NUE Mohican 100 Mile

Written by: Jen Toops/Ryan O’Dell

The Mayor of Loudonville, Steve Strickland, welcomed racers to Loudonville before the start of the 16th Annual Mohican MTB100 at 7am sharp. With the downtown blocked off by the LPD, The Kenda Mohican 100 released nearly 600 racers along some of the most popular single track trails Ohio has to offer on a grand single loop, 100 mile and 100k, that spans three of the four counties that make up what is locally known as “Mohican Country”. New Hope Church added 200 volunteers to the nearly 250 volunteers that managed the many course marshal and aid station positions.

A neutral start due to a bridge out at the start. Photo: Butch Phillips

Pastor Paterson of New Hope Church, offered a prayer for the safety of racers who left on a slow neutral start this year due to bridge construction on Main Street that presented just one lane across the Black Fork of the Mohican River. The Ashland Sherriff’s Department sounded the siren that would signal the start of the race near the city limits at Maple Heights, traditionally the spot where racers competed for a $200 Prime. Kent Cycle and Spin Bikes were among a team of seasoned professional mechanics that covered all six aid station this year.  The Ohio State Patrol offered assistance to racers at a dangerous crossing on SR97 and Great Lakes Brewing http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com offered 22 kegs of refreshment to finishing riders.

Jeremiah Bishop and Chase Edwards Win Mohican 100 Mile

Men’s Open

Jeremiah Bishop repeats at NUE Mohican 100 Mile

1st-Jeremiah Bishop (Canyon Topeak Fox Shimano Maxxis) 2nd-Bryan Lewis (Cutaway USA) 3rd-Christian Tanguy (RBS Cycling Team) 4th-Brian Schworm (Think Green-Bicycle Face pb Sword) 5th-Lee Hauber (Appriss Racing pb Clarksville Schwinn) Photo:Butch Phillips

After setting the course record in 2017, Jeremiah Bishop wins the Mohican 100 mile again with a time of 6:57:53.

“Perhaps I had better invite a slower car pool bud to drive to races with I though as Bryan Lewis demolished lead break of NUE Contenders on the toughest climb of the day. Christian Tangy and Brian Schwarm lost contact and I was in trouble.

OUCH 400 + watts at 5 1/2 hours in and I am getting dropped after the second big attack. I clawed my way back to the wheel and we came to a stalemate until the final slick single track where my 20 years of pro xc experience might render and edge. I attacked full gas out of the saddle on every turn and gained just the slightest edge. Stoked to take my first win after a 3 month comeback from a major crash in South Africas Cape Epic. Not sure where those last 15 minutes of attack speed came from but glad I had it! Thanks to Canyon Topeak Shimano Fox and Maxxis.”Only about one minute back and taking second place was Brian Lewis, coming in at 6:59:01.

“The Mohican 100 started with a long stretch of fun single track that formed the lead group (7 or 8 riders) of 100/100k riders of prior to aid 1.  Punchy farm roads and mixed single track slowly whittled the group down to four 100 miler participants (JB, myself, Christian Tanguy, and Brian Schworm) as the 100k folks split off at aid 3.  Our group road steady and stayed together until we hit Stroble Road.  A tricky muddy section with big bulldozer tracks left some daylight into Stroble Road climb and I rode it hard enough to split the group before pausing in the middle for some horses.  We were back together but another hard push and fast downhill left JB and I alone off the front.  I had a little gap as I crossed the Mohican river, but JB tagged on shortly.  I took another dig at JB on Valley Stream Road and again got a little daylight, but he was strong enough to bring me back after the descent.  We stayed together until the single track where JB took the lead.  As we ripped past 100k finishers JB got a little daylight and slowly build his lead on the climb until he was far enough out of sight to cause me to relax a bit into the finish.  It was a blast ripping and beating on each other over the final miles.  It definitely made the 100-mile distance entertaining.

Next NUE race:  TBD???  Suggestions? I haven’t gotten past tomorrow yet. Sponsors: Flying solo, but appreciate the support of my employer Cutaway, USA as well as a good group of friends (Will, Steven, Tyler, Seth, AT, and Carlo) that consistently talk smack and give me a hard time as I chase fun events across the country.”With third and fourth place only 11 seconds apart, it made for an exciting finish.  Christian Tanguy (RBS Cycling team), who finished second at Cohutta this year, manage to hang on to third place with a time of 7:03:39. Brian Schworm (Think Green) took the fourth position with a time of 7:03:48.

Women’s Open

Chase Edwards Takes the Top Step

1st-Chase Edwards (CZ Racing) 2nd-Joanne Beattie (Six S Partners p/b Ciclowerks) 3rd-Laureen Coffelt (Los Locos/Pivot/Outdoors Inc 4th-Angela Graziosi (Trailer Park Racing) 5th-Lauren Ison Photo:Butch Phillips

Making her first appearance at the Mohican 100 mile, Chase Edwards (CZ racing), takes the win with a time of 9:18:31.“The Mohican 100 proved to be harder than I expected in all the best ways! I was happy to land a spot on the start line next to Ohio State Champion Jen Toops (racing the Marathon) who was very kind about my dad standing nearby taking a lot of photos. I thought if I could hang with Jen for the first part of the race, maybe I’d learn a thing or two about riding muddy Ohio singletrack. But my nerves got the best of me, and I lost Jen after the neutral start and ended up in the lead. My start was fast enough to avoid a lot of bottlenecking onto the singletrack. I was stoked! Unfortunately, a few miles in the bag with my tools in it fell off my saddle and I had to stop and throw it in my jersey pocket. Shortly after, I crashed unexpectedly when my bike cut out from underneath me on some slippery roots. I got it back together quickly, though, and rode well for the next 20 miles of singletrack and proudly descended the one techy rock garden with ease. Jen and two of the other Marathon women caught me around mile 30, and I had a blast going back and forth with them for the next 10 or so miles. Just before Aid Station 3, my descending started to fall apart, and I worried maybe I had messed up my fueling and my body was already shutting down. Then, on a short hike-a-bike, I noticed my front wheel had come really loose. That explained the clunky descending! I pulled out my small race tool to tighten the thru axle and learned the hex wasn’t long enough to tighten it. I tend to learn lessons in my life the hard way, and it had never crossed my mind to check this on my new bike this season. Luckily, I was only 5 miles from the Aid Station. I said goodbye to the top Marathon women at this point (their race was starting to get exciting!), and I just kept trucking and descending as best I could. At the Aid Station, Marlene (my Dad’s wife who has supported me in three races now and is really good at it) was ready with fresh bottles and Honey Stinger waffles. She held my bike while I tightened down my front wheel with a full-size wrench. I had a really strong come back between the next Aid Stations and managed to put out really consistent power on the half-hour stretch of beautiful but mind-numbing paved urban trail. I was a bit surprised and worried when my back and shoulder pain from a crash last month started to flare up, but it forced me to focus all my energy on throwing down consistent watts. This was the most painful section of the course but somehow also ended up being my fastest section. I was so happy to see my support crew of five family members waiting for me at Aid Station 4.5. My dad teased me for walking the last part of the suspension bridge, to which I responded: “Too many new mediums out here for me! I’m used to dry sandstone and granite.” Once again, Marlene re-loaded me with bottles and I was off toward the finish! The slippery rocks and roots on the final stretch of singletrack took all the mental power I could muster. There was a man hot on my wheel as we popped out of the woods, and I managed to hold him off with an all-out sprint to the finish line. Thanks, Construction Zone Racing, Scott Bicycles, and Paragon Athletics for the support! The Mohican 100 is an awesome race. ”

Chase celebrating at the finish line. Photo Butch Phillips

Joanne Beattie (Six S Partners p/b Ciclowerks), finished second with a time of 10:13:41.

“This was my second year racing the Mohican 100 Mile and I have absolutely nothing but great things to say about this event! I loved riding the fast, flowy single track in the Mohican forest. I only wish I was a stronger climber and better able to get ahead of the pack before the turn into the first 25 km section of single track leading up to Aid Station 1. There was a line of riders ahead of me and the narrow trails made it difficult to pass, but I ended up utilizing the pace to keep my legs loose so that I had plenty of power to draw upon throughout the rest of the race.

I was thoroughly impressed by the level of volunteer support at each of the Aid Stations. Volunteers were on hand, ready to help with anything from filling water bottles to lubricating chains. Although the Aid Stations were fully stocked with anything you could imagine ingesting, I generally stuck to eating the cut-up Clif bars that I keep in a cup in my jersey pocket. They are easy to grab and eat while riding and are packed full of energy.

I currently don’t have any other NUE races planned for this season, but I have been looking at the calendar, trying to figure out how to squeeze in another one. I love these ultra-endurance races! PEDAL HARDER! (Sponsors: Six S Partners, Ciclowerks, Clif, Biemme, 3Sixty5 Cycling)”

Laureen Coffelt (Los Locos/Pivot/Outdoor Inc), came in third place at 10:50:05.

“Back in 2006, I believe, it was my first Mohican 100 MTB race. I have returned 8x, with an absence for the last few years. It was a WOW this year. Incredible volunteer efforts, beyond expectations! The work of Ryan O’Dell to develop and foster the NUE series comes to fruition, at this race. My friend, and coach, Chris EATOUGH, won the NUE and the Mohican 100 in 2007. It is with pride and honor that I can say he got me where I am today, on the bike, and even off! I hope to return to the NUE Racing 50+ next year, and complete the series!”

Masters 50+

Devin DeBoer win’s Masters 50+

1st-Devin DeBoer (Fusion New Holland Brewing) 2nd-Joe Johnston (Brauer/Mick Management) 3rd-Tom Stritzinger 4th-Roger Masse (Stokesville/Shenandoah Mountain Touring) 5th-Russell Spaulding (TFM Racing) Photo:Butch Phillips

Winning the Master’s 50+ Mohican was Devin DeBoer (Fushion New Holland Brewing) coming in at 8:06:53.

Taking the second step and finishing fifteen minutes back was Joe Johnston (Brauer/Mick Management) at 8:22:25.

It’s been a few years since my last trip to Loudonville for the Mohican 100, Ryan & Crew did not disappoint. The start in downtown is always a highlight & nerve wracking at the same time. Once into the single track I found myself in a nice little group including Jeff Mandell (Rare Disease Cycling) &  Mitchell DeYoung (Hammer Nutrition). We pretty much stayed together until the water bars adding riders here and there. At one point I looked back and saw 6-8 in the group.  After aid 3, Jeff, who was riding great had pulled away with David Parson-Foresi (JA King/KTM). Just before the Holmes County Trail, Devin DeBoer (Fusion New Holland Brewing) caught and passed me on his way to the masters win (Congratulations!!!!). Other than a few 100k riders over the next 3ish hours it was a solo ride until Ross Anderson (Fincraft) came up just before aid 5 giving me the motivation I needed to push to the finish.”

The third spot went to Tom Stritzinger coming in at 8:28:59.

Singlespeed

Haddock gets his Second Consecutive NUE Mohican 100 SS Win!

1st-John Haddock (CarboRocket, Christopher Bean Coffee, XoSkin) 2nd-Donald Powers (UPMC Pro Bike & Run 3rd-Peyton Randolph 4th-Ross Anderson 5th-Joe Worboy (Trailer Park Racing) Photo:Butch Phillips

After a second place finish at True Grit and a win at Cohutta, John Haddock (CarboRocket, Christopher Bean Coffee, XoSkin), wins the Mohican 100M with a time of 7:44:41.

“It was great to get back to this event for another year. The trails, venue, and volunteers are always top notch, which makes for a great experience every time. My goal coming into the race was to ride fast, stay on top of fueling, and not get injured on the wet trails. Once the lead out vehicle pulled off, it was fast from the start, but actually more “singlespeed friendly” that past years where everyone redlines up the first hill. I’m never disappointed by a casual start to help warm up! I entered the woods in good position, accompanied (like last year) by my buddies Jim Litzinger and Alex Hashem. We held a steady pace together until Aid 3 where Jim, looking incredibly fresh, headed back to win the 100K singlespeed. Alex and I enjoyed each other’s company for a bit longer, but a wrong turn by Alex left me to spin the rail trail alone in 34/20. Thank goodness for the deer and singing birds that kept things interesting! Surprisingly I was never caught by a geared rider nor did I hear Dahn Pahrs coming up from behind, so I rode solo to the finish. Huge thanks to my team for making all of this possible. And lastly, thank you to my wingman David Parsons-Foresi for being such a solid dude and letting my tag along to Ohio for the weekend.”

Finishing second place about fifteen minutes back was, Don Powers (UPMC Pro Bike & Run) at 8:00:43.

“I wish I had an exciting race report to share with everyone but I went into the woods behind John Haddock and never saw him again.  I raced the entire race in 2nd place.  Had a couple back and fourths with some of the 100K SS’ers, Josh Kunz, Anthony Toops, & Dave MrKonja.  Caught drafts off geared guys when I could and got a super pull from Dave Parsons and Alex Hassam on the rail trail, was able to average 19.4mph on my SS (36X21, 15th fastest ever according to Strava).  At the end I finished in 8 hours and some odds seconds and enjoyed some Four Lokos on the podium.”

After a blazing fast start, Peyton Randolph finished in third place at 8:20:01.Race week started off with daily online harassments from the one and only king of SS smack talk Dahn Pahrs. Online one of the most cut-throat talkers but in person one of the most “ok-ist” guys. Ohio has stepped up this year with a ton of SS guys. The SS class is growing and in return the podium shorts are creeping up! The Ohio OMBC and 331 series are a blast now with more ss guys than ever. Races like Vultures Knob and Tuscazoar will even bring out-of-state ss guys to join the party. It was great to see a ton of Ohio SS friends at the start. The start this year was different due to the slow pace through the bridge construction. When the lead truck honked their horn on the hill after the bridge, no one sped up. I just did my thing and pedaled up the hill by myself not noticing that the pack was taking a super chill pace up the hill. Perhaps due to there not being a $200 prem.? Now it’s debatable whether this was a good idea or not. At the very least I thought the picture would be fridge-worthy so I drove it home and kept my 32:18 cadence in the sweet spot. When the flat road came, the derailleur party slow rolled on by with a few SS bros hugging the back. I rode the first single track with friends Eli Orth and Ross Anderson. We set a casual pace quick enough to call it “racing” but slow enough to talk and laugh. Mohican wilderness was in the best shape I’ve ever seen it. The majority of the day involved a lot of solo gravel/pavement spinning. The fresh single track between mile 50 something and the rail trail was ridiculously hard for me. Just when you think your avg speed is not looking bad, this section keeps you working hard. It sure would’ve been nice to throw a wrench in the PA domination over OH. It didn’t happen this year, but every year the PA harassment gets worse, Ohio training grows! Next race will be Lumberjack. Huge thanks to my wife Kayla who rides, races, and travels with me as well as my parents who came to Mohican to cheer us on.”

Click here for full results

What’s Next?

NUE Marathon Series: June 24, 2018 in Damascus, VA  Iron Mountain

NUE Epic Series: June 16, 2018 in Manistee, Michigan (sold out) Lumberjack 100

Mohican 100 mile presented by KENDA – Full Report

June 4, 2016

By Ryan O’Dell

The Mayor Loudonville, Steve Strickland, welcomed racers to Loudonville before starting the race at 7am sharp. Now in its 14th year, The KENDA Mohican 100 released nearly 600 racers along some of the most popular single track trails Ohio has to offer on a grand single loop, 100 mile and 100k, that spans three of the four counties that make up what is locally known as “Mohican Country”. This year, several hike-a-bikes were rerouted to make them more ridable, including a new and safer crossing at SR97 that included The Ohio State Highway Patrol. Mohican offered a $10,000 cash purse, the largest in the NUE Race Series.

Last year’s Men’s Open winner and former NUE Series Champion, Christian Tanguy was the first racer to crest at the city limits before going on to finish fourth in the Men’s Open. Tanguy was awarded an additional $200 cash prime courtesy of the Loudonville Visitors Bureau.

Hundreds of racers charge off the start line and through Loudonville, Ohio, at the start of the Mohican 100. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

Hundreds of racers charge off the start line and through Loudonville, Ohio, at the start of the Mohican 100. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

 

Women’s Open

Shinn makes it two in a row at Mohican!

Linda Shinn, Blacksmith Cycles, achieved her first Mohican victory in 8:59:35 in 2015 claiming “Mohican 100 is probably my favorite 100 miler.” This year, Shinn set a new PR at 8:59:30.

“We always have a big group of friends that come down for this race each year so I always look forward to it – it’s more like a fun weekend away camping, hanging out and riding bikes. I was motivated for a good race since Cohutta didn’t go so well for me.

