2013 Conquer the Village Race Preview: Wakeley and Brockmiller Heavy Favorites As Climb Looms


The first year event has brought out some ambitious riders looking for a massive test in Traverse City. 

Jorden Wakeley will look to take top honors in Traverse City in the first Conquer the Village race. Ever. He’s going up against former mentor and rockstar Ron Sanborn in the Pro class, though there’s a number of other contenders rumored to be making a start. The high climb seems to have sent a shiver down some spines, though the bouncing climbers are coming out to contest it in other categories. Ty Schmidt may be drawn five blocks west to make the start, while Einstein will also start Nate St. Onge, who is worth taking a trip to watch descend. The downhill master is licking his chops in anticipation of the fresh-cut downhill that brings riders down from the top of the climb. It’s tight, fast and challenging, and Nate should be able to create some massive  gaps on the way down. Hagerty’s Craig Webb and Steve Andreise may also make appearances, though they may be race-day decisions.

The main draw of the weekend will be the showdown between Lauri Brockmiller and Chelsea Strate. Brockmiller has had a stellar 2013 season so far and a win Saturday would be a big one, but the race is almost literally in Strate’s back yard. She’s done some solid recon of the course in the two weeks leading up to the race and has used the past two Speed of Light Rides as race-effort preparation. She’ll be ready to challenge in a race that starts less than a mile from home.

Wakeley should take home the hardware, and also take the cash prize for first rider to the top of the climb. However, Ty Schmidt could offer some solid resistance at altitude, and the current record time to the top will almost certainly fall. John Leach currently has the top time at five minutes and seven seconds, with the bulk of the riders coming in a bit over six minutes during training rides.

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