The beginning of the season for the Subaru Trek Mountain Bike Team has been strong with team members earning personal best podium spots.
The season began March 3 in Texas at the 2012 Subaru of Georgetown Mellow Johnny’s Classic. The women finished in the top 10 with Heather Irmiger in 7th and Emily Batty in eighth. The men all finished in the top 15 - Sam Schultz in fifth, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski in eighth and Russell Finsterwald in 15th.
At the second stop of the Pro XCT the US Cup Triple Crown at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, California, the youngest member of the team, Russell Finsterwald, was the only team entrant. The 20-year-old scored his first national series win on the short track, topping off his 10th-place cross-country finish and his seventh-place Super-D finish that weekend.
While Finsterwald was racing in California, the remaining team members were headed to the first World Cup race of the season in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, with these results.
- In her second season with the Subaru Trek team, Emily Batty came up with a second-place finish. This was the highest placing for her in a World Cup event, placing her on the list of possible Olympic candidates for the Canadian team.
- U.S. teammate Heather Irmiger finished 15th, moving her up in World Cup rankings.
- On the men’s side, Sam Schulz had the top U.S. placement for the men, finishing 42nd, and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski finished 72nd.
This first event marked the beginning of qualifications for the 2012 Olympics. Based on 2011 results, riders are placed on the long list for their countries. At the World Cup events, the long list riders that place in the top five will be considered for the team through May 22, 2012.
On June 15, 2012, the United States will announce its team of two females and two males.
The next World Cup race is April 14-15 in Belgium. The team then returns to the United States for the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. Watch for Drive’s upcoming coverage from the Sea Otter Classic.