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.


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,, 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.


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,, 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,, 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


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?!”


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:

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.


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.


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

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/  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 (

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:


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.


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.


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.


Founders Lumberjack 100

Ryan O’Dell, Shana Biese

On June 17, The NUE Race Series returned to Wellston, Michigan, the site of one of the original NUE 100-Mile Mountain bike races. The Lumberjack race course is located within the Manistee National forest which is just under a million acres of solid hardwood forest. The 33 mile loop is 90% singletrack with hard packed sandy soil and rolling hills that challenge racers with close to 3,000 feet of climbing per lap.

Following an early downpour in the morning before the race, many outside of Michigan learned just how well the sandy singletrack in Michigan holds up to moisture.

Dylan Johnson, Brian Schworm and other finishers from the Lumberjack share stories. Photo by: Jack Kunnen

Women’s Open

Edwards gets her first win this year

Chase Edwards, Flagstaff Bike Revolution, came in first place with a time of 7:32:37. Edwards is currently in third place overall this year for the NUE Epic Series, having also raced at True Grit where she came in fifth place.

“I rolled up to the start line a little worried about the quantity of mead I’d consumed the night before (I’d gone mead tasting at the St. Ambrose Meadery and tap room not far from the Lumberjack course!), and I was also feeling jet lagged from the long flight from Arizona. My dad lives in this part of Michigan, and he insisted on taking photos of me at the start line as I glanced around nervously scoping the competition. I didn’t recognize any of the women, but I was impressed with the quantity of them! There were more women registered than any of the other NUE races I’ve done.

I’d heard the bottle that the bottleneck at the start of the race was going to be bad, but it was way worse than I had imagined. I was frustrated with myself for not being more aggressive at the start. Jenna Blannford got in front of me at the beginning of the first lap and I remember thinking, “I hope my groggy brain is up for a fight!” I took it easy on the first lap because I wanted to get into the groove of this course and warmup up to this style of riding – in the Southwest, we don’t have a lot of tight trees and twisty/turny singletrack like the Lumberjack has to offer.

I managed to drop Jenna and most of the guys I was riding with on the steepest hill on the course toward the end of the first lap. Most people walked this climb, but I rode it each lap and happily insisted to the guys I passed that this was my one strength on the Midwest singletrack! My cornering around the tight trees improved each lap, I did a pretty good job eating and drinking during the race (this was a big improvement over last year – last year I was convinced eating and drinking was impossible on this course!), and my legs put out consistently high watts on the punchy climbs.

My highlight of the race was pulling a pack of five or six hilarious and good natured dudes on the long rolling section on the backside of the course. I started to tear up behind my sun glasses when my dad – who used to be my Nordic skiing and running coach when I was a kid – met me at the finish line. I grew up running and cross-country skiing in this part of Michigan (but had never ridden a bike here until last summer!). The Lumberjack is a really well organized and fun race, and I hope to be back next summer! The next NUE race for me will be Breckenridge 100.”

Dori Leib, Wolverine Sports, in her first NUE race of this year, came in second place 8:03:08.

Also making her 2017 NUE debut, Mireille Montminy Lambert, took the third spot on the podium with a time of 8:07:39.

Dylan Johnson takes the win at Lumberjack. Photo by: Jack Kunnen

Men’s Open

Johnson gets his second NUE Race victory at Lumberjack!

Defending 2016 NUE Champion, Dylan Johnson, Cameron MTB Racing, leads the NUE Men’s Open division for the 2017 Season. Following his first win at Cohutta plus second place finishes at both True Grit and Mohican; Johnson completed his fourth race with a “W” and the coveted Axe Trophy at 6:35:07.

“When I woke up the morning of the race it was pouring rain and I began to mentally prepare myself for a long wet day. As to be expected the start was a sprint for position. I found myself leading the opening section and about halfway through the first of three laps a clear front group of seven riders had formed. That group slowly dwindled down over the next two hours and, by the start of the last lap, only Brian and I remained.

On the flat course I knew getting away from a strong rider like Brian would be difficult but I had a plan. Five miles from the finish there are three steep climbs back to back. Each one lasts less than a minute but I thought that maybe if I gave 100 percent on all three I’d have a chance of breaking away. I managed to make the separation and with 5 miles left there was nothing to do but stay hard on the gas. I crossed the finish line to a crowd of people cheering and congratulating me. I’d never seen so many spectators at the end of an NUE and it really made this win special. Michigan locals know how to support their racers.”

