The 18th Annual Shenandoah Mountain 100: KENDA NUE Series
By Ryan O’Dell
September 4, 2016
The Shenandoah 100 has became a pivotal race for NUE Contenders as they head out at 6:30AM into The George Washington National Forest of Virginia, just two weeks away before the final race that breaks all ties at the Fool’s Gold 100 in Georgia. The oldest race in the NUE Series, Shenandoah is a highly anticipated showdown showcasing top level talent in a festive atmosphere with most racers choosing to camp out at the Stokesville Lodge and campground.
Andrea Dvorak for the win!
Ex US National Road Team rider, Andrea Dvorak came in first for the Women’s Open with a time of 8:27:06.
Carla Williams, who leads the NUE Race Series, took second with a time of 8:31:56. “Shenandoah was an awesome race. Race Director, Chris Scott, does a fantastic job of putting on races. The day was beautiful, the trails were in great condition and rolling fast, the volunteers at the aid stations couldn’t have been more helpful, and the post-race campground party made pushing through all those hard miles worth it!
I had a great race. I felt really good on the climbs and was having so much fun on the downhills. I rode my full suspension bike this year, and it made the downhills so much more fun compared to the hardtail I raced previously. This was my second time racing Shenandoah; the first time was in 2014. I took almost 1.5 hours off my time from 2 years ago, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite fast enough for the win. I am looking forward to the last race of the season at Fool’s Gold next week!”
Laura Hamm, Moonstomper, took third place, coming in at 9:03:25.
Tanguy on top at Shenandoah!
Christian Tanguy of Rare Disease cycling came in at 7:00:50 for the win. Tanguy is currently in fourth place overall in the NUE Race Series. Dylan Johnson, representing Giant Co-Factory Northeast, and current NUE Series Points Leader, came in second place at 7:02:37.
Cole Oberman had an impressive showing at the race, taking third place at his first NUE of the season, which is extra impressive considering this was his very first 100 mile race. “The Shenandoah 100 was my first ever attempt at a 100 miler so I wasn’t sure what to expect. While I am most definitely a XC specialist, I do a few endurance races throughout the year. Most recently I had done the 7 day La Leyenda Stage Race in Colombia. My hope was that I was still carrying some endurance from that event into the 100.
From the gun, I stuck on the wheels in the top-five and tried to stay comfortable. Dylan Johnson put the hammer down going up the super steep Lynn climb and that basically blew the race apart. After we descended Wolf Ridge, there were four of us (Chris Michaels, Sam Koerber, Dylan, and me). We rode well together as a group on the gravel section into Hankey Mountain. Right around the base of the climb, Christian Tanguy bridged up to us. He immediately went to the front and just shattered our group. By the time we were descended Dowels Draft, it was just Christian, Dylan and me.
I stopped to fill my bottle at the next aid station and Christian attacked. That was the last time I saw either Christian or Dylan (or anyone else) for the remainder of the race. Pushing through the four hour mark in a race was fairly uncharted territory for me but I was pleased to find that, as long as I kept taking in sugars, I could keep tapping out a really solid tempo. I was totally stoked to finish up my first NUE race in third. I race a full cyclocross schedule so I won’t be able to make it to The Fool’s Gold but I definitely plan to do a few 100 milers next season. I’d also love to give a shout out for Chris Scott and Shenandoah Mountain Touring for putting on such a killer event (and for convincing me to come out and give it a shot).”
Haddock gets his first win!
John Haddock, J.A. King MTB Team/Farnsworth Bicycles, got his first top spot on the podium with a time of 8:13:22. Haddock is currently in fourth place in the NUE Series. “After suffering some mechanical and nutritional issues in the last few NUE races, I came into SM100 hoping for a clean, good time. I started well and rode the first two singletrack sections with fellow SS’er Regis Ricketts. Coming off Wolf, I noticed Regis had dropped back a bit. At that point I figured someone had to be in front of me. I exited the trail with Dan Kotwicki and Roger Masse, which I was very happy about as those guys are super smart, experienced racers. We worked well together on the roads leading up to Hankey, at which point I was informed I was leading.
After that, I just maintained my pace, tried not to flat or wreck, stayed on top of nutrition & hydration and worked with geared riders on the roads. I pedaled with some awesome folks including Jeff Clayton, Matt Crawford & David Parsons-Foresi. My 34/19 gearing proved to be nice for the flats but pretty tall for the singletrack climbs. It’s always tough to pick your poison, but I feel it was the best choice for me that particular day. Big thanks to all of the volunteers who made the event possible. Also, I want to give a huge shout out to the MTB community for being awesome and making races like this so much fun. Congrats to everyone who toed the line! I plan to finish out the series at Fool’s Gold. As for next year, we’ll have to see how busy school gets but I hope to make it out for a few races.”
