Presented by Hammer Nutrition
Cascades 100 Race Report
annual High Cascades 100 rolled out under sunny skies and mild temperatures
creating an enjoyable atmosphere for a record number of racers and spectators
alike. The race finish was located farther down the mountain this year at
Bachelor Village where racers were treated to wood fired pizza’s cooked on site
by Pisano’s Pizza and washed down by local brews that included Twilight Summer Ale
and a White IPA courtesy of Deschutes brewing.
Wicks claims his second NUE Series
Victory within a packed field of top Pro riders!
(Kona), the hometown boy from Bend, claimed his second NUE Series win of the
year since his win in Michigan at the Lumberjack 100, finishing at 7:22:15, just over four minutes ahead
of Evan Plews (Ibis Cycles/Reall Racing) of Salem, OR 7:26:35 and three time
defending HC100 winner Carey Smith (Team CF) 7:34:15 who both joined Wicks on
Wicks, "The Race was super fun. It was a pretty challenging course but so
scenic that all you could think about was what was around the bend of the next
mountain. The race went well for me. I did the log ride on the climb up to
Wanoga and got a small gap to get the prime. Then I waited up for my team mate,
Kris Sneddon, and just rode the sweet trails.
started the big climb of the day and the race pretty much split up there. I was
running a little light on water going through Dutchman, but was able to make it
to Lava Lake with Josh Tostado, and, once I got a feed, got on the gas and just
rode a solid tempo into the finish. Having local knowledge really helped as I
knew how to meter my effort for what was coming and I had a rad day riding the
amazing trails up in the high alpine. Next year I may try to do it on a single
speed and win the $1000 bonus for taking the overall, but we will see. That
sounds really hard.”
Champion, Christian Tanguy (Team CF) finished fifth 7:40:28, off the podium but
his finish was good enough to take the series lead for the first time this
"I heard only praise for the trails in the Bend, OR area so, this year, I ventured
there to check it out. I did not pre-ride so it was an entire discovery all day
long. I now understand why this course is one of the favorite of the NUE
Like most races
now, many racers are quite nervous at the start in order to enter the single
track well positioned. I was satisfied with my place without committing too
much effort that early in the race. The five bikes in front of me were kicking
a lot of dust in the air but I was following just fine. Just like at the
Lumberjack, my rear tire developed a slow leak but this time it was only after fifteen
minutes entering the trail. As soon as I stopped, trains of racers just passed by
me while I was busy putting more air in my tire. It was getting inflated but I
could hear the hissing noise of the leak. The tire had a bad cut on the side but
the sealant seemed to do its part.
The nature of
the trails made passing a difficult endeavor but there were also so many of
them. I was passing racers non-stop but my bike started to feel a little
sketchy again. For sure, the tire leaked again. Fortunately, I was closer to
aid one so I reduced speed so I could properly repair my tire.
numerous positions were lost in the process but this time we were on double
track and I made very good tempo. I was passing the same riders again but I
knew it would take a long time before I could reel back some familiar faces. I
was not overly concerned since there was still plenty of time. The trails were
fantastic! Miles and miles of nice flowing trails and with proper pressure in
both tires my Epic was performing admirably. About 2.5 hours in, I was riding
by myself, caught in the no man's land between the lead group and the larger trains
of pursuers. The trails and the scenery were really getting my attention and I
was having a great time, all worth my time and expense to come from Michigan.
Four hours after
the start, I was finally latching back to familiar racers. However, by then, I
was quite tired and could only distance myself very slowly. Then, three hundred
yards after climbing a double track, I thought I might have taken a wrong turn.
I did not want to risk riding miles to figure out whether I went off course or
not, so I turned back. I was, in fact, on the correct trail but I had lost an
additional two minutes.
The lead group
was still at large and I thought I would use my climbing ability to make up
time on the trail leaving the Lava Lakes but it did not work out. I felt
miserable and my legs were shutting down. I grabbed my Hammer bottle and just
tried to be patient. By the end of the climb, I felt my legs re-energized.
Before aid four,
I passed Josh Tostado as he was pushing his bike following a mechanical. Right
after the aid station I passed two other racers and this time they were on
their bikes. That was just what I needed to get re-motivated! From that point
to finish I was pushing the pace and the closer to the finish, the faster I was
riding. Unfortunately, I was almost at the finish line. I think with an
additional ten miles of trail, I could possibly have bettered my result by one
or two spots, however, the trails were so much fun, I did not realize that I
had spent almost eight hours in the saddle. Next on the agenda is the
Wilderness 101 and, please, no mechanical this time?!”
later, Ben Melt Swanepoel (Squirt Lube) 7:41:38 rolled in followed closely by
forty nine year old Michael Tobin (G-Fit/Niner) 7:42:38 and Drew Edsall (Kenda/Felt)
who placed eight 7:43:20
following a win at Syllamo’s Revenge and a fourth place finish at the
Lumberjack 100 earlier in the season.