Johnson plans to compete at both the upcoming Tatanka 100 on July 8 and The High Cascades 100 on July 15.

2016 Lumberjack 100 race winner, Brian Schworm, Think Green- Bicycle, from Morehead, KY finished second with a time of 6:36:07. Schworm currently stands in third place overall for this NUE Race season.

“The Lumberjack 100 is one of my favorite races with the fast, twisty singletrack and the short, steep climbs. This year, however, I was concerned about the weather forecast; storms were being called for before and during the race. Sure enough, I woke up on race day to hard rains.  Fortunately, the rain subsided as my wife and I headed to the course.

With the rain at bay, the race started with the usual mad dash down the paved road and funneled into the tight singletrack. I was able to get a good position and settled into the fourth spot, once we hit the trails. Surprisingly, the trails were in good condition considering the rain we just received. Apparently, the sandy trails in this area can handle moisture very well.

A lead group quickly established consisting of me, Dylan Johnson, Christian Tanguy, Daniel Yankus, Ron Caitlin, Mike Simonson, and Matt Acker in the 100 Open, as well as, Jorden Wakeley racing in the singlespeed category. We rode the first lap together at a brisk pace with nothing eventful occurring, that is, until we reached the aid station at the end of the lap. I was in-and-out relatively quickly, thanks to the support from my wife Jennifer, but apparently, Christian was suffering from a mechanical issue and was sidelined for a good five to ten minutes. With the exception of Christian and his mechanical, the majority of us grouped back together with Ron setting a blistering pace.

The first half of lap two was again somewhat uneventful; that is, until I decided to not pay attention to the trail and instead focuses on my Garmin. I drifted off the trail and caught a tree with my shoulder. Before I even realized what had happened, I was over the bars and lying on the ground. I was more embarrassed than anything else but I gave my bike a quick look-over and jumped back on. Ironically, this seemed to be the catalyst that broke our group apart. Jorden stopped to air up a slow-leaking tire, Daniel stopped at the following aid station for a drink, and Ron drifted back off Dylan’s pace up the next climb. Despite my crash, I was able to catch back up with Dylan and we rode together completing lap two.

The third and final lap was a bit chaotic. Dylan and I were catching many lapped riders while still pressing the pace. We went back and forth throughout the lap until the final series of climbs.  I hit the hills hard but Dylan was unfazed. He then attacked at the base of what was probably the largest climb. I hung in there for a while but knew I was in trouble. Unfortunately, a stick lodged itself in my rear wheel at this point and took a few spokes with it. This sealed the deal for the race. I needed to stop to remove the stick and Dylan was off.  In fact, his lead continued to grow as we approached the finish line. In the end, Dylan took the victory and I came across the line almost one minute down. Behind us was a fast charging Matt and Christian, both who apparently had fantastic last laps to finish third and fourth.

Now it’s time for a little recovery and then revamp for my next NUE event, the Wilderness 101 in PA on July 29!”

At 6:42:50, Matt Aker rolled in just two seconds ahead of the former NUE Champion, Christian Tanguy, Rbs/trek, who claimed fourth at 6:42:52. Six minutes later, Daniel Yankus, Athletic Mentors/Greenware USA, from Milford, MI took fifth at 6:48:52 with Tanguy’s teammate, Ronald Caitlin, Rbs Trek Cycling, arriving sixth in the Men’s Open, just one minute behind SS Race winner, Jorden Wakeley, to finish 6:52:50. These seven racers all finished at sub seven hours.



Wakeley takes first place in his first NUE of the Season

Known as “The Giant from Grayling”, Jorden Wakeley, M22/Northbound Outfitters, overcame a leaking rear tire and pulled off the win with a time of 6:51:56, sixth overall, and the only SS racer to go sub seven on the day!

“I rode with the lead group of four including Dylan Johnson and Brian Schworm for the first fifty miles before having to stop and fix a slow leaking rear tire. Ron Catlin put in a big effort on the start of the second lap, I was able to hang, and knew my gap over the second SS’er had to be pretty solid. I rode the majority of the last thirty miles solo using a 36×18 gear on a fully rigid 29er. The next races I am planning for are Wilderness 101 and Marji Gesick.”

As the first finisher on a rigid SS, Wakely received a Lauf Fork of his choice. Lauf is awarding a new fork for the first fully rigid SS Racer at each NUE Race this season.

