2019 Pro Women Preview

2019 Pro Women Preview

The 30th edition of the Bell’s Iceman Cometh is going to one of the most exciting editions of the race yet, and one huge reason for that is the decidedly unpredictable nature of the women’s Pro field. Just a single rider returns from 2018’s top five, which means we’re in for a wide open race in which tactics and brains will be just as important as the riders’ legs. From across North America, the top mountain bike talent will descend on Traverse City to vie for bragging rights, a big payout, and an even bigger bottle of Bell’s beer. The field of 22 just might be the most evenly matched to date, and we’re expecting some incredibly close racing for 2019!

The Favorites

A multi-time Czech national champion and Olympian in mountain biking and cross country skiing, Katerina Nash is a true legend of the sport. If we had to pick a favorite to win this race, it’s most certainly Nash. More than capable of winning any event she enters, the experienced Nash will look to take her second Iceman crown, with her last win coming in 2017 in dramatic fashion, just ahead of… well, see below!

Rose Grant takes up the line in the stead of her Stan’s NoTubes/Pivot Bicycles teammates Chloe Woodruff and Sofia Villafane. After having to write-off her 2018 season due to injuries, Grant has stormed back in style, winning the Leadville 100 in 2019. Grant came tantalizingly close to winning Iceman in 2017, where she was narrowly beaten by Katerina Nash. Based on her run of form in 2019, Grant has every chance to take the win when she and Nash renew their rivalry on Saturday.  

Haley Hunter Smith had a breakout year on the World Cup scene in 2019, becoming a fixture at the front of the races and getting plenty of camera time. This is her first Iceman, so be sure to give Haley an extra big cheer as she charges up Icebreaker – maybe for the dream scenario of a debut win!

She may be from Cadillac, but we’ve been calling her a local hero for years. Kaitlyn Patterson was a late entry to the race, but the perennial podium finisher is back! She’s not just here for the beer, either. She put in a dominant performance at Peak2Peak two weeks ago, and she’s seen everything Iceman can offer in terms of competition, course, and weather. 

The Dark Horses

Keep an eye on Leia Schneeberger from Wisconsin. She put on a show at this year’s Peak to Peak, coming in second place behind a dominant Kaitlyn Patterson and ahead of a bevy of exceptionally strong riders. She’s had some great races at Iceman in the past, but Leia looks to be on a whole new level entirely this season.

Maddy Frank is the pride of Grand Rapids, MI and she’s coming back to Michigan for a run at the biggest race in the Midwest. A student athlete at Lindenwood University, Frank has had a fantastic season of training and racing at the highest level in the collegiate ranks. Can she parlay that additional experience into a top five in 2019?

The Locals

Susan Vigland is as fast as ever, and this could be the year that she pulls off a huge win for all of Traverse City. She’s cracked the top in this race before, and she only needs a few things to go her way to take a big step up to the top of the podium. 

Vigland will have her equally strong teammate, Bridgett Widrig, available to play the role of foil, or win in her own right. Widrig has been training exceptionally hard and has the Iceman course dialed in perhaps better than anyone else in the state. Few riders in the Women’s Pro field will have the benefit of having a teammate in the mix, so this is an advantage the Hagerty women will be sure to exploit. 

The Pro field also welcomes Shannon Kochis to the mix for 2019. Kochis, having podiumed in her age group in every previous edition of Iceman, she’s looking to test herself against the very fastest riders in the event. That’s what Iceman is all about; setting ambitious goals, testing yourself, and seeing where you end up. We love to see people stepping up to the big dance, Shannon!


The Pro Women leave Kalkaska at 2:33 pm, so be sure to make some noise for them as the come in just behind the Pro Men. You can view the complete entry list for the 2019 Pro women here, and check out the results of the Pro women race from 2018 here.

