Racing for Home: A Bike Race Through a Postcard

Many races accurately claim to take place in picturesque settings. Racing for Home, however, has a venue that’s tough to top. The course winds its way through the rolling vineyards, hardwoods, and some awesome singletrack of 45 North Vineyard & Winery to form one of the most fun and challenging courses on the calendar. Coupled with the incredible scenery the opportunity to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, it meant one heck of a fine day to be on your bicycle in Leelanau County.

The #YOUTHS Show Up In Force

The highlight of the day had to be the youth races, where almost 100 #YOUTHS took to the line to show their stuff. Kids from 3-18 raced distances varying from 1 mile up to 3 laps of a slightly altered race course.

The 3.2 mile 10 & Under race was particularly competitive, with Suttons Bay Bikes‘ Liam Wierzba blitzing the huge field of riders for the win, with Ben Burley, Norte‘s Grady Ellis, Ride Science‘s Zach Gerlando, and Justin Thompson rounding out the top five, respectively. Ella Sill had an incredible race to take the win in the girls’ race in that distance, with Emerson Jackson taking a strong second.

In the 11-14 age category, Norte’s Drew Humphrey romped to the win, with teammate Reese Cummins just 10 seconds back in second. How’s this for a killer ride? Avery Sill was the fastest girl, and third overall in the age group! Arie Ramoie wasn’t far behind in the girl’s category to finish second, with Gwyneth Schmitz taking home third.

The 15-18 year old race reminded the older generation that the end of our time at the front of the field is neigh, with Carter Schmidt, Drew Cummins, and Karsyn Rogers finishing 1-2-3 with incredibly fast lap times.

A huge congratulations to all the #YOUTH racers, and a big thank you to Norte for sponsoring the youth race at Racing for home!

The Old People Raced Too

In the Pro field, which consisted 100% of people with full-time employment or schooling, it was a matter of who could pace themselves the most efficiently on the tough course. Featuring plenty of steep climbs and plenty of tight single track, the leaders needed to time their big efforts to perfection and make no mistakes to have a shot at the win.

3T-Q+M‘s Cody Sovis pushed the pace early, with Nick Wierzba, Dave “Sunset” Scott, Sam Holmes, Rob Martin, and Paul Olson forming an elite train for the first half of the race. Brad Pauly, Dan Ellis, Kyan Olshove and Garrett Jenema overcame a bad start (getting stuck behind me) to form a chase.

With a lap and a half to go, Wierzba made his move, leaving Cody a minute back at the finish. Dave Scott, impressively pulling double-duty after racing the M22 Challenge on Saturday, took third. Sam Holmes put in an incredible ride for fourth, and Rob Martin rounded out the World Cup-style podium for fifth. Two young guns, Garrett Jenema and Kyan Olshove, finished ninth and eleventh, continuing the theme of “young-people-are-taking-over” on the day. Lauri Brockmiller beat every other Pro woman who stayed home on the couch to take the win for the women. Her lap times are a study in consistency, proving just how strong and measured her efforts are on the bike.

Racing for Home Was a Blast

A huge thank you to Trent Gskcpodkspdok from MICapital, 45 North Vineyard & Winery, and all the sponsors for putting this race together to benefit Habitat for Humanity – Grand Traverse Region. It was a total blast, and I hope y’all can join us next summer for an even bigger and better FUNdraiser in 2019!

If you missed the race, but want to toss a few bucks to Habitat for Humanity – GTR, you can do so here.

The incredibly handsome Jason Whittaker handled the timing for Endurance Evolution. Check out the full results here.

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