Pisgah Stage Race- Stage 5 and Overall Results

Written by: Jen & Anthony Toops

Photos: Icon Media Asheville

Saturday, April 16th, 2022

The final stage of the 2022 Pisgah Stage Race is Industry Nine’s The Land of Waterfalls Route, named for the 250+ waterfalls in Transylvania County. The scenic route is 27 miles with 2301 feet in elevation gain that hits Butter Gap and Davidson River trails. Racers had a cold & wet morning to start but by the end of the stage the sun was shining bright. The final descent heads down the enduro, Bracken Mountain, and racers finish at Brevard Music center for awards and dinner.

Chris Tries (Men’s Masters) congratulated by Race Director Todd Branham of Blue Ridge Adventures
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Stage 5 Results

Women’s Open:

Kaysee Armstrong had a strong lead heading into the final stage. It was a battle for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th overall positions between Kait Boyle, Jocelyn Stel, and Taylor Kuyk-White who were only separated by a few minutes. It was unsure if Jocelyn Stel would be racing the final stage as she broke her frame on the Pilot rock descent on stage 4, but she was able to rent a bike for the day.

Kaysee Armstrong is all smiles after 5 stage wins!

Kaysee Armstrong took the stage 5 win, crowning her the overall cross county women’s winner. Kait Boyle finished strong and took 2nd, moving into 2nd overall. Taylor Kuyk-White was able to take Jocelyn on the final stage and finished 3rd moving her into the 3rd overall position.

Stage 5 women’s open podium: 1st Kaysee Armstrong, 2nd Kait Boyle, 3rd Taylor Kuyk-White

1st-Kaysee Armstrong 2:08:40

2nd-Kait Boyle 2:20:29

3rd-Taylor Kuyk-White 2:27:46

Men’s Open:

Kerry Werner had a comfortable lead heading into the final stage and was able to finish just a minute behind Carson Beckett and take the overall win. Carson Beckett was able to win stage 5 and finished 2nd overall. Cypress Gorry had another impressive finish taking 3rd on stage 5 and holding onto 3rd overall.

Stage 5 men’s open podium: 1st Carson Beckett, 2nd Kerry Werner, 3rd Cypress Gorry

1st-Carson Beckett 1:55:09

2nd-Kerry Werner 1:56:18

3rd-Cypress Gorry 1:57:22

Bracken Mountain Stage 5 Enduro

The final enduro was held on Bracken Mountain with a 1733 foot descent and 4.75 miles long. This was a fast flowing enduro with switchbacks and long pedal sections finishing at the Brevard Music Center.

Women’s Enduro:

Stage 5 women’s enduro podium: 1st Kaysee Armstrong, 2nd Kait Boyle, 3rd Jen Toops

1st-Kaysee Armstrong 24:16

2nd-Kait Boyle 26:30

3rd-Jen Toops 27:09

Jen Toops- racing co-ed duo with husband Anthony Toops snags a 3rd place enduro podium on the last stage.

Men’s Enduro:

Stage 5 men’s enduro podium: 1st Carson Beckett, 2nd Cypress Gorry, 3rd Kerry Werner

1st-Carson Beckett 21:15

2nd-Cypress Gorry 21:46

3rd-Kerry Werner 22:20

Watch the video recap!

Overall Pisgah Stage Race results

Women’s open:

Overall Cross Country women’s open podium: 1st Kaysee Armstrong, 2nd Kait Boyle, 3rd Taylor Kuyk-White

1st-Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) Knoxville, TN 13:02:40

2nd-Kait Boyle (Industry Nine- Pivot Pro Backcountry Team) Victor, ID 13:52:43

3rd-Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo P/B Industry Nine) Philadelphia, PA 13:59:14

4th-Jocelyn Stel (Cyclepath Oakville) Burlington, Ontario 14:08:11

5th-Nina Machnowski (Brevard College/Pivot Cycles/Pearl Izumi) Brevard, NC 15:42:53

Overall Pisgah Stage Race results

Men’s open:

Overall cross country men’s open podium: 1st Kerry Werner, 2nd Carson Beckett, 3rd Cypress Gorry

1st-Kerry Werner (Kona Adventure Team) Vinton, VA 10:39:44

2nd-Carson Beckett (Brevard College/Dirt Camp Devo) Brevard, NC 10:52:18

3rd-Cypress Gorry (Ride Kanuga/Specialized) Pisgah Forest, NC 11:21:02

4th-Nick Bragg (The Black Bibs/Starlight) Asheville, NC 11:26:55

5th-Kurt Refsnider (Industry Nine-Pivot Pro Backcountry Team) Prescott, AZ 11:43:43

Overall Women’s Enduro results:

1st-Kait Boyle (Industry Nine-Pivot Pro Backcountry Team) Victor, ID 1:08:51

2nd-Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) Knoxville, TN 1:09:12

3rd-Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo P/B Industry Nine) Philadelphia, PA 1:13:48

4th-Annie Schwartz (Team Noah Foundation) Saint Louis, MO 1:15:01

5th-Jen Toops (Pearl izumi/Pivot Cycles MTB Race Team) Marion, OH 1:17:08

Overall women’s enduro podium: 1st Kait Boyle, 2nd Kaysee Armstrong 3rd Taylor Kuyk-White

Overall Men’s Enduro results:

1st-Cypress Gorry (Ride Kanuga/Specialized) Pisgah Forest, NC 54:37

2nd-Kerry Werner (Kona Adventure Team) Vinton, VA 57:31

3rd-Carson Beckett (Brevard College/Dirt Camp Devo) Brevard, NC 58:55

4th-Ian Blythe (Flow Formulas TranPerfect) Broomfield, CO 1:00:29

5th-Nick Mackie, West Palm, FL 1:01:41

Overall men’s enduro podium: 1st Cypress Gorry, 2nd Kerry Werner 3rd Carson Beckett

CLICK HERE for overall stage results

Thank you to Blue Ridge Adventures team for putting on a great event!

Pisgah Stage Race- Stage 4- The Queen Stage

Written by Jen & Anthony Toops

Friday, April 15th, 2022

The Fox Factory’s Carl Schenck Route aka “The Queen Stage” was 31.5 miles long with 4113 feet of elevation gain. It included the most technical singletrack of all the stages plus a steep hike-a-bike. A cold 40 degree start gave way to sunny skies and temps in the 60’s.

Headed down Pilot Rock

Racers started at the The Cradle of Forestry-Birthplace of Forest Conservation in America inside Pisgah National forest. This stage is named after Dr. Carl Schenck who was brought to the area in 1895 by the Vanderbilt family to manage the forest. The race started on gravel and hit trails: Funnel Top, Squirrel Gap, Laurel Creek, FS5016, Laurel Mountain and Pilot Rock.

Watch the video recap!
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Women’s Open:

1st Kaysee Armstrong 3:15:31

2nd Kait Boyle 3:20:41

3rd Taylor Kuyk-White 3:23:33

Kaysee remains in the overall lead heading into stage 5. Taylor Kuyk-White in 2nd and Kait Boyle in 3rd. The women’s open class will be interesting to watch on stage five with Kait, Taylor and Jocelyn all about a minute and a half apart! Jocelyn unfortunately broke her frame heading down pilot rock so she will need to find a bike to ride for tomorrows stage.

Women’s open podium: 1st Kaysee Armstrong, 2nd Kait Boyle, 3rd Taylor Kuyk-White

Men’s Open:

1st Carson Beckett 2:38:10

2nd Kerry Werner 2:38:11

3rd Ian Blythe 2:46:19

Kerry Werner continues to lead the overall men heading into stage 5. Carson Beckett in 2nd and Cypress Gorry in 3rd.

Men’s open podium: 1st Carson Beckett, 2nd Kerry Werner, 3rd Ian Blythe
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Stage 4 Enduro- Pilot Rock

The Queen stage enduro was on the infamous Pilot Rock trail. The enduro was 2.25 miles long with a 1478 foot descent, plenty of rocks, tight technical switchbacks, roots, a creek crossing, hecklers, and a steep uphill pedal section at the end. A beast of a downhill to say the least.

Women’s Enduro:

1st Kait Boyle 12:24

2nd Annie Schwartz 13:30

3rd Kaysee Armstrong 13:31

In the overall women’s enduro, Kait Boyle remains in the lead going into the final stage. Kaysee Armstrong in 2nd and Taylor Kuyk-White in 3rd.