2019 Pro Men Preview

2019 Pro Men Preview

Canadian and drop-bar enthusiast, Geoff Kabush, returns to defend his Iceman Cometh in 2019, but a glance at the start list will tell you Kabush won’t have the race entirely his way this weekend. A deep and talented roster of riders will toe the line to see if they can dethrone Kabush as Iceman champ on a course that is uniquely climb-heavy towards our home base at Timber Ridge. An elite posse of professionals, a motley crew of locals, and thirty miles of northern Michigan hero dirt will ensure the 30th anniversary of the Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge will be one of the most exciting editions yet!

The Pros

Can anyone beat Geoff Kabush? He’s on pace to win three Icemans on the trot, an exceptionally rare feat in the thirty-year history of the race. If anyone is going to unseat Kabush, we reckon it might be one of these guys.

Watching the finale last year, Alexey Vermeulen cut a determined figure in solitary pursuit of eventual winner, Kabush. Coming into the line completely spent, but just a handful of seconds behind a repeat champion, Alexey was always going to come back this year for another chance to take home the win. A former WorldTour pro, he has the talent. After another season of mountain biking under his belt, 2019 might just be the year that Alexey wins his first Iceman Cometh.

Former National Champion, Payson McElveen, will bring his mustache and good attitude back to the start line in Kalkaska for another run at the Iceman title. McElveen has come oh-so-close to victory at this race before, back in 2017, with a 2nd place behind (you guessed it) Geoff Kabush. 

If Kabush is unable to defend his title, Peter Disera sure wouldn’t mind keeping the title in Canadian hands. Disera has had an incredible year on the World Cup circuit, including a mind-blowing sixth place in Les Gets, France. His first crack at Iceman came in 2018, where he impressed on his debut with a fourth place. 

Russell Finsterwald is back again for the race, and we love having this guy in our Pro Men field. His fearless, attacking racing style has made him a fan-favorite and everyone would love to see him take a well-earned maiden Iceman win.

With his last win coming in 2014, Brian Matter is just plain due for a victory at Iceman. He knows this race like the back of his hand, and he only needs to read the race correctly in order to put himself in with a shot at winning. It’s a recipe he’s gotten right on more than a few occasions, and everyone at the finish line would love to see a true Iceman legend take another victory. 

A late addition to the race, Ted King flies the flag for Cannondale and maple syrup enthusiasts everywhere. The former WorldTour rider for Cervelo Test Team and Cannondale has been ‘retired’ for a few seasons now, but that’s simple meant he’s been traveling the country to crush skulls at gravel events both big and small. With race cancellations due to the Getty fires in Los Angeles, he’s swapping dry heat for cold, soggy fun for the first time. 

The Dark Horses

Matt Acker’s Beard is better known for 24-rides than short sprints like Iceman, but don’t count him out. The nastier conditions are, the better we like Acker’s odds for pulling one over on the favorites to take a W. 

Cole House rode a gravel bike at Peak to Peak two weeks back; perhaps a sneak peek at his steed of choice for Saturday? In any case, the perennial top ten finisher is someone to watch on Saturday. 

Nick Zambeck enters the Pro race with zero pressure and flying under the radar. A season of road racing has given him some off the charts fitness, and paired with his bike handling skills, he has the ability to hang with just about anyone. If Zambeck can get to the front group by Sand Lakes Road, he’s golden. For him it’ll be about managing his efforts of the last climbs and giving himself a chance to spring a surprise after Wood Chip.

The Locals

Jeff Owens is 135 pounds of positive energy and Traverse City’s nicest refrigerator salesman. Jeff whips up on us all summer long without so much as breaking a sweat, and his smile never fades, even if you’re going all-out trying to drop him. It’s infuriating! But he’s just so nice. It sure is great of all you fast guys to come up to TC to make Owens push himself. For once.

When it comes to crunch time at Iceman, Jordan Wakeley always seems to be there. He’s been on the wrong side of the deciding split on a few occasions, but if he makes the front group on the right side of Williamsburg road in 2019, even the biggest names will have their hands full trying to beat the Tower of Power from Grayling. 

Jamison Sheppard was a DNF last year, but this guy is the real deal. He’s a rider without a weak spot, equally comfortable on climbs, in singletrack, and blasting through two track sections. He’s due to raise more than a few eyebrows in 2019.

