I started off the day feeling pretty good about the race. I’ve always loved this course because it has minimal climbing and is fast and flowy. I recently switched back over to my Niner, which I rode last year, because I cracked the frame on my Trek. The weekend before this race I raced at the first annual Tread Fest in Houghton, MI. This course actually reminded me a lot of Eau Claire and I had an amazing performance getting first at that race. The days after that (Sunday-Thursday) I did a bike camp in Houghton and I was riding some of the best trails in the U.P. It was a very tiring camp but I still felt prepared, maybe even more prepared than usual for this race.
I really worked again on preparing myself for the race before going off with friends and getting distracted from fueling myself correctly. I had a fun time on Saturday and the day of the race while still fueling myself correctly. I lined up for the race; confident, fueled, and ready to win. I started the race mostly drafting all the way until the single track and at that point there was only one competitor ahead of me. At a small double track section I passed a couple ladies and was right back up there with Hanna. We raced back and forth all of the first lap and a little of the second lap. A little ways into the second lap, Hanna had some troubles with a Comp racer and then her bike. This let me get a gap on her and it continuously grew as the race went on. I’m really proud of Hanna for pushing through both a mentally and physically challenging race that she shouldn’t have had to push through. She really had a lot of courage to push through these obstacles. After breaking down on the race course Hanna finished up in second place. I ended winning by almost three minutes. It was really fun to race with Hanna, just like old times. I really learned a lot about myself as a racer this race and I hope to continue learning to make myself better both on and off the bike.
The second WEMS race for me this season was the WEMS #5 Southern Kettles Classic at the Emma Carlin trails in Palmyra, Wisconsin and presented me with a tough course with tight trees, big hill climbs and techical decents as it did for everyone else. With my brief experience riding the Emma Carlin trails once or twice before I could remember only a certain extent of the trail so I knew what I had to do during the race.
It was my first 6 lap solo race and I was going into this race thinking of it more as a relaxed race to not race others but to race myself to test my endurance, so this WEMS race started off alot differently from the first WEMS race I did at Alpine Valley, it was a running start through the start chute to the bikes so I tried to put myself in front of everybody so I would have to avoid passing but right off the start two guys got right to the front and took off immediately along with one more guy that got right in front of me so i was stuck with the rest of the 6 lap racers. In the big group that I was attached to was a more relaxed and dialed down group so when I got an opening at the point of the trail where I remembered all too well I took off at my own pace and Matt Paterson eventually caught up to me so we worked together through the first lap to make it as fast as possible, then when the second lap came I worked together with Matts brother Brian as they tried their hands at a 6 lap duo. About half way through the second lap my coach caught up to Brian and I so knowing his fast pace I tried to put out a good effort and kept a good pace for him and everyone else for about a mile or a half a mile and found myself really impressed that I could stay in front of him so I finally let him pass me before I would blow up and then started to dial myself back into endurance mode. Skipping ahead to lap five it started to get really hard and found myself getting a little tired when Leia Schneeberger who was racing the 3 lap solo offered a hitch on the rocket train and it was’nt long until I had to let her go because of how fast she was on the day and struggled to finish my sixth lap being super tired, fatigued and dehydrated, but more the less still happy finishing 5th out of 25riders in 6 lap solo race with a big smile on my face!
Finishing up lap 2 in 3rd position going for lap 3
For me this race was really helpful as I pushed passed the barriers of my own endurance efforts that I never would’ve thought I’d be able to push past, in the future I look to work off of these efforts to make myself a more well rounded rider when it come to cross country racing. A huge thanks goes to Ernie Huerta who made this WEMS race possible, so the next time you decide to do a WEMS race at Emma Carlin which I highly reccomend doing thank Ernie for all his hard work.
This last weekend, in between events in the WORS circuit, fell race number 5 of the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series (WEMS). WEMS offers a variety of endurance lengths ranging from 12 hour solo/duo, 6 hour solo/duo and 3 hour solo races. With so many options, there’s sure to be a race to fit your (and your buddies’) training. If you aren’t specifically training for “endurance” events this may sound intimidating, but the relaxed and inviting atmosphere of a WEMS race is the perfect time to push yourself past your normal ride lengths. The positive and encouraging environment could be described as feeling like that of a group ride, so whether you’re there to beat everyone or just yourself, there’s certain to be an event for any Category racer.
