HANCOCK - One might say Kate McCloud kicked her 16-mile ride at the Keweenaw Chain Drive into high gear. That is, if she had more than one.
McCloud, a Liminga native now living in Madison, Wis., rode her single speed across the finish line at Portage Health before any other woman Saturday.
"Being on a single speed, I just kind of wanted to get out there and ride, but after the rollout (through downtown Houghton and over the Portage Lake Lift Bridge to begin the race), I started to pick up places in the line," she said. "My mom's racing this one too, and she has gears, so I really wanted to catch her and I did."
Kate McCloud, a Liminga native and Madison, Wis., resident, crosses the finish line to win the women’s 16-mile race at the Keweenaw Chain Drive at Portage Health in Hancock. McCloud completed the course on her single-speed bike in one hour, 23 minutes and 51 seconds. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
In fact, McCloud was one of six family members participating in this year's Chain Drive. She caught her mom just before the halfway point and went on to finish the 16 miles in one hour, 23 minutes, 51 seconds.
Mom Kathy Abbott, herself a former winner of this race, went on to finish third among women in the race, while sister Marika Abbott was fifth.
McCloud rolled in a comfortable 2:50 ahead of second-place Keely Jackson of Hayward, Wis.
1. Brian Matter, Sheboygan, Wis., 1:58.09.3; 2. Tyler Gauthier, Ishpeming, 1:58.10.5; 3. Ryan Baumann, Green Bay, Wis., 2:05.35.0; 4. Todd McFadden, Duluth, Minn., 2:06.42.9; 5. Tom Carpenter, Marquette, 2:09:25.5; 6. Colby Lash, Marquette, 2:09.48.1; 7. Nikolai Anikin, Duluth, Minn., 2:10.14.8; 8. Kyle Sarasin, Marquette, 2:10.19.1; 9. Justin Weber, Dollar Bay, 2:10.28.1; 10. Aaron Swanson, Ashland, Wis., 2:11.11.3.
1. Diana McFadden, Duluth, Minn., 2:26.38.4; 2. Cooper Dendel, Marquette, 2:28.21.1; 3. Andrea Matter, Sheboygan, Wis., 2:30.58.7; 4. Nicole Alexander, Marquette, 2:38.11.1; 5. Adina Christian, Marquette, 2:39.15.7; 6. Christina Bennett, Marquette, 2:56.15.9; 7. Melissa Putzer, Oshkosh, Wis., 3:06.08.9; 8. Valerie Denoble Foley, Rhinelander, Wis., 3:21.38.6.
1. Cody McGrath, Negaunee, 1:11.22.3; 2. Collin Kytta, Negaunee, 1:12.26.7; 3. Daniel Henderson, Hancock, 1:13.30.3; 4. William Ellerbruch, Negaunee, 1:13.30.9; 5. Daniel Mead, Ishpeming, 1:14.15.7; 6. Oskar Karinen, Painesdale, 1:14.15.7; 7. Craig Thomas, Marquette, 1:14.44.5; 8. Justin Hoffmeyer, Dollar Bay, 1:14.54.1; 9. Luke Schuttenheim, La Crosse, Wis., 1:16.08.3; 10. Robert Riutta, Ishpeming, 1:18.01.4.
1. Kate McCloud, Madison, Wis., 1:23.05.1; 2. Keely Jackson, Hayward, Wis., 1:25.55.4; 3. Kathy Abbott, Atlantic Mine, 1:27.18.2; 4. Moriah Griesbach (no hometown given), 1:29.18.8; 5. Marika Abbott, Atlantic Mine, 1:30.48.0; 6. Liz Kinnart, Marquette, 1:31.55.5; 7. Michelle Brittnacher, Marquette, 1:31.56.9; 8. Allison Slavick, Cable, Wis., 1:35.04.6; 9. Christina Smigowski, Chassell, 1:36.15.1; 10. Joan Rundman, Hancock, 1:36.57.8.
"It's nice to be riding trails that I've worked on. And I know all the people that maintain them and they do a great job putting a lot of hours into it," McCloud said.
The men's race was all about youth, as the top three finishers were all 18 and younger, led by first-time winner Cody McGrath of Negaunee.
McGrath, who was second by three seconds in the Great Deer Chase at Calumet last August, didn't have to sweat out the finish Saturday, prevailing in 1:11.23, more than a minute ahead of Collin Kytta, also of Negaunee.
"It feels great, all that hard work pays off. Seeing all the people cheering for you, I've never really had that. So, it's definitely worth the hard work I put in," McGrath said.
Hancock's Daniel Henderson was third, about two minutes behind McGrath.
The closest finish of the day was in the men's 32-miler as two-time defending champ Brian Matter of Sheboygan, Wis., made it three in a row after a crowded sprint with Tyler Gauthier of Ishpeming.
"It was just a little nerve-wracking. It's hard enough to sprint against somebody at the end of a 32-mile race and you don't want to cause a crash at the end. Luckily, I looked up and saw three or four people we were kind of catching off to the right, so I picked a good line to the left," Matter said.
Both men cracked the two-hour barrier, with Matter taking the victory in 1:58.09.3 by a margin of just 1.22 seconds.
Matter has had a busy week on local trails, also helping teach a camp for young riders at Michigan Tech.
Diana McFadden of Duluth also successfully defended her crown, winning the women's division in 2:26.38.4. Cooper Dendel of Marquette finished second, 1:42 behind, while Matter's wife Andrea finished third.