In his first NUE Race this season, Andrew Fader, Bloomington Cycle, took second place with a time of 7:00:25.

Following his second place finish at the Shenandoah 100 last season, Collin Snyder, Athletic Mentors, made his 2017 NUE debut at Lumberjack, finishing third with a time of 7:14:27.

Jeff Clayton takes the men’s 50+ win. Photo by: Jack Kunnen

Masters 50+

Clayton’s wins Back to Back at Lumberjack!

Following his 7:04:11 win last year at Lumberjack, the Defending NUE Masters Champion, Jeff Clayton, Georgia Neurosurgical Institute, claimed his third straight NUE Series win, including Cohutta and Mohican. This year, Clayton finished twenty-one minutes over his nearest SS competitor, to finish 7:15:48 and remains undefeated in his bid to repeat for the NUE Race Series Masters title.

“I was very excited to have the company of my lovely and very supportive wife, Jodi. We traveled way up to Big M in Michigan all the way from middle Georgia. Michigan scenery and temperatures are great, but the bugs rival everywhere I’ve been except maybe Alaska!

I had a nice hard pre-ride with two of the fastest NUE racers out there-Dylan Johnson and Brian Schworm. They were just cruising up the hills and I was at race pace. With Jodi set up to pit for me, I knew I’d have great intel on race splits vs. my rivals and quick hand ups. The start was fairly tame and I was very happy with my position until about ten minutes in when a stick jammed into my wheel. About fifteen racers went by while I extracted it, luckily no damage.

I had fun moving back up in the order, especially when I lucked into being on the wheel of a fast guy on a cross bike on the longest road section-he motored! The first lap was pretty smooth, and starting lap two, I was with two strong guys that really ramped up the pace every climb as we caught and passed groups of racers. I was surprised to then drop them on the sandy road after the tower hike-a-bike before catching another group just before the aid station with a couple of fast singlespeeders in it, including my race pace buddy, James Litzinger.

That pace wasn’t going to cut it and I found myself with just James and another singlespeeder, here we go again! I actually dropped them too but, about ten minutes into the third lap; here they came with another guy. They were in a heated battle for third and it was all I could do to hang on…until I couldn’t.

I was starting to see stars and the legs just weren’t putting out the power, a “bonk” from not enough energy (candy corn being my favorite). Letting off the pace to eat and a good stop at the aid station and I started to feel fast again. Nobody caught me and I actually caught James and one other singlespeeder…good!

With only five miles left, I decided to go all out to see what I could do (and what they would do)…and they took the bait! I was going so hard on the last few hills I got tunnel vision, but I held them off. Always good to race to the very finish! Thanks to no crashes, pacing fairly well (minus the lap 3 bonk), and my fabulous race assistant wife, I took the masters win and another lumberjack 100 axe trophy.”

Racing in his first NUE this year, Terry Sensiba, Founders Racing, came in second with a time of 7:36:57.

Christopher Abston, Racing Greyhounds, is currently ranked second in the NUE Series point race. Abston solidified his standing at Lumberjack with a third place finish of 7:42:09.

“This was my second year at Lumberjack. The goal was to place in the top three seeing I had a third place finish at Cohutta 100 and fourth at Mohican 100. I was lined up near the front at the start of the race and I saw my main competitor a few riders ahead. As the race started I tried to stay as close as I could to him and, after the first few miles, I noticed that he was having a mechanical issue and so I made a move to pass him.

After about five miles into the race, I was wondering if he had to drop out of the race or is he fast approaching. Well that question was answered a few moments later. While I was on the double track, he and another guy blew by our group like we were standing still. I was going to attempt to jump on his wheel but I did not want to blow myself up so I was content to stay where I was.

As I started the second lap, I noticed a gentleman that looked like he would be in the Masters 50+ group and he seemed to be riding pretty strong. I did not know this gentleman (later found out it was Jack Klein) but I attempted to drop him three times but two of the times he ended up catching me about ten minutes after I dropped him during that second lap. As we went through the pit area on the third lap, I had a slight gap on him but I was trying to stay controlled so I had some in the tank for a strong finish.

Once I hit the double track, I noticed a group was fast approaching me so I decided to use some of my past experience as a road racer and to sit up and jump on their wheels. I ended up riding on Jack Klein’s wheel for the next fifteen miles until I had to stop to relieve myself and thought that my race was over. I gave a good effort to see if I could catch back up and, after a few minutes, I was able to get back on his wheel and rest for a bit. With about twelve miles to go, I decided to see if I could drop him again and hold him off this time till the finish. Fortunately, the effort paid off and I cruised in for a third place finish.”


