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Get a front row seat to all the races with previews and recaps. We'll let you know what to expect for each weekend, and then tell you who had great races on Mondays!

Plus we'll have a male and female Rider(s) of the Week!

Wisconsin cyclocross racing previews and recaps

Recap: Hill Bill Volume 3 presented by Gelbbrucke

Sunday, September 17, 2023

While Englewood was smooth and flowy with some elevation on Saturday, Hill Bill was all about the climbing. The Gelbbrucke - Spirit of Sport team has create a challenge-worthy event, one of those races you fear, you question your life’s choices during, and congratulate yourself when you finish for accomplishing something worth doing.

Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) continued with her run of form, winning the elite Women’s race after taking the lead on one of the first climbs and never looking back.

McColl, who is now leading the series overall over Amber Markey, finished in front of Michael Johnson and Corey Coogan Cisek (Triple C).

The Open Elite race was won by Michael Lambert (Velovit), who won in 2022 AND at the first Hill Bill in 2021, making him the only three-peater.

Lambert won the overall series last year and is again leading the series over Henry Lutz, who was second at Hill Bill. Gabriel Acaba was third.

With Lambert taking the series lead and getting a three-peat, he wins this week’s male Rider of the Day.

The female Rider of the Day is Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop), who has made three trips to Wisconsin from Illinois for the junior Girls 9 to 14 race, and has won three times.

Pearlman has been consistently riding away from the field at all three races, although Lumen Brandsmeier from Iowa went one better than Saturday to get second as she was working to chase down Pearlman. Brooklyn Becker (Kenosha Velosport) was third.

There were a lot of lead changes in the first few laps of the Masters 50-plus race until Anderson Bortoletto (Neff Cycle) charged up one of the climbs and established a gap.

However, Tim Hacker was rolling through the field. We need to come up with a name for how he starts slowly and picks up steam like boulder rolling downhill. Hacker was passing riders throughout the race until he managed to just get Bortoletto in sight, but the race was over.

Jarrod Kerkhof (F3 Cycling) finished third.

In one of the closest races of the day, Alex Sukowaty (Broken Spoke) caught and passed Brian Bierman (Two-Bit Cycling Goons) on the last lap to win the elite Single-Speed race. Ethan Ley (Gelbbrucke) was third.

Overall standings can be found here.

Full results for Hill Bill can be found here.

Recap: Englewood CX presented by Brazen Dropouts

Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Brazen Dropouts team from Madison has locked into a venue with serious potential at Englewood Farms. With big open spaces, lots of usable elevation, the Agnew family and the Dropouts are creating a national-level event.

Even though one might expect more tactical small-group racing on Englewood’s wide power course, the elite races broke up early and Amber Markey (Better Butter) and Dylan Schroeder dominated to win by wide margins.

Markey kept on the pressure on Jamie McCoy (Team Wisconsin) and Corey Coogan Cizek (Triple C).

McCoy had one of her best races at Englewood, dropping Coogan Cisek and making a run at Markey.

While you’ll read later that McCoy continued her dominating form Sunday, Saturday’s race was a breakout performance, earning her the female Rider of the Day award.

In the Open race, Schroeder left behind a group of four riders and won by a large margin over the remnants of that group including series leader Michael Lambert (Velovit), Henry Lutz, and a hard-charging Thomas Agnew (Englewood Farms), who used his home-field advantage to keep up with Schroeder most of the race until fading in the last two laps.

Agnew, 16, won the junior 15-18 race and definitely gets an honorable mention for Rider of the Day for his work against much older riders in the elite field.

Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal Velo) and Brian Kaker (Project Echelon) tried to keep the visiting Carlos Casali in check but could only watch as Casali added more time to his lead every lap in the Masters 35 plus 1, 2, 3 race.

Casali also rode away from the 50-plus field later that afternoon.

His dominating performances won him the male Rider of the Day award.

Young Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop) continued her dominating ways in the Junior Girls 9 to 14, collecting her second straight win of the season. Madison, WI rider Stella Hague (Revolution) and Lumen Brandsmeier from Iowa rounded out the podium.

Sarah Swapinski (Trek Midwest) got in a little training for her upcoming Kona Ironman by riding away from the Women’s 3/ 4 race. Heather Curnutt (Brazen Dropouts) and Sarah Mount spent the day chasing Swapinski.

Tyler Stein and Kyle Polich (Johnson County Flyers) rode together for most of the elite single-speed race until Stein dropped Polich on the backside of the course in the last lap to win by just a couple of seconds in one of the closest finishes on the day.

Eric Allen (Project Echelon) got his first cyclocross win in the Cat. 3/ 4 beating Aaron Messer (Velovit) and Rylan Zacharek.

Defending state and series champion Finnley Sonnemann (Englewood Farms) had a strong start and cruised to his first victory of the season over Luke Johnson (Broken Spoke) and Anders Holmes from Iowa in one of the largest junior fields we’ve seen in a while.

Full results for Englewood CX can be found here.

