Strigel, Matter win Big Ring Classic

Brian Matter (Gear Grinder / Trek) and Abigail Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) won the Trek Big Ring Classic, third race of the Wisconsin Off Road Series.

Nearly 800 racers enjoyed the dry, sunny trails at 9-Mile Forest outside Wausau, Wisconsin. By the time the elite racers took to the course, temperatures hovered in the 80s, and the course was fast and dusty.

In the men's race, a group of six riders broke away early in the first lap. Nathan Guerra (Mr. Tree Racing), helping to set the pace at the front, was shed almost immediately after the gap formed when he cut his tire on one of the notoriously jagged rocks in the technical singletrack at 9-Mile. Five riders then remained together for most of the race: Brian Matter, Mark Lalonde (Gary Fisher 29er), teammates Chris Peariso and Darrin Braun (Adventure 212 / Specialized), and Matt Gehling (Trek Stores of Madison).

The strategic, team tactics of the Adventure 212 men have thus far been a determining factor near the front of each of the 2010 races, and have set an unfamiliar precedent for the men's BelGioioso Elite field. Even when brothers and teammates Jesse and Mark Lalonde raced and won together throughout the 2008 season, the front of the mens field seemed to work together to drive the pace faster. By contrast, the Specialized 212 men described most of the race on Sunday as "a tea-party."

"It was really slow today," said Chris Peariso after the race. "I sat on the front for almost the entire race. I just controlled the pace and whenever I felt good, I'd throw an attack in. Just to test the legs. We dropped people off every so often."

"I was just kind of waiting on the back," concurred teammate Darrin Braun. "Chris was doing all the work, and I was just on the back waiting for my chance."

"It was a really weird race today," said defending WORS Overall Champion, Brian Matter. "Alot of tactics. Alot of going really slow then going really fast. I was happy to see the finish line."

By the fourth and final lap, the lead group had shed Gehling in an attack and rode out of the singletrack into a gauntlet of screaming spectators in a tight pack. Peariso set pace as they charged out to the turn-around point, and the real struggle began behind a stand of trees at the turn-around point.

"The sprint finish was the same scenario [as the sprint at the Crystal Lake Classic, on May 16]," said Matter. "I was cramping up a bit again, but luckily I cramped about 10 minutes before the finish and was able to pedal through it. The legs loosened up, and I just let instinct take over. Four men. Chris [Peariso] kind of jumped me before the turn. Then Marko [Lalonde] jumped and I wasn't sure. But, I pedaled hard and got in a little slipstream from Darrin [Braun]. He's a pretty tall guy. And I didn't stop pedaling until I hit the finish line."

"It was a long, hot race," said Matter. "I was pretty happy to come around that last corner and be done. I had another hard week of training and didn't feel the greatest today. So, again, I just used the experience."

"I totally thought I had it, you know," said a smiling Mark Lalonde at the awards ceremony. Lalonde finished second to Matter in the Overall Series last year. "I wasn't looking back, I wasn't looking to my side. I led out Brian and Darrin, but that's fine. I really didn't do a lot of work the whole race, I just kind of sat on. I didn't know what kind of shape I was in, because I haven't really raced at all this year. My wife and I recently bought a house, and I've been less focused on racing. So, it's fine. I was happy with it."

At the line, it was Matter, Braun and Lalonde. Peariso pedaled it in next, and Gehling, after sticking with the lead group for the first three laps, finished nearly four minutes back at 2:14:00.

While the men's race ran hot and slow on Sunday, the ladies started fast and didn't delay. Defending 2009 Overall Champion, Abigail Strigel, took her third win of the 2010 season, finishing in 1:50:19, over three minutes ahead of second place. Iowa racer Robin Williams (Mercy-Specialized) set a blazing pace in second to finish in 1:53:41. Sue Juedes (Mad Forks) once again caught and passed Claire Cannon mid-race, and took third by a comfortable margin at 1:56:29. Cannon (Trek Stores of Madison / WORS / T6) rode in for fourth in 1:57:18, and was followed by Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212 / Specialized) in 1:58:55.

In the Open Series, the 50+ men were led by Mark Kowaliw (MBRC-Flanders) in 1:54:30, while Chad Boyles (BVC-Nomad Cycling) led the Open Singlespeed men at 1:42:30. Liz Shull (Clif) led the Open Junior girls in 2:14:56, and Myles Beach (Expo) led the Open Junior boys in 1:42:46. The Cat 2 series men were led by Nicholas Holzem in 1:44:56, while the Cat 2 series women's race was won by newcomer Heidi Kraut (Team Endurance Trust) in 1:18:46.

The next race of the WORS Series will be held outside Kewaskum at the Sunburst Ski Area on June 13. That will be followed by the Subaru Cup, on the USA Cycling Pro XCT calendar for June 26-27 at Mt. Morris.


Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Abigail Strigel1:50:19
2Robin Williams (Mercy-Specialized)0:03:22
3Sue Juedes (Mad Forks)0:06:11
4Claire Cannon (Team WORS)0:06:59
5Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:08:36
6Lindsey Kriete (Team Gear Grinder)0:10:21
7Michelle Peariso (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:11:50
8Patti Kaufmann (Planet Bike)0:14:43
9Andrea Matter (Gear Grinder)0:15:13
10Lori Sable0:15:51
11Brittany McConnell (Mercy Specialized)0:15:52
12Renee Bach (Chain Smokers)0:16:12
13Jennifer Danielson (Chainsmokers)0:16:15
14Jennifer Nowlin (Peace Coffee)0:17:48
15Kate Heil (Cyclenauts)0:18:31
16Kristi Olson (Kenwood/OFS)0:20:42
17April Dombrowski (Team Pedal Moraine)0:22:43
18Rachael Gatto (Twin Six)0:23:23
19Hannah Zlomke (Mr. Tree Racing)0:23:38
20Karlene Olson (Muddy Cup)0:25:02
21Denise Coppock0:28:57
22Brenda Zimmermann Thorp (Rib Mnt Cycles/Red Eye Brewery)0:33:21
DNSGabriela Baranova (Profile design/Tread head cyc)Row 22 - Cell 2
DNSRegina Campbell (Alterra MTB/Twin Six)Row 23 - Cell 2
DNSMelissa Mabry (PrecisionMTB.c om)Row 24 - Cell 2
DNSAshley Weichmann (Titletown Flyers)Row 25 - Cell 2
DNFChristine Czarnecki (Alterra Coffee MTB Team)Row 26 - Cell 2
DNFMolly Wolf (Guiness/Wheel Werks)Row 27 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brian Matter (Gear Grinder / Trek)2:10:19
2Darrin Braun (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:00:00
3Mark Lalonde (Gary Fischer 29/T6)0:00:00
4Chris Peariso (Adventure 212 / Specialized)0:00:06
5Matt Gehling (Trek Bicycle Store Madison)0:03:41
6Ben Koenig (Rib Mountain Cycles)0:04:04
7Ryan Krayer (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:04:06
8Kevin McConnell (Mercy Specialized)0:05:07
9Jeff Melcher (Pedal Moraine)0:05:16
10Tyler Gauthier (Culvers Racing)0:06:12
11Michael Naughton (Treadhead Cycling)0:06:22
12Chris Hurst0:07:32
13Joe Stephens (Hayes)0:07:44
14Ronald Stawicki (Team Polska)0:07:49
15Matthew Muraski0:08:24
16Chad Hildebrandt (Team Polska)0:08:31
17Justin Piontek (Performa g)0:09:08
18Ted Hanes (Fond du Lac / Oshkosh Cyclery)0:09:29
19Todd McFadden (Adventure 212/Ski Hut)0:09:49
20Scott Cole (Adventure 212/Specialized)0:09:54
21Matt Millin (Team BONK)0:10:43
22Nikolai Anikin (conti)0:10:54
23John Gatto (Twin Six)0:11:03
24Jan Rybar (Team Pedal Moraine)0:12:06
25Ray Nelson (Treadhead Cycling)0:12:08
26Mike Budd (Wheel & Sprocket)0:13:08
27Chris Mantel (VeloTrocadero)0:13:15
28J. W. Miller0:13:19
29Bill Nigh (Team Pedal Moraine)0:13:49
30Glenn Kirst (Wheel & Sprocket)0:15:17
31John Shull (CLIF)0:16:14
32Nate Jasperson (Performa Cycling)0:16:34
33Luke Holtan (VELO TROCADERO)0:17:00
34Jimmie Colflesh (Mom & Pop Racing)0:17:49
35Russ Krueger (Rib Mountain Cycles)0:17:55
36Nick Sabel (Fond du Lac/Oshkosh Cyclery)0:18:08
37Bret Glembocki0:19:46
38Trevor Olson (Muddy Cup)0:20:05
39Jesse Shoemaker (Performa Cycling)0:20:08
40Dan Schaefer (Team Pedal Moraine)0:20:12
41Justin Lund (EVOMO.COM)0:21:14
42Roger Lundsten (Muddy Cup)0:24:31
43Scott Vogelmann0:25:20
44Tyler Jenema (Gear Grinder)0:25:26
45David Haase (Attitude Sports)0:26:08
46Aristotle Peters (EXPO Racing)0:26:49
47Andrew Ignasiak (CCS)0:26:55
48Mark Burkholz (Extreme Bike)0:27:09
49Kyle Jacobson (Iscord)0:27:34
50Andrew Rosch0:29:28
51Jerrod Collier (Muddy Cup Racing)0:29:37
52Kevin Flanders (Peace Coffee Racing)0:32:19
53Brian Braun (UW-STOUT/Bad Cat/TEAM EXPO)0:32:53
54Nathan Johnson (Muddy Cup)0:35:06
55Craig Manthe (Polska)0:35:49
56Todd Bischoff (Gary Fisher 29er Crew)0:36:38
57Tim Scanley (Alterra Coffee)0:37:21
58Jason Gosse (Team WORS)0:39:17
DNSJesse Bell (SISU Cycles)Row 58 - Cell 2
DNSMike Curtes (Fuel Cafe / milw Bike / G864)Row 59 - Cell 2
DNSBryan Fosler (Trek Store of Madison)Row 60 - Cell 2
DNSCory Gwin (Magnus)Row 61 - Cell 2
DNSCarlos Haeckel (Alterra / Sunringle / Voodoo)Row 62 - Cell 2
DNSChad Sova (On the Rivet / GearGrinder)Row 63 - Cell 2
DNSNeil Swanson (Team WORS)Row 64 - Cell 2
DNFCorey Stelljes (Chainsmokers)Row 65 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Lirette (Hayes)Row 66 - Cell 2
DNFMaciej Nowak (Team Polska)Row 67 - Cell 2
DNFKarl Tillman (Bikes Limited Inc)Row 68 - Cell 2
DNFNathan Guerra (Mr Tree)Row 69 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Brown (Point Pursuit)Row 70 - Cell 2
DNFButch Welke (Treadhead Cycling)Row 71 - Cell 2


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