Strigel defends winning streak at Crystal Lake

Abby Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) defended her winning streak at the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) Crystal Lake Classic, while Brian Matter (Gear Grinder / Trek) outgunned Tristan Schouten and Nathan Guerra in the men’s race. In total, over 540 WORS participants raced through the woods surrounding Crystal Lake outside of Rhinelander, WI at the second outing of the 2011 WORS Series.

“I raced smart,” said Matter after the race. “Just good tire pressure, good bike and raced smart. In the third lap, I went pretty aggressive in the singletrack and got the gap that I needed, and went with it.”

Matter separated from defending WORS Overall Champion Tristan Schouten (Mafia / Felt) in the singletrack on their third lap, and pulled away from the last man on his wheel, Nathan Guerra (Wheel & Sprocket / Vision) in the fourth. He finished in 1:59:01, just ahead of looming rain clouds.

Schouten, who is still without a bike of his own in 2011 and was riding a five-year old bike borrowed from a friend on Sunday, was unable to maintain contact with the two leaders through the rough, technical singletrack.

“I know this course demands a full suspension, or you just can’t pedal enough,” said Schouten. “After last year, when I was on a hardtail, I remember I was able to pedal my bike only half as often as racers on a full suspension, which is not good. Matter was strong today and this course did not suit me particularly well. There is really only singletrack to separate the racers, and I’ve spent limited hours on a mountain bike so far this season. Hopefully after a good weekend of [road] racing down in Iowa, I’ll have some good fitness for the next WORS race, and a bike.”

Second-place finisher Nathan Guerra set the pace for much of the contest, racing to step back on to the top spot of the WORS podium. A WORS Series racer for over seven years, Guerra began as a Cat 3 and has steadily climbed through the field to finish in 3rd place overall in 2010. This year, Guerra is looking to contend for the overall and set an aggressive pace in the singletrack at Crystal Lake.

“I went to the front before the first singletrack and just put it down as hard as I could,” said Guerra. “It was scary because I was hurting pretty bad, but it looked like everybody else was too. It came down to Tristan, Brian and I by the end of the first lap. About half way through the third lap, Brian went to the front. I think he got sick of me punching it, then taking it easy, then punching it again. He just put the hammer down for the last half of the third lap and we lost contact with Tristan. Then, in the last half of the fourth lap he did the same thing to me, and I was gone.”

Guerra chased hard to finish at 1:59:51, while Schouten rolled in at 2:01:24.

Behind the trio battling at the front, a sudden crash downed 2010 second-place elite overall finisher Darrin Braun (Adventure 212 / Specialized) on the first lap. Braun was already riding injured, having bruised or cracked at least one rib before the race. After his hard crash, Braun was in visible distress and having difficulty breathing. Several racers who were then riding within the top 10 immediately stopped to aid Braun, including teammate Ryan Krayer, Mike Anderson (Trek 29er / Sram) and Iowa City racer Brian Eppen (Mercy-Specialized). Though now recovering well, Braun suffered a broken rib. After the race, he was quick to offer thanks to those racers, volunteers and emergency medical staff who helped him to safely recover.

Braun’s teammate Chris Peariso finished in fourth at 2:02:15 while Ben Koenig (RMC / Red Eye Brewery) took the final step on the podium out of an elite men's field of 57 at 2:02:20.

Strigel wins in the singletrack

In the women’s race, Abby Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) did her best to gain an edge over Kim Eppen (Mercy Specialized) in the abundant singletrack. The two women have met in Upper Midwest contests for several years, and only recently did Strigel prevail, beating Eppen for the first time at WORS Treadfest in September 2010.

“I like all the bumpiness and the twisty turns at Crystal Lake,” said Strigel. “I feel like it’s a fairly technical course and I enjoy it. Despite my love for this course, it is a back killer."

After the women’s field of 16 pro and Cat. 1 racers was led out by Michelle Peariso (Adventure 212 / Specialized), Strigel went to the front and separated from the group, with only Eppen holding her wheel.

“I know what Kim is capable of,” said Strigel. “So, I just went as hard as I could up all the climbs. I think she’s a little stronger on the climbs than I am. Once we hit singletrack, I just tried to do my thing because I thought that would be the only way I could get any kind of lead on her.”

