BEEs Prep For MSB at Yankee Springs and Rust Shaker

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It was a good time to get in the woods. While plenty of BEEs stuck close to home to put in another recon ride of the Mud, Sweat and Beers course, we had just a few riders head south to put a toe on the start line at two singletrack-centric events.

Both Yankee Springs and Rust Shaker serve as great events on their own, but for TC riders, the events serve are ideal events to test the legs, fitness, and equipment ahead of MSB. Especially with more and more singletrack added to our local race, getting more rides at speed and full effort can be a huge boost to preparations, and both of the events this week offer exactly that.

Down at Yankee, nearly 800 riders celebrated the 30th edition of racing at the trail. It’s been a fixture on the calendar since the very early days of mountain biking, and it was pretty cool to see a number of riders start that also raced three decades ago! Maybe we’ll see Emma Schwab back at Yankee in 2049, and who knows how many wins she might have by then? She started off right; she won the Elite field Saturday and catapults herself into the role as heavy MSB favorite alongside teammates (and fellow BEEs) Coach Susan Vigland and Bridgit Widrig.

Coach Cody made his first race start of the year and, while certainly startling plenty of trees along the way, ducked into the top ten of a strong field with a time of just over 1:33 minutes.

A few hours north, Rust Shaker was kicking off around the same time Emma made her race start south of Grand Rapids. A bit closer to TC made Rust Shaker a pretty easy trip and more riders made the drive down. Marc Brunette hopped into the Expert field and put on an absolute show, riding to second place in his age group with a time of 1:53. Dean Murphy was in the same field and nor far behind; he ended up with a 7th place just a few minutes back.

Turning in what might be the ride of the day, Jon Zelinski won his age group with a 1:52, successfully fending off what had to be the most competitive field of the day. Kris Sands, Mike Walters, Dan Packer, and fellow BEE Jason Read were all in the same class, a field that saw the entire top 8 on or under two hours.

Racing in Sport, Rick Flees put the fruits of his first BEE block to the test and came out looking strong. He came up just a minute back of City Bike Shop’s Bradferd Miller for fourth in his age group, a nice result ahead of MSB next weekend. Don Marsh was just another further minute ahead, battling all race long to earn his third place finish in his age group with a time of 1:30.

It’s a big week at the Hive, and not just because it’s our final two classes. We’re putting the finishing touches on a long eight weeks of structure, and with the weather looking mostly atrocious, you’re going to want to get in there! If you’ve got questions about race week, get with your coach and plan ahead. Let’s do this, BEEs!