WHATS NEXT: The NUE 100 Mile Epic Series and Marathon Series will head west to Sturgis, South Dakota for the Tatanka 100 on July 8th. As of July 16, Race Leaders in both the NUE Epic and Marathon Race Series will earn a comp entry into the NUE Volcano 100 in Liberia, Costa Rica. Volcano is the first NUE Race to be held outside the USA and, with 600 already registered, may also become the largest as well. For more information, visit


Mohican 100k

Linda Shin and Andrew Dillman Win 100k in Loudonville

Written by: Ryan O’Dell & Shana Biese


Racers from across the fruited plains gathered in Loudonville located in North Central Ohio on June 3 at 7am. Prior to the start of the race, Pastor Robert Patterson of the New Hope Community Church offered a prayer for the safety of racers. New Hope Community Church was presented with a check to help launch a mentoring program designed to help lift local Loudonville area residents out of poverty.

Following the singing of the national anthem before the Loudonville war memorial in the town square where the race officially begins, and with sirens wailing, The Mohican 100 released 600+ racers out of Loudonville, up Maple Heights, and along some of the most popular single track trails Ohio has to offer on a grand single loop, 100 mile and 100k, that spans three of the four counties that make up what is locally known as “Mohican Country”. 2017 Mohican offered a cash purse of over $11,000, the largest single day cash purse in the NUE Race Series.

Mere blocks off the start of the race, a rider attempted an ill-advised pass, catching the handlebar of anther racer, going down onto the pavement, suffering a broken collar bone, abrasions to the face, and forcing both riders to drop out of the race. Both injured racers were taken for medical treatment but returned to enjoy post-race festivities at the finish line.

Jason Blodget, KTM Factory Racing, was the first racer to crest at the city limits before going on to finish second in the 100k Men’s Open. Blodget was awarded an additional $200 cash prime courtesy of the Loudonville Visitors Bureau.

As occasionally happens at Mohican throughout its fifteen year history, a course arrow sign was stolen before being reported and replaced by Mohican course proofers. In addition to signs, racers are instructed to pay close attention to orange confidence ribbons and large painted bright orange arrows on pavement sections for added direction in case signs are stolen.

About 25 miles in, a stolen sign located just before a left turn onto a bridge resulted in a pack of race leaders, along with several others, who missed the left turn when they failed to notice, and consequently rolled right over, three large bright orange painted arrows on the paved road located well before and near the left turn. This would result in several lead changes.

Women’s Open

Shin takes the win.

Making her NUE debut in the Marathon series this year, Linda Shin, Black Smith Cycles, last year’s Mohican 100 mile winner, took the women’s Open 100k with a time of 5:37:22. Shin finished in sixth place overall last year in the 2016 Epic 100 Mile Series.

Coming off her first NUE Series win at the Cohutta 100k, OMBC Race Series Champion, Jen Toops, Paradise Garage, finished second with a time of 5:43:27.

“Mohican 100k is one of my favorite races because it is local and so many of our friends are there. The start of the race was fast and I immediately heard a crash somewhere behind me putting me on edge. I was third going into the singletrack for 100k women.  The group I was with was slower than I wanted and even came to a stop at several points.
Linda and I rode together trying to work our way up to the front. We eventually got around the slower traffic right before the covered bridge and ended up passing the leader, Sally Price soon after. Linda and I stayed together until aid station 2 and then I had leg cramps set in. I backed off a little bit and tried to eat/drink and power through the cramps but ended up losing sight of Linda.

The wilderness was rough for me. I kept pushing, hoping I could catch her on the roads but ended up not having anyone to work with. I finally got my second wind going into the last singletrack but it was too late. I ended up finishing 2nd and beat my time from last year by 45 minutes! Hopefully, we will make it out to Tatanka if I can get the time off work.”

Finishing out top 3 in the Women’s Open was 2016 Mohican 100k Race Winner, Sally price, Velofemme, with a time of 5:49:07.


Men’s Open

With just a minute separating first and second, Dillman takes the win and sets a new 100k course record!

After placing second at Big Frog 65 a few weeks ago, Andrew Dillman, Think Green, earned a narrow win and a course record with a time of 4:27:04. The previous course record was set in 2012 by OMBC Ohio Series Champion, Steve Twinning at 4:29:00.

