July 27 & 28, 2013
The Midwest endurance rendezvous saw 600 riders come out on the coldest weekend since 1934 to ride the blazing fast trails of the Nine Mile County Forest. CWOCC put together a sweet course that omitted the steepest pitch to the Ho Chi Mihn Trail in exchange for even more of the rock features that are a signature of Nine Mile. Overall the course ran about three minutes faster than the year before with a lap still around 11 miles. The thing that had everyone worried was the dark clouds and chilly temperatures that dropped to the mid-forties. How quickly we can get used to a heat wave only to have it snatched away on race day.
Two-time single-speed and 2011 solo champ Ron Stawicki from Café de Arts Roastery was back on his single-speed to pace a huge solo field of over 50. He was able to navigate the shortened Le Mans start cleanly and spun free of the bottlenecks that snagged many on the Red Bud Road singletrack. After one lap he had gained 11 minutes on the solo field and was a half hour up when he finally checked after four laps. He continued what he considered a comfy pace and did not make an extended stop until eight hours had passed. Wausau24 is indeed the big race on Stawicki’s calendar this year. He’s placed less emphasis on WORS racing while focusing on building trail around Waukesha, but he did show up at two WEMS races this year as preparation for Wausau.
One thing you can count on at the TransRockies Challenge is that, at some point, it will rain. The riders woke this morning to ominous skies and, with the 9 AM start looming, a light rain began to fall. After two hot days on the trail the consensus seemed to be that a little rain would help to improve trail conditions and keep the dust clouds down.
Ten minutes from start time organizers were informed that a Moose and her injured calf were on the Project 9 trail. To maintain rider safety, a route change was enacted, resulting in a delay of the start. Riders would skip the Project 9 descent and, instead, climb Stove Trail and descend Dem Bones before continuing on the previously planned route.
Stage 1 | Kudowa Zdrój – Kraliky
Monday, July 29th, 2013
Distance: 88.2 km
Ascent: 2210 m
Our Polish media contact Tomek Hoppe checks in with a brief update from Stage 1 of the Sudety Challenge:
Today the Sudety MTB Challenge moves to Kraliky in the Czech Republic. The first stage, but also the longest one with some pretty long uphills. Here in Kraliky the weather is better than good – another day with sun and heat.
I spent a hunk of time on Sunday watching replays of the Men’s and Women’s XCO races from Vallnord, Andorra (seemingly the closest I get to actually racing these days). I have to say I was impressed and unimpressed with a few things. The following are my unsolicited and most likely unwanted comments, possibly written for no other reason than to use the words impressed and unimpressed as many times as I can in a blog post.
Nino Schurter is an animal!