The Young Guns

We have to give a shoutout to a host of young guys taking on the Pro category. Keegan Korienek was a jaw-dropping 26th in his Pro Men debut in 2018, and we can’t wait to see what he can do this year after another season of riding and racing in his legs.

Hagerty’s duo of Garrett Jenema and Max Meyer have shown themselves to have talent and work ethic in equal measure, which is the ideal recipe for brewing up fast cyclists. These guys will undoubtedly test their more experienced counterparts come race day and for the next thirty years of Iceman to come.

Braiden Voss is another incredible young talent from Suttons Bay, MI, who is coming home from school to show everyone his stuff. He’s developed from a raw talent into a race-savvy competitor, and he’ll be in with a shout if he can get to the front before the fireworks begin. 

Almost a decade ago, we met this short, round kid from Cadillac and got him to race for the bike shop Cody worked at. This kid is now way taller and way, way faster than us. Tim Coffey is now a collegiate stud at Brevard, and he’s taking another shot at impressing his local fans with some Iceman glory. Papa Coffey must be so proud of this kid’s dedication to his sport and to school. 

Due to the exceptional class of riders this race attracts, this preview gets more and more difficult to write each year. If we missed a rider who you think will hoist the big bottle of Bell’s at Timber, be sure to tell us in the comments. 

The Pro Men take off from Kalkaska at 2:30pm. Get ready to yell your heads off for them along the course and at Timber Ridge in particular. Check out the complete start list here. Decide for yourself who to watch out for by taking a look at the 2018 results

Iceman Etiquette

Growing up, my dad would always leave my brother and I on the start line with two pieces of advice. As we fiddled with our gloves and gave our tires a final pinch, he’d slap us on the shoulder and say, “Hey, remember; it’s a race. But don’t take any chances”. Being punk kids, we’d nod and sort of shoo him away, rippling with pre-race nerves and a teenager’s embarrassment of having our dad hanging around on the start line.

Now, in my old age, I get what we he meant. This isn’t a spin in the County; this is the biggest race of the year for thousands of riders, and if you’re lining up, you’re there to try. Try to win, try to place, try to finish, try to have fun. The goals might be different, but there’s an effort that goes into getting from Kalkaska to Traverse City, and you owe it to everyone else on the course to respect that. There’s nothing for you to do but empty the tank and see what happens.

Of course, that sort of respect pairs with some basic etiquette that most mountain bikers are all too happy to practice. Cycling is a sport that lives and breathes because of countless unwritten rules and learn nuances. There are things you do, and there are plenty of things you don’t. It’s now, just as the jitters start to multiple and the nerves tighten up that it’s worth taking a deep breath and a step back to remember a few of those more concrete practices that are going to keep this race fun for everybody.

On Your Left. With 5,000 people in the woods, we can promise you two things. First, you’re going to pass a few people. Second, a few people are going to pass you. Knowing that, make an effort to overtake slower riders carefully and respectfully, and help those passing you by moving over whenever and wherever the course allows. Announce your approach, verbally indicate which side you’d like to pass on, and wait for the slower rider to verbally call you through. If you’re in a bunch, communicate how many riders might be passing with you. If everyone talks, stays calm, and does their level best to cooperate, then both the faster and slower riders are going to have a faster time in the long run. Do you know the best $8 you can spend this week at your local bike shop? It’s $8 on a nice, loud bell. Seriously.

Walk It Out (or Over). Some of the hills out there are brutal. Loose sand, big bunches, and the grind of a tough day in the saddle can turn these short, sharp inclines into formidable ascents. If you do need to walk, it’s cool. Once you’ve got your feet on the ground, make an effort to move as far to one side of the trail as you can to allow other riders with momentum to keep riding. Most walkers tend to move to the right, but use your best judgement about where to go to keep both yourself and other athletes safe.

