Today, Larry Warbasse racing for Aqua Blue won the US Road Cycling Championship. He now will have the honor of wearing the Stars and Stripes Jersey for a year. We hope we see that jersey riding around Traverse City some time soon!!!
Larry is quoted saying, “I’m in disbelief. I think this has been the best two weeks of my life.”
We believe it Larry. We never had any doubts.
Along with Larry, 2 other riders from Michigan rounded out the top 6. These include Alexey Vermeulen and Brent Bookwalter. Congrats men!
Specialized pro rider Howard Grotts won the 2016 Bell’s Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge with a time of 1:23:36 on a day that saw perfect “niceman” conditions.
He knows he got lucky with the weather but plans to return this year.
“No matter what the weather,” he added.
“I’d always heard about the race. Never had a chance to make it out, it’s kind of a fun time of year,” he said.
Coming at the end of the season he said conditioning is always varied amongst the pro riders, but the $6,500 payday for winning ensures the pros give it everything they’ve got when the tires hit the trail.
“Everyone is treating it as a fun race, but they put in a hard effort,” he said.
Grotts recently returned from South Africa and the Cape Epic stage race. He and his partner rode in support of Specialized Bike’s “A team”. They are allowed to help with a spare tire or bike in case of a mechanical failure. The team they were in support of finished the 7 day race in second place, 8 minutes down to the leaders.
Grotts is looking forward to a year of domestic races this year after racing UCI World Cup events in preparation for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“It’s a good time to step back from hunting UCI points,” he said.
He’s headed to events similar to Iceman to mingle more with fans in the United States.
“It’s an important aspect of being a pro racer, interacting with all the folks that are buying the bikes that I’m riding,” he said.
Entering his 6th year as a pro he’s still having fun and looking forward to races he plans to do for the first time this year, the Leadville 100 and the Breck Epic as well as the Epic Rides Off-road race series.
Grotts enjoys the early part of the race season.
“You constantly see results from training,” he said.
His weekly schedule includes two rest days, Monday and Thursday generally, sandwiched between rest days are an interval training day, tailored to whatever the next race is followed by a longer endurance day. For Leadville he’ll work on longer (30 minute) intervals, shorter races mean shorter intervals he said.
And yes, his job is still fun.
“Getting to explore new trails, whether they are in Africa or California, that’s probably the best part of this job,” he said.
Woodruff races to a 9th place finish at the Pan Am Championships in Paipa, Columbia
2015 and 2016 Iceman Pro Woman Champiton Chloe Woodruff traveled to the Pan Am Championships in Paipa, Colombia, where she finished 9th on her Pivot Mach 4 with Stans Valor 27.5 wheels set up with Maxxis Ikon 2.2s and a Fox Transfer dropper. With the race still being early season, Chloe went into the race with uncertain expectations as she is in a building phase for her upcoming season. “I’m used to coming into the race season full throttle. While my result wasn’t great, I felt good on my Mach 4 and had some fun racing in front of a fun Colombian crowd (and to see American Erin Huck win the gold medal!).” Chloe’s 9th place finish earned her UCI points, which is beneficial going into the later season world cups.
With the Sea Otter Classic (April 20-23) and Whiskey Off-Road (April 28-30) coming up, the Pan Am Championships showed to be a good opportunity to get back in the routine of traveling and racing
The 2017 Bell’s Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge will be on Saturday, November 4th.
Registation for the 2017 Bell’s Beer IcemanCometh Challenge will open on Friday March 3rd at 11:00AM. Once again registration will be limited to first 4,500 Iceman riders and 400 Meijer Slush Cup riders.
Searchable results for the 2016 Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge are here. You’ll also notice your November Ice Society points are reset. That’s because we’re all back at square one, training for the 2017 Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge.
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, 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.
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, 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, 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
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, 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
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, 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, 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, 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 (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, 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
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
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 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, (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 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, (M22 racing) is part cyclist, triathlete, business owner, barista, and bartender but he is 100% a competitor.
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