“I had never been to that course before,” said Eppen after her race. “I figured I would try to stay with Abby and get a feel for the course on the first lap and see what happened. We hit the single track together and she was ripping it up! I was following a bit too closely, hit a few whoops and caught some big air and about filled my chamois! I figured I had better shut it down a bit and regroup so that I didn’t launch myself into a tree. Meanwhile, Abby was rocking the singletrack while I rocked myself right off the back, and continued to go backwards. It was a rough day for me, but I give props to Abby.”

With the threat of Eppen spurring her on, Strigel rode into the elite men’s field and pushed herself even harder in the open sections and climbs to keep her advantage in singletrack. Without knowing the gap until after the finish, she crossed the line with a lead of nearly five minutes over Eppen at 1:43:20.

Eppen, in turn, put considerable time into the remainder of the women’s field, finishing in 1:48:13, five minutes ahead of teammate Robin Williams, who took third at 1:53:12. Adventure 212 / Specialized teammates Michelle Peariso and Sarah Agena went on to round out the elite podium in 4th and 5th place, respectively.

The next WORS race, the Trek Big Ring Classic, will be held at 9-mile Forest outside of Wausau, Wisconsin on June 12.

Full Results

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Elite Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brian Matter (PCW / Hyundai)1:59:01
2Nathan Guerra (Wheel&Sprocket/Vision)0:00:50
3Tristan Schouten (Pabst/Felt/Mafia Racing)0:02:23
4Chris Peariso (Adventure 212 / Specialized)0:03:14
5Ben Koenig (RMC, Red Eye Brewery)0:03:20
6Tyler Gauthier (Culvers Racing)0:05:18
7Kevin McConnell (Mercy-Specialized)0:10:24
8Mike Naughton (Specialized)0:11:02
9Jacob Groethe0:11:09
10Justin Piontek (Bike Hub/Specialized)0:11:43
11Bryan Fosler (Trek Stores ofMadison)0:11:47
12Ronald Stawicki (Team Polska)0:11:48
13Jeff Melcher (Team Pedal Moraine)0:11:57
14Tyler Jenema (MAFIA RACING)0:11:58
15Dallas Fowler (Kuhl)0:12:17
16Tom Carpenter (Trek 29er Crew)0:12:38
17Ryan Krayer (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:12:59
18Adam Swank0:13:23
19Trevor Olson (Muddy Cup)0:13:56
20Ray Nelson (Tread Head Cyclery)0:14:55
21Corey Stelljes (chainsmokers)0:14:58
22Chad Boyles (BVC-Nomad Cycling)0:14:59
23Trevor Koss (29er Crew)0:15:07
24Michael Wenzel0:16:03
25Isaac Neff (Williamson Bicycle Works)0:16:17
26Greg Krieger (Eriksen Cycles)0:16:23
27John Shull (EXPO Racing)0:16:38
28John Lirette (Hayes)0:16:40
29Ryan Voss (Muddy Cup)0:17:24
30J. W. Miller (Trek Stores ofadison)0:17:58
31Bill Nigh (Team Pedal Moraine)0:18:19
32Matt Millin (Mountain Outfitters)0:19:24
33Scott Cole (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:19:26
34Scott Vogelmann (Trek Midwest Team)0:21:49
35Kenneth Statz (Element Moble)0:21:54
36William "Tyson" Hausdoerffer (KS Energy/TeamWisconsin)0:22:01
37Luke Batchelor-Clark (Magnus)0:22:46
38Matthew Muraski0:25:05
39Sanjay Ganju (Alterra Coffee)0:25:11
40Eric Fossell (JVC / MichaelsCycles)0:25:48
41Nicholas Holzem (City Bike Works)0:26:05