Women’s enduro podium: 1st Kait Boyle 12:24, 2nd Annie Schwartz 13:30, 3rd Kaysee Armstrong 13:31

Men’s Enduro:

1st Cypress Gorry 9:40

2nd Ian Blythe 10:45

3rd Nick Mackie 10:59

In the mens enduro, Cypress Gorry absolutely crushed the enduro segment and won by almost a minute. He leads the overall enduro heading into the final stage. Kerry Werner crashed heading down Pilot but remains in 2nd overall and Ian Blythe in 3rd.

Men’s enduro podium: 1st Cypress Gorry, 2nd Ian Blythe, 3rd Nick Mackie
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CLICK HERE for full results from each stage

Pisgah Stage Race- Stage 3

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Sycamore Cycles’ White Squirrel Route

Stage 3 is sponsored by Sycamore Cycles and is aptly named the White squirrel Route since Brevard is well known for white squirrels. The area was populated with white squirrels after a circus train carrying them tipped over quite a few years back. This stage offers 29.5 miles and 6000 feet of climbing. The forecasted rain held off and racers were welcomed with sunny skies later in the stage.

The race starts at the bottom of Black Mountain. Racers immediately funnel into double track up Grassy Rd and over to a rooty fast decent down Sycamore Cove. From there, they loop back around to Thrift cove and climb Black Mountain. Racers then climb up Clawhammer road and descend down Avery Creek which is a fun technical downhill. After some more gravel climbing racers head down Bennett Gap which is the Enduro for stage 3. One more gravel climb and racers headed down Black Mountain to the finish line.

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Women’s Open

1st- Kaysee Armstrong 3:24

2nd- Taylor Kuyk-Whit 3:37

3rd- Jocelyn Stel 3:43

Kaysee Armstrong (Liv) continues to add to her overall lead after her third stage win in a row with a cumulative time of 7 hours 38 minutes. Taylor Kuyk-Whit moves into 2nd overall with a cumulative time of 8 hours 7 minutes, Jocelyn Stel just a minute and a half back in 3rd. Kait Boyle moved into fourth overall but still in podium contention with a time of 8 hours 11 minutes.

1st Kaysee Armstrong, 2nd Taylor Kuyk-Whit, 3rd Jocelyn Stel

Men’s Open

1st- Carson Beckett 2:37:07.275

2nd-Kerry Werner 2:37:07.708

3rd- Nick Bragg 2:54:12

Kerry Werner holds onto the overall lead with a cumulative time of 6 hours 5 minutes. Carson Beckett in 2nd overall with a time of 6 hours 18 minutes and Cypress Gorry in third overall with a time of 6 hours 33 minutes. Nick Bragg is sitting in 4th overall just 5 minutes back.

Men’s open podium: 1st Carson Beckett, 2nd Kerry Werner, 3rd Nick Bragg
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Stage 3 enduro was a 2.5 mile 1230 ft descent down Bennett Gap. This enduro had something for everyone with a hike-a-bike, pedal sections, rock drops, massive roots and plenty of Pisgah gnar.

Women’s Enduro:

1st- Kait Boyle 14:26

2nd- Kaysee Armstrong 15:14

3rd- Taylor Kuyk-Whit 15:17

Kait Boyle continues to lead the overall women’s enduro with a cumulative time of 29 minutes 55 seconds. Kaysee Armstrong in second with a time of 31 minutes 24 seconds. Taylor Kuyk-White is hot on Kaysee’s heels with a time of 31 minutes 35 seconds.

Women’s Enduro Podium: 1st Kait Boyle, 2nd Kaysee Armstrong, 3rd Taylor Kuyk-White

Men’s Enduro:

1st- Cypress Gorry 9:47

2nd- Kerry Werner 10:40

3rd- Carson Beckett 10:43

Cypress Gorry continues to lead the overall men’s enduro with a cumulative time of 23 minutes 9 seconds. Kerry Werner in 2nd with a time of 23 minutes 59 seconds. Ian Blythe holds down 3rd place with a time of 26 minutes 11 seconds. A very close race in the men’s overall enduro with Carson Beckett, Nick Bragg, and Nick Mackie just seconds from a podium position. How will tomorrow play out after the famous Pilot Rock enduro descent?

Men’s Enduro podium: 1st Cypress Gorry, 2nd Kerry Werner, 3rd Carson Beckett
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Watch the video recap!

