Park City Point 2 Point Report – Park City, Utah

Local Boy Keegan Swenson Sets New Course Record at Point 2 Point and Gretchen Reeves Takes Her Second P2P Title

Written by: Shannon Boffeli

In it’s 8th year the Park City Point 2 Point continues to establish itself as a favorite of racers throughout the country. Over 75 miles, the Point 2 Point circumnavigates the resort town of Park City, Utah, traversing the Wasatch mountains and the two world-class ski resorts of Deer Valley and Park City/Canyons.

A classic fall scene greeted the riders as the maples of the Wasatch range speckled the 9,000 foot peaks with shades of red and yellow and temperatures on race day hovered in the mid-seventies. Overnight rains tamped down the dust on a landscape that hadn’t seen rain in almost 80 days.

Pro women roll off the start line. Photo by: Selective Vision

Pro women roll off the start line. Photo by: Selective Vision

Riders were twitching with anticipation as Fruit Loops, fired from a potato gun, rained from the sky signifying the start of the race.

And they were off, 350 riders of all experience levels, taking on the truly unique challenge of a course that’s 75-miles in length with a whooping 10,000 vertical feet of climbing spread across over 95% singletrack riding providing every rider a top-notch mountain bike adventure.

In the open men’s group everyone expected a showdown between Park City native Keegan Swenson (Cannondale), who also happens to be one of the United States top world cup racers, last year’s winner Rob Squire (Felt/Assos), and multi-year Point 2 Point runner-up Ben Sonntag (Clif Bar).

Keegan Swenson leads Ben Sonntag not long before Swenson decides to go solo. Photo by: Selective Vision

Keegan Swenson leads Ben Sonntag not long before Swenson decides to go solo. Photo by: Selective Vision

The trio didn’t disappoint as the created a clear separation early in the race and continued to power away from the chasers.

Around mile 32, the three leaders approached the base of the Team Big Bear climb, the steepest of the race’s early climbs, Swenson’s pace opened a slight gap that Sonntag was unable to cover. Squire attacked around the Clif Bar rider in an effort to close the gap but the separation stayed.

“I felt it might be a little early for me to be on my own,” Swenson shared after the finish, “But I figured if I kept Robbie off my wheel on the descents and didn’t let him follow my line I could keep putting time on him.”

The strategy seemed to work as Swenson crushed the enduro segment by over a minute on Squire and Sonntag.

Cary Smith took the singlespeed title in Park City and finished in 6th overall.

Cary Smith took the singlespeed title in Park City and finished in 6th overall.

With some climbing mixed in, Swenson went to work on the John’s trail, Powerline, and Crescent Mine Grade descents and had over 8 minutes in hand by the time he reached the Park City feedzone at mile 55. Still looking fresh with an all-but-insurmountable gap all that was left for the young Cannondale phenom was the course record, set by his teammate and 6-time Point 2 Point winner Alex Grant, of 6:16:31.

Meanwhile, Squire was doing his best to hold off Sonntag. Powering through the climbs, the defending champ was looking good until a high-speed rock garden on the Crescent Mine Grade descent stopped him dead with two flat tires. He used his only CO2 cartridge to air up the rear but was forced to ride a flat front tire the rest of the way down to the feedzone at Park City. He was still holding onto the second spot at this point but Sonntag came and left the Park City feed while Squire’s bike was still in the repair stand.

Once his tires were aired up Squire remounted and produced an all out chase but Sonntag knows how to pace himself and had plenty left in the tank to punch through the final 20 miles and hold off Squire to the finish.

Out front most of the day, Keegan Swenson steered clear of any trouble and hammered his way through the final sections of the course in record time. He crossed the line 15 minutes in front of second place with an incredible finish time of 6:11:04 to take home the $2,000 race winner’s purse plus an extra $100 for posting the fastest time in the enduro segment.

Keegan Swenson looking relaxed after laying down an unbelievable time in his hometown of Park City. Photo by: Selective Vision

Keegan Swenson looking relaxed after laying down an unbelievable time in his hometown of Park City. Photo by: Selective Vision

Sonntag crossed the line with a time that would have won in 2015 of 6:26:00. Rob Squire put his misfortune behind him for third place at 6:33:17.

Behind the leaders, Point 2 Point veteran Sam Sweetser (Cole Sport) was putting on a clinic on overcoming adversity. Somewhere around the horribly steep Steps climb, about mile 45, Sweetser felt his saddle break. “I could feel it crack and start to sag in the middle but it was still rideable,” Sweetser later relayed.

Just a mile or two later Sweetser stood on a climb and when he sat down the saddle was gone and only rails remained. “I tried to stand for the whole climb up and around Shadow Lake but at some point you just have to sit again.”

So for the next 10 miles the Cole Sport rider made-do with metal rails for a seat until he reached the Pack City feed and a friend quickly swapped the saddle of his bike for Sweetser’s.

Sweetser said the next 20 miles were the toughest of any Point 2 Point he has done but he proved strong enough to hold off David Krimstock (Giant) for fourth.

The Flynn Twins charging to the finish. George leads Bart through some final sections of single track. Photo by: Selective Vision

The Flynn Twins charging to the finish. George leads Bart through some final sections of single track. Photo by: Selective Vision

Carbondale, Colorado, rider Krimstock took fifth just in front of the Flynn twins, George and Bart, who sprinted for the finish crossing less than a second apart respectively.

The women’s group packed equal punch with previous winner Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joe’s), multi-year runner-up Marlee Dixon (Pivot/DNA Cycling), Canada’s U23 national champion in 2011 Mikaela Kofman (Ridebiker/Liv), reigning collegiate cyclocross national champion Sofia Gomez-Villafane, and local speedster Nicole Tittensor (Scott).

The front group formed quickly after the start with Kofman, Reeves, Dixon, and Gomez-Villafane establishing an early lead.

Gretchen Reeves leads Mikaela Kofman at mile 30. Photo by: Selective Vision

Gretchen Reeves leads Mikaela Kofman at mile 30. Photo by: Selective Vision

Kofman and Reeves would break away to form a lead group surging ahead on the climbs and rollers in Round Valley and on their way to Deer Valley Resort.

At the first aid station the leaders held a solid lead with Reeves looking fresh and cruising through the feedzone while Kofman made a stop to fill her bottle.

The leaders then attacked the Team Big Bear climb where Kofman was able to all but close the gap to Reeves before the next feedzone at Guardsman Pass when Kofman again stopped and appeared a bit stressed to catch back up to the leader.

She wouldn’t see Reeves again however.

Into the singletrack descending portion of the course the Tokyo Joe’s rider appeared in her element as she stretched the gap behind her.

Marlee Dixon grinds out a few of the P2P's 10,000 vertical feet of climbing on her way to a second place finish. Photo by: Selective Vision

Marlee Dixon grinds out a few of the P2P’s 10,000 vertical feet of climbing on her way to a second place finish. Photo by: Selective Vision

At this point Kofman started to slowly drift back in the pack, appearing to suffer from her early efforts. Marlee Dixon, who was riding a hardtail, caught and passed her on the punishing Steps trail ascent.

Kofman still held onto third position as she hit mile 55 at the Park City feedzone.

Gretchen Reeves was long gone however. At Park City she had over 9 minutes on Marlee Dixon and kept the hammer down pulling further ahead with each mile.

By the end, Reeves would claim her second Point 2 Point title by just over 16 minutes with a time of 7:34:52. The Avon, Colorado, rider posted on Facebook later that the Point 2 Point is the toughest single-day race she has done.

Marlee Dixon powered through the finishing miles of the race to take another second place at Canyons Resort with a time of 7:49:59 and a $100 bonus for winning the enduro segment.

At this point the only question left to answer was where Mikaela Kofman would end up.

As the crowd looked on, they would first see Sofia Gomez-Villafane crisscross her way down the mountain to take the third spot.

Next would come the bright orange helmet of Nicole Tittensor, who wasn’t in the early lead group, but climbed her way into the mix finally moving into the fourth spot as Kofman struggled to find the finish line.

Big smiles from Gretchen Reeves after taking her second P2P title. Photo by: Selective Vision

Big smiles from Gretchen Reeves after taking her second P2P title. Photo by: Selective Vision

Finally, 18 minutes after Tittensor crossed the line Mikaela Kofman came in to finish off the podium in fifth spot.  It took a big effort from the tiny Ridebiker rider that was enough to finally get her home and still on the podium.

After the crossing the line riders and spectators spread out onto the lush lawn surrounding the finishing shoot at Canyons Resort. Both exhausted and elated, riders of all levels spun tales of their shared 75-mile struggles over free drinks and meals provided by the event organizers. After 8 years, the quality of the Park City Point 2 Point remains high; from the racecourse to the volunteers and race organizers, this five-star event keeps packing in the participants year after year.

Jon Russell was all smiles all day but especially at the finish line. Photo by: Selective Vision

Jon Russell was all smiles all day but especially at the finish line. Photo by: Selective Vision

Registration for the 2017 Park City Point 2 Point starts in February. The event has sold out in under 10 minutes that past 6 years so get ready when the exact date is announced.

