Report by: Todd Nutter May 26, 2013 Rhinelander, WI. The annual Crystal Lake Classic was the second of three consecutive weeks of racing for the Subaru-sponsored Wisconsin Off-Road Series (WORS) this past Sunday. Hosted by the Camp Tesomas Boy Scout facility, the Crystal Lake Classic makes a fun and exciting event for everyone involved. The course is heavily wooded and is set along the banks of beautiful Crystal Lake with much of the course created by the Boy Scouts volunteers. In a welcomed change in weather, racers were treated to a dry 70 degree day. The Belgioioso Elite Men's race showed a wonderful display of talented competitors. Starting off with a long gravel lead out, racers had to straddle the line between speed and caution. With the dry conditions, it was tough to keep bikes from going down in the loose sandy terrain. Early on, a lead group was formed with Tyler Gauthier (Border Grill- Quick Stop), Darrin Braun (Adventure 212/Specialized), Corey Stelljes (RACC-Gear Grinder), Nathan Guerra (Vision Pro Cycling) and Justin Piontek (Titletown Flyers). The members of this pack held together for most of the race, each taking turns pulling the group. Guathier pushed the pace through the singletrack and eventually the group dwindled to three riders with Stelljes and Piontek falling a few seconds behind. Guerra reportedly crashed on his third lap due to the loose sand but was able to get back in with the lead three men. The top three tested each other to see who had the strength over the others. With no one showing a strong advantage over the other two, it really came down to the finish. Guerra took advantage of a split second hesitation by Gauthier who started to set up for a turn instead of sprinting to the finish, giving Guerra the opportunity to pass for the win. Braun followed the line of Gauthier and ended with a third place finish while Gauthier took second spot. The Elite women’s field was stacked with fast competitors. The long lead out took riders through dirt roads lined with scout cabins and spectators before entering into fast rolling descents and singletrack. With all of the dust kicked up by the knobby tires, visibility was low at times and breathing was tough. The faces of the participants told the story of how loose the course was. Amber Markey (Brazen Dropouts) showed up for her first WORS event of the season. Without even preriding the course, Markey showed her confidence by pushing the pace of the rest of the women in the field. Cooper Dendel (Border Grill) hung with the leader for a while, but Markey’s gap grew wider as the race went on. Lindsey Kriete (Velo Trocadero) was not far behind while grabbing her second consecutive 3rd place finish. Dendel finished with 2nd place medal while Markey took the podium’s top step.