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.

Pro Update: Chloe Woodruff

Pro Update: Chloe Woodruff

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

2017 Iceman Cometh Challenge Registration

2017 Iceman Cometh Challenge Registration  

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.

More information coming soon!