Click Here for Full Point 2 Point Results

Click Here for Full Enduro Segment Results 

 

Hampshire 100 Mile

Anne Pike and Dylan Johnson Get It Done at Hampshire 100

By Ryan O’Dell

In 1809, General John Stark, a Revolutionary War Soldier from New Hampshire, declined an invitation to a Battle of Bennington reunion because he was ill. Since he could not make the event, he sent a letter with the quote “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.” that was to be read for the toast. New Hampshire later used part of this toast for their State motto: Live Free or Die. The tenth annual Hampshire 100, located in Greenfield, NH, decided to use a portion of this motto on their race logo “Live Free & Bike!”

Race Director, Randi Whitney, “The Hampshire 100 is a true community event, with many local civic and non-profit groups from the surrounding area putting a shoulder to the mountain of necessary tasks to put on an event of this nature. Whether it is a 4-H club, a Boy Scout troop, a rescue squad, a school PTO, a recreational trails group, or supporters of a local library, they all help to make it happen.”

Tinker Juarez rarely misses a chance to race the Hampshire 100. Photo by: David Smith Photos

Tinker Juarez rarely misses a chance to race the Hampshire 100. Photo by: David Smith Photos

Whitney also announced that she will be retiring as race director of the Hampshire 100 and as director of the EFTA, Eastern Fat Tire Association.

“As Event Director of the Hampshire 100, it has been a pleasure to bring a uniquely New Hampshire flavor to the world of endurance racing for the past ten years. The opportunity to see both pro level and first time racers on the same course together, and all levels reaching deep into their special abilities that they may not have known they had, has been an experience not to be forgotten.

Sadly, after ten years of dedicated efforts, it really is time for, not only myself, by also for so very many of the most generous of volunteers, to turn some of our attentions and time to other important life pursuits, such as family. Our wish is that many enduring memories of triumph, perseverance, joy, and great camaraderie with fellow athletes will fondly remain part of the Hampshire 100 legacy. May taking the long trail continue to be the right one!”

 

WOMENS OPEN

Pike achieves her first NUE win!  

Anne Pike, Team DNA-Movement p/b Penetron, claimed her first ever NUE win at Hampshire finishing in 10:52:40. “This was my fourth consecutive year of competing in this race and although the course has been slightly different each year, this one, even though a little more tame for us, still certainly lived up to its reputation of being one that is fun yet very tough!

I started out feeling pretty good but quickly knew I needed to settle and take the first lap as it came, knowing that the majority of the energy sucking trails were saved for the later part of the lap. In that first lap I was back and forth in 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and headed out on the second lap in second.

I really had to keep my head strong knowing that it was still fairly early in the day and, if I was to be able to fight back in to first, I just had to focus on myself and my race. That paid off as I caught back up, passed, and managed to gain a fair lead, holding off until the finish!

I am super happy with my first NUE win and especially so as this race has become one of, Dave and my, favorites and as well, learning that it was in its last year. We really love the atmosphere surrounding the race. Thank you to the NH100 organizing team and volunteers for making this a great race we have wanted to come back to each year!

Elizabeth Bove, NEMBA Racing, was second finishing in 12:11:52. Julie Huang Tucker was third at 13:01:09.

With just three races remaining in the NUE best four of fourteen race series, Carla Williams, Joe’s Bike Shop, continues to lead the NUE Series with three wins including Cohutta, Tatanka, and Wilderness 101 plus a second place finish at the Pierre’s Hole 100.

 

Arizona-native Taylor Lideen doesn't mind the unusually high heat out east and showed it with a 4th. Photo by: David Smith Photos

Arizona-native Taylor Lideen doesn’t mind the unusually high heat out east and showed it with a 4th. Photo by: David Smith Photos

MENS OPEN

Johnson gets his third NUE win, now leads NUE Race Series!

21-year-old Dylan “The Kid” Johnson, Giant Co-Factory Northeast, earned a hard fought win against a stacked field to claim his third NUE win of the Season with a winning time 7:49:25. With victories at both Cohutta and Mohican plus his second place finish at Tatanka, Johnson now leads the NUE Series.

“Last year the Hampshire 100 was one of the hardest races for me. Much of the race I battled bonking and fatigue alone out on course. I kept this in mind coming into the race this year and I think it payed off. I stayed on top of my nutrition and rode conservatively until it counted. The lead pack gradually dwindled to five riders by the final lap. This group included Schworm, Tinker, Lideen, Wadsworth, and me.

I had a hard time judging how fatigued the others were so I decided to test the waters on the ski slope climb out of aid station 1. At the top of the climb I looked back and saw a small gap had opened so I decided to continue on alone. By the final single track section I paid for my efforts, battling cramps in my forearms and triceps over the roots. By the end I could feel a bonk coming on but luckily I was close enough to the finish to hold off Schworm and the others. I am thrilled with the result and, hopefully, I can maintain this fitness for the Shenandoah 100 and series final at Fool’s Gold.”

Just five minutes later, Brian Schworm, Think Green-VO2 Multisport P/B, placed second at 7:54:46. Schworm has led the NUE Race Series for most of the season following wins at Lumberjack and Wilderness 101 plus second place finishes at Cohutta and Mohican. Schworm is still in contention needing just one more win to contend for the title at the Fool’s Gold 100, where all ties will be broken.

"The Kid" Dylan Johnson is proving tough to beat in 2016. Photo by: David Smith Photos

“The Kid” Dylan Johnson is proving tough to beat in 2016. Photo by: David Smith Photos

“I was apprehensive about the Hampshire 100 for a few reasons.  First, I had never ridden the course.  I heard that the course was fun but it was also very demanding. That, in conjunction with the high temperatures, had me a bit worried before the start of the race.  I knew I was going to be extremely challenged physically. In addition to this, the list of registered competitors let me know it would be tough.  Tinker was going to be there!  He has always been my hero and I knew he would be fast!  Also, Dylan Johnson and Taylor Lideen were registered.  Up to that point we each had two wins and at least one second in the series so I knew this race would be important for the overall standings.

The start of the race was relatively mellow until a few of the 100k racers caught us (they started about 30 seconds behind the 100 milers). The pace then quickened and we had a fast first lap.  By the second lap a group of seven or eight had formed: Tinker, Dylan, Taylor, and me from the Open 100 mile race, Gordon Wadsworth racing singlespeed, and Drew Purcell and Dereck Treadwell with Alex Pond just behind racing the 100k.  The second lap was also very quick, mostly due to the 100k racers. It was neat to watch Drew attacking in the singletrack and Dereck trying to chasing him down!

The third and last lap started at a snail’s pace. I didn’t mind…I was hurting and I knew things were going to get intense soon. Sure enough, once we hit the ski slope climb, Dylan attacked and the group fell apart. Initially, I was in the back of the group but climbed up to second position by the top with Taylor on my heels. We worked hard to chase Dylan down but to no avail. On the next climb with the “babyheads” (there was a neat sign announcing the presence of these babyheads; aka rocks, along this trail), Taylor dropped back a bit and I continued to try and chase Dylan down. I was getting time checks of about a minute but as I continued to chase to the finish, the gaps kept growing. “Two minutes”, some would say. “He’s just three minutes ahead”, others said later. It just kept growing. In the end, Dylan finished five minutes ahead with me coming in second position.

Overall it was a fantastic race. The course was incredible with all the technical singletrack and I was satisfied with my result since I knew I gave it all I had. Dylan is an amazing racer and great person with an incredible future ahead of him and definitely deserved the win. I guess this now puts him in the lead of the NUE series with me in second. Next up for me is Shenandoah 100 in Virginia followed closely by the series finale Fools Gold in Georgia.”

Three minutes later, and fresh off his second place podium finish at Big Bear, Hall of Fame Mountain Biker and Two-Time US Olympian, David “Tinker” Juarez, Cannondale, placed third at 7:57:37. At 55, Juarez continues to display amazing strength and stamina as an ultra-racer, often competing with racers young enough to be his grandkids. His passion for the sport he started in as a kid in the world of BMX has been an inspiration to NUE Racers and his many fans worldwide.

“I had great race. The course was the best ever since I started racing here. This is my fourth year racing here and I have made the podium three out of the four times. The conditions were the best ever and the course was awesome. This couldn’t happen without many great volunteers to make this happen. I pray for someone with great love and passion for the sport to keep this epic event going.”

Five minutes behind Juarez, NUE Series contender, Taylor Lideen, Pivot Cycles 92 Fifty Cyclery was fourth at 8:02:09. Lideen is ranked third in the NUE Race Series following wins at True Grit Epic, Big Bear, plus an eight place finish at Bailey Hundo.

“I was super excited and am really thankful to have had the opportunity to be able to travel and race an NUE back east this year. I really didn’t know what to expect racing the Hampshire 100 for the first time but I was really impressed with the course!

The first two laps had a small group of us off the front and we all seemed to be having a blast riding together, especially on the amazing singletrack! As we finished up lap two, I knew I was in for a rough finish. You always hope you don’t have “one of those days” during a big race but that’s what happened. The legs just had enough and I really struggled to put out any power for more than half of the final lap. I think my body was screaming at me for some rest.

