NUE Lumberjack 100

Written by: Jen Toops

Photos: Jen Toops

The 14th annual Founders Brewing Lumberjack 100 is Michigan’s original one hundred mile mountain bike race.  Taking place in Wellston, Michigan, the race course is located within the Manistee National forest and is ninety percent singletrack. Each lap consist of thirty-three miles of sandy loose soil, fast flowing hills, and three thousand feet of climbing. Racers complete three laps and support crews set up along the finish providing “pit style” aid to racers.

Part of the NUE series, the Lumberjack is capped at four hundred-forty racers and sells out within hours. This year four hundred and four racers eagerly hit the start line and seventy-four of those had to DNF.  Rain the day before hardened up the sandy loose soil, making for near perfect racing conditions. The weather remained cool and cloudy skies held throughout the race as you could hear thunder in the distance.

Men’s Open

Johnson wins the AXE with back-to-back wins at Lumberjack 100

Dylan Johnson wins the Men’s Open

Men’s Open Podium

The 2017 NUE Epic Series winner Dylan Johnson (Lesko MTB Racing), repeats at Lumberjack 100 taking the win for two years in a row. Finishing only a couple minutes ahead, he gapped the men’s field at the end of the third lap taking the win with a time of 6:41:25.

“With Lumberjack being a relatively flat course a large group tends to stay together at the front. That was the case this year as well with riders slowly dropping of as the race progressed. The first big move came from Jordan Wakeley at the end of the first lap. Going into the second lap the front group was reduced to less than ten riders. For the most part the pace was steady after that. We all knew that fireworks were going go off on the last lap. By the last lap six of us remained in the front. The longest climb of the race comes with 12 miles to go so made sure I was leading into it. I pushed hard to test the waters. I saw I had a small gap over the group so decided to go for it. From that point it was all out to the finish.”

Just two minutes back, Brian Schworm (Think Green-Bicycle Face) finishes second coming in at 6:43:56.

“2018 Lumberjack 100 was a blast! Fast flowing singletrack with some hills mixed in made for an awesome course and the looming rain showers held down the temperatures for some great conditions for racing. After racing 85 miles with an incredibly fast group a mishap with my derailleur and chain cost me 90 seconds and (I thought) put me out of contention. I kept chasing and was able to move up to second by the finish. Thanks to Think Green-Bicycle Face p/b SWORD Cycling Team and to my wife Jennifer Schworm for their continued support!  Without their help none of this would be possible.  Up next is the USA Cycling XC Nationals in West Virginia followed by the NUE Series race Wilderness 101.”

Coming in just a second back from Schworm is Christian Tanguy (RBS Cycling Team), with a finishing time of 6:43:57.

Women’s Open

Williams gets her first Win at Lumberjack 100

Carla Williams wins the Women’s Open

Women’s Open podium

Taking top honors in the women’s field is, 2017 NUE Epic winner Carla Williams (Joe’s Bike Shop), finishing at 7:23:47 about a half hour ahead of the rest of the women’s field.

“Race start was at 7 down a straight road followed by a bottleneck into the 1st singletrack section. I had a good start, and I knew I was going to have to go out fast to stay ahead of Chase who won this race last year. The first 8-10 miles of the course was just a single file line of riders in front and behind me, and I worked hard to hold my position.

I finished lap 1 and was definitely feeling the effort which was not a good sign given I had 2 more laps to go. I was using a camel pack and my plan was to only stop once to get more water so I rolled through the tent without stopping. I decided I would have to slow down the pace. I passed Anthony at the start of lap 2 who was suffering more than I was. I tried to focus on eating my Huma gels, drinking Gatorade, holding speed through the corners and spinning up the hills to let my legs recover. I was feeling a little nauseous and was also getting nervous about holding my lead.

Miraculously, about halfway through the second lap, something flipped. I have no idea what but it was like my body kicked into endurance mode and remembered how to race 100 miles. I was happy, my legs felt good, I no longer felt sick, and I knew I would have no trouble finishing the race strong.

I started attacking again and caught up to Peyton on his ss. I followed him into the start/finish at the end of lap 2, quickly switched camel packs and took off to catch back up to him and start lap 3. I was still feeling great and managed to catch up to Jeff Rupnow and followed his wheel through the trees towards the end of lap 2 and traded pulls on the fire road leading into the last 5 miles of singletrack. He pulled ahead and finished a few minutes ahead of me and I came in at 7:23 and won the race in the women’s open. I would like to thanks Joe’s Bike Shop, ESI grips, Maxxis tires, Huma Gel, and Rudy Project for their support. Next race: High Cascades 100”

Last years Lumberjack 100 winner, Chase Edwards (CZ Racing), took second place finishing with a time of 7:52.

“The Lumberjack 100 course helps me dial in my cornering skills each year. I was stoked about the fast conditions on race day! I had some fun chasing down Carla on the first lap, but my body just wasn’t up to the challenge of hanging on to her. I finally found my groove on the third lap (it was 8:30 in the morning Arizona time, and I was finally awake!). My finish time was a lot slower than previous years even with the fast conditions, but I pushed hard on the punchy climbs for the entire race, so I can’t complain. This race is a blast! Sponsor: Construction Zone Racing.”

Coming off a sixth place finish at the 2017 Lumberjack, Amanda Lappe (Maplewood Bicycle), gets the third podium position in 2018 with a time of 8:06:35.

