Brandon Krawczyk, Revolution Cycle & Ski, took his 1st ever Ken Woods Cat 1/2 Road Race title, in truly epic conditions. 38deg, steady rain, and blustery winds had 2/3's of the mornings starters abandoning the race, seeking the warmth of church blankets and the inside of their car. Jordan Cullen, Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development finished 2nd, with Chris Doig, Freewheel, rounding out the podium in 3rd.
The Cat 1/2 race, with 29 starters, was scheduled for 4 - 21 mile laps. Freewheel took control right from the start, with Ian Stanford and Doug Swanson drilling it in the first crosswind section, splitting the field in half. Some dropped riders simply turned around, and headed back. Can't blame them.
The 16-year old Cullen attacked the remaining field on the finish hill, drawing out Greg Brandt, Kenda 5-Hour Energy. Adam Hanson, Synergy bridged up, and the trio worked together to stay away for the first half of lap 2. Hanson suffered a mechanical dropping off the pace, while Krawczyk, Stanford, Swanson, and Doig bridged up to the 2 leaders. The group of six cooperated for the remainder of lap 2. Every rider in the group was frozen to the core, and the race was only half over.
In the crosswind on lap 3, the winningest rider in Ken Woods history, Swanson, succumbs to hypothermia, and abandons the race. A few miles later, the 5 remaining riders hail the following official, and ask to shorten the race to 3 laps. Motion seconded, and passed.
In the short cross wind section towards the end of the south leg of the course, Cullen attacked and no one immediately reacted. He spun-out his junior gears in the tailwind, seeking the glory of Ken Woods RR champion.
Krawczyk was the first to bridge up, followed a bit later by Doig. The trio worked together into the hill on the west leg of the course, where Cullen attacked, drawing out Krawczyk, leaving Doig behind. The leading two traded body blows all the way finish, in a flurry of attacking and counter attacking. Approaching the finish, Krawczyk baited the youngster into jumping early in the headwind, taking the victory by a healthy margin.
Hats off to the Gopher Wheelmen, their volunteers, and especially the race officials for putting on a great race in the worst of conditions.
Full results for all fields can be viewed HERE.