Linda Shin makes her way through the dense forests of Ohio on her way to a race win. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

Linda Shin makes her way through the dense forests of Ohio on her way to a race win. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

I had a good start and was taking it fairly easy in the first half of the singletrack, really enjoying the fun Mohican trails and passing guys. I knew there were a couple girls ahead of me but wasn’t sure if they were in the 100km or 100 miles so I started to pick up the pace. After the first aid station, me and another rider missed the turn into the singletrack and ended up on the road back tracking to another trail that we had already ridden. We quickly turned around and jumped back in but then became stuck behind riders that I had already passed so that was frustrating. I made my way back through and passed a couple of 100km girls and knew I was sitting in 2nd. I was focused on catching the girl ahead regardless of which race she was in.

After aid 3, I was told that she turned to the 100km so now I was leading the 100mile race which was a strange unknown feeling because this was the first time I’ve ever led an NUE race. I was stoked!

I was going back and forth with a couple of guys but was riding solo for most of the rest of the race and kept a steady pace. I knew I had a bit of a lead, no idea how much but had to keep telling myself that I was being hunted and not to slow down too much. Once I got to the final singletrack, there was no one around and was pretty pumped that I was going to win another Mohican! I couldn’t wait to get to the finish line.

Most of my friends raced the 100km and as I crossed the finish line, they were all there with high fives and hugs, it was so amazing to have such a warm welcoming finish! I had a ton of fun, everything was dialed, from my nutrition to training to my equipment. I had just put on the Lauf fork that I won last year at Cohutta for this race and it was the perfect set up on my Scapin Spektro!

This race has everything, a mix of terrain, tons of singletrack, amazing volunteers and really fun atmosphere for pre and post- race. This was my first year camping out at the finish and it was fun to hang out with everyone after the race. Can’t wait for the next NUE at Wilderness 101!”

Ann Pike, Team DNA-Movement p/b Penetron, placed second finishing in 9:26:30. Fifteen minutes behind Pike, Rachel Furman, CARVE, placed third at 9:41:46. Jacqueline Ledoux was fourth at 10:32:08 and seven minutes later, Beverly Enslow, Hammer Nutrition / Health Solutions Chiropractic, rounded out the podium in fifth place at 10:39:17.

 

100-mile race winner Dylan Johnson successfully navigates a long suspension bridge. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

100-mile race winner Dylan Johnson successfully navigates a long suspension bridge. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

Men’s Open

Dylan Johnson gets his second straight win to lead the NUE Race Series

Following a third place finish last year, Dylan “The Kid” Johnson, Giant Co-Factory Northeast, nicknamed for his youth in comparison to most other race leaders at just 21 years old, achieved his first win at Mohican following up on his first ever NUE Series win at Cohutta in April. As a result, Johnson now leads the NUE Race Series. It was a tight race that was won in the final two miles where he posted a blistering time of 6:57:10.

“The Mohican 100 always has a fast start and this year was no exception. I kept myself at the front of the group and entered the single track third. There was a bit of shuffling of position in the singletrack until five-time LaRuta winner, Lico Ramirez, made his way to the front and soon I found myself sprinting up the climbs to keep up. At this point I knew it was going to be a hard day in the saddle. A lead group of eight or nine exited the first single track section but this would be whittled down to five by aid station 3, including Lico, last year’s Mohican winner, Christian Tanguy, Brian Schworm, and Ian Spivack.

The pace calmed a bit at this point as we settled into a more sustainable pace but it wouldn’t last long. At about mile 85, on one of the steep climbs before the final few miles of single track, I made an attack to drop the group. I managed to distance myself from everyone except Lico. As we rolled up on the final aid station, I prepared myself to battle it out in the final single track section but, to my surprise, Lico stopped at the aid station. I continued alone through the single track going as hard as I could so I wouldn’t get caught. I was relieved to finally see the finish and I sprinted in to take the win.

I was ecstatic to take my second NUE win at Mohican and take the NUE series overall lead. It was a hard fought battle and an extremely close race with second place, Brian Schworm, coming in less than a minute behind and Lico and Christian coming in moments later for a sprint finish. Every year it seems like more single track gets added to the course and the race keeps getting better. I can’t thank the volunteers enough. All day they were extremely helpful and attentive, getting my drop bags immediately. Luckily the rain held off until after most racers had finished but that didn’t dampen the post-race party atmosphere.” Johnson’s next NUE race will be in the mountains of Colorado at the Bailey Hundo on June 18. http://nuemtb.com/series/bailey-hundo-ultra-endurance-mountainbike-race

Less than a minute behind the leader, Brian Schworm, Think Green-VO2 Multisport p/b SWORD, Rolled into second place at 6:58:04. “The Mohican 100 race started with fantastic conditions.

The trails were dry and fast, and the weather was very agreeable although the forecast called for rain in the afternoon. As usual, the race started in downtown Loudonville shooting up Maple Heights climb. The climb with the following few miles of paved road were great for spreading out the field before hitting the first thirty miles of singletrack.

Ramarez just after the finish. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

Ramarez just after the finish. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

I was around fifth position once we hit the trail.  The race was smooth and uneventful through the trail section until we hit the “hike-a-bike” section towards the end of the initial trails.  There Federico “Lico” Ramirez showed why he has won La Ruta multiple times; he rode nearly the whole section where most were having trouble just hiking! Needless to say, he gapped the rest of the field. Within the next few miles a handful of racers, including myself, bridged up to Federico.

Once we hit the gravel roads and bits of trail that followed, some other riders joined the front group while some dropped off.  This continued until the Mohican Wilderness area where a lead group of five established itself.  The group included Federico, Ian Spivak, Dylan Johnson, Christian Tanguy, and me.  From this point until the Rails-to-Trails section, I was struggling a bit. There were a few climbs I dropped off the group and then scrambled to catch up afterwards.

On the Rail-to-Trails section we worked together, taking turns leading the group, to hopefully extend our lead. There were no attacks or anything of that nature through this trail. I think we all knew that a very difficult section, five big climbs between aid stations 4 and 5, was coming up.  This is often where decisive moves are made. Sure enough, we hit the first climb hard!  I was still struggling a bit and dropped a few seconds back. I rejoined the group just in time to hit the next climb. I believe this was where our group starting falling apart. Dylan and Federico were out front, Christian in between, and Ian and I further back. Somewhere in there I got a small gap on Ian and went all out on the downhill to the swinging bridge to increase my gap.

Next we hit, what I feel is, the toughest climb on the course, the Valley Stream Rd. climb. The climb is just under a mile long and hits gradients of 20% in a couple places. Up this ascent I could still see Dylan and Federico together in the front and Christian in between. I started feeling a bit better and made some progress on catching Christian. On the following downhill and road section I was able to catch Christian, and on the fifth and final climb before aid station 5, I was able to distance myself from him.

On the following five-mile stretch of road before aid station 5, I put the hammer down, mostly to distance myself from Christian but also to hopefully close the gap to Dylan and Federico. Sure enough, I went around a bend and I could see them ahead. This gave me the extra motivation I needed and by the last aid station, I was only 20 to 30 seconds down. I saw Dylan shoot up the trail but was surprised to see that Federico stopped. At this point there are only about twenty minutes of racing left so I was surprised to see him do this. I’m not sure, but I think he might have been bonking and was in need of some food.  Anyway, I went into the trail with Federico on my tail. He hung in there for a while but I dug deep on the singletrack and was able to get a gap. I never saw Dylan again and in the end he was about 45 seconds ahead.”

Christian Tanguy powers through the water early on in this 100 mile challenge. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

Christian Tanguy powers through the water early on in this 100 mile challenge. Photo by: Butch Phillips Photography

46 seconds behind Schworm, Federico “Lico” Ramírez, La Ruta de Los Conquistadores, a five time winner of what has become billed as the toughest race on the planet, took third at 6:58:50 following a risky pass around Christian Tanguy in a sprint finish. In addition to his five wins at LaRuta, Ramarez has won the Trans-Rockies, Trans-Alps, and Breck Epic.

LaRuta has hosted the NUE Race Series Champions for three years now and is now offering package discounts for NUE and OMBC Racers who would like to take on the challenge of this world class three day stage race across Costa Rica November 3-5. Details are available at http://nuemtb.com/laruta-2

2013 NUE Race Series Champion, and 2014 and 2015 Mohican race winner, Christian Tanguy, RBS Cycling Team, was just one second back to take fourth in 6:58:51, twelve minutes faster than his winning time last year at 7:10:03.

“This year I have spent more time pushing the stroller than I do riding my bike. Nonetheless, I felt much more ready than for the Cohutta race. I thought that a top ten would be a very difficult result to achieve but I should have the energy to be competitive to win the prime at the city limit.

Prior to the race, during one of the walks with my 2-year old in the stroller, I laid a plan on how to be in contention to win the prime. I gave him the play by play:
First: lock all the suspensions to eliminate any energy waste while on the road. This is so easy to do on my Trek Top Fuel; one push button locks both front and rear shocks.
Second: not being overly worried to be somewhat far from the front rider on the early very steep pitch. It is important to save energy for later…
Third: Position myself such that nobody is in front of me. Last thing I want is to have to veer around another rider during the sprint.
Fourth: Knowing where the city prime is exactly located. I had no clues during my first three Mohican races where the city line was!
Fifth: Be on the right gear to respond to others starting to sprint.
Sixth: Sprint and not look back until crossing the line!
I managed to perfectly execute my plan and right there I knew it was going to be a good day. Unfortunately, I got a little jammed leaving the open road. I was shuffled back almost to the 20th position. I was very dissatisfied with my position in the field. For the next two hours I had to commit more energy than if I reached the singletrack in fifth position or so…

As the miles went by, I was getting more and more fatigued but thanks to my two chain ring setup on my Trek Top Fuel, I managed to put some good efforts on the climbs. With two chain rings, I achieve finer steps between gears such that I can really dial-in force on the pedal in relation to the pedaling cadence.

I think I am nostalgic of the good old day, where racers were more focused on finishing the race rather than finishing at a good spot. Sometimes the lead group will ride very slow with nobody willing to ride tempo. Maybe to my demise, when that happened, I rode to front and picked up the pace….

After the river crossing, I was still in third place (Costa Rica racer Lico Ramírez and Dylan were at the front and out of sight) but I was running on fumes. The terribly steep dirt road had me on my smallest gear; I was falling apart. Brian passed me and I knew it would be impossible to match his speed.

During the last six miles of single track before the finish; I was worried I would be caught by somebody but it was me who caught back up to the Costa Rican racer. I came within thirty yards but for two miles it was impossible to close the gap. We finally arrived at the 1/4 mile of paved road before the finish. He was still thirty yards in front of me. I sprinted despite my legs absolutely not wanting to spin those cranks anymore. I made a clean pass and was only few seconds away from reaching the finish line. However, my competitor sped up and cut my path to reach the hole in the fence; the finish banner is just ten yards beyond the fence. Our handlebars came into contact. If I had been more aggressive, I would have kept going which would have probably ended up with both of us on the ground; instead, I just braked and lost my chance to finish third. However, that night I was able to drive back home and kiss my kids good night with no injuries to report.

In addition, this 4th place is much better than I anticipated; I would be satisfied with a spot somewhere between 10th and 15th. My next NUE race will be the Wilderness 101.” http://nuemtb.com/series/wilderness-101-ultra-endurance-mountainbike-race

Just three minutes separated 5th through 7th place. Ian Spivak, 7:04:29, Tomasz Golas, DRT, 7:06:24, and Ronald Catlin, RBS Cycling at 7:07:05. All of these times were faster than last year’s winning time.

USA Army Veteran Charles McDonald representing Paralyzed Veterans Racing finished his second Mohican 100 mile race to the cheers of fans and racers inspired by his effort as the only racer to finish the race with one arm. In 2014, McDonald completed the race without prosthesis, an amazing feat given the difficulty of finishing the race with both arms. This year, McDonald used a new specialized prosthesis that included a shock designed to help absorb some of the vibration. Never give up, never surrender, evidenced by Charles McDonald.

Singlespeed 

Powers to Victory

Donald Powers, Pro Bikes, took the podium following his winning finish at 7:52:44. One of just three SS racers to go sub eight on the day, Powers, finished tenth at the Cohutta 100 making him a top contender for this year’s NUE Series title.

“I had a good start and rode with fellow Pittsburgh SS’er Regis Ricketts for the first half of the race. We were first and second SS for that entire time. I had some stomach issues around mile 22 and emptied all the contents of my stomach all over my handlebars & top tube. Rege was pretty impressed that I didn’t even stop pedaling. On a climb heading towards aid station 2, I passed fellow UPMC Pro Bikes teammate Craig Cozza (he was racing the Masters 100K) and gave him a fist bump and said “let’s win our classes today”.  He agreed and held up his end of the bargain. He got into aid 2 after me but left before me and was never seen again then crushed the gravel after aid 2.

On a steep climb after aid 3, Rege and I were pushing our bikes up a hill and the third place SS’er at the time, John Haddock, came into sight so I jumped back on my bike and started to push the pace. I was able to bridge up to a geared rider that I knew, Dave Parsons, and he pulled me along to help drop my SS competition. Shortly after grabbing his wheel, I emptied the contents of my stomach once again but like the last time; I just kept on pedaling and held my geared friend’s wheel.

I managed to push through some serious leg cramps (due to the vomiting) and even a crash on the downhill towards the swinging bridge that bruised and road rashed my left leg.  Basically, I think these 100 milers come down to who is willing to suffer the most. In the end, I won by about three minutes, but raced like 2nd place was 100 yards behind me for the last 50ish miles. My next NUE race is the Wilderness 101.”

Three minutes later, John Haddock, J. A. King/Farnsworth Bicycles, crossed the line second at 7:55:47. “I wasn’t initially going to make the Mohican 100 this year but was happy when my schedule opened up and made the trip possible. This was my first Mohican and man was it awesome!

In terms of the race, I started fairly fast but dialed it back once on the double track. Due to some extensive riding the previous week, I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel. Surprisingly, I kept seeing Dahn and Rege in the initial singletrack. Keeping a steady pace, I was able to put a gap on Kip and almost catch the other two. When Dahn saw me on a switchback somewhere at Camp Mohaven before the rail trail, he gassed it. Rege flatted and I passed. I was alone most of the rail trail but managed to hook up with some geared guys shortly before Aid 4. After that I just kept moving and looking over my shoulder expecting to see Kip. I was surprised at the end to see that the top three SS finishers were only separated by about 3 minutes – pretty cool!

On another note, I was really impressed with how the local community, especially the equestrian community, rallied behind the race. I think we rode through someone’s corral at one point? That’s awesome! Also, the race provided my best experience at aid stations ever. The volunteers had my bag waiting for me when I pulled up and that really helped keep the motor running. Everything about the event was first class – the venue, the volunteers and the course. Thanks for having me up and I hope to make it back next year! My next race is the Wilderness 101.

Three minutes later, Kip Biese, KJBike Coaching/ Old Town Bike Shop, became only the third sub eight hour SS finisher, placing third at 7:58:29. “I had an okay start and was able to mark the lead SSers for the most. I got a little jammed up with traffic on the first two trail climbs, but after we cut through Mohican Adventures and got onto the long stretch of singletrack, I caught up to a group that included Donald Powers.

Unfortunately, about 20km into the race while on a fast bit of double track, I flatted and saw John Haddock pass me as I fixed it. This left me riding almost all the road sections without anyone to draft. At Aid 3 my wife had me at about thirty minutes behind Powers. The second half of the course I felt pretty strong, except on the stretch of flat bike path before Aid 4; there I briefly slipped back to 5th. I feel I finished strong and in the end was just a little over five minutes behind the winning time. Thanks for a great race.” Next up for Biese? The Bailey Hundo June 18.

Six minutes later, Trevor Grant, Bicycle Depot, took fourth at 8:04:52. Nine minutes behind Grant, Regis Ricketts captured the final podium spot at 8:13:42.

 

Masters 50+

Reglar gets his first Mohican 100 Win 

54 year old Carl Reglar, Verge Sport/Test Pilot, won his first Mohican 100 as the only Masters racer to go sub eight on the day at 7:55:27.

Two time defending Mohican 100 mile Masters winner and reigning two-time defending NUE Race Series Champion, 55 year old Roger Masse, Rare Disease Cycling, took second just six minutes back at 8:01:45. Masse also placed fourth at True Grit Epic, NUE #1, in a bid for his third straight NUE title.

“I love racing the Mohican 100, the 100 mile race that started it all. 2016 was my 7th time doing the event and in the end I was very happy with my finish time of 8 hours. I’ve never met or raced against Masters Winner Carl Reglar so I wasn’t aware there was a Masters rider in front of me… but that’s part of the mystery of racing Masters, being mixed in with all the other open men.

Apparently, Carl made the selection at the back of the front group right after the town prime and I was maybe 50 feet from making that cut… I wasn’t concerned at the time. Normally, that fact would not have mattered much since that large front group gets whittled down once riders hit single track, but in this case it mattered only in the sense that a Masters rider was able to sneak off the front that I would never see… but hey that’s racing!  Congrats to Carl. In the end the time gap was only five minutes so I hope to get another chance to race him again in 2016.”