“This was my second Lumberjack, and the trails were just as fast and flowy as I remembered from last year.  I spent a lot of the first lap picking my way through groups until I settled in with a couple people who were doing a similar pace as me.  I wasn’t feeling the greatest for the first part of the second lap, but I caught up to a group that was led by Noelle.  I sat on the back for a while, trying to eat and drink until I felt decent again.  I was able to get around her and for the rest of the second lap, I tried my best to put distance between us.  I was flying solo on this trip, so I had stashed my food and water in the Hammer neutral aid tent and the volunteers there were amazing. They had me in and out super quick to start the third lap.  My legs were toast by the time I hit the 10 miles to go sign and those last few hills were a grind.  I was super happy to beat my time from last year and thrilled when I realized I had gotten third.  Thanks to my coach, Chris Mileski ( for helping me get ready for this race and Maplewood Bicycles in St. Louis for keeping my bikes dialed.”


Randolph get his first ever NUE win!

Singlespeed podium

Peyton Randolph wins Singlespeed

Winning his first ever NUE race and earning the top step in the singlespeed division, Peyton Randolph, finished in 7:29:13.

“I learned my lesson at Mohican 2 weeks ago and started a few rows back to keep my opening pace calm and comfy. The two-mile road section to the jeep trail was highlighted by a saturated road and a 4” fat tire directly in front of me to ensure I was properly hydrated. Once we hit singletrack, it was on. My 32:18 gearing was smooth for 2 laps. The 3rd lap, my legs decided 100 miles is just unnecessary and that I was on my own for the final 33. The first ½ lap I rode with fellow Ohio SS’er Anthony Toops. We chatted quite a bit. He made a few excuses about tire pressure and how he hasn’t ridden since Mohican, then left me in the dust to ride by my lonesome. We’re OK now though. He bought me a cake after the race but I’m concerned that he didn’t eat any of it. Perhaps one of his tactics? After the mid-lap aid station of lap 2, super wicked fast Carla Williams tagged on the back of my wheel and for some reason wanted to stay there. I’m not boasting that I’m good at technical areas and climbing, but that’s just about all I’ve got going for me. I was riding a hard pace for myself and Carla effortlessly stuck on my knobbies back there jamming to tunes and having a jolly good time. Just when you think you’re starting to whip your body into shape, a true athlete shows you how it’s done. ½ way through the 3rd lap, I was fading and Carla had more in the tank so she took off. By far the best part of the 3rd lap was getting passed by very part-time Ohio ss’er Michael Gottfried with only ~3 miles to go (riding Lumberjack with shifting buttons). My brain had melted by this point so I mumbled some hurtful suggestions his direction as he passed. As I entered the finish line area, I see Michael messing with his chain maybe 100’ from the finish! Apparently, he had some issues with his gear things. I think I acted very mature by laughing and pointing as I slowly rode by to victory over my good friend Michael. We ate burgers together later that night so all is good. Thanks Lumberjack crew for the best trophy that may ever grace our house! Thanks to my wife Kayla for allowing us to take so many bicycle vacations, to all our Ohio friends for making the Airbnb house a blast the entire weekend, and to Ryan at Wheelie Fun Bike shop in Powell, OH for setting me up with the perfect fit. Next race is Wilderness 101 in a few weeks.”

Only a few minutes back, Vincent Roberge, finished second with a time of 7:31:38.  Lane Myers took the third spot finishing in 7:34:22.

Master’s 50+

Devin Doboer get second NUE win for 2018

Masters’s 50+ podium

Devin Deboer wins Master’s 50+ class

Coming off a win at the NUE Mohican 100, Devin Deboer (Fusion/ New Holland Brewing), takes the win in master’s 50+ with a time of 7:09:42. This is back to back wins for Deboer in the NUE Epic series in 2018.  About ten minutes back and finishing second, Bradley Cobb (Motor Mile Racing/SCV) finished in 7:19:01.  Rounding out the podium, John Risk (R2R), took third place at 7:29:40.


Fatbike podium

Winning the fat bike division, Allen Wheeler (Grand Rapids Bicycle Company), finished in 7:22:57. Twelve minutes back, Brad Lako (KLM/Cold Stone) took the second step at 7:35:48.

“The decision to race “Fat” at Lumberjack100 is simply a challenge on top of a challenge – why not!? But to do the race and try to win the fat category is simply just, well, not advised.

LBJ started out like most years, rain the night before (which is a good thing) hot, humid and early. The strategy for me was simple: pace yourself right on the edge of zone 2 and zone 3 and managing the efforts on the hills. Lugging a 22lbs Specialized Fat Boy, set up with FastTrack 4.0 tires at 9psi in the front and 11psi in the rear up the hills was actually not all that bad. The extra noticeable effort for me was when the bike slowed down. The effort to overcome the big tires was huge at times and the bike just never feels snappy. Nonetheless, I soldiered on negative splitting each of my lap times and trying to keep the effort as high as possible as I knew I was in the top three after lap one. I managed to get into good groups and would leap frog them when I felt them starting to settle in. On the last lap I was holing 2nd place firmly pushing as hard as I could on the last lap in hopes to catch the leader. I rolled across the line in 7hrs 35min securing 2nd place. I remember thinking, I’m glad that’s over and will never do that again. But remembered this was my second LBJ FAT and 6th attempt. I guess I’ll be back next year! Huge thanks to my main sponsors/supporters: KLM Bike and Fitness and Cold Stone Creamery of Rochester Hills, MI.”

