Midwest MTB Championships Race Report

WORS(Wisconsin Off-Road Series) presented by Trek hosted the Midwest Mountain Bike Championships in Portage, WI for a great weekend of racing. Saturday kicked off with the amateur women and amateur men’s cross country race followed by the pro men and women’s cross country race. Another fun filled day of racing followed on Sunday with Bontrager’s Short track and the KMC Enduro race. Cascade Mountain has a great mix of hills, fast descents and a spectator friendly skills park to watch racers as they navigate through technical obstacles. The BelGioioso Pro/Elite Men’s race was delayed due to a severe thunderstorm causing the course to be extremely muddy, sloppy and slippery. Out of the gate Tristan Schouten (Pete’s Garage GB), Issac Neff(Neff Cycle Service), and Nathan Guerra(Vision Cycling/ P/B Ryder 930) took off hard with Schouten winning the hole shot. As the lead group entered the Trek Skills Park, Brian Matter (Team WI) and Neff made a mistake causing the leaders to open a small gap. Neff was able to pull away from Matter and chase down the leaders, Guerra and Schouten. Half way through the second lap Schouten pulled ahead to take the lead until, for the second race in a row, an unfortunate side wall caused him to pull out of the race. After having a rough first lap, Matter stopped to release some tire pressure and then was able to work himself into second place passing Guerra. Matter began to close the gap on Neff once he found his groove in the mud but it was too late. Neff secured the win becoming the Midwest Regional MTB Champion with Matter in second and Guerra in third. Honorary mention to Kenneth Hall (Salon Bella Vita) who finished in fourth and Justin Piontek (Adventure 212/Specialized) in fifth. The BelGioioso Pro/Elite Women’s race endured the thunderstorm, rain and an immense amount of mud. Many women pulled out early as Mother Nature was not letting up and the women left became very spread out as it was a race of survival and perseverance. At the start, Emma Swartz (Team WI/ KS Energy Services/ MOSH) took off immediately opening a gap on the rest of the field. Swartz, feeling confident in the mud with her experience in cyclocross created an unstoppable lead. Many hills were unrideable but that didn’t stop this young sensation from hiking a bike to secure the win. Behind Swartz was Lindsay Guerra (Vision Cycling/ P/B Ryder 930) who rode steady to finish second. An unfamiliar face to the WORS series was Amanda Schaap (Speed Merchants), racer out of Michigan who finished in third. Leia Schneeberger (Broken Spoke Racing) who is currently leading the WORS series finished fourth and Katrina Hurst (Treadhead Cycling) finished fifth respectively. The Short Track race presented by Bontrager brought on a close race for both the men’s and women’s field. In the men’s race Brian Matter (Team WI) and Nathan Guerra (Vision Cycling/ Ryder 930) sprinted to the line with Matter just edging ahead of Guerra for the win. In the women’s race, Emma Swartz(Team WI/ KS Energy Services/ MOSH) and Leia Schneeberger battled back and forth until the last lap where Swartz put a move in on the last hill and was able to finish one second ahead of Schneeberger. In the KMC Enduro race, Brian Matter (Team WI) made it a clean sweep on Sunday by also taking the title for enduro while Leia Schneeberger (Broken Spoke Racing) took the win for the Pro/Open Female. For more results visit http://mwmtbc.com/results/ For information on the next WORS race, visit http://wors.org/schedule/hixon-forest/     Photo courtesy of xtrphoto.com
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