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July 14, Elite men cross country:

Schultz wins Missoula US Pro XCT on home turf

Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
July 16, 2012, 0:59 BST,
July 16, 2012, 23:26 BST

U23 racer Grotts surprises with runner-up finish

Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) in his first race in his National Championship kit

Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) in his first race in his National Championship kit

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Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) won his hometown US Pro XCT round in Missoula, Montana, on Saturday afternoon. In hot, dry and dusty conditions, the newly crowned cross country national champion soloed to victory.

Howard Grotts (Specialized) was the surprise of the day with an impressive second place. It was the first-year U23 rider's best-ever performance in an elite national series race. Jeremy Horgan Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) rounded out the top three.

Two South Africans, Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns, weren't about to let Schultz ride away easily with a victory at home. They took off and set a pace that Schultz later described as "uncomfortable". He couldn't get past them and away until the first downhill singletrack section more than half a lap in. Once he was in front, Schultz pedalled the remainder of the five laps solo to victory, cheered by hometown fans all along the course.

Specialized teammates Grotts and Todd Wells chased together until about mid-race. Grotts was climbing very well while Wells was having a tough day, and eventually Grotts powered away from Wells. Grotts finished just 39 seconds after Schultz.

Horgan-Kobelski was the first to catch and pass Wells - he would go on for third place at 1:02. On the final lap, Jack Haig (Torq) also passed Wells and finished fourth at 2:03. Wells hung on for fifth place at 2:27.

US Pro XCT points leader Colin Cares (Kenda/Felt) just missed the podium in sixth place but kept his overall series lead. Schultz moved up into second place, just 10 points back and also 10 points in front of series third place rider Wells. With such tight margins, it should be a good battle for the series overall at the US Pro XCT finals at the Subaru Cup in Wisconsin in late August.

Race notes

- About 50 percent of the men took the A-line jump.

- Locals Phil Grove, 29, and John Curry, 30 pleased fans by placing in the top 20. They were 17th and 18th respectively.

- Schultz was awarded a unique trophy featuring a huge rack of antlers.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek 1:20:04  
2 Howard Grotts (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory/Devo 0:00:39  
3 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek 0:01:02  
4 Jack Haig (Aus) TORQ Nurtion 0:02:03  
5 Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing 0:02:27  
6 Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Felt 0:02:45  
7 Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru-Trek 0:03:15  
8 Matthys Beukes (RSA) 0:04:20  
9 Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Bicycles 0:05:00  
10 Brendon Davids (RSA) Sho-Air/Specialized 0:08:15  
11 Ryan Woodall (USA) 0:08:51  
12 Robert Marion (USA) American Classic 0:09:25  
13 Ernie Watenpaugh (USA) 0:09:34  
14 Travis (TJ) Woodruff (USA) Momentum Endurance 0:10:01  
15 Samuel Morrison (USA) The Gear Movement 0:10:13  
16 Anthony Smith (USA) Whole Athlete-Specialized 0:10:19  
17 Phil Grove (USA) Sportman & Ski Haus 0:11:18  
18 John Curry (USA) GAS/Intrinik 0:11:33  
19 Brennan Wodtli (USA) 0:11:46  
20 Drew Edsall (USA) Kenda / Felt 0:12:06  
21 Peter Ostroski (USA) Wild Things/Rocky 0:12:19  
22 Brent Gorman (USA) Volkswagen Boise 0:12:26  
23 Kevin Bradford-Paris (USA) 0:12:48  
24 Kerry Werner (USA) USA U23 BMC development 0:12:59  
25 Colton Andersen (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory/Devo 0:14:25  
26 Cole Oberman (USA) 0:16:03  
27 Logan Wetzel (USA) Noble Bikes 0:16:58  
28 Clint Muhlfeld (USA) Sportsman & Ski Haus 0:17:04  
29 Greg Krieger (USA) 0:18:26  
30 Blake Zumbrunnen (USA) 0:19:29  
-1lap Matt Butterfield (USA) Great Northern Cycling/GNCC    
-1lap David Harrison (USA) Wild Rockies Racing Team/Wild Rockies Inc    
DNF Jonn Nobil (USA) Bear Valley Bikes    
DNF Gert Heyns (RSA)    
DNF Payson McElveen (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory    
DNF Macky Franklin (USA) Orbea-Tuff Shed    
DNF Zachary Valdez (USA) Whole Athlete-Specialized    
DNS Cameron McKnight (Can) ERTC