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Richards repeats as the 'Short and Fat' biking champ

Jake Richards takes on the rough and tumble course to win his second-consecutive "Short and Fat" biking title, which is part of the Fat Tire Festival in Hayward, Wis.

Detroit Lakes' sophomore, Jake Richards of Callaway, successfully defended his title in the 16-mile "Short and Fat" race as part of the Chequemegon Fat Tire Festival in Hayward, Wis., Sept. 19-20.

Having won the same event last year, the 16-year-old expert level racer was a marked rider for the

entire race.

Eventually a group of 10 riders separated themselves midway through the race.

With two miles to go, Richards and another rider broke free from the group and battled until the end, with Richards taking the

win by just six seconds and averaging nearly 20 miles per hour on the course containing a mix of ski trails, logging roads and other forest trails.

The Chequemegon Festival is the largest mountain bike race in the nation, with over 2,500 participants between two races.

The 16-mile race Richards was part of had 800 registrants.

Richards capped off a

successful mountain bike-racing season this past weekend in St. Cloud,

winning the Junior division in the Expert class and also wrapping up the

overall Junior division in the Minnesota State Championship series.

Richards competed in National events in California, Colorado and Vermont.

At the U.S. Championships in Colorado, Richards finished second, earning a silver medal in the super downhill event and placing 10th in the cross country

event among the top juniors in the country.

Ironically, Richards' father, Jay, won the short race, as well, the same year Greg Lemond won the long race.

So one can say biking does run in the family.