by Paul Warloski

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — Local pros Brian Matter (Gear Grinder) and Samantha Schneider (TIBCO) won the elite fields Saturday at the Braeger Mitsubishi Cross the Domes race.

Both Matter, who won the inaugural race last year,  and Schneider broke away from the field and won solo. Matt Schriver (3D Racing) and Isaac Neff (KCV Cycling Club) finished second and third respectively. In the women’s elite race, last year’s winner Abby Strigel (Mafia Racing) and former junior national champion Sarah Huang (ISCorp) rounded out the podium.

“I had a slow start, but by the end of the second lap , I had made contact with the leader,” Matter said. “I then gapped him right away in the sand pit. I held a five-second gap for about three laps, but was getting tired so I sat up and waited for some company. I let Shriver pull so I could recover a bit, then I gapped him again with a lap and a half to go in the sand pit.”

“I guess the mtb skills in the sand was the key!” said Matter, who’s going to Fort Collins for the USGP this weekend. “It was a good solid course.”

Schneider, who grew up locally, said the key to her win was patience and a good warm up. “I got to ride a few laps before the race and was able to get the flow of the course down before the race started,” she said.  “I also started the race kind of mellow. I wanted to get in the grove and avoid going out too hard. It was my first cyclocross race of the season and first time on my new bike so I just wanted to work my way into the race.”

Schneider and Matter both complimented the course. “Personally I really enjoyed the course,” Schneider said. “I think it had a good rhythm to it, and was fast. I love a course with a lot of twisting and turning in it. Also, I enjoyed the little off-chamber section.”

SRAM neutral support helped a number of riders with flats and riders who rolled tubulars in the first race of the year.

Cross the Domes, promoted by mwi cross, was the first race of the Wisconsin Cycling Association Crank Daddy’s Cyclocross Series. The race, which wound around the famous Mitchell Park Domes, changed course from last year, eliminating the big hill climb.

Part of the course was  moved to circle around the Clarke Square Moving community festival, organized by the Clarke Square Neighborhood Association and Journey House, that featured health information, skateboard demos, activities for kids, a drum line from Bay View High School, and several local bands.

Braeger Mitsubishi also sponsored the junior races, allowing juniors to race for free.

While both Matter and Schneider, as well as the top three of each category, received the famous Lebam Bakery cupcakes, they ate them differently.

“The cupcake was inhaled immediately as I was starving,” Matter said.

“I waited to collect my cupcake and money after results were final so I had to be patient about eating the cupcake, but it sure was worth the wait!” Schneider said.

Dream Bikes of Milwaukee organized a local kids’ race, sponsored by Specialized.  The Specialized  Demo trailer allowed visitors to try out cross bikes, and Orbea, the mwi cross team bike, was also on hand for demos.

Cross the Domes was the largest WCA race last year and more racers attended this year. Full results can be found here.

Braeger Mitsubishi Cross the Domes

Elite Men

1. Brian Matter (Gear Grinder)

2. Matt Shriver (3D Racing Team)

3. Isaac Neff (KCV Cycling)

Elite Women

1. Samantha Schneider (Team TIBCO-To the Top)

2. Abby Strigel

3. Sarah Huang (ISCorp)

  • Cat 3 Men: Chase Negley (Iron Cycles)
  • Cat 3 Women: Heidi Beck
  • Cat. 4 Men: Edwin Bagley (Iron Cycles)
  • Cat. 4 Women: Andrea Pether
  • Masters 35: David Staab (Great Dane Velo Club)
  • Masters 45: Christando Lombardo (Village-Verdigris)
  • Junior 15-18 Boys: Lionel Rocheleau (Gear Grinder)
  • Junior 15-18 Girls: Corrie Osborne (ISCorp)