Pierre’s Hole 50/100 – Grand Targhee Resort, Wyoming
Jeff Schalk Wins with New Course Record While Amanda Carey Dominates
Written by: Shannon Boffeli
The eighth race on the National Ultra Endurance series
visits another high-altitude destination at Grand Targhee Resort. Tucked in the
shadows of the iconic Grand Tetons, race director Troy Barry has carved out 25
miles of grueling and treacherous mountain riding.The Pierre’s Hole 50/100 is a
true challenge for any rider, including the most experienced mountain bike
The Pierre’s Hole course offers up a variety of terrain from
long road climbs to rocky, rooty singletrack. With almost 4,000 feet of
climbing per lap, climbing legs were a must.
Idyllic condtions greeted the 275 racers on the Pierre’s
Hole start line. Recent rains left the course tacky and dust-free while clear
skies and incredible views of the Teton peaks treated riders throughout the
Off the start the leaders immediately charged up the opening
climb and into the high-speed descent down Millcreek.
After Millcreek, a 3-man group including Jeff Schalk (Trek
Racing Co-Op), Josh Tostado (Bach Builders), and Cary Smith (Hammer Nutrition)
gapped the field on the following climb creating the first selection of the
Soon after both Schalk and Tostado flatted within just
minutes of each other. That left Smith out front. "I could tell that Jeff was
riding really well,” Cary Smith said after the race. "I felt good about being
out front but I knew I was probably going to need a bigger buffer than that to
hold him off.”
And he was right. After remounting, the Trek rider Schalk
continued his ferocious pace and rejoined Smith on the second lap. The two
leaders battled it out matching each other on the climbs until Smith stopped
for a feed and Schalk continued on.
Once out front Schalk pushed the pace even harder and kept
Smith out of reach.
Smith rode comfortably in second while Tostado was able to
pass his way back up into the third spot but never bridged back up to the
leaders. At the finish Tostado had this to say, "I rode hard but I had to think
about how hard I was going to push myself. With Breck Epic starting next week I
wasn’t sure I wanted to really bury myself today.”
Behind the front three an every changing list of riders were
battling for the final podiums spots. Turning in one of the most impressive
rides of the day Stig Somme (GPOA) recovered from a mid-race flat that dropped him
outside the top-20 riders. Somme charged through the field, looking fresh and
strong even late in the race The Norwegian rider, who lives in Denver, blazed
his way through the field ultimately taking fourth place at the finish.
Fifth place went to Eddie O’Dea (Topeak/Ergon) who rode a
perfectly paced ride. After spending the first 50 miles riding just outside the
top-10, O’Dea had plenty left in the tank for the second half.
In the end no one could touch Jeff Schalk who took home his
fifth win on the 2011 NUE series. The win at Pierre’s Hole won’t guarantee
Schalk the 2011 NUE series title. The series includes a rider’s best 4 results
when deciding the winner. Christian Tanguy has 3 NUE wins this year and a win
at the series finals in Shenandoah would make him the series champion.
Christian Tanguy won the 2010 Shenandoah 100.
The women’s event included current NUE series leader and
defending champion Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) who entered the race as the
runaway favorite. Carey lives in near by Victor, Idaho and frequents the trails at Grand Targhee Resort.
From the start Carey took the lead and never left any doubt
that another NUE win was in here future.
The Kenda rider bombed down the descents never backing off
despite her commanding lead. While the open road climbs catered to her powerful
riding style. As the race wore on her elite-level fitness shown through. The
second half of the race saw Carey steadily working her way through the open
men’s field. Carey later said, "It can be tough being out there by yourself.
It’s hard to stay motivated but there are always guys around, I usually pick
one of them as a carrot.”
Chasing the men’s group worked well for Carey as she moved
all the way up into the top-10 by the finish.
Behind the leader Namrita O’Dea (Topeak/Ergon) and Jenelle
Kremer (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) challenged each other for the second spot.
Kremer started off with the advantage until a soft tire forced her to stop at
which point O’Dea took up second.
Kremer pushed the pace and overtook O’Dea on one of the
subsequent climbs. The two matched each other throughout the entire race but O’Dea
was never able to close the gap on Kremer. The two finished with just minutes
After the race a very happy Jenelle Kremer said simply, "That hurt. A lot."
Completing a herculean feat, most likely never to be matched, Pittsburgh rider Gerry Pflug (Salsa) raced four NUE 100-mile events in four weeks winning them all in the singlespeed division. After the race Pflug said he was tired but added he didn't think this race was as hard as the Breckenridge 100. When asked which race has been his favorite he said, "Every time I finish one of these races I think 'that was the best one' then I do the next and it seems like the best. I would have to say the Wilderness 101 is my all time favorite."
Next the NUE moves back east for the Fool’s Gold 100 in Dahlonega,
Georgia on August 20th. Stay tuned to MTBRaceNews.com for coverage of all the
NUE series races.
1, Jeff Schalk (Trek Racing Co-Op) 7:48:07
2, Cary Smith (Hammer Nutrition) 8:02:40
3, Josh Tostado (Bach Builders) 8:13:39
4, Stig Somme (GPOA) 8:41:48
5, Eddie O'Dea (Topeak/Ergon) 8:56:48
6, John Burns
7, Chad Harris (Racer's Cycle Service)
8, Jason Berning (Peaked)
9, Josh Wolfe (TruckerCo.com)
10, Ian Stanford
11, Dustin Phillips
12, Ernesto Marenchin
13, Ryan Ashbridge
14, Sam Sweetser
15, Bill Martin
16, Rob Spreng
17, Gabe Klamer
18, Shannon Boffeli
19, John Taft
20, Neil Benton
21, Chris Pace
22, David Hoffman
23, Christian Williams
24, Nima Mahak
25, Brandon Banks
26, Gordon Rust
1, Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) 9.12
2, Jenelle Kremer (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) 10.47
3, Namrita O'Dea (Topeak/Ergon) 10.50
4, Sara Schroeder
5, Amy Chiuchiolo (GAS/Intrinsik)
6, Ellen Guthrie
7, Tracy Petervary
8, Nicole Gunton
1, Gerry Pflug (Salsa)
2, Michael Shane (Club Ride Apparel)
3, AJ Linnell (Peaked Sports)
4, Dejay Birch (Niner/Ergon)
5, Greg Martin
6, Paddy Humenny
7, Loren Gard
8, Joel Arellano
9, Richard Long