WORS Defending Champion Tristan Schouten returns to go one-two with Brian Matter

WORS Defending Champion Tristan Schouten returns to go one-two with Brian Matter

Jun 7, 2012
WORS Defending Champion Tristan Schouten returns to go one-two with Brian Matter

Big guns come out at WORS #3

Defending Champion Tristan Schouten returns to go one-two with Brian Matter

by Claire Cannon

 

Defending Overall Champion Tristan Schouten (Rolf Prima / Giant), current Series leader Brian Matter (Gear Grinder / Trek), and two Lalonde brothers (Lalonde Bros-T6), including past WORS Champion Jesse Lalonde, toed the line with a deep field on Sunday for the heavy-hitting third race of the 2012 Subaru-sponsored Wisconsin Off Road Series.  The course broke a long lead out into a series of tight chicanes and short singletrack sprints before climbing into technical rocky singletrack, and had the field racing hard from “Go!”

 
 

“I thought today was a really hard race,” commented Brian Matter.  “It was the first race of the 2012 Series where all the big hitters were here.  And with the different start, right from the gun everybody was pretty aggressive.  It wasn’t like [WORS #2] Rhinelander where we started down the dirt road holding hands.  It was pretty much racing the entire time.”

 

Each lap was a mixture of wide-open, blazing-fast doubletrack and tight, rocky-strewn singletrack, with several significant climbs to keep things honest. 

 

Heading out onto their second lap, a large lead group of 10 riders remained together, including Schouten, Matter, brothers Mark and Jesse Lalonde, Nathan Guerra (Wheel & Sprocket / Vision), Kevin McConnell (Mercy-Specialized), Mike Phillips (Adventure 212 / Specialized) and relative newcomers Corey Stelljes (The Bike Hub / Specialized), Issac Neff (Williamson Bicycle Works), Justin Piontek (The Bike Hub / Specialized), and Joe Maloney (Team Wisconsin / KS Energy).  As they moved onto the first of two significant climbs leading into rocky singletrack, neo-pro and former All-American runner Corey Stelljes went to the front and “threw in this crazy move,” relayed Mark Lalonde.

 

All-American Flyer Stelljes off the front

 

“We hit the long grade and I went to the front,” said Stelljes.  “I like races to be hard the whole time and put it out there.  I took a flyer off the group and made it through the next rocky, downhill singletrack.  Those guys brought me back, but it whittled the group down to about five.”

 

Once the group made contact with Stelljes again, fellow neo-pro Issac Neff helped drive the pace up a brutally steep climb.  As the pitch continued to climb leading into the rockiest singletrack, the remaining chase group shattered behind the leaders.

 

The Lalonde brothers, racing singlespeed, dismounted and ran up the hill, keeping pace with the field.  By the middle of that lap, Schouten had counterattacked and was being chased by Brian Matter, Nathan Guerra, Mark Lalonde and Joe Maloney.  Issac Neff, Corey Stelljes, Tyler Gauthier, Justin Piontek and Jesse Lalonde were all less than 30 seconds behind the lead.

 

Defending Champion Schouten attributed his ability to make his breakaway stick to being able to power through the technical, rocky singletrack sections on his new, full-suspension Giant Anthem.

 

 

“Last year I was able to get off the front a few times but I was riding a hard tail and every time we got to a rocky section they would bring me back,” recalled Schouten.  “This year, I was climbing with my lightweight Rolf Prima wheels and I could pedal the bumpy stuff.  That pretty much separated the group.  I think Brian and Nathan came up to me and then it was just the three of us.”

 

In the final lap, Matter was setting the pace when a sudden flat ended Guerra’s race and, as discovered later, left tread marks on Schouten’s calf as the Wheel & Sprocket rider literally fell into him.  In the chase group, Corey Stelljes and Mark Lalonde dueled in the singletrack while just behind them Tyler Gauthier and Joe Maloney fought for the final podium spot.  Maloney, who nearly had his foot on a podium step for the second race in a row, ended his race early when he took a hard fall in the technical, rocky singletrack and fractured a collarbone. 

