Stump Farm 100
Former champions brought their decorated reputations to the mellowest course in the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series at the Stump Farm 100 on June 8th. The Brown County Reforestation Camp system had seen some nice upgrades since 2012 thanks to the newly formed regional IMBA chapter, and just enough rain had fallen to bind the sand into a speedway that lived up to Stump Farm’s 12MPH reputation.
2006 WEMS long-course series champ Lee Unwin powered his Specialized off the front with reigning state single-speed champ Scott Marx who had formed a stacked duo team with cross-bike rider Mark Englehardt. Unwin and Marx finished their first 10-mile lap in under 43 minutes, and as Unwin surged past Englehardt’s skinny wheels he was sure he was well off the front until he started passing his competition. Unwin had been riding extra miles each lap and instead of a tidy lead, Unwin was in 3rd with 10 minutes to make up. The course was clearly marked to anyone not travelling warp speed, but race directors were required to leave other trails open to non-racers so some intersections did require racers to pay some unaccustomed attention.
Unwin had seen enough endurance races over his years as a WEMS, WORS and NUE racer. He knew that he had to keep his eyes open, and instead of fretting that his race was lost he reminded himself that the day was long and that his best riding usually came late in the race. After 60 miles he had finally passed Chad Boyles of the Badger Velo Club for the lead. He entered lap 7 with a slim 18 second lead, but had found his stride and cranked off four 48-minute laps in a row to finish the 100 in 7:57. Boyles finished in 8:11 followed by 2012 WEMS mid-course champ Matt Millin of Mountain Outfitters at 8:17. Wisconsin riders should expect to see plenty of Unwin this year. When he’s not at Unwin Chiropractic, he’ll be staying closer to home with plenty of opportunity to race WEMS, WORS and the Chequamegon 100.
2008 WEMS long-course champ April Dombrowski of Team Pedal Moraine was back and showing the toughness that brought her a Wausau 24 win in the same year. She finished all 100 miles in 9:55 and has a mix of race distances on her schedule this year. 2011 Wausau24 champ Ron Stawicki of Café de Arts brought new colors and his single-speed to a win in the 60 mile event in 4:37, just two minutes in front of Dan Sczepanski. Two-time defending mid-course series champ Beth Wagner of RASTA got her first win of the year at 5:22.
With 80% of the 2013 WEMS calendar still to race, many series point battles remain unpredictable. WEMS racers will meet again on the boulders of Bear Paw for the Oso Good Solstice Challenge on June 22nd
Text by Chris Schotz,
Photos courtesy of Extreme Photography Unlimited
Visit wemseries.com for more information.