Midwest MTB Racing Report
With series racing in Minnesota and Wisconsin taking a short break, many local riders were waving the flag as the away team, if you will, hitting up "epic" events in the Midwest and well as a few riders venturing west and east. This weeks report includes recap from Leadville 100, The Rusty Ride, Ore to Shore, the World Cup at Mount Saint Anne, Canada and a look ahead to possibly one of the busiest weekends of the summer.
Mike Berkopec made a return trip to Colorado to take on the Leadville 100 and provides a full report with interesting commentary on a Midwest connection:
Over the past few weeks, Colorado was suffering from daily rain storms and Saturday was expected to be the same. Rain coats were part of every rider's kit on the morning of race day. Turns out the weather was perfect, no rain, 35 degrees at the start with beautiful sunshine and little wind at 12,500 foot Columbine Mine turnaround. A new course record was set with an average speed of over 16 mph despite over 13,000 feet of climbing on rutted dirt with loose rock downhills, wow! For me the race was a "been there done that" sort of thing. I experienced the three biggies: the Columbine climb, the power line push at mile 80 (and beyond) and the satisfaction of riding the red carpet in Leadville. I went "independent", no crew. The aid stations looked like quite a party for crews and spectators alike, I assumed they were all cheering for me.
Cuyuna was host to the Rusty Ride, endurance racing which was highlighted by a 100 mile event. Greg Ames reports:
I signed up for the 100mi Rusty Ride thinking it would be a nice warm up for the MDH 100 coming up next weekend. The Rusty Ride course is comprised of 25mi laps starting in Ironton and looping through the Cuyuna trail system.
One of the "triple crown of mountain biking" events in the Midwest, the Ore to Shore, took place under premier conditions in the U.P. of Michigan. Hard Rock 48 winner Jenna Rinehart provides a quick recap.
I'm very excited to have taken my 4th win at Ore To Shore this year. I haven't had a chance to race as much this year because I've been busy with the bike shop so I wasn't sure how I would do at the race. I had a great start and did my best to try and find a fast group of guys to ride with. There was one crash in front of me as soon as we hit the dirt that forced me off my bike for a bit but I did my best to stay calm. After we went through the town of Ishpeming I crashed while riding next to the railroad tracks. I unfortunately lost the group that I was riding with and started to panic a little. I figured Susan and Diana were close behind. After the race I found out that many of the riders behind me were forced to stop and wait for a train that apparently didn't know we had a race going on. I got back into the flow and eventually found another strong group of guys that I was able to ride with to the finish. After the finish I headed across the street to a nice sandy beach on Lake Superior. Doesn't get much better than that!. If you haven't had a chance to do this race I definitely recommend adding it to your calendar! (Photo: Dan Dittrich)
Bill Lane of the Gunflint recaps his version of the race on his website.
World Cup Mt Saint Anne
Wisconsin rider Joseph Maloney found himself at the start line in Quebec Canada for the Mount St Anne World Cup race, unfortunately he came down with a bug putting him not at 100% but he still gave it a go.
Bike Duluth has updated their website highlighting the numerous mountain bike trails and recommended road routes in the Duluth Area. Although I am a hard core mountain biker, I do log some miles on the road and earlier this summer I had a chance to ride the Lester River Road up to Strand hill, a popular cat 4 climb used by Nordic skiers for roller skiing workouts. It was a dandy and of course the descent down was a blast.
Things are looking great for the upcoming Laddies Loppet stage race at Maplelag. This Wednesday we will be hosting a low key race on the Sport/Comp/Expert loop at 7pm, meeting at the trail head. The mileage on this years lap is around 7.5 miles including the infamous lakeside drops and the popular new twin lakes singletrack. A mass start will send riders quickly to the first lakeside drops in less than a minute!
Race organizers call the MDH 100 one of the "baddest and raddest" place and course in the country. Indeed the singletrack is demanding and talking to participants who have begged this event put this at the top of the list as one of the toughest endurance events around. (Photo: Greg Ames)
The popular Gear Grinder held at the Pipestem Dam just outside Jamestown, ND takes place on classic rolling prairie singletrack with challenging wooded sections in the coulees. A most demanding course will leave ever rider satisfied in the pain cave. Anyone up for racing more prairie singletrack after the MDH 100? (Photo: Gear Grinder)
Not only will there be the series cross country race on Sunday at the Mon Du Lac ski area but the Dirt Spanker classic will also be hosting the State Championship Super D, the Dirtspanker Super D, on Saturday. The Super D will be day of registration and the cost is only $10. Registration goes from 8 am to 11 am and pre-riding is 9-12:30. Races start at 1 pm and there will be cash pay-out to the top 3 places. The cross country course is a five mile loop that consisting of leg burning climbs, screaming decents, and Mont Du Lac's trademark rolling singletrack.
Held at the Rock Sports Complex outside Frankling Wisconsin, the Classic features a burning climb right from the start, dizzying single track, and fast fire roads all in the urban setting of Milwaukee County. The Alterra Mountain Bike Team proudly presents a true mountain bike 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 23rd year of racing and promoting mountain bike races.