Play Fair. We’ve got 55 waves slated for Saturday, and you’ve found a happy home in one of them. Start in that wave; as you know, starting early will get you DQ’d. Starting in a later wave is still not great as your time starts when your wave does. We understand things happen just know that you timing starts when your wave crosses the start line not your bike. Additionally, don’t try to line up in an earlier wave and then linger in the chute, assuring yourself a front row spot. There was a rash of this in 2018, and I’ve been deputized to put an end to it. If you’re caught, you won’t just get held back for your wave, you’ll be held back with me listening to stories about how fast I used to be. That’s a miserable way to spend a morning, just ask Steve Brown. Remember, riding with someone else’s number plate puts our medical and search and rescue team in a bad position. Doing so gets you banned for life, so don’t even try it.

Drop Out, Shout Out. Look, sometimes it just isn’t your day. If you do drop out of the race for a non-medical emergency, let us know. There’s a phone number on the back of your number plate to communicate your DNF. We can help you get to the finish by car, or you can make your way to the nearest aid station for extraction. You may have to wait a little while, but there will be snacks and a blanket for you, so it isn’t all bad.

Perspective. Look, we all want to do well, but remember why we’re all out here. For 99% of us, this is a hobby. That first place check spends quick, but how you act, how you treat your fellow racers, and how you represent your family, club, and community doesn’t go away. I couldn’t tell you what place I finished in a particular year, but I will never forget how I raced and the friends I spent an hour and forty minutes in the wood with. For the next year, you’ll remember what and how it all happened, not the digits on the results sheet.

Have fun, go fast, and most important of all, look out for each other.

Your Best Race Day: 7 Tips for Iceman Success

Your Best Race Day: 7 Tips for Iceman Success

Your Best Race Day: 7 Tips for Iceman Success

By the Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center Physical Therapy Team in Traverse City, MI

 1. Train Adequately in a Realistic Setting

As the weather changes and available daylight wanes with each passing day, it’s very tempting to hop on your indoor trainer. However, even if you have a solid indoor setup that can seemingly mimic hilly conditions, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an indoor environment that can truly simulate the Iceman course. We suggest logging in as many trail miles as possible – though not just on any trail.

“This race is full gas from start to finish,” cautions Johanna Schmidt, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center who has completed Iceman six times. “You’re breathing hard the entire time so you’re not really prepping yourself properly on a single track.”

The avid cyclist – who also co-founded the youth-focused, cycling advocacy organization Norte with her husband Ty – recommends familiarizing yourself with the actual Iceman trail itself if you’re local. Still, the most optimal training can happen right in your own backyard. Schmidt says she owes her best race results (placing 6th) to combining both road racing and mountain bike training, including multiple treks up Wayne Street, a hilly road running alongside Ashton Park in Traverse City.

 2. Train on Your Race-Day Bike

Just as important as replicating your environment is training consistently on the same bike you’ll be racing with next month. This will allow you to be comfortable and familiar with the fit, the gearing, and the control of your equipment. Another bonus? Training on your race-day bike may alert you to aches and pains, such as knee pain, that the bike itself may be causing. These physical warnings can signal a few needed tweaks, such as adjusting your saddle height. And if your own adjustments aren’t hacking it, you still have time to seek help from a professional bike fitter in your area who can better pinpoint any biomechanical issues.

 3. Get a Tune-up

Perform a proper tune-up of your bike before the event. This includes checking the condition of the brakes, chain, and derailleurs. If you’re new to racing or just not mechanically inclined, it’s a good idea to have a professional do it.

4. Pace Yourself

It’s always critical to pace yourself according to your ability and the quality of your training. If you are new to racing or you are pretty certain you are not going to win the race or be in contention, then it’s probably not a good idea to start at the front of the line. “If you’re a first-timer or you’re not racing to win, seek out a group toward the back whose pace is more in line with your own,” says Physical Therapist Josh Thorington, PT, DPT, Manager of Rehab Services at Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center. “It will help you manage the race better. Plus, you don’t want to have to drop out of the race because you’re too tired from pushing yourself too hard at the start.” Regardless of your ability, remember that Iceman is a long race: don’t use all of your energy to the point that you can’t finish.