 

The finish came down to a sprint

 

If Midwest mountain bike racing fans could field “fantasy” MTB Teams, longtime rivals, training partners and Sheboygan locals Tristan Schouten and Brian Matter would be top picks on any roster.  Spectators came running to watch the showdown as the two emerged from the final section of singletrack and set up their finish. Schouten and Matter have sprinted to the finish at Wausau before and, in 2011, Matter came out on top. 

 

“Battling Tristan, it was good to have him back on the WORS scene,” said Matter after the fact. “Before the last turn, I had a quick word with Tristan. I said ‘How about I lead it out this year and we’ll see what happens.’  He says ‘OK.’ And I guess the Golden Rule at this venue is don’t lead out the sprint, because you can’t win if you lead it out. Three years in a row now it comes down to a sprint, and each time the guy who leads it out loses.”

 

“We were both sit-down sprinting because we were both cramping,” explained Schouten.  “It was pretty much whoever had it.”

 

 

At 1:55:55.6 Schouten had it, stamping his return to WORS with a strong defense of his 2011 title and a commanding presence at arguably the hardest race of the Series thus far.  Matter finished in second place at 1:55:56.2, while Mark Lalonde made the singletrack make the difference over Corey Stelljes to take third at 1:56:19.  Stelljes stepped onto the Overall Podium for the first time in 4th at 1:56:51, and Tyler Gauthier won a brutal race of attrition to claim 5th in 1:57:51. 

 

As the Wisconsin Series moves into the heat of summer, the competition in the men’s BelGioioso Elite field is guaranteed to yield fast, hard racing.  With strong neo-pro riders battling to make moves in the lead group, perennial podium finishers Nathan Guerra and Mike Phillips looking to move up, past and defending Series Champions controlling the pace, and both Lalonde brothers in the mix aboard formidable singlespeed gearing, the outcome is anyone’s guess.  Throw in local wild cards like Matt Shriver and Brian Eppen, and men’s BelGioioso Elite racing will be turning up the heat this season.

 

Strigel unbeaten in Women’s Series

 

 

In the women’s race Abby Strigel and Robin Williams broke away early from a combined women’s Elite and Open field of over 20 women.  Once in the singletrack, Strigel took the lead and did not look back, staying out of sight to win in 1:40:29.  Williams (Mercy-Specialized), has been a significant threat at this venue before, alongside teammate Kim Eppen, and was not far behind, finishing in 1:42:53.  Although within sight through three laps, Lisa Krayer (1:43:46; Adventure 212 / Specialized), Lori Sable (1:43:46) and Sarah Agena-Wright (1:45:56; Adventure 212 / Specialized) held their places throughout the race to round out the women’s BelGioioso Elite podium.

 

The Year of the Junior continues at WORS with 157 racers ages 18 and under competing at the Trek Big Ring Classic at ability levels from Cat 3 Citizen to Cat 1.  The next race of the 2012 Subaru-sponsored Wisconsin Off Road Series will be held just outside the state Capitol of Madison, WI at the Battle of Cam Rock on June 17.





 

Elite (Pro & Cat 1) Females

 Overall    Age Group    Bib #  Name                    City, State              Age      Time      Time Back  Team
    1        1 F  4-99    501   Abby Strigel           Madison  WI                29   1:40:29.6      0:00.0  Honey Stringer/Bontager/Pat's 
    2        1 F 30-39    582   Robin Williams         Iowa City  IA              33   1:42:53.9      2:24.3  Mercy-Specialized             
    3        2 F  4-99    503   Lisa Krayer            North Freedom  WI          37   1:43:46.7      3:17.1  Adventure 212/Specialized     
    4        1 F 40-99    511   Lori Sable             Thiensville  WI            46   1:44:43.8      4:14.1                                                              
    5        2 F 30-39    505   Sarah Agena-Wright     Stevens Point  WI          34   1:45:56.7      5:27.0  Adventure 212/Specialized     
    6        3 F 30-39    508   Michelle Peariso       Amherst  WI                36   1:47:52.3      7:22.7  Adventure 212/Specialized     
    7        4 F 30-39    584   Andrea Matter          Sheboygan  WI              35   1:48:55.8      8:26.1  Gear Grinder                  
    8        5 F 30-39    514   Denise Coppock         Green Bay  WI              38   1:48:56.8      8:27.1  Titletown Flyers              
    9        6 F 30-39    509   April Dombrowski       Oshkosh  WI                39   1:56:28.9     15:59.2  Team Pedal Moraine            
   10        1 F  4-29    513   Maria Statz            Wisconsin Rapids  WI       28   2:08:10.4     27:40.7  Element Mobile                
   NR          F  4-29    506   Rachel Horstman        Madison  WI                25               Team WI / KS Energy           
  DNF          F  4-99    583   Rebecca Sauber         Farmington  MN             35               Leopard/LCR                   



