Durango’s Cole Paton and Salt Lake City’s Melisa Rollins Win 38th Annual Chequamegon MTB Festival Race

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2,500 Cyclists ‘Revel in the Woods’ At 38th Annual Chequamegon MTB Festival

CABLE, Wisconsin (September 18, 2021) — The 38th annual Chequamegon MTB Festival took place in the remote Wisconsin towns of Hayward and Cable Wisconsin this past weekend. The 2021 event featured $10,000 in prize purse winnings. The event’s signature distance features 40-miles of the famed Birkie Ski Trail, forest roads and winter snowmobile routes, but also includes the popular ‘Short & Fat’ 16-mile distance, and ‘Little Loggers’ route to inspire a future generation of off-road enthusiasts. In total and across all three event distances, 2,677 cyclists took part, with the oldest age 82 and the youngest just one year old; they hailed from 37 states and four countries.

Riders at the 38th Annual Chequamegon MTB Festival, Chequamegon, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy Life Time
Riders at the 38th Annual Chequamegon MTB Festival, Chequamegon, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy Life Time

“It’s beyond exciting for us to welcome everyone back to this celebration of bikes and camaraderie in off-road cycling,” said Peter Spencer, Events Manager at Life Time. “Everyone is in high spirits and the excitement is truly palpable. The atmosphere at Chequamegon is exemplary of what folks can expect at Life Time events, where we aim to provide memorable experiences that change lives while inspiring onlookers to take up the sport themselves.”

Melisa Rollins celebrates her win at the 38th Annual Chequamegon MTB Festival. Photo courtesy Life Time
Melisa Rollins celebrates her win at the 38th Annual Chequamegon MTB Festival. Photo courtesy Life Time

In the women’s 40-mile, Melisa Rollins, 25, of Salt Lake City, Utah crossed the finish first with a time of 2:36:39. Second behind Rollins was six-year first-place title holder Jenna Rinehart, 37, of Mankato, Minn. with a time of 2:36:40.  Kenzie Statz, 38, of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. placed third with a time of 2:49:23

“It feels so dang good!,” Rollins noted about her win. “Jenna and I were together the entire time from the gun and we really ramped it up in the last mile. This event’s atmosphere is so cool, and I’ll absolutely be here next year.”

In the men’s 40-mile, Cole Paton, 23, of Durango, Colo. took first with a finish time of 2:15:26. 2019 first-place winner Alexey Vermeulen, 26, of Pinckney, Mich. took second, crossing the finish at 2:15:27. Corey Stelljes, 40, of Madison, Wis., placed third with a time of 2:15:49

“This is my first time in the Midwest and Chequamegon is an awesome event,” said Paton about his win. “It was a tactical race and Alexey was riding really strong. Everyone here is super welcoming, and I think this is going to be a tradition. Next year I’m focusing on Life Time events; Life Time is doing a great job of promoting athletes and I want to support that.”

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