Specialized leads charge for change into Pro XCT Finals


It was only two short weeks ago when Olympian Lea Davison (Jericho, Vt./Specialized Factory Racing) and surprise victor Stephen Ettinger (Bozeman, Mont./BMC Mountain Bike Racing) won the USA Cycling Cross-Country Mountain Bike National Championships.  They will continue their East Coast tour this weekend at the Specialized Catamount Classic Pro XCT in Williston, Vt., the final race of the Pro Mountain Bike Cross-Country Tour (Pro XCT). Tight races in both the men's and women's Pro XCT standings set the stage for some epic battles this weekend.
Lea Davison used the descents to gain time and recover for more technical sections
Lea Davison on her way to winning the 2013 Cross-Country National Championships. (photo by Bill Schieken)
Team Specialized experienced unprecedented domination at the last Pro XCT event, the Subaru Cup in Mt. Morris, Wis., winning both the short track and the cross-country for men and women. On the women’s side, Davison won the last two Pro XCT races garnering enough points to snatch the overall lead from Chloe Woodruff (Tucson, Ariz./Crankbrothers Race Club).  Davison's teammate, Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Racing), did the same after winning the Subaru Cup and taking the overall lead from Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./SHO-Air-Cannondale).  

The Specialized Catamount Classic is taking a different approach to racing.  Race Director Eric Bowker believes this is the first time a Pro XCT event is being held by a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization. Any proceeds that are made from the race go back to promoting the sport through programs at Catamount Outdoor Family Center. In addition, this race has a social mission to empower women. The women’s race will no longer be the opening act for the men’s, instead the crowd can enjoy the men’s cross country race at 11:00 a.m., and the women’s race at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 2:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., respectively, on Sunday.  

Another goal is to have the men and women race the same distance within the existing UCI rules. Catamount has also decided to name two of its A lines, the Specialized Fate and Rumor, after women’s race bikes to showcase that women can ride just as hard as the guys. And, for the first time in mountain bike history, G-Form will be paying the women more prize money than the men. The trend will continue with ENG VT equaling prize money for the UCI cyclo-cross race happening at Catamount this fall.

This Article Updated August 1, 2013 @ 03:35 PM For more information contact: