Schneeberger and Swartz Rise to the Top in La Crosse

The Wisconsin Off-Road Series made its eighth stop of the season on the Western slope of Wisconsin in the beautiful bluffs of La Crosse last Sunday. The Hixon Forest Epic winds up and down the bluffs with beautiful views through fast singletrack. Early morning rain brought on a hot and beautiful day for the third annual Hixon Forest Epic. Each race is becoming more and more crucial for series riders as the competition heats up for the series overall and last weekend was no different.   The BelGioioso Pro/Elite men’s field was led out by overall series leader Cole House(Broken Spoke Racing). House led the entire prologue with Caleb Swartz(Linear Sport Racing/Trek) and Ben Senkerik(Team Extreme) hovering close. After an unfortunate flat for Senkerik, it left Swartz and House alone to duel it out. Taking turns leading, House and Swartz rode together for the first half of the race, until misfortune struck again. House suffered a mechanical leaving the young sensation all alone in the lead. Swartz saw this opportunity and gassed it. He rationalized: now was his chance, even if House catches back up, he will be tired from his efforts. Therefore Swartz put in an attack, attempting to gain as much time as he could. Battling in the chase, Payson Partridge(Dekorra Products/Skratch labs) and Tristan Schouten(Threshold Sports Carbon Repair) worked up passed House, and began to battle for second and third. Swartz’s destiny was written in the dirt as he would win his first ever Pro/Elite WORS race by over two minutes! Partridge slowly rode away from Schouten as he opened a small gap late in the last lap to finish second with Schouten in third. Despite a mechanical, House worked his way back into the top five to finish fourth. Peter Hurst rounded out the top five respectively.   The BelGioioso Pro/Elite Women’s field once again saw a classic battle between Broken Spoke Racing’s Leia Schneeberger and Neff Cycle Service’s Holly LaVesser. LaVesser led going into the singletrack and was able to find an early groove, losing the rest of the field. However, sometimes racers can just feel it in their legs when it will be a tough day, and LaVesser said she could feel the lack of power in the legs. Schneeberger was on the hunt. Racing her new 2019 Specialized S-Works Epic Hardtail, she felt fluid in the singletrack. After a lap and a half, Schneeberger finally caught LaVesser. LaVesser did everything she could to stay with, but after Schneeberger found a Junior Elite’s wheel, she was gone. Schneeberger would flow her way to the finish line in first, winning her fourth race of the season. LaVesser would finish two minutes behind in second. After a slow start for Caitlin Neuman, she worked her way up the field to finish in third. Linear Sport Racing’s Katrina Hurst finished in fourth while Lisa Young rounded out the top five. For results visit, http://wors.org/results/ For information on the next WORS race visit, http://wors.org/schedule/reforestation-ramble/  

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