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Full Report and Pics - Lumberjack 100 - Manistee MI

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |June 19, 2010 4:22 PM
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written by: Shannon Boffeli

In the deep woods of the Manistee National Forest over 300 hearty mountain bike souls attempted to race 100 miles of classic northern Michigan singletrack.

The Lumberjack 100 is the third round in the National Ultra-endurance (NUE) series and for the first time this season weather did not play a significant role in the outcome of the race. Skies were clear blue Saturday morning with moderate temperatures and low humidity.

The race started with a 2-mile paved road before entering the tree –lined singletrack. Last year’s winner Jeff Schalk pulled the group along the road as all the other competitors marked the two-time Lumberjack champion.

Once on the dirt Schalk was joined up front by perennial NUE contenders Michael Simonson (Gary Fisher 29er Crew), Christian Tanguy (Team CF), and Michigan rider Derek Graham (Bissell).

With no long climbs and limited technical sections the Lumberjack course usually produces a fair amount of pack riding. Past years have ended in close sprints for the win. Things started out that way but quickly changed.

Graham was the first to lose contact as a mechanical on the first of three laps dropped him well back in the field. Next, Simonson was struck by a punctured tire around the halfway point.

Schalk continued to push the pace at the front and, with about 50 miles to go, found himself alone out front. The Trek Co-Op rider had gapped Christian Tanguy and kept on the gas. So much so that his second lap was actually his fastest at an incredible time of 2 hours 8 minutes for 33 miles of trail.

Although Graham had dropped out of the top-20 after his mishap he was now mounting a furious comeback. He charged through the field knocking off groups of riders at a time. Moving past Simonson and into third place just behind the steady Tanguy.

At the front Schalk stayed on the gas not knowing what his time gap actually was. He assumed his challengers were just behind him.

In the end Schalk had built a tremendous lead finally crossing the line over 15 minutes out front. After the race a satisfied Schalk said, " I was just happy not to be riding in the mud.”

Behind in the leader Tanguy did enough to hold onto second while Graham concluded his comeback in third place. Simonson moved his way into fourth.

The final podium spot went to Aussie Andrew Fellows (Ay-Up Lights).

The women’s event packed just as much excitement.  A battle among two former Lumberjack winners, last year’s runner-up, and a 100-mile first-timer quickly shaped up.

2008 winner Cheryl Sornson led the charge into the dirt. She was followed closely by ‘08/’09 runner-up Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/ and 100 mile first-timer Jen Hanks (Revolution/Peak Fasteners).

Sornson asserted herself early getting a good margin and logging the fastest women’s lap time of 2 hours 32 minutes.

Meanwhile, Salt Lake City rider, Jen Hanks moved into second place overtaking Potter halfway through the opening lap.

The positions remained steady throughout the second lap with Sornson leading followed by Hanks, Potter, and two-time Lumberjack winner Danielle Musto (Salsa) with less than 5 minutes between 2nd and 4th.

Musto, who chose to ride a singlespeed, had paced herself perfectly and immediately started to apply pressure. She bridged up to Potter halfway through the final lap. Potter, who just off a second place finish at the Transylvania Epic, tried to stay with the Salsa rider but didn’t have the legs.

Next Musto set her sights on Hanks and finally closed the gap with just 4 miles left. That was as close as she would get to overtaking the Revolution rider. Hanks immediately attacked gapping the singlespeed rider on one of the short steep climbs. Once clear she emptied the rest of her tank holding off her challenger and pulling over a minute ahead by the finish.

In the end Sornson took her second Lumberjack win with an impressive show of strength fighting through cramps on the final lap. Hanks took second followed by Musto and Potter.

Namrita O’Dea took the final podium spot, a nice treat after traveling up from Atlanta for the race.


Open Women

1, Cheryl Sorenson (Team CF) 8.19.51
2, Jen Hanks (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) 8.27.52
3, Danielle Musto (Salsa) 8.29.01
4, Karen Potter (iRide Adventures/ 8.32.26
5, Namrita O-Dea (Topeak/Ergon) 9.01.50
6, Marilyn Kamp
7, Miki Kedo
8, Melissa Sundermann
9, Ruth Cunningham
10, Elizabeth McCalley

Open Men

1, Jeff Schalk (Trek Racing Co-Op) 6.33.49
2, Christian Tanguy (Team CF) 6.51.34
3, Derek Graham (Bissell) 6.52.06
4, Michael Simonson (Gary Fisher 29er Crew) 7.01.06
5, Andrew Fellows (Ay-Up Lights) 7.01.54
6, Travis Mullen 7.13.13
7, Steve Dempsey 7.18.38
8, John Meyers 7.19.32
9, Garth Prosser (Cannondale) 7.20.16
10, Andy Applegate 7.22.59
11, Ezra Mullen
12, Eddie O-Dea (Topeak/Ergon)
13, Adam Naish
14, Bradley Schmalzer
15, Dan Kotwicki

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