John Meyers wins age group followed by Jim James. Mike Simonson 9th Pro Derek Prechtl 11th Pro.... Jason Lummis out broken ribs, Tony Torrance out neck problems, Dan K. out funeral (best wishes DK). JAJ single speed stud and Velo News stud (see below).
The Team would Like to THANK LARRY BELL for his continued generosity towards are love of bikes and beer. We are all proud to wear the BELLS jerseys and drink the best beer. 2006 is coming fast and we are all set to make our mark again in the MTB racing community. Remember to LIVE LIFE UNFILTERED and PUT IT DOWN.
The 2000 racers that flock to Northern Michigan's 27-mile Iceman Cometh Challenge each year never know what kind of weather to expect. Seven of the past 14 years, the Iceman has been held in cold and snowy conditions. However, in recent years, racers have enjoyed unseasonably balmy weather. This year's weather continued that trend, with a mid-day temperature in the mid-50s, leaving race promoter Steve Brown to suggest that perhaps the race should be renamed the "Niceman."
Craig rides in on his own
photo: Jason Aric JonesAnd the weather wasn't the only thing heating up at the Iceman. The pro men's class had some of the hottest competition in recent memory, with top national factory pros from Trek-VW, Subaru-Gary Fisher, and Giant Bicycles all vying for the podium.
The pace was high from the start, with a cadre of national pros led by Adam Craig (Giant Bicycles), Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Travis Brown (Trek) taking turns at the front of the course's trademark sandy two-track for the first few miles. Then, a few miles in, at a log-strewn, twisty single-track section known as "Tornado Alley," regional pro Mike Simonson (Bell's Beer-Trek) made a move, gapping the group.
Eventually, Brown led a chase group back up to Simonson, who continued to pull the group through the Dockery Road crossing, about seven miles into the course. Shortly thereafter, Craig took a dig, dividing a group of five pros from the rest of the field. The group included Craig, Brown, Wisconsin-based regional pros Doug Swanson and Tristen Schouten (both Trek-VW) and Jesse Jakomait (Dark Horse Racing), a Michigan native living in Colorado.
Swanson, who led the group at the Williamsburg Road crossing 16 miles into the race, wound up doing much of the work at the front of the group. At Ice Station Zebra, it became a three-man race for the finish with Craig, Schouten, and Swanson taking turns. At the finish line, it was Craig besting Swanson by 14 seconds in a record time of 1:29:26.
The women's pro race was never in question. A few miles in, Kelli Emmett (Ford Cycling) dropped the hammer and never looked back, taking her third Iceman win in as many years in a time of 1:43:29. Second place went to Sara Kylander-Johnson of Duluth, Minnesota, with former Iceman champion Kerry Barnholt (Subaru-Gary Fisher) rounding out the podium.
Iceman Cometh ChallengeTraverse City, MI. Nov. 5Pro men1. Adam Craig, Maine, Giant Bicycles, 1:29:262. Doug Swanson, Plymouth, Minnesota, Trek-VW, 1:29:403. Tristan Schouten, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Trek-VW, 1:29:514. Jesse Jakomait, Colorado, 1:30:045. Travis Brown, Boulder, Colorado, (Trek), 1:30:356. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Boulder, Colorado, (Subaru-Gary Fisher), 1:31:367. Russ Tiles, Grand Haven, Michigan, (Slingshot Bicycles), 1:31:498. Brian Matter, Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, (PWC Cycling), 1:31:509. Michael Simonson, Clarkston, Michigan, (Bell's Beer-Trek), 1:31:5310. Carey Grumelot, Anchorage, Alaska, (Ford Cycling), 1:32:00Pro women1. Kelli Emmett, Colorado Springs, Colorado, (Ford Cycling), 1:43:292. Sara Kylander-Johnson, Duluth, Minnesota, 1:47:253. Kerry Barnholt, Boulder, Colorado, (Subaru-Gary Fisher), 1:52:11