Jeff Shalk and Cheryl Sornson took the wins in Round #3 of the
National Ultra Endurance series at the Mohican 100 this weekend.
skies, ninety plus degree temperatures, and dry trails met racers at the start
line of the Mohican 100 in Loudonville, OH this year, conditions that were the
polar opposite of the mud-fest that was the 2010 race. With nearly 600 racers
registered for the 100-mile and 100k-races, organizers split the field for the
first time to give riders more space in the opening singletrack sections. First
off were the 100-mile racers, with the 100k starters 15 minutes behind.
a $200 prime awaiting the first 100-mile racer to the Loudonville city limits
(provided they finished the race), the field was strung out from the gun. It
was Robert Marion (American Classic) who took the sprint over eventual 2ndplace finisher Michael Simonson (RBS Trek).
a quick climb out of town the race funneled into nearly 20 miles of fast
singletrack riding. Early on it was multi-time Breckenridge 100 winner Josh
Tostado (Bach Builders) who relentlessly pushed the pace with Brandon Draugelis
(Team CF). With the pressure coming from Tostado, a lead group of five riders
formed early. Joining Tostado and Draugelis were Simonson, Christian Tanguy
(Team CF), and Jeff Schalk (Trek).
spent much of the first 25 miles yo-yoing off the back of the lead group. "I
really didn’t think it was going to be my day,” Schalk said after the race. But
by mile 40 the pace at the front had slowed slightly, and Schalk was able to
rejoin the front of the race for good. "Once we were back together I put in a
few attacks,” he said, and only Simonson was able to stay with him.
two worked together, building their lead, but on the long rail trail section
Simonson began to sit in, feeling the effort. By mile 75 Simonson had cracked
and Schalk went solo off the front. "I didn’t know where the guys behind were,”
Schalk said, "I was afraid that Christian would come back, so I just drilled
the pace and went as hard as I could.”
the finish Schalk had more than 25 minutes on 2nd placed Simonson,
crossing the line in 6:45:37, a new course record. Draugelis and Tanguy rolled
across the line together to take 3rd and 4threspectively, while Tostado hung on to claim the final spot on the podium.
the women’s race it was Cheryl Sornson who dominated from the gun. "Churtle
Turtle,” as she is known, rode smoothly through the opening singletrack and had
a lead by the first aid station. "I had a really good first half of the race,”
she said afterwards. Though the heat made for a difficult second half, Sornson
was able to work with some of the men on the long rail trail sections where the
flatter terrain and higher speeds made riding with a group advantageous.
finished in 8:36:03, slower than she’d hoped, but good enough for the win.
Behind it was Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing) taking the 2nd spot
on the podium. Andrea Wilson (Outdoors), riding a rigid singlespeed no less,
the singlespeed race it was multi-time NUE series champion Gerry Pflug
(Salsa)/No Tubes/Pro Bikes) taking the victory in 7:39:40. Matthew Ferrari
(Hubcap Freeze0Thaw Cycles) and Jason Pruitt (29er Crew) rounded out the top