It was an absolutely brilliant weekend for bike racing in the Mitten, with both the Ore2Shore and Cherry-Roubaix serving as challenging, dare I say, epic options for Michigan’s two-wheeled enthusiasts to undertake.
As you may have noticed, the Old Mission Prologue kicked off the weekend of action over a tough, hilly course swept by gale force winds (probably) that made the ability to tuck paramount. The new event, replacing the Downtown Sprints, was a huge success and something Cherry-Roubaix organizers should bring back for 2013. Riders enjoyed the opportunity to test their legs in a discipline that is only offered up a handful of times a year.
Saturday was an entirely different animal with the Old Town Criterium, though many headed north to the Ore2Shore. Cole House took the win up north, beating Brian Matter and Mike Phillips by just three tenths of a second. Matter and Phillips were given the same time by the timing officials, with fourth place Christian Tanguy just nine-tenths of a second back. Einstein Racing’s Jorden Wakeley confirmed his stellar season and his place as one of the best mountain bikers in the Midwest by taking fifth place. Einstein also threw Ryan Kennedy, into 17th place overall. A special shout out to Hagerty Cycling’s Amy Jenema and Leadout Racing’s Dan Korienek for doing Saturday’s O2S before heading south to take on the road race. That’s dedication, folks.
Back in Traverse City, the Criterium races packed the roads of Old Town nearly all day. The rough, cracked roads and tight corners proved to be enough to simply rip fields apart for yet another year. Fans were happy to note just one serious injury and just a handful of crashes for the entire afternoon, even with some of the biggest fields ever registered in TC. The ride of the day had to go to Mackenzie Woodring of Einstein Racing, who rode away from the Women’s Pro 1/2/3 field and stamped out a one minute lead, giving her plenty of time to soak up the praise from the roaring crowd and rolling across the line with enough time to thank the fans and a long list of supporters. Sort of.
The Sunday State Championship Road Race was called the toughest course in Michigan by nearly everyone who was able to preride it. While only a few fields finished in groups of ones and twos as predicted, the course was deemed as tough as advertised. Sven Baumann surprised the Men’s Pro 1/2s by coming in solo, hands raised and with time to look over his shoulder coming down the finishing straight. The Women’s Pro 1/2 went to Woodring, once again coming to the line solo and looking doubled-over with fatigue and the huge satisfaction of her first state championship. Her teammate Johanna Schmidt, sporting fresh blood from an early crash, took the field sprint ahead of Susan Vigland of Hagerty Cycling and Amy Stauffer of Priority Health. Vigland and Stauffer fought hard Saturday and Sunday, but couldn’t break the stranglehold Einstein Racing had with their Woodring-Schmidt 1-2.
The only rider with a claim to having as good a weekend as the double-winner, state champion Woodring is teammate John Leach. The CAT 3 rider won Friday’s Prologue and was in position Saturday until a crash in front of him took him out of the running, along with Hagerty’s Brian Hofstra and half of the lead group. He won the big one, though, taking a sprint to claim his first state championship.
kolo t.c. will also wait to update the all-important Top Banana Competition until those official results are available for perusal.