Matter wins Ore to Shore

Experience pays off for Kylander Johnson

The 12th annual Ore To Shore Mountain Bike Epic took place August 13. Over 670 took to the start line in the 48-mile Hard Rock and almost 1000 riders were on hand for the 28-mile Soft Rock. Some familiar faces found their way to the top step of the podium. Brian Matter (Gear Grinder/Trek) of Sheboygan, Wisconsin and Sara Kylander Johnson(Team KUHL/Trek) of Duluth, Minnesota both won. Matter and Kylander Johnson both took home their fourth title at the Ore To Shore.

In the men's race, Matter won with a fierce attack out of a group of four with one mile to the finish. The lead group was 13 men strong almost 30 miles into the race and included, Matter, Tristan Schouten, Cole House, last year's winner TJ Woodruff, and three-time champ Mike Simonson.

With 18 miles to go, the attacks started coming fast and furious. Slowly, one by one, the lead group diminished. With eight miles to go the lead group was down to four riders and Cole House (Real Cyclists), one of the NRC's top sprinters, looked to be ready for his first win. According to Matter he launched a "suicide attack" with one mile to go and watched as House and Schouten slowly closed on him down the final straight away. House turned the final corner with 20 meters to go, but couldn't close the gap.

The women's race at the Ore To Shore is different than most women's races around the country. The added element of starting with and racing with the men makes the Ore To Shore extremely different for the women. Crashes with men, drafting, missing feeds due to the thousands of riders on course all play a major roll. Sometimes the women are surrounded by so many men they don't even know how close they are to their nearest competitors.

Sara Kylander Johnson used her experience and a little luck to take home the title. Chloe Forsman of BMC was leading the race but suffered a mechanical. Due to the large number of competitors Forsman wasn't even sure if Kylander Johnson had passed her as she was making the necessary repairs. Last year's champion Jenna Rhinehart had an early flat tire that took her out of contention.

In the Soft Rock, 16-year-old Evan Hartig of Dubuque, Iowa won the men's race in a time of 1:23 and Andrea Matter of Sheboygan, Wisconsin won the women's with a time of 1:33.

The Ore To Shore is also known as the first stop in the unofficial Triple Crown series of midwest point to point mountain biking. Next up is the Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 another point to point where men and women start together in northern WI. The final stop of the Triple Crown is the Iceman held in Traverse City, MI during the first weekend of November.

Scott Tuma, O2S race director, attributes the success to a combination of factors. "First, I think it's our geography. We have great terrain here in Marquette County. It's not flat by any means, but it's not as un-doable as the Colorado Mountains either. With Lake Superior as a backdrop, magnificent views are provided as some racers descend practically 1,000 feet. Sometimes I know it doesn't seem like it, especially at Kirby's Hill, but from 20 or so miles out, you're on a gradual decline towards the lake for the duration."

Results

Men's Hard Rock
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brian Matter2:25:10 
2Cole House0:00:00 
3Tristan Schouten0:00:01 
4Nathan Guerra0:00:08 
5Derek Graham0:00:55 
6Mike Phillips0:01:12 
7TJ Woodruff0:02:02 
8Mike Simonson0:02:05 
9Mike Anderson0:02:08 
10Brian Eppen  
Womens Hard Rock
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sara Kylander-Johnson2:40:53 
2Chloe Forsman0:01:17 
3Kim Eppen0:04:08 
4Diana McFadden0:06:36 
5Susan Stephens0:08:22 
6Lynn Alfs0:12:48 
7Sarah Wright0:12:49 
8Lisa Krayer0:14:58 
9Patricia Devost0:17:52 
10Erin Vicary  
Mens Soft Rock
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Evan Hartig1:23:33 
2Kyle Sarasin0:01:30 
3Kenny Peterson0:02:41 
4Jason Ruesch0:02:50 
5Christopher Chase0:03:19 
6Craig Thomas0:03:21 
7Daniel Mead  
8Doug Crysler0:04:07 
9Pete Karinen0:04:15 
10David Hollis  
Womens Soft Rock
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andrea Matter1:33:39 
2Kari Gates0:01:09 
3Maryann Farley0:04:47 
4Adina Christian0:04:57 
5Nina Karinen0:05:10 
6Jessica Grenwis0:05:25 
7Rachel Jensen0:05:42 
8Amy Michaels0:06:32 
9Patty Pemble0:06:55 
10Ingrid Fjeldheim  
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