Collin Snyder, OAM NOW/Athletic Mentors, took second place with a time of 8:46:45. “Normally, I go all out from the beginning and finish the race limping home. This year, I decided I’d actually pace myself and just ride for fun, so I let everyone ride away at the start. I rode my pace up climb one and two without seeing another single speeder. I kept this ethos for the majority of the race. For the Death Climb, I started to put a little more effort in. At this point I knew that I was somewhere in the top ten. Slowly, one by one, I started passing people. Most were geared, but four were my single speed comrades/commies.
As I reached the summit and started descending, I passed Scott Rusinko messing with his bike who, realized I was a single speeder too. Panic set in Scott and he put it in high pursuit, bombing down chestnut. He passed me like I was standing still. I’m a good descender, but I’m still a flat lander so I eased off, knowing that I don’t want to die. Midway down the trail, there’s a short climb where Scott came back into view, and he was walking up it. I managed to ride it. With climb six still to come, I knew I’d have him. I made it down to the bottom safely, despite nearly running over a big old rattlesnake coiled in the center of the trail! I made a NASCAR style pit stop at Aid 6 , and left in hot pursuit. When I got to the base of climb 6, he was out of sight, but I kept a steady tempo, never becoming impatient. Although slow, it was faster than I’d ever gone up that climb in the five other editions. I actually had gas left in the tank, what a concept! Mid-way up the climb, I saw Scott, and he had nothing left. The grade was too much for his blown up legs. I put a poker face on and stand up to “dance on the pedals” as he hiked next to his rig. As I pass, he told me he had nothing left and congratulated me on my effort. I rode safely up and down the six, and rolled in nearly twenty-five minutes faster than my personal best.”
Scott Rusinko of Nox Composites finished in third place with a time of 8:49:09.
Masters Men 50+
Jeff Clayton, GA Neurosurgical Institute, took first place with a time of 8:10:42. “I hadn’t done any taper leading up to the race, after racing Hampshire 100 two weeks before there was too much good racing and riding to be had! That said, I felt ready to race come Sunday morning and the weather was delightful. Carl Reglar had told me that he was going to pace off of me, and we lined up together at the start. I figured Roger Masse would be watching us both, but didn’t see him to start. After some close calls heading out of the campground, I settled in with Carl close by but a mile or so after entering the dirt road, Carl zoomed off with a surging lead group. So much for pacing off of me! I was happy to draft Dan Kotwicki for a good while until I noticed a large train of riders coming up…probably including Roger. I definitely didn’t want to hit the first singletrack stuck in the back of that pack, so I went around Dan and soloed for what turned out to be ten minutes or so. Thankfully it worked and I led up the tight trail.
After the fun climb and descent, a few of us formed a pace line on the next road section only to be caught by the large group again. Shortly, we caught Carl alone on the road. Now Carl, Roger and I were together again. The next climb up Lynn trail was brutal! Roger got a gap after Carl and I went to hike-a-bike mode and held a gap until 1/3 way up the Hankey mountain road climb. My legs started to come alive and I dropped Carl and then soon passed Roger.
From that point on, I worked with several different racers as I would catch up and eventually pass them. I caught young Adam Croft on the “death climb” shortly before aid 5, similar to 2015. Last year, he almost re-caught me on the Hankey 2 climb shortly before the finish, so I issued a challenge to him to beat me this year. My descent down to aid 6 went a lot faster this year and I never saw Adam chasing. In fact, I didn’t see any racers from aid five until the finish which seemed pretty strange considering how many racers there were. I had another great time racing with a bunch of great folks with perfect weather in a beautiful setting in 2016 at the Shenandoah Mountain 100!”
Roger Masse, Rare Disease Cycling/ Kewick Cycles came in second place with a time of 8:39:12.
Carl Reglar of Verge Sport/Test Pilot rounded out the top three with a time of 8:44:48.
The NUE Championship race at the Fool’s Gold 100 slated for September 17, 2016 will break any and all ties in this best four of thirteen race series. All four Division winners there will receive complimentary entry into all NUE Series races in 2017, Custom Voler Champion Jersey Kits, plus a share of the $10,000 Kenda NUE Series cash purse.
In Addition, NUE division winners are invited to represent the NUE Series at The LaRuta de los Conquistadores, a three day stage race across Costa Rica November 3-5, 2016. There is still time to register for anyone that would like to join NUE Champions on this incredible journey from the Pacific to the Caribbean.
ALL NUE Series finishers who do not qualify for prize money will receive prizes courtesy of NUE Sponsors Kenda Tire, Sigma Sport, KMC Chain and Darn Tough Socks.
2016 has proven to be an exceptionally exciting year! Stay tuned here for the latest news and information on the NUE Series Championship Race!