Wilderness 101

By Ryan O’Dell

A founding race in the NUE National Ultra Endurance Race Series, The W101 has become known for its fast gravel roads balanced with healthy doses of rocky, technical single track. Located near State College, Pennsylvania, W101 is hosted and organized by Shenandoah Mountain Tours.

Wilderness 101 Racers earned NUE Race Series points. To receive a ranking and series rewards in the NUE Epic 100 mile series, racers four best completed races count.

NUE division winners receive an official NUE Champions Jersey courtesy of Voler, a share of a combined US$16,000 series cash purse, complimentary entry into all NUE National Series races in 2018, plus an all-expense paid trip in November to represent the NUE Race Series at the LaRuta de los Conquistadores, a three day stage race across Costa Rica, from the Pacific to the Caribbean considered one of the toughest mountain bike races in the world.

Women’s Open

Williams gets her second straight W at W101!

Carla Williams, Joe’s Bike Shop Racing Team, earns her second straight victory at W101 to finish at 8:05:35, nearly ten minutes faster than her 2016 winning time of 8:15.

“I was super excited to be back racing at W101 this year. It’s always great to see Chris Scott and events put on by Shenandoah Mountain Touring never disappoint. We camped out in Coburn, PA at the start/finish the night before the race, and I lay awake in the tent listening as thunderstorm after thunderstorm rolled through. I was wondering how hard wet rock and muddy single track would be. Luckily, the rain stopped just before the start, and we were off up the first climb out of town.

I stayed with the group of lead men through aid station 1, around mile 18. I was working hard not to get dropped as Chris Beck, who also happens to be my coach, set a super-fast pace at the front. I didn’t see any other female riders in that group so, after aid 1, I settled into my pace and focused on strong climbing and staying upright on the rocks. I think this is the first year I have actually had fun riding the rocks, trying to find the best line through them and taking risks I have been too hesitant to do in years past.

At the fourth aid station, I caught up to Dan Kotwicki, and we rode together for a while. It’s always such a relief seeing the railroad tunnel, and this was the first year I rode through it cleanly! Then it was just a few more miles on the road back to the finish where there was great food, great friends, and a great river to cool off in! Thanks so much to my sponsors: Joe’s Bike Shop, ESI grips, Maxxis Tires, Ridge Supply Socks and Huma gel. Next race for me is Crotched Mountain 100 in New Hampshire.”

Libbey Sheldon was Stoked to finish the “101” in 2nd place after taking her age group National Championship jersey last weekend at Snowshoe WV.

Libbey Sheldon, Crosshairs Cycling, who finished fourth last year, moved up to  second place on the podium at 8:47:28, nearly an hour faster than her 9:35:52 finish last season.

“Listening to the thunder and driving rain outside the van all night before the race, I was pretty sure that I’d made a mistake signing up for the W101, but somehow Chris Scott always seems to pull things off.  Fortunately for the racers, the rain let up around dawn and the day of the event was spectacular, with really nice temperatures for the middle of summer, and only a few wet spots.

Carla was her usual super-strong self, and I didn’t see her after the first few miles. I did get to ride with new friends, and got some really helpful motivation on the road sections from hammering dudes Rob Campbell, Jeff Plassman, Rich Straub and Zane Wenzel.

In a total rookie move, I didn’t refuel at aid station three and felt pretty exhausted around mile 60. Luckily, I got a bit of an energy boost (thanks, CarboRocket!) and was able keep pushing the pedals. Fisherman’s trail was a bit of a jolt at the end, but finishing an NUE always puts a smile on your face.

The course changes that Chris and the promoting team put in place this year were a nice update to this classic race, the volunteers were awesome as always, and I’m glad I made it out to Coburn!

Fourteen minutes back, Britt Mason, The Bike Lane, was third at 9:01:00 with Amanda Barry just over two minutes back at 9:02:37 for fourth place.

Tanguy and Beck go full gas into and station 4 to keep the gap growing on the chasers. The rough and steep Stillhouse Hollow climb looms in the distance.

Men’s Open

Tanguy Wins by Eleven Seconds!

2011 and 2013 NUE Race Series Champion, Christian Tanguy, RBS Cycling Team, narrowly missed the mark last year at the W101, finishing second by just one minute to race winner, Brian Schworm.  This year, Tanguy found himself a precious few seconds on the upside earning his own narrow win just ahead of Chris Beck at 6:48:30.

Just eleven seconds back, Chris Beck, Joe’s Bike Shop Racing Team, took the second spot on the podium at 6:48:41.

“The week prior I won the national championship at Snowshoe (Masters) and I wanted to wear the new jersey.  I had good fitness for XC but I was obviously taking a chance at the 100 mile distance. My longest ride was less than three hours in all of 2017, so I was going to need to rely on my experience.

I set a steady pace early on to thin the group after noticing that the conversational pace was swelling the peloton. (2009 and 2010 NUE Race Series  Champion) Jeff Schalk would never let the group parade around for twenty miles, so I did my best imitation and tried to push hard all the way to three bridges where the breakaway usually forms.  Sure enough, a small group formed after the slippery wet sections and it was up to me to keep the pace high.

Eventually, Christian realized that I was climbing well and stayed close-by. I attacked the trail sections to make him work and that dropped everyone else. We charged ahead sharing the work until Aid 5 when I realized that I had to recover on his very fast wheel. His aerobars reminded me that he was there to win. I accepted second and we finished together.

Chris Beck, Conor Bell, Christian Tanguy and David Flaten lay it down on the 4th big climb of the day heading towards the Croyle Run descent.

He got away slightly when his bars fit through the bridge railings. It was a strange way to let him go, but that’s the beauty of these 100 mile races in my opinion. I was happy to wear the new jersey at the front of a NUE, even if I had to settle for second.

I’ll be training for CX for the rest of 2017 unless my buddies talk me into racing SM100. I think my fitness and the refresher I got at W101 might all allow for a good result in Stokesville.”

2016 W101 race winner, Brian Schworm, Think Green-Bicycle Face p/b SWORD, took third at 7:09:04. His narrow win here last year, by just one minute, launched Schworm into the lead for NUE Race Series Points that would ultimately come down to a showdown at the NUE Championship Race.

“2017 Wilderness 101 was not my best race but I’m happy with the final result. Rain the night before made parts of the course wet and slippery but race day weather conditions were great with cooler temperatures and a partly cloudy sky.

Things weren’t going my way for the first 65 but I finally started finding my groove in some rocky single track. I pushed my pace, perhaps too much, as I suffered a flat. I threw in a tube and continued on, moving up 10th overall to third by the end. It was a blast riding with friends Ian Spivack, Heath Thumel, and singlespeed extraordinaire Gordon Wadsworth for large portions of the race.

Congratulations to Christian Tanguy and Chris Beck who rode an extremely fast race battling for the top spot. Thanks again to my supportive wife Jennifer for all her help with my race, and to my team Think Green – Bicycle Face for their amazing support.  Up next is the Crotched Mountain 100 in New Hampshire followed soon by the Shenandoah 100 to finish up the NUE series for me.”

Three minutes later, David Flaten, US Air Force, took third at 7:12:37. Heath Thumel, Race Pace Bicycles/I9, matched last year’s performance finishing fourth at 7:13:18.

Gordon Wadsworth (Blue Ridge Cyclery / Pivot Cycles) wasting no time blasting to another victory on his singlespeed at the Wilderness 101. Photo Bob Popovich

Singlespeed:

Wadsworth gets his first NUE SS win of the season!

Three-time defending NUE Series SS Champion, Gordon Wadsworth, Blue Ridge Cyclery/Pivot Cycles, freed himself from the geared world in his first win in defense of his title at 7:13:19, sixth place overall.

Twenty-three minutes back, winner of the Hilly Billy Roubaix, Patrick Blair, Adventures for the Cure, was second at 7:36:01, to finish eleventh overall!

“I was riding an Open ONE+ hardtail with 36×20 gearing and had some big Maxxis Ardent 2.4 tires to chew up the rocky trails. It was one of the most enjoyable NUE races I have ever done because I just kept my own pace and never went super hard… sometimes at the end of a 100mi race I am so tired I just want it to be over but this one I paced well and finished feeling strong. Now I am super excited to train for and race Shenandoah 100 next… it’s going to be a blast!”

Five minutes later, third place went to Donald Powers, UPMC Pro Bikes, at 7:41:05, good enough for 12th overall in his first NUE Race this season. However, this wasn’t Powers first rodeo at the W101.

“My 101 race plan has been the same over the last couple years…hold the lead group’s pace up the opening climb and then wheel suck to aid station 1 about 19 miles in.

On the opening climb I set the pace up the hill and, after we crested the first climb, our lead group was about 20-25 racers with six of them being SS’ers.  Having done this race six times before, I knew the climb out of aid station one is where the true contenders of the men’s open race would start setting the real pace and attack. I was able to hold on until the top of the climb but lost contact on the grassy top. Only two SS’ers were able to hold on, eventual winner Gordon Wadsworth and Patrick Blair, who won Hilly Billy this year.

I descended the long bumpy jeep road by myself and on next gravel climb local SS’er, Matt Ferrari, bridged up and we rode together all the way through aid station three. On the climb out of aid 3, about 50 miles into the race, I dropped him and bridged up to a geared friend in Dave Parsons and rode the next long section of rocky single track together. On the next climb I dropped Dave and worked my way through beautiful trail to the rocky nastiness that is “No Name Trail” descent.

On a section of gravel after the descent, I saw Patrick Blair riding back toward me. He thought he was lost but I got him to turn around and guided him though a non-marked road split. I was a bit surprised I was as close to him as I was. He was less than a half a mile ahead of me when he turned around. We rode into aid 4 together and he dropped me on the difficult climb out of aid 4.

On the rocky descent after that climb, I lost my full bottle. That put me in a dark place for the next 15+ miles, considering I drank most of my other bottle on that climb. So I only drank one bottle from mile 68 through 89. I battled through some legs cramps and was able to get to aid 5 without giving up any more spots.

Dave Parsons got into aid 5, about thirty seconds after me, and told me to grab his wheel on the next section of rail trail. No chance I was going to be able to hold his wheel with the leg cramps I was experiencing so I told him to go on and I’d ride my own pace. My legs came back to life for the last twelve miles of the race and I held onto third place SS and 12th overall.  Overall, I couldn’t be happier with that result.”

Fifteen minutes later, Mike Montalbano, Race 4 Rescues, took fourth at 7:56:05 with Matt Ferrari, Stans NoTubes/Freeze Thaw Cycles, just three minutes back at 7:59:37 for fifth place. Ferrari’s time was twenty-four minutes faster than 2016.

Short course specialist David Flaten (US Air Force) with a laser focus towards his podium trajectory in his first NUE. David was one of the few riders who could handle the tempo of the leaders eventually placing 4th. Photo Bob Popovich

Masters 50+

Spaulding gets his first win in a NUE series event

Russell Spaulding, TFM_BC, crossed the line in 8:24:56 for a solid victory in the men’s masters division. This win puts Spaulding in second place in the NUE Series Points Standings, just behind NUE defending Champion, Jeff Clayton, Georgia Neurosurgical Institute. Spaulding placed fourth at Cohutta, sixth at Mohican, and fifth at Lumberjack journeying toward his first NUE Race win.

“What a long, strange trip this has been! I bought my first mountain bike 82 days before the 2013 Shenandoah 100. That was my very first mountain bike race. It took me 14 ½ hours to cross the line, and I told my sister “Never again!” Then in December of that same year, I was looking over the NUE series rankings and noticed my name in the 1,183 position. “How cool is that!” I was hooked and started planning what four races I would do in 2014.

It’s taken three plus years to get some cycling legs on me and gain some experience to be able to compete at this level. I had only done Wilderness one other time, back in 2014. So I called up a good friend of mine Zane Wenzel, Horst Engineering Cycling Team, and we went over the race. Zane gave me some great advice, and from there I was able to come up with a good race plan.

I’m a lucky man, and I could never have reached this goal without the help and support of so many people. I wish there was room to thank them all individually. However, there is one individual that has been there day in, day out, and that’s my sister Gretta. I could not have done this without her. She has traveled, supported, and volunteered at almost every NUE series event I have raced. Love you, Gretta!

We’re heading back to where it all began for me, the Shenandoah 100 in September. Race director Chris Scott puts on a “most excellent adventure!”

Seventeen minutes later, Joe Johnston, took second at 8:41:53.

Terry Blanchet, NAV – North American Velo, was third to finish at 9:00:26.

“Given the long day ahead, I resisted any temptation to bury myself as would have been required to remain anywhere near the front of the pack as it took its left turn into the opening climb out of Coburn. Instead, I settled into a more sustainable pace and gathering together with a Masters-heavy group including Jim Matthews, Jeff Stickle, and Tony Papandrea, among others, including my frequent northeastern regional competitor friend Keith Button and his NH carpooling buddy Richard Brown.

This group remained tight through the descent down through Decker Valley and the initial portions of the gradual climb up Crowfield, when one of the younger Open riders drifted off the front of our group. At first, this didn’t seem to draw any interest from anyone within the rest of our group, but eventually Keith, Richard and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and bridged up forming a faster four-person effort off the front of that group that grew a sizable gap taking us all the way through Aid Station#1.

