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November 8th, 2014

The Iceman History


Date: Sunday November 4, 1990

Weather: 40 degrees and cloudy

Number of competitors: 35

Champions: Debbie Baker and Don Fedrigon, Jr.

Race: It wasnít so much a race as much as an adventure to see if mountain bikes could make the journey from Kalkaska to Traverse City. The overwhelming answer was "Yes!" The $5.00 entry fee included a post race barbecue at Jellystone Park.

Title Sponsor: None

Total purse: None


Date: Saturday November 2, 1991

Weather: 40 degrees with a 20 knot wind from the southwest at the start. A major snow storm blew in about half way through the race. By the time the awards were concluded that evening, there were six inches of snow on the ground.

Number of competitors: 360

Champions: Margaret Sanchez and Tim Swift

Race: Tim Swift, riding in his second mountain bike race ever, made an early move at the four mile mark and survived the ensuing blizzard to be the first across the finish line at Jellystone Park. Margaret Sanchez posted the fastest time of the 35 female competitors.

Event Developments: Timing is done by hand. "Iced-T" shirts are available for the very first time.

Title Sponsor: None

Total purse: $3,000


Date: Saturday November 7, 1992

Weather: Crystal clear skies, 20 degrees, and 4 inches of picture perfect snow

Number of competitors: 630

Champions: Elise Harrington and Peter Noverr

Race: Elise Harrington using her road racing experience simply rode away from her female competitors. Peter Noverr, a student at the University of Indiana and Traverse City native, made a bold move with under two kilometers to go to escape from defending champion Tim Swift and others to win by just four seconds.

Event Developments: First year of electronic timing. Finish venue is moved to Mt. Holiday to accommodate more riders.

Title Sponsor: none

Total purse: $3,000


Date: Saturday November 6, 1993

Weather: Rain turned to snow (2 inches) on Friday night then froze making the race course hard as a rock and very slippery. Saturdayís race saw temperatures in the lower to mid 30ís.

Number of competitors: 918

Champions: Elise Harrington (2) and Gene Oberprillar

Race: Gene Oberprillar found redemption for a mechanical problem in '92 as he pounced on a bonking Scott Quiring just before the entrance into Mt. Holiday. Elise Harrington continued her dominance over the ladies.

Event Developments: 4 page Glacier Gazette makes its debut. Kalkaska High School gymnasium first used for packet pick-up. Wave starts (4) are used for the first time. Killer single track just before the finish is introduced. Leelanau Wine Cellars hosts a post race wine tasting party. Mt. Holiday is packed with people during the awards ceremony.

Title Sponsor: Leelanau Wine Cellars

Total purse: $4,000.00


Date: Saturday November 5, 1994

Weather: Very gray skies and in the mid 40's.

Number of competitors: 1,196

Champions: Elise Harrington (3) and Scott Quiring

Race: Scott Quiring pays Oberprillar back as he took advantage when Oberprillar popped his out of his pedal just before the finish at Mt. Holiday and motored to a 5 second victory and a new course record. Elise Harrington scores the first ever Iceman hat trick with her third victory.

Event Developments: Start line is moved from Dresden St. to Kalkaska High School athletic fields. Specialized Bicycles becomes 'Presenting' sponsor. Awards are moved into a tent outside to accommodate more athletes. Iceman becomes a NORBA Classic event. The 8 mile Slush Cup is added to the event to encourage less experienced riders to ride.

Title Sponsor: Leelanau Wine Cellars

Total purse: $7,000.00


Date: Saturday November 4, 1995

Weather: Wicked snow storm hits Michigan on Friday. Roads are covered with ice. Many competitors have car accidents on their way to Traverse City and to Kalkaska Saturday morning. Race day continued cold and snowy (six inches). There's so much snow on the course that passing is impossible.

Number of competitors: 1,304

Champions: Cecilia Potts and Scott Quiring (2)

Race: Fifteen year old Cecilia Potts makes her mark on Iceman as she narrowly beats Nancy Black, riding in the 35-44 age group, by 30 seconds. Quiring proves he is truly an up and coming star with two victories and a second in three years.

Event Developments: NORBA sound stage is placed at finish line. Electronic timing crew has problems. Results not available until Sunday morning. Iceman makes the cover of NORBA News and Michigan Cyclist magazines. 8 start waves are introduced. Steve Smiegel, Jr. warms up by cross-country skiing at the start.

