The Wisconsin Off-Road Series kicked off the second half of the season with USA Cycling’s Midwest Regional MTB Championships, WORS Cup at Alpine Valley Ski Resort in Elkhorn, WI. This is the second year WORS has used Alpine Valley for a race venue as it’s southern location brings in racers from all over the midwest. The course seems to have a little bit for everyone; fast descents, long climbs and a singletrack haven that attracts racers of all abilities. The Pro/Cat 1 Women’s field once again saw large numbers. The classic battle between very strong competitors and friends Leia Schneeberger(Broken Spoke Racing) and Holly LaVesser(Neff Cycle Service) was once again showcased for all, this time with an added flare. The WORS Cup XC race brought in ladies from all over the states; Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota just to name a few. These additional ladies gave the traditional WORS field a challenge. Schneeberger took charge at the front, setting pace for the women. Early on, LaVesser, Schneeberger moved to the front with a large chase group forming. LaVesser, having the opportunity to race on her home course, felt very confident in Alpine Valley’s tight singletrack. She wiggled her way through the singletrack to take the win at the Midwest Regional Championships. Schneeberger tried to chase down LaVesser but settled with silver while Katrina Hurst(Linear Sport/Trek) rounded out the top three respectively. The Pro Men’s field saw racers from all around. Ben Senkerik(Team Extreme) hit the start climb hard, leading out the rest of the field. Overall WORS leader, Cole House (Pete’s Garage/Hacienda Brewing) led the opening singletrack to find his own groove and open a gap early. With House out front, Caleb Swartz(Linear Sport/Trek) and Pete Karinen(Broken Spoke Racing) were close by until an unlucky crash for House almost brought the group back together. As soon as he could, House worked to open another gap and Karinen fell off the back leaving Swartz to chase alone in second. Brian Matter(Linear Sport/Trek), who historically works into a race, caught his teammate Swartz and encouraged him to come along. Matter and Swartz flew through the singletrack together until Matter put in a last ditch effort to hunt down House. Entering the third lap, Matter attacked the start climb losing Swartz. House could feel Matter’s presence so he kept it pinned all the way to the finish line to win the Midwest Regional MTB Championships with Matter finishing second. Swartz rounded out the top three with a bronze medal. The Pro Men’s Short track started off with a bang as young Trek rider Daxton Mock set a blistering pace on the front. After a few laps, veteran Cole House(Pete’s Garage/ Hacienda Brewing) began to take control. Early in the race it seemed as if friends Brian Matter(Linear Sport/Trek) and Tristan Schouten(Threshold Sports Carbon Repair) were feeling the affects of the high speed however the men proved spectators wrong. As the racers crested into the latter half of the race, Matter began to work towards the front, bringing along teammate Caleb Swartz(Linear Sport/Trek) with him. With only a couple laps to go, House, Swartz and Matter developed a lead group. Pete Karninen(Broken Spoke Racing) and Schouten made the bridge once, but could not hold on as they dropped back. As the men entered the last lap, Swartz and Matter were clearly working together trying to maintain position; however, House had a different plan. As they entered the last couple corners, House strategically got around the teammates to lead into the final corner and have an edge for the sprint finish. House would win, with Matter second and Swartz third respectively. The Pro/Cat 1 Women’s short track was led out early by 17 year old Katy McDicken(ASU Devo) with the rest of the field in pursuit. As the women entered the start/finish straightaway, experienced racer Leia Schneeberger(Broken Spoke Racing) made her way to open an early attack, making sure no one can grab her wheel. Bad positioning for Hanna Mork(Linear Sport/Trek) let Schneeberger get a gap however, Mork wanted to chase. As they entered the second lap, Mork launched an attack but no one came with. After a few laps slowly closing the gap, Mork realized she couldn’t do it alone and backed off to wait for her teammate. Caitlin Neuman(Brazen Dropouts) and Katrina Hurst(Linear Sport/Trek) bridged up to Mork where she would settle back in, meanwhile Schneeberger developed a healthy lead. With three to go, Mork tested the waters on the climb that traversed the resort. She opened a small lead but Neuman and Hurst bridged back on the opening straight. As they entered the last lap, Schneeberger had plenty of room to ride it in safe for the win, while the spot for runnerup was still undecided. Mork attacked up the last climb and whipped it through the final corners to get any edge she could. The three entered the final turn to sprint it out for second. Mork jumped the line to finish with silver, Hurst with bronze and Neuman would just miss the podium in fourth. The Pro/Open Enduro race was crushed by the U.P native Pete Karinen with Ryan Zinzow finishing second and Vincent Steger finishing third. Holly LaVesser took the W for the Women with Leia Schneeberger finishing second and Wendy Boehm finishing third.