Singlespeeder Gordon Wadsworth mixes it up with the lead group. Photo by: David Smith Photos

Singlespeeder Gordon Wadsworth mixes it up with the lead group. Photo by: David Smith Photos

It’s been a long 12 months of racing and the legs had enough on the last lap. That is what makes racing excited I guess! You roll the dice and hope it works out on the day but you need to roll with the punches when it doesn’t. A big massive thank you to everyone involved with this race! I don’t think I would have made it out for the event if not for so many kind and helpful people!

Gregory Jancaitus, Bicycle Express Racing, was fourth at 8:20:54. Five minutes later, Scott Hoffner, CIC Racing, was fifth at 8:25:16.

 

SINGLESPEED

Wadsworth crushes the field, earning back to back wins at Hampshire!

Two-time NUE defending Champion, Gordon Wadsworth, Blue Ridge Cyclery/Pivot CYC, earned his second straight win at Hampshire by a HUGE margin finishing 7:58:44, good enough for fourth overall. Wadsworth now has three wins including True Grit Epic and Wilderness 101 needing just one more win or a second place finish to become the NUE Series leader.

“My SS win started with a little bit of drama! Immediately out of the gate my seat post began to slip and I found my knees in my chest before long! I eased up, put my weight on one leg and was able to loosen the post enough to pull over, eyeball the height and go with it from there. Fortunately my Thomson Dropper post allowed me to fine tune it enough to complete the rest of my day with only minimal adjustments along the way. This had me really glad I decided to keep the dropper onboard for the Hampshire 100, although it’s usually a good choice to run a dropper.

Gordon Wadsworth threw down in the SS category at Hampshire. Photo by: David Smith Photos

Gordon Wadsworth threw down in the SS category at Hampshire. Photo by: David Smith Photos

My usual tactic is to remain with the lead group as long as I can, trying to make it a fun ride along the way. This time, it gave me a great front seat to some of the best racing the NUE might see this year. Dylan, Brian, Taylor and Tinker are all always great to ride with and as a group we had some real fun ripping New England’s old school turns and trails.

The race also gave me a front seat to the Men’s Open 100K with an ON FIRE Drew Purcell fighting an, always fit, Derek Treadwell. Their battle and Drew’s two attacks on the second lap put some stress into our leading group which cut it down to just me, Tinker, Taylor, Dylan, and Brian. That group was amazingly cordial on a course known for attrition; agreeing to stop at aid stations and even regular nature breaks, what gentlemen.

The race opened wide open on the third time up the ski hill and I battled back up to Tinker to ride much of the lap with the living legend and friend. We eventually caught a flagging and cramping Taylor before Tinker launched his own attack, distancing himself from Taylor and a little bit from me, not far from the finish.

The SS race had an on-a-roll Kip Biese and an always strong semi-local Will Crissman but I felt comfortable in my ability navigate the course away from these two strong men; knowing the course which brought me a second place overall in 2015. I can’t say enough how much fun my Pivot LES SS continues to be on the technical and varied #BeastCoast course. The LES; like every Pivot bike just rides everything with aplomb. I’ve yet to find a place where it doesn’t feel absolutely at home. Here’s to finishing out another NUE season strong and safe!”

Will Crissman, Dedham Bike, was next taking second at 8:43:56. “After an easy first ten minutes or so, the race took off and a group of about eight riders got a big gap. I managed to stay about 3-4 minutes behind them riding mostly by myself for the first lap with the exception of a short time when the second chase group got me.

I crashed hard about a mile from the lap point and had to take a few minutes to re-group, doubting I would be able to continue and finish. After eating and drinking some after lap one, I decided to keep going and, after a few miles, I managed to latch onto a few guys. We rode together for much of the second lap and then I slowly peeled away from them. Jeff Clayton and I rode together for a bunch of lap three and I managed to get away from him on the climbs. I caught one more rider in the last few miles who seemed upset that a rigid singlespeeder had caught on so he hit the gas and beat me by about a minute.

In the end, I was thrilled with my finish, my best overall result at an NUE – second singlespeed and ninth overall. I rode a 32-19, basically the same gearing as Gordon. I’ll never catch him, though. He’s a true professional racer with a fitness level I’ll only dream about. NH100 was a great event – I’m sad it’s ending. This was the only NUE I could get to this year. Hope to be back at Mohican next year and maybe try out a couple I haven’t done before.”

Kip Biese, KJ Bike Coaching/Old Town Bike, placed third at 9:29:05. Biese continues to lead the NUE Race Series with ten straight finishes, including seven top three podium finishes. Biese is attempting to complete the maximum possible of 12 of the 14 races in the NUE Series.

“I had another simple slogging race; I’m still very tired for some unknown reason. I started fine but, on the very first fast gradual road downhill, I couldn’t hold the wheels of the lead group. When we finally hit a bit of an up and I stood, I realized my front tire was slowly leaking so I stopped to add CO2 and make sure it held. I knew I fell back a long way at that point, but as I’m still racing fatigued, all I could do was simply my own ride.

Afterward, I just counted how many SS’ers I caught the rest of the race (8) and eventually worked up to third, another long hard day on the SS, but worth it because the second half of the course is fun and it’s a cool event. I went with 32/19 gearing on a 29er and have two more NUEs on my calendar; the Volcano 100 and Fool’s Gold.”

 

MASTERS 50+

Clayton wins, now tied for NUE Series lead!

51-year-old Jeff Clayton, Georgia Neurosurgical Institute, earned his fourth NUE Series victory of the season with a decisive win at Hampshire in 8:48:11. With this win, Clayton is now tied with Greg Golet who also has four wins setting up a showdown at the Fool’s Gold 100 Championship race where all ties are broken in this best four of fourteen race series.

“I started the race with ten stitches in my arm from a nasty crash a week before…thankfully I finished with those stitches still intact! Carl Reglar and Roger Masse were two guys I knew to watch carefully.

The first surge of the race came pretty early on a dirt road climb and I managed to stay in the front group. After a few rough descents and climbs, Carl had a gap on me and I had a gap on Roger. Roger found some allies and caught me shortly before the singletrack descent prior to the Croched ski area, but then dropped off again. Carl was ahead, but I soon found him on the singletrack after the ski area. Carl and I marked each other throughout the rest of the first lap but, by not stopping in the pit area, Carl put a sizable gap on me starting lap two….he seems to have a strategy of not stopping for nutrition. I kept my pace restrained on the dirt roads and stayed patient. Eventually, I caught him while he was taking a nature break and decided he looked a bit rough so I surged a little and he dropped off.

I had been pacing with Steven Edwards in the 100k and then Will Crissman, the second place 100 mile singlespeeder. He was a monster on the rough climbs and I could catch him again on the dirt roads. Will and I rode together for much of the second and third lap until I decided to ride more conservatively in the technical sections (no more stitches!). I finished tenth overall in what was the hardest NUE race for me yet. Many thanks to my awesome wife Jodi for her aid station support. I’m looking forward to the Shenandoah 100 and The Fools Gold finale.”

Two-time defending NUE Masters Champion, 53-year-old Roger Masse, Rare Disease Cycling, took second in 9:05:26. With top finishes at True Grit, Mohican, and Wilderness 101, Masse jumped up to third place overall in the NUE Series Standings.

Six minutes behind the defending champion Masse, 54-year-old Carl Reglar, Verge Sport/Test Pilot, placed third at 9:11:47. Reglar got his first win of the season at Mohican plus a second place finish at Wilderness 101. His third place finish at Hampshire means that he can still take the third spot overall in the NUE Race Series with just one more top finish.

“The race started pretty mellow. As soon as we hit the first long climb at around mile ten, the fireworks began. After the dust settled, I found myself in a good group with Jeff Clayton and Roger Masse, feeling pretty good and confident about my chances. I’m not sure why but the wheels started to come off on the second lap, and by the third lap I was running on fumes. The single track was amazing but I think it was also my undoing. It was a great race! Huge thanks to organizers and all the volunteers.”

Seventeen minutes later, 55-year-old David Boyce, Jawbone Racing/Berkshire Bike, finished fourth at 9:28:55. Seven minutes later, 2015 Hampshire 100 Masters winner, 53-year-old Terry Blanchet, North American Velo, claimed the fifth spot at 9:35:01.

What’s NEXT?!

The Kenda NUE Series heads due south to the only NUE race held outside of the USA for NUE #12. The Rincon Challenge, now the Volcano 100, featuring a rematch between USA Champion, Todd Wells and the former Costa Rican National Champion, Paolo Montoya, will roll out on September 1 from Liberia, Costa Rica. The very next day, NUE heads to Virginia for NUE#13, the Shenandoah 100 on September 2.  www.nuemtb.com

Stay tuned here for the latest NUEz and information.

Click Here for full results

Hampshire 100k

Drew Purcell and Karen Potter Escape Hampshire Heat with 100k Wins

By Ryan O’Dell

In 1809, General John Stark, a Revolutionary War Soldier from New Hampshire, declined an invitation to a Battle of Bennington reunion because he was ill. Since he could not make the event, he sent a letter with the quote “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.” that was to be read for the toast. New Hampshire later used part of this toast for their State motto: Live Free or Die. The tenth annual Hampshire 100, located in Greenfield, NH, decided to use a portion of this motto on their race logo “Live Free & Bike!”