Edsall had this
to say about the race, "I went into the High Cascades 100 with really high
hopes. I thought my fitness was there, but sometimes your legs and lungs have
other plans in mind. The race was held on some of the most fun singletrack I
have hit. Hardpack conditions with big berms, dropoffs, and super-fast downhill
singletrack. I was trying out Kenda's new 24Seven SCT tires. They ripped
through the downhills and I was loving it! There was one point, early in the
race, where I was able to pull back a two minute gap on the front group on the
first major downhill. I was tearing things up with those tires and having an
awesome time doing it!
The race stayed
really tight for the first two hours. There was a ton of climbing and you had
to have your climbing legs out to do well. Unfortunately, I hit the second half
of major climbs with the front group including Barry Wicks, Kris Sneddon, Cary
Smith, and Josh Tostado about two hours into the race and just didn't have it.
My legs were dead and I wasn't able to respond to the higher pace they were
I dug really
deep and stuck with it, but no power ever showed up. Despite all this, the
course was excellent, the marking was incredible, and I enjoyed my time at the
race. Next move is on to the Pierre's Hole 100. I'll be doing everything
possible to get my legs back and ready to tear up the climbs there.”
Clint Muhlfeld (Sportsman
and Skihaus/Hammer Nutrition) 7:56:43 and Brett Nichols 7:58:09 rounded out the
Men’s open riders who finished in under eight hours.
Pennington of Hood River rolls her way to
the top of the podium!
second place finish last year, Alice Pennington (Team S&M/Kona) from Hood
River achieved victory this year in 8:51:32, just over a minute ahead of Serena
Gordon (Sunnyside Sports/Silverado) of Bend 8:52:46 who finished third last
Beth Ann Orton (Team
S & M) finished third 9:18:01 and had this to say, "I road with Serena
Bishop and Alice Pennington the first ten or so miles, seven of which were
neutral roll out, until I decided their pace was much too fast for me at such
an early point in the race. I know these
two well and hoped, based on previous efforts, that I could keep our gap
I settled in at
a brisk, but comfortable clip, and was soon joined and surpassed by Jana Repulski
(Broken Spoke Cycling) of Boise, ID. I
tucked in 4-5 riders behind her on the first section of single track, wanting
to go faster, but making myself settle and relax. We traded wheels a couple
times before the short, pumpy, ascent below sector 16, where she was tackling
the climbs much faster than I. I
eventually caught her at the top of Sector 16, rode with her down Upper Whoops,
a super fun descent, and passed her on Skyline Connector, a section of trail I
know well and love. I opened up a gap
then settled back into a comfortable pace for the rest of the race, seeing her
just briefly at the first aid station.”
Repulski went on
to finish fourth 9:30:27 with Alice Drobna (Webcyclery) finishing fifth at 9:47:15,
rounding out the women who finished sub ten hours.
Single Speed Open
Linnell edges out the competition for his
first NUE Series win of the year!
AJ Linnell (Fitzgerald's
Bicycles/Misfit Psycles) of Victor, WY, made his way to the top spot on the
podium in Bend, 8:16:12, following his second place finish at the
Breckenridge 100 just five days earlier!
"Once we got onto the dirt and sorted ourselves out, I spent
the opening singletrack leg riding with Gerry and Jace. Those guys are strong!
We ripped through the forest in amazing early-morning light, waiting for things
to warm up after a chilly morning. Somewhere around mile ten, I flubbed a
remount after running through a rock stretch and rolled my left ankle, totally
blowing it up. At the time I wanted to puke, but it subsided after a few
minutes and I was able to close the gap back to Gerry and Jace.
We rode together
until after aid one when we started the big double-track climb. I was feeling
good and decided to crank it up a bit. That was the last I saw of either of
them. I spent much of the remainder of the race riding solo going back and
forth with a few geared riders but largely alone. My ankle swelled up huge and lost
most of its ability to flex which made the rougher downhill riding after aid two
interesting. In the end, I was surprised at how closely Jace finished behind me!
I figured he was further back than four minutes given that I hadn't seen him at
crossed the finish line four minutes later 8:20:21, fourteen minutes ahead of
the three time defending NUE Single Speed Champion, Gerry Pflug (Salsa/Pro
Bikes) 8:34:06 who suffered puncture wounds to his arm and chest caused by a
tree sticking into the course that nearly took him out of the race!
