This Saturday, the Yankee Springs Time Trial celebrates its 30th year of dirt, smiles, and bikes. A quick look at the field tells us that mountain bike racing in Michigan has never been stronger, with a big Elite field represented. Perhaps even more telling, the Sport class is the biggest category of all, with just under 300 riders ready to toe the line. It’s sure to be a day of competition, but also a celebration of the incredible trails found across West Michigan, as well as a coming together of all the cool people who enjoy them.
The event itself is significant for more than just being a bike ride with number plates strapped on everyone’s bikes. 100% of all proceeds go directly to the West Michigan Mountain Bike Alliance who have done an incredible job of keeping trails in the area in amazing shape for us and for future rippers. With all the warm and fuzzy feelings about the fundraiser, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that this dance party is a race after all. And a glance at the start lists leads us to believe it’ll be a darn good one, too.
You may as well throw a dart at the start list to pick a winner. With none of last year’s top four signed up as of this writing, it’s a wide open race. Brad White and Scott Quiring represent the top finishers from last year, and both are considered favorites any time they straddle carbon. Jody Jernigan, Joe Martin, and Bill Gallagher can fly on the right day, while Cadillac young gun Jared Dunham will look to make a name for himself at the top of the results sheet. Cody Sovis plans on riding his 3T Exploro, so that should be fun to watch, too. The unique layout of the time trail format means that starting position could play a role in the results, but with a course of this caliber, it’s assured that the stronger rider will inevitably make it to the top of the podium.
If White and Quiring represent the Old Guard in the men’s race, the women’s race is highlighted by its youth. Maddy Frank enters the race with big ambitions before heading to race at the collegiate level in the fall, and it really seems like this is the summer that Frank shines. A little older, and boasting plenty of race experience, this could be the season where it all comes together for her. Likewise, Emma Schwab has experience in spades, despite her young age. A frequent slayer of even the most fit soccer dads at our Speed of Light rides, it really seems like Emma’s talent is as limitless and her positive attitude.
These two certainly won’t have it all their own way, of course. Erica Stehouwer comes into the event with her name circled as a potential winner, with Jill Martindale looking to have a say in the final result sheet as well.
If you’re not already signed up, get to it. Your $35 entry fee gets you a free lunch, plus your best buds at Velo City Cycles will be there to make are you get to the finish no matter what happens out there on the trails. Perhaps most crucially, Rob Meendering Photography will be on-hand to ensure you look INCREDIBLE in your new Instagram picture that you BUY from him with money after the race.
We’ll see you there, but if you want to stalk us, you can do so on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even join our Strava club. See you on Saturday, spandex enthusiasts.