53 year old Stan Hertsens, Muleterro, took third at 8:38:11, 56 year old Adam Linstedt fourth at 8:40:11 and Terry Blanchet, NAV – North American Velo, took fifth at 8:44:13.

A top NUE Masters contender and local racer from Belleville, David Jolin, Team Y Not Trek, just missed the podium by two minutes to finish 8:46:37. Jolin is a top contender posting a second place finish at True Grit Epic and a fourth place finish at Cohutta 100.  

Next Stop for the NUE CENTURY RACE SERIES #4 and #5: On June 18, The KENDA NUE Series features a double header with races in both Colorado and Michigan. The sold out Bailey Hundo located in Bailey, Colorado is a 100% fundraiser for Trips for Kids and the Colorado High School Cycling League. On the same day, the sold out Lumberjack 100 features a three lap all singletrack race in the Manistee Forest. For more information, visit http://nuemtb.com/

Click Here for Full Results from all Categories

Big Frog 65 – NUE Marathon Series #2

Big Frog 65 Race Report

The inaugural Kenda NUE Marathon Race Series was added in 2016 to include 50 mile and 100k race distances held alongside existing NUE 100 mile races. This year, Cohutta Big Frog 65 is race #2 in this best four of ten race series. Marathon Race Series Winners will receive a share of a $5000 cash purse plus comped series entry for 2017, Custom Voler Champion Jerseys, along with possible travel awards, TBA.

Women’s Open Big Frog 65

Blandford gets the W

Jenna Blandford, Women´s Project Pedal p/b VO2, from Louisville, KY took the top spot by just three minutes at 5:14:32. “My teammate, Mary, actually won this race last year (came in second this year) and gave me a lot of advice on how to pace.

I made it a point to get into the single track as close to the front as possible and go hard as I could through that section. Then I dialed it down a bit for the fire roads and just kept it steady. I’m usually a strong climber and that seemed to be where I made the most ground. When I hit the last section of single track, I basically rode like my head was on fire because I really didn’t know how much of a lead I had. This was really my first “A race” of the year.”

Three minutes later, last year’s race winner, Mary Penta, Women´s Project Pedal p/b VO2, placed second at 5:17:26.

Seven minutes later, Lisa Randall, SuperSport Athletic Wear, captured third place. Randall is also the race director for the NUE Series Championship at the Fool’s Gold 100 in September.

“It was a pretty straightforward race – the girls that were 1-2 were able to get away with the lead men up the initial climb, never to be seen again.  My teammate Carey Lowery and I were both on the slow and steady approach but unfortunately for me, but it wasn’t enough to catch the leaders. I sat in third for much of the race until my teammate Carey Lowery and I ended up coming back together on the Thunder Rock descent so we rode in together for 3-4.”

Tiffany Ballew, Peachtree Bikes, from Atlanta finished 5:43:52 to round out the top five.

Men’s Open Big Frog 65

Collegiate National Champion Dillman wins!

Andrew Dillman, Think Green, took top honors with eight minutes to spare to finish 4:16:35. Dillman is the current Cyclocross Collegiate National Champion and raced on the collegiate US world team.

Michael Danish, NOXcomposites, rolled in at 4:22:45 placing second on the day. Dillman’s teammate, Ben Richardson, Think Green Toyota-V02 Multisport p/b SW, arrived nine minutes later taking third place at 4:31:15.

 

Singlespeed Big Frog 65

Litzinger wins with a comfortable margin of victory

James Litzinger, Napleton Elite Cycling pwrd by Dirty Harry’s, from Beaver Falls, PA took top honors in the SS by nearly twenty minutes finishing 4:32:16.

“Seven of us came down from Pittsburgh for the Cohutta or Big Frog race. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be ready to race after an off season knee surgery. I ended up on the naughty list because of my last minute decision to go down to the race. I’m sure glad I did. With the flowing fast single track, great climbs, amazing views, and fast descents, it was nothing short of amazing! It was super exciting to see a coyote cross the road in front of me. Everyone around the podium looked at me like I told them I saw a Sasquatch!  It was really entertaining.

The race started pretty mild up the first climb, picking up intensity the closer it got to the top. I was able to jump on the rear wheel of the last geared rider to head into the fast, flowing, and fun single track in the lead group. The geared guys were flying through the single track so I decided to let a few ambitious riders past me, in hopes of catching up to them later in the race. Before the end of the single track I was able to catch three of the geared guys on the climb before the first aid station.

I had to stop at the first aid station for some air in my back tire.  I had a few rim strikes in the earlier rock gardens. It was like a NASCAR stop, “25 in the back please!” The young man at the aid station was on it!  All of the aid stations were fast and organized!

Once on the road, I was back and forth with the three geared guys after catching back up from my air fill up. Eventually, I worked my way past them. I wasn’t sure that was a good move at the time. They can be a great asset on the roads and it’s nice to have some company.

I loved the gravel! The fast grinding climbs with the white knuckle descents made the fun race fly- by so fast! I managed to ride briefly with some geared guys on my way to the last aid station. Once I hit the last aid station, I knew that I was in a good position to rail some single track back to the finish! The trail was wide open and just as fast and fun going back to the finish! I was smiling the entire race. I’m very thankful for my family and teams support getting me ready for the race. The guys on my team and shop, Napleton Elite Cycling team powered by Dirty Harry’s know how to get you prepared for your best! I will be at Mohican! I would also like to try Wilderness 101 and Shenandoah. We are also looking into the Hampshire race.”

Peyton Randolph, Trek Store Columbus, took second at 4:51:59. “The first twenty miles of single track was dusty and loose. With the train of riders, we were eating dust for a while. I rode almost the whole day with Brad Rodgers. We had fun swapping positions. The single track was really fast and punchy with very little climbing. When we exited the single track and rode by the first aid station, I was amazed my Garmin read over 20 miles already.

The gravel roads to follow had perfect rollers especially for the single speed. The down hills were screaming fast and the climbs were long and tough. I was so glad to finally hit the last nine miles of single track full of fast flowy down hills and a few short climbs. Overall, the single track was great and the weather could not have been more perfect. I am looking forward to (OMBC) Ohio Series race at Great Seal State Park and the Mohican MTB100!”

Four minutes later, Aaron Shelmire, from Pittsburg, PA claimed third place finishing 4:55:10. Six minutes behind Shelmire, Scott Williams, Napleton Elite Cycling Team p/b Dirty Harry’s, took fourth with NUE SS contender, Ernesto Marenchin, Pivot Cycles, Twin 6, WAS Labs, from Stow, Ohio taking the five spot three minutes later at 5:04:26. Marenchin finished ninth overall in the NUE 100 mile SS Division in 2015.

 

Masters 50+ Big Frog 65

Railey rails it for the W

55 year old James Railey from Oakland, MD was first in the masters completing the course in just 5:11:13.

Thirteen minutes later, 56 year old, Jimmy Karp, from Palm Bay, FL rolled in to capture the two spot in 5:24:04. Seven minutes later, Chris Ready, VeloSports Racing Team, of Arden, NC took third finishing in 5:31:40.

50 year old Matt Rouse, from Fishers, IN took fourth at 5:40:11 with Lou Cataland, Pave Cycling, from Atlanta getting fifth in 5:43:26. Just eleven seconds back, 59 year old Brian Davis, Compass Cycling Racing Team, from Orlando, FL got the sixth spot in 5:43:37.

NEXT UP: The KENDA NUE Race Series heads deep into the backcountry of the Mohican State Forest in Ohio for the 14th Annual Mohican Mountain Bike 100k, a single loop 100k race spanning the four counties that collectively make up what has become known as Mohican Country. For more information or to register, visit www.mohican.net

Cohutta 100 – NUE #2

Cohutta 100 Race Report

Ryan O’Dell

The KENDA (NUE) National Ultra Endurance Race Series #2, Cohutta 100 and Big Frog 65, now part of the new NUE Marathon Race Series, rolled out from  the Ocoee whitewater center near Ducktown, Tennessee, host of the 1996 Olympic whitewater competition.

The racecourse features more than 14,000 feet of vertical elevation within the Cherokee National Forest, including much of the Tanasi trail system, rated as one of the best in the state of Tennessee by singletracks.com.

Much like last year, the buzz before Saturday’s race centered on the weather forecast calling for the potential for severe thunderstorms.  However, this year would be different than last, allowing racers to enjoy dry and fast course conditions under partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low eighties. There was even a pleasant breeze that lingered throughout the day.

Eventual race winner Carla Williams on course. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Eventual race winner Carla Williams on course. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

NUE Century Race Series

NUE Women’s Open 100 Mile

Carla the Crusher

Carla Williams, Joe’s Bike Shop Racing Team, who placed second at Cohutta and second overall in the NUE Race Series last season, crushed the competition to finish 7:29:16, more than an hour faster than last year and nearly an hour ahead of her nearest competitor!     

“My goal from the start was to get in and out of the first singletrack section in first place. I definitely burned a few matches in the first twenty miles of the race, but once I hit the gravel roads, I got something to eat and drink and was feeling good again.

I was by myself for the first gravel miles, but eventually Bradd Cobb, who ended up winning the SS category, caught up to me and we road together for the rest of the gravel miles. We would catch other riders and ride with them for a bit until they would either get ahead or drop behind our pace. We were moving at a strong but steady clip up all the climbs and then would have a blast on the sweeping downhill turns. I had no idea what was happening with the women’s field behind me, but I knew there were a lot of strong riders and that I could be caught at any time.

We hit mile fifty under four hours and I was pretty psyched about that. I figured that even if I did get passed, I was on pace for a great time and that also motivated me on the second half of the course to keep pushing up the climbs. I was pretty tired going into the last single track but I still didn’t see any other women behind me, so I just focused in being as smooth and steady as possible and ended up finishing just under 7:30. It was a great day, great course, and great start to the NUE season!”

Mari Chandler, Team Adventure Medical Kits, rolled in at 8:24:01 to take second. Twenty five minutes later, Simona Vincenciova, Hammer Nutrition, who placed fourth last year, took third this year at 8:49:16. “Right from the start and through the first single track section Linda Shin and I stayed together. I noticed my rear tire was starting to get a slow leak and made a quick stop for air at aid station one while Linda stayed behind with a mechanical. For the next 80 miles I pushed my legs hard to stay in front of Linda but, after aid station three, I got passed by Mari.

As I dropped out of the last single track section and was just about to roll into the grass, Linda passed me and Brenda was just behind. I knew I had only one chance to make a move. Right when we entered the parking lot with about a half mile to finish, I clicked through the gears and made my final sprint and kept grinding it till the finish line. Everything played out in my favor and I came across the line ahead of both of them claiming third place. I felt pretty good for most of the race and my Hammer Nutrition was working well to keep me fueled and hydrated in the higher than normal temps.”

Thirteen seconds back, Two-time NUE defending Champion, Brenda Simril, Motor Mile Racing, took fourth in 8:49:29 on a cyclocross bike. The Simrils have completed more NUE Races than any other racer, now at 57, so why cyclocross bikes for Cohutta? Brenda Simril, “Lee and I had decided after True Grit that we were going to take a breather from the NUE series this year and just do whatever comes up and sounds like fun. So, we’re adding a lot of Pisgah races, camping with the dogs, paddling and as many last minute late season ski trips as possible!

We had no intention of doing the Cohutta 100 but were going to join in on the camping and pre-race party Friday night. Then, on Tuesday before the race, we found out that a bunch of our teammates and local riding (and Growler Enduro buddies) had signed up last minute to do the 100 on singlespeed. So…at that point I started to feel incredibly left out and since we don’t ride singlespeeds, I figured the next worst idea would be to ride it on our cross bikes. This sounded like an even better idea after a couple of beers.

We showed up thinking there was little chance of making it through the singletrack at the beginning without major mechanicals (we had 4 tubes, 4 CO2s, and a pump with us plus tires and tubes in our aid bags). We intentionally went into the singletrack at the very back of the pack so we wouldn’t hold folks up and also so we could ride very conservatively to preserve our tires.

The 100-mile women with race winner Carla Williams second from left. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

The 100-mile women with race winner Carla Williams second from left. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Miraculously, we made it to the gravel roads with no incidents. We were tooling along the whole time having fun, even taking a beer handoff from a buddy at the half way point (first time for me in an NUE race!). It felt great going down, but by the time we got to the 20 mile to go mark, I was feeling like it was time to get on with business and get to the finish. The fun part was seeing Linda at the top of the final gravel climb then getting to race her through the last singletrack without killing myself. She’s a super stud so it was great to finish with her. Again, by some small miracle my bike held up even though I lost most of the air in my rear tire on the last section.

That was our stupid human trick for the year so maybe we’ll try to come up with something even more ridiculous for Shenandoah. Did someone say “tandem”??”

Twenty-seven seconds behind the NUE Champ, Linda Shinn, Blacksmith Cycle, came in at 8:49:29 for fifth place, getting a PR in the process.

Riders await the start to the first east coast NUE of the year. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Riders await the start to the first east coast NUE of the year. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

 NUE Men’s Open

Dylan “The Kid” Johnson gets his first NUE victory

Dylan Johnson, Giant Co-Factory Northeast, earned his nickname “The Kid” at Cohutta five years ago. There are not many 16 year olds competing in NUE Race Series let alone having the gumption to try to run with the Big Dogs in the lead pack. That year, he crashed hard early in the race and his finish line became an unanticipated trip to the ER to receive stitches on his face. Five years later, at the age of just 21, this determined young man has earned his first NUE victory blistering the course in 6:42:00, proving that hard work and determination pays off!

“Cohutta has always been one of my favorite NUE races despite crashing my first year when I was 16. The course has a lot of gravel road which means you have to be patient and use a little road tactics.

There was a lead group of eleven of us and, most of the day, I sat in and conserved my energy. Last year I learned the hard way not to go too early when I bonked after a solo break. I waited until fifteen or so miles to go before making a move this time and three others came with me including last year’s winner, Brian Schworm, who proved to be the hardest to drop but I eventually managed to break free just before the single track. Winning an NUE has been a long time goal of mine and I’m thrilled to finally make it happen. I plan on doing Wilderness, Hampshire, Shenandoah, Fools Gold and maybe more.”

Dylan Johnson leading the way in Ducktown. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Dylan Johnson leading the way in Ducktown. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Brian Schworm, Think Green-VO2 Multisport p/b SWORD, second overall in the NUE Race Series last season, crossed the line less than two minutes back at 6:43:59, more than ten minutes faster than last year. “I lined up with my teammates Nathanial Cornelius and Brent Goetz for another go at this race. As many are aware, the course starts with a significant road climb to sort things out a bit before filing into the singletrack.  It’s always a gamble for how this turns out. There had been times that it was full-on up that hill and other times is was just moderately paced. This year it was the latter with the exception of Brian Toone’s jumps off the front.

There was a little chaos with racers vying for position at the top but nothing unsafe. We filed into the trail for some pristine singletrack.  Christian Tanguy was leading us up and I was sitting fourth position.  The pace was quick and not intense.  We continued in this manner until we reached the bridge crossing down near the start/finish area about 45 minutes into the race.  Following the bridge there was another significant climb but this time of the singletrack variety.  There was a bit of reshuffling but we continued on the following singletrack the same as before.

Once we reached aid station 1 about 1.5 hours into the race, we hit the gravel roads.  We knew there was approximately 65 miles of this gravel to follow.  This changed the dynamics of the race. There were 10 of us in the front group but nobody really wanted to put forth much effort to push the pace. I guess everyone was thinking it would be pointless to put forth the effort when everyone else could draft and save energy.  It was also too early for attacks; the others could easily chase down a lone leader.  Therefore, the group continued on at the slow pace. In fact, after a while, seven more riders caught the front group which swelled the group to 17.

Riders are treated to the spectacular scenery around Ducktown, Tennessee. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Riders are treated to the spectacular scenery around Ducktown, Tennessee. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

The race continued this way for a couple hours. Gordon Wadsworth was telling jokes; others were discussing equipment, bikes, etc. There were a few efforts on some of the hills but nothing very serious yet. However, at one point Christian decided to increase the pace. He jumped on the front and led the group up a few hills. A few racers dropped off because of these efforts but still around 10 or so remained in the front.

Things got very serious when we rejoined the Big Frog 65 loop. Dylan Johnson immediately attacked and the group fell apart. I was chasing Dylan with Ian Spivack and Tomasz Golas right behind. Once we crested the climb, the four of us regrouped and worked together to keep the pace high.  This continued until we reached the last significant climb before the singletrack. Again, Dylan attacked.  It was obvious that he was riding strong and was determined to win, and this attack set him in that direction.  The others and I couldn’t hold his wheel and we were spread apart up that climb.