WEMS #5, held at the Emma Carlin trail system is part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit and it offers tight single track, technical climbs and plenty of rocks and roots. These well maintained trails, thanks to the expert care of the trail crew, offer a great chance to brush up on all your handling skills. The Southern Kettles, also offering the fast and flowy John Muir trail system, makes for a great family day destination as it has many different loops ranging from easy (1.25 miles) to hard (12 miles) difficulty, to name a couple. Attaching both the John Muir and Emma Carlin trails is the Connector. This trail, roughly 12 miles (out and back) in total, feels as though it is a mix of the two trails it connects – fast and flowy with technical skills being tested. Combine all three for a long lap of 30 miles and I challenge you to find a better way to spend your day!
For the Emma Carlin on Saturday, WEMS changed the normal hour count to a lap count in hopes of offering a more enticing race for all rider levels. Vision riders participated in 3 lap solo, 6 lap solo and 6 lap Duo events.
Yet to make it to a WEMS race? Check out a duo effort from the perspective of Brian and Matt Paterson.
3 Lap Duo Junior Results
Not a typical event for WEMS, Vision junior’s Asa and Charis Guerra wanted to try their hand in working together for the fastest time possible in a 3 Lap Duo Junior event. Let’s get more Juniors in WEMS and make this a regular event!
Asa and Charis Guerra of Vision Cycling took 1st place with a total time of 2:59:50!
3 Lap Solo Results
Steve Lipski of Vision Wheel & Sprocket in 10th place with a total time of 2:17:06
Walt Sdrenka of Vision Wheel & Sprocket in 17th place with a total time of 2:24:22
6 Lap Solo Results
Nick Sdrenka of Vision Junior Elite in 5th place with a total time of 4:30:14
6 Lap Duo Results
Brian and Matt Paterson of Vision Elite took 1st with a total time of 3:59:34
Nathan and Lindsay Guerra of Vision Elite in 2nd with a total time of 4:02:15
Thanks to everyone who was able to come out and show your support and we look forward to seeing you back next year!
When I was about 20 yrs old after my long and many years of teenage rebellion were over I wanted to spend more time with my family. My dad and brother had been racing WORS for a couple of years so I decided to tag along to one of their races. I thought I’d spend the day in a lawn chair reading a book but I was thoroughly intrigued by the racing, especially after I saw the women race. After my dad took me out to the Muir trails a couple times I decided I wanted to try racing. I soon talked Nathan into going out to the trails even though he was leery because he liked BMX and didn’t want to wear spandex ever. Over the winter my dad and I built my first bike together, well, he built it and I watched and handed him tools and parts. We ordered a generic steel frame from a Nashbar catalog and found the rest of the parts at a bike swap. That next summer Nathan and I raced our first year in Citizen class and the rest is history. Over the years many of my favorite times with my dad have been on bike rides.
Dad, even though you didn’t know it you helped plant a seed that sprouted into our progress in racing and what ultimately became Vision Cycling. More and more people are starting to join and “see” the “Vision”, which simply put is for all riders, but especially the next generation to have the support they need to go as far as they want in their competition goals, and also to grow the sport of cycling because of the benefits to individuals and communities. I know that sometimes when people ask you what the man who married your only daughter and fathered 5 of your 6 grandchildren does for a living, you don’t quite know how to explain it to them. Next time tell them to visit this website. It will speak for itself in that the content they find there is something that Nathan dreamed and labored into reality, and you can be proud that you among many others played a part in it.
Cycling is woven heavily into the fabric of my own family now. My 5 kids have been snuglied, trailered, seated, and tandemed through miles upon miles of bike rides with mom and dad, filled with potty, ice cream, tantrum, and caterpillar rescue stops. They have spent many overnights in the van and seen the oceans, deserts, mountains, waterfalls, and prairies of North America as we’ve traveled across country for big races or spring training. With a baby strapped to my back I stood among the pro pit crews in World Cup races to hand my husband water bottles. My kids have cheered me on in my return to elite level races and now that they are racing I see the perseverance and character it forms in them. They have had any kids fill of fun camping weekends at the races.
