Jeff Schalk (Trek) continued his
domination of the 2010 NUE series with a convincing win at the Wilderness 101
this Sunday. Cheryl Sornson (Team CF) took top honors in the women’s race.
For 2010 the race was celebrating
its 10th anniversary, and a festival like atmosphere greeted racers
at registration on Friday. With on site camping, the Freeze Thaw Cycles beer
tent, a gong at the finish line, and plenty of post-race grilling, the
Wilderness 101 has a unique atmosphere that goes beyond the racecourse. But race
is what 300 plus riders signed up to do.
The State College region of
Pennsylvania is rightly renowned for it’s rocky, technical riding, and the
course featured plenty of punishing rock gardens mixed in with high speed
descents, double track, and 10,000 feet of climbing.
Promoter Chris Scott kicked the
race off at 7am, and, after rolling through the small town of Coburn, PA, the
field headed out onto the first climb of the day, with Jeff Schalk, Jeremiah
Bishop (Cannondale), and Christian Tanguy (Team CF) all near the front. The
early stages of the race are primarily gravel road, and a large group of over
20 riders crested the first climb together.
The contenders were content to
watch each other through the first two aid stations, but on the gravel road
climb just before aid station three Nick Waite (GT/Kenda/Pro Tested) threw down
a huge acceleration, dropping everyone but Schalk. "That attack really blew the
race apart,” Schalk said. "I rode with Nick for a while, and then after the
third aid station he started to fade a little bit.” Schalk rode the final fifty
miles solo, avoiding mechanicals and cruising to another NUE win.
Behind there was a furious battle
for the final podium spots. Christian Tanguy suffered an early mechanical—he
bent his chain on a 30 mph descent. "It took me a while to get it un-jammed
(from the crankset),” he said, "and then it was skipping.” Facing the prospect
of a DNF, Tanguy was able to make it to an aid station and get a new chain. He
then rode a brilliant race, making the most of the road sections to catch
everyone but Schalk en route to a second place finish.
Nick Waite managed to hold onto
third, less than a minute ahead of Jeremiah Bishop and Brandon Draugelis.
Bishop held on to take fourth, just 12 seconds ahead of Draugelis.
In the women's event the lead group also kept things close in the easrly running as Team CF tammates Cheryl Sornson and Selene Yeager hooked up. iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com rider Karen Potter bridged up to the CF duo.
As the roads ended and trails started Sornson moved to the front while Yaeger and Potter stayed together. After a slight mishap when Yeager's saddle bag fell off Potter opened a gap that would prove insurmountable.
Sornson continued to crank away the miles showing why she is the hottest rider on the NUE circuit right now. With no more than 3-5 minutes separating the front two, Sornson's mental toughness kept her out front.
Finally, Sornson would take the win followed by Potter while Brenda Simril charged past Vicki Barclay just miles from the finish to take third. Selene Yaeger held on for the final podium spot in fifth.
1, Cheryl Sornson (Team CF) 8:06:00
2, Karen Potter (MTBracenews.com) 8:15:21
3, Brenda Simril 8:20:38
4, Vicki Barclay 8:22:15
5, Selen Yeager 8:42:32
1, Jeff Schalk 6:34:37
2, Christian Tanguy 6:39:42
3, Nick Waite 6:52:45
4, Jeremiah Bishop 6:53:40
5, Brandon Draugelis 6:53:52
6, Christopher Beck
7, John Burns
8, Robert Lichtenwalker
9, Nathan O'Neill
10, Will Baker
11, Justin Pokrivka
12, Andy Gorski
13, Ezra Mullen
14, Ryan Lariviere
15, Geffy Pflug