My only hope was to try and catch Dylan in the final 45 minutes of singletrack.  I hammered as hard as I could but never saw him again. Overall I’m happy with second place. Dylan definitely earned the win and I put everything I had on the course. My teammates finished strong as well with Nathanial taking 11th and Brent finishing 15th. We represented Think Green VO2 Multisport p/b SWORD well together with a 1st by Drew Dillman and 3rd from Ben Richardson in the Big Frog 65!”

Three minutes later, Tomasz Golas, DRT, from Bloomfield, IN took third at 6:46:33. Less than two minutes back, Ian Spivak, from Vienna, VA was fourth in 6:48:08.

The next four racers would all finish at 6:50, with just seconds separating fifth-eighth place. 6:50:46 for Scott Hoffner and Defending NUE SS Champion Gordon Wadsworth, Blue Ridge Cyclery/ Pivot Cycles/ Indust, going geared at this race following two straight SS victories at Cohutta. “After last year’s SS win and a good standing in the SS series, I decided to give my new Pivot Cycles LES geared bike a run in Open men.

The bike and body felt great but since I built the bike just this week and didn’t have really any miles on it, some micro-fatigue of working new muscles got the best of me; and rather than push my body into any sort of injury I chose to ride conservative. I also had some shifter cable stretch that sabotaged a perfectly set up 4-way sprint, taking 6th instead of 8th! Dylan Johnson is a man on fire right now and deserved to stand on the top box.

My goal is still a singlespeed victory, but racing bikes is the most energizing and exciting thing in the world to me so I always choose the bike that will give me the chance to enjoy that to the fullest.”

Two Seconds behind Wadsworth was former NUE Men’s Open Champion, Christian Tanguy, Rare Disease Cycling, at 6:50:48. Two seconds later, Heath Thumel, Race Pace Bicycles/ LRC, claimed 8th at 6:50:52.

 

Christian Tanguy is back at it taking 7th at Cohutta. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Christian Tanguy is back at it taking 7th at Cohutta. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

NUE Singlespeed Open

Cobb on top!

By just over one minute, Brad Cobb, Motor Mile Racing, took the top spot in the Singlespeed open to finish 7:26:09. “The race started off really fast, and sudden for me. In fact, I took my helmet off for the prayer, and before I could put it back on and buckled, Charles yelled GO.  The chase up HWY64 was a normal fast start, and the field immediately spread out.

This is the first hundred miler I have done in four years (Leadville was the last time), so I knew to push hard, but save as many matches as I could.  The single track was sweet and fast, and I started picking off racers pretty quickly.  When we hit the fire road, I teamed up with geared racer, John Wiygul, and we time trialed to the third aid station.

Single speed winner Bard Cobb. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Single speed winner Bard Cobb. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

At the turn, he spent a little too much time restocking, so I went ahead and kept pressing.  I eventually came up on Women’s leader, Carla Williams, and we climbed Big Frog and passed a lot of folks.  She was under the impression there were a couples of SS up ahead, so we both put our heads down and pushed for the next twenty miles until we came up on one of the SS.  We passed him on a downhill and were able to gap him enough so that he couldn’t catch us.

Soon thereafter, we came on what I thought was the first SS, and we used the same approach, but he was having nothing of it.  In fact, on several hills, he (I think it was James Thompson) appeared to be pulling away from me, and I kept digging and digging to stay on his wheel.  Eventually, Carla and I dropped him and couple of others and then put the hammer down.

We blew through Aid station five knowing aid six was only a few miles away.  Making the left on 221 was a very welcome sight as I have ridden this stretch many times.  As Carla and I approached, the wonderful aid station manned by the Scotts Bike Center Team, I was told I was the first single speeder to come through among hundred milers. So, with about 30 miles to go, Carla and I got back into our groove and made some pretty good time back to the single track.  When we hit Quartz, Carla was gracious enough to let me around, and knowing how close I was to the barn, I totally let loose.

Upon coming across the finish line, I was told I was the first SS doing the hundred.  I was pretty damn happy, but about five minutes later, I was told there were two single speeders that missed the 221 turn and went a few miles out of the way (and one of them was a good friend).  So, I volunteered to the race director to do whatever he thought was fair, and in the end, I remained on the top of the podium.  In my mind, there is an asterisk by the win, but it was still an amazing day to ride a mountain bike.”

Kip Biese, KJBike Coach/ Old Town Bike Shop, from Colorado Springs, was next at 7:27:32. “I was still a little over geared, but not nearly as badly as at True Grit. The start was rough; I barely got there in time riding from camp so I got a little boxed in and didn’t notice the wheels I was following hadn’t held the lead group on the road climb. I was stuck behind slower trail riders until the bridge crossing coming off Old Copper. After that I felt decent and, I believe, at Aid 1 leaving the singletrack I was second SS.

Over the course of the long gravel grind I gradually slipped back and lost motivation. I don’t know how far back I went and, like most of the lead riders, I either went off course or rode backwards on the course. My Garmin had me at almost 105 miles. Once I turned around from going the wrong way, I soon caught my wife doing the Big Frog 65 and knew I was headed the right way.

When I caught John Haddock on a dirt road climb, I realized I might still be in the hunt. After that, I picked up my tempo and picked off lots more riders (SS’ers and geared riders in both races). In the last stretch of trail I felt strong and I know I caught at least two 100mile SS’ers, maybe 3. I caught Stewart Gross just before leaving the trails and sucked his wheel until almost the finish where he had to sprint for his place. I also sprinted as a SS came from nowhere to sit my wheel, but he was actually a DQ from accidentally cutting the course.”

Two minutes later, Scott Rusinko, Nox Composites, from Chattanooga took third at 7:29:04. Two minutes behind Rusinko was James Thompson, Red Eye Velo, at 7:31:17. Two minutes later, Michael Tressler, To Live and Die in PA, rounded out the top five finishing 7:33:37.

Gordon Wadsworth applying his talents in the Open 100-mile category at Cohutta. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

Gordon Wadsworth applying his talents in the Open 100-mile category at Cohutta. Photo by Sara Kristen/SaraKristen.com

NUE Masters 50+

Clayton gets back to back wins at Cohutta!

Jeff Clayton, Georgia Neurosurgical Institute, achieved his second straight Masters victory at Cohutta, coming off a second place finish behind NUE contender Greg Golet at True Grit Epic earlier this season. Clayton finished with a commanding lead with a final time of 7:27:25, the only masters racer to go sub eight on the day.

“I was sorry and disappointed to get the news, shortly before the start that NUE defending Champion, Roger Masse, was sick and unable to attend. But, you never know (as Roger is fond of saying) if/when a new “freshman” talent will show up in Masters Class.

I did know that my new acquaintance Randy Kerr, who I met at another 100mile/100k mountain bike race called Skyway Epic a few weeks ago, would be a very formidable competitor. Randy is a super climber and it seems he prefers to crush the competition on a single speed regardless of what class he is racing. As I expected, about two thirds of the way up the pavement climb at the start, I dropped off the rather large lead group…and, as expected, Randy was in that group.  What I didn’t expect was a small chase group, including eventual women’s winner Carla Williams, to rocket by! I gave an extra effort to jump on the wheel of the last guy and he towed me back to them just as we entered the singletrack.

After passing a couple of (obviously blown up) riders, I ended up in a chain of riders behind Carla.  She held a great pace, but eventually it was time to get back on the gas and a few of us separated ourselves off of the growing chain of riders and held that all the way to the bridge across the Ocoee River. It was there that I saw Randy again (unbeknownst to him).  It seems that a rigid bike has its limitations on the rooty-rocky old Copper Road trail! I also knew that he would disappear again on the long climbs ahead, and he did.

The race settled in for me with a small group of the lead singlespeeders and a couple of us geared riders always clustered around each other, but often not riding at exactly the same pace. Such is the dynamics of long races with the need to ride within one’s own limits, both climbing and descending. I was determined to catch Randy before the last section of singletrack before the finish, so with each rider I would catch who had fallen off of the lead group, I would ask about Randy—it seemed that I was getting closer all the time, and I knew patience, good nutrition, and hydration were key to success.

80 miles into a race the ability to do simple cognitive tasks is (for me at least) quite diminished. So, even though my memory from 2015 and logic told me that I needed to turn left onto FS221 to begin the long climb toward the finish, there were no signs directing a left turn, nor did I see any blue paint arrows on the road, so I continued straight.  Besides, my drafting leech singlespeeder companions (I’d do exactly the same on a flat road!) didn’t say anything.

About five minutes later, having passed a bunch of riders going the other way, and questioning them and myself if they were outbound 100 milers or inbound 65 milers, I raised the question with my companions—they had no idea if we should have turned. We continued on hesitantly until the next road intersection (I measured it out after the race at another 2.33 miles one way) where I saw no signage for our direction of travel–so I announced I was turning around.  Of course several riders I had passed/dropped a little earlier were going the wrong way too so I shouted to them to turn around.  Lots of confusion…and I’m sure some riders originally ahead of me also missed the turn.

My hopes of catching Randy were obviously much diminished, but I soldiered on regardless.  It really helped having some of the singlespeeders  I had been racing with from very early around me (including Scott Rusinko, Kip Biese and James Thompson—all who I believe had been in the lead until the missed turn) fighting each other for position into the singletrack.  I enjoyed the singletrack and was pleased to re-pass a very fast Carla Williams.

Still going as hard as I could along the highway toward the finish, I was amazed to see the green “GO” logo that identified Randy’s jersey back. He was behind a couple of other riders and spinning like a madman.  Randy is hard of hearing, so I knew a sneak attack coming into the finish might work. As we entered the parking lot, I decided it was time and went full attack in my 34-10 gear and had a good gap. I even caught Stewart Gross who had dropped me way back on the last gravel climb. Randy did not respond and victory was mine!

However, my excitement was somewhat diminished when Randy informed me that he’d also gone off course, but didn’t finish out the prescribed course—so he DQ’d. It would have been much better to have a legitimate contest.  All in all I was happy with my race, having taken a course misadventure adjusted ~ 1 hour off my 2015 time—watch out you top open class racers.”

John Schwab, US Military Endurance Sports, placed second at 8:11:09. A little over a minute later, Stephen Lebovitz, Motor Mile Racing, finished third at 8:12:49.

David Jolin, Team Y Not Trek, who placed third at True Grit Epic behind Clayton, took fourth at 8:17:08. One minute later, Alan Miner, Banks Bike, rounded out the top five at 8:18:54.

NEXT UP: The KENDA NUE Race Series heads deep into the backcountry of the Mohican State Forest in Ohio for the 14th Annual Mohican Mountain Bike 100, a single loop 100 mile and 100k race spanning four counties. For more information or to register, visit www.mohican.net

Click Here for full results from the 2016 Cohutta 100

True Grit Epic (NUE #1) – Santa Clara, UT

Taylor Lideen and Angela Parra Take NUE Series Opener in Santa Clara

Written by: Jen Hanks

With the 2016 National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series set to kickoff Saturday morning things were not looking good in Santa Clara, Utah. Following a dry winter in southern Utah, rain began to fall just past midnight Saturday morning, the rain came down hard for several hours. Water ran down many of the same washes the True Grit Epic would be conquering just a few hours later.

The rains finally stopped about 90 minutes before race time and just before the 100-mile competitors were about to start they received news that the course was draining quickly and the muddiest sections should be clear by the time racers would arrive.

With good news fresh in their minds the more than 100 riders entered in the 100-mile True Grit Epic left the quaint, peaceful setting of Santa Clara for the rugged desert of the True Grit.

With the roads still damp and temperatures in the 40s riders hit the road out from Santa Clara and the leaders were soon stringing the pack out behind them.

As many as 15 Costa Rican riders traveled to Utah for the first race of the NUE series. The “Tico Invasion” served to drive the pace in the early stages as did Cary Smith (The Hub), Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz), and Taylor Lideen (Pivot/92 Fifty Cyclery), who finished second, third, and fourth respectively in 2015.

When the dust settled the lead group, included the three Americans and two Coast Rican riders Luis Anderson Mejia and Jonathan Carballo, teammates on the Coopenae Extralum Economy team.

Luis Anderson Mejia and Taylor Lideen. Photo by Ryan O'Dell

Luis Anderson Mejia and Taylor Lideen. Photo by Ryan O’Dell

These five riders stayed close throughout the entire first 50-mile lap. After the halfway mark the fireworks began as the Costa Rican duo broke away. What appeared to be the most significant move of the day was rather quickly neutralized as one of the leaders suffered an untimely flat and his teammate made a wrong turn getting him off course.

This put Lideen in the driver’s seat and the Pivot rider proved more than capable of steering his way to the finish. Lideen has a unique history of racing ultra-endurance events and enduro/downhill races. The technical skills he’s acquired in his downhill pursuits served him well in conquering the tough, technical terrain of the True Grit 100.

Taylor Lideen proved untouchable for the rest of the race and crossed the line in just under 7 hours to take a very emotional victory – his first at an NUE event.

Mejia and Carballo recovered from their unfortunate turn but it cost them a chance for a race win. Mejia rolled in to the finish in second place just in front of Cary Smith.

Carballo ultimately took fourth with Josh Tostado claiming the final podium position in fifth.

The women’s race provided some South American fireworks of their own with Angela Parra (Coopenae Extralum Economy) representing the Tico squad up front.

Parra appeared to have no concerns about the long mileage or technical terrain of the day as she set off with a fast pace right from the start. She got out front early and proved formidable on the early climbing sections of the course.

Christy Olsen (Crazy Pedaler Fast Fish) limited her losses in the early going occupying the second spot on course for the entire day.

Behind the lead duo a rotating group of Liz Carrington (Pale Goat), Chase Edwards (Flagstaff Bike Revolution), and Marlee Dixon (Pivot/DNA Cycling) battled for who would occupy third spot on the podium.

Dixon opened up a lead toward the midway mark leaving the others behind on the Barrel Roll trail.

Just a few miles into lap two Carrington and Edwards got off course accompanied by several male racers. Edwards decided to backtrack to rejoin the course while Carrington searched around and after seeing some course markings returned to the course. In doing so Carrington had unwittingly cut out a significant climb and after finishing realized her mistake and was disqualified.

Despite all the action back in the pack Angela Parra continued to power her way through the course and ultimately took the win in just over 8 hours.

Angela Parra crosses the finish line. Photo by Ryan O'Dell

Angela Parra crosses the finish line. Photo by Ryan O’Dell

Christy Olsen proved up to the challenge riding steady in second and claiming a few hundred dollars for her efforts.

Marlee Dixon stayed strong for the second half of her race taking a satisfying third place after she had to DNF in 2015.

Chase Edwards’ decision to backtrack cost her some time but ultimately paid off as she claimed fourth on the day with NUE series champion Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing) coming home in fifth.

Of all the days racing the 100-mile singlespeed event may have been the craziest. It started early as NUE series champion Gordon Wadsworth (Pivot/Blue Ridge Cyclery) and Steven Mills powered away in the lead group.

Wadsworth flatted early on, losing serious time to Mills and the large chase group that included Mike Montalbano (Ride 4 Rescue), Kip Biese (KJ Bike Coaching), Corey Larrabee (Kuhl/Fezzarri), John Haddock (JA King), and Shannon Boffeli (Pivot/DNA Cycling).

Mills was well off the front and by the end of lap one had well over 10 minutes on the chase group who in turn had another 10 minutes on Wadsworth.

By this time the lead group had winnowed it’s way down to Montalbano, Boffeli, and Larrabee. But Wadsworth quickly spoiled the party by turning in an impressive surge of speed that saw him eat up those 10 minutes in no more than 15 miles.

The defending champ was now in second with Mills off the front and seemingly out of reach, which is when things really got out of hand.

Mills held off Wadsworth for the rest of lap two and cruised into the finish assuming he had won but he and race officials quickly discovered that he had inadvertently missed a section of the course about 10 miles from the finish. So Mills rode back out onto the circuit to complete the missed section of trail, backtracking many miles to do so.

This meant Gordon Wadsworth was now in the lead with clear sailing to the finish line. No mistakes or missed checkpoints would derail his day as he rolled into the finish taking another win at the True Grit Epic.

Corey Larrabee couldn’t hang with the race winner but stayed well clear of the other competitors to take a resounding second place on the day.

Corey Larrabee and Gordon Wadsworth congratulate each other at the finish. Photo by Ryan O'Dell

Corey Larrabee and Gordon Wadsworth congratulate each other at the finish. Photo by Ryan O’Dell

Meanwhile Mills rejoined the course on the Barrel Roll trail not far behind third place rider Shannon Boffeli. The almost-race-winner Mills had plenty of juice left in his legs to pass Boffeli and secure a third place finish despite the extra mileage.

Boffeli held on for fourth in front of North Carolina rider John Haddock.

The master’s 50+ proved to be a truly epic competition as the top spot wouldn’t be decided until a last final sprint to the finish line.

Eventual winner, Greg Golet (Team Chico), got off to a good start jumping in front of top competitors Roger Masse (Rare Disease Cycling) and Jeff Clayton (Georgia Neurosurgical Institute) early.

