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2011 Annual Report

WORS

WISCONSIN OFF ROAD SERIES

Elite men charge the start climb at WORS newest venue, Cam Rock, while the Elite women await their start. Photo by Niki Frazier.

America’s largest state mountain bike racing series

“WORS is a great group of people that make racing fun and exciting”. T.J.Woodruff, Pro Mountain Biker, Momentum Endurance Coaching.

Established in 1992, WORS is one of the longest running mountain bike racing series in the world. WORS has promoted and staged 218 mountain bike races. Over the last 20 years, WORS races have averaged over six hundred entrants per event. Every year, WORS events attract more than 8000 entrants and an estimated 10,000 spectators. SERIES RACERS Over 800 WORS racers per year register for the Overall Series. Racers who register their annual Series number declare their intention to compete in six or more events during that year to earn their Overall score. WORS COMMUNITY WORS is America’s most successful grassroots mountain

biking organization because WORS events are oriented toward the recreational mountain bike racer. Over sixty-five percent of WORS participants compete at WORS in Sport and Citizen categories. Through the years, WORS events have evolved from one-day races into weekend social events. Many racers arrive on Saturday to pre-ride the course and share a healthy outdoor experience with families and friends. LOCAL FLAVOR With twelve distinct venues throughout Wisconsin, WORS races have significant exposure in - and draw participants from Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa and other Midwestern states. Every WORS race is run in partnership with a local

organizing committee for great local support and flavor. By pairing this with the high profile reputation of the WORS Series, each event is able to garner maximum local and regional recognition. ALWAYS BUILDING Over the years, WORS races have fostered the development of numerous mountain bike trails and helped support and legitimize biking in local recreational areas. Every year, proceeds from WORS events support the maintenance and expansion of numerous existing trail systems. WORS also supports trail building the oldfashioned way - with sweat equity.


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

“Wisconsin sure knows how to put on a Mountain Bike race.” Georgia Gould, Luna Pro Team

A message from the director Don Edberg Dear Sponsors, Racers, and Fans, The 2011 season completes WORSʼ twentieth year, but is by no means an end to the experiences, exposure, and benefits that WORS brings to those already enjoying the mountain bike experience, those that have yet to experience it, our sponsors, and the Wisconsin communities that host our events. I am once again humbled by the support and acceptance we have received and promise to do all that I can to continue to produce events that are deserving of such. WORS has based its efforts over the last two decades on a mission of growing participation in mountain bike racing as a fun recreational activity to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. The twenty year milestone gives us occasion to reflect on this mission and how to best continue to advance it over the next decade. Are modifications necessary to keep our mission relevant? What goals will best direct our work with regard to this mission? We look forward to building on the great family and rider experience that comes with participation in WORS. The number of individuals embracing a lifetime of recreation and fitness through participation in WORS and mountain bike racing continues to inspire us. We are especially encouraged by the increase in the number of riders 14 and under that we have seen over the last year and encourage all of our participants to support this movement. For 2012 WORS will once again bring twelve strong events to the series. Plans are well underway to host our third USA Cycling Pro XCT as an international calendar event and we hope to make the event bigger and better than ever with the help of our partners.

“ We look forward to building on the great family and rider experience that comes with participation in WORS. The number of individuals embracing a lifetime of recreation and fitness through participation in WORS and mountain bike racing continues to inspire us. We are especially encouraged by the increase in the number of riders 14 and under that we have seen over the last year and encourage all of our participants to support this movement.”

Recognition and respect for our series continues to grow through the national press, social media, and word of mouth, making it possible for WORS to maximize our supportersʼ return on investment. It is our goal to make the WORS experience synonymous with the product of our sponsors as we feel both represent the best quality and value. I am extremely thankful to the great many who have contributed to our success. As WORS begins its third decade I hope that we can look forward to making the relationships we have established over the past twenty years even stronger. Sincerely

Don Edberg Director, Wisconsin Off Road Series


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

“Mountain bike racing, especially WORS racing, is not just for the highly trained and talented. It is a great physical activity that can add to your health and quality of life. WORS is as much about fun, shared experiences and making new friends as it is about the racing. WORS is open to all and welcomes new female and male participants of all ages and athletic abilities.” From the WORS Mission Statement Photo by Jared Brodjeski

