McConnell and Woodruff Take The PRO XCT Wins in Wisconsin
Report by: Hanna Mork
The Wisconsin Off Road Series hosted the Pro Cross Country Tour last weekend at Cascade Mountain in Portage, WI. Mother Nature made sure the heat and humidity was high for the WORS Cup Pro XCT race presented by Trek. The course was of the modern World Cup model, approximately 3.1 miles in length per lap. It wound itself several times to provide spectators with convenient access and numerous viewing points. The pro women had 5 laps of punching climbs and tight corners while the men had 6.
Saturday started out with the pro women racing in the beating sun. Our recently named National Champion Chloe Woodruff (Stans No Tubes/Niner) was able to put in an early lead among the rest of the field with Rebecca Henderson (Trek Factory Racing) trying to chase her down. Closely behind Henderson was Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air/Cannondale) but after a mechanical Dong was not able to catch Henderson but managed to keep her third place position. After Woodruff developed a gap, she steadily continued to open it, securing her second ever UCI win. After 5 demanding laps, Henderson finished second with Dong finishing 3rd. Just a minute behind Dong finished Larrisa Conners (RidebikerAlliance) and behind her finishing a respective 5th place was Peta Mullens (Sram Yeti Racing).
After a fast and hot start for the pro men, Stephen Ettinger (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and Daniel McConnell (Trek Factory Racing) began to pull away from the field. The two competitors were able to work together for the first two laps but then things began to change. According to Ettinger, he wasn’t descending very well which gave McConnell a chance to pull away roughly halfway through the race. McConnell was able to put 2 minutes and 45 seconds between Ettinger and the rest of the field to secure his win with Ettinger finishing second. Behind them, was Hector Fernando Riveros (Raliegh Clement) finishing a respective third place. Together for most of the race was Benjamin Sonntag (Team Clif Bar) and Cameron Ivory (Bike Team Solothurn Switzerland) but in the end, Sonntag put 14 seconds between them to finish 4th with Ivory 5th.