Navarro and Buchanan Take Top Honors in Half Fat 21K
Hayward, WI (March 7, 2020) – It was a bright bluebird sky and sunshine-filled day at the 2020 Fat Bike Birkie, presented by Freewheel Bike, 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 17 states and 3 countries (United States, Canada, and Belgium). 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 absolutely perfect day for a bike race. Cold overnight temps and great grooming made for a hard and fast course for riders,” said Ben Popp, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, Executive Director. “There were lots of smiling faces crossing the finish line and that makes our team’s hard work worth every minute of it!”
The 2020 Fat Bike Birkie, presented by Freewheel Bike, included the Big Fat 47K, presented by 45NRTH, and the Half Fat 21K, presented by Otso Cycles. The field of riders was stacked with returning competitors as well as first time Fat Bike Birkie participants. Riders were greeted with a perfect corduroy racecourse and temps flirting with the mid-40s at the finish line. Racers reported that the trail held up beautifully for both races. For a second year, the 10K Fun Fat tour riders participated in the 2020 Fat Bike Birkie events.
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 first-place podium in 2019. Stelljes rolled across the finish line with a time of 1:41:09. For a second year, Chris Stevens, New Richmond, WI, locked in a solid second-place finish with a time of 1:41:19. Peter Olejniczak, Minneapolis, MN, rounded out the podium with a time of 1:42.02.
Women’s 47K Big Fat 2020 winner, Leia Schneeberger, Madison, WI, raced to the finish line with 2019 champion, Sonia Pond, Burnsville, MN, on her heels. Schneeberger finished with a time of 1:59:28, with Pond at 1:59:36, and Heather Stelljes, Madison, WI, rounding out the podium with a strong third place finish at 2:01:09.
The Big Fat 47K – 45NRTH and Freewheel Bike, sponsors
- Corey Stelljes – Madison, WI – 1:41:09
- Chris Stevens – New Richmond, WI – 1:41:19
- Peter Olejniczak – Minneapolis, MN – 1:42:02
- Leia Schneeberger – Madison, WI – 1:59:28
- Sonia Pond, Burnsville, MN – 1:59:36
- Heather Stelljes – Madison, WI – 2:01:09
The Half Fat 21K – 45NRTH and Salsa Cycles, sponsors
- Connor Buchanan – Pleasant Prairie, WI – 49:17:59
- Ben Neubauer – Oshkosh, WI – 51:56:56
- Reed Cosgrove – Hudson, WI – 52:13:64
- Kristina Navarro – Cambridge, WI – 56:05:51
- Christina Spencer – Chaska, MN – 56:26:45
- Andrea Stanke – Green Bay, WI – 56:36:24
The Fat Bike Birkie was brought to you by presenting Sponsor – Freewheel Bike Shop, other sponsors include: 45NRTH, Salsa, OTSO, Anderson’s Maple Syrup, Teravail Tires, Earth Rider Brewery, Framed Bikes, Specialized Bikes, Terrene Tires, Toko Cycling Gloves, 1Up USA, Borah Teamwear, Sidas Insoles, UnTapped, Hayward Coffee Company, Northern lakes Co-Op – Corner Deli, Clif Bar, Gu Energy, Nuun Hydration, year-round Birkie lifestyle sponsor Slumberland Furniture, and Timber Ford, sponsor of the amazing Birkie volunteers.