Later at the
finish line, the Pfluginator explained that he thought, at the time, that he
had punctured a lung but with the help of a bystander, who just happened to
have first aid supplies on hand, he was able to tape up the puncture wounds to
his arm and chest, soldiering on and, somehow, still managing to take the third
spot on the podium!
Mike Shane (Club
Ride Apparel/Sun Summit) of Ketchum arrived ten minutes later, 8:44:54, to finish fourth followed by
Josh Armagost (Fat Cobra Video) of Portland taking fifth 9:06:19 and James Harmon (Benidorm/Createx
Colors) of Litchfield 9:08:30 which rounded out the top six.
Masters 50+ Open
Bartels claims victory!
Fifty two year
old Roger Bartels (Roger R. Bartels, D.D.S.) of Healdsburg claimed the top spot
in a packed field of Masters that included a Mountain Bike Hall of Famer and
his former master’s world’s teammate from the 1997 Switzerland race, Paul
Bartels, "I decided to go for the 40+ prime of $100 at mile eighteen (which he
won) so I made sure to be up near the front going into the fire road section five
miles into it. Twenty or so of us gapped the main group as we bottlenecked into
first eighty miles of singletrack of the day. I decided to lay back and entered
last in our group. Barry Wicks led it out and was gone in a huge cloud of dust!
Riding with Aren
Timmel (Team Chico) and another guy, we gradually started passing crash and
flat casualties as we made it up through Steve Larson trail and Funner Trail.
At the Prime spot there was a feed and realized I hadn't even touched the four
pounds of water I was carrying! After that, Aren and I worked together on a few
miles of fire road before crossing under the bridge and going up some steep
single track leading to spectacular views of Mount Bachelor.
We dropped down
towards swampy and Sector 16 which would have been more fun if it wasn't for
the low sun in my eyes and the dust impairing my vision. I shut it down there a
bit and Aren road away from me. He was working the gravity dropper seat post
and was having way too much fun! Eventually, a group caught me, led by another
gravity dropper guy. I got behind him and we were flying for a while until I
had a front wheel wash out and did some dirt sampling. Luckily no damage was
done and I caught back on.
After a huge
climb out of the Swampy area, I just had to settle in to my own pace. The
section of single track down to Lava Lakes was surreal with lots of great views
and riding through snow patches. Everyone, so far, took the one line Barry
Wicks cut. The Lava Lakes Trails were from another planet! Down by the lake I
got by a guy and let him pass me then followed him until he dropped me on the
Strava Challenge climb. At Edison rest stop, I was relieved to get a feed from
my crew. The sandwich and coke they gave me there was like filet mignon!”
old Marland Whaley (Red Barn Bicycles) placed second, twenty three minutes
behind the leader at 8:46:34. Whaley was coming off a second place finish at
the Breckenridge 100 just five days ago and had this to say, "After a slow
start, there were a lot of pileups on the singletrack, a lot of bottlenecks, a
few crashes, and I just had a really hard time finding the groove on a lot of
the rock sections. The locals had it dialed! By the time I figured it out, it
was too late, and I was off my bike and pushing.
It was stop, go,
stop, go for a while but after check station four, things really started to
kick in. I passed about a dozen riders who had passed me on the rougher
sections. It was the rough stuff that was really giving me trouble around the backside
of Mt. Bachelor. However, I am a late bloomer (laughing). I don’t start very
well and it’s always the last twenty five miles that makes the difference.”
was Mountain Bike Hall of Famer, CODA founding member and Vice Chairman, Paul Thomasberg
(Shimano) in 8:55:13 who this to say about the race, "It went good today but I
don’t think I had the preparation I really needed so I had to just stay in my
little world mostly and not try to go out too hard but not lose too much time
at the start. The first hour I probably went harder than I needed to but I just
didn’t want to have that many people in front of me.
strategy was to make a little time on the down hills but just enough so that I
wasn’t using any more energy than anybody else because all of those guys were
going to pass me back on the climb and that went on for a little more than half
of the race.
true story is that I got here five minutes before the call up (laughing). My
alarm didn’t go off and my wife woke me up and said, "you know, its 4:47 (Race
began at 5:30am)” and I was like ahhhh, so I had just enough time to throw my
clothes on and, luckily, I had everything ready to go so I jumped in the van to
get here and it just all worked out somehow.”
Mike Ripley, presented a check for $5200 to the local trail organization COTA
(Central Oregon Trail Alliance) which provides trail access and opportunity in
partnership with the Deschutes National Forest. An additional donation of $1700
was also presented to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon who helped out
in a variety of positions at the race.
Next up for the NUE Series: The Wilderness 101 in State College, PA.