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Allison Mann and Ignacio Torres picked up their first Pro XCT wins, topping the women’s and men’s fields (respectively) in Saturday’s round two of the Pro XCT mountain bike series at Bonelli Park in Southern California.
Mann controls women’s race
Gallery: Pro XCT round two women’s race
In the women’s race, local Allison Mann made the best of her home-track knowledge and good form to run away with the first Pro XCT win of her career.
Mann got to the front of the women’s field and simply road away to a convincing solo win on her Boobs 4 Bikes/Rock N Road sponsored Specialized bike.
Things broke apart late in the five-lap race, as the heat of the afternoon began to wear on the competitors. Behind Mann was a seesaw battle between several riders that finally resulted in Zephanie Blasi’s (WXC World racing team) second-place finish.
Rounding out the women’s top five were Erin Huck of Tokyo Joes, Jaime Busch, and Canadian Andreanne Pichette of the Opus-OCG team, who was the first U23 women’s rider to cross the line.
Mexico’s Torres tops men’s field
Gallery: Pro XCT round two men’s race
In the Elite men’s race, nearly 70 men rolled up to the line to do battle in the heat of the day at the 1:45pm start. Unseasonably warm weather meant that the six-lap affair would also be a battle of the elements.
It was Mexico’s Ignacio Torres of the Turbo team who grabbed the bull by the horns and led the first lap. In pursuit was Torres’ teammate Emmanuel Valencia, chased by Cannondale’s Alex Grant, Sho-Air/Specialized rider Brendon Davids, and Colin Cares of the Kenda/Felt team.
Davids was the first to make a mistake; a dropped chain late into lap one put him outside the top 10.
Meanwhile, Torres began to extend his lead, pushing a furious pace.
On lap three, riders were spread out everywhere as the hot weather and technical course took its toll. Sho-Air/Specialized’s Brendon Davids clawed his way back into eighth, passing Trek’s Russell Finsterwald and others as he joined the tail end of a five-man group that included Menso Dejong, Alex Grant, Ryan Woodall. But that would soon change, as Davids went down in the back section, crashing and flatting his front tire.
Torres quietly extended his lead and looked comfortable with one to go, oblivious to the chaos behind. Colin Cares put in a strong ride with a hard-chasing Raphael Gagne.
In the end, Torres cruised to a 20-second victory, taking the first Pro XCT win of his career. Colin Cares took second, followed by Raphael Gagne and Emmanuel Valencia. BMC’s Kerry Werner—the top U23 rider on the day—finished fifth.