Cycling has brought a richness to our lives and it’s not the kind you can buy. It might not take you on the outlandish journey it has for us but yours can be rich in it’s own way. Dads you can buy your kids a gadget or take them to a movie but the gadget will break down and the movie soon be forgotten, but if you take them on a bike ride it might get under their skin and down the road they might find themselves thinking fondly of you as they turn the pedals!
Returning to the familiar Nordic Mountain in Mt Morris Wisconsin, which at one time served as a stop in the Pro XCT, was the third race in WORS 2016. For WORS #3, the course remained the same from previous years showcasing fast descents, flowing single track through pines and just the right amount of climbing to challenge even the most experienced of riders. With such an exciting course and being so spectator friendly, category fields were yet again full as were the sidelines with cheering.
This course can almost be described as deceptively challenging due to the ‘never-let-up’ nature of switching from climbing to technical descents. With only a bit of rest able to be found in the lower pines behind the parking lot, there’s no wonder this course served for many years as the home of the WORS Cup. With temperatures pushing the mid 90’s on Saturday, Sunday racers were met with a bit cooler temperatures and dry trails. Overall an ideal course and great training as we head into the beginning of the mid-season.
With 3 races complete, the dedication of Vision Junior’s is apparent with some of the best results seen yet. Brianna Fletcher, with a minute and a half gap, earned her best finish this year with a 1st overall! Charis Guerra also seals her place in 1st for her age group. James Wardle took his best result as well with a 2nd in age and 7th overall.
Brianna Fletcher 1st in age group for Junior Females 10 AND 1st overall!
Charis Guerra 1st in age group for Junior Females 9 AND 5th overall!
James Wardle 2rd in age group for Junior Males 9 AND 7th overall!
Joshua Wardle 7th in age group for Junior Males age 7 to 8 AND 42nd overall
With an eagerness to not repeat previous week’s mechanical issues, Vision Cat 1 Junior Nick Sdrenka found his legs and best finish yet with a 1st overall! A more detailed report of his race can viewed here. McKenna Dwyer found out several days prior that she’s been suffering from exercise induced asthma. Racing when your lungs are fighting you can be nothing short of torture! So while not her best result on the podium this year, McKenna fought all the way and still finished strong in 3rd! You can read her latest update here.
Nick Sdrenka 1st in age group for Cat 1 Junior Male AND 1st overall!
McKenna Dwyer 3rd in age group for Cat 1 Junior Female AND 3rd overall!
Sure to have been noticed, Vision Junior Elite Leah Fletcher has been absent from the results, but is certainly not forgotten while currently on the mend from an early season knee injury. Leah, we can’t wait to have you back racing with us soon and wish you a speedy recovery! Injuries are never easy physically, but they are especially difficult emotionally – stay strong! You’ll be back before you know it!
Category 2 and 3 Results
Making up the bulk of the racers at any WORS event, Category 2 and 3 saw huge start fields yet again. Partially due to such a great course, but also to the shortened WORS season of 10 races this year.
Asa Guerra 6th in age group for Cat 3 Females 11 to 14 AND 8th overall
Lucas Fletcher 10th in age group for Cat 3 Male 11 to 14 AND 47th overall
Isacc Johnson 11th in age group for Cat 3 Males 11 to 14 AND 52nd overall
Dean Wardle 4th in age group for Cat 3 Male 30 to 34 AND 38th overall
Kyle Johnson 5th in age group for Cat 3 Male 40 to 44 AND 45th overall
Elijah Johnson 2nd in age group for Cat 2 Sport Male 13 to 14 AND 11th overall!
Julian Henry 2nd in age group for Cat 2 Sport Male 25 to 29 AND 18th overall!
Walter Sdrenka 13th in age group for Cat 2 Sport Male 50 to 54 AND 71st overall
Todd Fletcher 1st in age group for Cat 2 Sport Male 50 to 59 AND 36th overall!
