Pro XCT: Schultz, Irmiger win Missoula, set up Wisconsin finale


The Subaru-Trek squad dominated the penultimate stop on the 2012 USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT) last weekend, winning both the pro men's and women's events at the Hammer Nutrition Missoula XC. With their wins, Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek) and Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) tightened up the top of the Pro XCT overall standings with only Wisconsin's Subaru Cup remaining.

Schultz finishes triumphantly in front of his hometown crowd.
Schultz finishes triumphantly in front of his hometown crowd.
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.

Full results from the Hammer Nutrution Missoula XC


USA Cycling Pro XCT Standings:

1. Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo./Specialized Racing Kenda-Felt) - 530
2. Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-Trek) 520
3. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing) - 510
4. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) - 460
5. Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek) - 400

1. Monique 'Pua' Mata (Westminister, Calif./Sho-air-Specialized) - 550
2. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-Trek) - 510
3. Erin Huck (Boulder, Colo./Toyko Joe's) - 500
4. Zephanie Blasi (Vail, Ariz./WXC World Racing) - 420
5. Judy Freeman (Littleton, Colo./Crankbrothers Race Club) - 380

1. Subaru-Trek - 150
2. Kenda/Felt Pro MTB Team - 99
3. Specialized Racing - 89
4. Team LUNA Chix - 85
5. BMC Mountain Bike Development Team - 49


For complete standings, visit the Pro XCT's official webpage at

Coming Up
The 2012 Pro XCT will wrap up with the Subaru Cup in Mt. Morris, Wisc. on August 18.

Photos by Tom Roberston : Sam Schultz finishes triumphantly in front of his home crowd in Missoula.

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This Article Updated July 18, 2012 @ 11:58 AM For more information contact: