Thursday, September 22, 2005

Great Lakes Triple Crown #2..... Chequamegon

BELLS TEAM ---- Jim James, Jason Lummis, Mike Simonson and Jason Jones made the pilgrimage to Hayward Wisconsin. The race course was dry and fast, the normal wet weather missed the race by a week. Jim James had a great race and finished 15th overall, Mike Simonson finished 20th, Jason Lummis 45th and Jason Jones finished 25th in SS. There where 1700 starters in this 40 mile race, also know as the MIDWEST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS the Chequamegon is loaded with top talent and some fierce competition. Of course we will be back next year.

Chequamegon 2005 Race report from the Fat Man:

Contact: Gary Crandallcheqfat@cheqnet.netSept. 18, 2005
CABLE, Wis. – Kyia Malenkovich, St. Cloud, Minn. pulled away from Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek/VW) on the third of four laps to win the 23rd annual Cable Criterium Sept 18. Malenkovich ( surged ahead up the half-mile course’s long climb and never looked back. Kylander-Johnson of Duluth, Minn. could not close the initial gap forged by Malenkovich. Michelle Flanagan (Ski Hut) of Seeley, Wis. finished third.The win eased the pain of Malenkovich’s disappointing ride the previous day in the Chequamegon 40 when she crashed a mile into the course on Highway 77. “The turning lane just ended, and then I was running over this guy’s neck in the ditch,” she said. “I looked up and the whole pack was gone.” The former Chequamegon 40 champion chased to try to catch the leaders, but a broken front derailleur and a messed up chain ended her day early. “I was going for the podium,” she said.These mishaps made the Cable Criterium victory all the sweeter.Malenkovich has fared well on the NORBA pro curcuit this season, her highest placings an 11th in the short track and a 14th in the cross country at Mount Snow, Vermont. Tristan Schouten (Trek/VW) edged teammate Doug Swanson to win men’s Cable Criterium. Junior riders Cole House and Bjorn Selander (Alan) captured 3rd and 4th respectively.In the miss-and-out format, Dirk Rettig (Bontrager) made the first move, attacking up the hill on the third lap. House countered this move with an even more savage attack on the fourth lap, which shredded the field. Schouten and Swanson bridged up with Selander in tow, while Rettig faded.Swanson passed Cole on the bell lap and looked in control – until he bobbled in the sharp corner at the base of the climb. Schouten seized the opportunity and barreled by, with Swanson recovering for second.Like Malenkovich, Schouten has been traveling on the NORBA pro circuit, finishing consistently in the top 20. He skipped a NORBA national race to attend the Fat Tire Festival. “This is a lot more fun,” Schouten said. “There are a lot more people here.”“It’s a beautiful day here. “I’m glad I stayed. The whole weekend was good.”
CABLE, Wis. – Doug Swanson (Trek/VW) powered to his second Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival win in the last three years. He punched the sky in a victory salute as he crossed the finish line to win by two bike lengths over three-time champion Steve Tilford (Verge/Shimano). E.J. Ettmayer (Pedal Moraine) rolled in third and Ian Stanford (Nature Valley/Penn Cycle) was fourth.Swanson of Plymouth, Minn. captured the most hotly contested Chequamegon in the 23-year history of the race, finishing the 40-mile off-road race in two hours and ten minutes. Four former champions finished within seven seconds of each other. Besides Tilford, Jeff Hall (Salsa) placed 6th, and last year’s winner, Brian Matter (PCW) finished 7th. “That hurt,” said Tristan Schouten (Trek/VW) draped over his bars after the race. Schouten, a teammate of Swanson from Sheboygan, Wis., placed 5th, two seconds behind his teammate.In 2003, Swanson won the race by attacking early and building an invincible lead. He won in record time, over eight minutes ahead of second place. Then in 2004, he finished out of the top 40, way off the race. This year he rode conservatively, unlike last year when he attacked early. “I hardly worked until (County Highway OO),” he said. “As long as I didn’t let anyone get away, I felt confident I could win.”Swanson admitted that his 2005 season had been so-so, but that he was building for Chequamegon. “It’s my favorite,” he said, proving to the crowd that he could win with either a long breakaway or a quick sprint. Fast, dry conditions kept the lead group intact for most of the race. A lack of mud kept the first group around a dozen most of the race, including a tandem piloted by Brian and Kim Eppen (Mercy/Specialized) of Iowa City, Iowa.The Eppens had forged a 100-yard over the lead group with three miles to go on Telemark Road. But on the sharp climbs in the closing miles, where single bikes have an advantage over tandems, the lead group passed the lone tandem. Seven riders made it together over the final climb and dropped down into the Telemark Bowl for the final sprint.The Eppens eventually finished 8th, easily the first tandem, a little more than eight seconds off the winning pace.In the women’s race, Megan Monroe (PCW) dropped Sara Kylander-Johnson (Trek-VW) on the final climb, building a 17-second lead at the finish. Monroe finished in two hours and 27 minutes. Kylander-Johnson, of Duluth, Minn. grabbed the early lead in the race, but Monroe, Boulder, Colo. caught her with 23 miles to go. The two battled back and forth the rest of the race.Monroe grabbed the lead on the final climb up and over Mount Telemark. “I heard her chain grab, so I attacked,” said Monroe. Kylander-Johnson lost precious seconds to Monroe in this last mile of the race but clawed her way back to only to have her bike slide out on a final downhill corner. “I went into the bushes,” said Kylander-Johnson.Diana Hill (Trek/VW) of Coon Rapids, Minn. finished third in two hours and 40 minutes.


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