Coming in third, Jesse Gould (KLM/Cold Stone), finished in 8:04:18.

Click here for full Lumberjack 100 results

What’s next? NUE Epic Series heads to South Dakota on July 7, 2018 for the Tatanka 100. Click here to register

Fool’s Gold 100 – NUE Series Finale

KENDA NUE Series #14

Carla Williams and Dylan Johnson Wrap Up NUE Titles in Georgia

Dahlonega, Georgia

Ryan O’Dell

The Fool’s Gold 100, the final stop of the Kenda National Ultra Endurance Series, was the last opportunity for racers to improve their national ranking. Besides being the final race, Fool’s Gold also served as the NUE Series tie breaker. This year’s Fool’s Gold moved to a beautiful new location at Anderson Creek Retreat near Elijay, GA, that included camping. Racers and spectators were treated to amazing views, including Springer Mountain, the southernmost point of the Appalachian trail.

In addition to race day awards, the top five NUE Division winners will receive a share of the $10,000 cash purse. Each of the four division winners will also be rewarded with complimentary entry into All NUE races in 2017, a custom made NUE Champions Jersey by Voler, along with an all-expense paid trip, excluding airfare, to Costa Rica to represent NUE at the La Ruta del los Conquistadores November 3-5, . La Ruta is a three day stage race that stretches across Costa Rica from the Pacific to the Caribbean along an amazing course that includes two volcanoes, two oceans, Jungles and high-mountain passes.

Carla Williams descends on Jake Mountain. Photo by: Dashing Images LLC

Carla Williams descends on Jake Mountain. Photo by: Dashing Images LLC

Women’s Open

And the winner is, Carla Williams!

Carla Williams, Joe’s Bike Shop Racing Team, took top honors for a third straight year at the Fool’s Gold 100 finishing 7:42:09. This year Carla won first place in the NUE Series after taking second last year! Congratulations! “Fool’s Gold has some of the most fun and flowy singletrack in the NUE and it’s one of my favorite races. I was in a good position overall in the series leading up to this race and since Christy Olsen wasn’t at the start line, I could pretty much relax and just have fun out on the trails which is what I did. I pushed hard up the climbs and really enjoyed all the downhills. I was able to take 1st overall and win the women’s series! It’s been such a fun season traveling to new places, seeing old friends and making new ones, and I couldn’t be more excited to be heading to La Ruta in November.”

Simona Vincenciova, Hammer Nutrition, finished second with a time of 8:52:17. This was her fourth NUE race of the season. Anne Pike, DNA-Movement p/b Penetron, took the third spot on the podium at 9:35:38. She raced five NUE races this season and moved into third place overall in the standings. Although not present at the final race, Christy Olsen, Fat Fish Racing/Crazy Pedaler, took second place overall in the series and Linda Shinn, Blacksmith Cycle, finished fifth overall! Congratulations to all of the women’s series finishers!


Dylan Johnson stands on top of the Fool's Gold podium. Photo by: Dashing Images LLC

Dylan Johnson stands on top of the Fool’s Gold podium. Photo by: Dashing Images LLC

Men’s Open

Dylan Johnson battles to get the win and takes the NUE Series!

With a winning time of 6:37:30, Dylan Johnson, Giant Co-Factory Northeast, fought his way to a Fool’s Gold finish, and took first place in the NUE Series! “I came in to the NUE final at Fool’s Gold with the lead in the series but by no means did I have it locked up. Brian Schworm, who’d been on my heels all season, was in a position to take the series win from me if he won at Fool’s Gold. I knew it would be a tough final and that Schworm would throw everything he had at me. Sure enough, the pace started very high and it didn’t take long before Brian and I found ourselves off the front in a one on one battle.

For the most part I stayed on Brian’s wheel knowing that I would have the advantage on the long gravel climb ten miles from the finish. Brian didn’t make it easy for me though. He charged every section and at times got a slight gap on me but luckily I was always able to reel him back in. We made it to the base of the final climb together and as soon as the grade got steep I made a move and put a little distance between myself and Brian and was able to hold it to the finish. It’s been an amazing season and I still can’t believe I pulled of the series win. I’d like to congratulate all the NUE series competitors this year, putting together 4 good races is no easy task. I can’t wait to represent the series at LaRuta!”

Six minutes later, Brian Schworm, Think Green VO2 Multipsort p/b SWORD, finished second with a time of 6:43:48. With this finish, Brian also placed second overall in the NUE Series. “The Fool’s Gold 90 mile race was the final of the NUE series and was decisive in determining the overall winner. There were three racers with a mathematical chance of winning: Dylan Johnson, Taylor Lideen, and me, and all of us were preregistered. I knew I needed to win and felt good about my chances.

The course is one of my favorites with great flow on fast trails with lots of climbing plus I had my teammate Nathaniel Cornelius to help out. When we lined up for the start of the race, I noticed Taylor was not present. Of course, Dylan was there with other contenders Tomasz Golas, Heath Thumel, Stewart Gross, and my teammate Nate. Soon into the first big climb these racers with singlespeed extraordinaire Gordon Wadsworth established a bit of a gap on the others. As we started descending the other side, I noticed that Nate and I, with Tomasz close behind, had a small gap on the others so I pressed the pace. I knew this wouldn’t be a decisive move but I thought we could make Dylan burn a match to bridge back up. Once at the bottom, Nate took over and with his road background, put the hammer down. Tomasz and I could barely hold on and we had a small gap.

Apparently behind us, Dylan, Heath, and Stewart joined forces and were able to catch back up before we hit the trail section of the course. Once on the trails, Nate continued to lead with a strong pace with the rest of us in tow until we reached aid station two. There some of us stopped, but some didn’t. This busted up the group and I found myself in the back due to a “natural break”. It took nearly thirty minutes but I worked my way back to the front with Dylan and Tomasz. We then rode together until the top of Bull Mountain.

Once we created the summit I went full-throttle to try and distance myself with my full suspension Specialized Epic versus Dylan’s hardtail. A couple times I gained a bit of a gap but Dylan was always able to close it down. On the next lap we rode quickly but nothing significant until will we reached the steep climbs before and ascending Bull Mountain. I felt very strong up these climbs but was uncertain about Dylan. It seemed like I may have a gotten a couple small gaps but, again, he closed them down quickly. On the following descent I tried again, in vain, to get away. Dylan was always right there.

Now it was down to the final and largest climb over Nimblewill Gap. Dylan and I approached he hill slowly, even conversing about riding and such, but the moment we hit the climb, Dylan accelerated like a rocket ship. I wasn’t even able to hang with him for a minute. I was impressed!  Anyway, I still carried on up the hill to secure my second position in the race and second in the series. I knew I gave it all I had and was aggressive during the race but Dylan was simply faster. Of course I am very happy with my NUE results this year with two wins and four seconds. Dylan is an incredible racer and person. I am very happy for him winning the overall and for myself for finishing second. Thanks to my team and my supportive wife, Jennifer. Now, it’s time for some R&R and then start thinking about next year!”

Tomasz Golaz, DRT, completed the race in third place with a time of 6:54:30 at Fool’s Gold. Taylor Lideen, Pivot Cycles/92fifty, finished third in the overall NUE Series.

John Haddock on his way to a win in the SS category. Photo by: Dashing Images LLC

John Haddock on his way to a win in the SS category. Photo by: Dashing Images LLC


Haddock First at FG100, moves up to third overall in the NUE Race Series!

Racing in his sixth NUE of the season, John Haddock, J. A. King / Farnsworth Bicycles, achieved the top spot! He came in with an impressive time of 7:25:50. “I’d heard great things about the trails and scene down at Fool’s Gold, so I thought I’d head down to North GA and check it out! Plus, a bunch of buddies were going and my wife would join, which made the call even easier. My overall impressions of the race were as expected: a really cool course with a good mix of climbing, gravel, road, and a good helping of generally buff singletrack. Onsite camping was superb, the aid stations were great and course markings were perfect.

The race started out fairly tame but kicked up a notch once we hit the first climb. I saw the lead group pull away and settled into a fast, but manageable pace, with Gordon ahead and Scott close behind. On the rough Nimblewill descent, I was caught by some geared riders and eventually worked my way into a group on the road consisting of a now-injured Gordon Wadsworth, Greg Golet, Nick Bragg and Carla Williams. I entered the trails first and gradually pulled away from the group. I would find out at Aid 4 that Gordon pulled out due to injuries from a bad spill. After distancing the group, I rode by myself for the rest of the day, enjoying the woods and feeling good overall. The scene at the finish was excellent, with tasty food, great beverages, bathrooms and shady seating. Thank you to Race Director Lisa Randall for hosting a wonderful final event of the 2016 NUE season. Also, huge thanks to J. A. King and our team sponsors for all of their support this year.” With his win at Fool’s Gold, John Haddock improved to third overall in the NUE Series.

Scott Rusinko, Nox Composites, took second place at 8:00:12. Joseph Stroz, Stroz Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab, P.C., came in third place with a time of 8:15:05.

Overall for the NUE series, Gordon Wadsworth achieved first place for the third year in a row! Kip Biese, KJCoaching/Old Town Bike Shop, who completed eleven of the twelve NUE races, the greatest of any racer this season, took second overall in the series. NUE newcomer, Steven Mills, 22 years old, claimed fourth overall in the NUE Series including wins at both the High Cascades 100 and first overall at the Big Bear Grizzly 100.

50-plus winner Jeff Clayton makes his way over Jake Mountain. Photo by: Dashing Images LLC

50-plus winner Jeff Clayton makes his way over Jake Mountain. Photo by: Dashing Images LLC

Masters 50+

Clayton wins FG two years in a row, and takes the NUE Series victory!

Jeff Clayton, Georgia Neurosurgical Institute, finished in 7:39:38 which was significantly faster than his finish time last year. Tied with Greg Golet with four wins each in the NUE Series, Clayton also claimed his first overall victory in the NUE Series! “When I heard that Greg Golet had been in an accident at Rincon and probably wouldn’t be able to race at Fool’s Gold for the series tiebreaker showdown, I was disappointed…I was really looking forward to the challenge. Then came the news first from the promoter, and then from Greg himself that he would be able to race after all!

With a neutral rollout for the first few miles I took advantage, along with defending NUE Champion, Roger Masse, of riding on the front of the peloton—not something I can normally manage! It wasn’t long into the race proper before Greg came by me and slowly pulled away out of sight up the gravel road climb…damn! I figured that I could/should make up time on the descent, with Greg being somewhat mobility limited with his injuries. Sten Hertsens, another strong Master’s racer came flying around me and I was happy to follow his quicker lines to the bottom, Greg still out of sight.

I did my best to lose Sten in the singletrack leading up to aid station 2, which I eventually succeeded in doing, and also reeled in Greg. After following Greg up to aid 2, I decided that I would need to put time on him in the twisty singletrack, especially the descents. This tactic worked, albeit slowly, as he gradually receded further into the distance.  By aid 3,4 at the base of Bull Mtn, he was out of sight. That is pretty much how the race between Greg and I settled in.

I was somewhat worried going into the climb back up the gravel road toward the finish as I knew Greg would probably be out-climbing me there again. That said, I figured if I had at least a ten minute gap, short of me having a complete meltdown or mechanical, I’d hold him off.  Once I hit the last few miles of pavement, I went full speed ahead all the way until the finish.

I finished under blue skies in beautiful northern Georgia, with my teammates Van and Cody cheering me on…a great victory to cap off a very fun NUE race series. I managed to win 6 of 7 series races, each venue with its own unique characteristics and challenges. My thanks to my Master’s competition for joining me in the series as well as the many other racers I suffered with. Also, thanks to the promoters and volunteers for putting on great races, my family for their support, my sponsors including title sponsor Georgia Neurosurgical Institute, and finally, Scott Sports for producing such a capable and durable race machine, the Scott Spark 900RC.”

Greg Golet, Team Chico, fighting to get back after an injury suffered at Rincon in Costa Rica, arrived next in the tie breaker showdown with a time of 7:36:49. For the season, Golet finished second overall in the NUE series. “It’d be dishonest of me not to admit that I have pretty mixed emotions about how my NUE season ended. I feel joy and gratitude in being able to race in the finals, experience the beauty of the Georgia trails, and share fun times with others, but also frustration from having to race while injured. I had a head-on collision with a vehicle driven by a reckless driver two weeks earlier at the Rincon de la Veija Challenge (Volcano 100) in Costa Rica. This left me with a fractured scapula, and considerable soreness on the front and backsides of my ribcage. I didn’t expect to be able to race; however, I started to feel better as the event approached, and anyway, was committed to the trip east given that I had a conference to attend in North Carolina immediately afterwards.

On the day before the race I did a long pre-ride of the Jake and Bull mountain loops of the course (first time my tires touched dirt since CR), and found that I was able to ride fairly well, as long as I didn’t have to absorb jolts of the trail with my left arm, or larger hits or twists with my torso. The ride got me really psyched up! The single track was amazing, and I was thinking about this Abby Wambach interview where she was talking about how pro athletes compete all the time while injured. I stopped feeling sorry for myself, and realized that I just needed play the hand I’d been dealt. It would be better to race and not do well, then to not race and wonder how it would have turned out if I did. Plus if I won this one, I would take the series title!

Pretty early in the first big climb I passed Jeff and Roger (my main competitors), and was feeling great on the relatively smooth mostly hard-packed dirt road. The decent off the back was rough in spots, and I was perhaps a bit more cautious than I needed to be, but I didn’t want to crash (like Gordon did!). Mid-way through the Jake Mountain loop, Jeff caught and passed me. I stayed with him long enough to admire how well he was ripping the single track, but eventually he got away from me. My trail riding was OK, but I was stiffer than I needed to be, especially on the rougher descents, such as off Bull mtn. Realizing this bummed me out a bit (which was somewhat self-defeating), but I knew it was a long race and hoped that my endurance would pay off later on. Well, it didn’t; at least not enough for me to make up the deficits I suffered in the middle part of the race. Jeff finished about seven minutes ahead of me. I don’t know if I would have won if I wasn’t injured, but was pretty disappointed crossing the line. So it goes with racing some times. I’m glad that I gave it a try and am truly happy for Jeff. We hung out for quite a while after the race and he’s a great guy.

My compliments to Lisa on running a fantastic race. Everything was really professionally done. Also huge thanks to NUE Series Director, Ryan O’Dell, for putting on the best series imaginable. He always has the best interests of the riders in mind and it shows in so many ways. Thanks too to my amazing wife Debbie and my three kids for supporting me in pursuit of my dreams. I love you guys so much!”

Two-Time NUE Defending Champion, Roger Masse, Rare Disease Cycling, took third place with a time of 7:45:58 edging out Carl Reglar, Verge Sport/Test Pilot, in the battle for third place overall in the NUE Series. Reglar, who was not at the NUE Final, finished the season fourth overall.

Click Here for Full Results From Fool’s Gold 100

2017 NUE Race Series Top Five

Women’s Open:

1st Place- Carla Williams

2nd Place- Christy Olson

3rd Place- Anne Pike

4th Place- Chase Edwards

5th Place- Simona Vincenciova


Men’s Open:

1st Place: Dylan Johnson

2nd Place: Brian Schworm

3rd Place: Taylor Lideen

4th Place: Christian Tanguy

5th Place: Tomasz Golas


Men’s Master’s 50+:

1st Place: Jeff Clayton

2nd Place: Greg Golet

3rd Place: Roger Masse

4rd Place: Carl Reglar

5th Place: Sten Hertsens


Singlespeed Open:

1st Place- Gordon Wadsworth

2nd Place- Kip Biese

3rd Place- John Haddock

4rd Place- Steven Mills

5th Place- Scott Rusinko


WHATS NEXT: For the last four years, NUE Champions have a perfect record of first place finishes at LaRuta. Can they maintain such a high standard against some of the best stage racing ultra-competitors in the world?! Stay tuned right here and follow the Kenda NUE Series Champions as they compete with racers from all over the world at the LaRuta this November!