Title Sponsor: Leelanau Wine Cellars

Total purse: $7,000.00


Date: Sunday November 3, 1996

Weather: 4 inches of snow on the ground in Kalkaska. Temperatures are in the high 20's. Sunny and warm (45 degrees) at the finish line.

Number of competitors: 1,477

Champions: Cecila Potts (2) and Jonathon Shell

Race: Defending champion Scott Quiring is 'T-boned' at the start allowing others to take control of the race. Jon 'The Chief' Shell's preparation pays off as he attacks John Meyers with less than 1 kilometer to go to become an Iceman champion. Shell had inspected the approach to the new finish line while Meyers had not. Shell was ready to pounce when Meyers wallowed in a large mud bog just before the line. Cecilia Potts cruised to her second victory by riding with the expert men whenever she had an opportunity.

Event Developments: Finish line venue is moved to the corner of Bartlett and Bunker Hill roads. Course includes 'The Maze' and a nasty little hill right at the finish line. George Mehr and Finish Line Sports take over electronic timing. Grand Traverse Resort becomes 'Official Host'. Steve Smiegel, Jr. warms up by cross-country skiing at start again!

Title Sponsor: Leelanau Mist Natural Spring Water

Total purse: $8,000.00


Date: Saturday November 1, 1997

Weather: Rain and 40 degrees before the start. Rain abated and temperatures warmed up to 45 degrees during the race.

Number of competitors: 1,589

Champions: Cecilia Potts (3) and Tinker Juarez

Race: Tinker Juarez enjoyed the mild temps en-route to a convincing victory as he led the race from the six mile mark and never looked back. Tinker shattered Scott Quiringís 1994 course record by 18 minutes. Current Junior World Champion, Cecilia Potts, put over four minutes on previous champion Elise Harrington en-route to her third Iceman title in three years.

Event Developments: Ice Cycle, a consumer show at Grand Traverse Resort is introduced. Iceman clothing line of socks, jerseys, and fleece vests is well received. Sno-cone children's race is introduced. Glacier Gazette is published in spring and fall now.

Title Sponsor: Subaru

Total purse: $20,000


Date: Saturday November 7,1998

Weather: 40 degrees with scattered showers

Number of competitors: 1,905

Champions: Cecilia Potts (4) and Steve Tilford

Race: One of the closest finishes yet, with both female and male champions sprinting to take the win. Cecilia wins an unprecedented fourth victory in a row! Steve Tilford makes his move with less than half a kilometer remaining to beat four other breakaway companions.

Event Developments: 15 different waves are used for the start and the time interval between waves is increased from 3 minutes to 5. Finish line is moved to the Vasa trailhead. Spring Glacier Gazette becomes Moose Tracks and contains Iceman results, International Ice results, and information on the Loose Moose at Searchmont event. Fall Glacier Gazette, now 32 pages, contains Subaru Iceman information, Loose Moose at Searchmont results, and 1999 International Ice application.

Title Sponsor: Subaru

Total purse: $20,000


Date: Saturday November 6, 1999

Weather: 35 degrees and clear blue skies

Number of competitors: 2,000

Champions: Jodi Koch and Scott Quiring (3)

Race: Jodi Koch of Ann Arbor, Michigan joined the list of female Iceman champions in a controversial race due to the fact that the top five women racers were disqualified for missing a turn that resulted in shortening the race by 1.5 miles. Scott Quiring earned his third Iceman title by attacking 4 miles into the race and riding on his own to the finish line.

Event Developments: 20 different waves are used for the start. The finish line is moved back to Jellystone Park for the first time in 8 years. The awards ceremony is held a East Junior High School's gymnasium. The 2,000 rider limit is reached one week before the race.

Title Sponsor: Subaru

Purse: $21,600


Date: Saturday November 4, 2000

Weather: 50 degrees and clear blue skies

Number of competitors: 2,153

Champions: Kelli Emmett and Steve Tilford (2)

Race: Kelli Emmet, Kalamazoo, Michigan joined the growing list of female Iceman champions by riding away from the field and never looking back. Scott Quiring was unable to defend his crown due to post concussion syndrome. Steve Tilford earned his second title in three years (he was second last year) by out sprinting Chris Pietrzak of Bay City, Michigan.

Event Developments: 23 different waves are used for the start. Jellystone Park is re-named Timber Ridge. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa re-joins the event as host. The 2,000 rider limit is reached three weeks before the race. BD's Mongolian Barbecue becomes the first outside food vendor at Timber Ridge.