5. Dress Strategically on Race Day

It’s northern Michigan and you just never know what you’re going to encounter. Our advice? It’s easier to shed layers than it is to add them. Dress in clothing that you can easily peel off or slide down. Think vests that keep your chest warm but your arms cool, arm warmers (which you can slide down once you’re warmed up), and even clothing you don’t mind losing permanently should you need to lose a layer en route. Schmidt recommends underdressing, a tactic that has personally worked for her. “People tend to overdress,” she shares. “But when you’re overheated, it can be difficult to go fast. Even if it’s 40 degrees, a mile or two in, you’re already sweating.” In addition to a vest and arm warmers, Schmidt wears a jacket at the start line and gives it to a loved one right before start time. “Or bring something you don’t care to ever see again and discard it before you get going.”

6. Manage Injuries Now

As we mentioned above, pain can stem from something as simple as crank length. However, if you injure yourself or you’re experiencing pain such as a sore back or aching joints and muscles both on and off your bike, it’s important to manage your injury now. The rehab Team at Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center can evaluate you to determine the exact issue and provide interventions that will get you back in shape for race day. “Our goal is not only to get you back to racing pain free but to keep you racing pain free by creating a program that is tailored specific to you,” says Thorington.

 7. And Finally…

Don’t forget your helmet!

Get access to our enhanced rehabilitation services, including physical therapy, to help you get back to your everyday amazing! Find a Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center location near you.

About Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center

Specialized, coordinated care is what you can expect through Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center. This unique collaboration gives our region’s athletes access to one of the largest and most comprehensive rehabilitation hospitals in the United States. Learn more here.

#NovemberIsComing: Wes Sovis’ Wave Assigment Advice

Wes Sovis has been on every end of Iceman. From a Wave Two start to the Pro race, from being one of the most impressive rides of 2018 to walking out of the woods and climbing into a car at Dockery in 2014, Wes seems to experience the Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge in extremes. 

While plenty of riders have ridden more editions of the race, few have tackled as many from as many angles. From the front of the pack to suffering and seeing dozens of riders go by, he’s gained a bit of perspective. Ahead of next month’s wave assignments, his tip for the race is especially prescient. 

I’d tell people is to not sweat your Wave or even your start during the race. There are 30 miles to show your stuff – wherever you finish, that’s where exactly you deserved to be. My best Iceman of all time was when I started in Wave 2. Even in Wave 3, I got to the finish line with absolutely nothing in the tank. Just ride your race and don’t get caught up in the craziness at the start. All those people who shoot ahead in the first two miles? If you ride your race correctly, you’ll see them again before the finish.

Especially with the course changes in the final four or five miles, there’s plenty of wide trail and elevation to sort things out before you get to Timber Ridge. Pacing yourself for the first 15 miles pays off in a big way in the final 15; ask yourself how hard you’re working, but more importantly, ask why. Did you just sprint up the hill and get five seconds ahead of a group that’s been trading pulls for a few miles? What was the point? I try to think of it as a time trial; it’s like spreading peanut butter on toast. You want it to spread evenly and not run out before you get to the other end of the slice. 

Welcome 2016 Pro Men Racers

Welcome 2016 Pro Men Racers

Once again, we have tons of horse power about to push each other to the limits of their bodies and bikes.    Race starts at 2:30 in Kalkaska. Don’t miss it.


Troy Wells

Troy, 32, is returning to defend is 2015 Pro Men’s win.  Hailing from Durango, Co., and races for Team Clif Bar Cycling. He finished 3rd at the October 16th US Open of Cyclocross. Apparently he is one of the riders on the Team Clif Bar with the most nicknames. “The Bear” and Trois Biscotti” are two of our favorites. We’re quite sure he enjoyed the 2015 Bell’s Sunset After Party since he pretty much closed it down.  We couldn’t stay awake that late.

