Report by Todd Nutter Just because Cross Country Nationals are over doesn’t mean the competition quits in Wisconsin. The faithful and energetic racers and fans of the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) proved this on Sunday as the series continued in Mount Morris, WI. The newly renamed, Scarlet Knights Scramble, took place at Nordic Mountain, former site of the Subaru Cup Pro XCT Event. The USA Cycling Pro XCT tour utilized a new venue in Cambridge, WI for the WORS hosted pro events, dubbed the WORS Cup, prior to XC Nationals. But WORS regulars never lost their love for the spectator friendly and rider challenging trails at Nordic Mountain. The venue continues to be a mainstay on the WORS series calendar and drew a crowd this past weekend. In the Belgioioso Elite Men’s series, some of Wisconsin’s fastest guys showed each other who had the legs and who didn’t. Joseph Maloney (KS Energy Services/ Team Wisconsin) rocketed his way into an early lead. But he was soon overtaken by Cole House (Intelligentsiacoffee / Broken Spoke) in only his second WORS appearance this season. Chatter amongst the men during call ups hinted at concerns over House not getting preferred start due to his lack of series points. Those worries were soon dashed away as House pushed his way to the front without needing to start there. House previously had only raced the WORS Cup Pro XCT where he finished 11th in the XC race and out-sprinted Brian Matter (KS Energy Services/ Team Wisconsin) for a 2nd place finish in the Short Track. The young pro racer, whose primary discipline is road, also recently took his third consecutive win at Ore To Shore in Marquette, MI. Not to be left behind, Nathan Guerra (Vision Cycling/Attitude Cycling) hung to House’s wheel like a tailgater trying to save gas mileage. Guerra is currently the overall points leader for the WORS 2014 season. The trails at Nordic Mountain are a good mix of technical climbs and descents, with fast flowing double track to equalize the field. Both Guerra and House excel in these conditions. Following shortly after the two man break away were teammates Corey Stelljes and Isaac Neff (5 Nines/ Motorless Motion) along with Tristan Schouten (Rolf Prima/Attitude Sport). House took the win with Guerra falling only 37 seconds behind. Stelljes shook off Schouten by only 1 second for a 3rd place finish with Neff following in 5th. Maloney finished 6th in front of Ben Senkerik(Team Extreme) whose 7th overall was a nice early birthday gift before he turns 21 this week. Happy Birthday, Ben! As for the Belgioioso Elite Women, Abby Strigel (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) took her first win for WORS this season. Strigel holds the record for most overall season victories for WORS with 6. Strigel has raced less often this season than in previous years. But she still proves to the other women and fans alike why she has the title she has. Strigel was joined by friendly rival, Amber Markey (5 Nines/Motorless Motion) for the showdown this weekend. Markey, like Cole House, is know for her intermittent appearances while bringing a new awareness to the field whenever she races. Markey and Strigel put on a good show for spectators with their alternating strengths. Markey proved to out-climb Strigel in open sections making use of her big 29 inch wheels while Strigel weaved herself into a lead through the tight sections. No longer a Pro XCT race, race organizers were able to implement new sections of trail into the race. Described and flat and twisty be riders, the new trail helped Strigel open her gap for the win. Markey took only a minute longer to finish in 2nd. Lori Sable (Pedal Moraine) grabbed 3rd while also putting her 26er wheels to work in the tight turns as Anna Ganju (Colectivo Coffee) took the 4th step of the podium. The WORS series continues this weekend in Suamico, WI. Just outside of Green Bay, the Reforestation Ramble is definitely a bit different than the rest with longer laps containing a nice mix of single track, double track and the energy zapping rolling hills that have become a must have feature. The Reforestation Ramble is a good warm up for many riders that compete in the Chequamegon 40 as is contains similar styles of riding and greater lap distances than most WORS events.