 

Elite (Pro & Cat 1) Males

 Overall    Age Group    Bib #  Name                    City, State              Age      Time      Time Back  Team
    1        1 M  4-99      1   Tristan Schouten       Plymouth  WI               30   1:55:55.6      0:00.0  Rolf Prima / Giant            
    2        2 M  4-99      2   Brian Matter           Sheboygan  WI              34   1:55:56.2      0:00.5  Gear Grinder                  
    3        3 M  4-99     65   Mark Lalonde           Madison  WI                30   1:56:19.7      0:24.0  Lalonde Bros-T6               
    4        4 M  4-99     10   Corey Stelljes         Madison  WI                32   1:56:51.1      0:55.5  The Bike Hub/Specialized      
    5        5 M  4-99      7   Tyler Gauthier         Ishpeming  MI              29   1:57:12.6      1:16.9  Culvers Racing p/b Meyer Famil
    6        6 M  4-99      8   Kevin McConnell        Iowa City  IA              31   1:57:45.4      1:49.7  Mercy-Specialized             
    7        7 M  4-99     31   Justin Piontek         Wabeno  WI                 24   1:58:38.0      2:42.3  The Bike Hub/Specialized      
    8        1 M 24-34    244   Jesse Lalonde          Madison  WI                33   1:58:38.4      2:42.8  LaLonde Bros / T6             
    9        8 M  4-99      6   Darrin Braun           Butler  WI                 27   1:59:14.5      3:18.8  Adventure 212/Specialized     
   10        9 M  4-99     52   Isaac Neff             Madison  WI                26   1:59:15.2      3:19.5  Williamson Bicycle Works      
   11        2 M 24-34     42   Brian Heifner          Middleton  WI              32   1:59:43.4      3:47.7  Magnus                        
   12        1 M 35-44    100   Ray Nelson             Woodstock  IL              42   2:01:33.9      5:38.2  Treadhead Cycling             
   13        3 M 24-34     45   Matt Gehling           Madison  WI                27   2:01:35.8      5:40.2  Team Wisconsin/KS Energy      
   14        2 M 35-44    233   Jacob Groethe          Pewaukee  WI               35   2:01:41.4      5:45.8  Badger Velo Club              
   15        4 M 24-34     20   Tyler Jenema           Marquette  MI              26   2:02:34.6      6:38.9  Kuhl Racing    tain           
   16       10 M  4-99     49   Chad Sova              River Falls  WI            27   2:02:44.2      6:48.5  On The Rivet                  
   17        5 M 24-34     70   Ryan Baumann           Green Bay  WI              25   2:02:52.3      6:56.7  Titletown Flyers              
   18       11 M  4-99      9   Ben Koenig             Schofield  WI              24   2:03:01.5      7:05.8  The Bike Hub/Specialized      
   19        6 M 24-34     61   Ted Hanes              Fond Du Lac  WI            31   2:03:40.0      7:44.3  Fond du Lac Cyclery           
   20        7 M 24-34     22   Tim Racette            Antioch  IL                25   2:04:25.3      8:29.6  KS Energy Services/Team Wiscon
   21       12 M  4-99     62   Ronald Stawicki        Waukesha  WI               34   2:04:30.9      8:35.2  Polska                        
   22        3 M 35-44     88   Michael Naughton       Crystal Lake  IL           42   2:05:10.2      9:14.5  Wheel Werks/Gore              
   23        8 M 24-34     77   Carlos Haeckel         Waukesha  WI               29   2:05:59.9     10:04.2  Alterra Coffee/W85            
   24        4 M 35-44     83   Trevor Olson           Rochester  MN              39   2:06:02.3     10:06.6  Muddy Cup                     
   25        1 M  4-23    243   Kyle Sarasin           Marquette  MI              23   2:07:36.8     11:41.1  penpharm.com                  
   26        5 M 35-44     48   Bill Nigh              West Bend  WI              43   2:07:44.8     11:49.1  Team Pedal Moraine            
   27        9 M 24-34    246   Matthew Omeara         Eau Claire  WI             31   2:07:54.3     11:58.6  On THe Rivet                  
   28       10 M 24-34     73   Scott Vogelmann        Madison  WI                33   2:07:57.5     12:01.8  Trek Midwest                  
   29        6 M 35-44     78   Joel Hynes             Wausau  WI                 38   2:08:00.3     12:04.6  Bikeman.com-Titletown         
   30        1 M 45-99     23   John Shull             Libertyville  IL           50   2:08:19.5     12:23.8  EXPO                          
   31        2 M 45-99     99   Jw Miller              Madison  WI                47   2:08:41.4     12:45.7                                                              
   32        7 M 35-44     16   Vincent Steger         Mc Farland  WI             35   2:09:09.8     13:14.1  Erik's Bikes & Boards         
   33        8 M 35-44     85   Josh Shively           La Crosse  WI              40   2:09:47.4     13:51.8  Team 360/La Crosse Velo       
   34       13 M  4-99     79   Dallas Fowler          Green Bay  WI              25   2:09:56.2     14:00.5  Kuhl                          
   35       11 M 24-34    236   Michael Anderson       Appleton  WI               26   2:09:57.8     14:02.1  Schwag                        
   36        9 M 35-44     60   Gabriel Ion            Spring Grove  IL           39   2:11:10.5     15:14.8  Treadhead Cycling             
   37       10 M 35-44    248   Aaron Swanson          Ashland  WI                40   2:11:18.0     15:22.3  Swanson Financial/Ski Hut     
   38        3 M 45-99     43   John Wypiszinski       Kaukauna  WI               46   2:11:28.0     15:32.3  Titletown Flyers              
   39        2 M  4-23     19   Travis Johnson         Two Rivers  WI             19   2:11:35.9     15:40.2  Heavy Pedal Velo Club         
   40       11 M 35-44     13   Chad Boyles            Pewaukee  WI               43   2:11:58.4     16:02.7  Badger Velo Club              
   41        3 M  4-23     69   Kyle Warras            Waukesha  WI               19   2:12:09.1     16:13.4  EXPO Racing                   
   42       12 M 24-34    245   Nathan Lillie          Prairie Farm  WI           33   2:12:48.9     16:53.2                                                              
   43       12 M 35-44    247   Adam Swank             Duluth  MN                 37   2:13:05.9     17:10.2                                                              
   44       13 M 35-44     12   Glenn Kirst            Menomonee Falls  WI        39   2:13:54.1     17:58.4  Wheel & Sprocket              
   45       13 M 24-34     32   Luke Batchelor-Clark   Madison  WI                33   2:14:18.7     18:23.0  Magnus                        
   46       14 M 24-34    241   Chris Tries            Cudahy  WI                 33   2:14:33.0     18:37.3  South Short Cydery            
   47       15 M 24-34     67   Michael Humpal         Libertyville  IL           30   2:14:56.0     19:00.4  Specialized                   
   48       16 M 24-34     21   Nicholas Holzem        Weston  WI                 30   2:15:34.7     19:39.0  Sprocketz                     
   49        4 M  4-23    235   Eric Ollis             Houghton  MI               22   2:15:39.6     19:43.9  Culvers p/b Meyer family      
   50       14 M 35-44     82   Jeremy Peterson        Brevard  NC                41   2:15:42.3     19:46.6                                                              
   51       15 M 35-44     27   Bill Burkholder        Rockford  IL               42   2:16:17.6     20:22.0  Kegels                        
   52       16 M 35-44     51   Steve Schafer          Barrington  IL             42   2:16:19.0     20:23.4                                                              
   53       17 M 35-44     76   Bryan Frazier          Cottage Grove  WI          36   2:17:27.8     21:32.1  Baraboo Sharks                
   54       18 M 35-44     58   Tim Scanley            Milwaukee  WI              36   2:17:29.6     21:34.0  Alterra Coffee                
   55        4 M 45-99     84   Mark Burkholz          Menomonee Falls  WI        49   2:18:21.8     22:26.1  Team Extreme/Twin Six         
   56        5 M 45-99     15   Jim Peterson           Edgerton  WI               54   2:19:25.5     23:29.8  Michaels/JVC                  
   57       17 M 24-34    237   Justin Lund            Tomahawk  WI               31   2:21:19.2     25:23.5  Bradley Park Trail Crew       
   58       19 M 35-44    232   Mike Bushey            Esko  MN                   44   2:21:50.0     25:54.3  Ski-Hut                       
   59        6 M 45-99     71   Jeff Sympson           Rockford  IL               50   2:22:05.3     26:09.6  Big Ring Flyers               
   60        7 M 45-99    239   Rick Cleary            River Falls  WI            50   2:24:02.7     28:07.1  KORC                          
   61        8 M 45-99     37   Greg Jones             West Allis  WI             45   2:24:39.9     28:44.2                                                              
   62       20 M 35-44    240   Dan Tavela             Franklin  WI               42   2:24:41.2     28:45.5  Treadhead Cycling             
   63       14 M  4-99      3   Nathan Guerra          Oconomowoc  WI             31   2:25:32.7     29:37.0  Vision/Wheel & Sprocket       
   64       18 M 24-34     46   Jason Gosse            Eau Claire  WI             33   2:27:09.6     31:13.9  Team WORS                     
   65       21 M 35-44    231   John Brown             Stevens Point  WI          37   2:27:31.2     31:35.5  Wheel & Sprocket              
   66       22 M 35-44     56   Barry Winters          Nekoosa  WI                43   2:27:37.3     31:41.6  Element Mobile / Brings       
   67       19 M 24-34     53   Scott Neperud          Madison  WI                27   2:27:38.1     31:42.4  Magnus                        
   68       20 M 24-34     95   David Bender           Belvidere  IL              32   2:30:41.0     34:45.3  JVC/Michael's Cycle           
   69       23 M 35-44     86   Craig Manthe           Eau Claire  WI             38   2:31:20.1     35:24.4  OTR                           
   70       24 M 35-44    242   James Holmes           Cambridge  WI              37   2:31:30.1     35:34.4                                                              
   71       25 M 35-44    229   Erik Eiseman           Marseilles  IL             39   2:34:51.5     38:55.8                                                              
   NR          M  4-23     34   Myles Beach            Larsen  WI                 18               Adventure 212/Specialized     
  DNF          M 35-44     50   Jerrod Collier         Lindenhurst  IL            43               Muddy Cup                     
  DNF          M  4-23     47   Michael Dutczak        Crete  IL                  19               South Chicago Wheelman        
  DNF          M 45-99     80   Tim Jennings           Wisconsin Rapids  WI       45               Element Mobile/Brings         
  DNF          M 45-99     11   John Lirette           Menomonee Falls  WI        46               Unattached                    
   NR          M  4-23     38   Joseph Maloney         Madison  WI                22               KS Energy Services/Team Wiscon
  DNF          M 45-99     17   Jeff Melcher           West Bend  WI              45               Team Pedal Moraine            
   NR          M 24-34    234   Matt Millin            Kenosha  WI                26               Team Dayrider                 
   NR          M  4-99      4   Mike Phillips          Chicago  IL                35               Adventure 212/Specialized     
  DNF          M 35-44    238   Lonie Sauber           Farmington  MN             42               Leopard/LCR                   
  DNF          M  4-23     18   Ben Senkerik           Wauwatosa  WI              19               Vision / Wheel & Sprocket     
  DNF          M 24-34     75   Ken Statz              Wisconsin Rapids  WI       29               Element Mobile                
  DNF          M 35-44     14   Karl Tillman           La Crosse  WI              38               Team 360 / LAX Velo