Nelson & Nelson Take Top Honors in Chico 21K

Hayward, WI (March 10, 2018) – It was a perfect morning under blue skies at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead as riders from 16 states and 2 countries rolled their way through the north woods of Wisconsin in the 6th annual 45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie, the world’s largest fat bike race. Riders tested their expertise and skill on the legendary hills of the Birkie Trail just east of Cable, Wisconsin.

“Watching the smiling faces of the riders rolling over the finish line today was confirmation that the day was amazing; amazing trail, amazing riders, amazing volunteers, spectators, and post-race atmosphere – it was an amazing day on the Birkie Trail,” said Ben Popp, Executive Director, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.

The 2018 45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie, presented by FreeWheel Bike, included the Big Fat (47K) and the Chico (21K) races. The field was comprised of first time Fat Bike Birkie riders, as well as seasoned racers making their sixth appearance at the event. The course was firm and fast, as cold overnight temps rose to a balmy 32° at the finish line. Racers reported that the trail held up beautifully for both races

This year’s Big Fat winner in the men’s category, Chris Stevens, is no stranger to the Fat Bike Birkie with a Top Ten finish in 2017 (9th place). Stevens ripped across the line in a photo finish just ahead of Corey Stelljes – 2017 Fat Bike Birkie 4th place finisher and 4th in the 2017 Cheq 40. Third place finisher, Cole House, holds the honor of 2nd place in the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series and 6th in the 2017 Fat Bike Birkie.

Women’s Big Fat winner, Jill Cederholm raced to the finish line with a 2-minute lead over second place finish Leia Schneeberger. Schneeberger had top podium honors at the 2017 Fat Bike Birkie and placed sixth in the 2016 race. Heather Stelljes locked in her third-place finish just over 1-minute behind Schneeberger.

The Big Fat 47K:


  1. Chris Stevens – New Richmond, WI – 1:48:12
  2. Corey Stelljes – Madison, WI – 1:48:12
  3. Cole House – Oneida, WI – 1:50:30


  1. Jill Cederholm – Mendota Heights, MN – 2:03:06
  2. Leia Schneeberger – De Pere, WI – 2:05:29
  3. Heather Stelljes – Madison, – WI 2:06:43

The Chico 21K


  1. Pavel Nelson – Cameron, WI – 55:33
  2. Jeremy Pomeroy – Marshfield, WI – 55:48
  3. Jack Brandvold – Minneapolis, MN – 56:29


  1. Shelley Nelson – Minneapolis, MN – 1:03:41
  2. Sara Conrad – Minneapolis, MN 1:03:48
  3. Jennifer Swift – Hayward, WI – 1:04:53

The Fat Bike Birkie was brought to you by: Title Sponsor – 45NRTH, Presenting Sponsor – FreeWheel Bike; Salsa, Surly, 9:ZERO:7; HED.; iSSi; Northern Lakes Cooperative Corner Deli; Clif; GU; nuun hydration; Borah Teamwear; Framed Bikes; TREK; Wildcat Groomers; Hayward Coffee Co.; BeFAST Sportgear; Dirt Bicycle Components; BEMER Group; MAXXIS; MAGURA; velofix; year-round Birkie lifestyle sponsor Slumberland Furniture, and Timber Ford, sponsor of the amazing Birkie volunteers.

Posted March 10, 2018 at 4:14 pm