Title Sponsor: Subaru

Purse: $21,960


Date: November 3, 2001

Weather: 45 degrees and sunny with calm winds

Number of competitors: 2,156 (The race reached maximum capacity on September 23rd).

Champions: Chrissy Redden and Steve Tilford (3)

Race: Chrissy Redden (Subaru - Gary Fisher) and Steve Tilford rode away from their respective fields to solo victories. Chrissy rode a new Gary Fisher 29er bike while 'Tilley' put his stamp on the race winning for the 3rd time in four years.

Event Developments: ChampionChip timing system is used for the first time. The 'Water Bottle Hill' section of the course is re-routed due to logging in the area.

Title Sponsor: Subaru

Total Purse: $22,500


Date: November 2, 2002

Weather: 30 degrees, cloudy with a cold wind from the west. A light dusting of snow on the first of the course.

Number of competitors: 2,447 (The race reached maximum capacity on August 28th).

Champions: Alicia Hamilton-Mayer and Christopher Pietrzak

Race: Alicia Hamilton-Meyer shook defending champion, Chrissy Redden, from her wheel and soloed to victory with a two minute margin. Christopher Pietrzak (Specialized) avenged his narrow loss to Steve Tilford in 2000. With an impressive running attack on 'Wood Chip Hill' five miles from the finish line, Pietrzak was able to hold off a chase group of Carey Grumelot, Derek Prechtl, Steve Tilford, Jessie Jakomait, and Chris Fisher long enough for the win.

Event Developments: Once again, the course needs to be altered west of Dockery Road due to continued logging. Thus, the course is lengthened along the Vasa Trail and included 'Wood Chip Hill' which caught a number of riders by surprise. The children's race becomes the 'Sno-Cone', sponsored by Traverse Northern Michiganís Magazine.

Title Sponsor: Subaru

Total Purse: $25,300


Date: November 8, 2003

Weather: 25 degrees, heavy snow in Kalkaska, while there was only a light dusting of snow at the finish line.

Number of competitors: 2,529 (The race reached maximum capacity on July 19th).

Champions: Kelli Emmett (2) and Tristan Schouten

Race: Kelli Emmett (Specialized) managed to stay upright and to ride away from defending champion Alicia Mayer-Hamilton to finish with a comfortable margin of almost 5 minutes. Tristan Schouten (PWC Cycling) played a waiting game until the final approach to Timber Ridge before he launched his attack and was able to hold off a hard charging group of three for the win.

Event Developments: 2003 is the year of the crash. Unexpected snow, which is extremely slick causes numerous traffic accidents on the way to the start in Kalkaska. A jack-knifed semi-trailer closes M-72 for an hour creating a traffic jam six miles long. A lot of riders simply get on their bikes and ride to the start in the snow. Others find back forest roads to by-pass the snarled traffic. The start of the race is delayed an hour as the timing crew and the majority of the athletes miss the original starting time. Once on the race course, most riders crash at least five or six times apiece due to the slippery conditions.

Title Sponsor: Subaru

Total Purse: $28,300


Date: November 6, 2004

Weather: Absolutely balmy with a high of 55 degrees and sunny skies.

Number of competitors: 2,524 (The race reached maximum capacity on June 8th).

Champions: Kerry Barnholt and Brian Matter

Race: Kerry Barnholt (Subaru - Gary Fisher) out dueled defending champion Kelli Emmett, when Emmettís chain jumped with just under a mile left in the race. Barnholt then soloed in for the win. Brian Matter (PWC Cycling), in his eleventh Iceman, out-sprinted Jesse Jakomait and three other riders to claim the win. Matter's time of 1:31:24 resulted in a new course record due to the fast course conditions.

Event Developments:

Title Sponsor: Subaru

Total Purse: $28,500


Date: November 5, 2005

Weather: Weather conditions were a repeat of 2004 with a high of 55 degrees and sunny skies.

Number of competitors: 2,680 (The race reached maximum capacity on March 25th ).

Champions: Kelli Emmett (3) and Adam Craig

Race: Kelli Emmett (Giant) focused on her own race and soled from the 5 mile mark to claim her third Iceman. Adam Craig (Giant) flashed all of the single-tracks sections to string out the field and then finally broke loose to have time to "wheelie" over the finish line.

