Strigel and Guerra win in the singletrack at Treadfest
Abby Strigel (Trek Stores of Madison) and Nathan Guerra (Wheel & Sprocket / Vision) both took an early lead in their respective BelGioioso Elite contests at WORS Treadfest on Sunday. Strigel crossed the line over 7 minutes ahead of second place, and had a commanding lead from the first climb. In the first lap of the men's race, Guerra followed a charging Cole House into the singletrack but soon overtook him and never looked back.
Treadfest, the tenth race in the 2011 Subaru Sponsored Wisconsin Off Road Series, is regarded as one of the most technically challenging courses on the circuit. Open sections are few and often found on steep climbs. The singletrack is tight, twisting, and often dusty. Dry conditions left many Elite racers comparing the conditions to slick mud, while off-camber sections and steep, loose climbs challenged riders already at their limit.
In the men's contest, defending Champion Tristan Schouten (Mafia / Pabst / Felt) toed the line with fellow-favorites Brian Matter (Gear Grinder / Trek), Cole House (RealCyclist.com
), Mike Phillips (Adventure 212 / Specialized) and Brian Eppen (Mercy-Specialized). House attacked first, on the last of three climbs before the singletrack. Only Nathan Guerra covered the attack, and the two entered the singletrack with a gap. When House allowed Guerra by, he was unable to match the Wheel & Sprocket rider's pace. After chasing for more than a lap, House eased up to ride his own race, finishing solidly in second, over 3 minutes back. Behind House were training partners and rivals Matter and Schouten. Matter took third place at 3:35 back, and Schouten finished in fourth at just over 4 minutes. Brian Eppen of Iowa City took the final podium spot at 5 minutes back.
In the women's field, Strigel had the race on lock-down from the first climb. The technical terrain and steep climbs were a perfect match for Strigel's riding style, and her lead steadily grew with each lap. Chasing Strigel were current Series leader Kim Eppen (Mercy-Specialized), then teammate Robin Williams and Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212-Specialized). Lori Sable, who would finish in 5th, was just a few seconds behind. Eventually, Krayer overtook Williams and, in the final section of singletrack, was able to catch Eppen. She put it all on the line and passed immediately in the last open section before the line, which left the two women to sprint to the finish. It was Krayer by almost two seconds, followed by Eppen who was clearly fatigued by the dry heat of the afternoon. Robin Williams claimed fourth.
The next race in the Series is fast becoming a favorite on the circuit for outstanding singletrack, as well as the venue at Bear Paw Adventure Resort. WORS will host the Bear Paw Rock N' Roll on September 25.