More fun, more miles. This past weekend, a number of Keen Racing’s riders toed the line in the Michigan Road Race State Championships right here in Traverse City!
When the biggest road race in the state happens to be in your hometown, you give it a go. For the first time in nearly a decade, the Cherry-Roubaix reprised its role as the Michigan state championships, pitting some of the best riders in the state not only against each other but against the rolling, steep hills of Leelanau County. The sixty-mile race was unique, too. It was the first time the state championship was run as a mass start, with riders from five different categories and a slew of age groups all taking off from F&M Park together.
It. Was. Wild.
That much horsepower made it really hard to shake up, but in true Keen style, we certainly gave it a shot. With Marc Brunette, Tim Pulliam, and Jeff Owens safely in the bunch, Mike Powers went off the front a number of times to try to establish a breakaway. One finally stuck, and Mike spent a big portion of the opening hour working in a small group a handful of seconds ahead of the peloton. They were only caught on the first truly tough climb of the day, Trumbull Road. Mike held on to the group as they were passed by the main body of riders, but overshot a corner on a fast downhill turn and spent the rest of the day chasing.
Marc Brunette also rode in, but he at least had the company of a few local pals. Marc has been working really hard this summer and it was great to have him out flying the colors!
Tim Pulliam battled through the middle third of the course, where the bulk of the race’s 3,000 feet of elevation were nearly sandwiched. Only one of the toughest times saw him lose touch with the leaders and he, like Marc, rode the final stretch of the race with pals. And it was a great day to be out in the Leelanau County; perfect temperatures, an awesome course, and a lot of friendly folks to pedal with.
It was all down to Jeff Owens, but with a flat sprint finish, Jeff had to play his hand on the final climb of Otto Road, just three miles from the line. He completely obliterated the bunch, but a lack of cohesion saw plenty of strong riders get back in touch for a massive thirty-plus rider sprint. Owens safely made it across the line, and overall, the team did an awesome job showing the blue-and-green Keen colors and supporting a very unique bike race that’s grown into a vital part of our community.
We love getting out there, and be warned, your next Keen Technical Solutions meeting might be on a bike, a paddleboard, or on a hike!
Check out the full results here.