Pro XCT: Schultz, Irmiger win Missoula, set up Wisconsin finale
On Missoula's Marshall Mountain the pro men lined up for five laps of what was predicted to be another shootout between the newly crowned cross-country national champion and hometown favorite Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek) and fellow Olympian Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized). Schultz led from the first lap cheered on by a very supportive hometown crowd. Wells, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) and 19-year-old Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Rocky Mountain Chocolate) were in the chase group trading positions most of the race. In the end Grotts had a breakthrough result for second with 'JHK' rounding out the top three. Pro XCT points leader Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo./Specialized-Kenda-Felt) just missed the podium in sixth.
Irmiger also took the lead in the first lap of the women’s race and never looked back. The women’s field did four laps on the 4.4-kilometer course, including the infamous “A-Line” drop. Irmiger took advantage of the drop and its 10 second time benefit to grab the victory. The Pro XCT points leader coming into the race, Monique 'Pua' Mata (Westminister, Calif./Sho-air-Specialized) chased but could not reel in Irmiger, finishing second. Chloe Woodruff (Boulder, Colol/Crank Brothers Race Club) had a career best Pro XCT third-place finish after having a run in with a moose on the course earlier in the week.
Cares holds a slight lead over Schultz and Wells in the men's standings headed into the series' final event, the Subaru Cup, on Aug. 18. On the women's side, Mata, who also leads the USA Cycling Pro Ultra-Endurance Calendar (Pro UET), has 40 points on Irmiger and 50 on Huck with only the Wisconsin event remaining.
With another solid team performance in Missoula, Subaru-Trek has a firm grip on the team overall, 51 points ahead of Kenda/Felt Pro MTB Team and 61 on third-placed Specialized racing.
USA Cycling Pro XCT Standings:
For complete standings, visit the Pro XCT's official webpage at usacycling.org/proxct.
Photos by Tom Roberston : Sam Schultz finishes triumphantly in front of his home crowd in Missoula.
- Cares and Mata take over Pro XCT lead following Ute Valley - Jun 20, 2012
- Ute Valley Pro XCT to continue Pro XCT June 16 in CO Springs - May 17, 2012
- Cares and Blasi take over Pro XCT lead with silver at Bonelli - Mar 12, 2012
This Article Updated July 18, 2012 @ 11:58 AM For more information contact: