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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 of Wisconsin State Championships Presented by Revolution Cycle Club


Womens’ 1/ 2

Caitlin Neuman (Neff Cycle) won her first elite cyclocross state championship in convincing fashion, beating Amber Markey (Charliehorses) who had vexed her throughout the season. 

Neuman and Markey rode away from the field in the first lap with Markey taking her customary place at the front of the race. 

But Neuman, who also won the Women’s Single Speed state title for the fourth year in a row, passed Markey to ride the rest of the race from the front. 

She is now heading to cyclocross nationals for the elite and single speed races. 

Markey, who won the series overall, hung on for second, while Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) finished third for the bronze medal. 

Neuman wins the female Rider of the Day award! 

Open 1/ 2/ 3

Casey Hildebrandt (Broken Spoke) won his second state title, dominating the Open 1/ 2/ 3. 

Hildebrandt, who won all three races he did in Wisconsin, started the race dangling in fifth while series winner Michael Lambert (Velovit) made a furious attack from the start, pulling Issac Neff (Neff Cycle) with him. 

A group with Gabriel Acaba (LAPT), Corey Stelljes (Neff Cycle), and Hildebrandt formed behind the two. 

Hildebrandt attacked at the end of the first lap, got a gap, and never looked back, winning this weeks’ Rider of the Day award. 

Teammates Neff and Stelljes finished second and third. 

Womens’ 3/ 4

Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita) did the rare double: winning the overall Women’s Cat. 3/ 4 series, then crushing the Cat. 3/ 4 state championship. 

Kelnhofer, who broke her leg last year during the Field of Riches cross race, led from the start and was determined to to increase her lead every lap over Amy Lauer (Team Wisconsin). 

She was never off the podium this year in eight races and definitely redeemed her long recovery from the broken leg and surgery. 

Open Masters’ 35-Plus 1/ 2/ 3

In one of the most thrilling races of the day, Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke) won a sprint over Jonathan Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts) when Kloppenburg’s chain exploded just a few meters from the line. 

The two had been together most of the race, with Teaters fighting off a cold. 

While Kloppenburg tried to attack several times, Teaters hung on stubbornly. 

They came into the final wide corner together with Kloppenburg in the lead, passing a lapped rider. 

While Teaters had the momentum and was pulling even, Kloppenburg put out just too much power and snapped the chain with a sound heard a long ways off. 

Teaters won and Kloppenburg was able to roll across the line for second. 

Eric Fossell had his best result of the season, coming in third. 

In other races:

  • Arlen Spicer (Serpentijn Athletics) redeemed his season with his first 50-Plus 1/ 2/ 3 state championship. Spicer won at Grafton but series winner Anderson Bortoletto had made the season difficult for everyone. Spicer was able to hold off Brent Rohrs (Gryphon Velo), who had attacked hard off the start to cause a gap. Bortoletto held on to third. 
  • The kids ruled the Open Cat. 3/ 4 race with Rylan Zacharek, racing age 15, winning by a wide margin over Charlie Themanson, 18. William Feyereisen (Berd Spokes) had one of his best results of the year to finish third. 
  • Parker Rongstad (MoMo Riders Club) saved his best performance of the year for the Open Cat. 4/ 5 race, winning the gold medal for the state championship. He had jumped into recent Cat. 3/ 4 races for extra speed work, and his training plan paid off. 
  • Finn Sonnemann (Englewood Farms) and Stella Hague (Revolution Cycle) won the Junior 9 to 14 state titles, while Leah St. Clair and Hunter Gengler (Broken Spoke) won the 15 to 18. Sonnemann won his second straight state title. 
  • April Beard (Trek Midwest) won her first state title, beating Julie Phelps (Gryphon Velo) and Lisa Harms in the Women’s Masters’ Open race. 


Full race results here

Full Series results here

Preview of the Wisconsin State Cyclocross Championships presented by the Revolution Cycles Team

It’s the state championships, everyone! 

The last cyclocross this year in Wisconsin, 

the last chance to see what you’ve got in the tank across the Trek course in Waterloo. 

We won’t have any of the snow and frigid weather we had last year, but it won’t be warm either.

There may be some frost on the ground to cause some slippery conditions in the morning, but racers will be racing each other, not the course. 

Of course, there’s no Race Predictor on Bike Reg this week, so my race predictions will be even more random than usual. 

So if you out-of-towners are ringers and take our prize money, good on you! 

I’ll focus on the Wisconsin state champion races!

Two notes: 

  1. If you are top three in your series, we’ll do podiums at the same time as the races. Be ready! You’ll get your prizes anyway, but it might be nice to be on the podium. 
  2. If you are interested in doing some announcing and taking some race days next for races I can’t be at, please let me or one of the WCA cross committee members know. 

Women Cat. 4

This could be one of the more fierce battles at the front with several possible winners. 

While Heather Heiliger (Broken Spoke) has won four Cat. 4 races this year, a whole group of women - and one girl - will make her attempt at sweeping the overall and the state championship a tough task. 

Both Leah Winckler (Trek Midwest), with one win, and Whitney Welk (Linear Sport), with three wins have beaten Heiliger this year. 

Plus Kerri Giese (Gelbbrucke) has been third three times this year and is itching for a win. 

Mountain biker Jamie Zarda (Broken Spoke) has a ton of long-distance miles in her legs, so her cross form is unknown and newcomer Samara Kluever (Gelbbrucke) could also play spoiler. 

Another person to watch is junior Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop) who’s been cleaning up the junior girls' races and passing most of the older girls in her race. This is her first Cat. 4 race so we’ll see what she is able to do against the older women!

Junior Boys 9-14

While Finn Sonneman (Englewood Farms) and Luke Johnson (Broken Spoke) have to be the favorites to take home the Wisconsin title, they face stiff out-of-state competition. 

Henry Flentye (Pony Shop) is coming up from Illinois having just placed third in the Cat. 3 race in Wheeling last weekend. 

Plus Anders Holmes (Corridor Devo) from Iowa went to Wheeling and beat Flentye last weekend in the junior race. 

Roczen Beissel (NorthStar Development) from Minnesota is also always a threat. 

Look for Finn, Henry, Anders, and Luke forming a group at the front until the last lap when someone’s attack finally sticks. 

Open 50-Plus 1/ 2/ 3

All season long Anderson Bortoletto (Neff Cycle) has been riding away from the field. He’s won the series with seven wins, three second places, and has never not been on the podium. 

However, he’s facing stiff competition from Pactimo teammates Paul Schoening and Greg Goblirsch, who typically race in the Minnesota series. 

The usual suspects of Arlen Spicer (Serpentijn), Jeff Abitz (Diablo), and Brent Rohrs (Gryphon Velo) will be hoping for great legs. 

Plus I’m curious how newly upgraded riders Pat Scheckel (Neff Cycle) and John Cramer (Trek Midwest) do against the competition. 

Other races to watch:

  • I’m curious how Sarah Swapinski (Trek Midwest) will do in the Women’s 1/ 2 now that she’s been able to get her upgrade. Typically, when she was a 3, she raced through most of the 1/ 2 field. Now that she starts with them, will she be able to challenge Amber Markey (CharlieHorses/ Better Butter)
  • In the Womens’ 3/ 4, we should see a good battle between series winner Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita), Amy Lauer (Team Wisconsin), and Sarah Mount (Pactimo). 
  • I’m bummed Elias Saigh and Henry Lutz aren’t signed up to race in the Open 1/ 2/ 3 against Casey Hildebrandt (Broken Spoke). Maybe they’ll register the day of? Casey just dominated last week at Cam Rock, and while he’s facing Roscoe Gaugliardo from Illinois, Tom Burke (Athletic Mentors) from Michigan, series winner Michael Lambert (Velovit), and Neff Cycle teammates Isaac Neff and Corey Stelljes, he should be the favorite to win. 
  • The battle for the Open 35-Plus 1/ 2/ 3 should be between Scott Daubert (CXHairs), Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal), Illinois rider Scott Ross, Minnesota rider Jesse Rients (Kuhl), and Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke). Given how Teaters has been riding lately, expect him to be at the front early in the race. But last year’s series winner Jonathan Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts), who’s been racing in the elite division, could challenge Dan as well. 
  • It’s a bummer that Mark Harms (Neff), last year’s single-speed state champion, broke his foot just as he was coming to good form for this year’s race. Still Josh Fangman (Brazen Dropouts) is going to face some stiff competition from Ethan Ley (Gelbbrucke) who’s been racing well in the Open 1/ 2/ 3 race, as well as from 801 W. Madison teammates Jacob Glahn and William Feyereisen and John Orlikowski (Neff Cycle).
  • Predictions: Women 1/2: Markey; Open 1/ 2/ 3: Hildebrandt; Open 35-Plus 1/ 2/ 3: Teaters; Women 3/ 4: Lauer; Open 50-Plus 1/ 2/ 3 Schoening.

Recap of CamRock and Roll Presented by MoMo Riders’ Club

Women’s 1/ 2 and Female Rider of the Day

Lyllie Sonnemann (CX Hairs Devo) was a junior phenom when she raced against Amber Markey (CharlieHorses/ Butter Foundation) in Manitowoc in the first Women’s 1/ 2 race of the year. 

The two, who are friends and riding partners, rode the first lap of that race together until Markey rode Sonnemann off her wheel to take the win. 

But after racing UCI junior events all fall across the country, Sonnemann showed she is a different rider, more mature, confident, and ready to ride against Markey, who has won seven of 10 races this year in Wisconsin. 

Markey led the way with Sonnemann comfortably on her wheel, and with two laps to go, Sonnemann attacked through the start/finish, got a gap over the barriers, and rode away from Markey for the rest of the race. 

Sonnemann, 16, is the female Rider of the Day! 

Male Rider of the Day

Not to be outdone, Finnley Sonnemann, 13, and Lyllie’s younger brother, had his best race of the year, taking fourth in a tough Open Cat. 3/ 4 race after winning the Junior 9 to 14 Boys’ race earlier in the morning. 

Sonnemann started near the back of the field and quickly moved up, using the bike-handling skill he gets from practice and riding a unicycle. 

He was in a group of three, with two older adults trying to stay on his wheel. 

His efforts win him male Rider of the Day!

(I might be a little biased since both kids are clients! I laughed at myself when, during Finn’s final sprint, instead of calling the race, I started shouting, “Go Finn!”


Open 1/ 2/ 3

After the first lap, the Open 1/ 2 /3 race was the Casey Hildebrandt (Broken Spoke) show. 

Hildebrandt, who has also been racing the UCI circuit, last raced in Wisconsin at Flyover in Manitowoc where he beat Elias Saigh (Adapt) in a fairly close race. 

Hildebrandt, though, was leaving nothing to chance, knowing full well that Neff Cycle teammates Issac Neff and Corey Stelljes, plus Sean Topel, overall series winner Michael Lambert (Velovit), and Thomas Agnew (Englewood Farms) were chasing. 

Neff was soon chasing alone, but the other four were in a group for most of the race, until 14-year-old Agnew was gapped and Stelljes attacked off the front to take third. 

I certainly hope that Saigh and Hildebrandt race each other for the state championship next Saturday! 

In other races,

  • Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke) outsprinted James Cochran (Rule #5/ Nick’s Cycle) to win the Open 35-Plus. The two rode together most of the race, trying in vain to attack each other and cause a gap to open up. Teaters stayed ahead in the Octopi Brewing Party Pavillion section and hung on for the win. Paul Juckem rode a strong last lap to take third. 
  • Anderson Bortoletto (Neff Cycle) broke away early to win his seventh race in Wisconsin this season. He clearly is the favorite to take the state championship next weekend. However, his teammate, Peter Cherchian, who took second, looked equally as strong. The two have been able to play some team tactics with Brent Rohrs (Gryphon Velo) at CamRock and Diablo. Rohrs finished third in the race and second overall. 
  • 16-year-old Hudson Burnette won his first Open Cat. 3/ 4 race, riding away from Michael Sublette and Ben Lauer (Team Wisconsin). Unfortunately, Andrew Richter (Hollander Benelux) flatted in the first lap and ceded second place in the series to Lauer. 
  • Jared Cassady (Trek Midwest) won the Masters’ 35-Plus Cat. 4/ 5 race over Kevin Niles and Doug Huguenard (Trek Midwest), then placed third in the Open Cat. 4/ 5, making him an honorable mention Rider of the Day. 
  • Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita) got a measure of redemption when she placed third in the Women’s Cat. 3/ 4 and secured the overall. She was leading the overall last year when she broke her ankle and missed the rest of the season. Sarah Swapinski (Trek Midwest) won her fourth race of the year while waiting for her Cat. 2 upgrade. She moved into third overall with the win. Amy Lauer (Team Wisconsin) took second in the race and the overall. 
  • Stella Hague won the Junior Girls 9-14 with Emma Klapperich (Colavita) and Sloan Becker (Kenosha Velosport) in second and third. Iris Pittman, 9, gets an honorable mention for Rider of the Season for always showing such grit and determination.
  • Besides the junior races, which are always my favorite, my second favorite race on Saturday was the Soul (of Cyclocross) Train of Love during the Elite Single Speed race. Julie Phelps (Gryphon Velo), Team Wisconsin teammates Amy Lauer and Jamie McColl drafted Gryphon rider Bailey Rudolph to their parade laps. They ride the course, laughing, getting beer and drink handups, and generally celebrating the spirit of cyclocross. They’re working on other riders to join them next Saturday at the state championships. Phelps won the overall after winning 10 races this year! 

CamRock and Roll results can be found here

Overall results can be found here. The series is final and official now! 

Next Saturday, join us in Waterloo for the Wisconsin State Championships. The forecast is for beautiful weather, nothing like the blizzard of last year!

Cam Rock and Roll presented MoMo Riders Club

I’ll be out of town on Thursday and Friday so this week, we’ll share the overall series battles we’ll be looking for on Saturday at Cam Rock and Roll, the last race in the series. 

This means there will be races within the race to secure final spots on the overall podium. 

If riders pre-registered, we’ll discuss them. 

If the course is run like last year’s, the racing could see some tactical racing in small groups. 

  • Gabriel Acaba (LAPT) and Jonathan Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts) are fighting for second place in the Open 1/ 2/ 3. Just two points separate them. Michael Lambert (Velovit) will win the overall. Rising stars Sean Topel and Thomas Agnew (Englewood Farms), who won Kern Park Kross, will also be there to challenge at the front. 
  • Amber Markey (Charliehorses/ Better Butter) will win the Women’s overall, with Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) in second, and Grace Anne Ogle (Brazen Dropouts) in second. 
  • In the Women’s Cat. 3/ 4, Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita) has a strong 15-point gap over Amy Lauer (Team Wisconsin) for the top two steps. But the third step is open between Heather Curnutt (Brazen Dropouts), Sarah Swapinski (Trek Midwest), last year’s series winner Bailey Rudolph (Gryphon Velo), and Leah Winkler (Trek Midwest). Swapinski has applied to be a Cat. 2, so she may get that and race with Markey and Co. 
  • Connor Polenske (Team Adapt) will win the Open Cat. 3/ 4, but the fight will be who takes the final two steps on the podium. Andrew Richter (Hollander Benelux), Aaron Messer (Velovit), Ben Lauer (Team Wisconsin), and David Rossiter are separated by just 13 points. Polenske will be out of town, and several other riders will be fighting for the top step of the race. This race has been one of the most exciting in the last several races with sprint finishes. Also, look out for newly-upgraded Tim Jahn (Tim’s Torque Shop), who will be racing in the 3/4s and Open 35-Plus, and Jared Leppert (Hollander Benelux), who’s been riding well in his last two races. And there are several other riders who could play a factor at the front of the race.
  • In the Junior Girls 9-14, Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop) will win the overall. Still, Stella Hague (Trek Midwest), Brooklyn Becker and Sloan Becker (Kenosha Velosport) are separated by just two points heading into the last year. I hate to create a sister rivalry, but … 
  • In the Open 50-Plus Cat. 4/ 5 race, Kevin Steward will win the series but Nathan Phelps (Gryphon Velo) and Matt Terski will fight it out for the last two positions on the podium since only two points separate them. 
  • The other really interesting race is the Open 35-Plus race. Brian Bierman (2-Bit Cycling Goons) will likely win the overall but Scott Daubert (CXHairs) has won three races and is threatening Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal) for second. At Kern Park, Daubert, Bierman, and Josh Fangman (Brazen Dropouts) all rode at the front in a pack most of the race, with Meyer just dangling off the front with Nick Dahl (MoMo Riders). Plus with Neff Cycle teammates John Orlikowski, who’s never a surprise at the front, and Paul Juckem with Seth Eckert (801 W. Madison), this race could be tactical and a lot of fun to watch. 

Here is the entire series result page

Recap and Race Report for Kern Park Cross Presented by Gelbbrucke - Spirit of Sport

Your Kern Park Cross Riders of the Day are Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita) who placed second in the Women’s Master’s race to solidify her second place overall, and third in the Women’s 3/ 4 to hang on to her lead in the overall series. Kelnhofer, who was leading the 3s last year when she broke her ankle at Field of Riches, has a 15-point lead going into the last series race next week at CamRock and Roll. 

On the men’s side, the Rider of the Day is Tim Jahn, one of the breakout riders of 2023. He won both the Masters’ 4/ 5 35-Plus and the Open 4/ 5 race, then jumped into the 3/ 4 race and finished 12th. Jahn is in second overall in the Masters’ 4/ 5 35-Plus

Open 1/ 2/ 3

If 14-year-old Tommy Agnew’s second place in the elite open race last week at Crossfire was a statement, his first elite win at Kern Park Cross was a proclamation. 

Agnew (Englewood Racing Team) attacked out of every corner to keep a gap over Gabriel Acaba (LAPT) and Jonathan Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts). 

Agnew took over the lead after early leader Henry Lutz flatted out of the race, and Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke) pulled up with back pain. 