At that point, Keith and Richard pulled up to grab a bottle refill, but I directly kept on solo up the Thickhead Mountain climb not wanting to lose the gap on the group that we’d built up. Not being as fearless a descender though, Jim and Jeff both rocketed by me down the subsequent Detweiler Run, during which at speed, I also managed to smack my upper lip into some massive bee that also stung me in the process. Fortunately, no anaphylactic reaction followed and I didn’t have to use the epi pen I carry with me these days, and as we transitioned to the next climb up Bear Meadows. There was Keith, joining back up with me, as we passed Jeff and continued on in pursuit of Jim, working hard together through the Aid Station#3 at mile fifty, although still unable to catch any glimpse of him.

The rain that fell the night before ceased completely just before race time and left us with some lower temperatures and humidity as well as the cover of some clouds. With my own thirst level not high, as a result I still had one of my three bottles still full from the start and was able continue on directly through Aid#3 while Keith had to pull over again and fill both of his two bottles.

The earlier entry into the Sassafrass singletrack and the couple passes I put in on other racers soon thereafter provided me with a good buffer to keep Keith behind me for the balance of the race. At the bottom of the subsequent PigPile rocky descent, I passed by none other than Jim Matthews who was pulled over to the side having suffered a bummer of a flat. Looking after-the-fact at our GPS ‘FlyBys’, I saw that, upon airing back up, Jim was gaining back ground fast, though apparently suffering another flat on the NoName descent, ending any further attempt to catch up, and instead limping in to Aid Station#4 at Mile66 and ‘pulling the plug’ on his race.

After having finally pulled over at Aid #4 to refill my three bottles, the entire rest of my ride was in “no man’s land”, not seeing any of my master’s competitors.  I began looking forward to my first ‘clean’ W101 ride in my six trips there so far. My previous race was flats-filled and four others found me with my pain-cave cross eyes downward, completely missing sufficiently-obvious arrows as I headed off-course, losing time and backtracking.

I was hoping that this time, it might even be good enough to perhaps finally get me ‘on a box’ at W101 for the first time, especially given that Jeff Clayton was instead off to the Breck100 to go head-to-head with Greg Golet. There were Wilderness masters regulars, Roger Masse and Mike Ramponi, who were not ‘in’ this time around.

Connor Bell (Rocktown Bicycles – Harrisonburg, VA) took a big dig 30 miles in on Three Bridges Trail and the ensuring Laurel Run Road climb. His move was the springboard that launched Chris Beck and Christian Tanguy off the front. Bell dangled in 3rd for 50 miles before falling like a rock out of the top 10 in the closing 20 miles.

My New York State neighbor, Joe Johnston was further up the course as it has been five years or so since I last was able to really ‘compete’ with him in any way. However, the thing that really caught me off-guard, having not studied the ‘pre-reg’ list beforehand, was that this youngster is now 50 and newly in our Masters field in his first NUE Epic appearance of the season.

It was also neither surprising that another newly-50, Russell Spaulding, was further up the course, having beaten me by small margins already at both Mohican and Lumberjack. The thing that WAS surprising is that he was able to increase this, previously, small margin over me to such an extent that he was able to beat Joe as well which, to me, is really REALLY impressive … congrats Russell on your first NUE win!

In the end, I’m glad. As it turned out, the balance of our field allowed me the third small box to join Russell and Joe on the Masters podium with their great rides, and also thank Keith Button for all the teamwork over the first half of the course and congratulate him as well on his very fine fourth place finish among the 25 Masters who took the start line that morning.

As for me, my next NUE Epic appearance will be up in New Hampshire, checking out the transition from the previous Hampshire 100 into the Crotched Mountain 100.”

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

NEXT: The NUE Race Series heads to Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming for the Pierre’s Hole 100 on August 6. Pierre’s Hole will host both the NUE Epic Series and the NUE Marathon Series offering both 100 mile and 100k options. Stay tuned right here for the latest news and reports.

Breckenridge 100 & 68

100-Milers and Marathon Riders Conquer Brutal Conditions in Breck

By Ryan O’Dell

For racers not acclimated or accustomed to high altitude, hovering mostly above ten thousand feet, the Breckenridge 100, 68 and 32 mile races present a scenic challenge with three unique cloverleaf style loops nestled between three ski resorts that will bring you back to your friends and support staff after each loop to historic downtown Breckenridge. This phenomenal backcountry course comprises pristine high alpine singletrack, 11,000’passes, and multiple crossings of the Continental Divide. Many racers consider the B100/B68, one of the greatest challenges along the NUE Race Series circuit.

Breck 100 and B68 Racers earned NUE Race Series points, attracting racers from all over the USA. Racers also received points in the statewide Colorado RME, Rocky Mountain Series bringing together riders from all over Colorado.

To receive a ranking and series rewards in the NUE Epic 100 and NUE Marathon Race Series, racers four best completed races count. Division winners receive the official unique NUE Champions Jersey courtesy of Voler, a share of a combined US$16,000 series cash purse, complimentary entry into all NUE National Series races in 2018, plus an all-expense paid trip in November to represent the NUE Race Series at the LaRuta de los Conquistadores, a three day stage race across Costa Rica, from the Pacific to the Caribbean considered one of the toughest mountain bike races in the world.

 

100-mile open women’s winner Larissa Conners. Photo by: Ryan O’Dell

Women’s Open 100 Mile

Conners leaves no doubt!

Larissa Conners, Team Twenty20, crushed it at 10:10:19, the sixth fastest time on the day overall!

Chase Edwards, Flagstaff Bike Revolution, who finished fourth overall, last year in the NUE Race Series, was second at 11:37:50.

“This year’s Breckenridge 100 turned out to be the hardest 100-mile bike race I’ve ever done! I had two bummer moves early on that made it difficult for me to get my head back in the game. On the way up the first climb, my glasses fogged really badly.

I saw Marlee Dixon take a right-hand turn and switch back above me. I was only a couple seconds back but I knew I should be riding her wheel closer because this is her backyard. I cranked up the watts to close the gap and focused really hard on the wet rocks in front of me through my fogged glasses. I wondered why the road wasn’t turning to the right the way it seemed like it should when I was watching Marlee, but I could barely see and just kept throwing down watts.

I saw dots in the distance and told myself she must have made her move. It turns out those dots were hikers, and I eventually stopped and took off my fogged glasses. It was pretty obvious with my glasses off that I was not on course. I played around with my Garmin for a minute and then rode back down until I saw other racers turning onto the singletrack I had missed.

I was pretty frustrated after this and, part way down Wheeler (the singletrack I had missed), I clipped a pedal on a rock, flew over the handle bars, and over the edge of the exposed trail into a bramble of willows. It was like landing on a mattress! If the willows hadn’t been there, I would have gone for quite the tumble down the exposed side of the trail.

I crashed two more times on Wheeler after that and finally had to tell myself the singletrack was not my place to be making up time. Larissa Connors told me later that she rode with her eyes squinted and mud flying in her face the entire race without her glasses on because they were so fogged. Maybe I’ll try that next time!

As I came into Carter Park at the end of the first lap, two women were standing in the trail wondering which direction to go. They must have been part of the marathon or the 35-mile. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I rode down to the staging area and started refueling. Then I saw other racers – including Parker Tyler (3rd place woman) – ride under the banner. I was so confused! I started asking around and someone explained to me the way the finish of the laps were supposed to work.

It turned out the two confused women on the trail were blocking the way I was supposed to go so I rode back up, looped around on the singletrack the correct way, and back into the exchange area. I contemplated dropping at this point. My time was over a half-hour slower than I wanted it to be, I was freezing, and I had done a really bad job eating after taking my first wrong turn because I was so focused on making up time. But Parker was still in the exchange area, and I decided it was silly to drop this early on.

Part way through the second lap, I saw Marlee working on a flat alongside the trail. This made me really sad. She’s an awesome gal and riding with her during several big races last year was a highlight of my season. After that, I just went into survival mode and ate a lot of Honey Stinger waffles! Parker and I went back and forth the rest of the day.

I’m a strong climber and was okay with the race coming down to the climb out of Como for Parker and me; and that’s exactly what happened. I knew Larissa was way farther ahead of me than I wanted, and I pushed myself hard on the last climb to ensure my time to the top of the pass was at least faster than hers (this is some fun competition leftover from Telluride 100 last week). I just barely held Parker off on the singletrack descent into the finish. Overall, Breck 100 is one of the coolest – and most brutal – courses I have ever raced. I look forward to coming back next year!”

Five minutes later, Parker Tyler, Park City Bike Demos, finished third at 11:42:41. “We woke up to cold rain on race morning and I got excited that it was going to be a wet and muddy day. The trails held strong through the tough conditions and had some of the most amazing single track I have ever ridden. Knowing that there were epic descents after every climb was motivation to grind through some of the steepest climbs I have ever done in a 100 mile race. I started the race not feeling awesome as we climbed up Breck but I started to warm up quickly as we climbed up and over Wheeler Pass.

The first lap was definitely the hardest both physically and mentally through the cold rain, but, as soon as I went out on my second lap I started to feel strong and kept feeling stronger as the day went on. This was the first 100 mile race I finished with a smile on my face.  A combination of epic trails, an amazing race venue, and awesome volunteers made this one of the most fun days I have had on a bike.”

Open men’s 100-mile winner Sam Sweetser. Photo by: Ryan O’Dell

Men’s Open 100 Mile and 100k

Sweetser gets his first NUE Breck win!

Sam Sweetser, Cole Sport, who finished at the NUE Series Opener at True Grit, earned his first NUE win this season to finish 9:04:43.

Three minutes later, David Krimstock, Giant Co Factory, took second at 9:07:36. In March, Krimstock placed fourth at the NUE Series opener in Utah.

“The weather outlook for the 2017 Breck 100 was marginal at best.  It looked very likely we’d be getting rain at some point during the race but when the morning came, it appeared as though the worst case scenario was taking shape. As I rode down to the start in the rain, I was skeptical if the race could even take place.

I felt good on the first climb up the ski area to Wheeler Pass but the wet, slippery conditions on the single track made me cautious, and I was passed by Tostado and Ross. I regained composure at the start of loop 2 and chased back into third by the top of the Little French climb. Then, while riding the flume trail, I got a flat which was probably caused by an old nail used in the mining operations 100 years ago. I really wanted to quit at that point, as I started to shiver while fixing the flat, and got passed down into sixth place. Still undecided, I rode down to my crew at the aid station. They had gotten word that I had flatted, and had my aluminum training wheel ready to swap out.

After switching wheels, I pressed on, not sure if I could regain the ground I lost. After the Colorado Trail section, I found myself back in fourth and began to feel good again. At the start of loop 3, I was back in third position and knew that the home stretch was in sight.

Once the Illinois Gulch climb was over, I saw Munoz on Boreas Pass, and went past him into second. I knew Sweetser is a great descender/trail rider, so it would be hard for me to catch him, but pressed on. After the gold dust trail, I got word that I was three minutes back, and tried to pick it up, but the day began to catch up to me and my legs weren’t having it. I could see him as we crested Boreas Pass for the last time. Descending the Bakers Tank trail, I just wanted to get down to Carter Park safely.

This race was a huge learning experience for me, showing the extremes in which it is possible to ride and race. My remaining NUE races are the Pierres Hole 100 and the Big Bear Grizzly.”

The racer who has earned more Breck wins than any other, Josh Tostado, Santa Cruz, Shimano, Maxxis, came in at 9:30:17 to take the final spot on the podium. Having completed three of the required four NUE Races to qualify, Tostado currently stands 10th overall in the NUE Epic Point Series that includes a third place finish at True Grit and, more recently, a fourth place finish at the High Cascades 100 in Bend, OR.

Seven minutes later David Ross, Go4Graham, was fourth at 9:37:17. An early leader in the race, Daniel Munoz, BAGHOUSE, held on for fifth place, one of just five racers to finish sub 10 on the day at 9:41:19.

Open men’s marathon champ Kyle Trudeau. Photo by: Ryan O’Dell

Marathon Men’s Open, Breck 68:

Kyle Trudeau, CZ Racing, had a commanding win and the only sub six hour finish at 5:43:57.

“The Breck 68 was truly an epic day on the bike. Typically, a race that lasts about four hours is on the long side for me so I knew going into the race with an estimated finishing time of about five and a half hours would be a new challenge and gaining experience for Breck Epic was an added plus. I’m a desert kid so when I was sitting on the starting line, in the rain, I would be lying if I said I was filled with joy.

We set off on the roll out and, as the road pointed upward, there was a quick selection of about four of us (Alders, Dolzani, Rasmussen and me) about ten minutes into the race. The pace was set by Dolzani and soon it was just him and I on the first climb as it turned flowing stream/dirt road. Dolzani made a small mistake towards the top of the first climb that allowed me to get by him and then settle into my own pace.

When the rain finally decided to stop the single track turned to Velcro and I tried to ride smooth and steady till the finish where I was completely boxed. My Scott Spark RC was bullet proof on the day, paired with some Maxxis Pace tires, and I couldn’t have grabbed the win without the support of Construction Zone Racing, GoTenac Coaching, BikeFlights.com, and Rouleur Carbon.

