Baumann wins men’s race, Fisher ends up seventh in state
On Sunday, Baumann made sure the state championship jersey had his name written all over it.
The Germany native and Wolverine Racing Team member was first to the finish line at the Sugar Loaf Resort. He completed the four-lap, 93.3-mile Pro event in 3 hours, 42 minutes and 5 seconds.
East Jordan’s Mac Brennan of Team Bissell was second in 3:43.22.
“The feeling is even better than last year,” the 31-year-old champ said after the win. “It was tough and we were out there for a long time killing ourselves.”
Maple City’s Chris Fisher, who was first to the finish line last year but did not earn the state title because he was not a Michigan resident at the time, finished seventh in 3:45.44.
“Sven is a good rider and my hat's off to him,” said Fisher, who rides for Team Priority Health. “Our team did what it could, but it wasn’t quite good enough.
“And I didn’t quite have the speed I needed to get on the podium.”
Fisher’s teammate Chris Gottwald, who took King of the Mountain honors for being first at a designated big hill on the course, led for about 80 miles before fading. He ended up 20th in 3:45.53.
“The hillier, longer and tougher the course, the better for me,” Gottwald said. “But with a lap and a half to go, Bissell’s Danny Lam fell off the pace a little bit.
“I had to make a decision to wait for him or to go solo.
“But it’s hard to keep guys from chasing you down.”
Lam did not finish the race. The pro event drew 38 competitors.
“I’m happy,” Gottwald said. “I’d like to have that state champion jersey, but ...”
Fisher, too, was happy for Gottwald.
“Chris had an incredible effort,” Fisher said. “He got an early breakaway and we were trying to protect his back.
“Our team just kind of got caught in the backstretch on the third lap when Brennan made a big move.”
In the end, Fisher found himself as the lone Priority Health guy battling to the finish.
“There were four Bissell guys and I was by myself and I said ‘This is not good numbers,’” Fisher noted. “I was trying to recover from going up Narlock and Lime Lake Road when Sven put on a little attack and I wasn’t ready to follow.”
Baumann captured his fourth win of the season.
“It’s a matter of getting into the right moves,” Baumann said. “There were a couple of strong teams. Bissell and Priority Health had seven racers and I had two teammates and one didn’t finish.
“In the end, it was just Mac and myself.”
Baumann felt he was a better climber than Brennan and used a strategy to get to the finish first.
“I felt early on that I had more than him on the climbs, and Mac had some serious power in the flats, so I didn’t want to ride away from him too soon on the climbs,” said Baumann, who made a big move on the climb up Narlock Road. “Mac couldn’t respond to the attack so I kind of went over the first part of Narlock and tried to recover.
“I got a good gap on him and kept it steady to the finish.”
Tim Barrons, a Haggerty Racing Team member and event spokesman, said even though the course was altered at the last-minute due to construction on Lime Lake Road near M-22, the event ran well.
“It went great,” he said. “It was safe and no one got hurt.
“The weather was awesome and the roads were in great condition.”
State champs were crowned in 13 different divisions. For complete racing results go to http://www.cherry roubaix.com.