Brandvold and Furlong Top the Podium in Half Fat 21K
Hayward, WI (March 15, 2021) – The sun was shining on the 2021 Fat Bike Birkie, presented by Freewheel Bike, with start line temps hovering around 32 degrees. Held at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead near Cable, WI, riders rolled their way down the snow-covered American Birkebeiner Trail, on a looped course, as they made their way back to the finish line. Corey Stelljes and Sonia Pond were named champions is the Big Fat 47K, with Jack Brandvold and Bee Furlong first across the line in the Half Fat 21K.
The field of riders was stacked with returning competitors as well as first time Fat Bike Birkie participants. Riders were greeted with a perfectly groomed corduroy racecourse and temps flirting with the mid-40s at the finish line. The course was fast and held up well despite warming temperatures. For a third year, the 10K Fun Fat tour riders participated in the Fat Bike Birkie events.
It was a three-peat for this year’s Big Fat 47K champion in the men’s category, Corey Stelljes, Madison, WI, finishing in 1:38:46.0. Stelljes is no stranger to the Fat Bike Birkie with first-place podiums in 2019 and 2020. Just a whisker behind him locking in second place for a third year in a row was Chris Stevens, New Richmond, WI, with a time of 1:38:46.1. Steve Marshall, Wayzata, MN, rounded out the podium with a time of 1:41:54.2
Women’s 47K Big Fat 2021 winner, Sonia Pond, Burnsville, MN, clinched the title with a time of 1:58:54.2. Pond also held top honors at the Fat Bike Birkie in 2019. Second across the line was Kenzie Statz, Wisconsin Rapids, Wi, with a finish time of 2:00:11.8. Rounding out the podium was Erin Ayala, Brooklyn Park, MN, in 2:09:01.1.
“It was a beautiful day for a bike race. Cold overnight temps and great grooming made for a fast course for riders, even after heavy rain earlier this week,” said Ben Popp, Executive Director, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation. “We are grateful for the cooperation of all riders in following safety protocols which ultimately allows us to host great outdoor events like Fat Bike Birkie.
The 2021 Fat Bike Birkie events were unlike any other year with no international competition; no spectators; no indoor gathering or warm spaces, masking in the start and finish zone; riders carrying their own energy needs and hydration vessels; social distancing in the start and finish areas; no post-race party, takeaway post-race lunch and beverage, and an extensive list of safety protocols and measures in place for the safety of participants, volunteers, staff and the greater communities.
The Big Fat 47K: — Freewheel Bike, Sponsors
- Corey Stelljes – Madison, WI – 1:38:46.0
- Chris Stevens – New Richmond, WI – 1:38:46.1
- Steve Marshall – Wayzata, MN – 1:41:54.2
- Sonia Pond, Burnsville, MN – 1:58:54.2
- Kenzie Statz – Wisconsin Rapids, WI – 2:00:11.8
- Erin Ayala – Brooklyn Park, MN – 2:09:01.1
The Half Fat 21K – Freewheel Bike, Sponsors
- Jack Brandvold — Minneapolis, Mn – 42:34.39
- James Halverson – North Branch, MN – 43:48.25
- Connor Buchanan – Pleasant Prairie, WI – 45:02:53
- Bee Furlong – River Falls, WI — 49:41.13
- Wendy Stocker – River Falls, WI — 52:26.60
- Jill Beskar – New Richmond, WI — 52:27.27
The Fat Bike Birkie was brought to you by presenting Sponsor – Freewheel Bike Shop, other sponsors include: Anderson’s Maple Syrup, Earth Rider Brewery, Framed Bikes, 1Up USA, Clif Bar, Gu Energy, Nuun Hydration, Backroads Coffee Company, Borah Teamwear, Northern lakes Co-Op, Toko Cycling Gloves, New Moon Ski & Bike Shop, and year-round Birkie lifestyle sponsor, Slumberland Furniture.