Lake Geneva, WI
Treadfest this weekend marked the 10th race for the 2012 Subaru-sponsored Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS). Brian Matter came out to hammer one last nail in the coffin, with a 1st place over finish likely; while Amber Markey proved that she is a force to be reckoned with, winning her second consecutive WORS race.
As the Pro and Cat 1 men and women lined up for the start of the BelGioioso Elite series race, they got a good look at their first challenge to conquer, the start climb. Spectators lined the slope all the way to the top. This steep incline was only the first in a series of 3 hills before descending into the single track. The best climbers took their early lead and used that strategy to hold their position into the tight and rocky single track. Expert hole shot sprinter, Matt Shriver recalled; "You definitely want to have a fast start and then stay out of trouble.” The men formed a lead pack early on, including the winner of the event, Brian Matter (Gear Grinder). Matter was joined by Matt Shriver (Honey Stinger/Bontrager), Nathan Guerra (Vision/Wheel & Sprocket), Cole House (Competitive Cyclist/ 616) and Mike Phillips (Adventure 212/Specialized). In the following laps Matter, Shriver and Guerra broke away. As the fatigue started to set in, Matter widened his gap to take one last victory for his season before turning his focus to the Chequamegon 40 in Hayward, WI and Cyclocross Nationals, held in Madison, WI. Shriver finished shortly after Matter, taking 2nd step on the podium with Guerra coming back strong to finish in 3rd.
Not to be outdone, some the fastest women in the area proved their strength. Off the start Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212/Specialized), Lori Sable (K9 Dynamics) and Robin Williams (Mercy-Specialized) took the lead through the first hills with Amber Markey (Magnus) sitting in 4th. A few miles in, the women cruised through one of the favorite spots for spectators, the rock garden. Photographers and fans watched as the course separated the brave from the timid. Strong technical riders like Lori Sable flowed through this section without hesitation. But in reality, it is a menacing formation that is quite intimidating. Amber Markey (Magnus) made a bold statement that she is a serious contender by winning her 4th WORS race in her first season as a Cat 1 racer. Following shortly behind Markey to finish 2nd was Robin Williams who comes all the way from Iowa to compete in the WORS races. She says that "the courses are always amazing. Nice combination of single track, climbing, double track. They’re just put together really, really well.” Lori Sable also grabbed another medal for her collection finishing third place. It was a close finish for the women with less than one minute between 1st and 3rd place.
Racers gathered in the scenic and relaxing town of Lake Geneva, WI for Treadfest. Lake Geneva hides a little gem for cycling enthusiasts. Tucked away in the back of the Grand Geneva Resort, past the banquet halls, past the private airport and seated up against a gorgeous golf course sits a ski hill. In the summer months it is not open for public riding. So, for most WORS-heads it is a rare treat to ride these private trails. And like any delicacy, having it only once a year is what makes it so desirable. This also has a tendency to even the playing field a bit. Most racers don’t get the whole summer to practice and memorize every inch of dirt. Pre-riding is, for many, the only time to ride here aside from the race. But that didn’t stop the contenders from giving it 110% and putting the pedal to the floor.
The next WORS event will be the Bear Paw Outdoor Rock & Roll in White Lake, WI on September 30th