The team kicks off 2017 with a strong performance from Jon Throop, and Erin Reicha starts her title campaign with a hard-fought second place.
2017 got underway in earnest this afternoon, with a dozen riders on hand for the first of four Short's Brewing Fat Bike Series races this season. After taking at least one title every year in SBFBS, step one got off on the right foot.
It's a deep team, and one that reloads rather than rebuilds. With Ryan "Mr. President" Kennedy, last year's Series winner, out of action, Jon Throop stepped up in a big way for sixth, backed up by Luke Tjosvold and Wes Sovis in 8th and 10th, respectively. In true ERSB fashion, John Edingfield saved the race- and possibly the Series-for Luke, handing over his bike when Luke flatted, and helping to get Luke back on his own bike once it was fixed. It's been an theme for the squad for years, with riders helping each other stay in contention at their own expense, and one a smiling John Edingfield did without a second thought.
Wes Sovis showed himself nearing his old form, essentially time-trialing all day to nab his top ten and give the team three riders in the top ten. Mike Walters was next in for the team in 16th, with Jaden Drews carefully piloting his wife Sarah's new Bearclaw Bicycle Co. Balthazar to 21st. The team also had strong rides from Tim Reicha and Brad Hochstetler, with Hochstetler making his official ERSB debut.
Ross Clement came off his sick bed to fly the flag, ripping home for 13th in his age group. Don Marsh was also putting in a tough day in the saddle, plowing home for 15th, just a few seconds back. Wild Bill Gehringer kept at it and rounded out a strong day from the team, with John Edingfield not far behind after his double bike swap to keep Luke in the hunt.
On the women's side, the full weight of expectations fell to Erin Reicha, and she lived up to the whispered hype. She ground out some tough laps early as she picked through a splintered, often horizontal field, settling into a rhythm and holding on for second, prime position as she looks to take the overall title by March 4's Beard of Zeus.
As always, we couldn't do it without support from sponsors like Einstein Cycles, Breakaway Cafe, Short's Brewing Co., Air Way Automation, Solution Studio and Bayview Dentistry. Watch for more photos and news later this week as Jon Throops targets the US Fat Bike Nationals in Grand Rapids!