Twenty nine minutes later, Bryan Alders, TrainingPeaks/Yeti/Pactimo, took second at 6:12:03. Fifteen minutes later, Weston Rasmussen, Honey Stinger / Bontrager, claimed third at  6:27:27.

 

Men’s 100-mile SS runner-up Mark Nesline overcame a broken crank. Photo by: Ryan O’Dell

 Singlespeed 100 mile

Fish Wins

Timon Fish, Sticky Racing, crushed the Single Speed field at 10:14:24.

Mark Nesline, Vail Jr Cycling, was next placing second in 12:06:46 using 32-21 gearing.  “This is my long race/climbing gear. I can pedal strong all the way from mile 1-100. “

Nesline would go on to experience both, the adversity and the joy that comes through persevering.

“The day started out with pouring rain when I woke up at 3 AM. Knowing the importance of positive thinking, I looked at the rain in a good light. Being local, I know it’s not often in Colorado that you get to experience a rainy day. I was excited. The race started at 6am as I just rolled up to the line right as we started.

I was feeling relaxed as we got into the climb up wheeler and tried to push to stay with the leaders but my legs were not having it. Knowing it’s a long race, I settled into my own pace up the climb. The rest of the first lap went by quickly. When I came into transition, I was told I was in second place. This was a surprise but I re-stocked my skratch and stinger and took off on my second lap.

This lap is brutal. Lots of up and down, and the Colorado trail is relentless with its roots. In the past I have struggled on this lap but, as I started lap two, my legs had come around and I was feeling strong.

All was going well, or so I thought, until mile 52. I had just come through the last aid station, ready to crank out the last nine miles. I hit the Singletrack climb and felt something weird in my pedal. I thought it was just a broken pedal so I kept riding, trying to ignore it. Then Snap! I looked down and see my crank arm had snapped off where the pedal connects.

This is unfixable, but I had one option, keep going. I just kept riding, I don’t like or think quitting is an option. Keep riding somehow, someway, was the only thought in my head. After a few miles, I made it a challenge to myself to see how fast I could maintain uphill one foot Stridering/pedaling so, in slightly over an hour, I covered nine miles in various sketchy methods, finishing lap 2.

As soon as I got into Carter Park, I went on a search to get a replacement crank to keep racing. I ended up running two blocks to Breck Bike Guides, got a new crank arm, and then headed out on third and final lap. It was thirty minutes from when I finished the second lap until I went back out on the third.

This course is just so fun it’s really hard, in my mind, to even consider quitting for any reason. When I finished my second lap, I love the backside of Boreas pass. It so fun and that’s what made me want to go back out.

As a coach of local high schoolers with Vail JR Cycling, I want my athletes to always finish their races – no matter what. I have to hold myself to that same standard. Through suffering and difficulty, we gain knowledge and the most useful things are learned about ourselves and life…. that shows we are capable of anything if we try hard enough. There’s nothing that we can’t accomplish.

The third lap proved to be incredible! The trails were tacky and the downhills were the best I have ever ridden it. Incredible fun! Not knowing if I was still in second or not, I hammered as hard as possible and kept telling myself “you’re never out of the fight.” Anything could happen.  I had my fastest time ever to complete lap 3 and my bike worked great all the way to the finish.

Men’s marathon SS winner Dan Durland. Photo by: Ryan O’Dell

To finish this race this year was not an easy accomplishment but, it was such a rewarding feeling to finish a race in this way and then the podium on top of that is just cool. I don’t race with a goal of podiums. I race with goal to race 100%, and give it everything I have. That way, no matter what happens, I can be satisfied with the result knowing there was nothing else I could do. I definitely did that today.

If you are looking for a fun and difficult challenge, the Breck100 is it. I have finished this race five times, with two second place finishes, but it’s never gotten easier. Always fun.

After the race, I stayed after and helped the venue clean up and load up the truck. This was a blast! It takes a village to put on these races and it’s important to help out when you can.

As for future NUE races, this year, my focus and attention is towards Colorado High School League race season but, I will definitely be back for the Bailey HUNDO and Breck100 next year. Possibly even the lumberjack100.”

Nice guys finish last? Just under an hour later, Bernie Romero, Mr. Nice Guy, would finish last at 13:03:56. However, Romero’s finish was good enough to take the final spot on the podium due to a higher number of racers unable to finish in the more difficult conditions.

 

Master’s 50+ champ Greg Golet. Photo by: Ryan O’Dell

Masters 50+ 100 mile

Golet survives and earns a W in the mountains of Breckenridge

Greg Golet,Team Chico, earned a narrow win to finish 10:45:49, his third straight win in the NUE Race Series, following wins at both True Grit Epic in Utah and in the High Cascades 100 of Oregon.

“When I read Ryan’s pre-race email, I dismissed his suggestion that this race would be just about surviving, but really that’s what it came down to–in a war of attrition.

I was extremely thankful for the 5:30AM repair of my front brake by Eli (Carver bikes), but in my rush to get ready for the start I didn’t center the caliper, even though I knew I should have.

Before we headed off on the 3 loop course the announcer said “be ready for rain all day, and if you hear thunder <5 sec after seeing lightning, do the right thing”. Such comforting words as we prepared to ride up to over 12k elevation.

The first long climb was great despite the rain. Surprisingly, the altitude didn’t seem to bother me. At the top I stopped and put on a raincoat, which I noticed not all the other riders had. Even so, I got pretty drenched on the rest of the loop, though I know it held some heat in. At the end of it, I pulled my wool leg warmers on over my grit covered legs in hopes they’d help me warm up on loop 2.

Heading out I was psyched up to be climbing for the warmth it brought, but even so felt my core temp dropping. As I fought my way up one particularly steep rocky section, a blue-lipped guy heading back the way we came said, “good luck man, I’m bailing”.

Not long after, my rear tire lost some air, but I kept riding and eventually made it to the next aid station. I was glad not to have to use my CO2, and actually really enjoyed how well my bike cornered and rolled over all the roots and rocks with low psi. Thankfully, the rain mostly stopped near the end of this second loop. Coming into Carter Park, I thought about stopping to see if I could replace my front brake pads, which had by this time worn away from the rubbing and grit, but decided it’d be best to just keep going.

On loop 3, I rode pretty cautiously on the descents with no front brake and not wanting to flat. I also stopped at all the aid stations, and ate more and drank less than I ever have in a race this long.

Despite the horrendous weather in the first 2/3rds of this race, it was one of my all-time favorites. Phenomenal terrain and scenery in the high Rockies and, as usual for a NUE event, top-notch racer support!

My finish time was a lot further back from the first overall finisher than usual. Maybe it was the additive effect of a whole bunch of little things or maybe it was due to a loss in fitness. I guess I’ll find out soon. Pierre’s Hole is just a few days away. Another big long race–this time in the Tetons!! Who could ask for more?”

Just five minutes behind Golet, Willem Jewett, Team Vermont, finished second at 10:50:06.

”For the past couple years, I’ve been combining Leadville 100 with a “family vacation”; bringing first one daughter and then both to Colorado for a week of riding before the race. Last year, we got a taste of Breckenridge trails with my college friend, Ellen Hollinshed. So we put together a “Team Vermont” to take on a new challenge.

Our week of riding leading up to Breck 100 was unparalleled.  We were able to pre-ride most of the course and had a ball doing it. Around mid-week, The Weather Underground started giving warnings that this good run of weather might end but the radar at 4 AM on Saturday didn’t look too bad.

We had a brisk ride up the Mountain to the Wheeler trail. Turning onto the trail, I realized that race pace at 12,000 feet had created just a touch of dizziness; not the best thing on a narrow traverse. Dizzy and cold, I was a bit shocked by the speed with which a couple of riders passed me going down to Copper. I managed to descend with just a single (uneventful) fall and catch back up to those downhill streaks on the bike path.

I got pretty grooved on the peaks trail. OK, I might have pushed things a bit too far and done some trail grooming with my face and knee but, you know, you have to find the limits, right?

Out on the second loop, I did get a little worried as I heard tires rolling up on me at the bottom of the French Creek climb; whew, just some of the leaders in the shorter races. I may have made that French Creek climb a couple days earlier but it was just not happening. Still cold and a bit empty, I was eating through whatever I could dig out of my pockets as fast as possible.

American Gulch was great fun AND the dirtiest downhill I’ve ridden in years. Things dried out a bit on the way up the Colorado Trail. I didn’t have much going up but you can’t let a climb like that go to waste, so I had a good rip at the downhill to the dredge boat.

I wasn’t really loving the Gold Run stuff but was starting to feel like I might be able to get over Boreas a couple times and finish. I was even willing to believe the announcer at Carter when he said I was sitting in second.

Loop 3 was all about avoiding a collapse. After that long (and somewhat boring) Boreas Pass climb, I did have a bunch of fun on the Baker’s Tank and Aspen Ally Downhills ’cause you gotta race to the tape!

Look, Leadville is a great big fire road race but Breck 100 is a MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE of epic proportions. And, by the way, those youngsters I brought from the 802 – Ellie Curtis (18) was first in the 32 mile race and Abi Jewett (17) was second despite a flat tire out on American Gulch. Funny thing, I bought her a Co2 the night before and gave her a quick tutorial.  After the race I think she said something like “I’m never using a pump again”.

Thomas Barth took the third spot on the podium at 11:47:36. “I’m fifty years old, and started to renew my focus on racing XC a few years ago, but had not done long races or used to a structured training program for about twenty years. This year, I joined a training program through the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance (BMA). I raced the Full Growler in May, got fifth in my age group, and continued training though the spring and summer, averaging about twelve hours per week using a coached program. I used a Pivot Mach 4, perfect bike for this race.

On race day the weather was a concern, and I’ve never ridden a lot of the trails. The recent forest fire disrupted plans to pre-ride, but my strength has always been on tech and descending, so I concentrated on having fun and pushing myself. I kept my heart rate just below my threshold (or as hard as I was able to throughout the day) on the climbs and cautiously ripped the descents.

A nice guy on a climb offered a good piece of advice that I’ll share. “If you have to get off and walk, don’t get back on until you are sure you can ride.” I tried not to get too stressed watching a bunch of people go by when I picked up a shard of glass and flatted on loop 2. The mud made it tough to get the tubeless valve stem out.  I felt great through loop 3 and had a great time. The wonderful trails helped a lot.”

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

NEXT NUE: The NUE Race Series heads to Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyoming for the Pierre’s Hole 100 on August 6. Pierre’s Hole will host both the NUE Epic Series and the NUE Marathon Series offering both 100 mile and 100k options. Stay tuned right here for the latest news and reports.

Carrabassett Backcountry Challenge

Carrabassett 100K

Written by: Shana Biese, Ryan O’Dell

Located in the beautiful Carrabassett Valley of Northern Maine at Sugar Loaf Ski Area, The seventh annual (CBCC) Carrabassett Backcountry Challenge 100k joined the NUE Marathon Series this year witnessing tremendous growth from three hundred last year to now more than four hundred racers in 2017. In addition to the NUE 100k distance, CBCC also included shorter distances of 50k and 25k plus kids races.

During the past five years, approximately $500,000 has been spent building mountain bike trails in the Carrabassett Region.  The goal is to construct an iconic mountain bike trail network that is on everybody’s “must-ride” list. To date, there is approximately eighty miles of riding for all abilities. This includes miles of super flowy, machine-built singletrack and old-school style trails that have been carved out with hand tools and sweat. Profits from the race go towards construction and maintenance of new trails.

 
Women’s Open

Blanchard gets the W!

Bryna Blanchard, BMB racing, took first place with a time of 6:24:40.

Eight minutes later, Karen Potter, Pivot/DNA Cycling, took second with a time of 6:32:17. “My race went pretty well considering I haven’t done a lot of endurance racing of late, nor in training. I didn’t expect to be up front much so going back and forth with Bryna for the first twenty miles was motivating. Although, Bryna was climbing much better than I was, we went back and forth a few times early on and then, when we hit some dirt road climbs, and she was gone, I knew I had to settle into a pace I felt more comfortable keeping for the next 40 miles.

There was more climbing than I had anticipated and certainly more than had been described. The muddy conditions made for some obvious challenges for everyone but there was lots of fun purpose built single track that was really fun and handled the water well. Mid-course there was some stream crossings that I was thankful for cleaning off my drive-train some. The crews at the aid stations were awesome. I had faded some mid-race but, around the five hour mark, my legs came back around and I started to feel better and stronger on the climbs. I had some aspirations of reeling in first again but Bryna had a great race and it was too little too late, but good enough to hold onto second.”

Following her 100k Marathon win at Mohican in June, Linda Shin, Blacksmith Cycle, took third at 6:44:20. “I’ve never been to Maine so I jumped at the chance to visit for a MTB race! I didn’t do my due diligence on researching what the trails were like before heading to Maine and opted to race with my Lauf fork setup on my hardtail Scapin Spektro 29er, which only has 60mm of travel. I should have known better with ‘backcountry’ in the race name that the course was going to be rugged and rough! The course was rocky but manageable and I knew I had to just stay loose when we pre-rode the day before the race.

