The Pugsley World Championships are really more like a multi-day event, you’ve got the pre-race festivities on Friday night about which very little will be mentioned from here on, the actual “Race for Cash” on Saturday morning and the “Feats of Strength” portion that actually awards the PWC Axe on Saturday night. Today’s report will focus, mostly, on the race portion of the day and I’ll have another report coming up on the party portion of the PWC as well as the super fun event that reining PWC Champ Ron “Chewy” Moffit concocted to determine who would wield the Axe for the next 365 days.
Race day at the PWC dawned early with only minor effects from the pre-race revelry at T-Bocks, visiting Shockey at Rubaiyat and a final stop for some darts at the Corner Bar the previous night. Temps hovered around 15 degrees and there was already a light snow falling.
There was no entry fee for the race but a donation basket was provided so that racers could help out the Decorah Human Powered Trails group keep on keeping on with their excellent trail building efforts. Mike and I stopped in at Oneota river Cycles and had a chat with Richard “Deke” Gossen about, among other things, Decorah’s recent opening up of an additional 160 acres on the south side of town to add about 10 New miles of single track to the existing 25 or so miles already snaking through the bluffs above Decorah to the North.
So back to the race day report…The Decorah Elks Lodge was tapped as race central this year and the bar/lodge was manned by Decorah locals, husband/wife, world-wide cyclists and all around good folks, Ward and Jackie Budweg. Ward was already standing behind the bar when I arrived about 8:30AM to get a feel for how the day was shaping up. Decorah had received about 3 inches of new snow over the previous 12 hours and Race Director Spinner Ryerson and Toyota Bushwacker Pace Truck driver, Lee Allen “The Captain” Hackman were out re-marking the course while early arrivals milled about chatting about the day.
Plans to use an additional 11 miles of trail around the south side of town were scuttled as a ride on Friday night showed them to be drifted and unpassable in some spots.
Thanks to Jeff Friedhof and Eric Clement the PWC has the best payout of any fatbike race in the US that we know of with a $500 cash prize to the winner with 2nd and 3rd also getting greenbacks.
With an additional 1-3 inches of snow due to fall on race day the racers rolled out through town to the start on the road below Palisades Park.
The Captain was driving the Toyota Bushwacker Pace Truck for the gravel portion of the race so I had a backseat view of the first half of the course that climbed up a sizable hill out of town on a gravel road. A group of 5 riders, including Ben Shockey, Trevor Olson and a couple of winners form previous years, Jay “Hollywood” Henderson and Trevor Rockwell quickly putting a gap that continued to widen on the rest of the racers.
The race continued on gravel for several miles before dumping the racers, with the same 5 in the breakaway still bunched up, onto the singletrack in Van Peenan Park for the second half of the race on the tight, hilly Decorah singletrack. The trails had about a 12 to 18 inch racing line with the snow getting very soft just off the race line so it was important to keep to the line and plan passes anywhere you could.
Basically, there is not much more to report on the race except for the results because once they were in the singletrack they were gone! So, top 3…
- Trevor Olson – Rochester, MN
- Trevor Rockwell – Decorah
- Hollywood Henderson – Minneapolis, MN
We will have a complete listing of how all the racers fared when the RD confirms the finishing order.
What happened in the women’s division you ask? Well, it was pretty cut an dried, Kelsey Walsh from Madtown, WI was the only female entrant! So I’ll leave it to you to figure out who was first. Ladies, you left cash on the table! Come on out and race next year and get a pile of those greenbacks for yourself!
Click on a photo below to enlargeify it!