@tdub255

Russell Finsterwald

Finsty, 25,  finished 4th in 2014 & 2015. He comes from Boulder, Colorado and races for SRAM | Troy Lee Designs Race Team.   He recently finished 3rd at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals STXC race.  He’s been racing Iceman since the time when he’d try to get a fake i.d. to get into the After Party and now he practically owns it.   @finsty  http://finsterwald.bike

 Todd Wells

Todd Wells, 40, of Durango, Co., races for SRAM/Troy Lee Designs, and is just killing it this year.  Although we know he has a history of winning including fourteen National Championship titles across four disciplines. This year he’s finished first in the following races: 1st Sea Otter Classic XC, 1st at Whiskey 50 Off Road Crit, 1st Grand Junction Off Road 1st, Leadville 100 and 1st in the USA Cycling Marathon National Championships!  Be afraid other pro racers.  Be very afraid. Last year he finished 6th overall.  @yotwells

Brian Matter

Brian, 37, finished 7th in 2015.  In 2016, he’s won the Midwest MTB Classic Day 2, New Glarus Road Race and the Sun Prarie Cup.   After his win in 2014, Brian holds the record for the most wins at 4!  Will 2016 make it a 5th?  We can’t wait to find out.  Brian is sponsored by Trek / Bontrager / Shimano / Pro Gold / JTree / Rock Shox.  He also rocks the Bell’s After Party.  Don’t miss it.  Find him at b-matter.com/ and on Twitter  

@TheWiscoDisco

Travis (TJ) Woodruff

TJ , 33, races for his own coaching company Momentum Endurance, and Pivot Cycles, his best finish is 7th Always a solid rider, he’s not going to let any one take a break on Saturday.  His wife Chloe will be ripping it up with the Pro Ladies and was last year’s Champ.@tjwoodruff

 Ben Sonntag

Ben, 36, from Durango, Co finished 8th in the 2015 Bell’s Iceman and 5th in the 2012.  He rides for 9niner bikes/ Team Clif Bar Cycling.  He finished 4th in the US Cup/Bonlli Park XC #2. Welcome back Ben!@ZeGermanCyclist

Tristan Schouten

Schouten, 34, won the 2003 Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge.  He finished 11th last year. He hails Plymouth, WI and rides for Rolf Prima/Atitude Sports.@SchoutenTristan

 Brad White

Brad, 34,  resides in Holland, Michigan and races for UnitedHealthCare. He’s a former All-American collegiate swimmer and his renown sprinting skills have earned him the nickname “Captain America”. He won the Wilmington Grand Prix this year and has been spotted doing course recon.  @bwcycling

 Cole House

Cole, 28, placed 10th last year. He hails from Oneida, WI. This year he came in 1st in the Reforestation Ramble, 2nd at Treadfest, and 4th at Celtic Cross CX.  He’s raced every year since 2011, with his best result being 5th in 2014.  @Cole_House

Stephen Ettinger

Stephen, 27, finished 5th in 2013.  He is also a member of Team USA.  He comes from Cashmere, WA. He’s certainly looking for the top step this year.  He’s been spotted this week in the woods of Northern MI with the crew from Einstein Cycles. @settinger_

Spencer Paxson

Spencer (Bellingham, Wash./Kona Bicycles Factory Team) is new to Iceman but definitely not new to racing. He’s a 6x US National Team Member and 2x Olympic Long Team Member.  Welcome Spencer! @slaxsonMTB

 Howard Grotts

Howard, 23, was the only member of the 2016 USA Men’s Olympic Mountain Bike team. He is a newbie to Iceman. He races for Specialized and was 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships U23. Welcome Howard!  @HowardGrotts

Isaac Neff

Isacc, 30, rides for Neff Cycle Service.  He was 18th 2015 and 6th in 2014. In 2016, he finished 1st in the Midwest MTB Championships day 1. He says his bike and his body are dialed and ready for this year! @neff_Isaac

Rob Squires

Rob, 26, races for Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team.  He won the Fat Bike World’s this year.  It’s his first Iceman, but we think he’s gonna love it!  Welcome! @robthesquire

Payson McElveen

Payson, 23, of Durango, Co. races for  RideBiker p/b Sho-Air .  He finished 8th at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals, XC.  Welcome Payson!