I had a really bad first half of the race that started with wiping out within the first 12 seconds of the race and had to chase from the back of the pack. I knew I had some work cut out for me to try to catch Karen and Bryna. I worked my way up the field but then had a few mechanicals along the way and a couple more wipeouts! It was a fine balance of trying to stay really loose in the rocky sections and descents and not losing grip on the bars.

On one of the rough descents, my Garmin popped off. I stopped to look for it in the lush trail when my boyfriend rolled in behind me after a few minutes, told me to keep riding and that he’d stay back to look for it. The second half of the race was really tough too as I had no idea when to eat without my Garmin and was starting to feel the fatigue settle in. I knew I was sitting in third, likely way behind Karen and Bryna, so I just wanted to ride safe without any more mishaps to maintain a podium spot.

On the out and back section, I saw Karen and realized I wasn’t too far behind, and also saw Liz Allen who wasn’t’ too far behind me so my motivation picked up. When I arrived at aid 4, one of the volunteers had my Garmin which Craig had found and left for me at the aid station. I was so stoked!!! Thanks Craig and to all the amazing volunteers who catered to all the racers!

My luck was turning but my upper body was really starting to feel beat up from the lack of suspension and I was ready to get to the finish line. I was slowing down on the last big climb; the last descent couldn’t come sooner. I finally cruised into the finish line feeling pretty battered and muddy, but all smiles. Despite my bad luck, I still had so much fun. The course was so rad and the volunteers and aid stations were awesome. The Christmas aid station was the best! There were quite a few of us from Ontario racing so it was a really fun road trip with friends. I will definitely do this race again, but with a better bike setup! Next up, I’m headed to Shenandoah 100.”

Nine minutes behind Shin, Elizabeth Allen, took fourth at 6:53:37. Laura Dougherty was fifth at 7:16:41.

 

Men’s Open

Scott wins by eight minutes!

 Andy Scott, Riverside Racing, earned his first NUE race win with a time of 5:16:77.

Eight minutes later, John Petrylak, Scott Pro MTB Team/Bike Factory/EIS grips/Bishop, came in second place with a time of 5:24:22. “I got to Carrabassett a little earlier than I anticipated. This gave me an opportunity to do a pre-ride on both Thursday and Friday.

The first ten miles of the race is just the most absolute fun New England Single track you can imagine. On Friday, I rode the last five miles or so of the finish (which is an awesome five mile descent back into the valley). Since this was the first year the NUE was making a stop in Carrabassett, I wasn’t sure what to expect but, right away, you could tell this race was a well-oiled machine with folks directing parking for an easy, orderly morning and signage everywhere. The course also has good markings and the race description was right on. After a brief riders meeting, we lined up and then it was GO time!

The start is a nice field section that funnels into double track and then eventually single track. I was very motivated to get to the single track first since rain the night before and into race morning made for muddy conditions. I had a great start and was first wheel into the single track around the outdoor center. It was crazy fun with such amazing trails and fun obstacles. After the first six miles of single track, the race starts to get a little more serious.

A group of around eight riders started to get some distance as we climbed towards the top of the resort. The group was led by race favorite Dereck Treadwell, eventual winner Andy Scott, Brian Oickle, and myself. I followed Dereck’s wheel as he punished the steep pitches at the top; soon after that Dereck and I had gotten some daylight between us and the chase group! The gap didn’t stick as we descended down some of the XC skiing trails; they were pretty chucky and it was a big gamble to just let it rock down them.

After the descent, the group was down to four riders and another four in a chase group just a few seconds back. We climbed up a super fun piece of machine built single track and then popped out onto a fire road heading towards aid station 1. After the aid station, the group came back together as we descended this amazing piece of double track with tons of little bridges and small creek crossings. The group was rolling smooth along a pretty blown out fire road with monstrous mud puddles sprinkled around. I was about twenty seconds in front of the group with Andy and then a terrible crash caused Dereck to call it a day as his handle bars broke!

Right after the second aid station at mile thirty, it was Brian Oickle, Andy Scott and I heading up a loose, rocky, steep double track trying get away from the chase group. Our group was together all the way until around mile 45 when, after a long flat-ish section that Brian was flying on, we dismounted for a steep creek crossing and then Andy got a little separation from Brian and I going up the powerline. Right after the second to last aid station is a five mile gravel road that we started to work together on to close the gap on Andy. The road is an out and back so we could see Andy about 30 or 40 seconds in front of us.

Once we hit the check point and turned around to head towards the final climb, we did a nice, old school, New England piece of single track. While I was riding, I could feel my left foot starting to have a bunch of float in the pedal and then it started slapping against the pedal. UGH!!!  My cleat came loose. I got it tightened back up just before the bolt fell all the way out! Now I was in crisis control mode heading towards the final five mile climb before a nice rewarding descent back to the finish line.

I didn’t realize that we used the same piece of trail twice (listen to those announcements during riders meetings), so I panicked thinking I missed a turn and then rode backwards, when I found Bobby Nash and we both decided to head the way I was going originally. After a few nervous miles, we popped out at the last aid station signaling we were going the right way.

After I started to get rolling up the climb, I found Brian Oickle had some terrible luck and flatted. With third place on my wheel I kept the pace high, climbing up the final stretch and was able to put just a little daylight between Bobby and myself. I kept the gap all the way to the finish but I could never catch Andy as he was on fire! After a very exciting race for almost the entire day, I was so thrilled to land on the podium. Congrats to Andy Scott; he rode very strong all day.”

Just one minute behind Petrylak, Bobby Nash, Dr. Naylor-Treadwelltraining, finished in third place at 5:25:52. Five minutes later, Neal Burton, Team Errace p/b DSO Manufacturing, claimed fourth at 5:30:56. Four minutes behind Burton, Alan Starrett, took fifth at  5:34:08.

Singlespeed

Giroux wins on 32×20 gearing!

Dan Giroux, BSWC, was first across the line at 6:14:35.

Jesse Bell was second at 6:52:18. “The morning started out with a light rain, but warm weather. The start was not overly fast and, being on a low geared single speed, I did not make a big effort to get to the front of the pack before the single track, which ended up being my biggest mistake of the race.

As we approached the bottle neck to the single track, several riders shot in front of me who I didn’t think much of and figured they were probably fast. As it turns out, they were not overly skilled in the tight tech New England single track so the pace was slow to say the least. It took the whole first single track section to pick off all of those slower riders (at least 5 miles).

About 15-20 minutes into the race, the rain picked up pretty steady and eventually became a good hard rain for a bit. The trails became pretty soggy with all the rain and the volume of riders. The whole time I was dealing with the wet trails, I couldn’t help but feel bad for the people behind me and the 50K racers. For the most part, the trails handled the rain very well and 95% of them were rideable. There were a few places where, if you hit the wrong line through the mud, you would come to a complete stop. The wet also made flats a common problem. I saw several people on the side of the trails fixing flats. I just concentrated on riding clean and not doing anything stupid.

I was able to ride the whole race without a mechanical and was able to keep the rubber on the ground. The rains stopped about an hour in and the skies cleared for a very nice day. I raced an Ibis Tranny 29, with a 100mm Reba, Next cranks, and I9 Trail 24 wheels with Vittoria Mezcal G+ 2.25″ tires and was impressed with how the tires handled the wet and mud. I was geared out at a 32X20 and, after talking to the other single speed riders there, I was geared the lowest. It was a great day to do a great race in beautiful country.”

Masters 50+

Taylor with a commanding win!

Within a large master’s field of 38 racers, Scott Taylor, Blue Hill Cycling, took a commanding win at 6:06:21.

Seventeen minutes later, Scott Burrill, bikeman.com, rolled into second place at 6:23:10. Just one minute behind Burrill, John Burkhardt, HUP United, took third at 6:24:48. None of the masters responded to our request for a race report.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

WHATS NEXT: NUE Epic and Marathon Series Racers will travel to Breckenridge, Colorado on July 29 to brave the high mountain elevation of the Rockies. On the same day, many NUE Epic racers will choose the challenging hills and rocks at the Wilderness 101 in State College, Pennsylvania.

High Cascades 100

NUE High Cascades 100

Bend, OR

Written by: Ryan O’Dell, Shana Biese

At 5:30AM, Racer’s gathered at Bachelor Village, near Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon in anticipation of one of the most popular races in the NUE Race Series. The town of Bend is a top destination for mountain bikers thanks to hundreds of miles of primo singletrack trails that can be accessed directly from downtown connecting to other nearby towns including the town of Sisters.

The Ninth Annual High Cascades 100 marked the midway point of the fourteen race National Ultra Endurance MTB Race Series where NUE series hopefuls had just one final opportunity to lead their respective divisions earning a mid-season comp entry to compete in the Volcano 100, the first NUE race held outside of the USA near Liberia, Costa Rica.

Deschutes Brewery, www.deschutesbrewery.com, one of the top rated craft breweries in the US, was on site at the finish line serving up draft brews. Sagebrush Cycles of Bend, www.sagebrushcycles.net, in addition to offering mechanical services on the race course at every aid station, also offered racers a place to ship their bikes that included getting the bikes race ready and inspected before the race.

Carla Williams on course. Photo by Ryan Wilkerson

Women’s Open

Williams wins her first HC100, leads NUE Race Series!

Defending NUE Race Series Champion, Carla Williams, Joes Bike Shop Racing Team, won her third straight NUE Series race taking the top spot on the podium at High Cascades with a time of 8:42:26. Williams is one race away from a perfect score following wins at both Cohutta 100 and Mohican MTB100.

“This was my first time racing High Cascades and I really had no idea what to expect. I kept things pretty conservative to start and pulled into the first aid station at 25 miles with Kaydee Raths. I skipped the aid station and, from there, rode the rest of the race in front of the women’s field trying to keep a consistent pace, but still keeping a little in reserve until the end, since I wasn’t sure how hard the last climbs or singletrack would be. The plan worked out pretty well!

The trails were super fun and flowy and very sandy and dusty if you happened to be riding behind someone. I forgot my sunglasses and vision out of my left eye was completely blurry for the last twenty miles from all the dust which made seeing and riding the last singletrack miles pretty challenging. The event overall was super well organized, great volunteers and aid stations, and overall a very fun event! My next race will be W101 in Pennsylvania.”

Thrity-three minutes later, Olivia Dillon, Velocio, racing her first NUE of 2017, came in second place with a time of 9:15:51. Sixteen minutes later, Liza Hartlaub, GU Energy Labs, came in third with a time of 9:41:18.

“High Cascades 100 for me was a sort of bucket list race. I have never raced anything close to 100 miles on a mountain bike so I had low expectations for myself. My goal was simply to “have fun” and complete the distance in good spirits.

My lovely boyfriend was at the aid stations providing support and letting me know that I was in fifth place- at mile 24 as well as mile 40. I hit a low point mentally around mile 55 right at the start of the big climb up Mrazek. I just kind of chugged along feeling very blah. I stopped to ask for water from some lovely volunteers and they told me fourth place was just ahead and they thought I could probably catch her. Suddenly, I found that extra gear in my legs and that’s when I started racing- around mile 70. I made the pass around mile 76. A few miles later- I saw third place! I made the pass and didn’t look back.”

Photo by Ryan Wilkerson

Men’s Open

Jones narrowly wins a tight race with defending NUE Series Champ!

Professional road racer, Christopher Jones, Healthcare United, came in first place with a time of 7:24:44 following an epic battle with the NUE defending Champion.

“High Cascades is about as much of a home race as one can get for me; the start is right out my door, we race on trails that I ride every time I going on a mountain bike ride and the finish is at the Athletic Club of Bend where my son is learning to swim this summer. This makes HC100 about as easy as a mountain bike race can get for a pro roadie such as myself, which is not easy at all!
This year’s edition of the HC100 had the deepest talent pool that I have seen in the past few years of the race and it showed at the front of the race with multiple lead changes. My personal race was saved when I stopped at mile 68 to ward off a bonk with some old fashion junk food that I had purchased at the gas station the night before. My win came as a surprise to many because roadies can’t ride the dirt, right?

Thank you to race director Mike Ripley, COTA, and all of the volunteers who continue to make this one of the most enjoyable races I compete in all season. I am already looking forward to next season and returning on my singlespeed.”

Three minutes later, NUE defending champion, Dylan Johnson, Cameron Mountain Bike Racing, finished second at 7:27:03. Johnson continues to dominate the Men’s Open category this year including three wins and three second place finishes, holding a solid lead overall in the NUE Men’s Open category.

“This year was my first time doing High Cascades so I didn’t know what to expect. After pre riding parts off the course, I was pleased with how fun and flowy the single track was and I was excited to race.

The race started out with a decent two track climb in which a small front group formed. As the race progressed I found myself at the front with Chris Jones. On the final long climb of the race I managed to distance myself from Chris but I misjudged the amount of fuel I would need between aid stations. I reached into my pocket and had nothing left. I got to the last aid station before the  bonk came on, shoveled gels and coke into my mouth but, at that point, it was too late. Shortly after, Chris caught me, and I held on for second.”