That is until he encountered a vicious clay bog that had claimed several riders in it’s deep, sticky goo. Golet, like other riders, diverted around the worst of the clay but confusion about some downed course markings led to him rejoining the course on a climb he had already completed.

After riding the climb for a few minutes he realized his error and backtracked again. By now he had lost several minutes and found himself chasing Clayton, Masse, and David Jolin (Stark Velo).

He caught Jolin first, followed by Masse but Jeff Clayton still stayed out front.

With just a few miles left in the 100-mile race Golet finally made contact with the leader and the two raced the last several miles wheel-to-wheel back to the finish.

As they approached the line it appeared Clayton would lead out the final sprint but he missed the turn onto the final chicane leading to the finish allowing Golet to slide through for the win.

Clayton ultimately crossed the line in second.

David Jolin overtook Roger Masse to claim third with Masse fourth. Sten Hertsens (Muleterro) took the final podium spot in fifth.

New to the NUE series for 2016 is the 50-mile classification. Several races on the NUE calendar will be offering a 50-mile option this year that will be part of the NUE overall series titles. True Grit is the first of these 50-mile events.

Since the True Grit 100 course consists of two 50-mile laps the 50 milers would simple complete one. And as the open groups left the start line it was obvious that one lap would be a fast one.

Endurance racing grandmaster Tinker Juarez (Cannondale/360Fly) and Justin Lindine (Hyperthreads) were the first to take off, getting a solid gap on the chase group until Drew Free (Kuhl) bridged up to Juarez in the technical rocks of the Zen trail.

Lindine was out of sight as Juarez sped away fro Free on the smoother trails following Zen. Another Kuhl rider, Chris Holley joined Free at this point and the teammates rode the second half of the race together but were never able to close the gap to Juraez or Lindine.

Justin Lindine was clearly the class of the field taking the win with a healthy margin of around 2 minutes. Never really being challenged for most of the day.

Juarez had no problems hanging onto second place while Chris Holley dropped his teammate on the final techy climb of the day to finish third.

Drew Free held on for fourth place with Roger Arnell (Endurance 360) finishing out the podium in fifth.

Jen Hanks and Karen Jarchow celebrate after the finish. Photo by Ryan O'Dell

Jen Hanks and Karen Jarchow celebrate after the finish. Photo by Ryan O’Dell

The women’s 50 included several strong contenders who got things going right from the start with Karen Jarchow (Topeak-Ergon) climbing away early with Jenny Smith (NoTubes) and Jen Hanks (Pivot/DNA Cycling) close behind.

Unfortunately for Smith, a fast downhill led to a flat tire and once that was fixed a malfunctioning dropper post would ultimately bring a premature end to her day.

While all this was going on Nicole Tittensor (Scott/Reynolds) moved into the second spot ahead of Hanks.

Once out front though Jarchow could not be stopped. Karen made several trips to St. George this winter to dial in the most challenging sections of the True Grit course and it showed. The Ergon rider breezed through the drops and slickrock on Zen and charged through the remaining miles of the lap taking a well-deserved win.

Nicole Tittensor finished second followed by Jen Hanks.

KC Holley (Kuhl) and Isnaraissa Moir (Juliana/MRP) took the final podium spots in fourth and fifth respectively.

Whether completing the 50 or 100 mile race the True Grit Epic again proved to be every bit the long, tough, and technical challenge it is advertised to be.

Next the NUE series heads east for the Cohutta 100 in Tennessee on April 30th. Be sure to follow MTB Race News for full reports and results from Cohutta and all the 2016 NUE series.

Click here for full results from 2016 True Grit Epic

NUE Announces ’16 Schedule & New Marathon Series

NUE celebrates a decade of NUE CENTURY Racing and Introduces a NUE Marathon Race Series for 2016

 

The 10th Annual KENDA National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series www.nuemtb.com announced the 2016 schedule this week, including the addition of a new NUE Marathon Race Series, complementing the NUE CENTURY Race Series Schedule.

“On behalf of The NUE Race Series, I would like to thank all of our sponsors, many who have been with us for up to a decade now, for believing in our vision and supporting NUE. We are proud to promote our title sponsor, KENDA Tires and the following supporters who have made NUE Possible including Hammer Nutrition, Velocity Wheels, Sigma Sport of Germany, Darn Tough Socks of Vermont, and KMC Chain. Thanks to our newest sponsors, Lauf Forks, Voler, Squirt Lube, and former NUE Champion, Chris Eatough Coaching, providing training plans for all NUE Racers, many tailored to specific NUE race courses based on his success with NUE.

Born in 2006, the Kenda NUE Series began with just six races growing over the last decade to include thirteen races held within thirteen different states. For the first time, in 2015, NUE made the leap to the International stage by introducing the Rincon de La Vieja Challenge, held in Costa Rica, as its first Latin American venue. Race attendance doubled this year.

Rincon Race Director, Juan Carlos, “…The Rincon de La Vieja Challenge 100MTB race has gathered momentum being the first 100 miler of Latin America. It is truly a giant step forward to become part of the NUE (National Ultra Endurance) Race Series. We are honored and thankful for the opportunity and look forward to growing with the NUE, helping the NUE grow and promoting this wonderful sport of endurance MTB cycling internationally.”

“The NUE Race Series would like to welcome the many racers who compete in our shorter distance races held alongside NUE CENTURY events. For the first time, Marathon distance racers will be offered NUE Series Points and national Rewards and recognition within The NUE Marathon specific race series. Racers have been increasingly requesting the inclusion of 50-100k distance races and NUE has responded with a best four of ten race schedule.” Ryan O’Dell, NUE Race Series Director

For 2016, The NUE Race Series will introduce the new “NUE Marathon Race Series schedule”, complementing the larger “NUE CENTURY Race Series”.  For its inaugural year, The NUE Marathon Race Series will be made up of ten well known races held at existing NUE venues. Distances will vary ranging from 50-100k. Like the NUE CENTURY Race Series, the NUE MARATHON Race Series will be governed by the same rules and will require the same number of races (BEST 4) to become eligible for series awards and recognition. It is important to note that these are two separate race series. Points will not transfer between the Century and Marathon Race Series.

To claim the NUE Race Series Century title, racers best four finishes will count. NUE requires a minimum of four races to receive a national ranking. ALL racers who complete four of the NUE 100 Mile distance races will receive a national ranking and qualify for series awards, including a share of a minimum $12,000 cash purse, Custom Voler NUE Champion Jersey or discounted NUE Finisher Jersey plus prize packages for virtually ALL NUE Race Series finishers.

Additional Travel awards for NUE Division leaders and/or Champions, including The LaRuta de los Conquistadores, will be announced publicly soon.

To claim the NUE Race Series Marathon title, racers best four finishes will count. NUE requires a minimum of four of the listed Marathon Series races to receive a national ranking. ALL racers who complete four races will receive a national ranking and qualify for series awards, including a share of a minimum $5,000 cash purse or prize packages for virtually every NUE Race Series finisher.

All ties will be broken at the Fool’s Gold 50 and 100 in Georgia on September 17, the final race of the season in Georgia on September 17, the final race of the season. An attractive feature of the NUE Series is that there is NO LICENSE REQUIRED in order to participate. Everyone is welcome to compete on a level playing field alongside top Pro’s. ALL finishing racers receive a score based on their race finishes with a “lowest points wins” formula. The best possible score is 4.

Despite the addition of eight new venues since 2006, nearly ALL NUE Race Series events sold out again last year, some within mere minutes.  The NUE Race Series presents racers with a balanced schedule, east and west, with seven races in the east, six races in the west, plus Central America. Costa Rica is now served by Southwest Airlines making airfare to San Jose and Liberia as affordable as traveling across the US.

NUE is currently soliciting the support of additional partners to promote products and services that racers can use. Potential sponsors can receive more information by contacting Ryan O’Dell at nolimit@mohican.net

2016 NUE Century Race Series

Race                                                             Date                                           Location                                 

  1. True Grit Epic                                   March 12                             St. George, UT
  2. Cohutta 100                                    April 30                                Ducktown, TN
  3. Mohican MTB100                           June 4                                  Loudonville, OH
  4. Bailey HUNDO                                June 18                                Bailey, CO
  5. Lumberjack 100                             June 18                                 Wellston, MI
  6. Tatanka 100                                   July 9                                     Sturgis, SD
  7. High Cascades 100                       July 16                                   Bend, OR
  8. Wilderness 101                             July 23                                   State College, PA
  9. Big Bear Grizzly 100                     July 30                                   Big Bear Lake, CA
  10. Pierre’s Hole 100                          August 6                                Alta, WY
  11. Rincon Challenge                         August 20                              Liberia, Costa Rica
  12. Hampshire 100                            August   21                            Greenfield, NH
  13. Shenandoah 100                         September 4                          Harrisonburg, VA
  14. Fool’s Gold 100                           September 17                        Dahlonega, GA

2016 NUE Marathon Race Series

Race                                                             Date                                           Location                                 

  1. True Grit Epic 50                                March 12                              St. George, UT
  2. Cohutta Big Frog 65                          April 30                                 Ducktown, TN
  3. Mohican MTB100K                           June 4                                   Loudonville, OH
  4. HUNDitO 50                                     June 18                                 Bailey, CO
  5. Tatanka 50k                                      July 9                                    Sturgis, SD
  6. Grizzly 75K                                       July 30                                  Big Bear Lake, CA
  7. Pierre’s Hole 100k                             August 6                               Alta, WY
  8. Rincon Challenge 100k                     August 20                             Liberia, Costa Rica
  9. Hampshire 100k                               August   21                           Greenfield, NH
  10. Fool’s Gold 50                                  September 17                       Dahlonega, GA

 

Below is a brief on what is new for each of the fourteen races on tap for 2016

The 2016 NUE Series will roll out on March 12 in the southwest at the True Grit Epic and True Grit Epic 50 in St. George, Utah.  According to Race Director Cimarron Chacon, “The True Grit Epic is long, tough, and technical. The first twenty miles are along rocky and steep terrain that requires excellent bike handling skills and upper body strength. This course is a roller coaster of desert riding with over 70% of the 89 miles on single track and slightly over 13,000 feet of elevation gain.

From southern Utah, the NUE Series heads southeast near Ducktown, Tennessee for the Cohutta 100 and Cohutta Big Frog 65 on April 30. According to race director Charles Nelson, “For 2016, the Cohutta 100 takes on a fresh route, drawing up the southern end of the course that went into Georgia and displacing it west across more of Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest and the Ocoee region.  Staging for the race takes place along the banks of the beautiful Ocoee River — site for the 1996 Olympic White Water Events.  Our 100 miles of race course traverses the mountain terrain by world class single track and fire roads. Our single track is fast and flowing, but can get tight and technical in spots. Our fire roads are demanding but rewarding with long ascents, fast descents, and spectacular mountain views.

Out of the gate the race makes about a 3 mile climb on pavement up highway 64.  This warm-up serves as a good field displacer and pole position before entering into the fast and flowy single track for the next 20 miles. Next is an out-and-back trip on beautiful mountain fire-roads.  Road texture alternates between hard-pack gravel and smooth moist dirt.  Expect tenacious climbs (over 12,000 ft of elevation gain overall), hundreds of curves, and peaceful mountain streams.  Upon return, racers will re-enter the single track for about 9 final miles of the best trails in these mountains.

The weather in Southeastern Tennessee in late April ranges in expression.   Expect a chilly morning for sure on race day, but a quick warming up in the early miles.  8 Aid Stations provide supplemental support throughout the course and a delicious meal and coveted “Finisher” mug await at the Finish Line.”

Next up is the 15th Annual Mohican 100 and Mohican 100k on June 4, the largest attended NUE Race where racers compete for a $10,000 cash purse, the highest single day cash award in the NUE Race Series. Like the Leadville 100, Mohican features a downtown start in Loudonville leading racers up a long climb for a $200 prime. From there the course covers several miles of double track before treating racers to Ohio’s top ranked pristine, flowing single track within the 5000 acre Mohican State Forest along a single loop spanning all four counties that make up what is known as “Mohican Country”. Due to tremendous growth, The Mohican 100 mile and 100k imposed a limit of 700 racers beginning in 2015. This race may sell out quickly so it is recommended to register soon. 100 Mile Race finishers receive a custom Mohican finisher growler to be filled and refilled with a truckload of microbrew provided by Great Lakes Brewing of Cleveland.

From the Buckeye State toward Michigan and Colorado! The NUE Series will feature two great races, east and west on June 18. The Bailey Hundo and Bailey HunDitO 50 in Colorado, is a not-for-profit event invented by a Colorado State Senator benefiting youth biking initiatives in Colorado including Trips For Kids Denver/Boulder, which offers mountain biking opportunities to underserved youth, changing lives “two wheels at a time”, the Colorado High School Cycling League, a new resource for high school students around the state to be exposed to the world of mountain bike racing. Bailey also continues to support the advocacy and trail building work of the Colorado Mountain Biking Association as it builds new trails in the Platte Canyon area that both serve the local community’s recreation needs and is developing Bailey into a mountain biking destination.

Starting from the heart of Bailey, the race features over 45 miles of single track as it winds from Bailey through the Buffalo Creek Trail system and along the Colorado Trail to the South Platte then on to Deckers up Stony Creek Pass to Wellington Lake, and, finally, finishing to a fabulous new festival-like finish area in a private meadow by the river.

One the same day, many racers will be heading into the Great Lakes State of Michigan for the Lumberjack 100 on June 18. Located deep within the Manistee forest in Wellston, Michigan, The Lumberjack will cap off the spring portion of the series.  If you like fast flowing, mostly non-technical single track, and Founders Brewing, this is your race. Perhaps that is why this event always sells out early, so don’t miss your opportunity to register.

As summer arrives, The NUE Race Series returns, to the Black Hills of Sturgis, South Dakota July 9 for the Tatanka 100 and Tatanka 50k. The Tatanka 100 is NUE’s first and only point-to-point race beginning beneath Iconic Mount Rushmore and finishing in Sturgis! From the shrine of democracy to the city of riders, racers will test their mettle as they navigate South Dakotas famous Centennial Trail. The Tatanka 50k will retain many of the same challenges albeit over a shorter distance that now offers NUE Marathon Race Series points.

One week later, think Big Foot and Volcano’s as Mudslinger Events hosts The High Cascades 100 in Bend returning for its eighth year to represent the state of Oregon on July 16. The Trails around Mt. Bachelor are truly epic and racers are treated to quality craft brews from Deschutes Brewing. With just 300 spots available, racers are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

On July 23, The Wilderness 101, headed by Chris Scott, is located in the Rothrock and Bald Eagle State Forests just outside of State College, Pennsylvania, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions. If you enjoy technical backcountry single track and hair raising downhill thrills, nothing rocks quite like PA! W101 was one of just six races included in the inaugural NUE Race Series.

On July 30, NUE moves to the west coast Big Bear Grizzly 100 and Grizzly 75k in Big Bear Lake, California. Directed by Derek Hermon, racer’s familiar with the 100k Grand Fondo course will be treated to an extended portion of trail along a ridgeline with amazing views. Big Bear has attracted racers from five countries and eleven states!

The final five races will occur within a month-long period, which could, as usual, create chaos in the series standings before the final tie breaking event.

First up are the 8th Annual Pierre’s Hole 100 and Pierre’s Hole 100k located near Alta, Wyoming, on a new date, one week earlier than last season, August 6. “Pierre’s Hole, a mountain valley tucked up to the Wyoming border on the western side of the Tetons, was once known as the strategic center for fur trade in the Northern Rockies. Today it is known as the strategic gathering place to ski unfathomable deep powder and ride some of the best unknown single track in the nation.

According to race director Andy Williams, “The Pierre’s Hole 100 and Pierre’s Hole 100k at Grand Targhee Resort  new course layout adds even more new single track without the nasty climb down to the ranch from the early years of the race that many old timers may recall. The 2016 course will take racers through fields of wild flowers, aspen trees and old growth forest right in the shadows of the Tetons.”​ The “Grand Loop” which is all a part of the Pierre’s race course was recently named as an IMBA Epic trail!”

On August 20 The NUE Race Series goes Latin to beautiful Liberia, Costa Rica with the Fourth Annual Rincon Challenge and Rincon Challenge 100k, a 100 mile and 100k loop around a volcano that features both jungle and desert conditions. Now served by Southwest Airlines as of November 1, Travel to Costa Rica has become much more affordable with airline pricing about the same as a ticket from the east to the west coast in the US. Enjoy Costa Rican cuisine and hospitality competing alongside local Tico’s and fellow mountain bike racers from all over the world.

The very next day, NUE heads from the Caribbean northeast to New England for the 10th Annual Hampshire 100 and Hampshire 100k, located in Greenfield, New Hampshire scheduled for Sunday, August 21. In 2015, significant changes to the course layout were made in an effort to become more inclusive of those endurance riders new to the discipline and unfamiliar with the rocky terrain in New Hampshire. However, all competitors will still need to embrace their adventurous spirit as they travel over the varied terrain that New Hampshire can dish out.

