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EVENT REPORT: Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival

Brian Matter winning his 2nd consecutive Chequamegon 40 on Saturday

Mud was the theme of the the day at the 28th running of the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival this past Saturday! A very wet summer, with a relatively wet fall, and recent rains restulted in the wettest and rockiest Chequamegon in 10+ years.

In general, the leaders times were 5 to 10 minutes slower than their past times, indicative of the slow conditions. Additionally, all of last year's event champions repeated their victories in both the 40 and Short & Fat, with Brian Matter & Jenna Rinehart winning the 40 and Jake Richards & Anna Gangu winning the shorter event.

In the men's 40 race, it was a group affair until the Martel's Pothole, just shy of half way into the race, at which point the lead group was trimmed from 15 to 4 contenders. Brian Matter reported seeing several time Chequamegon Champion Doug Swanson endoing over his bars in the middle of the mud pit at which time chaos erupted in the group. Coming out of Martel's, Mike Anderson attacked hard on the climb and only 4 were able to respond. By the time they reached Lake Helane, they had over a 1 minute lead. The infamous Firetower climb was the next decisive moment for the lead mens group at which time the group was cut in half to 2 contenders. In the end, it was Matter who launched the the attack of the day, countering Schouten's attack in the final mile. Matter ended up 13 seconds up on Schouten.

In the women's race, the story of the day was 2 racers: Jenna Rinehart and Sara Kylander-Johnson. With Kylander-Johnson about 1 minute ahead at the "OO" road crossing (16 miles into the race), Rinehart simply "rode every hill as hard as she could". Rinehart eventually caught and passed a cramping Kylander-Johnson, putting about 2 1/2 minutes into Kylander-Johnson by the finish.

While we don't have details on the Short and Fat, we do know that both Richards and Gangu rode to dominating wins in that event.
Have a story to tell or photos to share? We'd love to hear it and publish it. Just drop me a line at cyclovaxcfrank@gmail.com

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