Jason Blodgett, KTM Factory Racing, came in just over a minute behind Dillman with a time of 4:28:29. Blodgett also was the first racer to crest the city limits out of Loudonville at Maple Heights, earning him a cool $200 prime form the Loudonville Visitors and Convention Bureau.

OMBC Ohio Series Defending Champion and last year’s 100k race winner, Andrew Purcell, Wooster Bikewerks/Y-Not Cyling, was three minutes behind Blodgett to secure third place with a time of 4:32:32. Purcell’s knowledge of the trail and speed put him in the early lead through the 20+ miles of early singletrack.

“What a race it was this year at the Mohican 100k.  I am a Mohican native so I know the opening trails very well. I knew that if I set a very fast pace at the beginning of the race it would split the field up quickly. I led the race through aid station one. However, shortly after aid one, I clipped a tree with my handlebars and was slammed to the ground taking me out of the lead. I quickly got up and had to straighten my handlebars out.

Once back on my bike, I had to chase back onto the front group burning a lot of energy to get back. Finally back with the leaders, the pace lifted once again and I just didn’t have the legs to hang. After that, I was in survival mode to minimize my losses and hang onto a solid third place finish. 4:32 was my best time to date!”



Powers returns for his ninth year of racing NUE and takes the win

2016 Mohican SS 100 mile race winner, Donald Powers, UPMC Pro bikes, crushed the 100k SS field finishing 5:03:46.

“2017 was the ninth consecutive year I have lined up for either the Mohican 100 mile or 100K race, on top of that I have done the OMBC Mohican XC race another five times. I am very familiar with the trails and course.

As I have done the last several years, I ran my Mohican gear of choice 34X20. It provides a good balance between spinning speed and the ability to clear the short steep pitches that Mohican throws your way.

After winning the 100 mile SS race in 2016, I decided to go back to racing the 100K. In my mind, it is the perfect mix of trail and gravel road.  The long paved road start at Mohican is every Singlespeeder’s worst nightmare. After the initial climb it is way too fast for most of us to hold on to the lead group.  I was able to go into the woods fairly far up, third Singlespeed into the woods with the only two in front of me being 100 mile racers.

I settled into my pace and started working my way though a good portion of the geared guys who got into the woods before me.  I felt good though out the day and managed to get the SS first place win, and thirteenth place overall, with a time of 5:03 and change.  As always the Mohican volunteers were amazing and very helpful at the aid stations and variance turns out on the course.”

Scott Williams, Dirt Rag Magazine, came in second place with a time of 5:31:08. Williams placed second in the NUE SS Marathon Series in 2016.

“The NUE Mohican 100 is one of my favorite races and is always a difficult one to omit from the calendar. With the month of May booked solid with our own, Dirt Rag Dirt Fest Pennsylvania and then heading straight into the Trans-Sylvania Epic (TSE) 5-day Stage Race, I really was not sure I would have any energy left for Mohican. However, once returning from TSE I knew there was no way I could miss it and scooped myself up a 100k SS entry.

I switched my gearing over to the trusty ol’ 34×20 and loaded the car up for a fun filled weekend with awesome friends, cold beverages and incredible trails. At the end of the day, I would find myself on the second block for the 100k single speed podium next to a bunch of winners. I will be doing the Breck Epic this year but, other than that, my only plan is to ride bikes and have fun this year.

Just over a minute back, Aaron Shelmire, NovaCare p/b JMac Cycling, secured third place with a time of 5:32:23.

“Coming into the race I knew the loud and proud Dahn Pahrs, a constant megaphone in my ear since we started riding and racing together ten years ago, had switched to the 100km race after rail trail of despair nightmares. Other attendees of Pittsburgh’s weekly North Park hammer ride were Tim Mould and Scott Williams in the 100km race. Scott’s mustache provided too much wind resistance in the 6 hours of Brady’s Run a few weeks ago, but, after his week of “not-trying” at the Transylvania Epic, I knew he’d be a contender. The trusty 32×19 workhorse I’ve ridden in the Mohican 100km races I’ve done since 2012 and the Big Frog 65 last year, was nearly the same as their 34x20s.

I rode much of the first twenty miles in second place to Dahn. Then, shortly after aid station 1, I looked up from putting a bottle back in the cage just in time to kiss a tree, cracking the aero vent on the front of my helmet and breaking my nose. I brushed myself off, and vanquished that challenge ready to take on the next obstacle.