On September 4 over Labor Day Weekend in the USA, The Shenandoah Mountain 100 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will send up to 650 racers into the George Washington National Forest. Shenandoah is the grand-daddy of them all, and the largest strictly 100 mile race in the NUE Race Series! Shenandoah not only has a great reputation for amazing trails but is also well known for the outstanding support of volunteers and aid stations that many racers would agree sets the bar for excellence.

The final NUE race will break all ties on September 17.  The NUE Series Championship race returns to Georgia for The Fool’s Gold 100 and The Fool’s Gold 50, aptly named after the first American Gold Rush that occurred near the town of Dahlonega, well before the California Gold Rush began. This final NUE Race breaks all ties and, as a result,  will determine  the new Champions of the 10th Annual NUE CENTURY Race Series and the first ever NUE MARATHON Race Series.

According to Race Director, Lisa Randall, “Nestled in the Chattahoochee National Forest, the Fools Gold 50 and 100 course features a challenging but fast course up long gravel road climbs, rolling ridgelines, and buff, flowy singletrack descents.  Many of the singletrack sections of trail have been recently reconstructed to improve trail flow.  The climbs are rewarded with wooded mountain views and high speed roller-coaster descents.  Well stocked aid stations are located every 10-15 miles to ensure racers stay well fueled and well-motivated.  Cooler September temperatures and the beautiful Montaluce Winery provides a stunning backdrop for the NUE season finale and the after party, where riders can enjoy local brew in their finisher chalice as well as a filling fajita and nacho bar.”

The NUE series schedule is tentative and subject to change as race organizers are still in the usual process of procuring forest service permits and other logistical race planning details. Stay tuned here for upcoming information about NUE Series Sponsors, Prize Money, and other race details. www.nuemtb.com

Hampshire 100

Keck Baker and Carla Williams Win a Brutal Hampshire 100

Written by: Karen Potter

The 9th annual Hampshire 100 was supposed to be a “kinder”, “gentler” version than the prior year’s sufferfest at which race winner Jeremiah Bishop took roughly an hour longer to race the 100-mile course than the 2013 version.  To appease the grumblings about the 2014 course, race directors opted for a 33-mile lap format for the ’15 version – offering a 50k, 100k and a 100 miler NUE series race.

The new lap consisted of more technical singletrack and was leaving out some of the brutally rough power line climbs and washed out jeep roads. Most importantly the new course avoided vast sections of trail that crossed freshly logged terrain rendering them essentially unrideable.  The goal was to have the race take less time than last year, but that proved much different on race day with finishing times taking longer.

Despite the longer duration, the majority of the racers felt this year’s course was certainly much more fun.  The trails that were added, albeit still really hard, were much more enjoyable than previous editions.  The additional singletrack was really fun to most riders but rain the night before made the unending roots and rocks a greasy, slippery mess to ride and thus slowed down the anticipated lap times.

An unfortunate issue popped up this year that has not been a problem in the past. A poorly marked turn on a fast section that roughly 30+ racers missed before it was taped off.  The unfortunate thing about the missed turn was that it still lead racers back onto the course so there was no knowledge of having missed a turn until it was far too late to correct it.  Having a difficult call to make, the race director stuck to the rules of disqualifying those racers having gone off course and placing their finish times on a separate “administrative placement list.”  In appeasement, those having gone off course at that turn have been given a free entry into next year’s event.

The Hampshire 100 is definitely a ‘hard core’ race.  Many of the NUE series racers will agree that this is the hardest race of the series.  The elite men finished just shy of 9 hours and the elite woman winner finished in 11’40”.

Despite the toughness of this race, many will be back for more punishment next year.  Although, the race director promises for a ‘kinder’ shorter time duration next year…. stay tuned.

Here’s a simple summary of just how difficult this race is:  100 miler finishers: 39; 100k finshers 102; DNF: 77; 50k finishers 78; Admin/Disqualified off course:  27.

Click Here for full results from all categories

Click Here for video coverage from DirtWireTV

Pierre’s Hole 100

Josh Tostado and Christy Olsen Win Pierre’s Hole 100

Presented by Hammer Nutrition

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. Thunderstorms the night before presented brilliant displays of lightning and rain overnight made the race course slick in some areas on the first lap before drying out.

The Seventh Annual Pierre’s Hole 100 newly designed race course added two more miles of singletrack featuring long, fun descents showcasing jaw dropping views of the Tetons and surrounding mountains. Over the last few years, miles of new singletrack have been added, eliminating the long service road climb from town and reducing the number of laps to just three for the 100 mile race, two for the 50 mile and one for the 50k race.

Women’s Open

Olsen gets her first NUE win at PH100!

Three 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 9:22:27, more than a half hour ahead of her nearest competitor, including two NUE Race Series Champions.

“My main goal going into the Pierre’s Hole race this year was to ride fast enough to earn the belt buckle. It was a race for redemption for me from three years ago when I attempted my first 100 miler at Pierre’s Hole and failed miserably. It was quite literally the worst athletic experience of my life. I chose Pierre’s Hole because it was the only one in Wyoming and I wanted to support Wyoming races. I had done a few fifty mile races previously and wanted to check a 100 miler off the list.

At the race three years ago, I was struggling with a neuroma in my left foot in the weeks leading up to the race, but thought it would be doable. I was wrong. About twenty miles in it flared up and made pedaling excruciating. It was a four lap format that year and every time I came though the start/finish area I told myself I was just going to DNF because I couldn’t pedal with any power and I was basically pedaling with my right leg. My left foot felt like I had a knife jabbing into the bottom of it but my husband and two teenage kids were there at the aid station just past the start/finish area each lap and I just couldn’t get myself to quit. I did not want my kids to see their mother quit so I continued on and finished with a horrendous time, but my kids didn’t understand that. They thought I was amazing, so I guess it was worth it to just finish and set an example for them. However, I was personally embarrassed and humiliated. I overheard someone talking to Amanda Carey (the winner) after the race asking her about the competition and how there was basically no competition for her that year in the women’s field and that made me feel even more like a complete failure.

At that point I felt like I shouldn’t waste any more money on biking. I apologized to my husband for wasting money on bikes, parts, race fees, etc. so we could spend that money going on vacations with the kids.  I had already signed up for and paid to do the Dakota 50 which was in three weeks so I knew I had to do that before I gave up biking. I received cortisone shot in my foot to ease my neuroma pain the next week and was able to finish the 50 with no foot pain and first place for the women which made me feel a little better about biking. I didn’t want to quit anymore at least. So I stayed with it, racing in shorter races around the region, avoiding Pierre’s Hole the next summer.

That sour feeling about that experience in the 2012 Pierre’s Hole would not leave me though. I knew I had to go back. Last year I saw that they changed the format to a 50k, 100k, and 100 mile. So I decided I would try the race again, but only do the 100k. I had a great experience, felt good and won the women’s division. At that point I knew I was coming back for the 100 miler which led me to yesterday’s race. I was really nervous and came with several friends from Casper who were all doing the 50k. They were a great support to me.

I didn’t want my family to come this time because I just didn’t know how or if I was going to finish and I didn’t want to disappoint them. Like I said, my goal was to earn that belt buckle, but I also wanted to be a competitor in the women’s field. I didn’t know much about the other women in the field except that Amanda Carey has always won the race so my strategy was to try and hang with her for as long as I could.

Once we started the race and got into the thirty minute climb I thought I had passed all of the women before the switch backs, but I was not sure. So I just focused on the riders around me and tried not to make any mistakes. The scenery in this race is majestic so I did try to take that in as we started the 38 Special descent but trying to focus on every switch back did make it hard to fully enjoy the view of the Grand Tetons.

When I made it to the first aid station they told me I was the first female to come through. It was still early into the race, but that gave me a boost. From that point on, I just tried to break the course into smaller chunks or sections in my mind and I would mentally check them off as I made it through them. This seemed to make it easier for me to push myself throughout the race. I never knew what kind of lead I had, if any, during the race. I did try to calculate whether I was going to get the belt buckle based on my lap times. That helped motivate me as well. I knew I could do it after my first lap time so I did not want to let up.

The course was very challenging with a lot of tough ascents that you had to grind your way up, but were rewarded with some sweet, fun single track descents that gave your legs some relief and much needed recovery. Originally, I wasn’t going to stop at any of the aid stations because I had a big camelback full of water and extra water bottles with my electrolytes stocked at the start/finish area but, after the first lap, I realized I did not want to lug that camelback up those hills anymore and just carried a water bottle.

The volunteers at the aid stations were quick and totally awesome at getting me a new, full bottle and gels without losing any time. This made my second and third laps much more enjoyable. When I finally crossed the finish line at 9 hours and 22 minutes, I felt such relief. I had ridden fast enough to get the coveted belt buckle, my #1 goal, and I had proven myself as worthy competition in the women’s field. I won’t ever forget my 2012 Pierre’s Hole race experience, but I can now let those feelings of humiliation go. I thoroughly enjoyed the free dinner and beers after all day in the saddle. The race organizers do an outstanding job of putting this race together. The course, the aid stations, and the after party couldn’t have been better.”

With three NUE Series wins under her belt, defending NUE Champion Brenda Simril, Motor Mile Racing, leads the NUE Series. She finished second on Saturday at 10:00:57 nearly blowing up on lap three in her attempt to catch race leader, Olsen. Simril was gradually gaining on the leader and within seven minutes heading into lap three. It was here, at Grand Targhee, just two years ago that Simril garnered her first ever NUE win following many years of competing in the NUE Series. Since then, Simril has been on an upward climb and is now just three races away from earning her second straight NUE Series title.

Local favorite and 2010-2011 NUE Champion, Amanda Carey, Luca Sunscreen/Grand Targhee, from nearby Victor, Idaho placed third finishing 10:13:18. During the race, Carey and at least one other racer reported seeing a black bear. Carey is currently ranked second overall in the NUE Series standings that include her win at the Cohutta 100. Since then, Carey has been recovering from a bicycle crash suffering from broken ribs and an injured wrist. Pierre’s Hole marked her first race back although she is admittedly not completely recovered.

Moving on from her successful career as a Pro level mountain bike racer, Carey now works as the Teton Trails Director, raising $30,000 and heading up the AJ Linnell Memorial trail building day in Victor on Sunday where a record 130 volunteers showed up to construct 700 vertical feet of trail connecting the town of Victor, Idaho to BLM lands on the Wyoming border. Carey plans to take up the mantle from city councilman and NUE SS contender, AJ Linnell, to realize his vision for an urban trail in Victor by leading the effort to build 12-13 miles of trail on BLM lands that will be accessible from this new trail on private property located at the edge of town.

Race winner Josh Tostado (right) and Jamie Lamb at the finish - Photo by Ryan O'Dell

Race winner Josh Tostado (right) and Jamie Lamb at the finish – Photo by Ryan O’Dell

Men’s Open

Tostado posts his first NUE win at Targhee!

Following three straight second place NUE finishes this year and a second place finish last year at Pierrie’s Hole, Josh Tostado, Santa Cruz/Swiftwick, found redemption posting his first win in just 8:14:16. His win also propelled him, for the first time, to the top of the NUE Race Series standings.

Jamie Lamb, Bicisport Calgary, winner of the Tatanka 100 earlier this season, rolled in six minutes later to take second at 8:20:28. “”As expected, given the profile, the course dictated a high pace straight off the uphill start line. Roughly one third of the way up, I came off Tostado, Smith, and Sweetser, and had to rush into damage control on the then-wet 38 Special descent. I made contact by the base but didn’t find my climbing legs on the way down, being relegated to no man’s land on the road climb. I then decided to ride the climbs conservatively and hit the descents and singletrack hard, hoping I could keep the gap manageable should anyone find their legs fading more quickly than mine.

I caught Sam on the end of the road climb on the second lap and we rode together until the descending started, where I started putting some time on him. There was no catching Tostado, however, it was all I could do to hold the burn rate at 3min/lap. I also have to give major props to Cary, he found my drop bag at Aid #1 and, having never met me, gave me bottle hand-offs like we were old bros, great guy and total shame about his crash.”

Five minutes behind Lamb, Sam Sweetser, Cole Sport, finished third at 8:25:44. “As always, PH100 served up amazing trails and the perfect conditions with some pre-race precipitation. Like most endurance races in the west, Josh jumped to the front and along with Cary and me, we established a gap over the rest of the field on the first climb. The three of us worked well together trading off time on the front through most of the first lap.

After entering Rick’s Basin, Cary got sideways on of the greasy switch backs and Josh and I got around him. We found out later that, moments after that, he put it down, broke his shifter and had to drop out. This left Josh and I along out front with the goal of keeping ourselves upright on the sometimes greasy single track. Josh and I came through the first lap together but he was a bit faster through the aid station and opened up a small gap that I was unable to close.

As the lap progressed, the gap continued to open. Jamie ended up catching me after the road climb on the second lap and quickly put some time into me. As the day progressed, trail conditions only improved from slightly greasy to amazingly tacky, which allowed for some unbelievably fun and fast descending. PH has by far some of the most fun descents of any race out there. Overall, this race only continues to improve and I cannot wait to head back next year to see what amazing single track they are going to add.”

Two-time winner of the Pierre’s Hole 100, 2013 and 2014, Cary Smith, The Hub Bikes/Enve/Gu, was the local favorite from nearby Jackson, WY heading into Saturday’s race. “Josh Tostado, Sam Sweetser and I opened an early gap on the long first climb and stayed together for almost the first two hours, with Jamie Lamb sitting dangerously close a couple minutes back. We were swapping leads, with Josh seeming the strongest early on. I took the lead going into Rick’s Basin, where the evidence of Friday night’s rain was very present with unpredictable muddy spots. One of these caught me off guard and I blew a turn, almost causing a chain reaction. I jumped back on behind Josh and Sam, but crashed again a couple minutes later when I lost the front end. I went down pretty hard, slamming into the steep bank where the trail had been cut. After a quick body check I hopped on my bike but found my shifter dangling uselessly below my handlebar. I tried to rig something but I was going to be stuck in my tallest gear for the rest of the day. So, I called it a day and spent the afternoon supporting the three leaders and watching the race unfold without me.”

sspodium copy

Singlespeed

Larrabee gets a commanding win!

Corey Larrabee, Kuhl/Fezzari, had a twenty minute lead as he crossed the finish line at 8:24:53. “For Pierres Hole 100 I was running a 32×20. The race started out with Cary Smith, Josh and Sam forming a group up the climb with Cole Anderson, myself and one other guy forming a second group back. Toward the top of the first big climb, Cole bridged up to the lead group and I stuck with my plan to ride with the second group. I caught up to Cole on the 38 special descent and Jamie Lamb passed us both a few minutes later. I gapped Cole on the descent to aid 1 and rode the road section up to the resort.

At the top of the road, Cole and another SS rider along with two geared riders passed me going back onto the single track. I was happy to let them lead for a bit. Just before aid two, I had to stop and pee (the first of three on my first lap) and was left for a few minutes by the group. I caught back up but again I had to pee. Again, Cole gained some time but it was still early and I was ok with the gap. I caught back up to Cole just before the lap and we basically went through together. I stopped at aid three and refueled as Cole led out on the second lap. Just a few minutes into the lap Cole bobbled on some rocks, I went around him. I increased my speed a bit to see if he would follow and caught up to the geared riders in front of us. I rode the rest of the lap by myself, tried to push the climbs and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the descents. I was in awe at the perfectly built switch backs.
When I went through the start finish, someone said Sam was five minutes up. I was not feeling very good and was happy to just climb as hard as my body would allow and descend as fast and smooth as I dared. Toward the top of the climb I could see Sam two or three switch backs ahead. Being from the Salt Lake area, Sam and I have raced together quite a few times so we yelled back and forth to each other. On the 38 special descent, Sam disappeared on his full suspension bike and I thought I would never see him again but right before the aid station, I saw him pedaling away up the road. I did my best to push as hard as I could and caught up to him at the top. We rode together and I jokingly asked if he wanted to trade bikes.

Both of us were not feeling great, at this point, I had thrown up four or five times. Sam stopped at aid two and I rolled through hoping to get done. On the super steep climb after the flyover, I pushed as hard as I could and was seeing stars for quite a while afterward but then simply tried to enjoy the wild flowers and good thoughts of my friend AJ Linnell. We had ridden against each other a number of times at the Park City Point to Point and other races around the Salt Lake area. After battling back and forth at Point to Point last year, AJ invited me up to race the Pierre’s Hole 100 on his home trails.

Pierre’s hole has been on my race calendar since just after Park City Point to Point. His tragic death really shook me and my family and I knew that, although AJ would not be at the race, I needed to be there to honor him. I finished the race with only one thought “ride like AJ.”
It was a great race with amazing scenery and support. I was happy with how I was able to stay motivated to race although I was alone for most of the race.”

