Morse and Brandvold Take Top Honors in Chico 21K
Hayward, WI (March 9, 2019) – It was a golden day at the 2019 45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie, the world’s largest on-snow fat bike race, held at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead near Cable, Wisconsin. Nearly 1100 riders competed with riders hailing from 22 states and 3 countries (United States, Canada, and Australia). Riders rolled their way through the north woods of Wisconsin and tested their skill on the legendary hills of the Birkie Trail.
“It was an amazing day for a race. There were lots of smiling faces crossing the finish line and that’s really what it’s all about,” said Ben Popp, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, Executive Director. “The Birkie staff works really hard to provide the best possible experience for riders, spectators, and volunteers alike.”
The 2019 45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie, presented by FreeWheel Bike, included the Big Fat (47K) and the Chico (21K) races. The field was stacked with returning competitors as well as first time Fat Bike Birkie riders. The course was firm and fast with temps rising to 38° at the finish line. Racers reported that the trail held up beautifully for both races.
This year’s Big Fat 47K champion in the men’s category, Corey Stelljes, Madison, WI, is no stranger to the Fat Bike Birkie with a second-place podium in 2018. Stelljes rolled across the finish line with a time of 1:46:26. Locking in a solid second-place finish was Chris Stevens, New Richmond, WI, with a time of 1:46:42. Josiah Middaugh, Vail, CO, rounded out the podium with a time of 1:46:47.
“The Fat Bike Birkie was at the top of my season’s goals. This totally completed my wish list,” said Stelljes. “The trail was fantastic, conditions were ideal, it was a fantastic event. I’ll be back in 2020, wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Women’s 47K Big Fat winner, Sonia Pond, Burnsville, MN, raced to the finish line with a strong lead over second place finisher Hanna Grinaker, St. Paul, MN, followed by Leia Schneeberger, De Pere, WI. Pond finished with a time of 2:08:47, Grinaker at 2:10:49, and Schneeberger at 2:12:58. In 2018, Schneeberger took second-place in the Fat Bike Birkie with Grinaker in fifth-place, and Pond in ninth-place.
The Big Fat 47K: — 45NRTH and Freewheel Bike, sponsors
- Corey Stelljes – Madison, WI – 1:46:26
- Chris Stevens – New Richmond, WI – 1:46:42
- Josiah Middaugh – Vail. CO – 1:46:47
- Sonia Pond, Burnsville, MN — 2:08:47
- Hanna Grinaker, St. Paul, MN – 2:10:49
- Leia Schneeberger – De Pere, WI – 2:12:58
The Chico 21K – Salsa Cycles, sponsor
- Jack Branvold, Minneapolis, MN – 53:58:14
- Somer Schrock, Houghton, MI – 55:36:55
- Cody Condon, St. Louis Park, MN – 56:03:56
- Kristina Morse, Hayward, WI – 1:04:14
- Amanda Mann, Waupaca, WI – 1:07:33
- Anne Grabowski, Minneapolis, MN – 1:08:53
The Fat Bike Birkie was brought to you by: Title Sponsor – 45NRTH, Presenting Sponsor – FreeWheel Bike; Salsa, OTSO, Anderson’s Maple Syrup, NUUN, GU Energy, CLIF, HED, Corner Deli, Borah Teamwear, Framed Bikes, TREK, Hayward, Coffee Co., TERRENE, Specialized, TOKO, TERAVAIL, year-round Birkie lifestyle sponsor Slumberland Furniture, and Timber Ford, sponsor of the amazing Birkie volunteers.