WORS by the numbers Focus on amateur excellence Sport and Citizen categories at WORS are designed for recreational enthusiasts and entry level cyclists. Our lasting commitment at WORS is to provide safe, fun, highly-organized competition for racers at every level. At WORS, our commitment to amateur racing is founded on our passion to share a great experience of mountain bike racing with as many people as

possible. This passion has helped WORS to become America’s largest, and one of the world’s most long-running mountain bike racing series. By never losing sight of the importance of high-quality amateur competition, WORS has created a unique opportunity for our sponsors to reach beyond the more specialized demographic of other racing series. The vast majority of WORS racers make their bike and accessories purchases through their local bike shop, at retail prices. Many will consider the opinions and advice of fellow WORS racers when deciding to buy a new bike or making accessories purchases. Product demos and sponsored team outreach efforts at WORS events are highly successful.

2011 WORS participants by age group First Timer (all ages) Junior (12 & under) 14 & under 15-18 19-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+

number of women

number of men

94 We care about our numbers!

Sixty-five percent of WORS racers compete in our Citizen and Sport categories. Junior competitors at WORS are equal or greater in number than those who participate in youthspecific leagues elsewhere in the nation. Women’s participation is steadily increasing, especially in our new “First-timers” category.

Photo by Jared Brodjeski

447 184 470

57

1,332

150

7 166

33

123 256

1 107

597 1,985 1,853

217

403


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

WORS and local organizing committees growing together Hansi Johnson, IMBA’s Regional Director for the Upper Midwest, will tell you that Wisconsin has hundreds of miles of singletrack more than neighboring states, including Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa. For nearly 20 years, WORS has worked in partnership with local communities across the state of Wisconsin to support silent sports and local trails. Examples of the efforts of local organizers during the 2011 WORS season include: • WORS signature event, the Subaru Cup, created a no-charge public trail system on Washara county land leased by Nordic Mountain. The trails were build at no expense to the county.  With help from Nordic Mountain owner, Rick Schmitz, WORS provided and paid for equipment and materials and many WORS racers volunteered their time and labor. • The Capital Off Road Pathfinders (CORP) partnered with WORS this year for the Battle of Cam Rock.  CORP is an IMBA affiliated club that builds and maintains trails in the Madison area and across south central Wisconsin. • Significant portions of the race fees from WORS events held at Nine Mile County Forest in Marathon county support the trail system. Many times the race has facilitated the riding-in of roughed out new sections of trail. • The Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association (CORBA), an IMBA club, organizes the Chippewa Valley Firecracker.  Their WORS race is a primary fundraiser for expansion and maintenance of the trails in Lowes Creek Park in Eau Claire along with their other efforts. • The Alterra Mountain Bike race team to organize the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic and use the proceeds to support the Metro Mountain Bikers trail work in Milwaukee county along with many other bike related projects.  • The Titletown Flyers head up our Reforestation Ramble event and are very active in the maintenance and development of Brown County Reforestation Camp mountain bike trail system as well as efforts to establish other trails in the Green Bay area.

Every year, proceeds from WORS events support the maintenance and expansion of existing trail systems throughout Wisconsin. WORS also supports trail building the oldfashioned way - with sweat equity. Below, Don and WORS volunteers build a section of trail at Nordic Mountain for the Subaru Cup Pro XCT. The trails that host the Subaru Cup were built entirely by Edberg and local volunteers. Photo by Claire Cannon.

The Fat Katz of Sheboygan hosted their 17th annual Wigwam Mountain Bike Challenge this year. The Fat Katz’ long partnership with WORS and their outstanding and rider access in one of Wisconsin’s best urban trail systems. Based on their successful WORS event, in December of 2010 the Fat Katz presented a $10,000 check to the Mayor of Sheboygan in support of the city parks. TreadHead Cycling organize Treadfest and use proceeds from the race to support bicycle advocacy and other bike related projects in the Lake Geneva area. WORS Crystal Lake Classic is organized by the Samoset Council of The Boy Scouts of America at their Lake Tesomas camp in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. and has developed into a significant fund raiser for the camp who in turn allows access for trail development and open riding. The Iola Winter Sports Club uses the proceeds of their annual WORS event, the Iola Bump & Jump, to maintain trails and buy lighting for ski trails and equipment for year-round training on the ski-jumps. 


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

Regional and national recognition As we enter our third decade, WORS garners significant national recognition among racers, media and race organizers. However, this has not always been the case. In an effort to increase regional and national recognition for WORS, we became affiliated with USA Cycling in 2004. 