Don’t forget our top local racers who know the course and plan on giving the pro’s a run for their money: 

Jorden Wakeley

Jorden is racing a new bike from Cannondale, for a new sponsor M22 and has a new hunger that he didn’t have last year.  He’s in this race to win it and we can’t wait to watch him try.  He finished 9th last year, has podiumed at many Michigan races this year including winning Ore2Shore and is the 2015 Arrowhead Ultra winner. @JordenWakeley

Alex Vanias 

Alex, (Team OAM Now), placed 12th last year and just won Peak2Peak.  He’s fast on skis and bike, don’t let his quiet personality fool you…he’s an animal.

Jeff Owens

Jeff will be racing for Keen Technical.  It’s his first time at the big dance but that doesn’t make him a wall flower.  Jeff is humble, but has a stamina and speed that is the envy of Traverse City.

Sean Kickbush 

Sean, (M22 racing) is part cyclist, triathlete, business owner, barista, and bartender but he is 100% a competitor. 

Cody Sovis,

Cody (Einstein Racing), won the Men’s Fat Bike division last year.  He’s no stranger to the Pro Race, but this year he’s rebuilt himself.  He’s faster. Stronger.  And quite possibly the funniest blogging cyclist we know.  Kolotc.wordpress.com

It’s gonna be good folks.  So, so good.

Welcome the 2016 Pro Women’s Racers

The Pro Women’s field is shaping up nicely with some familiar names and some new ones.  It’s going to be a great race to watch!

Chloe Woodruff: 

Chloe is returning in 2016 as reigning Women’s Champ for 2015! We are so glad she is back defending her title and we love seeing kill our course.   Sheis no stranger to Iceman as took 2nd in 2013, and has been racing mountain bikes since 2002.  She races for Stans NoTubes and rides a 9niner. And if you’re wondering about the After Party at The View in 2015… yup, she arrived late but won that too.  Find her at http://www.chloewoodruff.com/ or on twitter @chloewoodruff 

Amy Beisel:

Amy is making the trip from Gunnison, Colorado.  After finishing 6th in 2015, she’s back and ready for another shot at the top step of the podium.   She races Team RideBiker p/b Sho-air |Isoride |LIV. She credits her brother, also a pro cyclist, with encouraging her to buy her first mountain bike.  Amy is also the reigning Fat Bike World Champion.  You can find her on Ice Society and Facebook. 

Erin Huck:

Erin is coming from Boulder, Co. Erin finished 4th last year and knows what she needs to do to get the Ice Trophy!  She rides for SCOTT-3Rox. She took 1st at the 1st US ProXCT #1, Bonelli. Contact  here on Ice Society, http://erinhuck.com  or twitter @EEHuck

Catharine Pendrel

No stranger to being a winner, Catharine returns to Bell’s Iceman this year.  She won the 2013 Pro Women’s race but even more impressive is her winning a Bronze Medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Not only that, she also won her 3rd Overall World Cup title this year.  She races for the Luna Pro Team. It’s going to be a pleasure to see her in our Northern Michigan Woods again. 

Haley Batten

Riding with Luna Pro Team with Catharine is Bell’s Iceman newcomer Haley Batten.  At only 18 years old and an already impressive resume, we look forward to watching Haley for many, many years to come.  Welcome to Bell’s Iceman Haley!

Riding with Luna Pro Team with Catharine is Bell’s Iceman newcomer Haley Batten.  At only 18 years old and an already impressive resume, we look forward to watching Haley for many, many years to come.  Welcome to Bell’s Iceman Haley!

Also in the mix are Local Michigan Favorites:

Mackenzie Woodring, a member of the USA Paralympic squad with her tandem partner. They’ve won 4 medals including gold.  We haven’t seen her at Iceman in a while but in 2013 she placed and impressive 3rd overall.  Welcome back Mackenzie!

Susan Vigland, is the quintessential local sweetheart.  She’s raced Pro Women before but she’s back and faster than ever.  Don’t be surprised if 99% of the crowd is cheering for her!

Kaitlyn Patterson showed up at her first Bell’s Iceman raced last year and made everyone take notice by placed 5th!  She moved to Ann Arbor but has been on the top step more times than we can count this year.  We can’t wait to see what she has in the tank for this year’s Bell’s Iceman!