Thursday, September 1, 2011

Black's Grove MTB Race

A relatively quiet weekend of racing for the team as we gear up for the big Laddies Loppet weekend here at Maplelag. Team riders Lars Ellefson, Jeff Beck, Tony Schmitz and Denny Barry hit up the 2nd running of the Black's Grove mountain bike race. Lars recently returned from the summer in Oregon and took the win! Tony provides a full recap on this fun trail system.

Lars post race after the win.
Trail local and builder Denny Barry flying by.
Tony chasing through the woods.
Tony's report:

Sunday August 28th was the 2nd Annual “Blacks Grove River Crossing” in Wadena, MN. Another low key grassroots event that has popped up in North Central Minnesota to showcase it’s fun, tight and twisty singletrack.

A beautiful morning with temps in the low to mid 60’s greeted around 20 riders as they rolled to the line as the Mayor of Wadena was firing up the charcoal for the post race picnic. A quick 3-2-1-GO! and we were off, with a fast prologue loop around the inside of the park sorting things out before entering the hard, fast conditions in the singletrack. There was a nice fast and flowy start through some open field pines dropping down across a bridge for our first “River Crossing” before entering the tight and twisty.

I was feeling pretty good hanging in a group of four riders before slowly falling back a bit and then feeling some pressure coming from behind me by Wadena local and trailcrew volunteer Todd Hale and also Jack Ellefson who I had a fun battle with last year on this course. Then, as I slipped on a corner just prior to a ledge drop along the river and went O.T.B. and yard sale'd. While picking up the discounted items (bike, sunglasses and making sure I didn’t loose the tools from my jersey pocket) Jack and Todd both went by me only to catch Todd later on after throwing his chain. Then the fun began keeping it tight with Todd and another Wadena trail local Thad Schulz making for a good cat and mouse for the whole last half a lap ending in a sprint finish with Todd getting me by a bike length and hearing Thad hammering behind me, making it one of the most fun races for me as I’m usually stuck between groups and riding solo for a majority of a race.

Taking top honors were Lars Ellefson, who recently got back from Oregon spending the summer XC skiing and mountain biking, followed by 10 time X-Games SnoCross Medalist Tucker Hibbert and last years winner, Fergus Falls’ fast and fit David Jenson.

A great hometown event again with the Mayor of Wadena, Wayne Wolden not only grilling hamburgers and brats, but presenting Spirit Award pins to Terry Olsen and Trisha Marczak who had a nasty fall, injuring her hand but stayed strong to finish the race. A kids race was also held prior with local boy Isaac Hale taking the win along with Eleni Schmitz and Joe Najjar smiling their way across the finish line.

I definitely plan on making this a yearly race stop and hopefully this race will stay on the same weekend each year making it a great warm up for next weekend's Laddies Loppet at Maplelag.

Black's Glove Results

Look forward to seeing a lot of the team members this weekend!

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