CLICK HERE for full results from each stage

Written by Jen & Anthony Toops

Photos by Icon Media Ashville

Pisgah Stage Race- Stage 2

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

Athletic Brewing CO’s Promise Land Route

Stage 2: Todays stage started with a police escort out of the Black Mountain trail head on 6.2 miles of pavement leading racers to the Turkey Pen area where the race started full gas. From here stage 2 showcased that true “Pisgah” style with technical roots and rocks. This stage had the highest amount of single track and included popular trails such as Mullinex, Squirrel Gap and Buckhorn Gap. Racers endured a long hike-a-bike up to Buckhorn Gap but were rewarded with the full Black Mountain decent all the way to the finish line.

Women’s Open:

1st- Kaysee Armstrong 2 hours 53 minutes

2nd-Kait Boyle 2 hours 59 minutes

3rd- Jocelyn Stel 3 hours 2 minutes.

Kaysee leads the overall women after stage 2 with Kait Boyle moving into 2nd and Jocelyn Stel 3rd.

Women’s Stage 2 Open Podium: 1st Kaysee Armstrong, 2nd Kait Boyle, 3rd Jocelyn Stel

Men’s Open:

1st- Carson Beckett 2 hours 18 mintues

2nd- Kerry Werner 2 hours 19 minutes

3rd- Tyler Clark 2 hours 20 minutes.

In the men’s open Kerry Werner takes the overall lead, followed by Tyler Clark 2nd and Cypress Gorry in third.

Men’s Stage 2 Open Podium: 1st Carson Beckett, 2nd Kerry Werner, 3rd Tyler Clark

Stage 2 Enduro was the Black Mountain descent. Black Mountain is one of the most popular trails in Pisgah with a mix of flow and technical riding losing 1320 feet over 2 miles.

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Women’s Open:

1st- Kait Boyle 9 minutes 12 seconds

2nd- Hannah Arensman 9 minutes thirty-five seconds

3rd- Kaysee Armstrong 9 minutes thirty-six seconds

Kait Boyle took the lead for the overall enduro going into stage 3. Hannah Arensman in second and Kaysee Armstrong in third.

Women’s Enduro: 1st Kait Boyle 9:12, 2nd Hannah Arensman, 3rd Kaysee Armstrong

Men’s Open:

1st- Tyler Clark 7 minutes thirty-seven seconds

2nd- Kerry Werner 7 minutes forty-three seconds

3rd- Cypress Gorry 7 minutes forty-six seconds.

Heading into stage 3, Tyler Clark is leading the overall enduro, Kerry Werner in second and Cypress Gorry in third.

Men’s Enduro: 1st Tyler Clark, 2nd Kerry Werner, 3rd Cypress Gorry
Cypress Gorry

Written by: Jen & Anthony Toops

Photos by: Icon Media Ashville

CLICK HERE for full results from each stage

Pisgah Stage Race- Stage 1

Blue Ridge Adventures

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

Squirts Looking Glass Route

For 2022, a new opening stage was unveiled, making it logistically easier on everyone. This allowed racers to start and finish in the same location for 3 days in a row. The new opening stage had a 5 mile warm up ride from the on the Brevard pathway. After arriving at the Railroad Depot park, the 15.5 mile adventure begins with a heart pumping climb up Bracken Mountain, a mix of machine built trails, showcasing the newest trail Stoney Knob, and a high speed Enduro down Joel Branch.

  • 15.5 miles / 25 km
  • 2,200 ft / 670 m  elevation gain
  • Named for Looking Glass Rock – a nearly 4,000′ tall piece of exposed whiteside granite

Women’s open:

Coming off racing the Cape Epic and the Lifetime Grand Prix, Kaysee Armstrong (Liv), from Knoxville, TN, took the win with a time of 1:20:30. Taking second with a time of 1:23:14 was, Jocelyn Stel (Liv), making the trek down from Canada to race. Rounding out the women’s open podium was, Taylor Kuyk-White (Philly Bike Expo, Industry Nine) with a time of 1:24:55

Women’s Open Podium-1st: Kaysee Armstrong, 2nd: Jocelyn Stel, 3rd: Taylor Kuyk-White

Men’s Open:

A very close race in the men’s open division. Local Cypress Gorry (Ride Kanuga Specialized), took the win on stage 1 finishing with a time of 1:08:09. Hot on his heels was another local, Tyler Clark (Brevard College), taking second with a time of 1:08:11.0. PSR veteran, Kerry Werner (Kona) from VA, rounded out the podium with a time of 1:08:11.04. This will be an exciting division to watch over the next few stages!