Wisconsin 1,722

WORS Director, Don Edberg now serves on the mountain bike committee which advises the USA Cycling Board of Directors with regard to the all aspects of mountain bike competition. This group is composed of race directors, industry representatives, team managers, olympic athletes and race officials with a mission to guide, service, and promote mountain biking as a competitive sport and recreational activity. Don’s involvement at USA Cycling has allowed him to contribute his experience and vision for amateur racing at the national level, and work to improve the experience of all USA Cycling members. In addition, Don helped to develop the USA Cycling Pro XCT format, which has allowed an event like the Subaru Cup Pro XCT. Don has

Cover star

Images of the 2010 and 2011 WORS Subaru Cup, presented by Trek, have been consistently highlighted by USA Cycling and national cycling media.

2011 WORS individuals by home state

Iowa 18 Illinois 359 Other 150

Michigan 51 Minnesota 329

worked hard to contribute towards a vision of outstanding mountain bike race events that combine the highest level of competition with the participation and enthusiasm of amateurs at all ages and ability levels.  


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

Praise for the 2011 Subaru Cup, presented by Trek

Sheboygan racer and 2011 WORS Overall Champion Tristan Schouten rode to 17th place in a field of over 60 Pro men. Photo by Jarod Brodjeski

The 2010 WORS Subaru Cup Pro XCT, presented by Trek, was the first national Pro Tour race to be held in the Midwest for nearly a decade. In 2011, the Pros returned to Mt. Morris. Quotes from racers and media: “ The course was even more fun than I remembered, and I think I can safely say that the Mt. Morris course is my favorite race course!” “Wisconsin sure knows how to put on a Mountain Bike race.” Georgia Gould, Luna Pro Team “Great racing this weekend! Favorite race of the season, can’t wait to come back next year!” Max Plaxton, Specialized Racing USA “Keeping with the repeat theme, the WORS crew dished up an action packed weekend yet again at the Mount Morris Subaru Cup.” Adam Craig, Robobank/Giant “The course at Mt. Morris was in perfect condition despite days of rain prior to the event today. Many of the riders compared the course to a World Cup course, both in length, and with the punchy climbs and vocal crowds.” Dave McElwaine, cyclingnews.com “It was the best crowd ever even with the hecklers," said Gould. "The whole

course is World Cup caliber. There's plenty of passing, plenty of technical challenges, and plenty of fans. I think this might be my favorite course." Georgia Gould, Luna Pro Team, quoted by Dave McElwaine, cyclingnews.com “I like racing in Wisconsin. Thanks everyone for coming out and cheering this weekend. Best mtb race we do all year.” Ryan Trebon, LTS/Felt “Wisconsin and WORS put on a great event, I hope we go back next year. The course was fun and challenging, the spectators were awesome and the weather was good. I would say it's the coolest course on the PRO XCT circuit this year.” Todd Wells, Specialized Factory Racing “The Wisconsin MTB fans are awesome.” Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Subaru/Trek

Georgia Gould of the Luna Pro Team Gould defended her Subaru Cup Pro XCT title in the women’s race. She returned to a warm welcome from Wisconsin fans. Photo by Cory Marty

“Awesome course and WORS does a fine job, it's exciting for everyone to watch the big pros race and it is really great to have so many people out cheering for me. I really appreciate it so thanks.” Tristan Schouten, Pabst/Felt/Mafia

“All I can say was what an amazing weekend, thanks Don and the WORS crew for putting on such a smooth running, action packed event!” “…with the super fun course and awesome fans I think this race really captures the spirit of MTB racing.” Chris Peariso, Adventure 212/Specialized

“The Subaru Cup in Mt.

Morris, Wis. on June 25 looks to be one of the calendar’s most exciting race experiences. Part of the well-established Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS), the Subaru Cup is traditionally crawling with thousands of enthusiastic fans.” Official announcement of the 2011 Pro XCT Schedule by USA Cycling


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

WORS: fun for everyone! WORS Women WORS Women is an organization of women who race at WORS. Encouraged and supported by WORS, we encourage the participation and recognition of women and girls in mountain bike racing. WORS actively seeks increased recognition for all of our women competitors, and especially for our BelGioioso Elite Series racers. Race reports submitted to regional and national media highlight the womenʼs race with equal coverage. WORS awards equal payouts for Elite men and women (based solely on participant numbers).

