The winning attack 2001 Iola
After a little digging around I found some photos from Iola 2001. I worked at Wolf Cycle at the time and they were a big Schwinn dealer so I had lots of Schwinn clothing and a good deal on bikes. Mike Spiro, 1996/ 1997 WORS Champion, also worked there so I had a great mentor at a time when I was learning to race. I trained and drove to a lot of races with him so I learned a lot about preparing and training for big races throgh him. I think it helped teach me how to focus on the race. I copied a lot of what he did for many years until I was established enough to know or figure out for myself what does and doesn't work for me, but seeing how it was done from the guy winning at the time had a big influence on the amount of training and suffering I would try and match.
Chad Melis (Sobe) leading me and Jeff Ott at Iola
In the early 2000's when WORS was at its peak the amount of guys riding in the Sheboygan area was huge. I bet there were over 20 good riders from the area that were taking up the top spots in the elite and comp fields so there was a big sense of competetiveness and energy from all the guys I rode with. The group rides were fast and hard, but I also had my own intervals I did that must have been pretty effective. I think a lot of the WORS races had tons more climbing in them from what they have now, and that went to my advantage a lot more when I was 18 and 140lbs. I can't think of any WORS race other than Subaru Cup these days with a climb over 30 seconds when in the early 2000s we had Alpine Valley, War at Wilmot, la Crosse, Devils head, and a couple others and they all had significantly longer and harder climbing per lap compared to what is out there now for a full race.
Anyway, it was kinda cool reading the history of WORS and around 1996 I started to remember the races since I was just getting into it then. I remember the mudfest at Onieda in '98 because it was the first race I could drive to and I got pulled over for no reason. The two week family vacation ended at the rainstorm in La Crosse in '99 for my first Expert race. I'll have to dig up some more pictures of that one, I know there was a tractor pulling cars out of the parking lot to end the day.