The Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout has a lot of really great things going for it: super fun groomed single-track the tends to change each year depending on conditions, always ensuring an exhilarating ride. Tons of incredible volunteers. Medals and awards to overall male and female competitors, and to male and female competitors in different age groups. Their very own meteorologist and a race-day weather forecast. Fundraising efforts to help make the Cuyuna trails better that boast a raffle with awesome prizes such as a Salsa Bergrease X01 complete bike spec’d with 45NRTH gear. Lastly, a yeti. There is a yeti wandering around come race day, cheering and heckling, photo bombing, and trying to sneak his way on to the podium during the awards.
Conditions this year threw a few spots of ice at the racers, forcing them to choose their lines carefully and to handle the course with care in areas. The long distance for the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout boasted a 30k course comprised of 75% single-track and 25% double-track in the Cuyuna State Recreation Area in Crosby, MN, noodling around small lakes, weaving in and out of the woods, and climbing about 1,000 feet. With a recent snowfall, conditions were mostly firm and fast, and beautiful. All proceeds from the Whiteout go directly towards the maintenance and expansion of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails.
There were about 150 racers lining up for the 30k Whiteout this year, with about 100 lining up for the shorter 20k version, and one yeti, causing shenanigans. The neat thing about the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout was that it would begin the double-header weekend for a lot of Great Lakes Fat Bike Series participants, being the first of two GLFBS races in Minnesota, just 2 hours north of where the next race would take place in Minneapolis.
Knowing that the Whiteout was the start of a weekend of hurt, familiar GLFBS racers took the line, ready to duke it out with locals and Minnesotan power houses in the 30k.
In the women’s field, we saw another win from April Morgan, finishing with a time of 1 hour 36 minutes. Sonia Pond, in the first GLFBS race we’ve seen her in this year, took 2nd with a speedy time of 1 hour 40 minutes. Danielle Musto reeled in 3rd in 1 hour 44 minutes, just 11 seconds ahead of Pam Nielsen, who took 4th. Kati Krikke (1:46) took 5th. Fast times from some fast ladies!
More fast times in the men’s field. Jeff Hall crushed it to a win with a time of 1:27:14, with Matt Acker hot on his rear wheel with a time of 1:27:15. It was really close between third and fourth, with Jay Henderson with a time of 1:29:01 in third and Jeffrey Young finishing with 1:29:02. Mat Moore came in 5th with 1:29:11. Close times on a fun course, what a great race!