Englewood CX Preview

It’s our second year at Englewood Farms in Fall River, home of famous national and world-level mountain bike races. 

Numbers may be a bit down this weekend due to the Chequemegon and Marji Gesick mountain bike races. 

Here are the races we’re watching out for. All race predictions and prognostications are based solely on pre-registrations!

Junior Girls 9-14

Anna v. Eva! 

Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop) came up to Manitowoc last week from Chicago and rode away from the 9-14 girls' field last week. 

But this weekend, she’s running into the buzzsaw known as Eva Raychel (Team Wisconsin/ Raychel Racing Regime). 

Raychel won every race she entered as a junior last season, easily winning the overall. 

We’ll see how these two face off with each other along with local rider Stella Hague (Trek Midwest), who took second last week, Illinois rider Leni Shelton (Pony Shop), and Iowa rider Lumen Brandsmeier (Corridor Devo). 

Junior Boys 9-14

One of the biggest junior fields in recent memory assembled in Fall River for the junior boys with a Quad-State Tournament with 17 riders from Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and, of course, Wisconsin pre-registered. The race at Hill Bill the next day has 21 riders! 

Finn Sonnemann (Englemann Racing) will face off against Luke Wagliardo (Pony Shop, IL), Luke Johnson (Broken Spoke Development) who took third last week in Manitowoc, Aksel Drevlow (Northstar, MN), and Anders Holmes (Corridor Devo, IA).

It's tough to call these races with new riders who don't get call ups and riders from out of town. It's going to be exciting!

Open 3/ 4

Eric Allen (Adapt) has been knocking on the door of a win in the Open 3/ 4s. He was fourth last week and had some mechanical issues when we visited Englewood last year. 

He’ll face tough competition, including David Rossiter (Team LizardAlert). We’ll have to find out what that team name means!

Also lining up on Saturday will be Andrew Richter (Hollander) who was third last week.

Masters 35 plus

One of the biggest throwdowns of the weekend will be the 35-plus masters open field with last week’s winner Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal), last week’s runner-up Brian Kaker (Echelon) defending state single speed champion Mark Harms (Neff Cycle), and Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke). 

And then there’s Carlos Casali, who, when he lived in Wisconsin, won many of the 35-plus and single-speed elite races. He was at the front of masters’ crits this summer at Tour of America’s Dairyland and Intelligentsia so his form should be good. 

Womens’ 4

The Femme Forty squad will be back in action Saturday, with at least four riders in the field. 

Watch out for Maddie Spurlock, who won two of the three races she entered last year, as well as Femme Lindsay Platt and Heather Heiliger (Broken Spoke), who won last week’s single-speed Cat. 4 race.


Also, watch out for Corey Coogan Cisek, (Triple C Racing) who has spent the last several years racing in the elite UCI field in European cyclocross! She’ll be racing in the Women’s Cat. 1/ 2 field

Hill Bill Volume 3 Preview

On Sunday the traveling caravan of fun moves to Franklin for the race we love to hate. 

It’s the third edition of Hill Bill promoted by the Gelbbrucke team, held at the ski hill at the Rock. 

The race course continues to evolve, but be sure of one thing: There will be climbing!

Single Speeds

Single-speed racers get a special mention today since the course is typically up or down and gearing is particularly challenging to figure out. This is a tough course with a single-speed bike! But those guys are a special kind of crazy…

Local racer and course designer Ethan Ley (Gelbbrucke) will face off against last year’s winner Alex Sukowaty (Broken Spoke) and Aaron Smith (Half-Acre) in the open single speed. 

Mark Rude (Broken Spoke) and Mark Rickert will resume their single-speed rivalry in the 4/ 5s

Open 4s

Some new riders will be testing their mettle against the Hills of Bill. 

Wilfried Loche (XXX Racing) and Guiobor Cuevos (Wolfpack Racing) will face off with Matt Terski, who took second in the 4/ 5 Masters 50 plus last week.

Women's 1/ 2

Corey Coogan Cisek (Triple C Racing) will be headlining the elite women’s field. We’ll be curious about how she compares the weekend’s racing to her European experience. 

Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin), who took third last weekend at Manitowoc, will likely be at the front along with Tessa Johnson (Half-Acre) and Julie Phelps (Gryphon Velo). 

Phelps also won last week’s Rider of the Day award.

Last year’s winner at Hill Bill and last weekend’s winner, Amber Markey (Better Butter) is not racing this weekend.

Juniors 9 to 14

Like Saturday's race, the junior race, with 21 riders, is one of the biggest fields and includes some riders from Iowa and Minnesota we have not seen race this year, including Aksel Drevlow (NorthStar Development, MN) and Axel Bransmeier (Corridor Development, IA). 

This could be one of the most open and fast races of the year since Englewood favors some pack racing. 

Illinois riders Luke Wagliaro and Sam Truesdale (Pony Shop) and Luke Johnson (Broken Spoke Devo) will also likely be in the mix.