Twenty-one minutes later, Steven Mills, New West Medical, took third with a time of 7:48:13. Earlier this season, Mills won the NUE season opener at the True Grit Epic in the Single Speed category. Mills placed second overall last year in the NUE Series single speed division.

Legend and local resident, Marcel Russenburger, a three-time Tour de France rider and professional from 1982-1990, finished his first his first High Cascades 100 along with his daughter, Sophie Russenburger.

Ben Shaklee taking another win in the 100 mile SS category. Photo by Ryan Wilkerson

Singlespeed

Two in a row for Shaklee!

After winning first at Tatanka, Ben Shaklee, Jack’s Bicycle Center/ Homegrown Racing, won the HC100 Single Speed race with a time of 8:06:06. Shaklee moves up to fifth place overall in NUE Single Speed division.

“I rode with a small chase group of open riders on the opening fire roads, somewhere in the top 10-12 until about mile thirty. At that point, I began gradually dropping them primarily on the singletrack descents. At mile 52 aid, I was reported in eighth overall, about five minutes back from the leaders. From there, I rode solo to the finish, occasionally trading places with a couple Open riders through aid station.

At mile 52 aid I was reported in 8th overall, about 5 min back from leaders. From there I rode solo to the finish, occasionally trading places with a couple open riders through the aid station. I passed and dropped a couple more open riders shortly after Aid 5 and was able to open enough gap to hold them off on the five mile false flat paved downhill to the finish running a 34×19 gearing, same as second and third Singlespeed.”

Thirteen minutes later, NUE defending SS Champion, James Litzinger, Syndicate Cycling p/b Pro Bike + Run, took second with a time of 8:19:00. Litzinger is currently first place overall in the NUE Single Speed Standings.

“I don’t know where I start with this amazing race and adventure with family and friends.  There were four families that headed out to race the High Cascades 100 from the greater Pittsburgh area. We made plans to see what the west coast had to offer last summer and it surely didn’t disappoint! We enjoyed amazing hikes, riding, swimming, racing, and foods!

We headed to the start line for the early 5:30 a.m. start. It was a beautiful Oregon morning with very comfortable temperatures knowing that it would warm up quite a bit in the afternoon. My teammate and friend, Anthony Grinnell, was making his Single Speed debut at High Cascades.  Knowing that he is a super strong rider with consistent top 10 finishes in the men’s open, I wanted to ride the whole race with him. I knew that it would be awesome to have the company of a teammate throughout the race.

There was a mellow neutral start that happened to be quite refreshing for a single speeder. I didn’t need to spin my butt off and burn a bunch of matches trying to keep up with the geared riders. After about nine miles, we began our climb up the first sandy, dusty climb! I was informed of all of the dust from local PA rider, Rege Ricketts, who was out at the High Cascades last year so I was prepared with my handkerchief to keep the heavy dust out of my lungs. That was great advice!

Anthony caught up to me at the top of this climb with a reassuring, “Hey Brah!”  Instantly, I knew that this would be a great day on the bike and it sure was! We descended down through the banked turns, whoops, and amazing flow of the Tiddlywinks trail. Before I knew it, we were at aid station 1. I was all good on my wife’s delicious peanut butter ball and Hammer Electrolytes so I just stopped for a top off on one of my bottles. Anthony had a camelback so he just stopped for a little food and then we were on to the next long climb with a few rollers sprinkled in for fun. In no time at all, we were already at aid 2 then 3.

They say time flies when you’re having fun! This was one of those times. We decided to skip aid 3 and get water at the next water aid station shortly after the climb. There was a nice young lady chilling in the back of a truck who had us supplied with the water we needed. The aid stations were very well staffed and organized and I was very thankful!

After aid 3, I knew that there was really only going to be one more big climb then it was just going to be some super fun single track down to the finish. At this point, we thought we were sitting in 3rd and 4th SS and feeling pretty good. We decided to keep our steady pace up the final climb and then push out the single track. We caught up to the 2nd place Single speeder around mile 74. We were feeling really good at this point and kept on pushing the pace because it was so much fun!

Coming out of a shady fast turn I didn’t see a small rock garden until the last minute. My front tire cleared but my rear tire didn’t sending me airborne over the bars and hard onto my head and shoulder. I tried to hurry up and collect my bottles trying not to lose too much time. When I got back onto the bike, I first noticed that my saddle was on about a 45 degree angle from the fall.  Anthony kept asking if I could ride with it like that and I said yeah but after a half mile or so I knew that I would need to stop and fix it to have the strong finish we needed. Anthony and I stopped and I struggled to get my multitool out of my back pocket with my sore shoulder.  Eventually, I was able to get my saddle squared up but in the meantime the Singlespeeders and two geared guys that we passed early passed us.

We didn’t want that SS rider to get on the road finish with the geared guys and knew that if he could hang with them on the road he would be really difficult to catch. So, we put in a hard effort and managed to close the gap quickly then just rode their wheel to a spot where the trail came out near the road and they missed the sharp left hand turn to continue on the trail. Anthony and I were able to stay on our bikes and pass the trio at this point. We put in another good effort to finish out the trail knowing that we wanted to have as big of a lead as possible before hitting the road.

Two SS’ers on the road can work together but it wouldn’t compare to the help of a strong geared rider. Once we got onto the road, we were spinning our butts off and taking turns pulling and constantly looking over our shoulder. After about three miles of strong work, we spun by a geared rider who was not pushing as hard as us and we saw a rider coming up strong behind us.  It was Giant racer, Erik Bee. He was amped for us! We said to him that we were hoping to hop on board to the finish. He gave us each a strong and confident fist bump then put on a killer pull to the finish!

It was great to be great be greeted by our cheering wives at the finish. This ranks up there as one of the greatest 100 milers that I’ve done being out in the beautiful country of the west coast and with my teammate, Anthony. My equipment performed perfectly!  The Schwalbe Racing Ralph tire was the perfect tire to rail the single track at High Cascades and my Wolftooth components drive train was solid as usual!”

Anthony Grinnell, Syndicate Cycling p/b Pro Bike + Run, came in third place with a time of 8:19:00. This was Grinnel’s second NUE race this year. He previously raced Cohutta 100 in the Men’s Open category where he placed tenth.

“It had been five years since I last rode the trails in Bend and I forgot how incredibly fun they are. Mike Ripley did an amazing job organizing the race, the weather was great, and the aid stations were well spaced with friendly volunteers, all of which made for one of the most fun NUE races I’ve done to date.

My teammate, Jim Litzinger, and I kept it dialed back for the first forty miles, knowing this would be an eight- plus hour race and the temps were going to creep into the 90 degree range. That plan worked out well as we passed racer after racer in the last 60 miles. I was running 34×20 gearing with Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. The Ralphs’ grip in those conditions was phenomenal and the gearing was perfect. Hammer Bars, water and bananas kept me fueled and feeling strong.

Jim and I passed the 2nd place SS rider, Mark Schafer, around mile 85. We were pulling away quickly until Jim had a really bad crash at mile 87, sending him over his bars at about 20mph. Jim is competing for points in the NUE series so it was important to get his bike straightened out and get him back up into the second spot. The three to four minutes we were stopped allowed Mark to pass us back. We were able to quickly catch back up around mile 90 and put a five minute gap back to fourth by the finish of the race.

Even with the crash, we were able to close the gap to the leader by about four minutes in the second half of the race. Overall, it was a great day.  100 milers are never easy, but this was one of the most enjoyable NUE races I’ve competed in.”

Masters 50+

Golet wins!!!

Greg Golet, Team Chico, upset NUE defending Masters Champion, Jeff Clayton’s, winning streak and came in first place with a time of 8:08:24. In 2016, the NUE Masters Title came down to the final race with Golet taking second place overall behind Clayton in the NUE Masters points race.

“I arrived in Bend motivated and ready to race. I did a long steep hike with my wife in Tahoe the weekend before, and finally wasn’t feeling sore anymore. The race had a mellow roll out for the first few miles which provided a chance to warm up and catch up with some friends, but this all changed as we approached the dirt.

I’m terrible at pack riding, and so ended up well back from the front, and breathing a lot of dust on the initial long climb. After a while, I passed my main competition that I knew about, Tonning, Clayton, and then my fellow Chico rider, Mike Castaldo, who I traveled to Bend with. This was my first NUE race with Mike, now 50, in my division. A couple of years back; he destroyed the course, beating me handily in the process. Also, at the start, I was told there was a new recruit to the Master’s class, a 50-year-old Bend champion triathlete that is “always first off the bike”. I had no idea where he was when I topped out on that first climb, but assumed he was well ahead.

I was glad when the pack thinned out a bit, and the dust wasn’t so heavy. I even found a group to work with on one of the dirt road sections. After a long pull leading up a mild incline, I moved to the back, but almost immediately the road veered left and down a steep loose hill. Duh! Suddenly I was choking on dust and fading off the back, but at least I didn’t crash. Tiddlywinks was also super dusty for me—and made more challenging by the alternating patches of sun and shade—but still fun.

After mile 40, I mostly rode on my own, only occasionally seeing other racers. I loved most of the course and was glad to ride terrain that was new to me. Favorite trails included Upper Whoops, Mrazek and Dinah Moo Humm. I also really enjoyed the South Fork climb with the tall forest, shade and flowing creek nearby. As I rode I kept thinking how I was so glad to be out there, a feeling made more intense by knowing that I not get the chance again.
After all the major climbs, it was time to be smooth and efficient. Blazing down the fire road to Aid C was sketchy with all the sand traps, but I arrived intact, quickly grabbed my small camelback and headed off. Then I realized just how thirsty I was. My pack was full of a concentrated mix of caffeinated sugary gels and electrolytes, but all I really wanted was water. I thought of those news stories about kids that drink too many energy drinks, and wondered what I was setting myself up for. But it turned all out fine.

The last climbs weren’t too bad. No dust on my second trip down Tiddlywinks, and all of Tyler’s bermed turns were really cool. However, by that time I was stiff and achy and so not able to pump through the turns the way I did earlier in the day (my arms are sore as I write this!). This worried me some because I knew I wasn’t going very fast, and feared I might be passed. But before long I hit the pavement and after riding it for a while looked back and saw I had no chasers. With no one in front of me that I could catch, I realized that my place was secured and just rode steadily finish. Once there, I was psyched for the wet towel, not so much the Coca-Cola.

Thanks to Mike and his crew for putting on a phenomenal event. This was my second win in the Series. I’m only doing four races before the finals, and the last two (Breck100 and Pierre’s Hole) are coming up fast. I can’t wait!!”
Twenty-two minutes later, defending NUE Masters Champion, Jeff Clayton, Georgia Neurosurgical Institute, placed second at 8:30:36. Clayton leads the NUE Masters Division with three straight wins at Cohutta, Mohican, and Lumberjack to go along with his first second place finish this year.

“This was my first time racing the High Cascades 100. I knew that it would be a very different experience from the century races I’ve been doing, higher altitude, drier air, different trail surface. That said, I was looking forward to the challenge! Arriving in Bend Wednesday prior was good…a chance to do a little altitude acclimation, get used to the dry air, see the absolute devotion that Bend folk (Bend-ites?) have for the outdoors and cycling specifically.

I did a 30-ish mile pre-ride Thursday to have some fun and see what I was in for. Dust and sand mixed with sharp lava rock. The scenery was great as was the flow of the trails, but man is the dust bad for the lungs, eyes and losing the front wheel in turns…I knew the race would be even more so. The dust of Thursday’s pre-ride took its toll on my immune system and Friday I felt drained, deciding to skip another pre-ride.

5:30 am start on Saturday. That is a record early race start for me! After a very casual paved portion, the dust flew when we dumped onto the dirt road. I felt good for about a minute and then started to hit the wall…allergies, altitude, inadequate conditioning? I don’t know! I hadn’t pre-ridden this part and didn’t know how bad/long it would be…too long! After dozens and dozens of racers passed me, including several masters’ racers, I finally had a long enough section to recover.

From there on out I progressively got better and started passing back most of those racers. My trends was to pass on anything going up and then, get caught back on technical downhills or really anything with sand in the corners…not east coast tread I am familiar with! Having my lovely wife there to give me splits, food/drink hand ups, and encouragement was invaluable.

Greg Golet was flying and it became evident that, barring a mishap or meltdown on his part, he had the race in the bag. I kept on the gas, because that’s just the way I race, and it paid off. As I rolled into aid 3, Jodi let me know second place was only two minutes ahead. Game on! I hit every climb with all I could give and, after about ten minutes, had reeled Wayne Tonning in. He probably didn’t know I was his competitor as he graciously let me pass, and I tried to surreptitiously pull away.

On the first downhill, I realized he was on to me as he asked to pass in a whoops section and I graciously let him. This set the tone for the rest of the race-he would rip the downhills, leaving me in his dust and I would reel him in on the uphills. He put a good gap on me in an extended technical downhill and rock garden area, and I figured that might be enough to give him an insurmountable gap. I wasn’t about to give up though and I did my best to negotiate the trail, knowing my big gears (34-9 top ratio) and Diesel engine might do the trick on the final pavement section, especially if there were any climbs.

I gave it my all, and a few minutes after turning onto the Cascades lake highway I saw Wayne’s green jersey far ahead. I could see I was making up ground and, as I approached, I surreptitiously got in his draft for several seconds and then attacked. I flew around a guy out on a road bike that probably did a double take as he was going pretty fast too! I got a good gap on Wayne and held on to sprint into second place. It was really fun, and painful, to have a cross country pace the last two hours, and for it to pay off! I’m probably crazy, but next NUE race is Breckenridge 100 in less than two weeks which should be interesting and very painful.”

One minute behind the defending champ,Wayne Tonning, rounded out Master’s by coming in third with a time of 8:31:05.

“The competition really heated up in the 50+ category this year. The race started fast and I had to go out quicker than I wanted in order to keep up with all of the Masters. Greg Golet was off the front immediately and he rides at a different level than the rest of us. I worked very hard and was clear of the other Master competitors by mile 25.  Would I pay the price?  Yes probably did.

Jeff Clayton, the NUE series leader, caught me on a climb around mile 80 and I had nothing.  Fortunately, there was a technical single track descent over the next ten miles, on my home court, and I was able to gap Jeff by being more aggressive than I really wanted to. I was now again very motivated and worked the entire lower rolling single track section very hard to try and stay out of sight from Jeff.  I hit the road with only five miles to go and Jeff nowhere to be seen.  Just maybe I could hold him off.  But, at this point, I really had nothing and Jeff flew by me with only a half mile to go. Jeff was the stronger man and deserved second place.

Eight 50+ guys finished in under nine hours, Greg was 8th overall, and four of us were within ten minutes second thru fifth. Fourth place was only three minutes behind me. The old guys keep getting faster. I am going to have to pick up my game for next year.

A great race, well organized, phenomenal single track (although the dry conditions had made it very soft in places), and Bend OR rocks. Did I mention the Fresh Squeezed IPA at the finish?!”

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

WHATS NEXT: The NUE Epic Race Series heads to Colorado and high elevation starting at 9000’ for the Breck 100 on July 29. On the same day, The Wilderness 101will test racers in State College, PA, home of the Nittany Lions.

Boston Rebellion – US Cup Finale

US Cup- Blevins and Courtney take home $20,000 and US Cup series title.

If there was any doubt left on who are some of America’s brightest talent, Specialized riders Kate Courtney and Chris Blevins left little doubt after two days of hard racing at the US Cup series final at the Boston Rebellion.

The two riders swept both days of cross-country and short track racing in their respective categories and each walked away with $10,000.00 and the 2017 US Cup series title.

Courtney congratulates Blevins after the race. Photo Courtesy of US Cup

The Boston Rebellion course served up some very technical terrain over the 3.5-mile loop.  What is lacked in elevation change, it more than made up for with a twisty course that demanded the rider’s attention every second.  The course was strewn with roots and rocks and proved to be a test for these world class riders.

Both Blevins and Courtney faced stiff competition from World Cup regulars Dan McConnell, Rebecca Henderson, Emily Batty, along with a strong contingent of Latin American and domestic pro’s as well.

But the duo were on point all weekend and rode with confidence and poise often seen in more seasoned racers.

Kate Courtney handles the tough conditions in front of Emily Batty. Photo Courtesy of US Cup

Women’s XC:

Emily Batty (Trek Factory) and Kate Courtney (Specialized) quickly established a gap over 2nd place series contender Rose Grant (NoTubes/Pivot) and Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) early in the race.  Veteran Lea Davison (Cliff Pro Team) had the lead early on lap one and looked to be a major factor. However, a broken a chain and had to run back to the tech zone.  Davison would spend the next four laps slicing through the field and coming back to a remarkable 8th.

Meanwhile up front, Kate and Emily engaged in their own private battle.  With about a lap and a half to go, Courtney turned the screws on the Trek rider and went on to solo in for the victory.

Batty, Grant, Rochette and local Massachusetts rider Crystal Anthony (Riverside Racing) rounded out the top 5.

Chris Blevins leads Dan McConnell in the technical Boston Rebellion course. Photo Courtesy of US Cup

Men’s XC:

Much like the women’s race, the men’s cross-country boiled down to a two-rider fight between Blevins and World Cup veteran Dan McConnell of Australia. The former world cup winner looked poised to take a last lap victory after bridging back up to a mid-race surge by Blevins.

However, when the riders came out of the forest on the last lap, it was Blevins all alone.  McConnell had suffered from cramps on the demanding six lap course and came in fifty seconds behind for second.  Sandy Floren (Bear Development) was just two seconds off from the slowing McConnell and the teenager rode strong all race to take a well-deserved third.  Cameron Ivory (Specialized AUS) took fourth over Luke Vrouwenvelder (Bear development) to round out the men’s top 5.

For more info check out:  www.uscup.net

Tatanka 100 Mile Race Report

Johnson and Pond Win in South Dakota

Sturgis, SD

Written by: Ryan O’Dell, Shana Biese

On July 8, The NUE Race Series headed to Sturgis, South Dakota, home of the world’s largest motorcycle rally, and now increasingly becoming known as a mountain bike destination.

Tatanka, the Lakota word for Buffalo, is the only point to point race in the NUE Series. At 6am, racers began gathering beneath the shadow of USA National Landmark Mount Rushmore.

Beneath the magnificence of mammoth rock sculptures representing four of our nation’s greatest presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, NUE Marathon racer’s rolled out at High Noon, down a short section of pavement connecting them to the Centennial Trail along an 50k course that includes gnarly single track and fast, smooth cruising trail winding all the way to Sturgis. The town of Sturgis is nestled at the base of the northern Black Hills in extreme western South Dakota.

Gabby the Goat keeps watch over the riders at Tatanka. Photo by: Jonathan Karol

For a second straight year, temperatures reached an unseasonable high of 97 degrees, tempered by low humidity and, at times and in places, cool breezes throughout the day. Tatanka also included an 85 mile race that is stop #5 in the NUE Epic Race Series and a fifteen mile Sprint distance for first timers that included many kids. Racers must complete at least four NUE races to qualify for series awards that includes cash, prizes and a mid-season travel award, complimentary entry into the Volcano 100 in Costa Rica on September 2.

Quarq offered race fans live online tracking again this year and Strider Bikes, located in nearby Rapid City, set up a skills park, offering kids as young as 2-3 years old an opportunity to test their bike skills. In addition to food and beverage stands, racers were treated to local craft brews courtesy of Crow Peak Brewing and The Knuckle Brewpub of Sturgis.

Photo by: Jonathan Karol

Women’s Open

Pond moves up for the WIN at Tatanka

Sonia Pond, Freewheel Bike, was first at 11:15:36 in her first NUE race this season following her sixth place finish at Tatanka last year.

“This was my second year back for the Tatanka Epic. Between the picturesque start line at Mt. Rushmore, the outstanding volunteers at each aide station, and the unreal scenery of the Black Hills, I seemed to have forgotten the physical and mental pain that comes with this race.

I hung with the peloton during the road section, staying close to my brother Joe and boyfriend Chris before we dove into the singletrack. I scanned the lead pack multiple times searching for another woman. When I didn’t see one, I knew I had to play this adventure on the safe side so I could reach my goal of a finish.

The rock fields of Samelius left me far behind my friends and family, but my smile returned once we returned to the miles of flowy singletrack and lush creek beds.  I stayed on top of my nutrition and hydration, and wouldn’t let myself get frustrated as I pushed my bike up what seemed like miles of hike-a-bike. As long as I was moving, I was racing. My wonderful SAG and the caring volunteers at each station kept me pushing through the pain. I was thrilled to cross the finish line under twelve hours and to find out I was the first place female…that feeling is unreal.

I am looking forward to trying the Lumberjack and Marji Gesick in the upcoming seasons. Thank you NUE for creating a series where mountain bikers can test their limits in true endurance trail riding!”

Heather Heynen, was second with a time of 12:07:52.

“My race went better than I expected. This race, with its length and its technical aspects, was unprecedented for me. I’ve never done anything like it. I did do the 110 mile Gold Rush Gravel Grinder Race last month which helped me figure out a little bit on how to fuel for long endurance races and I’ve done a handful of 50 mile mountain bike races. But obviously this race was much more time in the saddle, your whole body is beat up so much more, and it was so hot!

I knew the very technical and hike-a-bike section (Samelius about mile 9, I think) would at least be taken care of in the beginning of the race but that section is so tough even with really fresh legs. Hiking up Talus with my mountain bike over my shoulder was an interesting challenge.

I felt strong until about mile 36 (the third aid station) where my legs started to feel somewhat fatigued. I focused a lot on drinking enough water and fueling often. By the last aid station at Elk Creek, my legs were feeling very heavy. I was walking short steep sections but was still able to ride the longer, more gradual inclines. At this point, I found myself going slower than usual on the technical downhills as my core and upper body were fatiguing. I didn’t want to make any major mistakes!

I had no idea that there was still a big climb out of Alkali Creek (about 7 miles left to the finish). If I had known, I’m not sure what would have happened! Climbing those dusty switchbacks in the sun was tough and the idea of making me throw up so my stomach would feel better entered my mind often at this point. This was the section I was also praying a lot and maybe saw dancing jackalopes on the side of the trail. A couple of riders, Josh B. and Perry J., rode by me and sent some positive vibes and high fives to keep grinding it out. So I did. And somehow finished with a time I was very happy with!”

Dylan Johnson focuses on his win. Photo by: Jonathan Karol

Men’s Open

Johnson leads NUE Series with win at Tatanka!

NUE defending Champion, Dylan Johnson, Cameron MTB Racing, chalked up another victory in his bid to repeat as the undisputed NUE Series Champion. Johnson has raced every NUE Epic Series race this season and continues to lead the series with the win at Tatanka in 7:46:43.

Thirty-two minutes behind the NUE defending champion, Jonathon Modig, The Adrenalin Project, took second place with a time of, 8:18:06. This was his first NUE race this season.

Just two minutes later, Johnsons teammate, Michael Smart, Cameron Racing, took third place with a finish time of 8:20:41.

Singlespeed

Shaklee dominates the SS placing second place overall!

Ben Shaklee, Jacks Bicycle Center Homegrown Racing, won the Singlespeed division at 8:06:07, second overall and more than one hour ahead of his nearest competitor!

“I had a great time at NUE Tatanka Epic! I spotted Trevor Rockwell as the likely competition, looking to defend his 2016 win. Trevor and I were among the top 8-10 going into the first singletrack sections a couple miles in. I felt the pace was rather relaxed and could see Dylan out front in the lead. I gradually got around the other riders in the chase group and worked my way up to Dylan. John Modig was not too far behind me.

Dylan, John, and I pretty much rode with or in sight of one another through the first two aid stations; sans a couple minor off-course detours (it was hard to see trail markings with the morning sun in our eyes!). John pitted for a bit longer at aid two while Dylan and I rolled out together. I gradually lost contact with Dylan through the climbs between aids 2 and 3. I would see him in the high meadow switchbacks but lose time on the rocky climbs.

34×19 gearing would have been fine for the elevation profile were it not so loose and rocky on the climbs. By mid-race, I was starting to feel the heat and the 5000′ elevation, and worked to maintain a comfortable tempo to the finish at 8:06, good for 1st SS and 2nd O/A, about twenty minutes behind Dylan.  I had to pit a bit longer at aids than anticipated, both due to mechanical (loosening crank) and the heat (especially at aid 5).

As punishing as the loose climbs were on SS, I loved the rocky, rowdy descents. Later on, I spoke with Trevor, who said the heat got the best of him and he was lucky to finish. It was definitely a tough day on the bike! Next up for me is HC 100 in Bend, OR on July 15!”

Tyler Huber, Larson’ Cyclery, BCBC, took second with a time of 9:07:06. This was the first NUE race of the season for Huber.

2016 Tatanka SS winner, Trevor Rockwell, Central Plains Cycling/Two Wheeler Dealer Sioux Falls, finished third at 9:24:05. This was Rockwell’s first NUE race of the season.

Masters 50+

Hertsens commands the Masters for the W

Sten Hertsens, CarboRocket, took first place with a time of 9:59:49, nearly an hour ahead of his nearest competitor! Including his third place finish at True Grit and second place finish at Mohican, Hertsens victory moves him up to second overall in the NUE Series Masters Standings wedged between two formidable racers including defending NUE Masters Champion, Jeff Clayton, and Roger Masse, two-time NUE Masters Champion.

“What a place to start from; Mt. Rushmore! It was a beautifully peaceful morning that was going to turn into a day of battling crashes, routing and HEAT.

Shortly after the start, I had a slow moving spill of the trail, ending with my bike on top of me and a sore wrist. Thanks to the racer who pulled the bike off of me, allowing me to climb back to the trail. I was able to deal with the wrist issue and continue on but had a couple of routing issues. Luckily, there was a racer with GPS helping me both times.

At about the 40th mile, I went down on a corner that had some loose dirt on the outside corner. It hurt! While lying on the ground trying to get my foot unclipped, I was thinking my race was over. My wrist felt bad. I also hurt my ribs but, both issues weren’t bad enough to keep me from continuing. I stopped at aid station 4 and regrouped a little.