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

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/

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

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/

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

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/

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

 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/

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

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/

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

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/

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

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/

Single speed winner Bard Cobb. Photo by Sara Kristen/

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/

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

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

Click Here for full results from the 2016 Cohutta 100

KENDA NUE Finals – Georgia

Fool’s Gold 100

Carla Williams Repeats at Fool’s Gold and Keck Baker Locks Up NUE Title

Dahlonega, Georgia

Written by: Ryan O’Dell

The Fool’s Gold 100, the final stop of the Kenda National Ultra Endurance Series, became pivotal for many racers taking this final opportunity to improve their national ranking.

In addition to race day awards, the top five NUE Division winners, top 10 in the larger Men’s Open division, will receive a share of the $12,000 cash purse. Each of the four division winners will also be rewarded with complimentary entry into All NUE races in 2016, a custom made NUE Champions Jersey by Voler, along with an all-expense paid trip, including airfare, to Costa Rica to represent NUE at the La Ruta del los Conquistadores November 5-7, . La Ruta is a UCI sanctioned three day stage race that stretches across Costa Rica from the Pacific to the Caribbean along an amazing course that includes two volcanoes, two oceans, Jungles and high-mountain passes.

2015 was the first year that all divisions were decided before the championship race. Three of the four NUE Race Series Champions successfully defended their titles this year. For racer’s who had already completed three NUE races this season, needing just one more finish to become ranked and eligible for prizes, Fool’s Gold marked the final opportunity to meet the four race series minimum. All NUE Series finishers, who do not receive cash awards, receive prize packages from NUE Series sponsors.

Brenda Simril on her way to another NUE series title - photo by H&H Multimedia

Brenda Simril on her way to another NUE series title – photo by H&H Multimedia

Women’s Open

And the winner is, Carla Williams!

Carla Williams, Joe’s Bike Shop Racing Team, took top honors for a second straight year at the Fool’s Gold 100 finishing 8:55:55 moving her into second place overall in the NUE Series rankings, “I love the Fool’s Gold course. It was great to be back this year and the trails were even more fun and fast than I remembered. The course was a bit longer this year. We climbed Cooper’s Gap twice which was challenging but I like the ups and tried to set a strong pace from the start. I will definitely be back to do the NUE series next year. See you at Cohutta!”

Brenda Simril, Motor Mile Racing, finished second on the day at 9:20:45. Simril completed eight of nine races this season including first place finishes at the Bailey Hundo, Tatanka 100, and Big Bear Grizzly 100. Over many years now, Simril has completed more than 50 NUE Races and successfully defended her NUE Race Series title this year.

“This season started out very different for me due to illnesses and injuries but finally got kicked into full gear by Bailey. To repeat as the NUE Champion this year is a huge honor and something I’m extremely proud of. The women who competed in each race are super strong and competitive. It’s great to meet new folks as well as build on the friendships over the years.

Fool’s Gold is a great way to cap off the season and (race director) Lisa does a fantastic job pulling everything together. We had incredible weather and the trails were in great condition for a fast course. This year was fun because (husband) Lee is competing in the Master’s category so I had inspiration to ride hard with him even though the series overall was wrapped up for me.

Carla is incredibly strong so I knew it would take superhuman effort to beat her, which I obviously didn’t have :) Kudos to her and the great season she’s had as well.

As for La Ruta, Lee and I are absolutely thrilled to be going back. What a fantastic adventure it was last year! (race director) Roman and his staff put on an amazing event so I couldn’t be more excited to return. I can’t think of a better way to end the season.”

Fourteen minutes behind the defending champion, Liz Carrington, CRC Janitorial-Cannondale p/b Hassle Free Sports, took the third spot on the podium at 9:34:39.

Keck Baker took the open men's race and the series title in Georgia. Photo by H&H Multimedia

Keck Baker took the open men’s race and the series title in Georgia. Photo by H&H Multimedia


Men’s Open

Baker gets the win and the NUE Race Series title!

Keck Baker, Cannondale/ChampSys pb Harley Davidson, was the first to cross the line at Fool’s Gold in 7:32:41 earning a perfect score of four in the NUE Race Series that also included wins at the True Grit Epic, Wilderness 101, and the Hampshire 100. Baker earned his first ever NUE Race Series title and will travel to Costa Rica to join the three other NUE Champions who successfully defended their titles.

“I was excited to be able to toe up to the line this year healthy. With the beautiful weather, perfect trail conditions, and a stacked field there was no question that this would be a very fast and demanding race, and a perfect end to the NUE season. I showed up fully prepared to fight for a win so I could end the season proving to myself that I really deserved that NUE overall title of which I had already been crowned.

As usual, the race started when Bryan Lewis attacked at the start of the first big climb which was right after a neutral roll out. I decided to answer just for fun and, afterwards, was questioning why I did that. The field answered very quickly and the tone of the race had been set right from the start.
Up and over the top we had a modest group and then we screamed down the backside to arrive at some super-fast and, what I consider, extremely buff single track. I was able to gain the hole shot and just had a really good time carving through the forest. All day we pushed the single track about as fast as our tires would allow, especially when Bryan Lewis decided to get on the front and smash it for a good hour. We only let off the pace while out on the dirt roads that followed each section of single track.

At the start of the second lap our group was now down to just three riders, Dylan Johnson, Bryan Lewis, and me. Brian Schworm had suffered a flat into lap one dropping him and his teammate out of our group. Up the start of the big gravel road climb (second time up) we settled into a very welcoming casual pace where we were able to relax and take in some much needed calories preparing ourselves for the single track to follow. As we crested the top we were joined again by Gordon Wadsworth who was mashing a huge gear in single speed fashion.

