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Schultz wins Missoula US Pro XCT on home turf

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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
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) takes the victory in his hometown of Missoula. His first race in the National Champions jersey.

Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) takes the victory in his hometown of Missoula. His first race in the National Champions jersey.
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) was stoked to win in front of his hometown

Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) was stoked to win in front of his hometown
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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The race scene in Missoula was once again the place to be

The race scene in Missoula was once again the place to be
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) rides to a strong 3rd place finish

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) rides to a strong 3rd place finish
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) hits the A-line with a little style

Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) hits the A-line with a little style
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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Matthys Beukes leads the men's race at the start

Matthys Beukes leads the men's race at the start
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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Olympians Todd Wells (Specialized) and Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) were the first call-ups for the men's elite race

Olympians Todd Wells (Specialized) and Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) were the first call-ups for the men's elite race
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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Colin Cares (Kenda-Felt) and Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek) battled it out on the last lap

Colin Cares (Kenda-Felt) and Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek) battled it out on the last lap
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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During the week leading up to the race, there have been moose encounters on the course

During the week leading up to the race, there have been moose encounters on the course
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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19-year old Howard Grotts (Specialized) finished a great race in 2nd

19-year old Howard Grotts (Specialized) finished a great race in 2nd
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)
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Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) with Emily Kipp show off his first place trophy. Montana style

Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) with Emily Kipp show off his first place trophy. Montana style
(Image credit: Tom Robertson)

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) TeamResult
1Sam Schultz (USA) Subaru-Trek1:20:04
2Howard Grotts (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory/Devo0:00:39
3Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) Subaru-Trek0:01:02
4Jack Haig (Aus) TORQ Nurtion0:02:03
5Todd Wells (USA) Specialized Racing0:02:27
6Colin Cares (USA) Kenda/Felt0:02:45
7Russell Finsterwald (USA) Subaru-Trek0:03:15
8Matthys Beukes (RSA)0:04:20
9Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Bicycles0:05:00
10Brendon Davids (RSA) Sho-Air/Specialized0:08:15
11Ryan Woodall (USA)0:08:51
12Robert Marion (USA) American Classic0:09:25
13Ernie Watenpaugh (USA)0:09:34
14Travis (TJ) Woodruff (USA) Momentum Endurance0:10:01
15Samuel Morrison (USA) The Gear Movement0:10:13
16Anthony Smith (USA) Whole Athlete-Specialized0:10:19
17Phil Grove (USA) Sportman & Ski Haus0:11:18
18John Curry (USA) GAS/Intrinik0:11:33
19Brennan Wodtli (USA)0:11:46
20Drew Edsall (USA) Kenda / Felt0:12:06
21Peter Ostroski (USA) Wild Things/Rocky0:12:19
22Brent Gorman (USA) Volkswagen Boise0:12:26
23Kevin Bradford-Paris (USA)0:12:48
24Kerry Werner (USA) USA U23 BMC development0:12:59
25Colton Andersen (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory/Devo0:14:25
26Cole Oberman (USA) BreakawayBikes.com0:16:03
27Logan Wetzel (USA) Noble Bikes0:16:58
28Clint Muhlfeld (USA) Sportsman & Ski Haus0:17:04
29Greg Krieger (USA)0:18:26
30Blake Zumbrunnen (USA)0:19:29
-1lapMatt Butterfield (USA) Great Northern Cycling/GNCC
-1lapDavid Harrison (USA) Wild Rockies Racing Team/Wild Rockies Inc
DNFJonn Nobil (USA) Bear Valley Bikes
DNFGert Heyns (RSA)
DNFPayson McElveen (USA) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
DNFMacky Franklin (USA) Orbea-Tuff Shed
DNFZachary Valdez (USA) Whole Athlete-Specialized
DNSCameron McKnight (Can) ERTC

 

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