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High School

Midwest MTB Report

by Jay Richards
June 5, 2019

Summer is in full swing, warm temps and great riding conditions across the Midwest. This weeks report includes a recaps from the MNMBS race #2, Shakedown in Detroit Lakes,and from WORS #3 Battle of Camrock. A couple of mountain bike related items to note and the weekend coming up that features the Borah Epic as the main event going down on the racing scene.

WORS #3 Battle of Camrock

WORS files a Elite class report on race #3, the Battle of Camrock:

Last weekend the Wisconsin Off-Road Series headed south to Cambridge, WI for the third race of the series, The Battle of CamRock. The Battle of CamRock starts off with a bang with a long and steep start climb to surely sort out the racers. Then competitors traverse up and down the hills of Cambridge through tight and twisty singletrack. A long gravel section in the middle of the lap offers the chance for racers to reach top speeds before dumping back into the singletrack. Overall, this course offers a little bit of everything for all types of riders.

The BelGioioso Pro/Elite Men’s saw leadout specialist Ben Senkerik (Team Extreme) lead the men up the start climb, out of the saddle nearly the entire time. Once reaching the top, Pete Karnien (Broken Spoke Racing) took control with Daxton Mock(Trek Bikes) and Senkerik following closely. The three competitors rode together for the first half lap before Karinen starting drilling it up all the climbs. The early high speed was too much for Mock and Senkerik as small gaps started to form. Karinen’s approach was historically different then how he normally races. Instead of sitting in, Karnien wanted to make the first two laps the fastest and hardest laps for everyone, hoping to develop a large enough lead to settle in the last two laps. Sure enough, he was able to do exactly that to secure the win and the 1,000 dollar purse presented by Loft and Shove and Marling Lumber and HomeWorks. After Mock lost sight of Karinen, he rode a relatively solo race to finish runner-up. Corey Stelljes (Neff Cycle Service) worked his way up to Senkerik and passed him to move up into third. The two spent the next two laps playing cat and mouse until Senkerik attacked hard going into the fourth lap. From there on, Senkerik held Stelljes off to finish third and fourth. Rounding out the top five was Payson Partridge (Dekorra/Skratch Labs) respectively.

Battling at Camrock (Credit: Extreme photography)

The BelGioioso Pro/Elite Women’s field started off extremely fast as Leia Rollins (Broken Spoke Racing) unquestionably grabbed the hole shot to lead the ladies up the start hill. Holly LaVesser (Neff Cycle Service) chased after her but Rollins had such an early lead, she was able to enter the singletrack alone off the front. LaVesser continued to chip away towards Rollins, but Rollins’ home field advantage and early attack was too much for the competitors. Rollins, who won The Battle of CamRock last year, went back to back securing the win by over two minutes. LaVesser rode a lonely race to finish runner-up. Lauren Lackman (Rib Mountain Cycles), a D1 collegiate cycling recruit worked together early on with Caitlin Neuman (Brazen Dropouts) but soon found herself alone to finish in third place. Emma Swartz, a hometown favorite and recent graduate of Marian University finished in fourth with Hanna Mork (Linear Sport/Trek) rounding out the top five respectively.

Full Report


MNMBS #2 Shakedown-Detroit Mountain, Detroit Lakes

Detroit Mountain located outside of Detroit Lakes was host to race #3 in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series. Near perfect weather greeted riders for fast racing on a hardpack fast flowing course that saw some of the fastest times ever posted at the reborn non-profit ski area. All classes raced on the same course with minor alterations for each lap with Sport and Expert racers rolling a half lap on the west side before doing 1 and 2 full laps respectively.

Kids Comp kicked off of the day on a loop on the east and west side and to no surprise a large turnout for the kid friendly course. Local kid Hank Schlauderaff took the boys win posting a time of 21:04. Kaia Omdahl was the girls winner in a time of 24:49 and good for 14th place overall in the elbow to elbow racing action.

Kids Comp racing action, Shakedown (Credit: Tony Schmitz)

The Sport race times showed less than 30 minutes on the result sheet as a result of the leading riders getting off course due to a rider that blew threw the tape. Everything seemed to sort out fine and riders went away pleased for the most part. Taking top Sport race honors was Missy Heilman in the female division and Ryan Wilsey in the male division.

