The largest Rust Shaker yet draws some high-caliber racers and great performances. It was probably the pizza.
With the northern contingent looking to stretch the legs before Mud, Sweat and Beers and everyone else putting on clinic on bike handling, it was the biggest Rust Shaker to date, and one of the fastest fields to make the trip to Harrison, Michigan for the first of two events there this season. The tight, technical course is a rough test for those still looking for form, and a playground of sorts for those already firing on all cylinders.
Past winner and the easy victor today, Jorden Wakeley demonstrated the advantages of the 29+, taking his 3″ tires and riding away from the race early. The high-speed roll out saw Wakeley, NCCS’ Chad Wells and Leadout Racing’s Dan Korienek enter the woods with a small gap over a group of six, and that was all she wrote for the rest of the pack.
Wakeley distanced Korienek and Wells, with an unassailable lead at the end of the first lap. Korienek and Wells plowed along, always just barely in sight of each other in the deceptive curve and bend of nearly perfect Mid Michigan Community College trail system. Behind, Trever Kingsbury was reeled in by Scott Diment and, later, Cody Sovis. Dropped on the pavement, Kingsbury inched his way closer, just a few seconds back when Sovis made contact with Diment. Only a crash knocked him off the pace, but he was able to fend off a hard charging Brian Hancock.
In the women’s race, Bobbie Liegl rode put in an immaculate, mistake-free morning in the woods, and crossed the line for the win looking fresh. Einstein Racing’s Stacy Smith recovered from a nasty crash to limp home second on the day aboard her limited edition Coconino singlespeed.
Some impressive rides from Wes Sovis and Dave Walston saw Einstein Racing with three riders in the top ten, while KEEN was able to slot in two great rides from Scott and Shawn Luca.
The next big one of the spring is just a week off, with Mud, Sweat and Beers on tap at Mt. Holiday.
This post will be updated with results as soon as they are available.
You can see the efforts required for a second place finish on Dan Korienek’s impressive Strava profile.