The xc racing season kicked off last weekend in Iola for race #1 in the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS). Team rider Casey Hildenbrandt, living and racing out of Wausau, raced in the JR Elite and posted a solid 3rd place.
Arriving to the venue with Ben Koenig and his parents, we went to pick up the number plates which are sick this year! Usual warm up with lots of nerves for the first race of the year. The cat 1 juniors start at the back of the elite field and we had to move our way through the field only doing 4 laps.
Ready to race!
(Gary Frost photo)
The start was fast but crowded. I made my moves leading the juniors after the couple minutes, then getting passed right away by Mitch B. On the next downhill I got nervous with rigid and locked up the brakes, skidding off the track. Lost about 5 or 6 spots running up the 25 yard hill. Ben Koenig had been in 2nd in the pro field up the start hill and then his quick link on his chain came loose and he was in last in the Pro/Cat 1 Field I'm pretty sure. By the end of the first lap I was sitting in 5th or 6th.
Halfway through the second lap I latched onto Myles' wheel and got moving. At the start of the 3rd lap Myles and I had moved up into 3rd and 4th. He fell off my wheel on the start hill and I started slightly cramping up the rest of the race...trying to use what I've heard from other people about cramping. Hydrate and spin. I spent the next 40 minutes in the saddle so I could finish the race. The last ten minutes or so I pushed as hard as I could to the finish. Ben fought all the way back up to 16th! I ended up 3rd.
Thanks to Maplelag Resort and Rib Mountain Cycles for making it possible! See you out there this year hopefully!