunday at Cam Rock in Wisconsin was a fun day. Perfect weather and good trail conditions led to a successful day. The morning started up with Brett & Brandon lining up in the 30-34 Citizen and 35-39 Citizen. Brett had a bit more speed on the start and took off up the hill while Brandon struggled to get the grove. After settling in Brandon picked up some speed and passed teammate Brett on the course. Only to then hit a root wrong on a banked turn and hit the deck. It took some time to get the chain back on the bike for Brandon so the groups started to pass. He was able to get back on course and over come some of the riders that passed him. Brett finished a fantastic 4th place in his age group with a time of 57:28. Brandon finished 6th in his age group with a finished time of 59:14. Nick did the 39 and under Citizen Clydesdale group and finished 4th with a time of 1:05:32. Photos of these racers can be seen online via the Xtrphoto website vendor. Brett is bib #4014, Brandon is #4313 and Nick is #4810. Link to those photos here.
UP next was Joey King in his race. Since Joey is a rock star and won his age group 55-59 Sport with a fantastic finish on the line you can read more about his post here. Photos below are of Joey Racing! Here is the link to Joey on the XTRPhoto site, bib #1191.
Laura and Shannon raced the Open Female division. Both did great finishing 5&6 officially. Some racers in their group miss understood the instructions at the start of the race, but these two were fantastic. Below are a few photos of their group. You can also see more photos of Laura and Shannon on the XTRPhoto website. Laura is bib 1522, Shannon is bib 1503.
Saturday WORS King of the Mountain Challenge
On Saturday I raced a new event at WORS sponsored by KMC chains called the King of the Mountain Challenge (KMC). There were only 32 participants so even though I was the only one on a single speed (no ss category) and the only masters division was 40+ I finished in third. It really hurt and I very nearly finished second closing many yards on the final climb but falling less than a bike length short. It was fun and I'm happy I did it. I'm also happy I used Flo my single speed with drop handlebars. She elicited lots of comments from spectators and participants during warm up.
The trails were very muddy because it had been raining pretty much straight for the 24 hours prior. The rain stopped almost two hours before the 5:30 start so even though the course was slick, the puddles were few. The course was surprising for what was billed as a hill climb event. It contained an almost equal amount of flat and downhill distance. This put the single speed at more of a disadvantage than expected because I could spin the climbing gear I chose only so fast on the flat. Even though it seemed I was left behind spinning away by most of the group, I keep going as hard as good until the end. But wow did that hurt. I kept saying that to anyone who would listen -- man, that hurt but I'd do it again.
Sunday WORS Sport (cat 2) 55-59
On Sunday I wasn't feeling it. As I was sitting in the Angry Monkey Racing tent talking to Laura, I was talking myself into holding back today. I was waiting to start my fourth race in eight days so my edge was feeling rather blunt. When Brett, Nick and Brandon's race started it was time for me to warm-up which felt equally lackluster.
Knowing there would be call-ups and I would not be among them, I arrived early to the line so that I'm only a row or two back at the start. This was perhaps the best decision of the day because at the gun I found myself on the wheel of Glen Jones who often dominates the CX races I contest. On the first time up the hill in this 14 mile race Bob Benedum gapped us all. Knowing Glen, I patiently waited on his wheel. I raced with my head for a change and resisted the temptation to lead the chace. Jones pulled three or more of us away from the field in a steady attempt to catch Bob and when he was caught, the pace slowed. Bob was no longer gunning it and we all seemed to relax and pass slower riders as best we could. Things opened up when we hit the bike path which is where Glen turned is huge motor to full-gass and put some distance between me and Bob Benedum. I stuck with Bob for half a lap expecting Glen was gone for good. It was in some ways very relaxing. I knew Glen had recently graduated to the 60+ category so I've got no reason to chase. I'm not sure how many or who exactly the riders are who have been riding my wheel all race but I heard the slap of chains and the occasional gasp coming from behind.
Bob started to loose steam so I went by and he seemed somewhat relieved. I picked up the pace and it got a little quieter behind but there was at least one rider close behind. It was Dave McCullum who often bests me in cross. When we hit some tight stuff and could breath normally he kindly announces himself and we chat a bit. Now I'm thinking only of the uphill finish and being careful to save something for that climb. The final two climbs would be the decider and besides if Dave wants to use energy to pass me just before the climb, that won't hurt. Dave decides to stay put so when we hit the hill I accelerated up the right past a bunch of riders. Surprisingly there's Glen Jones just ahead. I pause on his wheel for two seconds and I hear Dave say, "get going Joe." I'm thinking 3-up sprint for the line and there's no better wheel on the course today than Jonezies. He's either gassed or thinking we were gone for good so I take the pass to find even heavier traffic near the top of the first finishing climb. Jones passes back and puts two riders between us just as we enter the short downhill before the last climb. Out we pop onto the grass of the last climb to the finish with Jones three bike lengths ahead and Dave on my wheel. I have what feels like the finishing gear and go! I'm on Jones' wheel before the top and start to pass but he's got something more. Dave pulls even and just ahead of me -- we bump shoulders but I'm giving no ground. I felt this gear I'm in has more to give so just when Dave shifts I dig that much deeper and push ahead at the line by an inch! Dave and I finish a half bike behind Glen Jones who wins the 60+ category today. I'm first and Dave McCullum is second in the 55-59 age group. That was it, just over an hour of racing and our 55-59 category is decided by an inch. Overall my finish was 36th out of 234. They start us old guys near the back so we passed a lot of riders and it all went surprisingly well.
It was a super fun hanging out with the Angry Monkeys and seeing the racers I know from cross. This is only my third WORS sport race and my first win. I'm very happy to say, I have age-group wins in cross, time trial, triathlon and now mountain biking. I guess it's time to take up BMX.