Wicks and Strigel win again at WORS

Round four contested at Sunburst Showdown

Undefeated 2010 Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) Leader Abigail Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) and newcomer Barry Wicks (Kona) won the fourth race of the series, the Sunburst Showdown in Kewaskum, Wisconsin

Wicks, who recently moved to Evanston, Illinois, and can now be considered a WORS local, won the Crystal Lake Classic earlier this season. As Wicks lined up with the other elite men at Sunburst, there was one questions on everyone's mind: whether all six and a half feet of Wicks' lanky frame could be made to fit beneath a thick, low-hanging branch on the back half of the course. By mid-race, WORS photographers had the branch staked-out in hopes of catching the tight squeeze on film, but Wicks proved just a little too quick.

Others wondered who would give Wicks a run for his money. Past WORS Overall men's winner Tristan Schouten (Mafia Racing) stepped up, attacking on the climbs and trading pulls with Wicks throughout the five-lap race. On the fifth and final lap, Schouten led out of the last section of singletrack, but Wicks was just a little too quick. In a critical open section, the Kona rider powered ahead to gain the high ground, and a narrow ledge and lapped traffic before the finish negated the chance for a sprint. Wicks finished in 1:35:17, and Schouten rolled in three seconds later. Darrin Braun, who lost contact with the leaders after an attack by Schouten on lap three, waged a solo chase for the last two laps and finished 1:32 back, for third. Fourth place went to Nathan Guerra (Mr. Tree Racing) at 3:11, and Brian Matter took fifth at 5:13 back.

In the women's race, Abby Strigel was challenged throughout the four-lap race by Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212 / Specialized). Krayer is having her best year to date, and has raced to second place behind the defending Champ in nearly every event of the 2010 Series. In the contest for the overall, Krayer is currently chasing Strigel by less than 50 points. Still, Strigel is accustomed to crossing the line with a comfortable margin on the rest of the field. At Sunburst, Strigel and Krayer traded pulls and banter throughout the race, and it was Krayer who led out of the final section of singletrack. Similar to the men's race, the decisive attack came at a critical power section, and Strigel had the legs. She won in 1:34:55, with Krayer following just five seconds back.

"Abby made an attack, and I thought, 'Gosh, if you can stay on her wheel and out-sprint her, you'll have your first win!'," recalled Krayer. "A second later, I was like 'Oh - that's not going to happen.' She just went."

"Lisa made me work really hard," said Strigel after the close finish. "At the start, being the superstar that she is, Lisa just took off. I think I worked harder during this race than I have all year. It was really tough, but it was really fun."

Both women said they are looking forward to the upcoming Subaru Cup, where Strigel will race the Pro XCT and Krayer, who races as a Cat 1, will contest for the Midwest Regional Championships title.

First year Pro Meghan Korol (Mafia Racing) finished behind Strigel and Krayer at 3:20 back for third, while Robin Williams (Mercy-Specialized; 5:52) and Claire Cannon (Trek Stores of Madison; 8:43), finished in fourth and fifth, rounded out the women's podium.

Sunburst is a deceptively simple track with a reputation among WORS elite racers as one of the most demanding courses on the circuit. Singletrack climbs pitch sharply uphill and open, grassy sections conceal tight corners. There is little opportunity to rest, and Sunburst favors riders with the fitness and power to tough out a short, intense battle. This year, there were additional challenges. Rain during the week before the event left the track slick in the woods and sticky in the open. In addition, the upcoming WORS Subaru Cup, coming up on June 26 and 27, had many WORS racers "training through" Sunburst.

"It was hard," said Wick after his win. "The course is pretty deceiving. The first lap you're thinking it's not so bad, but by the fourth or fifth time around it's starting to wear you out a bit."

"I did a slightly harder workout than I normally would have done the day before this race, thanks to my awesome coach, Craig Manthe," said Strigel. "He said today was going to be tough, and it was."