The Marathon class was guaranteed a big day of racing with the fast flowing course as the top three riders in the male division logged nearly 60 miles on the day and seven laps. Taking the top spot was Adam Koble followed by Matt Able and Chris Stewart. Pam Nielsen took the female divisionwith Anne Grabowski and Isabella Mazion rounding out the top three, each rider competing 6 laps.

As in the opening race of the series at Woolly, junior riders dominated the top spots. The same would hold true in the overall for Comp and Elite male as junior riders went home with gold. Cole Johnson took his first win of the season, after blasting off the start in his wave start "I had no idea where I was after the first lap", Cole stated post race, "but my dad said I was only 24 seconds down from the overall so I put my head down and was able to close down the gap on the second lap". As usual, Cole's dad Matt was providing water for riders in need. Rounding out the top five in the Comp class was Fargo rider Tom Heilman, Mike Ruehle, Brant Elson and Thomas Manderfeld.

Elite women saw a nice size field on the day as nearly a dozen riders took to the line. Fast racing kept the gaps tight and no room for error as times were close among all women. Danielle Larson took the win in 1:29:29. Rounding out the top five were Risa Hustad, Kristi Henderson, junior rider Garbrielle Mazion and Renee Hoffman.

Elite men had a a smaller field on the day with many top elite juniors racing in Wisconsin and the 20 somethings riding in Duluth, Cuyuna and Cable areas.The pace was fast off the start with junior rider Braedon Anderson bolting to the front and never looked back as he scorched the field with a blistering time of 1:32:37, nearly 6 minutes ahead of second place finisher Lance Thum. Ben Olson, who was in the second spot for most of the race nailed down third who kept flying high Jay "Hollywood" Henderson who is off to a strong start this year in check at fourth, just 13 seconds back. Rounding out the top was Time Brandvold. Yours truly also rolled to the line with a goal in mind to start near the rear and move up if possible. There was no moving up but still fun riding and racing with Peter Maxwell, catching up from early years of racing. One of the first mountain bike races I ever did was at the "mountain" It was typical of races back in the day, raw track, fall line climbing and descending. That first race, back in 1990 as part of the Detroit Lakes Water Carnival, actually started in town with multiple stop sign crossings before doing a big lap at the ski area including a steep climb up ending up with a sandy fall line descent that saw some spectacular crashes before heading back in to town for a city street sprint finish.


Loppet Cycle Works FTW Mountain Bike Summer Skills & Ride Series

Come out to the Loppet Foundation Trailhead for Femme/Trans/Womens (FTW) mountain bike skills and ride sessions as we prepare for a summer of fun on the trails!

Meeting at the new Trailhead
(Credit: Loppet Foundation)

Join Loppet Cycle Works coaches Madeline, Rachel and Holly as we work on mountain bike skills together in a supportive, non-competitive environment. We will have a progressive summer series where we will work on a skill(s) and then take that skill to the trail in our effort to help you become a stronger more confident rider.

Skill sessions will start at 6pm with our goal to be on the trail riding no later that 7pm and we will wrap up between 830-9pm.

Duluth Hard Enduro

The second edition of Max Fierek's Duluth Hard Enduro is due to take place on June 29-30. Big news coming out of the press release posted on Pink Bike is the first ever "urban stage" through the city streets and two of the cities most historic parks. The course will feature a combination of massive stair sets, gnarly high-speed straightaways, man built features and some sweet natural terrain. Saturday, June 29th is the all about the Urban Assult, followed up on Sunday by the big day in the saddle, working from Spirit back across to Downtown hitting all the local favorites along the way. Full report with some great photos on PinkBike

Urban mountain biking, urban stage featured in this years Duluth Hard Enduro (Credit: Max Fierek)


Looking Ahead

Borah Epic

Gravity Cavity, Borah Epic (Credit: Prenzlow Photography)

The Borah EPIC is a challenging, singletrack mountain bike race from Hayward to Cable, WI, that donates race profits to the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association. Since 2013, the Borah Epic has donated over $89,500. The race is sold out but plenty of riding opportunities outside of racing.

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 mountain bike team and enters his 29th year of racing and promoting mountain bike races.

Have an event or mountain bike related information to share from the Midwest? Feel free to contact Jay at


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