The WORS season heats up with Strigel and Schouten each grabbing their second victory. By: Todd Nutter Racing season, just like the weather, is starting to heat up in Wisconsin. The Subaru-sponsored Wisconsin Off-Road Series (WORS) organized its 4th event this past Sunday in Cambridge, WI with the Battle of CamRock. Just outside of the state’s capital, CamRock Park is a technically challenging course that thrills riders with a variety of obstacles and flowing single-track. As part of the Dane County Park System, CamRock is located between Milwaukee and Madison, WI, making a convenient home course for some of the state’s fastest athletes. Abby Strigel (Honey Stinger/ Bontrager) calls this course her home field. She certainly showed racers and spectators alike, this past weekend, that she knows the trails well. With a lengthy starting climb and a very hot and humid day, the Belgioioso Elite Women’s field had a lot of work to do before hitting the single-track. Strigel’s strategy was to be first into the woods so she would not get held up by anyone in the single-track she knows so well. Strigel was joined by Sue Stephens (Grit MTB / Dominos) who came from Harrow, Ontario to try a second year at the Battle of CamRock. Stephens recalled a few crashes in front of her by other elite women that slowed her down a bit. She stated the CamRock was “a true mountain bike course” since it is so full of challenging technical riding. Once she lost sight of Strigel, however, her focus shifted to hanging onto 2nd place. This year was a repeat of 2012 for Stephens who finished 2nd to Strigel last season. Lisa Krayer (Adventure 212/ Specialized) didn’t start her race in the 3rd position, but did work her way up to it. With a last minute course change, racers ended up with an extra lap to make up for a section of the race that was removed. Krayer said she had not prepared for an extra climb of the starting hill. But she made the best of the situation and worked her way to a third place finish. This was Krayer’s first top three finish of the season. In the Belgioioso Men’s Elite race, Tristan Schouten (Rolf Prima Wheels) put the hammer down for a second consecutive win for his season. Early in the race, Nathan Guerra (Vision Pro Cycling) led the pack. But soon after, Schouten took over in the first place position. Schouten was not going to break away from the pack alone. Corey Stelljes (RACC-Gear Grinder) held close onto Schouten’s wheel throughout the race. Stelljes has coached with his teammate and previous WORS overall champ, Brian Matter (RACC/ Trek). His coaching has paid off by landing him on the podium’s second step. Schouten, however, could not be caught as he pulled away in the final lap to widen the gap on Stelljes. Third place went to Kevin McConnell (Mercy-Specialized) who made the trip to CamRock from Iowa City, IA. McConnell and fellow teammates have made several appearances on the WORS podium before. McConnell credits his consistent pace for the 3rd place finish, saying that other riders were having issues with the heat and mechanical failures.