Race Director, Randi Whitney, “The Hampshire 100 is a true community event, with many local civic and non-profit groups from the surrounding area putting a shoulder to the mountain of necessary tasks to put on an event of this nature. Whether it is a 4-H club, a Boy Scout troop, a rescue squad, a school PTO, a recreational trails group, or supporters of a local library, they all help to make it happen.”

Whitney also announced that she will be retiring as race director of the Hampshire 100 and as director of the EFTA, Eastern Fat Tire Association.

“As Event Director of the Hampshire 100, it has been a pleasure to bring a uniquely New Hampshire flavor to the world of endurance racing for the past ten years. The opportunity to see both pro level and first time racers on the same course together, and all levels reaching deep into their special abilities that they may not have known they had, has been an experience not to be forgotten.

Sadly, after ten years of dedicated efforts, it really is time for, not only myself, by also for so very many of the most generous of volunteers, to turn some of our attentions and time to other important life pursuits, such as family. Our wish is that many enduring memories of triumph, perseverance, joy, and great camaraderie with fellow athletes will fondly remain part of the Hampshire 100 legacy. May taking the long trail continue to be the right one!”

 

East coast domination is the name of the game for Karen Potter and she showed it again at the Hampshire 100k. Photo by: David Smith Photos

East coast domination is the name of the game for Karen Potter and she showed it again at the Hampshire 100k. Photo by: David Smith Photos

WOMENS OPEN

Potter gets her first NUE Series win of the season!   

Karen Potter, Pivot/DNA Cycling, won the Women’s 100k finishing in 6:11:18 in her first NUE win this season. “This was my sixth time racing the Hampshire 100. Course knowledge helps a lot knowing where to use energy and where to save it. It has always been a challenging course despite not having a terrible amount of elevation gain for the amount of miles. The singletrack sections are super fun, gnarly, rocky, rough, but slow going. This year was the driest by far making the singletrack a bit easier since, even when it’s the least bit damp in the woods, the roots and rocks get greasy fast.

I wasn’t sure how well I would perform this year, as the week heading into the race, I felt like I was fighting the potential of getting sick and was not sleeping well. Early in the race, another competitor who I raced a good chunk of the race with the previous year, asked whether I was ‘going for the win’ or what, trying to decide whether he should pace himself off of me. I responded that I was just trying to see what my body was going to give me and work with that, as that’s the way to survive an endurance race.

Thankfully, my body cooperated to have a great race. I admit, coming into the end of the first lap, I was sort of dreading the second one. I started drinking more water since it was fairly warm out and ate a bit more. That did the trick and helped me to finish strong. My Pivot Mach 429SL was awesome for a course that has just about everything in it for terrain.”

Twelve minutes later, Stephanie Baker, DG Cycle Sports, placed second at 6:23:39. Rachel Brown, Bikeman.com, was next taking third at 7:52:12. Thirty seconds later, Robyn Duke, Lapdogs Race Team, was fourth at 7:52:42.

With three races remaining in the NUE Marathon Race Series, Karen Jachow, Team Topeak-Ergon, leads the series with four wins.

 

Alex Pond headed east following 3 NUE wins out west in 2016 Photo by: David Smith Photos

Alex Pond headed east following 3 NUE wins out west in 2016 Photo by: David Smith Photos

MENS OPEN

Purcell gets his second NUE win at Hampshire!

Ohio Mountain Bike Series Champion (www.ombc.net), Drew Purcell, Wooster Bikewerks/Y-Not Cycling, earned a hard fought second win of the season following his seventh place finish at Cohutta Big Frog 65 earlier in the season and his second straight win at the Mohican 100k. Purcell finished 5:10:19 challenging current NUE Marathon leader Alex Pond.

“Being my first time riding in New Hampshire, I didn’t know what to expect from the trails. The rocks and the steep climbing made the course pretty difficult for me. The 100k racers started one minute behind the 100 mile racers. Soon, as they said go, me and two other 100k racers bridged up to the 100 mile group before the double track began. The first half of the first lap was pretty fast. The group slowed a bit for the second half of the lap and a few racers joined the group.

I noticed both of my rivals in the 100k had joined up with us. At that point, I put in a small attack on the second lap and the beginning of the double track, just to see how they were feeling. Alex dropped off at that point and never rejoined. It was down to two 100k riders with the leading 100 milers. I stayed mid pack knowing my chance to win would come in the second half of the race in the single track. I was sure to enter the last ten miles of single track in the front and put my skills to work so I established a nice gap off the first real technical descent of the single track and rode to the finish on my own from there.”

Purcell will challenge the NUE Marathon leader once again on September 1 at the Volcano 100 in Costa Rica. A win there could set up a final showdown between Pond and Purcell at the Fool’s Gold 55 mile Championship race, where all ties are broken.

One minute later, Derek Treadwell, Dr. Naylor-Treadwell Training, rolled across the finish line second at 5:11:18. Five minutes later, NUE Marathon Series leader, Alex Pond, Sonoran Cycles, placed third at 5:16:20.

“Sunday morning, at five am, I was enjoying my breakfast of granola, eggs and coffee under already warm temps. That should have been a clear indication I was going to be dealing with heat during the race but I thought nothing of it. I have grown up in the humid conditions of the east coast and that day did not seem too bad. Lining up at the start, it’s very different being in a new region and out of the group of regulars you are accustomed to racing with. I was feeling very confident and also feeling in good condition to race hard, but my body was feeling otherwise.

The start went out pretty quick and the one minute lead the 100 mile racers had was soon brought together and a group of about ten came together going into the first ten miles of racing. Coming from altitude, my lungs weren’t feeling the pain but I could tell the pace was hard by the searing in my legs on every short and punchy climb. The racing was so unique with a combination of back country roads, old jeep roads, private driveways, and some of the most rooted and rocky singletrack I’ve ever experienced.

Dereck Treadwell took second by just under minute in the Hampshire 100k. Photo by: David Smith Photos

Dereck Treadwell took second by just under minute in the Hampshire 100k. Photo by: David Smith Photos

On our first descent down crotched mountain, I discovered that I did not tighten my headset enough and my bars were coming loose. When I got off my bike, I discovered the zipper on the saddle bag had blown out and all my tools had vanished. Luckily, the aid at the bottom of the ski area had a toolbox and I was quickly on my bike chasing the lead group. After about five more miles, I was back with them and now we were down to about three 100k racers and five 100 mile racers.

I had to make a quick pit stop (thanks Mother Nature) and lost about thirty seconds. Once back through for the second lap, I was back in the group and was restocked with a fresh bottle and my camelback which I was sure would get me through the race and keep me hydrated. We kept the pace pretty civil along the road but, once we hit the next bit of off road, the climbs went hard and I started to lose pace. I decided to let off and see if I could come back but the group kept making gains and my legs began to get tight on the climb out of MT Crotched.

My last thought of getting back with the group was when we hit a self-serve aid. Everyone was getting on their bikes after a quick stop and I still had fluids so I led the chase going out but, once we hit the woods, I was off the back again and the group was quickly getting away. I even had my first bout of “off the bike cramps” at fletcher hill. Thankfully, there was a house stocked with Gatorade with a sign that said free drinks. That was the last thing I thought might get me through to the finish. The race proved to be incredibly challenging, fun, and brought out a great group of racers.”

Twenty-Four minutes later, Warren Gerow, Bikeman.com, took fourth at 5:40:45. One minute behind Gerow, Benjamin Coleman too fifth at 5:41:49.

 

SINGLESPEED

Litzinger gets his fourth straight NUE Series win, now leads NUE Marathon Race Series!

James Litzinger, Napleton Elite Cycling, was the first across the line at 5:47:20 and now leads the NUE Marathon Series in the SS division with a total of four straight wins including the Big Frog 65, Mohican 100k and Tatanka 50k. “I had the pleasure of enjoying the Hampshire 100k with my friend and teammate Scott Williams.

The start of the race was not very SS friendly with the almost five miles of flat road. Scott and I were quickly swallowed up by the sounds of clicking shifters as the road opened up at the beginning of the race. We each took a guess at how many we would catch by the top of first climb as we spun down the road. Scott guessed thirty and I said five. He was definitely more accurate!

I really enjoyed the mix of wild single track and back country roads on my Pivot Les! There were some really cool bridges and rock features that kept me on my toes! Starting the second lap, we continued down the open road leading to the exciting gutter descent making our way toward the ski hill climb. I knew that climb would prove to be more challenging the second time through. After that climb, I rode through the rest of the New Hampshire Wilderness solo only catching up to some of the geared guys along the way toward the finish. I can’t thank my lovely wife and boys, Dirty Harry’s, and teammates enough for all of their support!”

Eleven minutes later, Litzinger’s teammate, Scott Williams, Napleton Elite Cycling, was second to finish at 5:58:41.