We stopped at aid 5 to refill our bottles and I was hoping to be able to pull a few rocks out of my shoes when, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Brian Schworm flew by us going at least 25mph.  One of the best and most chilling memories of the whole ride was him looking over smiling and giving us a cheerful, “hey guys” as he blew past. I just turned to everyone and said, “I told you so”, finished my bottle fill, and then rocketed off after Bryan Lewis who was already in hot pursuit of Schworm.

Bryan and I were able to make contact with Schworm again shortly into the next single track section. Schworm was riding like a man on a mission and was hard on the throttle. The race was getting very interesting. Gordon and Dylan were not so quick through the feed zone and were never able to make contact again due to the pace setting by Schworm. I would say a little over midway through the second lap, Lewis suffered a flat at which point Schworm took the pace up one more click. He was a man determined to win and, at the least, get the second place finish he needed to move up in the NUE overall standings. He knew what he had to do and he was doing it. I was just along for the ride.

I pulled a little here and there but, deep down; I really wanted Lewis to make contact with us again for a few reasons. He is young and has the possibility for a profitable future in the sport so I would have been really happy to see him take the win. But, although he said he only messed with his flat for about a minute, the blistering pace that Schworm had decided to set was just a little too fast so I started focusing on how I might be able to best Schworm.

I had a plan in place and decided to stick with it until I sensed that Schworm needed to recover from the previous pace. I figured that my plan must change so, sensing the opportunity; I attacked on some double track rollers and was able to get clear.  It was earlier than I wanted to start an attempt at a solo march due to the nature of the course but I set off on a move that proved to be the right one.

I had a great day of racing.  I luckily suffered no flats thanks to the protection tires I was running and, while they are heavier than others, nothing can slow you down like a flat. Kudos to Conti for making a tire that is a great compromise in regards to performance and protection and another  big thanks to Cannondale for crafting the scalpel which slices through the trail with precision as its name suggests, and cliff nutrition for keeping the tank full. All of this put together by the Championsystem/Cannondale mtb team, my local shop Carytown Bicycle CO and one of my faithful sponsors of many years, Battley Harley Davidson. I am very aware that none of this might have been possible without having such great sponsors/products.

Now that I will be representing the NUE series at La Ruta, a new challenge awaits, one of adventure and suffering like I have never experienced. I had best stop typing as typing is not training and, from the looks of the event, I have no time to waste. Adventure awaits!”

Less than four minutes behind Baker, Brian Schworm, Think Green Pedal the Planet p/b Sword, finished second at 7:36:34. Schworm led the NUE Race Series through the first five races, winning both the Cohutta 100 and the Lumberjack 100 and, as a result, earning an all-expense paid trip to NUE’s newest race, The Rincon Challenge near Liberia, Costa Rica where he finished in the top fifteen.

“At the start of the race I knew I had to get second in order to secure second place in the NUE Series (Keck had a lock on first place in the overall standing) otherwise I would have been, at best, fourth place. The race started off well, we had a nice group of about seven or eight and we were going at a nice moderate pace.

Once we got to Bull Mountain I had a few issues. First, I noticed my front tire was a little low so I stopped to air it up. Complications with my CO2 inflator caused that to take longer than I expected. Secondly, on the decent I was trying to catch back on and was probably pushing it too hard because I hit a rock and completely flatted. My hopes for second were completely dashed but I wanted to continue on anyway.

After I got going, I was in tenth place and six minutes behind the leaders. I pressed on and caught two riders at the bottom of the descent and two more in the singletrack before starting lap two. Once I got to the big gravel climb, I caught Chris who was initially in the top five. That gave me a second wind because I thought the remaining four might not be too far ahead. I hammered that climb and actually caught them at the very top. From there Keck, Bryan (Lewis) and I were riding well until Bryan also flatted. I was trying to keep the pace high since it was now looking good for a second place finish in the NUE series.

Keck attacked up Bull Mountain and I was unable to respond. Fortunately, I was able to maintain a good pace to secure a second place finish in the race and second place overall in the NUE Series. I am very pleased with my second place finish in the NUE Series. I couldn’t have done it without a great team (especially my teammate Nate Cornelius), my amazing sponsors, and most importantly, my wife. I’m really looking forward to the 2016 NUE Series and giving it another go.” Four minutes behind Schworm, Bryan Lewis hung on to finish third at 7:40:42.

One of the youngest ever NUE contenders, Twenty-year-old Dylan Johnson, Scott Pro Mountain Bike Team, finished just four minutes later at 7:44:18 to place fourth. In doing so, Johnson improved his score in this “lowest point’s wins race series” to fourteen, moving his series standing up to fifth place overall in the NUE Race Series.

Ten minutes behind Johnson, defending NUE Race Series SS Champion, Gordon Wadsworth, Blue Ridge Cyclery Pivot Cycles/i9, having already successfully defended his NUE SS title, registered in the Open division riding his singlespeed Pivot, to place fifth in 7:55:43. With this finish, Wadsworth also completed four races in the Men’s Open, garnering eighth place overall in the Men’s Open Division. “


Moss First at FG100, second overall in the NUE Race Series!

