Just a week after the historic success in the Olympics, mountain bike racers Todd Wells and Sam Schultz will carry their momentum to Wisconsin for the Subaru Cup Pro XCT race at Nordic Mountain.
Canadian Emily Batty also planned to bring her Olympic experience to Wisconsin, but broke her collar bone prior to the race in London. She finished 24th in the Olympics and could show that same mind-over-pain determination this weekend.
Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) finished 10th in the Olympic mountain bike race on Sunday, and Schultz (Subaru-Trek) finished 15th, the best showing by Americans to date against the world’s best. Jaroslav Kulhavy, from the Czech Republic, raced to the gold medal.
The Subaru Cup, sponsored by Trek, is one of 12 races in the popular Wisconsin Off Road Series and the penultimate race in the National Pro XCT Mountain Bike Race Series. Top pro riders from around the country will line up their fat tires for the fifth and final race, and a chance to claim points for the overall series title.
Colin Cares leads the men’s series, after four of five races, but holds a very small lead over Schultz and Wells.
In the women’s division, Monique Pua Mata leads Heather Irmiger and Erin Huck, but the points available on the four-mile course at Mt. Morris would be enough to flip the standings.
Hundreds of spectators will try to match the Olympic enthusiasm on the favored viewing points: the Trek Fire Lane Drops and the Bondtrager Boulder. Crews have been working for weeks to fine-tune the tight single-track and lung-busting climbs at Mt. Morris, near Wautoma.
The pro women’s race is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by the pro men’s battle at 3:30.
WORS has established itself as the premier mountain bike series in the country over 21 years, built primarily on the competition among amateur racers. They will have the opportunity to compare their riding speed and skill on the pro course, with the citizen races on Saturday and Sunday.
The weekend of events includes short-track racing on Sunday.
“The first priority of the WORS Series is to create access to fun, competitive mountain biking for as many individuals as possible,” said Don Edberg, the series director. “We’re proud to align the series and the Subaru Cup with Trek. They are an industry leader in so many ways.”