Yianni Pimenidis was third at 6:27:26. “I thought the race was very well organized with great energy. The trails were lots of fun, rocky, and I loved the hills on my 32×20 single-speed. Beautiful weather, scenery, and this was my first time riding on the east coast. My favorite thing was the fact that I was riding my bike for a good six hours, something that I love, and it is fun to do.”

 

MASTERS 50+

Lang wins the Masters!

61-year-old Gilman Lang took the victory over his younger competitors in the Masters field finishing with a winning time of 6:27:16.

Ten minutes later, 55-year-old Mark Vojtko, Claremont Cycle Depot, finished second at 6:37:42. “My race went pretty good. I started off slow and found a good rhythm. Eat-drink-pedal-don’t burn any matches-save the bike-repeat. I ride my race, I pass people, and people pass me. The tea leaves fall where they’re going to fall in the end. I’ve had the great fortune of three podium finishes out of five consecutive NH-100 completions-not bad for someone who started racing mountain bikes at age 47. All races hurt, all races teach you to dig deep, and they’re all rewarding.

While the sportsmanship is amazing, we all really need to extend a huge thanks to the volunteers and race organizers who sacrifice countless hours of their time to make these events happen and that stranger stopping traffic telling you “good job”.”

Two minutes later, 56-year-old Geoff Waite, placed third at 6:39:27. “Taking up racing late in life, this was my second ever endurance race and my second third place finish, but I have been riding since we were all building or owned “tracker bikes” in the 70s! I raced on a more or less standard Santa Cruz tallboy carbon, which worked great for this course. At 28lbs, it could have been lighter, as always. WTB Nano tires were perfect for the course and conditions – fast rolling, robust and predictable in a drift.

While the first half of the circuit knocked off the miles and the bulk of the climbing, the sweet single track sections of the second half, getting more burly as it moved towards the finish, was great, and really favors a strong technical rider, as long as there’s still gas in tank to blast it.  This is where I made up my time on both laps. While I did lose a couple of minutes to route confusion and errors, the course was generally excellently marked. Three liters of water per circuit was just right but, next time, I’m going to have to optimize my pit stop, which is where I dropped a place. I am looking forward to besting myself in the next race!”

58-year-old Thomas Sullivan, State Nine, was next finishing fourth at 7:08:18. Five minutes later, 55-year-old Jose Gonzalez, Gonzalez Framing, was next placing fifth at 7:13:57.

 

What’s NEXT?

The Kenda NUE Marathon Race Series heads due south to the only race held outside of the USA. NUE #9, The Rincon Challenge 100k, now the Volcano 100k, will roll out on September 1 from Liberia, Costa Rica.  www.nuemtb.com

Stay tuned here for the latest NUEz and information.

Click Here For Full Results

Breck Epic Stage 6

Todd Wells and Amy Krahenbuhl Take Home Breck Epic 2016 Titles

The final stage served up a much more road-heavy and singletrack-lite day, suiting stage winner Chris Jones quite well. Jones went on to win the stage by a minute and a half and placed 8th in the GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

The final stage served up a much more road-heavy and singletrack-lite day, suiting stage winner Chris Jones quite well. Jones went on to win the stage by a minute and a half and placed 8th in the GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Photo by: Liam Doran

Photo by: Liam Doran

Racers finish along the Blue River trail solidifying 6 days of singletrack-heavy racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

Racers finish along the Blue River trail solidifying 6 days of singletrack-heavy racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

The final climb of the final stage welcomed an epic hand-up of ice cold beers, capping off an epic week of racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

The final climb of the final stage welcomed an epic hand-up of ice cold beers, capping off an epic week of racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

A rider gives one final look back at the expansive landscapes and views that were plentiful throughout the entire week of racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

A rider gives one final look back at the expansive landscapes and views that were plentiful throughout the entire week of racing. Photo by: Liam Doran

The overall singlespeed winner, Vince Anderson drops into the Gold Dust trail on the final stage of the 6 day Breck Epic. Photo by: Eddie Clark

The overall singlespeed winner, Vince Anderson drops into the Gold Dust trail on the final stage of the 6 day Breck Epic. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Amy Krahenbuhl solidified her six day race open women’s race with her sixth stage win. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Amy Krahenbuhl solidified her six day race open women’s race with her sixth stage win. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Team Kask takes the overall coed duo win and enjoys the final stage filled with more forgiving climbs and flowing descents. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Team Kask takes the overall coed duo win and enjoys the final stage filled with more forgiving climbs and flowing descents. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Todd Wells decided to dust off his Leadville 100 winning bike, aero bars and all, for the final stage of the Breck Epic. Todd finished 6th on the stage, but maintained his overall win for the 6 day open men’s race. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Todd Wells decided to dust off his Leadville 100 winning bike, aero bars and all, for the final stage of the Breck Epic. Todd finished 6th on the stage, but maintained his overall win for the 6 day open men’s race. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Click Here for full Stage 6 Results and Final GC Standings

Breck Epic Stage 5

Russell Finsterwald and Amy Kranhenbuhl Coquer Mount Wheeler Stage

The grassy wet-land-esque fields at the summit of Wheeler can be technical, especially for exhausted riders. Photo by: Liam Doran

The grassy wet-land-esque fields at the summit of Wheeler can be technical, especially for exhausted riders. Photo by: Liam Doran

Written by: Uncommon Communications

The night before the penultimate stage, riders laid down for bed with the threat of rain looming. In typical Breckenridge- fashion, riders were greeted with clear skies and sun for the morning to get up and over Wheeler Pass. The rain still rolled in around 11am, giving most of the field a good shower.

As race director Mike McCormack says, “it’s not called the Breck Tickle Fight.”

Russell Finsterwald, Todd Wells and most of the leaders in the men’s pro/open field stayed dry throughout the day and got to enjoy the massive views from the top of Wheeler Pass.

Finsterwald took a couple of seconds back from his teammate Wells (SRAM / Troy Lee Designs) after dropping Wells on the descent off of Wheeler Pass.

“I thought yesterday was my favorite stage, but now this one is,” recounted Finsterwald. “The views were awesome and the descending was next level. I was having the time of my life on that second descent.”

KUHL-Pivot Cycles rider Drew Free is sitting in sixth after his seventh place ride on Wheeler. With a gap of seven minutes to fifth, he could be looking to move up overall, but it’s unlikely he’ll close the hour and twenty minutes to Todd Wells. Photo by: Liam Doran

KUHL-Pivot Cycles rider Drew Free is sitting in sixth after his seventh place ride on Wheeler. With a gap of seven minutes to fifth, he could be looking to move up overall, but it’s unlikely he’ll close the hour and twenty minutes to Todd Wells. Photo by: Liam Doran

Though it wasn’t all sunshine and unicorns for Finsterwald, who took a digger on that second descent he was loving so much.

“I was riding in control, but going across one of those bridges there were a couple logs parallel to one another. My front wheel got caught between, and sent me sailing. I tried to ride a good pace, just to make it into the finish. I knew Todd wouldn’t be too far behind.”

Finsterwald ended the day just 11 seconds up on Wells with Ben Sonntag in third, all but cementing his place on the podium.

“My legs felt pretty empty from the beginning, so I let the group go,” said Ben Sonntag (Clif Bar) about starting in wave one with the top-8 riders overall. “I don’t know, it was just ‘keep pushing’ today. There was no snap, explosiveness, or thoughts like, ‘I’m flying up this right now,’ it was just a grind.”

Troy Wells had a great day riding with teammate Ben Sonntag andfinished fourth on the day. Troy sits 5th in GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Troy Wells had a great day riding with teammate Ben Sonntag andfinished fourth on the day. Troy sits 5th in GC. Photo by: Eddie Clark

The elevation profile of day five had many riders opting for longer-travel bikes to better take advantage of the longer, more technical descents. Since the trails were so steep and often quite narrow, riders were forced to their feet.

“We had a lot of fun coming down [from Wheeler],” said Jake Wells who is leading the Duo Open category with his partner Ciro Zarate. “We rode our bigger bikes today — 5” fork, dropper post. It was a lot of fun going down, but it was a lot of pushing on the way up.”

Amy Krahenbuhl has shown a dominating performance in the Women’s race and currently has a lead of of nearly 54-minutes. Photo by: Liam Doran

Amy Krahenbuhl has shown a dominating performance in the Women’s race and currently has a lead of of nearly 54-minutes. Photo by: Liam Doran

In the women’s open category, Amy Krahenbuhl has a 54-minute lead over Emma Maaranen (Rolf) and Ksenia Lepikhina (Tokyo Joe’s) sits another 13-minutes back in third.

With the final stage – Gold Dust — being all that lay ahead of riders, overall leads are not likely to change hands in many categories. At under 30-miles, the Gold Dust loop packs in fast climbing and screaming singletrack descents into the shortest mileage of the week.

Today’s stage demanded the powers of a mountain goat, as they pushed to terrain not normally travelled by bike or foot. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Today’s stage demanded the powers of a mountain goat, as they pushed to terrain not normally travelled by bike or foot. Photo by: Eddie Clark

Click Here for full results from Stage and GC

Pierre’s Hole 100 Mile – Grand Targhee Resort, Wyoming

Jeremiah Bishop Returns with a Win and Christy Olsen Closes in on the Overall Lead

By Ryan O’Dell

With lift service and high end rentals available for both XC and DH riding along miles of pristine singletrack, Grand Targhee Resort has become a cool mountain destination resort for mountain bikers. This is the time of year when the wildflowers are in full bloom and waist high in many places along the singletrack. Timely rains a night earlier made the course conditions more tacky and ideal for racers.

