by Zachary Schuster

The Trek Wisconsin Cycling Association Cyclocross series kicked off on Saturday with the Cross Shooshko race at Kosciuszko Park in Milwaukee. The event, hosted by Ben’s Cycles/Milwaukee Bicycle of Milwaukee, was the first of Wisconsin’s Super Cup series—the World Cup of Wisconsin CX, as it were.

The 2016 event was the third running of the Cross Shooshko race. Kosciuzko Park is a grassy park just south of downtown Milwaukee that is highlighted by a large hill that organizers effectively used in the layout of the course. The weather also played a role in the running of the race, as early morning showers threatened to turn the course from “a little slick” to “full-on Belgian (or in this case, Polish) mudfest.”

As the morning races wound down and the Elite women hit the course, the weather really made its mark on a series of tough off-cambers in the back portion of the course. (As seen in this video of the Cat 3 Men)

With the Lake Geneva Border Battle off the schedule in 2016, the women of the Illinois Psimet team decided to turn Cross Shooshko into their own personal interstate battle. The trip north of the Cheddar Curtain proved to be worth the trip as Sydney Guagliardo (Psimet Racing) navigated the slick course en route to a dominating victory. She was followed by a performance from fellow Land of Lincolner and Psimetter Kelli Richter (Psimet Racing). Erin Feldhausen (Trek Midwest) rounded out the podium as the first finisher from the Wisconsin contingent in the impromptu interstate battle.

Sydney Guadliaro celebrates her victory 2016 season-opening victory in Milwaukee. photo: Karl Hendrikse

Sydney Guadliaro celebrates her victory 2016 season-opening victory in Milwaukee. photo: Karl Hendrikse

Notably missing from the field was Wisconsin cyclocross legend Heidi Beck. Heidi suffered an unfortunate accident during Ragbrai last month, but fortunately she was seen at the race in good spirits despite the rain. It is safe to say that the entire Wisconsin cyclocross community wishes her a speedy recovery.

As the afternoon progressed, the morning clouds gave way to the sun and a beautiful Wisconsin late-summer day broke out. Accompanying the change in weather was a change in course conditions as the soggy ground dried out and the sketchy off-cambers become infinitely faster and more rideable.

The Men’s Elite race started with a bang as Dan Teaters (Team Wheel and Sprocket) asserted his presence by staking out to a huge lead by the end of the first lap. A chase group of about four riders emerged as Teaters maintained his blistering pace through the first few laps of the race.

In Wisconsin’s cyclocross scene, local riders speak with reverence and awe about native daughter Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale pb of Racine and native son Brian Matter (Team Wisconsin) of Sheboygan, so words among the spectators were “Where is Brian Matter?” and more importantly, “Dan Teaters!” About 20 minutes into the race, Matter emerged from the chase group and slowly worked his way back to the front and hooked up with Teaters for a two-man battle for the top spot.

The afternoon’s winning move came just before the start of the penultimate lap on a section featuring an uphill set of barriers followed by another set of barriers after two sweeping turns. Matter took advantage of a slight bobble by Teaters on the uphill barriers and turned on the gas to open up a several second lead by the exit from the second set of barriers. He kept the watts coming during the last two laps and motored to the top step of the podium, with Teaters maintaining a large gap on the chase riders for a strong second place finish.

Brian Matter navigates a corner en route to his victory in Wisconsin's 2016 season-opener. photo: Photo Credit Zachary Schuster

Brian Matter navigates a corner en route to his victory in Wisconsin’s 2016 season-opener. photo: Photo Credit Zachary Schuster

Matter and Teaters both were not done for the weekend after Saturday, as Matter prepared for his Chequamegon/Trek CXC double this weekend by winning the Wisconsin Off-Road Series mountain bike race in Lake Geneva, and Teaters trekked south of the Cheddar Curtain to win the first race of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup series.

The Trek Boone Ride of the Day award went to Kyle Russ (Brazen Dropouts Cycling Team). Russ was sorely missed from the Wisconsin cyclocross scene in 2015 as he recuperated from an injury. Russ placed himself in the three-rider group chasing Matter and Teaters and beat Mark Norton (Unattached) for the third podium spot in a thrilling finishing sprint.

Defending state champion Casey Hildebrandt (The Underground Project) rounded out the 5-person Super Cup podium. Casey doubled as race promoter and victor on Sunday, as he returned to his winning form at the local series Cross of the North race in Wausau.

The rest of the afternoon in Milwaukee was not without its highlights as well. The Master’s 35+ race featured a thrilling three-man duel between Jordan Roessingh (IS Corp Cycling pb SmartChoice), Seth Eckert (801. W Madison), and Al Krueger (Team Wisconsin) that Roessingh emerged victorious from. In the muddy afternoon Men’s Cat 3 race, Milwaukee native Harrison Winkel (Ben’s Cycle/Milwaukee Bicycle) returned to his pre-senior year of high school form with a dominating victory over a very talented field.

The Trek WCA Cyclo-Cross schedule now takes a hiatus, as local riders prepare for the Trek Cyclocross Collective Cup in Waterloo September 17 and 18 and a trek to Jingle Cross in Iowa City September 23 through 25. Local action will return on Saturday, October 1 with the Super Cup Flyover Silver Creek race in Manitowoc.

2016 Cross Shooshko - Milwaukee, Wisconsin Results - Elite Women

1Sydney Guagliardo PSIMET Racing
2Kelli Richter PSIMET Racing
3Erin FeldhausenTrek Midwest Team
4Holly LaVesserBen's Cycle/ Milwaukee Bicycle Cycling
5Julie PhelpsGryphon Velo Racing
6Claire Shurtz  

2016 Cross Shooshko - Milwaukee, Wisconsin Results - Elite Men

1Brian MatterTeam Wisconsin
2Dan TeatersTeam Wheel & Sprocket
3Kyle RussBrazen Dropouts Cycling Team
4Mark Norton
5Casey HildebrandtThe Underground Project
6Matthew KelleySBR Quantum Racing
7Seth Eckert801 W. Madison
8Matthew RileyKS Energy Services / MOSH / Team Wisconsin
9Tyler SteinL5 Racing
10Jorian GiornoISCorp Cycling p/b SmartChoice MRI
11Alex BedinghausTrek Midwest Team
14Joseph GarberHampshire Cycle Club
15Caleb KitzerowGreat Dane Velo Club p/b Capital Brewery
16Michael MeteyerTrek Midwest Team
17Eric HillLake Area Physical Therapy