"I knew from the race last year that [Sunburst] is really one of the hardest races on the circuit," said WORS Racer Brian Matter (Gear Grinder / Trek). The 2009 overall champion, Matter has the type of "street-cred" at WORS that comes from winning the overall more than any other male racer in WORS history. Last year, ahead of his win at the Chequamegon 40, Matter was in excellent form at Sunburst and put the screws to the rest of the WORS field with a dominating win. This year, with his training focus on cyclocross later in the season, Matter was unable to contest when the attacks came, and finished in 5th.

"[Sunburst] is relentless," said Matter. "Climb after climb after climb. I had a big training week this week. So, when Barry and Tristan went hard over the top of the climb [during the second lap], and it felt like somebody was pulling my brakes, I lost contact. And that was it."

"I'm always a little bummed when I can't be part of a good battle," Matter wrote later. "I know that Barry showing up to a WORS race is a good opportunity to race against another fast guy. Tristan and Barry were battling it out and I could only watch from six switchbacks away."

Darrin Braun held on a little longer, then lost contact on the same climb during the following lap, when Schouten attacked. In 2009, Braun's success as a first-year Cat 1 was almost unprecedented in the men's series when he finished fourth in the overall standings. After an upgrade to Pro for 2010, Braun's been a consistent contender and, at the Trek Big Ring Classic, jumped onto the second step of the elite podium for the first time. It's clear he's got his eye on the top step. After finishing third at Sunburst, Braun couldn't help but sound a bit disappointed.

"I guess I had a little higher expectation for myself today," said Braun. "I'm happy considering the crowd. The pace was OK for the first lap or two, I think, and then Tristan [Schouten] wanted to take over control. We climbed up that first section and Tristan got around Wicks and just put the hammer down. That's where I got popped off."

Braun, too, is looking forward to racing at the Subaru Cup Pro XCT at Mt. Morris this weekend.

"Last year, that course was just the best for me because of the climbing," said Braun. "This year, it will be a different story because there will be a hundred guys just as good as I am. I don't expect a front-row call up, so we'll probably have to do a lot of passing. I'm going to try to stick with some people I know like [past Subaru Cup winners] Tristan and Matter. We'll see what happens. It should be fun."

The Cat. 2 men were led by Patryk Limanowicz who completed four laps in 1:27:48. The women's race was led by Anna Ganju in 1:22:35 for three laps.

The next race of the WORS Series, the Subaru Cup will be held at Nordic Mountain outside Wautoma, Wisconsin on June 26-27.

