North Kettles Fall Epic
New Fane Trails
September 14th, 2013
Fall temperatures made the fastest course in the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series even faster and led to many lap times under 24 minutes. The 10-hour field located the fast groves with a wheel-to-wheel opening lap led by Polska’s Adam Gipril. Series veteran Rich Lytle and series regular David Swanson never gave Gipril a gap on the tight course until Swanson moved to the front when the course finally widened at the transition.
Swanson’s lead held until Gipril brought him back on lap four and finally broke things open on lap seven. Up to second in series points, Swanson soon withdrew from New Fane as Gipril continued to grind out the hard laps until he had built an 18 minute lead over Lytle who had struggled with a dangling seat bag and disconnected crank. Lytle has seen years of long course races and knows how to take care of him self until time expires. Gipril literally collapsed on the grass after 17 laps and was still on his back as Lytle rode by on his way to a 20-lap win. Single-speed series leader Jostein Alvestad opened the race on the mountain bike before riding most of his 15 laps for grins on a beefed-up cross bike.
The 5-hour race saw Wausau24 champ Ron Stawicki ride off the front with a sub-23 opening lap while Wausau 12-hour champ Paul Wagner fought his way through traffic to within reach of Stawicki after three laps. Stawicki gradually opened his lead as Wagner fought off a deep team from Ripon College who had invaded the mid-course race. Wagner extended his series lead over Greg Jones who moved up to second with two races remaining. WEMS racers will meet again at the brand new Kewaunee Buckthorn Buster on September 28th before wrapping up a long season at the series championship at the Thunderdown October 12th.
Words: Chris Schotz