Michael Lambert (Velovit), who did not race, maintained his unassailable overall lead. 

Acaba finished in second to stay two points in front of Kloppenburg for the overall series.


Women’s 1/ 2/ 3

And speaking of unassailable overall series leads, Amber Markey (CharlieHorses) won her sixth elite Women’s race in a row, eighth overall over Caitlin Neuman (Neff Cycle) and Jamie McColl. 

Neuman hung on for the first lap, then Markey ignited her diesel engine and rolled away. 

Markey will win the overall with eight wins and two second places, and McColl, who has also podiumed in nine races, will take second. 


Open Cat. 3/ 4

Connor Polenske (Adapt Cycling) and Ben Lauer (Team Wisconsin) had a thrilling back and forth battle for 45-minutes until Polenske pulled away in the last half-lap to win by just a few bike lengths. 

Polenske, who also solidified the overall Cat. 3/ 4 win, rode faster on the straightaways, and Lauer fought back on all the technical elements. 

Jared Lepper (Hollander Benelux) outkicked David Rossiter for the last spot on the podium. 

The final two spots on the overall podium come down to CamRock next weekend with second through fifth separated by only 13 points. 


Open 35-Plus Masters

Scott Daubert (CX Hairs Development) won a thrilling sprint over visitor Wesley Boyce (Move Up Cycling Club) after the two were able to just barely gap Brian Bierman (2-Bit Cycling Goons) and Josh Fangman (Brazen Dropouts). 

The four had been riding together for most of the race with William Feyereisen dangling just a few bike lengths back. 

Daubert tried to ride in front of Fangman, who was bunny-hopping the barriers (produced by the Urban Craftsman), which ultimately proved to be a winning strategy when Fangman bobbled on the last lap. 

In the confusion, Daubert and Boyce were able to get a small gap over Bierman, who managed to hang on to third. 

Bierman has an eighteen-point lead in the overall so unless he doesn’t race and Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal Velo) wins the race at Camrock, he will win. 

Daubert, who has won three races and placed second in three more, could move into second in the 35-Plus overall since he is just two points behind Meyer.


In other races:

  • Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop) continued her magical streak of eight straight wins in the Junior Girls 9-14. 
  • Henry Flentye (Pony Shop) won a close race in the Junior Boys 9-14 over Luke Johnson (Broken Spoke). 
  • Anderson Bortoletto led an all Neff Cycle podium again in the Open Masters’ 50-Plus with Tim Hacker and Peter Cherchian rounding out the podium. Bortoletto has now won six races this year and finished second in three more. 
  • Sarah Swapinski (Trek Midwest) is now three-for-three in the Women’s 3s, winning the race in dominant fashion. Her Cat. 2 upgrade has not yet been approved. 
  • Heather Heiliger (Broken Spoke) won both the Women’s Cat. 4 and the Women’s Single-Speed Cat. 4. 
  • Mark Harms (Neff Cycle) won the Open Single-Speed, then placed fifth in the inaugural Tracklocross race, won by Ethan Gross, who was third in the Single-Speed race. Gross used his track bike for both races!
  • The Merry Band of Cross Racers (Julie Phelps, Amy Lauer, and Jamie McColl) continue to share the spirit of cyclocross during the Single-Speed race, and are busy recruiting new members!

Preview of Kern Park Kross Presented by Gelbbrucke Spirit of Sport

The pink squirrel arises at Kern Park in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee where anything can - and usually does - happen. 

This is, after all, the home of the Riverwest 24 bike race, one of the most unique neighborhood events you’ll ever see. 

Kern Park Cross promises to create another unique Riverwest event, with Amorphic Brewery helping out with the ambiance and refreshments! 

Here's the link to the BikeReg Page.

Here’s what I’ll be watching on Saturday: 

  • The Open Cat. 3/ 4 race will be the race to watch, not only for the individual race win but for the overall. Currently, Connor Polenske (Adapt Cycling) has the lead but by only nine points over Aaron Messer (Velovit), who’s not registered for Saturday’s race. Ben Lauer (Team Wisconsin), David Rossiter (Team LizardAlert), Michael Sublette, and Andrew Richter (Hollander Benelux), who is currently in third overall, all have a chance to move up and challenge Polenske. 
  • The Women’s 3/ 4 should also be a great race with series leader Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita) looking to score enough points to salt away the overall. She’s leading Amy Lauer (Team Wisconsin) by 17 points, but Lauer has had some big races lately, beating Kelnhofer at Grafton and winning at Field of Riches. Kelnhofer won Diablo with Lauer in second. However, Kona Ironwoman Sarah Swapinski, winner of Englewood and Battle of Waterloo will also be lining (she hasn’t received her Cat. 2 upgrade yet). Plus Mia Scarlatto (Marian College), whose last race was the UCI race at Kings Cross, will be there as well! I don’t know how Scarlatto will ride, but Kelnhofer, Lauer, and Swapinski are all diesel engines with a lot of power. 
  • Michael Lambert (Velovit) has the Open 1/ 2/ 3 title sewn up. He’s not registered to race, but Owen Reich (Velovit), Gabriel Acaba (LAPT), and Jonathan Kloppenberg (Beaker Concepts) are fighting for the overall podium places. Plus recent two-time 35-Plus winner Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke) is testing out his legs in this race to make matters more interesting! Henry Lutz, who’s been on three podiums this season, will bring extra speed to the front of the race. 
  • Caitlin Neuman (Neff Cycles) won Crossfire with Amber Markey (Charliehorses) taking the week off. We’ll see if Neuman, who’s been getting better every week, is able to challenge Markey for the win. Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) will be fighting for her ninth podium spot of the year. Markey has won six of eight races this year and finished second in the two she didn’t win. 
  • In the Open 50-Plus race, last week’s CrossFire winner Peter Cherchian (Neff Cycles) is going to face stiff competition from his teammates, series leader Anderson Bortoletto and Tim Hacker. We’ll see if Hacker does his usual start-slowly race, and then make up ground on the field. But Arlen Spicer (Serpentijn), winner at Grafton, Dan Naef (Diablo) winner at Flyover Silver Creek and Diablo, and Jeff Abitz (Diablo) will try to break up the Neff trio to take the win. Brent Rohrs (Gryphon Velo), who has been on seven podiums, is just one step away from taking a win, as he improves every week. 
  • Kelnhofer also looks to challenge Julie Phelps (Gryphon Velo) for the Women’s Master’s 35-Plus win, or she may ride within herself to save some energy for the Cat. 3 race. 
  • The unusual event of the day is tracklocross, where crazy people on fixed-gear track bikes attempt to ride on the cyclocross course. Remember, these folks have one gear and NO BRAKES, just backward pedaling and skidding to slow themselves down. There’s a pretty stacked field with former Single-Speed state champion Mark Harms (Neff Cycle), current series leader Alex Sukowaty (Broken Spoke), Team Wisconsin teammates Ben Lauer and Parker McColl, and John Pontarelli (Cyklopedia) taking the start. This should be quite the spectacle! 