Flyover Silver Creek Recap

Amber Markey (Panache Professional) and Casey Hildbrandt (Broken Spoke) rolled away to women’s and men's elite wins at Flyover Silver Creek to kick off the 2023 Wisconsin cyclocross season.

The race, put on by Broken Spoke and Heavy Pedal Velo Club, featured a large flyover and a Lake Michigan beach sand section.

Markey sped away in the second lap of the women’s race and added to her lead over Lyllie Sonnemann (CXHairs Devo) every lap on a beautiful late-summer day in Manitowoc, WI. Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) finished third. 

Hildebrandt and Elias Saigh (Adapt) rode away from the field and battled together for most of the men’s race until Hildebrandt began pulling away. Saigh, who had a big summer racing crits, had his best race in Wisconsin as a cross racer. Brian Matter (Linear Sport) was third. 

In the 35-plus masters race, which started with the elites, Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal Velo Club) gradually moved through the field to escape and win the race over Brian Kaker (Project Echelon) and David Schuda (F3 p/b 7 Mile Cycles). 

Dan Naef (Diablo), in his first race as a 50-plus, pulled away from the field after the first lap and stamped his authority to win. Anderson Bortoletto (Neff Cycle) and Brent Rohrs (Gryphon Velo) were second and third. 

There were a ton of great performances yesterday for the Rider of the Day awards

Layla Jones (Stoic) won both the Women’s Cat. 4 and the Junior 15-18 race, while her brother Tozer took second in the Junior 9-14 and won the single-speed Cat. 4 race. Travis Heller and Robert Orlikowski battled to top fives in both the open Cat. 4 and Masters Cat. 4 with Orlilowski winning the Masters Cat. 4.

The rides of the day (ROTD) go to Henry Flentye (Pony Shop) who won a tactical race in the final sprint over Tozer Jones in the boys 9-14 junior race, and Julie Phelps (Gryphon Velo) for winning both the Masters Women and elite Single Speed women’s race. 

Next week, the traveling circus of fun travels to Fall River for the Englewood CX on Saturday,  and then to Franklin for Hill Bill - Volume 3 on Sunday.

Flyover Silver Creek Sept. 9 Preview

We're back! Cross is here!

The good people in Manitowoc have a pretty new flyover that will be easier to climb (less rise) with materials donated by Paul Braun.
Roses will also be back as the food truck!

Women Category 1, 2

The women's field is going to be a little different this year with defending champion of everything Erin Feldhausen expecting a future cross racer!

Plus, one of her key challengers, teen phenom Lyllie Sonnemann is now racing for the national-level CXHairs Devo team.

Sonnemann, who won two races last year as an elite, will put her skills and speed on display Saturday at Flyover, then spend the rest of her season on the road at UCI events. She may also race against the boys in the Cat. 3, 4 event.

Look for Kristin Cooper (Neff), Julie Phelps (Gryphon Velo), and Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) to try and stay on Lyllie's wheel!

Women Category 3, 4

Amy Lauer (Team Wisconsin) was looking really strong at cross practice this week so look out for her in the battle with Amber Searer (Broken Spoke), Leah Winkler (Trek Midwest), and Stephanie Schiess.

Searer won one race last year.

But look out for junior racer Layla Jones (Stoic) stepping up to the big time. Jennifer Bartloff (Neff) has also upgraded to the 3/4 race!

Masters 35 plus

This could be a battle royale at the front with Illinois rider David Schuda (F3 Cycling pb 7 Mile Cycles), winner of the first two Wisconsin races last year, taking on last year's series winner Jonathon Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts).

Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke), who won two races last year, and Ben Schreiber (Linear Sport) both had their seasons derailed last year by injuries and are looking to make a statement in their return.

Masters 50 plus

While the Masters’s 50 plus has the list of usual suspects, including last year’s series winner Arlen Spicer (Serpentijn Art and Athletics Cycling Team) with five wins, Anderson Bortoletto (Neff), who was second in the series, and RJ Bast (Gelbrucke Spirit of Sport), who was third, 

the newcomer is Dan Naef (Diablo). 

Naef did a lot of gravel and road racing this summer (he won the state 35 plus road race) and will be an immediate factor at the front of the field.

Category 1, 2, 3

Casey Hildebrandt (Broken Spoke) took the win last year in the series opener in Waterford, won two other races, and went on to race at UCI races across the country. 

He’ll follow the same plan this year, starting in Wisconsin at Flyover, then traveling the country!

Michael Lambert (Velovit) will be back to defend his series win (and three victories) last year after another strong summer on the paved and gravel roads. 

Chad Cannon (Gryphon Velo) came on strong at the end of the season and has had a great road season this summer. 

The rider to watch out for is Elias Saigh, who had a tremendous road season, especially in the 2/3s at Tour of America’s Dairyland, winning one race and helping his team dominate, then winning the Cat. 2 overall at Intelligentsia Cup in Chicago.

Mastering Long Distance Gravel Races: Dialing in the Essential 4 Factors (2)

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  1. […] You can catch up with the weekend action on his blog at Simple Endurance Coaching. […]

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