Englewood Farm becomes Englewood Open for pro mountain bike racing
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - After one year off due to COVID-19 the Englewood Open is returning to Fall River, Wisconsin as a Farm will convert to the mountain biking hub of North America.
Fourth generation farmer Ben Agnew normally starts his day with his cattle. A peaceful start to anyone’s day at work, but later on his view changes to something much more fast and exhilarating, a mountain biking course in the heart of his 300 acre farm.
“It’s something that I kind of started because it was easy to put off professional things, come back here, and play on bikes.” Agnew told NBC15 as he put the finishing touches on his homemade course.
Agnew began construction on the mountain biking track with the help of his family and kids back in 2008. Fast forward to 2016 and Englewood Farms became the home of a world class mountain biking trail that’s apart of USA cycling’s pro mountain bike cross country tour.
“Being able to share the beautiful land that we have and the trails that we put so much time and effort into building. I just go back to thinking how great it is to be able to share that with so many people.’ Ben’s wife, Kristi who will also be the food director during the weekend of races said.
With professional races taking part on Saturday along with junior and amateur races the rest of the weekend, the Agnew’s expect over 900 riders to use their land this weekend. With competitors traveling from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada and other parts of the U.S. the course has already built up quite the reputation.
“Once your tire pressure is right and your suspension and your bike is dialed in it’s like flowing through whitewater. You’re arcing through the corners. You’re carving, you’re flowing.” Said professional rider Caleb Swartz who is also sponsored by Englewood Farms.
“It was a lot harder than they thought it was going to be. It was a lot more technical than they thought it was going to be to come to a farmer’s field and ride around.” Ben Agnew added.
“It’s kind of a purpose built, cross country racecourse from the ground up.” added retired amateur rider, Cory Marty.
Two of Ben’s kids will also compete in the junior races this weekend. His son Tommy knows that hosting this event, let alone it being on their home property is nothing to take for granted. “In a way it’s kind of became just normal but it’s obviously not.”
When asked how a track that was inspired to be his escape became the hub of mountain biking for this weekend, Ben Agnew simply said he’s living the dream.
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