KS-Energy Team Wisconsin Cycling’s WORS warriors were at it again, this time in Mount Morris, Wisconsin for the Scarlet Knight Scramble.
Rachael Jensen, Brian Matter and Jason Balden all gave strong efforts in the Wisconsin Off Road Series race where they enjoyed the course and race day conditions.
“Loved the course,” said Balden. “I was happy to see the weather was super hot and humid. I usually thrive on super hot weather and courses with a lot of climbing, and this event had both.”
Jensen had a great ride in the Cat 1/Pro field. She was riding a Scott Hardball and said the bike met the challenge of the rough terrain.
“It was pretty rough out there with all the rocks, but it held up well and was nice on the up hills!”
Rachael didn’t preride the race, but that didn’t hinder her performance. Tackling the course with success, she would go on to finish on the podium, grabbing third in a competitive field.
“I was pretty happy about that,” Jensen said. “I was pretty surprised because I thought that the heat was going to bother me more!”
On the men’s side, Brian Matter and Jason Balden would run into mechanical issues in otherwise good performances.
Matter was on the new Trek Procaliber, a mountain bike he said was “great on the climbs.” He would have a bit of trouble on the descents, and an early mechanical problem left him chasing the leaders for most of the race. Matter finished in fourth, barely missing the podium.
Balden was riding a 2011 Canondale Flash Carbon 29er, a reliable ride for him last season but this year it’s been giving him problems. At the Scarlet Knight Scramble, it would be Balden’s shoes that would give him trouble. His current pair of Bont shoes are having trouble getting into the pedals and Balden hopes to possibly upgrade to the new Bontrager RLXL Limiteds in the future.
The Team Wisconsin rider would start slow and finish strong, a pattern he’s realized is his typical race flow. The course’s many climbs would be trouble for the rest of the field, but an advantage for Balden.
“I knew I would be able to make up a lot of time on people late in the race who would have pushed them selves too hard in the first two laps.”
Balden finished in 13th and while he’s happy with the top 15 finish, is looking to do better in upcoming races.
“[I’m] happy with [the result], given my bad start and a bike that’s not working all that well, but won’t be completely satisfied until I can break into the top 10 on a regular basis.”