Following big wins at the Mohican MTB100 and Wilderness 101 earlier this season, Bob Moss, Farnsworth Bikes/Crank Arm Brewery, put it down at the final race to finish in 8:07:53! With this victory, Moss finished the NUE Race Series second overall including second place finishes at both the Hampshire 100 and Shenandoah 100 in addition to his three wins.

Next was Peat Henry, Team Noah Foundation/Dogfish, placing second in 8:46:19. Henry’s finish moved him up to third overall in the NUE SS Series Standings following second place finishes at both the Mohican MTB100 and Tatanka 100.

Jonathan Hicks took the third spot on the podium finishing 10:10:53.


Masters 50+

Clayton puts an exclamation point on an amazing race season!

50-year-old Jeff Clayton, Super Sport Athletic Wear, smashed the competition by fifty minutes to finish in 8:03:21. Clayton, when adding this win to his wins at the Cohutta 100 and Shenandoah 100, plus his second place finish at the Mohican MTB100, moved up to second place overall in the NUE Race Series.

Although Clayton had twice gotten the best of the defending NUE Race Series Champion, Roger Masse, Rare Disease Cycling, Masse was able to successfully defend his title with a perfect score of four points that included early season wins at True Grit Epic, Mohican MTB100, Lumberjack 100, and Wilderness 101. As a result, Masse will once again represent the NUE Race Series at the LaRuta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica.

“While I was disappointed that Masters 50+ leader (winner) Roger Masse would miss the race, I was still very motivated.  I’d done the Fool’s Gold five or six times in years past, so I knew the course well. I raced well at the Shenandoah 100 and felt like I had a good idea of how to pace myself now and proper nutrition after having done a few hundies. I didn’t think I would stay with the lead group long at all up the initial long Coopers gap gravel climb but, since I wasn’t suffering too badly, I managed a good twenty minutes or so before easing up and watching the ten or so in the lead pack pull away.  From there it was a matter of coalescing with a few guys who also fell off the pace. Most of my first lap was spent back and forth with Bob Moss, he being quicker on the descents and me slightly faster on the steeper climbs.

After the first loop of the course I was feeling pretty good and led Bob and Nick Bragg up much of the second Coopers gap climb. They were busy chatting away so I guess I made a pretty nice pace for them!  We eventually caught up with Jesse Kelly and Nick decided it was time to fly and left us in his dust.  Jesse turned up the pace a little and Bob came off. We passed a couple of other “first group” guys and were making good time along the ridgeline road mostly thanks to Jesse. Jesse and I (both being older guys) descend at about the same level of sanity which helped keep us together.  I gapped him on most of the Bull mountain climb, but he fought back and caught me right at the top of the tricky Bare Hare portion.

After descending Bull Mountain together, we entered the flowy Jake mountain section and I mentioned that Bob Moss was just coming into the double aid station as we left…basically I was saying/thinking, “I don’t want that damn single speeder beating me!” so, summoning whatever I had left in my legs, I shifted up as high as I could to take on every climb and pulled away from Jesse. The last twelve miles or so were a solo ride though Jesse stayed strong and I only beat him by a couple of minutes, and held off Bob too.  I missed you Roger Masse!”

59-year-old Greg Turner, Cartecay Bikes, was next to cross the finish line at 8:53:36. “The course conditions were excellent.  The single track was fantastic.  I knew I could not ride with Jeff Clayton, so I just kept it steady. It was a long day.”

51-year-old Anthony Hergert, Rescue Racing, took third in 9:16:12. Hergert finished five out of seven NUE races this season, ending his season strong with his best finish of the year!

Four minutes later, Lee Simril, Motor Mile Racing, completed the course in 9:20:48 in fourth place. Simril had the best season of his ultra-racing career, completing eight of ten NUE races, the most of any Masters racer this season! Simril also posted his first every NUE win at the Tatanka 100 and finished in the top six at every race he completed. As a result, Simril ranks fourth overall in the NUE Series, just behind Greg Golet, Team Chico, who placed third overall.

Sixteen minutes behind Simril, David Jolin, Stark Velo, ended his season strong to finish fifth at 9:36:01 in a Masters field that has become increasingly talented and competitive since the NUE Series began in 2005. Overall, Jolin finished seven of the eight NUE Races he entered, dropping out of Hampshire only after missing a turn and getting off course. As a result, he finished the NUE Race Season in the top five overall. “Today was a perfect day for racing at Fools Gold. The course was in great shape and well-marked. I had a great start to the race with pretty much the majority of the master’s racers. Jeff Clayton, over the past few races, has been at a another level than the rest of the field (hats off). As for me, all was going well until about mile 65 when some digestive issues plagued my efforts costing me about three places and slipping to 5th place for the day.  Hat’s off to all that completed the two laps of the course. Right now, I just wanna sit back, de train and enjoy the fall season of riding at a recreation pace. The NUE series continues to be a great set of venues to go and ride mountain bikes with upwards of 600 friends. I have nothing but total respect for the winners of their respective divisions this year. Congratulations to all!”

Just one minute behind Jolin, sixth place went to 53-year-old Mark Drogalis, Toasted Head Racing, in 9:37:26, his best finish this season.

WHATS NEXT: For the last two years, NUE Champions have a perfect record of first place finishes at LaRuta. Can they maintain such a high standard against some of the best stage racing ultra-competitors in the world?! Stay tuned right here for the complete overall standings and follow the Kenda NUE Series Champions as they compete with racers from all over the world at the LaRuta this November!

Click Here for full results of the 2015 Fool’s Gold 100