Chequamegon 40: Matter, Rinehart finish on top

27-year-old event saw more than 1,700 race

Brian Matter (Gear Grinder/Trek) captured up his second Chequamegon 40 win with a vicious attack two miles to go in the 40-mile race, setting a course record of 2:02:55.7 in the process. Jenna Rinehart (Specialized) also won her second race in 2:19:31.3.

More than 1,700 riders competed in the 27th annual Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 mile point-to-point race from Hayward to Cable, Wisconsin.

Matter's attack dropped Cole House (BMC), who taking risks on the final downhill corner nearly caught Matter at the line and finished less than a second behind. Three-time winner Steve Tilford of Topeka, Kansas, who initially went with Matter’s final move, finished third.

Rinehart's time for In the women’s Chequamegon 40 was five seconds slower than Lea Davison’s record time in 2008. Rinehart won in 2007 and finished second last year. She beat former champions Kyia Anderson (Hidden Bay/Cannondale) and Catherine Walberg (Team Kenda).   

House, of Oneida, Wisconsin, initially blew the race wide open in the early stages of the race, whittling a lead group of 40 riders down to eight 16 miles into the race. These eight were later joined by another seven riders pulled along by Mark and Jesse Lalonde (the 2007 winner). Mark eventually placed fourth, over a minute down on Matter, who made his first move when the course entered the rolling Birkebeiner hills with nine miles to go, and only House and Tilford could respond.

“I got on the gas with two miles to go in the last section of singletrack,” Sheboygan, Wisconsin native Matter said after the race. He last won in 2004.

House, whose legs were cramping, stayed in the saddle and tried to maintain Matter’s pace up the final climb.  

“I took a big chance on the last corner and railed it as hard as I could,” House said, but it wasn’t enough to catch Matter, who was a member of last year’s US World Championship cyclo-cross team.   

Women's race

Rinehart won the women’s race teaming up with the men racing around her.  

“I got in a good group of guys and just focused on their rear wheels,” she said. “The scariest part of the race was on the pavement. If you can survive that …”  

Rinehart rode the last few miles of the race alone, but by then she had established a comfortable seven-minute lead on second-place Anderson.

Jake Richards of Calloway, Minnesota, won the 16-mile Short and Fat race in 51:57.4, beating Tom Meyer of Seeley, Wisconsin by six seconds. Meyer was riding a singlespeed.  

Former Chequamegon 40 champion Cindy Bijold grabbed the women’s Short and Fat title. Brian and Kim Eppen (Mercy/Specialized) of Iowa City, Iowa, won the tandem race, placing 38th overall in 2:12:51.1 despite breaking a chain.  

For complete results, visit www.itiming.com

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