Then, off I went, only to miss a turn shortly after leaving. I was looking up the road on a left had curve and missed the trail on the right. I continued up the hill and, coming upon some Logging equipment, I went passed the equipment and then realized I was off course. I turned around and found the turn I missed.

Throughout the day, I was trying to hydrate (CarboRocket) and fuel (HoneyStinger) myself often. The HEAT was getting intense and hydration was needed. Coming upon the fast flowing section that was just before the Highway was a relief.

I was thinking I was almost there, and then, I was sent into more single track and climbs. My mind wasn’t ready for this, nor my body. This was a tough period in the race and the heat was beating down. I got through that and was relieved to see the bike path. I didn’t go through the tunnel and turn left, I turned right thinking I was correct. WRONG, I was heading in the wrong direction. I went for a good distance before getting back on track.

When I finally reached the finish, I was done. It was a great course that was a real challenge. This race was one that had me digging deep to finish. If you’re thinking of challenging yourself with a course that has great features throughout, try the Tatanka Epic. It will CHALLENGE! Thanks to everyone who made it happen. Good Job! Next stop, Pierre’s Hole. See you there.”

Alan Miner, Banks Bikes, was next, taking second at 10:45:19. “This is my third year doing Tatanka100 Point to Point so I had some idea on what the course offers in the way of terrain, heat, trails support, elements etc.

I decided this year to start off a little faster than in past years, letting the knowledge take over and hoping to find a comfort level that I could sustain. I knew that there would be faster riders who started out slower wanting to pass as the race progressed so that was ok but I was surprised to also found riders to pass as well as, I am sure, they took off to hard and succumbed to the heat and terrain of  The Centennial Trail #89.

I think I held a firm pace for me most of the race and played the old safe card of mountain bike endurance racing “Ride the Easy Parts Hard and the Hard Parts Easy”. It was nice to cross under the highway knowing the end was near but there were some course changes that spiced things up a bit. I was very happy to see the finish and to have a solid safe race.
A special thank you to all the aid station staff (children to mature adults and everyone in between), they were phenomenal, and they really went above and beyond what is expected. Pretty cool to see a group of what I assume was Boy Scouts offering encouragement and “High 5s” in a remote part of the course!

Next up for me, I think, will be Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire and then go west to Big Bear Grizzly in California

John Bulmane, took third with a time of 13:47:20.

 WHATS NEXT: Two great races, two outstanding venues!  July 15

NUE Marathon Race Series: Carrabassett 100 at beautiful Sugar Loaf Ski Area located in northern Maine.

NUE Epic 100 Mile Race Series: Heads to Bend, Oregon, home of scenic Mount Bachelor and the High Cascades 100!

Click Here for Full Results

Tatanka 50 Race Report

NUE Marathon Race Series #5

Sturgis, SD

Written by: Shana Biese, Ryan O’Dell

On July 8, The NUE Race Series headed to Sturgis, South Dakota, home of the world’s largest motorcycle rally, and now increasingly becoming known as a mountain bike destination.

Tatanka, the Lakota word for Buffalo, is the only point to point race in the NUE Series. At 6am, racers began gathering beneath the shadow of USA National Landmark Mount Rushmore.

Gabby the Goat keeps watch over the riders at Tatanka. Photo by: Jonathan Karol

Beneath the magnificence of mammoth rock sculptures representing four of our nation’s greatest presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, NUE Marathon racer’s rolled out at High Noon, down a short section of pavement connecting them to the Centennial Trail along an 50k course that includes gnarly single track and fast, smooth cruising trail winding all the way to Sturgis. The town of Sturgis is nestled at the base of the northern Black Hills in extreme western South Dakota.

For a second straight year, temperatures reached an unseasonable high of 97 degrees, tempered by low humidity and, at times and in places, cool breezes throughout the day. Tatanka also included an 85 mile race that is stop #5 in the NUE Epic Race Series and a fifteen mile Sprint distance for first timers that included many kids. Racers must complete at least four NUE races to qualify for series awards that includes cash, prizes and a mid-season travel award, complimentary entry into the Volcano 100 in Costa Rica on September 2.

Quarq offered race fans live online tracking again this year and Strider Bikes, located in nearby Rapid City, set up a skills park, offering kids as young as 2-3 years old an opportunity to test their bike skills. In addition to food and beverage stands, racers were treated to local craft brews courtesy of Crow Peak Brewing and The Knuckle Brewpub of Sturgis.

Photo by: Jonathan Karol

Women’s Open

Toops crushes it to earn her first NUE race win!

OMBC Ohio Race Series Champion, Jen Toops, Paradise Garage Racing, claimed her first NUE win at Tatanka with a time of 3:56:58. With this win, Toops now leads the NUE Marathon Race Series at the mid-way point of the season and may compete at the Volcano 100.

“Going into Tatanka I didn’t know what to expect. The terrain was new and it was hot, real hot. The marathon race didn’t start until noon in hottest part of the day, around mid 90’s. The pace finally picked up on the gravel road. I stayed on the tail end of the lead group. No other girls followed and I tried to create a gap early. Going into the singletrack I had a nice lead.

Then, I followed a guy on the wrong trail. We quickly realized our error and turned back but I didn’t know how many girls had passed me. I thought I saw two. I quickly caught one and slowly pulled away on the fire road climb. I kept asking guys around me if there were any other girls’ ahead and got mixed answers.

I kept pushing the pace but never saw another female. I ran out of water about three miles before the aid station, pushing heat exhaustion, when aid station# 5 came to the rescue. They iced you down and even put some down the jersey for the climb ahead. A guy at the station assured me I was in the lead so I felt a little better about my position. The next half of the race was full of tough loose punchy climbs followed by some amazing downhills. I went over the bars into a patch of poison ivy on one downhill but luckily my bike and I were not injured.

Towards the end of the race, I had to stop and tighten my cleat as it almost fell off. I was excited going under highway 90 tunnel because this was the section I had pre-road and knew what was ahead. I kept pushing and, when I hit the bike path, there was no one around as I rode to the finish. The heat mixed with the terrain made for one of the hardest 35 mile races I’ve had in a while.”

Thirty-four minutes later, Heidi Gurov, 9Seventy racing, came in second with a time of 4:30:35.

Photo by: Jonathan Karol

“I raced this event last year and it was a breakthrough race for me where I realized I could actually race over the course of four hours after coming from a traditional XCO and Cyclocross racing background. So I was excited to come back this year and push myself again and hopefully have it work out for a podium result!

Jen Toops and I went back and forth a bit in the first few miles as she had an error and went off course, but eventually she powered away from me. I knew I was coming in undertrained and couldn’t match her power and speed, so I focused on riding steady and smart to maintain my position, especially with the 90 degree temperatures which I’m not very accustomed to.

The course change that gave us a long, extended fire road climb after our first aid station let me settle in after the harder effort of the first five miles and find my legs. I wasn’t seeing any other women behind me, so I continued to just focus on the trail in front of me and keeping the rubber side down. Being familiar with the course helped, and the race really flew by to the last aid station, where volunteers were fast and efficient and I was back on my way.

I had a small mistake coming into the I-90 crossing where I turned off on a side trail because it was marked with tape, but quickly realized it wasn’t the correct way to pass under the interstate and turned around.  The last part of the course, which was different than last year’s course and continued on the Centennial Trail, really challenged me mentally, as I was not prepared for the climbing and powdery, sandy conditions all topped off with hot sun.

I rode the struggle bus to the bike path, where I perked up a lot and was so happy to cross in second place! It was my first “legit” marathon distance podium, and I am still so excited!  I love the course, and thankfully the heat did not affect me too much and my nutrition/hydration plan worked well. I even managed to beat my 2016 time on what I think is a harder course due to the addition of the Centennial Trail sections after the I-90 crossing. I look forward to possibly racing more NUE races in 2018, and of course returning to Tatanka for a third go.”

Fourteen minutes later, Amelia Meyer, took third with a time of 4:44:09.

“The race was literally off to a rocky start when I found myself pushing my bike over small boulders on the way to Dalton Lake and the first aid station of the Tatanka Marathon. The friendly conversation with Jani Schumm helped distract me from the senseless heat. After the aid station, the Centennial Trail reroute put us on a gravel road climb. Pedal. Pedal. Pedal.

I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the 50 teeth on my Eagle cassette as I steadily climbed into the trees and shade! I gasped for breath when a frigid wet bandana was placed on my neck at the aid station at Elk Creek. God bless the volunteers! As quickly as I stopped for water and a banana, I found myself climbing once more. Keeping up with water and food seemed to be key for me. Just when I thought it was all downhill, I discovered a new challenge, sand! I found myself literally laughing out-loud as I maneuvered through the parabolic sand. The race isn’t over until it’s over! This was my first NUE event. I can’t wait for more to come!”

 

Photo by: Jonathan Karol

Men’s Open

Two Wheeler Dealer, Stone takes the WIN!

Zach Stone, Two Wheeler Dealer, won Men’s Open with a time of 3:19:20. This was his first race for the 2017 season.

Thirteen minutes later, James Loverich, finished second place with a time of 3:32:03. “The race course was awesome as it always is. A few folks had bad luck with mechanicals so I magically ended up in second. Kudos to the organizers for all the hard work that went into this event.”

Eleven minutes later, Bryce Thorman, took third at 3:43:01.

Singlespeed

Winters Brews up a WIN

Tim Winters, Southern Brewing Company, braved the course as the only single speeder in the race. He shredded in at 3:46:16.

“My trip to the Tatanka was intended to be a mini-vacation of sorts. I traveled up with seven other folks – most of who were also racing – and spent a couple of days taking in the scenery and adjusting to the surroundings.

The day turned out to be sunny and warm, but not extremely hot. Living in the “Deep South” means lots of hot days plus humidity as a bonus, so the weather never became much of a concern for me. I have to admit that starting a race at Noon felt downright weird, almost awkward, since I was ready to go and sat around anxiously watching the clock for several hours.

The Marathon started out on several miles of flat pavement and dirt roads and with my 34×22 gearing I knew I would never hold on – I watched the lead group and numerous others steadily pull away from me. I kept reminding myself that it wouldn’t be that way forever and that the trail started upward before long. As it narrowed down, I found myself back in a small group of racers and, somewhere below the Dalton aid station; I caught up to two of my Rescue Racing pals from home.

Being ‘amongst friends’ definitely encouraged me to stay on the gas and also served as a great distraction when things got uncomfortable throughout the day. I ended up trading places with both of them for the remainder of the race.  Riding an unfamiliar trail brings challenges sometimes as well, but the Centennial proved to be an extremely satisfying experience – technical in spots, but not so much that the riding was unpleasant so I really enjoyed myself on the course. I was a little concerned about staying hydrated, and did end up racing the last thirty minutes with nothing to drink, but I have to give a huge THANK YOU to the folks manning the Elk Creek aid station – they took great care of me as I came through and having ice cold water available was a nice surprise.

See you at the Volcano in Costa Rica this September!”

 

Masters 50+

Schoenberner for the win!

Todd Schoenberner, making his NUE Series debut, Snagged a narrow first place with a time of 3:54:35.

Six minutes later, Robert Hermann, Ridge Riders, rolled in second at 4:01:29. Twelve Minutes later, Timother Metz, Central Plains Cycling, was third with a time of 4:13:21.

WHATS NEXT: Two great races, two outstanding venues!  July 15

NUE Marathon Race Series: Carrabassett 100 at beautiful Sugar Loaf Ski Area located in northern Maine.

NUE Epic 100 Mile Race Series: Heads to Bend, Oregon, home of scenic Mount Bachelor and the High Cascades 100!

Click Here for Full Results

Breck 100 Pre Race Report

Writing & Photos by: Marlee Dixon

Next up in the NUE series is Breck100! Colorado’s premier off-road endurance race offers racers 13,719 feet of climbing over 100 miles. The course links together an amazing network of backcountry trails, roads, double track and bike paths to test mountain bikers’ boundaries. Racers will cross the Continental Divide three times, climb 12,000 foot passes, and forge high mountain streams while returning three times to the support and encouragement of staff, friends and teammates in historic downtown Breckenridge.

Riders on Wheeler Pass

For those not quite ready for or pursuing the Ultra 100 there are the B-68 Marathon, the B-32 XC, or a two or three-person relay team.  Each race allows riders the same spectacular terrain the NUE elite 100 racers will ride.  Get all the info at Warriorscycling.com.

Check back after the race to hear how it all went down with results and photos!

US Cup – Williston, VT

US Cup-XC-Blevins and Courtney keep on rolling.

The third round of US Cup-XC stormed into Williston, Vermont over the weekend, as the battle rages on over the $20,000 series payout for the men’s and women’s champion.

At the first two rounds in spring, the duo of Chris Blevins (Specialized) and Kate Courtney (Specialized) have shown there is a youth movement taking place in cross-country in the United States. The two have ridden brilliantly over more experienced and established rivals and continued their winning ways in Vermont at the Eastern Grind.

Nikki Peterson on the XC course. Photo by: PB Creative

Cross Country

In Saturdays women’s race, it was quickly whittled down to a three-rider duel when Kate Courtney (Specialized), Lea Davison (Clif Pro) and Rose Grant (NoTubes/Pivot) separated themselves from the women’s field.

