Race Report- Brandon Andrews- November 24th, 2013 is the day that racers awoke to the temperatures in the single digits. It was brutally cold. Heistand Park in Madison Wisconsin was the host for this cold day of racing. I could hear the laughter in Georgia at Jim Miller Park exclaiming they had warmer temperatures, even though it was only a few degrees warmer than Wisconsin. The course itself was surprisingly tough. At first glance it didn't seem like a tough course, but mixed with the repeated climbs, run up that needed ropes to get up, thick slick long grass in off camber sections and the brutal cold made this race just one that took a lot out of everyone. After "warming" up I started my race and had a good start, a large group of racers went down in the first off camber section allowing me to pick my line around the fallen comrades. I continued to dig deep in the cold lungs and move up in the ranks. Third lap into the race and just before the long granny gear climb I dropped my chain. I ended up running up the hill while about 7 guys passed me on the bike. While running I was able to get my stuck chain out of my wheel. The next lap was me trying to patiently attack at times where I could pass those who had passed me in my misfortune. I would pass one on the run up, two who crashed right in front of me and the rest as I worked hard to move the cold air to my legs. Sliding out on an off camber area I tried desperately to keep my position. Again passing an obviously stronger rider than I on the run up I had thought I was finally back where I thought I had lost positions. That rider then flew by me on one of the climbs, but at the last turn I picked the right line and got in front of him as we both sprinted to the last turn and to the line. I was able to beat him there and maintain my position. It was a fun race for me even though I had my ups and downs. I finished 19th overall. Still not where I wanted to be at this part of the year but I will take it. Laura was able to keep warm during the race by keeping Shimano the Pug in her lap the entire time I raced. She did her warm up and then started for the line. The course designer added another climb for her race and the rest of the pro races that day. She rocked it once again and was able to maintain her third place for the 3's. It was unbearable cold and she had a tough course but she kept going. Once again I was proud of this Angry Monkey. We have one more race for the Wisconsin Series. I hope to see a few more Angry Monkey Racers at the series and Wisconsin State Championships. -Race Report by Brandon Andrews.
Jim Miller Race Report- by Darrell Lee
Race Report by Darrell Lee- I had been looking forward to the race at Jim Miller park all season. It's close to home, fast and fun, and usually has a great turnout. My last race at Baldwin was a lesson in preparation as I did not take the time to put a chain tensioner on my singlespeed and one lap in, while running a respectable 6th place, my chain flew off. Didn't have my Jethro Tule either. Couldn't readjust the wheel. DNF. Frustrating. Jim Miller would be different.
I double checked everything well before the race. Rolling onto the start line, it was a cool 40 degrees and very windy. My goal was to crack the top 10 and have fun. Singlespeed is a great class. Last race of the day, 45 minutes long, with a blend of the serious racer boys and middle-aged weekend warriors like myself. For some guys, it's their second or third race of the day. As an added plus, my wife, who rarely ever attends races, was there with the cowbell and her special brand of heckling.
At the start, I got out comfortably fast. Over the barriers, I took a quick count. 12th place. By the time I hit the singletrack section in the back, I had settled into a hard, steady pace. The brutal run-up had me sucking wind, but I had moved into 8th by the end of the second lap. There were four riders on my wheel and I could not ease off the gas. After some jockeying back and forth, I had shaken all but one of this group by the end of lap 3. The next two laps were among the hardest of my racing career. I could see a shadow stalking me on every straight away and a front wheel trying to tuck under me in every turn. We began to close up on the 6th and 7th place riders. Last lap. I reckoned that, if I could stay in front of my pursuer on the run-up, I could hold on to 8th. I hit the run up as hard as I could and hammered the downhill singletrack in near oxygen debt, rolling across the line in 8th and happy to be done.
-Race Report by Darrell Lee
Race Report- By Brandon Andrews. - Want a tasty treat, try Kringles. Seriously had no idea what that was until after Laura got 3rd place in her race and one of her prizes was a genuine Kringle. It is like a danish or some other pastry awesomeness. Ok so that is enough advertisements for the title sponsor for this Wisconsin CX Series race. Hosted at Hales Corners Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this race was going to be one for the stories before we even got there. Weather proved to be the real winner for the day. Thunderstorms ran through the area all morning long. My pre ride was a slippery muddy sludge fest. It was liquid mud so there wasn't too much of an issue of it packing around the wheel or not being able to clip in. There was one long climb which if you didn't have the right gear or sit back on the bike you would would be stuck at the bottom watching people slide their way up. When I lined up for my 10:30 race the rain and wind was so strong I almost missed the start because I was trying to hold down our tent that was crumbling in the wind. This would be a good time to advertise for some 1,000 dollar tent and how it stood the storm, but instead I bought the 100 buck one that was bending like a twig. So I raced up to the starting line and lined up as the weather hit its max. I was honestly surprised that we were still outside. Just after the start about 2 minutes into the race I started to hear ringing in my ears, soft at first then louder and louder. Then I figured out it wasn't me but the weather sirens going off nearby. We continued to race for about another 2 minutes, I even asked the guy racing next me as we were riding through the turns if this was safe. Sure enough just as I thought about pulling off course and sacrificing my sure last third of the race position, the IMBA Bike patrol guys pulled us off the course. We were told to seek shelter in the nearby building. I went straight to my flimsy tent to find Laura hanging on to the tent for dear life. I told her to take the boy, shimano the pug, and head to shelter while I quickly collapsed the tent. After joining Laura in the shelter we found out our race would go on an hour. That really was the only excitement of my race. We did restart and I had an ok race. I kept going back in forth with another rider until I was finally able to get ahead of him enough to establish a good distance, right until I slipped on a section of the course. I went down in the mud and quickly stood back up and started running with my bike. I looked back and saw the other rider with hunger in his eyes as he sensed that I was in trouble and the finish line just near by. I quickly got back on the bike and sprinted as hard as I could, looked back right before the line to see he gave up. I finished 24h out of about 36. Laura did great. She has continued to make gains on the competition the past few weeks. Due to the weather they started the 1/2's with 3's together. Laura had a great start even with the 1/2's. Her abilities in the mud and technical terrain really showed. Even with one technical mishap she was able to recover and keep going. Laura ended up placing 3rd in the women's 3's. It was a great race for her and I was very proud. We both enjoyed the fruits of her labor, a Racine Danish Kringle. :) Race Report- By Brandon Andrews
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