The 2018 WCA season officially kicked-off last weekend at the Team Wisconsin/MOSH Whitnall Park Criterium after a few weekends of cancelled races due to lingering winter weather. With a few podiums already in the books for BDs at the Beloit Spring Crit and at Whitnall, the team was anxious to get the season into full swing at the Hampshire Cycling Club (HCC) Muskego Park Race. Over the course of each 1.2 mile lap, riders climb and descend 100 feet, making for a challenging finishing area and fast backstretch. The course is known to sever fields, and this year was no different. In total, 14 team members entered races with four podium finishes. Here are some highlights:
Juniors 15-18: The field of 13 broke up early with the main group fending off several attacks. A late solo breakaway in the 25 minute race appeared to be holding until BD Jamani Bergh single-handedly chased it down on the last lap, with a final attack on the finish hill to open up a sizable gap to take the win! Jamani is in his second year with the Junior Dropouts program, and his serious off-season training is paying off early in the season. Look for him to be a podium contender in every Juniors race this season.
Cat 3/4: Several teams had strong contingents in this race so team tactics were sure to play a role. Around the 15 minute mark, Derek Landwehr and a Team WI/MOSH rider held a strong effort up and over the hill. The two worked well together, continuing to push the pace with hard pulls, and with the help of teammates in the pack, the gap grew from seconds to minutes. Any attacks from non-break teams or unattached riders were kept at bay thanks to BD's Lee Prouty, Kevin Sparks, Craig Billings, and other Team WI/MOSH riders. Thirty minutes later, with just one lap to go, the two-man breakaway caught the field, with Derek taking 2nd place in the end.
Women Cat 4/5: After last week's 2nd place by only inches, first-year BD Kaitlyn Agnew was aggressive to make sure it didn't happen again. With six racers, there wasn't much space to hide from the wind, so what better way to shake things up? Her solo break held and she rolled to her first win!
Masters 35+ 4/5: Matt Bruss hitched a ride with two very strong riders from Belgianwerkx and Diablo Cycling, creating a three-man break mid-way through the race. While Matt couldn't keep pace with the break, he held on for a very respectable third in the strung-out 28 rider field.
Other notable finishes:
Gabriel Skalsky & Jordan Miller: 9th and 10th in Juniors 9-14
Thomas Chaltry & Byrne Dobrient: 6th and 7th in Juniors 15-18
Kevin Sparks: 8th in Cat 4/5
Jason Bentley: 7th in Masters 35+ 4/5
Full results can be found here.
Next race: La Crosse Omnium (May 4th through 6th)