42Jesse Shoemaker (The Bike Hub /Specialized)0:27:38
43Mark Cole (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:28:04
44Tim Racette (KS Energy Services/Team WI)0:28:50
45Greg Jones (Hayes Brakes)0:29:33
46Tim Jennings (Element Mobile)0:29:35
47Karl Tillman (Bikes Limited/Scenic Concepts)0:30:11
48Jess Kruchoski (Wheel & Sprocket/ Vision)0:32:41
49Barry Winters (Element Mobile/Bring's)0:37:17
50Jim Peterson (Michael's Cycles)0:39:44
51Dan Tavela (Treadhead Cycling)0:46:12
DNFDarrin Braun (Adventure 212/Specialized)Row 51 - Cell 2
DNFJoseph maloney (KS/ Team Wisconsin)Row 52 - Cell 2
DNFBrian Eppen (Mercy-Specialized)Row 53 - Cell 2
DNFMike Anderson (Trek 29er/SRAM)Row 54 - Cell 2
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Abigail Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison)1:43:21
2Kim Eppen (Mercy-Specialized)0:04:53
3Robin Williams (Mercy-Specialized)0:09:51
4Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:10:10
5Michelle Peariso (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:10:19
6Rachel Horstman0:12:05
7Sarah Agena (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:14:15
8Anna Ganju (Polska)0:14:55
9Claire Cannon (Trek Store of Madison)0:17:05
10Brittany Mcconnell (Iowa City Cycling Club)0:18:41
11Renee Bach (Chain Smokers)0:20:34
12Jennifer Whitedog (BikesLimitedScenicConcepts)0:22:28
13Alyssa Severn (Magnus)0:24:40
14Denise Coppock0:25:15
15April Dombrowski (Team Pedal Moraine)0:26:02
16Brenda Zimmermann Thorpe (Rib Mnt Cycles/Red Eye Brewery)0:47:16
DNFLori SableRow 16 - Cell 2
DNFChristine Czarnecki (Alterra CoffeeMTB Team)Row 17 - Cell 2
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Junior Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ben Senkerik (Nova Cycle Sports / ISCorp)1:39:36
2Pete Karinen (Trek 29er Crew)0:01:19
3Myles Beach (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:02:08
4Casey Hildebrandt (MAPLELAG/SKINNYSKI/RMC/POLSKA)0:03:42
5Andrew Senderhauf (Wheel and Sprocket)0:06:58
6Mitchell Bogardus (EXPO Racing)0:09:06
7Cameron Schave (Eriksen Cycles)0:09:54
8Ben Franson (Moritz Tires)0:10:06
9Brett Poulton (EXPO)0:13:07
10Michael Dutczak (South Chicago Wheelman)0:26:28
11Parker McColl (Wheel & Sprocket)0:28:38
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Junior Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nina Karinen (Trek 29er Crew)2:07:50
2Liz Shull (EXPO Racing)0:00:11
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Cat 2 Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Schotz (Rasta)1:42:43
2Chris Cook (Bikes-N-Boards)0:00:11
3Justin Weber (Red Jackets)0:01:37
4Colby Lash (KMK; Chocolay Ace)0:01:40
5Kurt Schwiesow (Tower Clock EyeCenter)0:02:19
6Vince Steger (Eriks Bikes & Boards)0:02:35
7Matthew OMeara (On The Rivet)0:02:45
8Bill Burkholder (Kegels Bikes)0:02:48
9Michael Humpal0:02:51
10Kevin Pomasl (KS Energy Services / Team WI)0:03:51
11Erin Sikora (The Bike Hub/Specialized)0:03:51
12Bryan Frazier (Wildside Velo Club)0:03:52
13Brian Schwaller (Velocause)0:04:03
14Peter Coenen0:04:09
15Christopher Berge (Magnus)0:04:24
16Dan Wierzba (rib mountain cycles)0:04:38
17David Poulton0:04:38
18Ryan Kleimenhagen (Chainsmokers)0:04:45