Recap of CrossFire Presented by L5 Racing

Riders of the Day

The Riders of the Day at Crossfire presented by L5 were Thomas Agnew (Englewoood Farms) and Julie Phelps (Gryphon Velo). 

Agnew rode to a solid third place in the Open 1/ 2/ 3 race behind longtime pro Brian Matter (Linear Sport) and series leader Michael Lambert (Velovit). 

And Ms. Consistency, Phelps, led a merry band of riders during the single-speed race at the end of the day, reminding everyone that cross racing is supposed to be a lot of fun! Phelps also won the Women’s Masters 35-Plus race. 

Open 1/ 2/ 3

In the Open 1/ 2/ 3 race Lambert, Matter, Agnew, Owen Reich (Velovit), and Gabriel Acaba (LAPT) splintered off the front, with Sean Topel and Jonathan Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts) close by. 

When Lambert and Matter started attacking each other, they put a gap into Reich and Agnew. But Agnew kept attacking out of every corner and on every straightaway to put several seconds into Reich who eventually finished fourth. 

Matter finally attacked Lambert with two to go and held off Lambert and a surging Agnew. 

Open 3/ 4 

Connor Polenske (Adapt Cycling) took the Open Cat 3/ 4 win and the series lead. 

Polenske started slowly when he couldn’t clip in and John Orlikowski (Neff Cycle) got the hole shot and the early lead over David Rossiter, Ben Lauer (Team Wisconsin), and Hollander Benelux teammates Jared Leppert and Andrew Richter. 

Alex Mortvedt (Trek Midwest), an honorable mention for Rider of the Day, and Polenske gradually made their way into the group, while others split off the back.
Richter had a mechanical issue and was unable to finish. 

Polenske took the lead and the win while Mortvedt caught Rossiter in the final long sprint. 

Polenske, now with three season wins, takes over the series lead with Aaron Messer in second and Richter in third. 

Open Masters 35-Plus Cat. 4/ 5

In the Open Masters 35-Plus Cat. 4/ 5 the race came down to a last lap sprint with Douglas Huguenard taking the win over Mark Lepich (Broken Spoke) and Adam Raychel (Team Wisconsin). 

The three rode as a group for most of their race, with Daniel Joel (MoMo Riders) dangling just off the bat. 

Huguenard came into the final corner at the front and held off Lepich for the win. 

Women's Cat. 4/ 5

Ryan Kahl (Hollander Benelux/ Neff Cycle Junior Development) remembered winning the juniors at CrossFire the year before and stormed to the win in the Women’s Cat 4/ 5 race. 

Kahl, a junior NICA mountain biking phenom, rode away Kirsten Heikkinen, who won theBattle of Waterloo, and Fireball-costume-wearing Heather Heiliger (Broken Spoke)

Whitney Welk, who finished fourth, keeps her commanding lead in the series over Heiliger, who also won the Cat. 4 Women’s Single-Speed race. 

Other Races

  • In the Women’s 1/ 2 race, Caitlin Neuman (Neff Cycle) put time into the field in the first lap and held off Abby Strigel and Jamie McColl, who has now been on the podium in every race she’s done this fall in the series but one. Series leader Amber Markey was not racing. 
  • Finnley Sonnemann (Englewood Farms) took a convincing win in the Junior 9-14 Boys race, passing all but the winner of the Junior Boys 15-18s! 
  • Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop) took her seventh consecutive win in the Junior Girls 9-14. 
  • Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke) rode through the majority of the Open 1/ 2/ 3 field in his 35-Plus Masters win. 
  • Peter Cherchian (Neff Cycle) took his first cyclocross win in the Open Masters 50-Plus holding off teammate Anderson Bortoletto and Brent Rohrs (Gryphon). Bortoletto played some solid team tactics once Cherchian had a few second gap, keeping the pace high enough that Rohrs couldn’t come around to chase. 
  • Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita) was leading the Women’s Cat. 3/ 4 series last year when she broke her ankle in a crash at Field of Riches. With a win Saturday at Crossfire, Kelnhofer is back on top of the standings. She’s now won two races and placed second in three others. 

Series totals can be found here

Race results can be found here

Next weekend, we roll to Kern Park in Milwaukee for the penultimate race in the series. Look out for the preview on Thursday after pre-registration closes! 

CrossFire Presented by L5 Racing Preview

I apologize in advance if I miss people who aren’t regulars in the Wisconsin cyclocross series. BikeReg doesn’t have its usual Race Predictor up for CrossFire, so I don’t know if any of the new riders are ringers!

Overall Battles

With just three series races left (State Championships don’t count for the overall), some of the series battles will play out this weekend, and others give the leaders a chance to solidify their position. 

The Trek Wisconsin Cyclocross series has 12 races and nine best races count for the overall. 

For example, elite riders Michael Lambert (Velovit) and Amber Markey (Charliehorses/ Better Butter) both have large leads in their respective Cat. 1, 2 fields. Lambert, who’s registered Saturday for CrossFire, will want to try and replace a couple of fourth-place rides to solidify his lead. Markey, who’s not registered, has won six of her eight races - the other two were second places. I won’t be surprised if Markey shows up and just has fun at this course. 