A few miles later, I saw a rider standing on the side of the trail asking for a CO2 or a pump. In need of some good trail karma, I threw caution to the wind giving him my spare CO2, and never encountered the typical mechanical difficulty of endurance racing.

At the end of the singletrack, I followed the venerable Roger Masse up a bonus road climb, only to come backtrack six minutes later to where we missed the familiar left turn across the bridge, marked with spray paint on the pavement (note to self: download the .gpx file next year, even if you’ve ridden the course five times). Necessary wrong-turn endurance-race checkbox: checked. With that obstacle vanquished, I had conquered all three necessary endurance racing phantoms: the crash, the mechanical difficulty, and the missed turn.

The last ten miles were some of the best racing I’ve had in years moving from sixth to third in a strongly fielded SingleSpeed class. In the end, the mustache proved more aero than a cracked helmet, and Scott took second, one minute and change ahead, instead of the two minutes and change he put into me last year. Hopefully, the prize winnings will help him buy some clothes newer than the 1980s and mustache wax for aerodynamics before the Breck-Epic in August.”


Masters 50+

Cozza earns back to back wins at Mohican!

Defending Mohican Race Winner, Craig Cozza, UPMC Cycling Performance/Pro Bikes, earned his second straight win at Mohican with a time of 5:02:23, a shade over last year’s winning time of 4:58:09, the only sub five posted by a Masters racer.

Scott Burrill of, came in second place with a time of 5:23:11

“This was my first time racing the Mohican so it was a race full of lessons learned for me. I arrived a couple of days early from Maine to get myself established and check out some of the course. I was able to pre-ride much of the State Forest single track which was awesome and quickly learned that Ohio is not flat!  There are generous amounts of climbing out there.

Race day started a little chilly, just below 50 F, but promised to reach 80 F so the right layers were key. The starting line was amazing with the hundreds of racers converging as I began to realize the size of the pack. I actually had no idea of the first few miles of the course so I was surprised to find the steep wall at the end of town. In the lead up I rode defensive so as not to get taken out in the first mile of a race I travelled half-way across the country to race in.

I went hard in the first few miles so as to get a good spot once we hit single-track but apparently not hard enough because I soon found myself stuck behind twenty or more riders in the woods.  We moved at a painful casual group pace for what seemed like an eternity with little opportunity to pass. Eventually, things did break up and the pack spread out.

By the covered bridge things were fairly well sorted out pack-wise. The Mohican Forest trail was just a blast to ride, non-technical, fast and flowy. I did fall victim to the water bars (on the horse trail) however, being taken down by the last one into a muddy pit but that was the extent of water and hazard. For the most part, the course was otherwise point and shoot.

Moving out onto the dirt and pavement allowed for some speed work where I found myself sometimes with others and sometimes alone. I did manage to take a couple wrong turns but quickly corrected the errors losing maybe five minutes. The heat really turned up as we approached noon and after I left aid station 3. The aid stations were like a NASCAR Pit Crew, amazingly well run and efficient; the best I have ever encountered!

As I made my way back into the park past Aid Station 5, I knew I was close, all alone with no one in sight behind or in front so it was a race against me. I managed to stave off cramping up until this last section but it started to rear its head in the last five miles. I just kept the pace even and steady and worked my way back to the campground which was a fabulous site to behold!  Overall a fantastic race experience; well done!

2015 Mohican 100k Masters winner, Robert Goetz took third place with a time of 5:32:32, an improvement from his 2015 winning time of 5:46:11 but not quite as fast as his 2016 time of 5:20:41 that had him second only to Cozza.

At age 75 and looking dapper at the finish line, Mike Deitlin, raised the bar on the age barrier, setting a new record as the only 70-79 racer to finish the 100k. Dietlin’s sub nine finish was at 8:50:13. In 2014, at the age of 72, Dietlin set the record as the oldest 100 mile race finisher with a time of 13:16:09.



NUE Race Series EPIC and Marathon Series #4:

On June 17, The NUE Race Series features a double header with races in both Colorado and Michigan.

NUE Epic 100 Mile Race Series #4: The (now sold out) Lumberjack 100 features a three lap all singletrack race in the Manistee Forest.

NUE Marathon Race Series #4: The (now sold out) Bailey Hundito, located in Bailey, Colorado is a 100% fundraiser for Trips for Kids and the Colorado High School Cycling League