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The Rust Shaker brought out some big guns ahead of The Big One of the spring calendar. 

Mud, Sweat and Beers is just a few days off, and the weekend was spent with racers tuning their fitness before the biggest race of the spring. Saturday’s Rust Shaker was a more technical option, with the infamously rough and rocky route calling in some solid riders to the start line.

Possibly the first race this year that racers weren’t bundled up, the warm temperatures and dry trails made for some very fast racing. For the first time ever, the course was raced backwards from previous editions. It made for a good change of pace, and saved the rocky, tight portions until the very end.

John Cowan from North Country Cycle Sport/Derailed was a late addition to the Elite race, offering up his best resistance to Jorden Wakeley. Both riders stopped in Harrison en route to the USAC race in Pontiac Sunday, and both put on a show for those assembled at Mid-Michigan Community College.

Wakeley pulled away three miles into the 26 mile race and never looked back. Behind, John Cowan plowed a lonely furrow through the woods, coming home five minutes behind. Jason Vayre, He Of Glorious Fabio Hair fame, rode to a solid third place ahead of Scott Diment.

Craig Gietzen took the Vet 40 Open win ahead of Chris Hansen and Michael Seaman (yes, THAT Michael Seaman), combining for what might be the world’s best law firm name. Also tossing a hat in the great name bin was the women’s open winner, Heather Kettlehohn. Emily Paquette took second, and Tracey Worden of Interlochen finished third. Interlochen immediately responded by burning couches and waiting in the Ric’s parking lot for the victorious Worden to return home. It was awesome. You really should have been there.

Full results are up here.