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage of the US Pro XCT.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Barry Wicks (Kona)1:35:18 
2Tristan Schouten (Mafia)0:00:04 
3Darrin Braun (Adventure 212/S)0:01:33 
4Nathan Guerra (Mr Tree / Power)0:03:11 
5Brian Matter (Gear Grinder /)0:05:13 
6Chris Peariso (Adventure 212 /)0:05:39 
7Ryan Krayer (Adventure 212/S)0:05:41 
8Chris Hurst0:08:12 
9Kevin McConnell (Mercy Specializ)0:08:19 
10Ben Koenig (RMC / Clean)0:08:46 
11Joe Curtes (Fuel Cafe)0:09:24 
12Carlos Haeckel (Alterra)0:09:27 
13Corey Stelljes (chainsmokers)0:09:39 
14Ray Nelson (Treadhead)0:11:15 
15Neil Swanson (Team WORS)0:11:27 
16Chad Sova (On the Rivet)0:11:37 
17Tyler Gauthier (Culvers Racing)0:11:53 
18John Lirette (Hayes)0:11:58 
19Justin Piontek (Performa)0:12:18 
20Isaac Neff (Alderfer Bergen)0:12:21 
21Ronald Stawicki (Team Polska)0:12:44 
22Seth Lenss (Titletown Flyer)0:12:59 
23Matt Millin (Team BONK)0:13:27 
24Scott Golomski0:13:42 
25Tyler Jenema (Gear Grinder)0:13:58 
26J. W. Miller0:14:02 
27Chris Mantel (VeloTrocadero)0:14:31 
28Michael Naughton (Treadhead Cycling)0:15:01 
29Rick Mezo (RBikes.com/Flee)0:15:14 
30Maciej Nowak (Team Polska)0:16:12 
31Maxwell Anderson (Colavita Racing)0:16:59 
32Dan Schaefer (Team Pedal Mora)0:17:03 
33Matthew Muraski0:17:09 
34Scott Vogelmann0:17:14 
35Bill Nigh (Team Pedal Mora)0:17:19 
36Tim Scanley (Alterra Coffee)0:17:24 
37Bryan Fosler (Trek Store )0:17:34 
38Butch Welke (Treadhead)0:20:09 
39Dan Holsen (Heavy Pedal)0:20:40 
40Glenn Kirst (Wheel & Sprocket)0:20:55 
41Joe Stephens (Hayes)0:21:38 
42Nick Sabel (Fond du Lac)0:22:12 
43Luke Holtan (VELO TROCADERO)0:22:12 
44Chad Hildebrandt (Team Polska)0:22:36 
45Mark Burkholz (Extreme Bike)0:22:55 
46Mike Budd (Wheel & Sprocket)0:23:39 
47Dennis Schueler (Flatlandia)0:24:04 
48Brian Braun (EXPO Racing)0:24:45 
49Justin Lund (EVOMO.COM)0:24:49 
50Jesse Bell (SISU Cycles)0:25:11 
51Russ Krueger (Rib Mountain)0:25:13 
52Trevor Olson (Muddy Cup)0:25:14 
53John Shull (CLIF)0:25:35 
54Chad Dean (5Nines Data)0:26:20 
55Michael Seguin (xXx Racing - At)0:28:39 
56Jesse Shoemaker (Performa Cycling)0:34:00 
57Jerrod Collier (Muddy Cup Racing)0:42:39 
DNFTed Hanes (Fond du Lac)  
DNFMatt Gehling (Trek Bicycle)  
DNFMatthew Miller  
DNFScott Cole (Adventure 212)  
DNFAristotle Peters (EXPO Racing)  
DNFKarl Tillman (Bikes Limited)  
DNFJason Gosse (Team WORS)  
DNFMike Curtes (Fuel Cafe)  
DNFJeff Melcher (Pedal Moraine)  
DNFCharly Tri (29er Crew)  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Abigail Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison)1:34:56 
2Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212/S)0:00:05 
3Meghan Korol (Mafia Racing)0:03:21 
4Robin Williams (Mercy-Specialized)0:05:52 
5Claire Cannon (Trek Stores of Madison / WORS / T6)0:08:44 
6Patti Kaufmann (Planet Bike)0:08:54 
7Andrea Matter (Gear Grinder)0:09:50 
8Jennifer Danielson (Chainsmokers)0:09:51 