Open Cat. 3/ 4

One of the biggest series battles after nine races is the open Cat. 3/ 4.

Just 11 points separate first from fourth, so every placing will matter.

Connor Polenske (Adapt) has been challenging the field lately, winning Pumpkincross (and the Rider of the Day with his dad), Hill Bill, and getting two seconds to move into a tie for third with Eric Allen. 

Aaron Messer (Velovit) has a four-point lead over Andrew Richter (Hollander Benelux). 

Richter has been Mr. Consistent, getting points in every race, while Messer won his first race at Field of Riches. Richter and Allen, who won Englewood, will have to get points in these last series to move up.

Only Richter and Polenske are signed up for this race, so the standings will certainly change. 

Plus there’s the battle of who will actually win this race!

Hollander Benelux teammates Mark Beams and Jared Leppert have been riding well, plus NICA mountain bike stud Sam Cherchian is done with his school season and is racing cross again. 

Team Wisconsin teammates Ben Lauer and Parker McColl have also been riding really well and will force the issue at the front, especially with McColl getting really strong starts. 

Women Cat. 4

Whitney Welk (Linear Sport) will be working to defend her Women’s Cat. 4 lead against a really tough front of the field. 

Welk, who won Hill Bill, Field of Riches, and Diablo, has a 28-point over Heather Heiliger (Broken Spoke), and third place is another 20 points back in Celine Stichert (Kenosha Velosport). 

Welk, Heiliger, who won Sheboygan and Badger Prairie, and Stichert will be facing Leah Winckler (Trek Midwest), who won Grafton, as well as Kristin Heikkinen, who won Battle of Waterloo, a fairly similar course. 

And Madison Lebeau (Gryphon Velo), who is in fourth place overall, will be there with a new choice of giant earrings! 

Plus there will be a dozen Femme40 racers at CrossFire in the Women’s 4/ 5 field. There are over 26 women pre-registered, one of the largest fields in recent memory. 

So while Welk has her overall lead fairly solid, a big field could make the racing really interesting. 

Open 35-Plus Masters

The overall battle between Brian Bierman (2-Bit Bicycle Goons) and Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal Velo) has been going on all season with Bierman taking a narrow 10-point lead into CrossFire. 

Nick Dahl (MoMo Riders), Scott Daubert (CXHairs/Trek), and Ben Schreiber (Linear Sport) are within five points of each other for the third spot on the overall podium.
Throwing a bomb into the mix, though, is a healthy Dan Teaters, who rode away from Bierman and the others last week at a tough Grafton course. 

Seth Eckert and Micah Moran (801 W. Madison) are darkhorses, who have shown they can go fast as well. 

Other races to watch:

  • If Markey doesn’t make it, look for Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) and Grace Anne Ogle (Brazen Dropouts) to fight it out for the win. 
  • Look for a fun tussle in the Cat. 4 50-Plus race between Pat Scheckel (Neff Cycle) and John Cramer (Trek Midwest). 
  • Luke Johnson (Broken Spoke) has been riding well in the Cat. 3 and Cat. 4 races in addition to the junior races at Major Taylor, Trek Cup, and Kings Cross. He’ll be looking to take on perennial strong man Finn Sonnemann (Englewood Farms). Look for Luke to get off to a strong start in the Junior Boys 9-14 and Finn to battle for the wheel. Should be a fun race to watch as these two stars of the future push each other. Luke Wagliardo (Pony Shop) and Bennet Clinkingbeard (Kenosha Velosport) will be right on their wheels! 
  • The Junior Girls 9-14 race offered up some drama last week at Grafton with Emma Klapperich finding some strength to ride with undefeated Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop) for part of the race. Anna has won six of six races in Wisconsin and is looking to clinch the overall. But Emma, Stella Hague (Revolution), Sloan and Brooklyn Becker (Kenosha Velosport), and Leni Shelton (Pony Shop) will all be looking to topple the Queen from her throne! 

Grafton Pumpkincross Presented by Serpentijn Arts and Athletics

Female Rider of the Day

This week’s Female Rider of the Day goes to Emma Klapperich (Colavita Cycling), who roared back from a deficit to catch Anna Pearlman (Pony Shop) in the Junior Girls’ 9-14 race, only to drop her chain, get dropped down to third, then make a serious attempt to come back and nearly caught second place Stella Hague (Revolution). 

Male Rider of the Ray

The Male Rider of the Day goes to the father/son duo of Jeff (Ben’s Cycle) and Connor Polenske (Adapt). Even though Jeff had already raced the Masters 50 plus, he jumped into the Cat. 3 race to join his really fast son, who won. Connor caught him only in the last half of the lap. It’s cool to see how Connor has inspired his dad to get into racing and pushed him to do his best laps of the day in a challenging field. Connor moves into third in the overall series with his win. 

Solo Winners With Big Gaps to Second

  • Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke) wasted no time in the Masters 35-Plus and rode away from the field in the first lap to win his first cross race of the year, beating series leader Brian Bierman (2-Bit Cycling Goons) and Nick Dahl (MoMo Riders Club). I had expected some kind of battle here, but Teaters just rode away. 
  • Amber Markey (Charliehorses/Better Butter) won her sixth race of the year and kept her series lead over Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) and Grace Anne Ogle (Brazen Dropouts), who were second and third on the day as well. 
  • Michael Lambert (Velovit) won his third Open Elite race and kept his series lead by beating Sean Topel and teammate Owen Reich. Topel, who won one race as a Cat. 5 last year, upgraded to a 4, and won three Cat. 3 races by large margins before scoring a great result Saturday. Topel is definitely one of the revelations of the season!
  • Amy Lauer (Team Wisconsin) had a great ride inthe Cat. 3/ 4 Women’s field, with Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita) and Bailey Rudolph (Gryphon Velo) in second and third. With the win, Lauer moves into the series lead with just three races left. 
  • Tim Jahn took his second consecutive Open Masters 35-Plus Cat. 4/ 5 win over series leader Mark Lepich and first-time podium stander Daniel Joel (MoMo Riders).
  • Julie Phelps (Gryphon Velo) won her third consecutive Masters Women race. She has not been less than third in nine races this season, with five victories. 
  • Leah Winckler (Trek Midwest) escaped the Cat. 4 Women’s field and kept a good gap back to second place Whitney Welk (Linear Sport) and Madison Lebeau (Gryphon Velo).