The Eighth Annual Pierre’s Hole 100 has been adding new singletrack each year featuring long, fun descents showcasing jaw dropping views of the Tetons and surrounding mountains. This year’s race included a 100 mile race, 50 mile and a one lap 50k race.

World road race champion and Tour De France green jersey winner Peter Sagan blazed through the 50k course in just over two hours. Photo by: Cody Downard Photography

World road race champion and Tour De France green jersey winner Peter Sagan blazed through the 50k course in just over two hours. Photo by: Cody Downard Photography

A highlight of this year’s race for many was racing alongside world road champion Peter Sagan who recently won the green sprinters jersey in the Tour de France. Sagan won the 50k race setting a blistering pace and, to the delight of many, stuck around for photos and autographs following the awards presentation.

The first NUE Marathon Racer to cross the finish line on a rigid singlespeed at NUE Marathon Series races this season wins a Lauf TR29 or TRBoost fork. James Dwyer, Green Mountain Sports Velo, earned this special award.

The next day, a dedication ceremony was held for the new AJ Trail in nearby Victor. City councilman and NUE SS contender, AJ Linnell, before his untimely death, led a vision for an urban trail that would lead out of Victor to nearby BLM lands. Last year, more than 130 volunteers picked up AJ’s mantle, constructing 700 vertical feet of trail on private property located at the edge of town connecting Victor to nearby BLM lands. The goal is to construct at least 12-13 miles of trail on BLM lands.

Carla Williams gets going early at the top of 38 Special. Photo by: Jakes Hawkes

Carla Williams gets going early at the top of 38 Special. Photo by: Jakes Hawkes

Women’s Open                                                                 

Olsen gets her second straight win at PH100!

Four years ago, Christy Olsen, Fat Fish Racing, attempted her first 100 mile race at Pierre’s Hole describing her effort as “failed miserably”. This year, Olsen finished 9:41:34 in her second straight win at Grand Targhee.

“The Pierre’s Hole 100 race this year went really well. I was coming off of a really bad race at Tatanka so I was quite nervous about how it was going to go. The course was spectacular. It’s a challenging beginning to a race with a tough climb right out of the chute, but you are rewarded with 38 of the ‘most fun you will have on a bike’ switchbacks.

At the start, Carla Williams charged up to the top with a lot of power. I could not hold her wheel, but luckily I was able to slowly catch her on the descent and ride with her for most of the first lap. She really pushed me to my limits that whole lap. I enjoyed the new AJ Linnel trail. That was a great addition to the race. The next two laps were spent just trying to ride smart, smooth and stay on top of my hydration and nutrition because I knew Carla was right on my heels. The weather was superb, so staying hydrated was manageable. The course was well marked and the trails were fun and flowy, so that helped keep me going mentally because it was fun. I had great support at the aid stations so I didn’t have to stop for more than a few seconds each time which helped me keep the lead and boost my confidence for the next section of the race. I felt strong all the way to the finish line, which is all you can ask for in a grueling 100 mile race. Thanks goes out to my Casper support crew, Pierre’s Hole race organizers, and Crazy Pedaler Bicycles-Casper,WY!”

Thirteen minutes later, Carla Williams, Joe’s Bike Shop, took second at 9:54:54. Williams leads the NUE Series with three wins including Cohutta, Tatanka, and most recently, The Wilderness 101.

Pierre's-Hole-2016-Grand-Targhee-037

“I think Pierre’s Hole was the hardest and most beautiful NUE race I’ve done so far this season. It is a course of wildflowers and switchbacks, beautiful mountain views and there were still patches of snow on the course. The course is almost all single track and all of it rideable without any hiking sections.

Looking at results from last year, I knew Christy was going to set a super-fast pace. I had a good start, but even up the first climb, I was breathing way harder than I was used to. I kept pace with Christy for most of the first lap but she got a gap before aid two, and I stopped to refill my camel pack knowing most likely I wasn’t going to be able to catch her again.

After the 1st lap, it was constant battle with my lungs and legs. I was breathing so hard on the climbs, my legs were getting more and more tired, and overall I felt pretty bad. It was my first time racing at altitude so didn’t really know what to expect going in. Very happy just to finish this race! Shenandoah is next on the schedule for me.”

Ivy Pederson, Team Rockford, placed third at 10:58:44. “Pierre’s Hole was a great event. The trails at Targhee are SO FUN! Everything flows well, the climbs aren’t too steep, and the views of the Tetons and the valley are amazing. The volunteers on course and at the aid-stations were very organized and super helpful. The other racers were awesome too. People leaving after finishing their 50k/100k races even stopped to cheer me on when I needed it the most – at hour nine while I was riding up the road in the pouring rain (thanks Bowman Family!).

I rode alone for most of the day, quite happy to just focus on maintaining a consistent pace and ride my own race. I accomplished my goals for the race which were: don’t break my bike, don’t break myself, and have fun riding all day.”

 

Taylor Lideen leads the chase group. Photo by: Cody Downard Photography

Taylor Lideen leads the chase group. Photo by: Cody Downard Photography

Men’s Open

Two-Time NUE Champ, Bishop wins!

Jeremiah Bishop, Team Topeak Ergon, crushed it this year to finish 8:00:22! Bishop was the 2011 and 2013 NUE Series Champion, now focused on competing in World Cup and other large events around the world. Leading for the entire race, a crash on the final descent threatened to derail what had been, so far, a perfect race.

“Pierre’s Hole 100 was the most single track I have ever done in a race. After coming back from Trans Alp and training up for Leadville, I knew this would be a good race for the rocky mountain guys who shred single track. I had an absolute blast dropping in on 38 special’s 38 banked turns! There were only three sustained climbs so that’s where I worked to gain my gap. Knowing anything can and will happen in a backcountry race like this, my goal was to keep steady pressure on from the gun and it worked.

Jeremiah Bishop powers away from the field at Pierre's Hole. Photo by: Cody Downard Photography

Jeremiah Bishop powers away from the field at Pierre’s Hole. Photo by: Cody Downard Photography

I got the buffer I needed to win despite a terrifying side wall cut that was one inch long! Racing to bring back seconds, I slid out on the ‘not packed edge’ of one of the new trails and sampled the local dirt. Indeed, it was a nice vintage. I can’t wait to come back to the Tetons for more amazing single track adventures!”

Taylor Lideen, Pivot Cycles, coming off his first victory at the Big Bear Grizzly 100, went on to finish second at 8:15:40.

Exactly one minute later, 2015 race winner, Josh Tostado, Santa Cruz/Swiftwick, finished third at 8:16:40. Tostado also finished fifth this year at the True Grit Epic and third at the Tatanka.

“I was very happy with my race, got to the front with Taylor, Jamie and Jeremiah. We rode the first half of the first lap together then Jeremiah gapped the three of us. We worked as a trio until the middle of the second lap when Jamie dropped off. Taylor and I rode the rest of the race together and we were able to work well together. In the last ten minutes of the race, Taylor was able to get a small gap on me and couldn’t keep pace with him at the end. I had a great time ripping around a super fun course with Taylor all day, great race!”

Fourteen minutes later, Sam Sweetser, Cole Sport, claimed the fourth spot at 8:30:02. Thirteen minutes later, Gabe Klamer, Fitzgeralds Bicycles, took fifth to finish 8:43:04.

Pierre's-Hole-2016-Grand-Targhee-002

Singlespeed

Smith wins on an SS!

Two-time Men’s Open winner of the Pierre’s Hole 100, 2013 and 2014, Cary Smith, The Hub Bikes, is a local favorite from nearby Jackson, WY. For the first time, Smith attempted the race on a single speed with surprising results. Smith took it to the competition, including last year’s race winner, getting his third win at Pierre’s Hole in 8:28:23.

Last year’s race winner, Corey Larrabee, Kuhl clothing, was next placing second at 8:59:27 on 32×20 gearing. “The single speed field was very stacked this year, with Carey Smith deciding to race single speed I knew that beating him would be a challenge. From the start, I never was able to ride with Carey. I went back and forth with Kip and a couple of other single speed riders through the Peaked climb but, once we hit 38 special, there was just Carey and Shaffer up ahead.

I pushed up the road and was able to catch Shaffer on the road. Carey, on the other hand, started fast and continued to put time on me with every pedal stroke. At the start of the second lap I could see Carey up ahead but wasn’t feeling super great and, by the end of that lap, he had an even bigger time gap. I rode the rest of the race trying to stay motivated and, whenever I would see another geared racer up ahead, do my best to use them as bait. I was happy to hold onto second place with some severe leg cramping going into the final lap. Thanks to my amazing sponsors KUHL clothing, ESI grips, Carbo Rocket, Wolf Tooth Components, and my pit crew of my five kids and wife Amber.”