19Matt Dale (Eriksen Cycles)0:05:00
20Steve Herriges0:05:02
21Bob Phelps (Alterra Coffee)0:05:17
22Tony Pacini (Mission 1)0:05:17
23Patrick Scheibel0:06:15
24Ben Marchewka (Team Pedal Moraine)0:06:38
25Jim Toombs (Eriks Bikes & Boards)0:06:43
26Mark Olski (02 Cycling)0:06:58
27Steve Pribek0:07:05
28Steve Schafer (
29Eric Stanke (Schwag)0:07:46
30Mike Owens (Alterra)0:07:47
31Don Slickman0:07:49
32CHRIS FELLOWS (Trek Store of Madison/WORS)0:08:13
33Tim Wilkie (Riverbrook Bike+ Ski)0:08:54
34Scott Neperud (Magnus)0:09:21
35Jeff Sympson (Big Ring Flyers /Kegels)0:09:34
36Dakota Dale (Eriksen Cycles)0:09:45
37Troy Schaden (Schwag)0:10:28
38Jarrod Kerkhoff (Michael's Cycles)0:11:28
39Bob Callaway (Bluedog Cycles)0:11:35
40Dan Szczepanski (BelGioioso/Titletown Flyers)0:11:43
41Scott Hietpas0:12:19
42Mike Billmeier0:12:30
43Ken Naef (Titletown Flyers)0:12:34
44Donald Carr (IS Corp)0:12:42
45Brian Kelley (Kelchiro/New Auburn Bld.)0:12:56
46Joel Ficke (New Auburn Builders)0:13:48
47Nathan Langhorst0:13:50
48Billy Graef (Team Velocause)0:13:54
49Anthony Ferrara (Twin Six / NewMoon)0:13:57
50Krystian Pac (Polska - MIODU! - POLISH Mead)0:13:59
51Troy Meives (On The Rivet)0:14:00
52Shawn Hoppe (Fond du Lac Cyclery)0:14:01
53Jeff Dullard0:14:36
54Justin Lund0:14:47
55Terry Prewitt (Attitude Sports)0:14:55
56Steven Wenzel0:15:33
57Nikolai Skievaski (Team Pegasus)0:16:02
58Jeff Steckbauer (Rib Mountain Cycles)0:16:14
59Sean Miller (Michael's Cycles)0:16:49
60Mark Balkenende0:18:46
61Steve Jeske (Pedal Moraine)0:18:57
62Brad Tennis (Wildside Velo)0:20:18
63Chris Harrison (Eriksen Cycles)0:20:51
64Steven Schaefer0:20:58
65Andrew Wiesner (Titletown Flyers)0:21:10
66Karl Skinner (JVC / MichaelsCycles)0:22:55
67Gabriel Ion (Treadhead Cycling)0:23:31
68Bob Boone0:26:27
69Mike Worland (Big Ring Flyers)0:29:39
70Brian Benson (Bikes Ltd/Scenic Concepts)0:30:15
71Nathan Tock0:34:11
72Demetrius Banks0:37:09
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Cat 2 Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emily Shull (EXPO Racing)1:24:39
2Heather Stelljes0:00:26
3Beth Peterson (Riverbrook)0:00:49
4Cassey Lynn (UW-Madison)0:01:32
5Karlene Olson (Muddy Cup)0:03:11
6Keely Jackson0:03:27
7Elaine Vazquez0:03:34
8Maria Osowski (Element Mobile)0:04:04
9Brittany Nigh (Team Pedal Moraine)0:04:58
10Valerie Foley (RASTA)0:05:49
11Ann Holsen (Heavy Pedal Velo Club)0:07:07
12Pascalle Fischer (Title Town Flyers)0:07:12
13Lynne Senkerik (Team Extreme)0:07:35
14Cyndi Ehrike (Rib Mountain Cycles)0:07:52
15Charil Reis (Rasta)0:08:47
16Renee DeBruin (Ripon College Red Hawks)0:09:06
17Helmy Tennis (Wildside Velo)0:09:17
18Caroline Warren (Nord-Lock / Safe Wheels)0:11:54
19Andrea Lyman (Rib Mountain Cycles)0:12:07
20Sonni Klipp (Janesville Velo Club Michaels)0:13:24
21JoAnne Garrow0:14:08
22Leia Schneeberger (Magnus)0:15:12
23Kelli Piotrowski0:15:19
24Justina Smet (Titletown Flyers)0:17:47
25Diane Callaway (Bluedog CyclesVernon Trails)0:18:15
26Grace Prewitt (Attitude Sports)0:18:18
27Christie Close0:18:27
28Jenni Borell (Attitude Sports)0:24:36
29Sue Borchardt (team extream)0:42:40

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