Don’t Call it a Comeback

But Arlen Spicer (Serpentijn) is back in the Masters 50-Plus. 

Spicer, who won the overall series last year, rode to a convincing victory, his first of the season at his home race. 

John Lirette had his best race of the year on a cracked bike frame to finish second, while Anderson Bortoletto (Neff Cycle) maintained his series lead by finishing third. 

It’s Okay to Upgrade

Jack Heier (Ben’s Cycle) won his first race as a Cat. 4 after some early season success as a Cat. 5. 

He’s been showing some strength, finishing in the top 20 in large Cat. 4 races at Trek, and top 10s in Cat. 3/ 4 races in Wisconsin. 

His convincing win on Saturday gets him some upgrade points as one of the season’s cyclocross revelations. 

Parker Rongstad (MoMo Riders) finished second and new Cat. 4 Earl Meyer III (Ocelots) was third. Another new Cat. 4 Alec Nelson finished fourth. 


Full results can be found here

Series results can be found here

Next week’s race is the Halloween race at CrossFire in Sun Prairie. 

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and shared dad jokes. 

Did you hear about the explosion at the French cheese factory? 

There was de Brie everywhere…

Grafton Pumpkincross Preview

Grafton Pumpkincross has always been one of the favorite cross venues in Wisconsin: Good long laps with plenty of everything including a steep hill, sand, and tight off-camber corners. 

And coming off a muddy, cold, and rainy Trek Cup, we’re excited about seeing a grassy course - although there is a slight chance of light rain in the morning to make the hill climbers honest. 

Open 35-Plus Masters

One of the best battles of the day might in the Open 35-Plus Masters race with perennial challengers Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal Velo), Brian Kaker (Project Echelon), and Brian Bierman (2-Bit Cycling Goons) facing each other again at the pointy end of the race. 

For this race, we’ll see the return of Dan Teaters (Broken Spoke), who has been nursing some back issues while riding to wins in several long gravel races. 

Plus Nick Dahl (MoMo) had a great weekend at Trek, riding to some solid results.

Mark Harms (Neff Cycle) and Ben Schreiber (Linear Sport) also had solid races at Trek, which could make for a great fight at the front of the race. 

While races at Grafton don’t usually come down to a group sprint, we may see three or four riders in this field fight for the sprint up the hill. 

Women's 3/ 4 and 4s

Leah Winckler (Trek Midwest) has been riding well in both the Women’s 4s and Womens 3/ 4 categories this year. 

On Saturday, she’ll do both races. 

In the Cat. 4 race in the morning, she’ll face Whitney Welk (Linear Sport), who’s been having a great season and did well at Trek, and Heather Heilger (Broken Spoke). 

Welk has won three Cat. 4 races, Heilger two, and Winckler has finished second in two races. 

At Battle of Waterloo, a sort of similar course, although the Grafton hill and course are a little longer a little longer, Winckler finished second, Heiliger third, and Welk fifth. 

In the 3/4s, Winckler will face perennial favorites Sarah Kelnhofer (Colavita), winner at Diablo, and Field of Riches winner Amy Lauer (Team Wisconsin).

Kelnhofer and Lauer are tied for the series lead and Winckler is in third. 

Open Cat. 3/ 4

The Open Cat. 3/ 4 race should also prove to be a great race, especially if the hill is dry, which will favor the climbing skills of Connor Polenske (Adapt).

However, Michael Sublette is a strong rider and is certain to challenge Polenske, who won Hill Bill and finished second at Diablo and Field of Riches. 

Team Wisconson riders Ben Lauer and Parker McColl have been riding well as has Andrew Richter (Hollander Benelux), who is second in the overall series and may be ready for a breakout race. 

Keegan McCluskey (Brazen Dropouts) is another rider who may be ready for a breakout race. 

In other races, 

  • Is Chad Cannon (Gryphon Velo) coming back into the same late-season form as last year? In 2022, he won Sheboygan, then came close to series leader Michael Lambert (Velovit) in several late-season races. At Grafton, he’ll face Lambert, Owen Reich (Velovit), and Jonathan Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts). Gabe Acaba was riding at the front of Diablo for most of the race and could be a factor as well along with Danny Feuling (Adapt) who is primed to have a strong race. 
  • In the weekly competition of who can compete with Amber Markey (Charliehorses/ Better Butter) in the Women’s 1/ 2 race, Jamie McColl (Team Wisconsin) had a strong race in the 1/ 2 race at Trek, suggesting that her string of podiums will continue. McColl has been on the 1/ 2 podium in six of seven races this season and is second in the series. Markey has won five of her seven races and finished second in the other two. 
  • Look for Illinois state champion in the Junior Girls (9-14) Anna Pearlman to chase down the boys and girls in the 15-18 categories. 
  • And look to see if Luke Wagliardo can win again in the Junior Boys 9-14. He won this race last year but will face a strong Barret Clinkingbeard (Kenosha Velosport), who won Diablo two weeks ago. 
  • Watch for Parker Rongstad (MoMo Riders Club) to face the usual suspects in the Cat. 4 race. He did well to finish top ten in massive Cat. 4 races at Trek. Bill Schultz (Heavy Pedal) has finished third in his two Cat. 4 races and Mark Lepich (Broken Spoke) should do well but fell hard on his shoulder at Trek and may lose some of his bike handling if he is able to race. Look for new Cat. 4s Alec Nelson (Broken Spoke) and Earl Meyer III to continue their runs of good form. 

Series totals are here. There are 13 races and your best nine count toward the overall. 

Recap: Diablo Sunnyview Cross

Riders of the Day

I’m starting with the Riders of the Day at Sunnyview Cross with the Lebeau (Mike, Maria, and Maddy), St. Clair (Luke, Leah, Rorykate, and Violet), and Koenig (Adam and Galen) families. There’s nothing quite like families cheering each other on, and the shouts of “Go Dad” and “Go Mom” make my heart all warm. 

