After two races, Jorden Wakeley and Danielle Musto stay perfect at the half way mark. The Vasa Fat Bike Race is in the books, and the Series leaders both pocketed a perfect 50 points for the efforts in one of the fastest races in Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series history. Speed didn’t necessarily result in too close a challenge for either Wakeley or Musto, but it made the field one of the most competitive of all time.
Wakeley’s challenge really fizzled out within three miles of the race start, with Cody Sovis slumping back to head up the chase group. Although she had an early lead, Musto was at least nipped in the heels by Liz Belt, who grows as a rider in leaps and bounds at each race. Belt looks to be the heiress apparent if Musto doesn’t ride the full series, with a points structure that promises competition from January to March and makes every race important.
With Wakeley also not finishing the Series, we may be looking back at the Vasa with even more of an understanding on just how big the sprint for second was. With Wakeley well clear, the sprint for second was a true photo finish, with Sovis and Hagerty’s Nick Wierzba both clueless as to who had actually taken it. The camera gave it to Sovis, and three point difference for Wierzba sets up no less than a three way tie for second. After swapping finish positions in the first two races, Sovis’ Einstein Racing-Short’s Brewing teammate Ryan Kennedy joins M-22’s Keegan Myers and Wierzba even on 79 points. Sovis’ sprint keeps Kennedy even on points, and with The Vineyard Race being Wierzba’s home race in Suttons Bay, he looks like the favorite to take the Series by March 5.
Belt should be able to take care of business in the Women’s Open if Musto is out, although she is shouldering a double weekend with both the Polar Roll and The Vineyard Race on the docket next weekend. Teammate Erin Reicha looks to be moving into second after next weekend, a good reward for gutting it out at Vasa after being sick much of the week. The illness took Stephanie Baklarz out of the Vasa, which means she’ll have an uphill battle getting back into the mix with two races to go.
The Men’s Masters is also close, with Hal BeVier making up a lot of ground on teammate Goepfrich, even as their squad leader Craig Webb took the win. Goepfrich needs to stay in the top ten the rest of the way to keep the crown, and it’s something he’s more than capable of doing, even with Keith Conway looking faster and faster each race.
Cindy Duby is comfortable in the Women’s Master’s, collected two second places finishes and sitting nine points clear of Birgit Yetter. Susan Vigland’s win put her within the realm of possibility, but she’ll likely need some riders to stay home in order to make up points from missing Fat Chance! in January.
The Vineyard Race is this Sunday and with it comes a massive chance for riders to take top points with smaller fields expected. The weather could play just as big a roll, with riders exchanging 11 degree temperatures for 36 degrees just 8 days later.