Twenty minutes later, Quinten Bingham, Roosters/Bikers Edge, placed second at 8:44:11.

Three minutes behind Bigham, Cole Anderson from Salt Lake City, UT placed third at 8:47:55. “Soul sucking climbs, warp speed descents and flowy singletrack, this race has it all. Sadly missing from this year’s race though was single speeding legend AJ Linell, but his spiritual presence was definitely there in full force, with many riders racing in his honor.

The previous night’s deluge made for a greasy first lap, which was spent riding with Corey and a couple of geared riders. I knew Corey and Quin would be riding really strong as they are usually on the Park City P2P SS podium every year. A few miles into the second lap, Corey took off on the Peaked climb, singing as he passed, and eventually finishing over 20 minutes ahead of me. Riding outside a reasonable pace on the first lap, the stupid 34×19 ratio, and the fully rigid setup made for very painful second and third laps. Although, repeating AJ’s “HTFU” (Harden the F*** Up) mantra to myself, I was able to endure the pain and actually have fun riding through the fast rolling Rick’s Basin loop. In the last lap, Quin eventually passed me on the .38 Special descent, where I ultimately finished in 3rd a few minutes back.  Overall, Andy and the crew put on another amazing race. I am definitely looking forward to next year!”

At the awards ceremony, SS podium finishers honored the two time winner of the Pierre’s Hole 100, AJ Linnell, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles/Pivot Cycles/American Classic, with all finishers wearing his jersey on the podium.

Masters 50+ winner Greg Golet - Photo by Ryan O'Dell

Masters 50+ winner Greg Golet – Photo by Ryan O’Dell

Masters 50+

Golet gets his second win in the NUE Series this year!

Greg Golet, Team Chico, following his first win at the NUE Bailey Hundo earlier this season, crushed the master’s field by more than twenty minutes to finish 9:10:36. As a result, Golet is now ranked second overall in the NUE point series behind defending NUE Champion, Roger Masse.

“This was my fourth NUE race, and my favorite course to date and I wasn’t planning to go, mostly because it’s a long way to travel, but also because it was looking really grim for competing for the NUE overall title win having come up a few minutes short at High Cascades a month ago. But after a super fun Downieville race that I went to mostly for the chance to hang with some friends that I haven’t seen much lately, my wife said ” You’ve gotta go to Pierre’s Hole!” I guess she liked seeing how happy I was after that day (or wanted me out of town?). In any case, within ten minutes, I had booked a flight! I’m super thankful to Debbie for her support. Also thanks to Cole who let me hide in the back of his truck the night before this race so I didn’t have to field test my 20 year-old bevy when the drenching thunderstorm moved in.

The Pierre’s Hole course offered spectacular riding on purpose-built mtb trails with incredible scenery. Loads of sweet banked turns on ripping descents, and opportunities to both punch it on short climbs and settle into sustained efforts on the long ones. All that made better by perfect dirt thanks to the rain.

My race was pretty uneventful. Fellow master’s rider, Gary Gardner, and I rode together for about half of the first lap, but he flatted and then blew up trying to catch me so I mostly rode alone, just me and my tallboy reveling in the alpine wonderland of the Teton range. It was a time for life’s deep reflections, like how a full suspension bike is really better for me in these long grueling races, maybe not as efficient with energy transfer from pedal to wheel, but way less fatiguing over the long haul.

Mental fatigue is something that you’ve got to watch out for in these long races and I definitely suffered some of that in this one. It was nicely exhibited when I stopped at a tent alongside the course where some kind folks let me stash some supplies. Pulled off the bottle swap fine, but then came out with “where’s my lube. I know I put it in here” to the sweet woman who was patiently waiting there for her friend to ride through. “Uh, in your hand” came her reply. “Oh, yea…”, at least having my bike close at hand gave me the option for a speedy getaway.

The event was expertly run, and everyone was super friendly, but I was bummed to see all the gel wrappers littering the course after the feed stations. Just stuff them in your jersey pocket–it’s gonna get nasty after a 100 mi ride either way.

In the end, I was psyched to take the Masters win, and crack the top ten overall. At the same time, I was totally humbled to see Josh Tostado finish nearly an hour ahead of me. It’s good to consider the greater realities now and then. Even so, a confidence builder, I guess, as think about the next one, be it this year or next. A huge thanks to the NUE and all the event organizers for making this series so awesome!!”

52-year-old Gary Gardiner, Bountiful bicycle P/B Mountain America Credit Union, from Centerville, UT placed second in 9:37:57. Nineteen minutes later, Lee Simril, Motor Mile Racing, who recently won his first NUE race at the Tatanka 100, took the three spot in 9:56:49. Simril is now ranked third overall in the NUE Masters division. Just three minutes behind Simril, John Lauk, Boutiful Bicycle Racing, finished in 9:59:00.

What’s NEXT?!

On Saturday, August 22, The KENDA NUE Race Series will debut at its first ever international race, The Rincon Challenge located in Liberia, Costa Rica. Visit www.nuemtb.com for more information and stay tuned her for the latest news, photos and results.

Click Here for full results from 2015 Pierre’s Hole 100

Big Bear Grizzly 100 Race Report

Nic Beechan and Brenda Simril Roar to the Finish at Big Bear

By Ryan O’Dell

On yet another calm cool morning in the San Bernardino mountains of Southern California, nearly twice as many racers lined up for the second annual NUE Big Bear Grizzly 100. The course received its inspiration from the infamous Terrible 10,000, a ride the local endurance hammerheads have been doing for years. This year’s race featured several shorter distances and some non-competitive rides in addition to the NUE Grizzly 100.

The race kicked off a week-long cycling festival organized by Bear Valley Bikes. Located at 7000 feet above sea level, the charming tourist town of Big Bear has long had a solid reputation as a cycling destination, attracting visitors from the LA Valley and hosting some of the largest national events over many years. Nearby ski resorts offer lifts for cyclists during the summer months accessing the newly developed Skyliner Trail. This year’s race doubled in size with participants coming from 11 different states and several countries including Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Canada, and France.

Specialized Bikes and Lauf Forks offered demo’s throughout the day with live music on the main stage that drew downtown visitors to the race and into an expo area where they could view racers as they finished along a fast paved decent. New Belgium Brewing offered several variety’s of draft brews throughout the day in the beer garden welcoming weary racers and fans with malty, hoppy goodness.

Grizzly 100 start

Grizzly 100 start

Women’s Open

Simril Wins Again!

Defending NUE Race Series Champion, Brenda Simril, Motor Mile Racing, won again this year in her childhood hometown of Big Bear, cheered on by family and friends. Her 6:04:56 finish was nearly a half hour faster than last year. With three straight wins, including the Bailey Hundo and Tatanka, Simril leads the NUE Race Series, needing only one more win to achieve a perfect score and control her destiny in this best four of fourteen race series. Simril also placed third at the season opener True Grit and second at Mohican MTB100.

The only possible hurdle in route to her first NUE Series title will be if another racer can get four wins. If that occurs, The Fool’s Gold 100 in September would serve as a tie breaker to determine the 2015 NUE Series Champion.

Just three minutes behind the defending champion, Marlee Dixon, MTBRaceNews.com/Pivot Bikes, claimed second in 6:07:50. Dixon is currently ranked second overall in the NUE point standings.

Amanda Nauman, SDG-Bellwether/PB Krema Peanut Butter, took third in 6:41:03. In a close race for fourth and fifth, Nikki Peterson, Bear Valley Bikes, edged out Chase Edwards, Flagstaff Bike Revolution, by just thirty three seconds. Peterson finished 6:44:13. “The Grizzly 100 was a fun, epic, incredibly challenging race. I just started racing mountain bikes in January and have been focusing on cross country so my races are typically 20-25 miles long. In fact, last week I competed in Cat 1 Short Track and Cross Country races in Mammoth, CA where I placed sixth and second, respectively!

I did a few 30-40 mile training rides throughout the season but had not done a ride that long. Knowing this, I made sure to go out conservatively so that I could maintain my pace throughout the race. I had issues with my bike the first thirty miles so I used quite a bit more energy than planned. Luckily, I was able to fix my bike with a minor adjustment at the top of Radford and started catching up immediately.

By the time we looped back around to the aid station I had caught Chase. At the time I didn’t realize it and I thought that the sixth place woman had caught me. I led her until mile forty where I started bonking. She passed me and was quickly out of my view! The next five miles I did my best to eat and drink so that I could come back to life.

After making it down Cabin 89 safely I made the U-turn to head up Pineknot and realized that I actually was feeling good! I passed three riders going up and started turning it over as soon as I got to the fire road. On the finally descent I was out of the saddle. I came around a corner and saw the woman I had been with ten miles earlier! I went by her and kept charging as hard as I could. I went by one more rider before crossing the finish line and learned that I ended up fourth!

All in all, the Grizzly 100 was a great time! I had the pleasure of helping behind the scenes in the weeks before AND competing in the race. I am a very lucky girl! The aid stations were great, the riders were encouraging, and the stuffed animal bears are the cutest. I am very thankful that I was able to be a part of such a wonderful event and am already looking forward to next year!”

Edwards finished fifth in 6:44:46 “The Grizzly 100 was an awesome race for three BIG reasons: the flowy, fun single track, the long climbs, and the number of ladies–fast ladies–who showed up to race! My favorite part was racing a fast lady through the stellar Skyline trail.

This trail is so good! It’s a fantastic reward for pushing through the grueling nine-mile Radford hill climb, and it brought a giant smile to my face. In the longer races I do in Arizona, sometimes, I will go the entire race without seeing another woman, so racing this fun descent against another lady made it even more memorable. The finish, which is several miles of fast descending, was also pretty exciting for me. I thought I had pulled far away from Nikki, and then she came out of nowhere, and with the finish line in site, she left me in the dust. It was humbling and awesome!”

At the age of fifteen, she was the final finisher last year, and not long after becoming the 2014 NICA California State Champion. This year, the now 16 year-old Madeline Beamis, Bear Valley Bikes, moved up to sixth place, finishing in 6:57:47 to join the sub-seven hour women. The future of women’s racing is rising fast.

Men's winner Nic Beechan

Men’s winner Nic Beechan

Men’s Open

Beechan gets the win by less than three minutes!

In his first NUE Ultra Endurance race, 24 year old Nic Beechan, Z Racing, from Idyllwild, CA achieved victory in just 5:03:24. “The race began with 10-15 racers bunched at the front. When we hit the first single track descent, the lead pack whittled down to six through various crashes or mechanical problems. Josh Tostado gained a small lead. At the bottom we began the Front Line fire road climb and I closed in on Tostado having five guys at the lead while riding along the Santa Ana River trail.

We played cat and mouse up a small pavement climb section heading into the converse feed station. At the feed station the group stopped, and I saw the opportunity to take the lead on the Radford Road climb. I pulled away and felt strong for the next ten miles, but with fifteen miles yet to go, I began regretting my decision to skip the converse feed station as I began to bonk. I reached the last feed station, filled my bottles, forced down some nutrition, and slowly began feeling better. I continued pushing forward, feeling my competitors closing in. It wasn’t till the top of the Pineknot Trail that I began seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, figuratively, and felt I could retain my lead on the final descent into the finish line.

Racing an ultra-endurance event is something I wanted to try. The Grizzly 100, though a last minute decision, was a must, as it was only a couple hours from my house. I enjoyed the long race, but I would still like to focus on Olympic duration mountain bike races. I have been riding my bike on weekends for the last year and a half, but really only focused on mountain biking during the last couple months. Before then, my focus was running NCAA D1 cross country and track, as a walk-on athlete, while attending University of California Riverside. At this time I have no sponsors, but I really enjoy riding my mountain bike and would love the opportunity to not only get on a supportive team but ultimately work less and ride more.”

The strongman from Colorado, Josh Tostado, Santa Cruz//Swiftwick, lead early in the race until the Radford Climb, finishing just three minutes behind Beechan to place second in 5:06:14. Heading into the race, Tostado was ranked second overall in the NUE point standings with second place finishes at both the High Cascades 100 and the Bailey Hundo. His next appearance at the Pierre’s Hole 100 on August 15 will be critical toward his effort to become the NUE Race Series leader.

Seconds behind Tostado, 28 year-old Brian Scarbrough, Spy/Baghouse, from Lakeside, CA claimed third in 5:06:37. Eric Bostrom, Ridebiker/Cannondale, was in the pack of five throughout much of the race finishing four minutes behind Scarbrough in 5:10:03 to place fourth. Three minutes later, Dana Weber, Stage 21, placed fifth in 5:13:38.

Last year’s race winner, Julien Bourdevaire, Team Black Star Racing, a native of France, finished in 15th place this year at 5:43:32, well off last year’s winning time of 5:00:43 where he edged out two-time US Olympian and Hall of Fame racer, Tinker Juarez, Ridebiker Alliance, by seconds in the Grizzly 100 NUE debut.

 

Single Speed Open

LaFramboise crushes the SS Again!

Allan “The Rasberry” LaFramboise, Don’s Bikes/Bike for Bender, crushed the SS field once again with a commanding victory in 5:33:58, twenty minutes faster than last year! “Once again, the Big Bear Grizzly 100 did not disappoint! This year’s course stacked up some of the best riders and single track trails in all of SoCal. It included two full sections of the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) and the entire length of the freshly built Skyline Trail. These trails are packed with flowing single track love, twisty turns and incredible 7000+ft views.

Right out of the gates the Seven Oaks trail took some riders out of the equation. This was a steep, single track descent that you had to be on your game for. And yes, once again we had to climb the dreaded Radford Jeep Trail to get out of the valley – a 9%, 45 minute incline that left some riders on their knees. Thankfully the aid stations were packed with goodies to help us all keep our hydration and electrolyte levels high.

In the end, I actually had a pretty good race. I battled with the leaders for as long as I could and managed to land the SS win. And just in case you were wondering, I ran a fully rigid Intense Hard Eddie with the easiest gearing I’ve ever used, 34:22, so I was hating life on the fire roads but cruising with ease up the climbs. If you ride SS, then you know what I’m talking about. If I had to do it again however, I would probably choose the same setup, minus the rigid fork. Don’t miss out next year as this event is growing fast and the trails in SoCal are to just getting better!”

Driz Cook, Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation, was next finishing 5:57:41 for second place. Eighteen minutes behind Cook, Chas Beam, Team Ninja, from San Diego took third in 6:15:58.

Lee and Brenda Simril

Lee and Brenda Simril

Masters 50+ Open

Andrews is BACK to BACK at Grizzly!

54-year-old Doug “The Hulk” Andrews, Rock N’ Road Cyclery, coming off a second place finish at the Tatanka 100, made a triumphant return at the Grizzly to capture his first victory in the NUE Series this season. Andrews, the 2011 NUE Series Masters Champion, nicknamed the Hulk for a habit of crushing the field by as much as two hours, held a full twenty-one minute lead over second place to finish 5:44:10. Last year, Andrews won following successful surgery and weeks of recovery after suffering from a twisted small intestine earlier in the season that threatened his life.

The former champion indicated that he is still considering a run at the NUE title but faces next to impossible odds against NUE Defending Champion, Roger Masse, Rare Disease Cycling, who just earned a perfect score by claiming his fourth straight win at the Wilderness 101 in PA. Andrews indicated that his path to victory may include a trip to compete at the Rincon Challenge in Costa Rica where he will face Masse, then two straight weeks of racing at Shenandoah and Fool’s Gold 100. “It’s great to see an NUE event in Southern California. For those of you wondering, this course is on par with many of the other great NUE courses and worth the trip out.”

Following his first ever NUE win at Tatanka, 50 year-old Coach Lee Simril, Motor Mile Racing, placed second finishing 6:05:04, further improving his standing in the NUE Point Series. “Big Bear CA is an amazing place with amazing people. Dede, Derek, Tom, and the rest of the staff and volunteers do a professional job of putting on the Grizzly races.

During last year’s race Brenda dropped me going up the Radford Road climb and I finished the rest of the race with my sad face on. This year would be a different story, right? I would be super fit and Radford would be no problem, right? Well, this year I hung in on Radford, but it was a problem!

For me the best part of the course is the 7 Oaks descent, because it is so unique. It is steep, narrow, loose and always close to the edge. I love this descent. Last year we got caught in traffic and inched our way to the bottom; this year we agreed on riding a little harder to the top in order to have a cleaner run on the downhill. Our plan worked well until about two thirds of the way down when I caught up to Brenda who was slowed by a couple of riders in front of her. This plan of a faster start may or may not have helped our overall race, but it sure made 7 Oaks more fun and is that not what this mountain bike crap is all about?

I gave away years of my life to hang onto B during this year’s race, but I knew we were riding fast and this would help me in my placing in the 50 plus category. As it turns out it did help, but there was no dealing with Doug Andrews on this day. I said hello to Doug at the start and at the finish and that was it. He was on fire like that girl with the bow and arrow.