It was the first cold-ish day of the season, and the temperature difference between last week’s was stark. I even forgot gloves (thanks to Dave Thorpe for loaning me some!)

Open 1/2/3

Cole House (Adapt) started the race as he often does in the Open 1/ 2/ 3: at the back. 

He had ridden over 50 miles to Oshkosh from Suamico in the morning before his race, and he was clearly warmed up!

House made his way through the field to catch the small group at the front, Gabriel Acaba (LAPT), who had the hole shot, and Jonathan Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts). 

Brad Sovinski (Hollander), having one of his best races of the season, and Tyler Stein (DNA Cycling) hovered just behind the three leaders. 

The three stayed together until the last lap when House made his move, distancing Acaba, who had made a series of attacks down the pavement through the finish line. 

House crossed the line first with a convincing victory, with Kloppenburg in second, Acaba in third. 

Acaba is in third overall in the series, Kloppenburg fourth, and House fifth. 

Women's 1, 2

Amber Markey (Charliehorses) continued her season of mayhem and might with a dominating win, her third in the row and fifth on the year. 

The series leader, Markey repeated her familiar script and got away in the first lap and kept growing her gap every lap. 

Grace Anne Ogle (Brazen Dropouts) had one of her better performances of the year, keeping Markey fairly close the whole race. 

April Beard (Trek Midwest) was third. 

Women's 4s

While Whitney Welk (Linear Sport) and Heather Heiliger (Broken Spoke) battled it out at the front of the Women’s 4s, Celine Stichert (Kenosha Velosport) had her best race of the season. 

Stichert was smooth through the corners and over the barriers to get third on the day and move to third in the overall series. 

Welk, series leader, powered away in the last lap while Heiliger hung on to finish second and maintain her second in the overall. 

Other races

  • Dan Naef (Diablo) finally broke Anderson Bortoletto’s streak in the 50-Plus Masters, getting the home team win Saturday. Bortoletto (Neff Cycle), who had won five races in a row, finished third behind Naef and Brent Rohrs (Gryphon Velo). 
  • Barret Clinkingbeard (Kenosha Velosport) won his first cyclocross race in the Juniors 9-14. 
  • Kloppenburg beat out Stein to take the Open Single Speed race, while Julie Phelps won the women’s race. Phelps also won the Women’s Masters’ 35-Plus race. 
  • Leah St. Clair won the Girls 15-18 with her dad cheering for her. Younger sisters Rorykate was third and Violet sixth in the Junior 9-14. 
  • Maddy Lebeau (Gryphon Velo) was second to St. Clair in the Junior Girls and fourth in the Women’s 4s. 
  • Scott Daubert won his second consecutive Open Masters 35-Plus race with a convincing and devastating attack in the third lap to distance a group with Brian Kaker (Project Echelon), Brian Bierman (2-Bit Cycling Goons), Eric Fossel, Josh Meyer (Heavy Pedal), and Luke St. Clair. Kaker eventually dropped Bierman to round out the podium.

Full Sunnyview results can be found here. 

Full series results can be found here


Preview of Diablo Sunnyview Cross

We’re finally getting some crisp fall weather at the great course created by the Diablo cycling team in Oshkosh. And with several top riders heading to Indianapolis for Major Taylor, it’s a great opportunity for nabbing some points!

Women 1, 2

Markey Mayhem continues at Sunnyview with series leader Amber Markey (CharlieHorses/ Better Butter) taking the start, having won four of the six Wisconsin races she’s entered this season. 

Grace Anne Ogle (Brazen Dropouts) and Kristin Cooper (Neff Cycles) will try to hang on to her wheel. 

Women Cat. 4, 5

Both Heather Heiliger (Broken Spoke) and Whitney Welk (Linear Sport) have won two Cat. 4 races, with Heiliger often getting the better of Welk.
But the two will get a rare chance to battle at the front together at Sunnyview in a small field. 

Maddy LeBeau, and her earring style, will be looking to disrupt those two. 

Junior Girls 9-14

Watch for the battle between Stella Hague (Revolution) and Emma Klapperich (Gryffindor) in the Junior Girls’ 9-14. 

Both have been on the podium this season, with Stella taking three second places, and Emma getting two thirds. 

The girls will likely ride for the top step, although there will be at least four new riders taking the course!

Masters’ and Open Cat. 4s

In the Masters Cat. 4 and Open Cat. 4, look for the return of Jakub Truksa, a Czech Republic native and Chicago rider who won the 4s last year at Hill Bill and one of the Trek races.

Bill Schultz (Heavy Pedal), Broken Spoke teammates Mark Lepich and Allen Schimberg, and Matt Reynell (Gelbbrucke) will be trying to keep him in check in the Masters’ 4s. 

In the 4s, Connor Enciso (LAPT), who won Sheboygan, will look to challenge Truksa. 

Open 50-Plus

The weekly question in the Open 50-Plus race is who will challenge Anderson Bortoletto (Neff Cycle). 

With a big season of gravel and mountain biking, Jeff Abitz (Diablo) is back, although Jabitz is putting on the race and still a bit fatigued from summer racing. While he is always a threat for the podium, he may need a race or two to challenge Anderson. 

And with a couple of races under his belt, look for Arlen Spicer (Serpentijn)  to stick with Anderson when he makes his signature attack to ride off the front. 

Perenially strong riders Brent Rohrs (Gryphon) and Peter Cherchian (Neff Cycle) will also make their bid for the podium. 

Open Cat. 1, 2, 3

In a small Open 1, 2, 3 race, look for Jonathan Kloppenburg (Beaker Concepts), Gabe Acaba (LAPT), and Tyler Stein (DNA Cycling) to be battling at the front. 

Kloppenburg, who won the 35-Plus overall last year, has been riding really well in the elite race, while Acaba has been getting off to strong starts using his crit racing skills and fitness.

Stein won the opening two single speed races at Silver Creek and Englewood, but he hasn’t raced since. 

Stein is also going to face off with Kyle Polich (Johnson County Flyers) in the Elite Single Speed race.

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.

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

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