Race Previews

Brand Loyalty...

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GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER - This race will celebrate its 15th birthday tomorrow, the last nine of which have been staged at scenic Warner Lake in Clearwater. A glance at the registration list tells us that "Brand Loyalty" is definitely part of the Graniteman deal, as many of those who have raced here in 2017 and before, are returning. We have to admit that we are more prepared to talk about Clearwater's Olympic-plus (28.66 mile bike) race than the sprint, the overall and AG results of which we think will be comprised largely of later registrants, i.e. those who have enrolled since last week, when the list was sent to us. We will predict that Alexandria's buff BRIAN STORHAUG will battle for a top spot. Heck, he could win it, like he did in '17. That was his first career mulisport victory. Pretty cool!

 

So, let's chat about the longer race. We're prepared to predict the winners right now. They are 2017 champ / women's course record holder KORTNEY HAAG, and 2017 G-Man Big Lake Sprint winner, JOSH MORK, assuming of course, he has chosen the longer race. Mork appears to be one of the 2018 Most Improved frontrunners right now, his resume and career trajectory telling us that he will win whichever Clearwater race he chooses...

 

Four of the women's Top 5 from last year are enrolled and we certainly believe that they will at least match, if not better, their positions of a year ago. Past champ SHEENA DAUER should reclaim her silver medal, then we think G-Man newcomer SARA RONDORF will fill out the podium. Sara's been on fire this season, with a win at New Bri, a 4th at Lake Waconia and a 5th at Liberty Olympic.

JEN NEUMAN,  with 11 wins on her career scorecard, will once again have to hold off AMY WOOLSEY, who at 52 is having her best season yet, to take the 4th spot.

Despite sharing the weekend with three other iconic races--Timberman, Minneapolis and Heart of the Lakes--, which negatively impacts the enrollments of all four events, Clearwater should draw about 300 partipants.

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