Steve Lipski 2nd in age group for Cat 2 Comp Male Masters 50 to 59 and 55th overall!
Elite Team Results
Lindsay Guerra, moving up a place from the weekend prior, took 2nd in age group and 3rd overall!
Bumping up a place from the week prior, Lindsay Guerra in 3rd overall for Elite women.
Team Pro Nathan Guerra showed us all that he’s only getting stronger with a 1st place, he finished with a large lead of almost 2 minutes in front of the closest rider.
Nathan Guerra enjoying 1st for WORS#3 at Mt Morris!
Matt Paterson 2nd in age group Cat 1 Elite Males 23 to 29 AND 30th overall!
Brian Paterson 7th in age group Cat 1 Elite Males 30 to 34 AND 28th overall
The second WORS race at Camrock kicked off this year like it always does, lots of spectators, huge start waves and some super fun singletrack with one of the most technical uphill climbs that goes by the name beer run which is usually a steep downhill run with berms. Being one of the first races that I actually placed 1st in age and 3rd overall last year, it was clear that Camrock became one of my favorite race courses because of its infamous elite climb.
On the sunday of race I felt really good warming up after a hard week of training which was a good sign already for me. When Don said go all the elite men shot right up the first start climb which was big enough to get you out of breath, so I had a really good start riding within the top 20 guys putting as many other guys in between me and everyone else.
About a third of the way through the first lap I started to feel a bit fatigued riding at a faster pace and clipped a tree just enough that I went off into the brush on the side of the trail but luckily landed on two wheels but heard a huge pop, the next thing I felt right away when getting back onto the trail my tire felt nearly flat like I was riding on the rim so I had to slow down and let some guys pass me but decided not too long after to use my CO2 cartridge and put some air back in my tire. Following that incident I found myself practically at the back of the field having a few pro/elite women already passing me up and I had two more laps to go,so from that point it was very hard in the rest of the first lap and the whole second lap becuase I had the feeling that my body did’nt want to push anymore because I lost all my momentum.
At the end of the second lap I finally caught up to one guy racing in the junior elite field and regained my faith that I could get back in the race, with some good mentality put back into my mind I was off the saddle every few seconds trying to get time back where ever I could and the next thing I knew I started passing one rider after another and eventually found myself in 1st position in my age group right at the end of the race and felt super happy with my first 1st place in the junior elite category especially because of how diverse I started seeing myself becoming from the first WORS race to the second.
Riding the race with a smile and enjoying the how much fun the course was
WORS #3 Mt Morris Challenge: June 12, 2016
With only a week from the 2nd WORS race to the 3rd there was not much time for training but more the less resting, Mt Morris presented a tough course with everything you can think of from super long hill climbs infested with rocks and roots, tricky tight decents and twisty singletrack in the pines.
On the saturday of race weekend the pre-ride was scorching hot and it was crucial to keep my body fed and hydrated and as calm as possible so I would not cramp up the day before the race. When race day approached I could already tell that my muscles felt slightly stressed so I did my best to get a good breakfast and lunch to make sure my body was properly fueled, I warmed up and felt slightly better and when the race started I felt even better from the warmup especially seeing how many people I passed on the start climb while still keeping calm and conserved. During the first two laps of the race everything was going really good, I felt good with my fitness and my breathing and no crashes so far still riding with the elite guys at a fast pace that I was getting used to holding onto. When it came down to the third lap some cramps started to lightly come into effect but I still pushed through it streching my legs where ever i could without losing time, it was very hard especially on the last climb because my legs cramped so bad to the point where they locked up briefly but I still kept the blood moving by having a high cadence and happily finishing the third and final lap in 1st place age and overall.
Enjoying the speed on the berms
This race was a almost ideal race for me and raced not just others but instead raced myself and took into account what my coach was saying about working together to make your race and everyone elses race as fast as possible and that exactly what I did and it worked out really good for others and myself along with having fun and putting on a smile at the same time. Next weekend im racing a WEMS race at Emma Carlin in the Kettle Moraine and hope to have fun and utilize it to prepare for WORS #4 Red Flint Firecracker in Eau Claire the following week on June 26.
1st place age and 1st overall in front of some fast guys!