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Fool's Gold 100 - Dahlonega, Georgia

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |September 17, 2011 2:15 AM
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Fool's Gold 100 - Dahlonega, Georgia
NUE #9

Written by: Matthew Williams

Christian Tanguy (Team CF) and Jeff Schalk (Trek) shared the victory in a controversial finish to the 2011 Fool’s Gold 100 miler, while Cheryl Sornson (Team CF) took a convincing victory in the women’s race.

Hot and humid conditions greeted riders on the start line at the Monteluce Winery outside of Dahlonega, GA for the seven AM start. After a neutral rollout through the winery the racing got underway in earnest and immediately went uphill. Gerry Pflug (Salsa/No Tubes) made some accelerations early to go for the King of the Mountains prize at the summit of the first ten-mile climb, but he eventually faded and it was Tanguy who led the race over the top with Schalk close behind.

Not long after, however, Tanguy suffered the first of his three flats and Schalk was able to establish gap of several minutes by the end of the first 50-mile lap. That’s when the controversy hit. Schalk arrived at the lap/finish cut off point before the volunteer had arrived to direct him, and he went the wrong way, riding towards the finish line rather than back out on course for lap two. Tanguy, arriving a few minutes later was directed in the right direction. By the time Schalk realized his mistake he had lost nearly 20 minutes.

Tanguy meanwhile had no idea that Schalk had gone off course and was pushing the pace to try to catch up. "I thought that Jeff couldn’t be more than a few minutes ahead,” Tanguy said afterwards, "so I was pushing a really big pace to try and catch up. I kept looking ahead in the straight-aways to see him, but I never could.” Of course, Schalk was not actually up the road but was instead chasing Tanguy. Eventually Tanguy eased up, figuring Schalk was riding too well. "When Jeff is like that there is nothing you can do,” he said.

Tanguy had begun to settle in by midway through the second lap. Tired from his earlier efforts on the climb and having suffered a second flat, he was resigned to second place when an aid station volunteer told him Schalk had gone off course. "So I got reenergized,” he said. "At that point I didn’t know what had happened, I thought he had just missed an arrow or something, it can happen to everyone.”

Tanguy grabbed another tube and headed back out on course. Despite getting a third flat and having issues with his glasses fogging up due to a torrential downpour he was able to race home in 7:11:12. Schalk rolled in just a few minutes later. Drew Edsall rode a strong race to take third, with Ernesto Marenchin and Peter Schildt rounding out the podium.

Soon after the race the controversy surrounding Schalk’s missed the turn became clear, and after much discussion the decision was left to the riders. In a great display of sportsmanship they agreed to share the victory, setting up a winner takes all show down for the overall NUE series title at the Shennandoah 100 in just a few weeks.

 

Women’s Open

In the women’s race it was Cheryl Sornson who led from start to finish. Sornson said she felt "really good on the fist lap,” and was able to establish a gap on the first climbs that would hold for the rest of the race. And while Sornson suffered a little bit on lap two, the race was never really in doubt. She took the win in 8:53:23. In second was Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing), who has been riding well all year. Simril rode a consistent race to come in just 16 minutes down on Sornson by the finish. Third place went to Andrea Wilson.

Singlespeed

As he has done all year Gerrry Pflug dominated the singlespeed race at the Fool’s Gold. Pflug attacked early on the races first climb, and though he suffered a little bit for his efforts he was able to ride his race and settle in. His eventual time of 7:48:15 was not only good enough for the singlespeed win, it also placed him 5th overall. Second went to Jason Pruitt, with Shane Schrelhart rounding out the top three.

Masters Men 50+

Robert Herriman took a solid win in the Master’s race. The Michigan racer led from start to finish, despite being unfamiliar with the technical, east coast terrain featured in the Fool’s Gold. Paul VanKooten second and Chris Irving was third.



Results

Open Men

1, Christian Tanguy (Team CF)/Jeff Schalk (Trek Racing Co-Op) 7.11.12
3, Drew Edsall 7.32.19
4, Ernesto Marenchin (Speedgoat)
5, Peter Schild 7.46.17
6, Zach Morrey
7, Michael Loria
8, Troy Barry (Hammer Nutrition)
9, Mark Olson
10, Jason Morrell 

Open Women

1, Cheryl Sornson (Team CF) 8.53.22
2, Brenda Simril 9.09.46
3, Andrea Wilson
4, Michelle Dulieu

Singlespeed

1, Gerry Pflug (Salsa) 7.48.15
2, Jason Pruitt
3, Shane Schreilhart
4, Daniel Atkins
5, Brian Deloughy
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