Event Developments:

Title Sponsor: EXTERRA

Total Purse: $33,300


Date: November 4, 2006

Weather: Grey skies and the threat of light snow prevailed with temperatures hovering right around the freezing mark. A light dusting of snow occurred during the race.

Number of competitors: 2,807 (The race reached maximum capacity on January 5th).

Champions: Kelli Emmett (4) and Michael Simonson

Race: Kelli Emmett, (Giant) rode away from Sara Kylander-Johnson and Jessica Woodard to claim her fourth Iceman frosty cup carved out of ice. Michael Simonson (Bell's Beer) forced a high pace right from the gun and was able to hold off a strong twenty-three mile chase by 2003 Champion, Tristan Schouten and 2004 Champion Brian Matter.

Event Developments: The Pro start is moved to 2:30 PM to allow amateur riders to see the pro finish. Timber Ridge's "Ice Hole" beer tent is introduced.

Title Sponsor:

Total Purse: $28,300


Date: November 10, 2007

Weather: A heavy 'horror' frost and temperatures in the mid-twenties greeted the riders in Kalkaska before the start. The day warmed up to the mid-forties with calm winds and crystal clear skies.

Number of competitors: 3,016 (The race reached maximum capacity on January 2nd, two days after registration opened).

Champions: Kelli Emmett (5) and Brian Matter (2)

Race: Defending Champion Kelli Emmett (Giant) rode away from Zephanie Blasi and Heather Holmes. Emmettís victory set a new Iceman record for the most wins as she claimed her fifth Iceman! 2004 Iceman champion Brian Matter (PCW/TREK) attacked with approximately 10 miles to go and held off defending champion Michael Simonson and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski to savor a solo victory.

Event Developments: The Meijer Sno-Cone children's race is moved to the afternoon to allow parents to ride in the morning and watch their children race in the afternoon. The time adjustment is a huge success

Title Sponsor:

Total Purse: $33,300


Date: November 8, 2008

Weather: Temperatures hovered around 38 to 40 degrees with overcast skies. Hail and sleet both greeted the riders for the first time ever during this yearís event. Also included in the mix of widely scattered precipitation were rain, snow, and tiny frozen ice particles.

Number of competitors: 3,001 (Iceman & Slush Cup registration were held via an electronic lottery system).

Champions: Amanda Carey and Jeremiah Bishop

Race: Amanda Carey, (Kenda) attacked with approximately 10 miles to go and held off the hard charging pair of Susan Stephens and Heather Irimger to claim her first 'win' as a professional cyclist. Jeremiah Bishop (Volkswagen/Trek) jumped into the last single-track first and floored it for the next mile until he crossed the finish line.

Event Developments:

Title Sponsor:

Total Purse: $35,000


Date: November 7, 2009

Weather: Temperatures were a pleasantly balmy 57 degrees with sunny skies .

Number of competitors: 4,586

Champions: Alison Dunlap and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski

Race: Alison Dunlap (Luna) could literally hear her rival (and five-time Iceman Champion), Kelli Emmett, (Giant), breathing down her back as Alison crossed the line to claim her first Iceman crown. a scat one second gap separated the two friends from Colorado Springs. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Gary Fisher) took a page from 2008 champion Jeremiah Bishop's playbook and took the lead going into the final single-track in order to open a small gap on his Subaru-Gary Fisher teammate, Sam Schultz.

Event Developments: The start is moved from Kalkaska Middle School to downtown Kalkaska adding one mile to the course. The online registration system is not prepared for the onslaught of registrations resulting in two different online registration attempts both failing. A paper entry form is used and all riders submitting their entry form by the following Saturday were accepted into the events. The final tally is 4,586 riders!

Title Sponsor:

Total Purse: $40.000


Date: November 6, 2010

Weather: Temperatures in Kalkaska were a chilly 22 degrees at the start. The course was very snowy near the Williamsburg Rd. crossing and the Vasa Trail. However, the day warmed up to the low 40's which turned the trail into a river of melting snow and mud for the professional riders' start at 2:30 PM.

Number of competitors: 4,766 (registration closed 12 hours after it started).

Champions: Amanda Carey (2) and Brian Matter (3)

Race: Amanda Carey (Kenda) stuck to her game plan en-route to a convincing victory. 2010 marked Carey's second win in three years. Brian Matter (Geargrinder) attacked a strong group of five with four miles to go and was able to take advantage of a moment's hesitation to claim his third win in seven years.

