Photo by Nate Ryan
Josh Bauer (Twin Six) and Nicole Mertz (ISCorp) topped the elite men's and women's fields at Donkey Cross this past Saturday at Baker Orchard in Centuria, WI.
Cool and dry conditions, under the sun, were a change from the 2 previous muddy years. This brought a record turnout of both racers and spectators. The winner of each of the 18 category races was treated to a peck of Honeycrisp Apples and Custom designed Medals. The Elite race winners also went home with a 6-pack of Wisconsin's own New Glarus Spotted Cow.
The Elite Women's race was a nail biter, with Jennifer Nowlin (Fix Studio) taking the Apple Hole Shot. From there, it was a race long battle for 1st between Mertz and 2014 winner Carrie Sansome (Foundry), with April Morgan (Foundry), and Corey Coogan Cisek (Fix Studio) in a similar battle for 3rd. It came down to a rare finish sprint, with Mertz narrowly edging out Sansome. Morgan outsprinted out Cisek for 3rd, with Nowlin rounding out the top 5.
The Elite Men's race saw Josh Bauer earn the Apple Hole Shot, and then quickly move off the front with CJ Faulkner (County Cycles/Trek) and Adam Gorski (Fix Studio). The furious pace set by Bauer gaped off Gorski, and eventually gapped Faulkner. However, Faulkner fought back late to rejoin Bauer for a final showdown. It was on the last lap where Bauer pulled away by just 10 seconds, to win back-to-back at Donkey Cross, and become the first 2 time elite men's winner. Gorski soloed in for 3rd, with Jameson Ribbens (Revolution/Twin 6) making a late charge to overhaul Drew Wilson (Milltown/Trek) for 4th place.
Thanks to Tom Nielsen of Coldwell Banker Burnet for donating the $1500 cash prize list. Thanks to Donkey Label for providing the merchandise prizes, and to John and Dan Baker of Baker Orchard for hosting this event for the 7th year running.
Race results can be found by clicking here.