Last weekend, WORS (Wisconsin Off-Road Series) with the help of WAMBA (Waushara Area Mountain Bike Association) hosted WORS #3, the Mt. Morris Challenge at Nordic Mountain in Mt. Morris Wisconsin. Pre-ride on Saturday was blistering hot but it brought a beautiful day for racing on Sunday. The Mt. Morris Challenge starts off with a tough climb that takes racers partially up the ski hill before dumping racers into a technical downhill section with the infamous rock drop. Once clearing the rock drop, racers enter the pines for some fast winding single track. After the single, racers climb back to the top of the hill switching back and forth between open climbs and singletrack. Once racers reach the top of the ski hill, they snake through wide open grass trying to get in their passing before entering the technical switch backs taking racers back down the hill.
To start out, the BelGioioso Men’s field raced to the top of the climb with WORS overall series leader Cole House (Broken Spoke) summiting the climb first and leading the field through the singletrack. Vision Cycling/P/B Ryder 930’s Nathan Guerra positioned himself behind House off the start and at the first chance he got, he took over the lead. Issac Neff (Neff Cycling Service), Tristan Schouten (Pete’s Garage), Pete Karinen (True North Apparel) and Justin Piontek (Adventure 212/Specialized) were close behind Guerra and House. Piontek, after hearing that House pulled out because of a naggy reoccurring injury, surged to see if he could catch Guerra. Despite not catching Guerra, Piontek was very happy with his best WORS career finish coming in second behind House who took his first win of the season. Schouten’s first MTB race of the year had him “dusting off the cobwebs” for the first lap until he worked his way into third place, battling the last two laps with Karinen. In the end Schouten surprised himself with a third place finish and Karnien came in 4th. Neff finished with a respective 5th place.
The BelGioiosio Women’s field started out with Lindsay Guerra (Vision Cycling/P/B ryder 930), Leia Schneeberger (Broken Spoke) and Emma Swartz (KS Energy Services/MOSH/Team Wisconsin) attacking the hill hard and forming a pack. Guerra led through the pines before Swartz attacked on the big climb back to the top of the ski hill. At just 19 years old, Swartz was able to open a gap early in the first lap on the rest of the field that would end up sticking. Guerra who was riding in second began to suffer from a slow leak in her rear tire. She began to let off the gas, as she favored the rear tire in hopes to keep as much air in as possible. As Guerra began losing more and more air, she was finally forced to pull over and put some air back in. This gave Schneeberger the opportunity to pass and open a gap on Guerra. Swartz was able to take her first career WORS win as an Elite women with a minute ahead of Schneeberger who finished second. Despite her rear tire troubles, Guerra finished in third. Anna Ganju (Collectivo MTB) finished fourth and Rachael Jensen (KS Energy Services/ MOSH/ Team Wisconsin) rounded out the top five respectively.
Come join us for the fourth WORS race of the season, the Red Flint Firecracker in Eau Claire, WI. For more information visit http://wors.org/schedule/firecracker/
For results on last weekend’s race visit http://wors.org/results/
Cover Photo compliments of Gary Smits and XTR Photo