Twenty minutes later, Mark Schafer, Team Eastside Cycles, took third at 9:18:51. “Pierre’s Hole was my final race of the season and I was coming off a very successful third place finish at High Cascade 100. This race was definitely in my head.  I raced it the last two years and both years I was left a broken man. Noting how stacked the SS field was, my only goal was to get the belt buckle which slipped through my fingers in 2015.” Pierre’s Hole buckles were awarded to all men who finished under 10:15 and to all women who finished under 11:15.

“This year I decided to go with 32×20 in hopes to make the climb up the Peak Trail more bearable. On the first climb I hung back with my friend Matt Woodruff, who I could trust to set a perfect pace. We lost track of Cary Smith right away as he crushed up the climb.

We had a blast ripping down 38 Special, Mill Creek, and Cold Springs. As we spun up Ski Hill Road, we got passed by one of Matt’s Kuhl teammates on a single-speed. I ask Matt “Is that Corey?” and his response was “Yeah, he is AJ fast”. Noted… I will not be chasing him either, I needed to survive lap three.

I finished lap one after having a blast on Perma-grin (such a great trail!) and started into lap two just enjoying Action Jackson when I noticed Trevor Rockwell was gaining on me. Trevor put a hurt on me going up the Peak Trail but I was able to catch him again before More Cowbells on Lap two. At this point in the race, I was feeling really strong; belt buckle was in sight, so I decided to see if I could hold off Trevor and fellow teammate Adam Karch who was nipping at my heels all day.

I kept a steady pace the rest of race while enjoying the amazing views of the Tetons and some of the best single-track around. I came across the line thirty minutes ahead of what I thought my finish time would be and, not only did I get the buckle, but got the honor to stand on the podium with two of the strongest Single-speeders in the nation. Super Stoked! Thanks to (Race Director) Andy Williams and the Grand Targhee crew for putting on an amazing event. See you in 2017.”

Adam Karch, Eastside Cycles, placed fourth at 9:30:55. Six minutes later, Kip Biese, KJBike Coaching, was next for fifth place at 9:36:32. Biese holds the distinction of finishing the most NUE races this season. Pierre’s Hole marked his ninth straight finish including four second place finishes!

Pierre's-Hole-2016-Grand-Targhee-032

Masters 50+

Gardiner wins the Masters race!

Following a second place finish to Greg Golet in 2015, 53 year old Gary Gardiner, Bountiful bicycle P/B Mountain America Credit Union, from Centerville, UT achieved victory this year with a winning time of 9:48:39.

Four minutes later, Sten Hertsens, Muleterro, was next to finish second at 9:42:52, his best finish of the season following a fifth place finish at True Grit Epic, third at the Mohican MTB100, and fourth at High Cascades 100. “The course was is great shape and the rain helped to make it even better.

I had a good start and I think I was in first (Masters) after the first climb. I had a surprise when I came upon a tree that was laying across the course on the 38 special descent but it was gone the next lap. On the descent, Brian Brothers caught me and we rode together for the rest of lap one. I was feeling good at this time and thought I’d ride with him.

At the start of lap two, I went ahead of Brian and, I guess, he decided to let me go. I had a gap at the top of the second climb and was thinking I’d see Brian on the descent, as he seemed to be faster on the downhill sections. I didn’t see him and, later, found out he flatted on the downhill.

I came upon Carla Williams and we rode together for some time. On lap two, at aid station two, I refilled my pack bladder and had my crank bolt tightened. It was making a noise and needed to be checked and it was a good thing I did since it was loose. I was still feeling ok at this point.

Pierre's-Hole-2016-Grand-Targhee-017

On the third lap climb, I thought I may have seen Gary Gardiner and felt like he may be close behind. At the bottom of the last descent I felt a little sluggish then, on the last road section of the day, I turned and looked back to see Gary Gardiner coming up behind me. I tried to hang with him after he passed but couldn’t. Later, I did some refueling and started to feel better. Carla Williams and I came back together and rode the rest of lap three.

The rain and wind started, but didn’t affect my race. I seemed to feel better on the last section of lap three and finished feeling good with my race. All in all, I didn’t have any mental, physical or mechanical issues that really affected my results and I’m happy with the end result. It was a great course that was well organized and had some great volunteers to boot. No volunteers, no race. This was my fourth NUE race and I will be going to Fool’s Gold to finish the season. It’s been a good first year of NUE racing and hope to finish well at Fool’s Gold. Keep the rubber side down and keep hammering. Peace”

John Lauk, Boutiful Bicycle Racing, finished third at 10:17:26. Twenty-seven seconds later, Brian Brothers, Hammer Nutrition, took fourth at 10:17:53, following his first ever NUE win at Tatanka.

What’s NEXT?!

The NUE Race Series heads east to New Hampshire for the Hampshire 100 on Sunday, August 21. Visit www.nuemtb.com for more information and stay tuned her for the latest news, photos and results.

Click Here for Full Results from all Categories

Singletrack 6 – Stage 5 – Golden, BC

Weissenbacher Bounces Back but Belanger-Barrette Holds onto GC Lead While Looney Continues Her Win Streak on Smith Optics Stage 5

Written by: Marlee Dixon

Stage 5 of Singletrack 6 lived up to its expectations of being a fun, rocky and fast course. The race rolled out of downtown Golden and up into the Shadow Mountain trail systems.

Canadians... Photo by: Gibson Images

Canadians… Photo by: Gibson Images

The first 6 miles were all climbing; starting with a road climb and continuing the climb up a downhill singletrack.  This section gives racers a chance to spread out before its onto the first flowy DH of the day.  Next racers climb again, this time heading into the timed descent. A true downhill trail; steep, fast, trail over rocks, drops and roots that was used before in the Redbull Psychosis.

After dropping the heart-pounding downhill, the rest of the course includes some smaller climbs, a few rocky sections, technical features and a few more purpose built bike-park feel downhills. Today’s course touched on all aspects of mountain bike racing – a long climb to start off the race, fast technical descents, rock gardens and bermy downhills.

Mathieu Belanger-Barrette continues to lead after day 5. Photo by: Gibson Images

Mathieu Belanger-Barrette continues to lead after day 5. Photo by: Gibson Images

For the pro men, Manuel Weissenbacher (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory Team) bounced back from a disastrous stage 4 winning the day in a time of 1:45:21.  Mathieu Belanger-Barrette (Pivot Cycles) came in 2nd in 1:46:13 followed by Marc-Andre Daigle (Garneau) in 1:47:38.

Weissenbacher and teammate Andreas Hartmann charged to the one-track climb first but during the climb Hartmann started to fade back.  Belanger-Barrette moved into 2nd place and from there he remained 2nd wheel with Weissenbacher moving fast on the descents to keep his lead.

Belanger-Barrette remains 1st overall (10:02:03), Weissenbacher in 2nd (10:07:57) and Hartmann in 3rd (10:09:14).

For the pro women, Sonya Looney (FreakShow/Defeet) took her fourth stage win out of five with a time 2:03:45, followed by Kate Aardal (Ridley Cycles) in 2nd (2:05:03) and Australian Jodie Willett (For the Riders) is back on the podium for 3rd (2:05:38).

Kate Aardal has been sending it on the DH all week. Photo by: Gibson Images

Kate Aardal has been sending it on the DH all week. Photo by: Gibson Images

Kathryn McInerney again lead the women’s field up the day’s first climb followed by Looney and Marlee Dixon (Pivot Cycles). Looney caught McInerney on the timed descent and remained in 1st for the remainder of the race.

Aardal passed Dixon on the timed descent and passed McInerney not long after.  Willett passed Dixon about half way through the race and McInerney and Dixon sprinted to the end finishing in 2:06:45 and 2:06:46 respectively.

In the women’s GC,  Looney has a strong  lead (11:36:32) over Aardal (11:47:47) but 3rd– 5th racers remain less than 3 minutes apart with Dixon holding on to 3rd (12:08:53), Willett in 4th (12:10:43) and McInerney in 5th (12:11:23). Tomorrow’s final stage will be exciting to watch as these women battle to decide the final order of the Singletrack 6 podium.

Michael Manka was forced to do his best Dave Stoller impersonation after his cleat fell off. Photo by: Gibson Images

Michael Manka was forced to do his best Dave Stoller impersonation after his cleat fell off. Photo by: Gibson Images

Stage 6 in Golden is the longest stage of the race heading to the Moonrakers and CBT trail systems for 5400’ of climbing in 35 miles. After 5 days of racing riders have their longest day ahead of them.

Click Here for full results from Stage 5

Click Here for full GC results following Stage 5

Singletrack 6 – Stage 4 – Kimberley, BC

Another Day of Excitement at Singletrack 6 as Men’s GC Lead Changes Hands Again; Sonya Looney Continues Winning Streak on Planet Foods Stage 4

Written by: Marlee Dixon

Heading back toward the mountains, Singletrack 6 moves to Kimberley for today’s stage.