Event Developments: Past Iceman results are now used for "seeding" riders in their particular waves. The entire finish venue becomes a gated area for the new "Celebration Zone" and now encloses the "Ice Hole" beer tent. Ice Capades Awards Ceremony is moved to Timber Ridge and is contained in the Celebration Zone. Awards are presented throughout the afternoon. Gary Fisher celebrates his 60th birth day at Iceman.

Title Sponsor:

Total Purse: $54,000


Date: November 5, 2011

Weather: Temperatures in Kalkaska were a brisk 28 degrees at the start but warmed up to the low 50's under clear blue skies creating perfect weather for celebrating the end of the cycling season.

Number of competitors: A total of 4,915 men, women, and children in sixty-four age and ability divisions, registered for three separate Iceman events.  (Registration closed 4.5 hours after it opened)

Champions:  Heather Irmiger, Boulder, Colorado, (Subaru-Trek) and Lukas Fluckiger, Wynigen, Switzerland (Trek World Racing).

Race:  Women: Heather Irmiger, Boulder, Colorado, (Subaru-Trek) tapped into her years of Iceman experience to secure her first Bell's Iceman Championship (1:46:06) over newcomers Chloe Woodruff (BMC Development), Tucson, Arizona and current World Champion, Catharine Pendrel (Luna Chix), Kamloops, British Columbia. Irmiger's winning effort came with less than two kilometers remaining as she put 12 seconds on Woodruff in the finale.   
Men: Lukas Fluckiger, Wynigen, Switzerland (Trek World Racing) and his brother Matthias traveled from Switzerland just to race in the Bell's Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge. Their traveling paid off handsomely as the pair took first & eighth places respectively. Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) of Harrisonburg, Virginia whittled a group of six riders with three kilometers left down to four with just over a kilometer to the line.  When Fluckiger came around with a half K remaining Bishop thought he was perfectly placed only to see Fluckiger turn on the after-burners and hold that pace all the way to the line. (1:33:05 to 1:33:07). Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) of Missoula, Montana earned his second trip to the Bell's Iceman podium in three years as he finished another six seconds back (1:33:13).

Event Developments: 

Title Sponsor: Bell's Brewery

Total Purse:  The combined men's and women's prize purse for the weekend totaled over $54,000 in cash for the professional and amateur riders. Over two hundred and fifty individual cash prizes were awarded throughout the weekend.  Over $10,000 worth of merchandise was also awarded to Iceman and Meijer Slush Cup competitors.



Date: November 3, 2012

Weather:  Temperatures in Kalkaska were a brisk 28 degrees at the start under clear skies. However a band of lake effect of snow settled over the eastern portion of Traverse City and Timber Ridge Resort resulting in an inch of snow at the finish line creating perfect weather for celebrating the end of the 2012 cycling season.

Number of competitors: 5,463

Champions: Georgia Gould, Ft. Collins, Colorado, (Luna) and Sam Schultz of Missoula, Montana (Subaru-Trek)

Race:   Women: Georgia Gould, Ft. Collins, Colorado, (Luna) attacked on a steep hill and dropped her competitors about 5 miles from the finish and soloed-in, securing her first Bell's Iceman Championship (1:53:12). Subaru - Trek team mates, Heather Irmiger, Boulder, Colorado, & Emily Batty,Toronto, Ontario, rounded out the podium with times of 1:55:03 and 1:55:09, respectively.
Men: Sam Schultz of Missoula, Montana (Subaru-Trek) finally earned a step to the top of the Bell's Iceman podium, relying on his years of Iceman experience to whittle the lead group down to five andthen win in a closely contested sprint (1:37:43). Geoff Kabush, Courtenay, British Columbia (Scott 3 Rocks Racing) and Brian Matter, Sheboygan, Wisconsin finished a mere 1 and 2 seconds behind Schultz.

Event Developments: An interesting new "Big Top" approach to the expo because of other rooms being committed at the Resort.  Logging also created some challenges, but ended up with more awesome single track closer to Kalaska.  Kalkaska  had a live feed cam setup for viewers to watch the start.  It was the first year for text updates to cell phones of riders progress.

Title Sponsor: Bell's Brewery

Total Purse:    The combined men's and women's prize purse for the weekend totaled over $54,000 in cash for the professional and amateur riders. Over two hundred and fifty individual cash prizes were awarded.


Date: November 3, 2012

Weather: It might be a wild one....

Number of competitors:



Event Developments:

Title Sponsor: Bell's Brewery

Total Purse: