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Davison and Wells target Pro XCT titles in Vermont

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Lea Davison (Specialized) was gapped by Chloe Woodruff but maintained contact with Gould

Lea Davison (Specialized) was gapped by Chloe Woodruff but maintained contact with Gould
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Todd Wells (Specialized) with a half lap to go before claiming the national championship title.

Todd Wells (Specialized) with a half lap to go before claiming the national championship title.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) had quite a battle going with Russell Finsterwald

Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale) had quite a battle going with Russell Finsterwald
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) with a gap over Georgia Gould

Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) with a gap over Georgia Gould
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

It was only two short weeks ago when Olympian Lea Davison (Specialized) and surprise victor Steve Ettinger (BMC) won the US Cross Country National Championships in Pennsylvania. They will continue their east coast tour with their next stop at the Specialized Catamount Classic, the final stop in the US Pro XCT national series. The stage has been set for an epic battle for the overall title this weekend with a tight men's and women's contests.

Team Specialized experienced unprecedented domination at the last Pro XCT in Wisconsin winning both the short track and the cross country for men and women. On the women's side, Vermont local favorite Davison won both the Subaru Cup and the Missoula XC, garnering enough points to snatch the overall lead from Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers). Davison's teammate Todd Wells did the same after winning the last Pro XCT in Wisconsin, taking the overall lead from Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale). With several Olympians, world champions, and athletes from four countries towing the line, the race is all but wrapped up.

The Specialized Catamount Classic is taking a different approach to racing. Race Director Eric noted that this is the first time - as far as he knows - that a Pro XCT is being held by a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization. Any proceeds from the race will go back to promoting the sport through programs at Catamount Outdoor Family Center.

In addition, the Catamount Classic has a social mission to empower women. The women's race will not be the opening act for the men's race; instead, the crowd can enjoy the men's cross country race at 11:00 am and the women's race at 2:00 pm on Saturday. The men's short track will be at 2:00 pm and the women's short track at 2:45 pm on Sunday. Another goal is to have the men and women race the same distance within the existing UCI rules.

The Catamount 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 finally, for the first time in mountain bike history, the race will be paying the women more prize money than the men, thanks to sponsorship from G-Form.

Organizers hope to keep up similar support of the women's racing at a cyclo-cross race it will host this fall.

With this one round remaining, Pro XCT standings are posted below. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for coverage of the Catamount Classic this weekend.

2013 Pro XCT standings with one round remaining

Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Todd Wells (Specialized Racing)1385pts
2Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air/Cannondale)1315
3Stephen Ettinger (BMC Mountain Bike Team)605
4Ryan Woodall585
5Mitchell Hoke (Kenda/Felt)565

Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lea Davison (Specialized Racing)910pts
2Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers)855
3Erica Tingey (Jamis)692
4Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Cannondale)600
5Erin Huck580

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized Racing2375pts
2Sho-Air/Cannondale2226
3Trek Factory Racing1305
4BMC Development1065
5Kenda/Felt805