9Kate Heil (Cyclenauts)0:10:53 
10Renee Bach (Chain Smokers)0:14:23 
11Michelle Peariso (Adventure 212)0:14:37 
12Hannah Zlomke (Mr Tree / Power)0:22:43 
13Regina Campbell (Alterra MTB)0:25:41 
14Lindsay Guerra (Mr Tree / Power)0:26:26 
15Denise Coppock0:35:09 
16Jennifer Whitedog0:37:45 
17Ashley Weichmann (Titletown Flyer)0:37:45 
DNFLori Sable  
DNFChristine Czarnecki (Alterra Coffee)  
DNFBrenda Zimmermann Thorpe (Rib Mnt Cycles)  
DNFSarah Lukas (Gear Grinder)  
Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kyle Warras (EXPO Racing)1:31:08 
2Ben Senkerik (Team Extreme)0:01:12 
3Nathan Labecki (EXPO Racing)0:04:23 
4Myles Beach (EXPO)0:08:00 
5Tony Kaatz (Attitude Sports)0:11:30 
Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Liz Shull (CLIF)2:01:52 
Cat. 2 Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Patryk Limanowicz1:27:48 
2Chad Boyles (BVC-Nomad Cycli)0:00:29 
3Michael Spiro0:01:47 
4Spence Cone (Wildside Velo C)0:02:11 
5Ken Statz0:02:31 
6Casey Hildebrandt (Maplelag Resort)0:02:39 
7Greg Krieger (Team Extreme)0:02:50 
8Nicholas Holzem (City Bike Works)0:03:04 
9Sanjay Ganju (Alterra Mtb)0:03:24 
10Nathan Lillie (RUCC-Brones Bik)0:03:24 
11Ryan Kleimenhagen (Chainsmokers)0:03:24 
12Randy Wegener (Fond Du Lac Cyc)0:03:39 
13Ben Marchewka (Team Pedal Mora)0:04:09 
14Mitchell Moen (R-Bikes/FleetTr)0:04:37 
15Greg Jones (Hayes Brakes)0:05:36 
16Dusty Dale (Riverbrook Mome)0:05:50 
17Dan Ellerkamp (Magnus / Twin S)0:06:14 
18David Thomas (Magnus / T6)0:06:33 
19Matt Dale (Riverbrook Mome)0:06:53 
20Dakota Dale (Riverbrook Mome)0:07:05 
21Jess Kruchoski (The Endurance T)0:07:11 
22Rodney Moon (Bear Valley Bik)0:07:21 
23Lance Wall (Treadhead cycle)0:07:28 
24Greg Heil (Cyclenauts)0:07:51 
25John Fang0:07:56 
26Bryan Frazier (Wildside Velo C)0:07:56 
27Mike Wheeler (RBikes.com/ Fle)0:07:58 
28Bob Downs (Planet Bike)0:08:07 
29Patrick Haley (Velo Trocadero)0:08:25 
30Vince Steger (Eriks Bikes & B)0:08:39 
31Rick Walls (Muddy Cup)0:08:50 
32Glen Stroik (Chiropractic)0:08:51 
33Jeff Sympson (RVO/ Kegel's)0:08:58 
34Bill Burkholder (Kegel\\\'s Bike)0:08:59 
35Anthony Ferrara (New Moon Bike S)0:09:01 
36Brian Merklein0:09:06 
37Jesse Perreault (Magnus)0:09:15 
38Jeremy Vogels (Performa Cyclin)0:09:18 
39Derek Held (Wheelfast Racin)0:09:19 
40Dan Szczepanski (BelGioioso/Titl)0:09:29 
41Brent Van Klooster (The Bike Hub)0:09:37 
42Bill Street (SISU Custom Cyc)0:09:40 
43Brent Palmer (Titletown Flyer)0:09:41 
44Kurt Schwiesow (Tower Clock Eye)0:09:50 
45Mitchell Bogardus (Team EXPO Racin)0:09:50 
46Jose Barraza0:09:54 
47Ross Lemke (Pedal Moraine/H)0:09:59 
48Mark Olski (Outdoor Outlet)0:10:09 
49Jesse Sharp (Nordic)0:10:10 
50Russell Jobs (Hayes Disc Brak)0:10:26 
51Ryan Shiroma (BelGioioso/Twin)0:10:28 
52Caleb Lenss (EXPO)0:10:34 
53Eric Fossell (Spokes N Spines)0:10:36 
54Don Slickman (Team Bonk)0:10:52 
55Joel Coon (BelGioioso/Twin)0:11:06 
56Wally Kunstman (Sheboygan)0:11:32 
57Tim Racette (Team Wisconsin)0:12:09 
58Mark Bowers0:12:34 
59Mark Balkenende (Endurance Trust)0:12:41 
60Michael Stanley (Verdigris)0:12:43 
61Bob Phelps (Alterra Coffee)0:12:46 
62Tyson Schwiesow (CZ Velo)0:12:46 
63Dan Tavela (THC)0:12:55 
64Brett Edgerle0:13:06 
65Cameron Schave (Fond Du Lac)0:13:15 
66Michael Humpal (GeorgeGarner)0:14:09 
67Scott Neperud (Magnus)0:14:23 
68Sean Shields (Team Pedal Mora)0:14:39 
69Chris Harrison (Titletown Flyer)0:14:50 
70Curt Demott (Titletown Flyer)0:15:46 
71Michael Ziegler (Cyclenauts)0:15:50 
72Cole Jacobsen (Titletown Flyer)0:15:52 
73Christopher Gabrielson (Wildside Velo C)0:16:35 
74Marcum Martz (Team Bonk)0:17:21 
75Andrew Wiesner (Titletown Flyer)0:17:23 
76Jon Derksen (Wheel N Sprocke)0:17:40 
77Scott Spoo (Wannabee Racing)0:17:41 
78Alex Borsuk (UB Cycling)0:17:46 
79Jeff Hammond (Endurance Trust)0:18:06 
80Joe Riesberg (Team 53x11 Coff)0:18:32 
81Leif Byrge-Liebig (Team Cyclopath)0:19:48 
82Justin Lengfeld0:21:50 
83Steve Jeske (Pedal Moraine)0:22:00 
84Jeremy Lentz0:22:26 
85John Gregorski (EXPO Racing)0:23:15 
86Jarrod Kerkhoff (Spokes & Spines)0:23:26 
87David Bender (JVC/Michaels)0:23:51 
88Brad Tennis (Wildside Velo)0:23:56 
89Participant 13390:24:52 
90Jamie Prange (Cyclopath)0:25:26 
91Mark Muraski (Riverbrook)0:26:33 
92Chris Fellows (WORS HAYES)0:28:21 
93Andrew Ohlsson (Team Wisconsin)0:30:01 
94Bob Anderson0:32:06 
95Eric Sime (Team Singular)0:32:58 
96Dan Hendricks0:33:04 
DNFSam Geyer (Is Corp)  
DNFKenneth Ramm (Team WORS)  
DNFStan Avedon (xXx Racing)  
DNFJoe Greatens  
DNFKevin Pomasl (Team Wisconsin)  
DNFJoseph Maloney  
DNFTodd Bugnacki (Club Tread)  
DNFRichard Faith (Cylenauts)  
DNFTy Gonzalez (Alterra MTB Tea)  
DNFNeil Zacharek (Sheboygan Bicyc)  
DNFKrystian Pac (PACT - DISH POL)  
DNFTed Schrubbe (Velo Trocadero)  
DNFAndre Odendaal  
DNFJohn Mahr (Wheelfast Racin)  
DNFTyler Welnak (Wheel and Sproc)  
Cat. 2 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna Ganju (Polska)1:22:35 
2Elicia Hildebrand (Gear Grinder)0:03:19 
3Angela Theriault (Alterra Coffee)0:03:54 
4Rachel Horstman (Erik\'s Bikes &)0:05:18 
5Maria Osowski0:07:10 
6Brittany Nigh (Team Pedal Mora)0:08:04 
7Emily Shull (CLIF)0:10:58 
8Rachael Jensen (Gear Grinder)0:11:34 
9Cassey Lynn (UW-Madison)0:11:38 
10Sarah Agena (Adventure 212)0:11:49 
11Ann Holsen (Heavy Pedal Vel)0:12:33 
12Sondra Klipp (Janesville Velo)0:12:46 
13Sara Van Klooster0:12:50 
14Sherry Austin (Trek Store-Madi)0:14:21 
15Helmy Tennis (Wildside Velo)0:14:42 
16Andrea Lyman (Rib Mountain Cy)0:16:13 
17Lynne Senkerik (Team Extreme)0:18:38 
18Heather Stelljes0:26:52 
19Jenni Borell (Attitude Sports)0:27:58 
20Kelli Piotrowski0:28:12 
21Mandi Tauferner0:31:22 
22Rolleen Kralovec (Team Spike)0:32:08 
23Katarina Coates0:34:01 
24Sue Borchardt (team extream)0:40:33 
25Margaret Matuszak (Sheboygan Bicycles)  
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