Report by Todd Nutter The Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS), sponsored by Trek, made stop number two on it’s summer-long tour of Wisconsin. The Crystal Lake Classic, hosted by the Boy Scouts of Camp Tesomas in Rhinelander, WI, might be a bit of a hike for most of the racers of WORS. But it is very much a favorite for the Elite racers that frequent the series. With it’s super fast lead outs and gobs of single track, it supports strengths whiles challenging weaknesses of every type of rider. With typical muggy Wisconsin weather and a fresh batch of a zillion mosquitos, participants got to see friends, hang out by a campfire and battle for position along a newly improved race course. Add a little rain into the mix and you have yourself a competition. As always, the men lined up first in the BelGioioso Pro/Elite field. Arriving on the start line was the winner of the first WORS event, Nathan Guerra (Vision Cycling) along with Brian Matter (KS Energy/ MOSH), Cole House (Broken Spoke/ Isagenix), Justin Piontek (Adventure 212) and Isaac Neff (5Nines/Motorless Motion). In an almost planned forecast, the rain started right on cue with the countdown and ended shortly after the race. Guerra, who has previously won this event, clearly had an agenda to take the win on a second consecutive race for the season. House, on the other hand, is not one to back down to anyone in the WORS series. From the start, the heat was on between these two rivals. The course started with a long, fairly flat gravel double track lead out. A steep and loose, sandy climb is the first point of segregation on the course, allowing House and Guerra to really dig the spurs in and create a gap from the rest of the field. Following not far behind, Matter, Piontek and Neff worked together to not lose the leaders. But House and Guerra would not give in that easily, keeping the steam on all the way to the finish. Piontek eventually dropped back a bit while Matter and Neff maintained their chase. In a long section of single track, Matter proved to be the fastest of the chasers and realized that if it was to be done, he would have to do it alone. The gap seemed to diminish a bit, however it was too late in the race to close it completely. Guerra tried to reclaim inches between first and second but the slick grassy finish and Cole House refused to allow it. Smartly, House took the inside line into the last sharp turn for the win, knowing that Guerra couldn’t realistically pass around the outside on wet grass. Following soon after was Matter for third and Neff in fourth. Very reminiscent of the 2014 season, Cooper Dendel (Quick Stop Bike Shop) took her second consecutive win for the season in Rhinelander. Dendel is in her happy place when loads of single track blend with fast dirt and rain. After an easy victory in Iola, WI, Dendel hoped to challenge herself more this time. This made it apparent that Cooper was going to race her own race and inflate a cushion between herself and the rest of the field. Following in second and third place were Lindsey Guerra (Vision Cycling) and Leia Schneeberger (Magnus). Schneeberger, who is an expert in narrow paths, made a noble attempt to hang with Dendel into the first section of single track. Guerra followed closely behind until Schneeberger slipped on a wooden bridge and went down. Upon getting back up, Schneeberger rode the wheel of Guerra for a while until finally falling back a bit into third. Sarah Agena (Hidden Bay/Ciderboys) finished in a respectable fourth place. Enjoying the new segments of single track in the comfort of a full suspension bike, Agena pushed on to finish without incident in the gritty wet conditions.