Stage 4 is a night and day difference from Cranbrook riding.  Racers start off in the quaint Bavarian-ish downtown area and immediately climb up the road to the ski resort. At the ski resort they continue climbing on the biggest ascent of the day.  Once at the top, racers head onto the most technical section of the course, a large rocky flat section, technical enough that many racers were forced to run/walk for a few hundred feet.  Next it’s more moderate switchback climbing into the first descent of the day. A fun, flowy, berm trail, giving racers a taste for the fast descending on this course.  With one steep grunt climb and some smaller more frequent climbs; racers are rewarded each time with bomber fast descents to follow.  After doing the second largest climb of the day, racers head onto the day’s timed descent. An ear to ear grinning downhill over three trails – Thunder Turkey, Shapeshifter and Hoodoo View dropping racers almost 1000’ in just over 3 miles. Today’s stage was definitely about the descending, work hard and fast to gain position on the climbs to bomb down some epic singletrack.

For the pro men, Mathieu Belanger-Barrette (Pivot Cycles) won the stage in 1:59:50 followed by Andreas Hartmann (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory Team) in 2nd (2:00:44) and a tie for 3rd between Patrick Chartrand and Marc-Andre Daigle (Garneau) in 2:03:20.

Belanger-Barrette and Chartrand worked together time-trailing the climbs to beat teammates Hartmann and Manuel Weissenbacher (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory Team) to the descents.  Working together on the climbs, they capitalized on their descending skills to gain time on the Craft-Rocky Mountain factory teammates.

Marc-Andre Daigle hitting the trees in Stage 4. Photo courtesy of Singletrack 6

Marc-Andre Daigle hitting the trees in Stage 4. Photo courtesy of Singletrack 6

After the timed descent, Belanger-Barrette pulled away on the next climb for the win.  Manuel Weissenbacher flatted on course, losing 10 minutes and dropping to 8th on the stage. Chartrand and Diagle, who tied for 3rd, were teammates last year and won the men’s open duo field at Singletrack 6. Stage 1 winner Rotem Ishay was unable to bounce back from his difficult day in Cranbrook finishing outside the top-10 in today’s race.

For the second straight day big changes were seen in the overall classification for the men as Belanger-Barrette jumped into first (total 4-day time 8:15:49), followed by Hartman in 2nd (8:17:25) and Weissenbacher in 3rd (8:22:35).

 

For the pro women it was Kathryn McInerney who charged ahead up the first climb. Once on top of the first climb in the technical rocky flat section, Sonya Looney (FreakShow/Defeet) maneuvered past her into first. She remained in first for the rest of the race and won the stage in a time of 2:20:45.

Up until the timed descent Kate Aardal (Ridleys Cycles), Marlee Dixon (Pivot Cycles/DNA Cycling) and Kathryn McInerney battled for 2nd-4th.

Once on the timed descent, Aardal passed Dixon and remained in 2nd for the rest of the race. She finished in 2:22:23. Dixon finished in 3rd (2:23:03) with Jodie Willett (For the Riders) passing McInerney for 4th place (2:26:39).

Looney remains first overall, widening her gap to 10 minutes over Aardal (2nd).   Dixon again moved back into 3rd after dropping to 6th following stage 3.

Looney and Aardal continue to increase their leads in the race while 3rd-6th place continue to change up and remain ~3 minutes apart.

Next up is Golden BC for both stages 5 and 6. Tomorrow’s stage is the shortest stage at 19 miles with 4000’ ft of elevation gain over some purpose built trails and rocky fun descents. The talk between racers is that the riding in Golden is awesome.

Click Here for full results from Stage 4

Click Here for GC results following Stage 4

Singletrack 6 – Stage 3 – Cranbrook, BC

Written by: Marlee Dixon

As Singletrack 6 moves locations for stage 3, it brings on a whole new type of racing with different geography. Stage 3 moves to Cranbrook, leaving behind the huge mountains of Fernie for a 26-mile course through small forested hills and fields.  The course starts in waves with the first group pinning it onto the course, up short hills and through flat fields to gain position.

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The opening third of the race includes a lot of climbing with steep punchy climbs and steep short descents with loose dirt and rocks.  The course then moves into more flowy trail sections in the second half but doesn’t give racers much recovery in this very pedally up and down course.  Where the first two days of the race felt like endurance days, today was much more of a cross-country race. 28518832226_3b5ce332ef_b

For the pro men, Manuel Weissenbacher (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory team) won the race in 2:07:04 followed by Mathieu Belanger-Barrette (Pivot Cycles) in 2nd (2:09:27) and a sprint finish for 3rd between Andreas Hartmann (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory team) (2:10:29) and Patrick Chartrand (2:10:30). The top 4 guys and GC leader Rotem Ishay (Jamis Bikes) were together for the first several miles when Ishay fell back saying he hadn’t eaten enough calories and had a difficult time getting to his water bottle during the first sections of the race. Ishay would drop to 10th by the time he reached the finish line.

From the start of the timed descent, the top three men were in their respective positions with 3rd and 4th place sprinting at the end.

The men’s GC saw some big changes today with Weissenbacher, Belanger-Barrette, and Hartmann leap frogging Ishay who plummeted to 4th after his bad day. This was Weissenbacher’s second consecutive stage win at this year’s Singletrack 6.

Sonya Looney sharing a hug at the finish line.

Sonya Looney sharing a hug at the finish line.

For the pro women, Sonya Looney (FreakShow/Defeet) again charged ahead at the start and powered her way through the course for her second stage win. She went off course for a minute or so before back-tracking but otherwise she had a very strong race and never saw another female.

Kate Aardal moved into 2nd place a third of the way through the race and maintained her 2nd place standing, finishing in a time of 2:32:09.

In 3rd place was Kathryn McInerney, who started in the second wave of racers this morning and powered her way to beat the other two women in the first start group, almost taking 2nd place with a time of 2:32:26. Todays results are also the same for the overall with McInerney moving into 3rd.

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Singletrack 6 is halfway over, with three hard days under their belts, racers head to Kimberley for a 22 mile course with 4000’ of elevation gain.

Click Here for full Stage 3 results

Click Here for full GC results following stage 3

 

Singletrack 6 – Stage 2 – Fernie, BC

Looney and Weissenbacher Take Stage 2 with Looney Taking Over GC Lead

Written by: Marlee Dixon

Stage 2 of Singletrack 6 takes place at Fernie Alpine Resort and Mount Fernie Provincial Park. It’s a very different racecourse than stage 1 and includes more sustained climbing and descending. At 8am all riders were off, racing together up a mountain access road. The extended uphill spread racers out before descending into the forest on Snakebite; a dark, forested, fun and fast downhill trail.

location: Fernie, B.C., Canada

location: Fernie, B.C., Canada

Next racers head up the rail trail and then descend the multi-directional, fast Lazy Lizard trail. Then its on to the biggest climb; Project 9 access trail, that includes several steep grunts to really max out the heart rate.

The timed descent of the day drops down the Project 9 trail which is sure to have left racers grinning as they fly down through the trees, over drops and through berms on an epic descent. Back on Lazy Lizard, racers cruise downhill again and connect via a new trail to climb up Stove trail. From there it’s another fun descent on Dem Bones before racers head back up the resort in one final long climb.

location: Fernie, B.C., Canada

location: Fernie, B.C., Canada

The course finishes descending on the resort; first on a rooty, semi-technical trail with some slick bridges then heading on a rip-roaring flowy berm trail to the finish. Today’s course included a lot of steep uphill and downhill sections in the 21 mile course with 5000′ of elevation gain. It was a good test of rider’s fitness with sustained climbs, as well as bike handling skills, with lots of fast descents including roots, bridges, drops and technical aspects.

Rotem Ishay/3rd Place Stage 2/1st Place Overall / Singletrack 6 Open Solo Men

Rotem Ishay/3rd Place Stage 2/1st Place Overall / Singletrack 6 Open Solo Men

For both the pro men and women there were new stage winners today. For the men, Rotem Ishay (Jamis Bikes) flatted and ended up in 3rd (2:00:51) only seconds behind teammates Manuel Weissenbacher (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory Team) in 1st (2:00:34) and Andreas Hartmann in 2nd (2:00:44). Ishay keeps the overall lead with Weissenbacher in 2nd and Hartmann in 3rd.

For the pro women Sonya Looney (Freakshow/Defeet) charged ahead from the start and maintained her 1st place position for the stage and took over the lead in the GC competition. She won the stage in 2:19:50 followed by Kate Aardal (Ridleys Cycling) in a time of 2:24:29.

Sonya Looney

Sonya Looney

Following the first descent down Snakebite, Aardal moved up from 4th to 2nd and proceeded to steadily break away from 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th position. Jayne Rossworn following closely behind Aardal, moved into 3rd on the rail trail climb and finished in 3rd in a time of 2:27:35. Looney moves up to first in the overall with Aardal in 2nd and Marlee Dixon (Pivot Cycles/DNA Cycling) jumping into 3rd.

Stage 3 of Singletrack 6 moves to Cranbrook for a totally different type of terrain; a smooth, undulating 26 mile course with 3900′ of elevation gain and more frequent smaller climbs and descents. Check out tomorrow’s race report to see if the different style of riding affects the racers standings.

Click Here for full Santa Cruz Stage 2 results from all categories

Click Here for full GC results following Santa Cruz Stage 2