“The Wisconsin Off-Road Series is one of the most successful and the largest mountain bike series in the country. The spectators are dense, there’s energy, the fields are large (even the women’s), there are 12 races a year, and the entry fees are sub $30!” Chloe Forsman, Tokyo Joes.

WORS has a long and consistent history of supporting womenʼs racing. WORS organized a womenʼs-only Midwest Regional Race in 1993 perhaps the worldʼs first?

In 2011, WORS Women grew to over 280 members and subscribers. We held out annual outreach event - the Lapham Peak Spring Fling - before the start of the 2011 season. With the support of Trek Women, we organized a “Superfan” event during the Pro

WORS Women Building our sport

We encourage women of any age and ability level to come ride with us!

womenʼs event at the Subaru Cup, increasing spectator presence and recognition of female athletes throughout the Series. WORS Women were also the subject of a short video edited by WORS Videographer Marty Tank. The message is simple and clear - no matter what your age or ability level, WORS welcomes all women and girls to share in a great experience of mountain bike racing! WORS Women mission statement

We are a group of women who enjoy the sport of mountain biking in the upper midwest. Our goal is to encourage more women to share our sport.  Some of us are racers, some of us just ride for fun and many of us are beginners just learning the sport.  Come ride with us!


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

“Our son... grew up with WORS. He started racing at 5 in the kids races and 10 years later is racing Junior Open. We are at every race and are there for encouragement and support.” Steve and Amy Beach, of son Myles.

“WORS really gave me a place to develop a passion for the sport of mountain biking. Great people, excellent competition, and well run events all added to the appeal of mountain bike racing from the start for me back in '97. When it comes to bike racing, WORS feels like home to me.” T.J. Woodruff, Professional Mountain Bike Racer and coach, momentumendurance.com

WORS: fun for everyone! WORS Juniors Races just for kids and juniors, easy access for families to on-site ammenities, and a safe, fun environment make WORS events a favorite summer destination for many. For many juniors, the race weekend begins with the preride on Saturday afternoon. The course is open and marked after 12:00 PM, and the whole family can hit the trails at whatever pace they choose.

themselves as the first race of every WORS event. A dedicated sweep team follows the race to lend a helping hand, if needed. Youth also participate in age-class racing at every ability level, from Citizen to Elite. For advanced Juniors, WORS offers the option to race during the Elite race for a shorter distance as a Junior Open competitor.

For beginners, WORS offers a Saturday afternoon “Learn Great family values can be found at WORS venues, with to Race” clinic that is popular with first-time racers, young an easy and economical dinner often served on-site. Camping is a popular option, or the hotel pool might and old alike. beckon. Sunday can begin with an on-site breakfast, or a For our youngest WORS racers, the everyone-is-asmoothie from WORS Sponsor the Muddy Cup Cafe. winner Kidʼs Race is a great option where parent WORS strongly supports junior racing by encouraging participation is allowed and encouraged. The Citizen youth participation in well-organized, safe, fun Junior racers have a specially-designed course all to competition for riders of all ages.


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

• Over 97% of racers surveyed in 2011 plan to race again at WORS in the upcoming season. • Over 60% have participated at WORS for 3 or more consecutive years. • Over 20% have participated for more than 8 years. • More than 25% of Series racers have raced 8 or more events per year for 5 years. • More than 50% of WORS racers have a spouse or partner who also participates. • Nearly 30% of WORS racers surveyed in 2011 have children who have raced at WORS. • Nearly 6% of WORS racers have parents who race at WORS, while 25% say a parent has attended with them. • Over 16% have raced with siblings.