The Race Director, Derek, changed the 100k course this year and I believe he nailed it. The new course moved the Radford climb from the end of the course to the middle and added miles of amazing singletrack to the end.

Being in Big Bear is good for me. I am not sure what it is about this place but I always want to extend our rides in Big Bear. The weather always seems to be nice and the trails are so convenient to town. We leave B’s parent’s cabin and are on sweet trails within fifteen minutes of neighborhood road riding.

This is a family trip for B as her family lives in SoCal. The day after the race we were able to go for a nice hike with B’s two sisters and her niece and even got to SUP on Big Bear Lake as the sun set. Big Bear is a special place and in my opinion a great place for an NUE race. Come out next year and bring the sunscreen.”

One minute behind Simril, 56 year-old Ken Winston, UC Cyclery/JW Floors, from San Diego claimed the third podium spot finishing 6:06:41.

Twenty minutes behind Winston, 51 year-old David Strauch, Team Chill Mountain, took fourth in 6:26:51. Six minutes later, 56 year-old David Jolin, Stark Velo, from Belleville, Ohio claimed the fifth and final spot on the podium to finish 6:32:23.

NEXT:

NUE Race Series #10, Pierre’s Hole 100 in Alta, Wyoming on August 15

NUE Race Series #11, Hampshire 100 in Greenfield, New Hampshire on August 16

 

Results

Open Men

1, Nic Beechan Z-Racing 5.03.24
2, Josh Tostado Santa Cruz/Swiftwick 5.06.14
3, Brian Scarbrough Spy/Baghouse 5.06.37
4, Eric Bostrom Ridebiker Alliance 5.10.03
5, Dana Weber Stage 21 5.13.38
6, Tim Eaton Nations Interbanc 5.17.27
7, John Nobil Bear Valley Bikes 5.22.18
8, Ryan Steers Pedalers Fork 5.23.09
9, Daniel Munoz Baghouse/Rock n Road 5.25.27
10, Ryan Clark Stage 21 5.26.14
11, Greg Gibson TruckerCo/Bear Valley Bikes 5.32.23
12, Jesse Kelly Toasted Head 5.38.47
13, Romolo Forcino Chains Required 5.38.47
14, Phil Kelly All Pro Bicycles 5.38.55
15, Stuart Gonzalez Bear Valley Bikes 5.39.51
16, Julien Bourdevaire Team Blackstar Racing 5.43.32
17, Alfred Pacheco Novatec 5.47.53
18, Chad Barlett Monster Media Racing 5.51.06

Open Women

1, Brenda Simril Motor Mile Racing 6.04.56
2, Marlee Dixon Pivot/Epic Brewing 6.07.50
3, Amanda Nauman SDG/Bellweather 6.41.03
4, Nikki Peterson Bear Valley Bikes 6.44.13
5, Chase Edwards Flagstaff Bike Revolution 6.44.46
6, Madeline Bemis Bear Valley Bikes 6.57.47
7, Holly Breck Incycle 7.15.14
8, Erin Machan Wattie Ink 7.44.38
9, Timari Pruis Kenda/Pivot Cycles 7.58.43
10, Catherine Wolff Full Circle 8.47.13
11, Debra McCurdy Rokform 8.47.41
12, Catherine Hinton 9.08.55

 

High Cascades 100 – Full Results & Report

Barry Wicks Sprints for the Win at High Cascades as Serena Gordon Rules the Women’s Field

By Ryan O’Dell

 The Seventh Annual High Cascades 100 marked the midway point of the 14 race National Ultra Endurance MTB Race Series with yet another sold out NUE event. The HC100 begins at Bachelor Village, near Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon. Bend has become a well-known mountain bike destination with hundreds of miles of singletrack trails connecting nearby towns.

Deschutes Brewery, one of the top rated micro brewerys in the US, was onsite at the finish line serving up draft brews including Twilight Ale and newly developed Pinedrops IPA. Sagebrush Cycles of Bend, in addition to offering mechanical services on the race course, also offered racers a place to ship their bikes that included getting the bike race ready and inspected before the race.

Serena Gordon stays focused while out front - Photo by Alan Brandt Photography

Serena Gordon stays focused while out front – Photo by Alan Brandt Photography

Women’s Open

Gordon Crushes HC100!

Serena Bishop Gordon, LIV/Giant Co-Factory Team, crushed the field by nearly an hour to finish 8:32:42. “Mike Ripley and the Mudslinger Events out-did themselves once again with great course design, amazing volunteers, and an after-party that made racers and their families want to hang out for hours.

Recent rains made for ideal trail conditions and I was excited for a long day of racing when we rolled out of the Athletic Club of Bend at 5:35am on Saturday. I tucked into the large group and drafted until we turned onto the dirt and started to climb. My goal was to ride within myself all day, keep to my fueling and hydration plan and to arrive at each aid station before any of my female competitors. Once we started climbing, I never saw another woman, and I never looked over my shoulder. Instead, I looked forward and tried to pick off the men in front of me, working to catch them one at a time.

I felt really strong on the climbs and tried to relax and recover on the descents. Breaking the race up into sections made all the difference; looking at the race as a whole would have been too overwhelming. It wasn’t until the Edison aid station (mile 80) that I started to feel the fatigue of a long day in the saddle. At this point, I just stayed focused and position – and set mini-goals.

I had told my coach, Brig Brandt, I wanted to finish in a time of 8:30. When I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin, it read 8:29. The official clock was at 8:32 – pretty darn close!”

Coming off a third place finish at the Mohican MTB100 in Ohio and fourth place at the Bailey Hundo in Colorado, Marlee Dixon, Pivot/Epic Brewing, took second to finish 9:21:33. Dixon is currently ranked fourth in the NUE point standings.

Julie Browning, CyclePath Racing, of Portland placed third at 9:31:45, winning the HC100 Vet 40+ Women’s Cat in the process. “This was my second 100 mile mountain bike race, my first one being HC100 the previous year. That first race was more about seeing whether I could finish in one piece. I finished just a hair under 10 hours and missed the Masters podium by a few seconds and thought, OK, I can do this again.

This year, I knew what I was getting myself into and was ready both mentally and physically to race, not just finish and made a few changes to my training and to my bike: dropper seat post, Racing Ralph Tires with snakeskin sidewalls (2.35 on the front and 2.25 on the rear) along with a Garmin to better gauge the time to the aid stations and the length of the climbs.

I started off conservatively, making the most of the flats and the downhills, but riding steady on any up hills. By aid station 3 (56 miles), I was feeling great and knew that there was a downhill section to look forward to. I was descending well (thanks to the dropper post and tires) and pushed it for over an hour on the swooping fun descent that took you right up to the next aid station at mile 70 before a tough climb.

My teammates had warned me about the Lava Lakes climb and I had built it up in my head as something that was totally un-rideable so I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t a sustained climb, but rather a stair stepped climb. It was still tough and required some walking though! I hit a few of the lava rocks a little hard and was so thankful my tires held up. Afterwards I heard that a bunch of riders weren’t so lucky and hobbled into aid station 5 with shredded tires.

After that final aid station at mile 80, I didn’t see anyone for quite some time which made me wonder if I was still on course! Then I caught up to another rider who told me he thought I was in third place overall. I had no idea! From there it was a race to the finish to hold onto that third place, which I did, crossing the finish line in 9:31:45. I loved the course and it suited me well. I’m amazed at how fast time flies when you are so focused (and having fun).

What made the race even more special was to have my family there supporting me in the aid stations and also a bunch of my Cyclepath team mates there racing and supporting. Everyone on the team had some personal victories that day. Good times and huge thanks to Mike and his crew for putting on such a great event and big thanks to the awesome mechanics at Cyclepath for keeping my bike running.”

Rebecca Rusch, Niner/Red Bull, placed fourth in 9:38:10. Rusch, known as “The Queen of Pain” among many recently published a book titled “Rusch to Glory” that features her exploits in the world of endurance racing. Her book is now available for just $20 at www.rebeccarusch.com.

The youngest woman to ever finish an NUE race at the age of 16, Susannah Hart, Hapi-Go, now 18, completed the race in11:26:09. “Susannah emerged from the race saying once again that her favorite part was the climb out of Lava Lake. According to her father, Brian Hart, “Favorite” was strangely absent from the choice words I heard from many of the other racers when we served them at the Edison aid station.”

Overall in the NUE Race Series point standings, Defending NUE Champion, Brenda Simril, Motor Mile Racing, leads the Women’s Open with back to back wins at Tatanka 100 and Bailey Hundo plus second place at the Mohican MTB100 and a third place at True Grit Epic.

Barry Wicks is shadowed by Josh Tostado - Photo by Alan Brandt Photography

Barry Wicks is shadowed by Josh Tostado – Photo by Alan Brandt Photography

 

Men’s Open

Wick’s wins in a sprint finish

Barry Wicks, Kona, finished first in a close race that came down to a sprint finish with the strong man from Colorado. Wick’s finished in 7:50:50, just seconds ahead of NUE contender Josh Tostado, Santa Cruz/Swiftwick, who rolled in six seconds back with dust flying at 7:50:56.

According to Tostado, “I just had a great race and enough at the end to catch Barry and ride strong for the last hour. It was fun to sprint it out at the end.” Next for Tostado are the Big Bear Grizzly 100 and the Pierrie’s Hole 100. Josh Oppenheimer, TruWhip Cycling, came in just five minutes behind Tostado for third place at 7:55:55.

Fifteen minutes later, Brent Pontius, Roosters/Biker’s Edge, took fourth at 8:10:54. Two minutes separated fourth and fifth place with Christopher Jones, United Healthcare Pro Cycling, finishing 8:17:11 ahead of Matt Woodruff, Kuhl/Salsa Cycles, at 8:19:50.

The youngest NUE race finisher ever at the age of just thirteen, Brian Hart Jr., Hapi-Go, now 15 years old improved his finish time by more than three hours in the Men’s open at 9:54:35. The future of NUE has arrived! Hart says he may also enter the Mohican MTB100 in 2016.

Overall in the NUE Race Series point standings, Keck Baker, Champsys/Cannondale P/b Battley, leads the Men’s Open Division with four completed races, including a win at True Grit Epic and second place at the Mohican MTB100.

 

Single Speed Open

Shaklee gets a decisive win at High Cascades!

Ben Shaklee, Jack’s Bicycle Center/Homegrown Racing, stepped up his game and had sixteen minutes to spare when it was all said and done finishing the race in 8:18:21, good enough for seventh overall. Last year, Shaklee finished third behind NUE’s top contender AJ Linnell, Fitzgerald’s Bicycle, and Jace Ives.

31 year old Jace Ives, Bear Creek Bicycle/Syntace/SQ Lab, from Ashland, OR who earned his first win at the HC100 last year with six minutes to spare finished 8:34:18. “I knew coming into this year’s race I was lacking fitness. Even though I crammed pretty well during June, taking April and May mostly off would no doubt slow my pace. Early on, before racers turned onto the first dirt road, I position myself in the front (planning to avoid the dust, which there was little to none this year). I maintained in a front group of ten for a bit, then began to slip off the back. Soon, Ben Shaklee said hello while passing, then bridged up to the front group. Two other SS riders came by. I came through Aid 1 shortly after the three SS riders, but could not catch up to them. At this point my legs began to feel like they would at mile eighty, sore and tense.

I continued on slowly, frustrated at slight inclines, and happy when I could coast. I thought it strange to feel this level of fatigue early on; I thought I was in a bit better shape. From Swampy to the top of Swede Ridge I was pretty much by myself. After riding through the masticated, debris strewn dirt road climb, I tuned onto the trail and felt my legs slowly release themselves of the icky heavy feeling. I caught up to two other SS riders and several geared riders while climbing to Dutchman. I passed a few more on Metolius Windigo before the aid near Lava Lake. My legs where feeling crazy better, but by that time I was already beginning to become overall quite tired.

Climbing up Edison Lava trail, after passing a couple guys, I pulled over for a whizz, and to my surprise I saw another rider pushing a hard pace up the steep loose terrain. It was Serena Bishop Gordon! I got going again and caught up, but I could hardly keep up with her on the climbs and descents. She is one helluva good descender. I made it through the lava rocks without injury or shredding a tire. While negotiating the loose rocky terrain, I remembered back to last year’s race, when, after finishing, I suggested to Race Director Mike Ripley to bring the loop back around Mt. Bachelor, the lava section. Well here it is back in the race, the lava. Fun, yes? What the hell was I thinking?!

I overcame Serena and another rider before Tiddlywinks trail. I proceeded down the more Funner than Funner trail at an efficient pace, floating some of the tables and doubles. I came out on the road by myself and continued for a few miles spinning alone. I saw Serena and a male rider were coming up fast. Great, I thought, I can jump in with them. I hear them coming, so I increase my pace, and check back, but before I could react I see the guy passing me, standing up and sprinting, dropping Serena and not even giving me a chance to catch on. That was selfish I thought (even though, I selfishly wanted a pull). Somehow, after ninety three miles of dusty, twisty, rocky, and rooty trail, these final miles on a nearly flat road seemed the most annoying and difficult for me. I work hard to pass peeps up and down the trail, then get dropped on a long flat road. Suck it up ya dope, I told myself, you chose this archaic bike.

I finished a couple minutes after the racers who passed on the road, but a long time after Ben Shaklee. He hammered. Even if I did not miss two months of training in the spring, I think keeping up with his pace would be uncomfortable and difficult. Overall, I was surprised how horrible my legs felt for the first third of the track and surprised that I caught back up to finish in second place. Once again, I was just stoked to play bikes in Bend for a hundred miles!”

Twenty minutes behind Ives, Tom Flynn, Pro Leisure, finished 8:54:07. Four minutes behind Flynn, Cole Anderson took the fifth spot at 8:58:00.

Overall in the NUE Race Series point standings, Peat Henry, Team Noah Foundation, leads the SS Class with 21 points over five completed races.

 

Masters 50+ Open

Tonning refuses to settle for second place in 2015!

Following a second place finish at the HC100 last year, Wayne Tonning, Multnomah Athletic Club, from Lake Oswego, OR managed to outlast last year’s winner to settle the score at 8:38:50.

Just four minutes behind Tonning, last year’s race winner and NUE Race Series Contender, 52-year-old Greg Golet, Team Chico, from Chico, CA finished in 8:42:30. After the race, Golet commented that he felt he really needed this win to contend for the NUE title and is now re-evaluating whether it is still possible for him to win the series. Golet gained his first victory this year at the Bailey Hundo but also has a second place finish at True Grit Epic.

2013 NUE Master’s Champion, Marland Whaley, Hammer Nutrition/Red Barn Bicycles, rolled in six minutes behind Golet to take third on the day at 8:48:58. “I’ve been somewhat scarce due to an injury to my left arm that forced me to pull from True Grit and Cohutta 100.  I went to Bailey and really enjoyed the race, but the last minute course change caused me to miscalculate my aid station support and left me running on fumes and getting my second camelback with only seven miles to go.

The HC 100 went somewhat better after dealing with some mechanical issues in the first thirty miles and a really big crash at speed just before Lava Lake that I thought, at first, was ending my day. After pulling branches out of my front wheel, I got back in pursuit moving up twenty places from Swampy to Lava. Coming into Lava, I made my last final mistake thinking I had enough in my camelback to get to Edison. There was a small crowd at the aid station so I decided to go for it. Much to my dismay, I took my last suck of fuel and hydration just 200 yards past the aid station.

Half way up the Lava Lakes climb, Greg Golet passed me back for second place when I was just trying to hang on and make it to Edison. After Edison, it took about two miles to get revived again and I was able to make a fast trip back to Bend.

This is the only other NUE race I will be doing this year because I’m off to Leadville next month. On a whim, I used a chance to visit my Dad and show my wife the Grand Canyon as an excuse to go to do the Barn Burner 104 qualifier. I didn’t expect much since it would be my third ultra-distance race in as many weeks but thought it would be fun. To my surprise, it was a day winning my class and earning a gold tier starting position with my finishing time. With this possibly being a once in a lifetime starting position for me, I decided to go for it.

So far, Bailey Hundo and the HC 100 have been training races without taper for me to prepare for Leadville. I’ve come into both races very fit but not really fast from building fatigue. I will taper for Leadville in two weeks and hopefully it will all come together as planned. Regardless of the outcome, it’s hard to watch some of my favorite races go by and I will be back soon.”

It was a close race for the four and five spots but Robert Wilson took fourth place by just six seconds at 9:38:05 ahead of David Caplan, Webcyclery, who finished in 9:38:11.

 

Next up for the NUE Race Series: Two unique races east and west.

EAST: Rock Solid-The rocky goodness of the Wilderness 101 in State College, PA.

WEST: The Big Bear Grizzly 100 in Big Bear, CA.

Click Here for full results from all categories