Coming off really good spring form in the World Cups, Courtney began turning the screws on lap two and opened up a forty second gap on Davison.  From there, Kate went untouched and pulled away over the next couple laps, soloing in for her second US Cup-CX victory and extending her lead in the US Cup Series points chase.

Lea Davison (Clif Pro) using some “home” knowledge finished in second place, with Rose Grant (NoTubes/Pivot), Tina Severson (Orange Seal) and Kelsey Urban (Whole Athlete) rounding out the women’s top 5.

“This course was SO fun,” exclaimed Courtney following her win. “This is great preparation for nationals next weekend.”

Kate Courtney crosses the finish line for the win. Photo by: PB Creative

“You had to be paying attention the whole time.” commented third place Rose Grant. “This course was great preparation for nationals, I had a blast.”

The men’s XC race went off with some fireworks right off the start, as Todd Wells slipped a pedal right out of the blocks and had to play catch up early.  Luckily all riders got through clean with team Specialized taking control of the race early.

Howard Grotts rolls in for the win. Photo by: PB Creative

Up front reigning XC national champ Howard Grotts (Specialized) was in control over his teammate Christopher Blevins (Specialized) and current CX national champion Stephen Hyde (Cannondale P/BCyclocrossworld.com).  However, Grotts would burp a tire late on lap one and have to limp into the tech zone giving away valuable time to Blevins, Hyde and a charging Todd Wells.

For the next three out of six laps, Wells continued to close the gap on Blevins and was within striking distance on the last lap.  But Blevins had gaged his effort just right and went on to a twenty second victory over Wells, Hyde, Felix Longpre (MSA) and Nick Lando (Eliteendurance.com)

I felt really good today.” expressed Grotts post-race.  “It’s a shame I had that issue with my tire on lap one, that put me out of the hunt.”

“I just had to be patient out there and gage my effort.” said race winner Christopher Blevins. “Todd (Wells) is so good on these types of courses, he just keeps the power rolling and I knew he was charging hard.”

“I was a mess on that start,” explained Todd Wells. “I was laying on my tube tube after I slipped a pedal.  I got into the woods about 9th and from there just picked guys off.  I could see Chris right there on the last lap, but in the end just gave away a little too much time in the beginning to close the deal.”

Start of the men’s short track event. Photo by: PB Creative

Short Track:

New day, but the same faces emerged at the front of the women’s short track race.  Kate Courtney, Rose Grant and Lea Davison all found themselves with separation from the women’s group early on.

In the end, Courtney was solid again and soloed in for the win, her second on the weekend! However, the battle for second place came down to a sprint finish that was won by Rose Grant (Notubes/Pivot) over Lea Davison (Clif Bar).  Elle Anderson put in a solid ride for fourth, and Kelsey Urbnan had another great day and rounded out the podium with a 5th.

Not to be outdone by his teammates, Howard Grotts took revenge on Sunday’s short track to take the win by almost a minute.  Grotts is looking on point to defend his title next weekend at USA Cycling Nationals in West Virginia.

Christopher Blevins, US Cup series leader took a close second over Stephen Hyde, while Nick Lando and Alex Meucci (Bents cycling/Atomik Carbon/Maxxis/Vittoria) rounded out the top 5.

**Series finals take place on July 29th and 30th in Boston, where the men’s and women’s champions will be crowned and awarded $10,000.00 respectivley.  The Boston Rebellion is a U.C.I. HC event.

More Info:  www.uscup.net

Gallery

Bailey Hundito 100

Bailey, Colorado

June 17, 2017

Written by: Ryan O’Dell & Shana Biese

On June 17, The NUE Marathon Race Series headed west from the Mohican MTB100k in Ohio to the high mountains of Colorado in what was described by racers as a well-connected grouping of singletrack along the world class Buffalo Creek Trail system.

Bailey HUNDito and the 100 mile HUNDO were both founded as a fundraiser. The HUNDO Mission: To support youth cycling initiatives, develop and improve access to recreational trail assets in Colorado, and develop the Bailey, Colorado Area into a cycling destination. This year, a father and son would take the podium in their respective divisions.

Photo by: Linda Guerrette

The Bailey HUNDO supports two youth biking initiatives in Colorado: Trips For Kids Denver/Boulder, which offers mountain biking opportunities to underserved youth and changes lives “two wheels at a time”! Colorado High School Cycling League, a new resource for high school students around the state to be exposed to the world of mountain bike racing–and developing the racers of tomorrow who will ride YOUR legs off!

Bailey also continues supporting the advocacy and trail building work of the Colorado Mountain Biking Association as they work to plan and build new trails in the Platte Canyon area that both serve the local community’s recreation needs and develop Bailey into a mountain biking destination.  Their long term beneficiary is the Bailey Trails development project.

Photo by: Linda Guerrette

Women’s Open

Carrington claims the top of the podium

In a HUGE women’s field that included 61 registered women, Megan Carrington returned after a one year hiatus from the NUE series, representing a new team, Naked Women’s Racing, claiming first place with a time of 4:14:51.

Sixteen minutes later, Mindy Mulliken, Sherman Law, racing in her first NUE of 2017, finished second at 4:35:32.

“I went into the day feeling a little uncertain about my decision to race fifty miles two days after returning from a week long beach vacation in Florida, what was meant to be a surf trip that turned into a booze trip due to a lack of waves.

The 9:30am start was intimidating considering the typically hot temperatures this time of year, but we lucked out with some cloud cover and comfortable temperatures. The aid stations were plentiful and provided more than enough support with hand offs and options but honestly, the most impressive part of the race was the significant distances of world class singletrack linked up with little to zero road in between to create a 50 mile and 100 mile race that ended around the same time…that was incredible.

Photo by: Linda Guerrette

I also was thinking it was the easiest fifty mile race I have ever done because the trails are so flowy, fun and the climbing never punches you in the gut. Truth be told, I was thinking it was the easiest fifty mile race I have ever done until I hit the final section on road, that’s when I wanted to cry. No one warned me that I had to finish on the never ending road for over thirty minutes that felt like riding in quick sand and was deceivingly uphill.  I have already forgotten about that minor detail and am planning on doing this race again in the future. Everyone was so friendly and it is for such an awesome cause you can’t go wrong with participating in this race. It provides some great early season mileage for us mountain folk!  Super fun race, great setting for camping/post party and generous prizes for a fundraising event! Thanks again!!”

Five minutes later, Lisa Hudson, Feedback Sports, returned to the Hundito for a second year placing third with a time of 4:40:34. Twelve minutes behind Hudson, Angela des Cognets, Boulder Orthopedics, took fourth at 4:52:47. Five minutes later, Madelynn Gerritsen, Ptarmigan Group, took fifth at 4:57:34. Less than a minute later, Tamira Jenlink, became the final women to go sub five hours on the day at 4:58:20.

Photo by: Linda Guerrette

Men’s Open

Nitti gets the Win

After placing third in last year’s Hundito, Tony Nitti, Basalt Bike & Ski, took the top spot this year with a time of 3:40:25.

“On the opening road climb, Mark Currie and I separated from the field and hit the private property double track first. I’m well aware of how strong Mark is on the climbs and how much time he would be putting into me on the descents all day, so I was determined not to let him go.

As we descended to the bridge, Sam Furness suddenly ripped past us and crossed the bridge first, letting Mark and I know this would be more than a two-horse race. When we started to climb again after the bridge, I was feeling strong, and knowing that we had a twenty minute single track descent coming up where I would lose chunks of time to Mark and Sam, I decided to put in a big effort. I was able to put a few minutes on them before we hit the Colorado trail, but as predicted, by the time we finished the descent, Mark had reeled me in and Sam was right on my heels.

On the next short climb I was able to claw onto Marks wheel, but on the subsequent fast descent to the start of the Baldy climb, both he and Sam put some distance on me. The Baldy climb is a solid thirty minutes, followed by a twenty-five minute descent that’s the longest of the race. I knew if I didn’t make a move on Baldy, they would gap me by too much on the descent to overcome. So I put in a big dig, caught Sam and then Mark, and then climbed solo to the top. I must have put four to five minutes on the two of them because, on the long descent, neither of them caught me. I hoped that if I could reach the Nice Kitty climb and get out of sight before they could see me, they might just let me go, and it appears that’s what happened.

Photo by: Linda Guerrette

I climbed as hard as I could on that long Kitty climb, and then just focused on staying upright on the Shingle Mill and Morrison Creek descent. When I spilled out on the last dirt rode climb to the finish, I kept the pressure on the pedals and was fortunate to ride to the win against two insanely strong competitors.”

Four minutes later, Sam Furness, Nat Grocers/Honey Stinger finished second at 3:44:41. Furness made his 2017 NUE debut with this race, and joined his dad, Sam Furness, who also claimed a spot on the Masters podium.

Eight minutes later, Mark Currie, The Adrenaline Project, crossed the line to take third at 3:52:24. Less than a minute later, Nathaniel Vacura, Race Co., took fourth finishing 3:53:17.

Exactly one minute separated fourth and fifth place as Scott Leonard, Mountain Flyer Magazine, finished 3:55:30, just ahead of Gregory Stokes, STRAFE, at 3:56:30 both included in the elite six that finished sub four hours on the day.

Singlespeed

Anderies with a commanding win!

Matt Anderies, Avout Racing, made his NUE 2017 debut with a commanding fifteen minute cushion for the win at 4:15:05.

“My race experience was pretty great and weather was amazing compared to high 90’s from last year. The race course is fast and fun, with the road climb(s) near the beginning really doing a great job of separating the group before the singletrack begins. The course is well marked and aid stations are great. I raced using 32×20 gearing. Anytime I race a course with more than a few thousand feet of climbing, I use this gearing. This course was faster than I was expecting and I probably could have gotten away with 32 x 19.”

Ross Serven, earned second place in his first Single Speed endurance race at 4:30:29. “The Bailey Hundito was my first SS endurance race, so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect, but it turned out to be a great time. The race was well organized, there was a solid field and, as everyone knows who has ridden Buffalo Creek, some really fun single track.

I typically ride 32×20 but, heading into the race, I decided to move to 32×18. After a confidence boosting pre-ride of some of the course the week before, I decided it was the right gearing for the race. Starting off the race I was mid-pack but, thankfully as the race rolled on, I continued to feel stronger. Starting the climb up Nice Kitty, I was feeling good and managed to gain some ground on the other riders and that momentum pulled me through to a strong finish, definitely not a bad way to spend a Saturday in June.”

Two minutes later, John Pavlik, Alchemist, who raced last year in the Men’s Open category at Bailey Hundo, moved to Single Speed in the Hundito this year to finish with a time of 4:32:29.

“Thanks for a great race. I think, overall, it was a fantastic experience. I have ridden in the Hundito for four years now and this was, by far, the best course. Aid stations were well provisioned and the volunteers were stoked to help. I rode in the Singlespeed category with a gear ratio of 1.5 which was pretty ideal for the course.”

Masters 50+

Wallace wins!

In a large Masters field of 61 racers, Mark Wallace, Pedal Pushers Kind Racing, claimed a comfortable win at 4:14:34 at his first 2017 NUE Marathon Series race.

“The Bailey Hundito was another great race put on for the benefit of the Bailey area trails and youth biking. There was no disappointment this year with a new single-track section, a full fifty mile course and over 5500 feet of climbing. It’s usually warm the day of this event and this year the water hand ups were amazingly well organized and appreciated. The volunteers were all well prepared and water bottles were received without even slowing down!  Thanks for a very well run race, an excellent after party, and a huge shout out to Hog Heaven BBQ for the great lunch!”

Wallace, the senior member of the team, keeps the young guns honest and  shows what a little extra hard work can accomplish winning the 50-59 age group and besting his teammates with the eleventh overall place. “My team, #Pedalpusherskindracing, was well represented at this years’ Bailey Hundito with three of us racing the 50 mile “short course”. We rode together for much of the race, pacing each other along finishing in 11th, 13th and 15th place overall.”

Seven minutes behind Wallace, Todd Maus finished in second place with a time of 4:21:08.

Three minutes later, 2016’s Hundito Master’s Winner, Peter Furness, Tember, returned this year and earned a third place finish with a time of 4:24:10

“This was the third year in a row that I did the Bailey Hundito and I was really looking forward to this race as my twenty-year-old son did the race with me this year. We were fortunate enough to both finish well enough to podium and this will be quite a memory for me and my son to have. I did not have the smoothest race as, unfortunately, I crashed hard two times during the first half but, somehow, was able to get it together to finish the race just barely ahead of my good friend Jon Cox with three miles to the end. All in all, a memorable day for my family, friends, and me.”

Three minutes later, Jonathan Cox, Racer X Cycling, took fourth place at 4:27:02. Forty-Eight Seconds behind Cox, John Soukup, Avout Racing, took fifth at 4:27:50.

WHATS NEXT?!

NUE Race Series EPIC and Marathon Series #5:

On July 8th, racers will travel to Sturgis for the Tatanka, a point to point race in the Black Hills of South Dakota that starts beneath iconic Mount Rushmore then along the Centennial Trail toward the finish in Sturgis. Stay tuned for the full report plus live social media updates during the race on Facebook at National Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Race Series.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS