May 11, 2019
Benefitting the Laona Rescue Squad.
Take road racing tactics, equipment selection, adventure, and off road handling skill,
mix them up, and you get the growing sport/activity of gravel racing.
You can sit on that wheel, but be ready for that hole, rut, stick, or road kill to knock you sideways.
Did I mention the deer, snakes, and bears that wander onto the course?
Race it or just ride it, you decide, just don't leave without a post race beer.
In the 108 mile race:
Jon Lester rode his mountain bike at front for much of the first 15 or so miles, reducing the front group to less than 30.
At about mile 52, with the advice of 2017 winner Jeff Abitz, Jon and Dan Naef moved to the front and attacked hard up a very rough, technical, and long climb. This put them several hundred yards off the front. Jeff found himself in a seven rider chase group, doing his best to "gum up the works" with slow pulls and negotiating a neutral "nature" stop. Meanwhile Dan spent the next three hours heroically building his lead. Dan cruised across for the win 9 minutes ahead of 2nd place!
In the last mile, Jeff's 50 year old carcass succumbed to the youth and speed of a couple 33 year old Cat 1/2's, and was happy with a 4th.
After spending much of his 6 hour race working for his teammates, Jon Lester finished in the chase group with a 7th.
Diablos with top 10 finishes noted:
108 Mile (97 total)
1st - Dan Naef - newly hired by team sponsor Recyclist Bicycle Co.
4th - Jeff Abitz
7th - Jon Lester
68 Mile (102 total)
7th - Todd Mertz
Cyclocross Magazine did a short write-up: www.cxmagazine.com/gravel-race-2019-bear-100-wisconsin-northwoods?fbclid=IwAR10C5EytfEpbfnchZodYuNtBD9B_HDOgTRORkn2qyNpbQQZ--_UD85RUxU