WORS Community lasting friendships

100 75

WORS is more than racing. Over the years, WORS has become a community of friends and families who gather together every-other weekend, all summer long. The great majority of WORS participants attend season after season, bringing their husbands and wives, children, parents and siblings to WORS events. At WORS races, we see old friends, and make new ones. % of current WORS participants reporting family-member participation

Attended Raced

25 0

1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011

Above: % of current WORS participants who raced in past years

Citizen 23%

First-timer Pro Right: Racing Cat 1 categories 9% reported by Comp WORS survey 13%

Kid(s) Parent(s) Sibling(s) 15

50

Junior (under 12)

Spouse or partner

0

Participated Raced the Series

30

45

60

respondents

Sport 52%


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

WORS and social media We’re serious about our friends The WORS website has been state-of-the-art since the early years and registers over 1,000,000 visits annually. WORS also reaches out to our community through additional channels of communication. The WORS social media plan is based on best practices that keep us in touch with our contacts, Fans and subscribers for maximum impact and value to our racers. WORS is a community of friends who love to ride bikes and talk about riding bikes. When we share something with our racers, we are sharing with friends. We donʼt abuse their trust, or waste their time. We are happy to work with our great sponsors to create special promotions through our social media networks. When WORS introduces a sponsor to our racers, we introduce them as a friend.

Average racers per event 800 658 658 649 660

714 695

Total racers per year 9,000

600

6,750

400

4,500

200

2,250

0

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

0

7,900 7,893 7,786 7,917

8,573 8,339

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

The WORS email newsletter is a great way for racers to keep up with America’s largest mountain bike racing series. Our subscription list is entirely voluntary!

WORS Photo Contest The WORS Photo Contest, begun in 2009, attracts hundreds or thousands of individual photo entries after each WORS event. In the past, we have posted finalists at our Flickr

photo sharing site. Our photo contests register over 2,000 unique page visits each day and spike to over 12,000 visits in the days immediately following each event. In 2012, we will move the Photo Contest “in-house” to wors.org, and begin to crowd-source the selection of winners to increase traffic and participation - and to better share the limelight with WORS Sponsors.

WORS Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo sharing community WORS Facebook Page

Fans of the WORS Facebook page contribute to over 3,000 impressions per post.

The WORS Facebook page, which has been regularly maintained since February 2010, currently has over

2,400 “likes” and yields an average of more than 3,000 impressions per post. The number of regular visitors, interactions and impressions continues to grow at a steady rate. WORS also maintains a social network for photographs of WORS events at Flickr, and videos of postrace interviews and “racer-cam” footage from WORS events at Vimeo and YouTube. The @TeamWORS twitter has a smaller following of largely techsavvy younger professionals, and a more cycling-oriented content and audience.


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

WORS Sponsors Our bedrock

WORS needs great sponsors, and we have them. WORS works very hard for our sponsorship partners and we are grateful for their support in 2011.

Kinetic by Kurt is the sponsor of the WORS Citizen Series and provides trainers for pre-race warm-up.

Salty Wench was the presenting sponsor of the Pro Short Track at the 2011 Subaru Cup.

WORS Series Sponsor

Subaru

Check out our “WORS Loves Subaru” sponsor appreciation book. We're grateful to Subaru for their support over the years and we're happy to work hard to make sure that those who attend WORS races know that WORS loves Subaru.

WORS Product sponsors

BelGioioso are makers of fine Italian cheeses based in Wisconsin. A true patron of the sport of cycling, BelGioioso sponsors the WORS Elite Series.

Bontrager is the sponsor of the WORS COMP Series and the official wheel and tire sponsor of WORS. Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycles is one of the worldʼs largest - and best - bicycle companies. The Trek Top Fuel was the Official Bike of WORS, and Trek was the presenting sponsor of the Subaru Cup for 2010 and 2011.

The sponsor of our WORS Sport Series is Wisconsin-based Hayes Disc Brakes.


WORS ANNUAL REPORT 2011

WORS 2012 Season

“For over 20 years, our mission at WORS has been to grow participation in mountain bike racing as a fun, recreational activity enjoyed by as many people as possible. I am extremely thankful to a great many individuals who have contributed to our success. As WORS heads into our third decade, I ask for your continued support.” - Don Edberg

Powerhouse favorites and fresh talent The 2012 Series will once again begin the first Sunday in May at the Iola Winter Sports Area outside Stevens Point, WI and finish the second Sunday in October in Sheboygan. WORS is excited to welcome back our newest event, the Battle of CamRock hosted by Madisonʼs Capital Off Road Pathfinders.

The Pro XCT tour will once again race at the WORS Seriesʼ Subaru Cup as a part of our annual mega-event. If you attend only one WORS event in 2012, we hope to see you at the Subaru Cup, presented by Trek on August 18 and 19!

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WORS 2011 Annual Report  

Annual Report of the Wisconsin Off Road Series.

WORS 2011 Annual Report  

Annual Report of the Wisconsin Off Road Series.

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