Men’s Open Podium- 1st: Cypress Gorry, 2nd: Tyler Clark, 3rd: Kerry Werner

Enduro: Within each stage of the Pisgah Stage Race there’s a timed Enduro segment. Racers are competing not only for bragging rights but also a cash purse given out to the overall top female and male riders at the end of the 5 stages.

Todays enduro was an all-out attack down the Joel Branch gravel forest road. Riders had to manage maintaining speed throughout the segment, with a lack of traction in the corners. The gravel definitly presented a new challenge for an enduro win.

Women’s Enduro:

1st: Hannah Arensman 6:16.4, 2nd: Kait Boyle 6:16.6, 3rd: Jocelyn Stel 6:22.3

Women’s Enduro podium-1st: Hannah Arensman, 2nd: Kait Boyle, 3rd: Jocelyn Stel

Men’s Enduro:

1st: Cypress Gorry 5:35.5, 2nd: Kerry Werner 5:35.5, 3rd: Tyler Clark 5:36

Men’s Enduro Podium: 1st: Cypress Gorry, 2nd: Kerry Werner, 3rd: Tyler Clark

CLICK HERE for full results from Stage 1

Written by: Jen & Anthony Toops

Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike EPIC- Stage Five & overall results

May 27th, 2019

Written by: Jen & Anthony Toops

The final stage of the 2019 Trans-Sylvania Epic, Bald Eagle, was the fastest and shortest of the event with 2,376ft of climbing in 22.5 miles.  Today was the last chance for racers to make moves to secure their GC positions. 

Jeff Rupnow fighting to make moves in GC position

The day started from camp and was routed mostly through trails around the scout camp.  Previous rain left some very swampy areas for riders to navigate.  This stage would also have one of the most technical and fast enduro sections of the entire race, and would claim a few riders before the day was over.

Men’s Open

Bishop trying to hold Lewis from gaining any time on stage 5

The men’s race was full gas from the gun.  Bryan Lewis threw attack after attack to try and dislodge Jeremiah Bishop and take the GC.  Gaps would form and Bishop would crawl back, never letting Lewis out of his sight. 

Lewis trying to pull away from Bishop

Bishop, who only had a 30 second advantage going in to the day, had to cover every move with that small of a lead.  The two would come to the line neck and neck with Lewis edging out Bishop by 1 second with a time of 1:23:40, to Bishop’s 1:23:41.  Kerry Werner rounded out the podium with a time of 1:28:59.

Werner staying upright on a slippery downhill

Women’s Open

Dixon fighting to hold on to her GC position

The length of todays stage would not be helpful for Marlee Dixon’s assualt on the GC lead of Britt Mason.  The two were never more than a minute apart all day.  Dixon kept the pressure on Mason from start to finish.  In the end Britt Mason finished in 1:46:36, less than 30 seconds ahead of Marlee Dixon at 1:47:01, and Emily Werner was third with a time of 1:52:20.

Emily Werner gets 3rd on stage 5 and her first podium finish of TSE
Stage 5 highlights from Dirtwire TV

For stage five results CLICK HERE

Overall 5 day Men’s Open results:

1st Jeremiah Bishop 10:43:09, 2nd Bryan Lewis 10:43:48, 3rd Kerry Werner 11:06:43, 4th John Petrylak 11:43:00, 5th Luke Hlavenka 12:15:10

Overall 5 day Women’s Open results:

1st Britt Mason 13:37:07, 2nd Marlee Dixon 13:42:22, 3rd Julia Thumel 13:57:54, 4th Bryna Blanchard 14:32:59, 5th Emily Werner 14:33:49.

Overall results CLICK HERE


TSE will return in 2020 for it’s 10th Edition! The five day race will be May 21-25, 2020 with the three day option being held May 23-25, 2020.

Registration will open August 1, 2019!

Photo credit: @iconmediaasheville & @bruceBuckley

NUE Big Bear Grizzly 100k

NUE Big Bear Grizzly 100k

Written by @JenToops

The NUE series headed to the San Bernardino mountains in sunny Southern California for the Grizzly 100k, 75k races and Grand Fondo. This was the final NUE race of the 2018 season and determined the NUE overall titles.

Starting around 7000 feet above sea level in Big Bear Lake, CA, racers were challenge to a high altitude course with technical singletrack, loose descents, and the all famous 5 mile Radford climb.

Open Men

Trudeau takes the WIN

Open Men’s Podium: 1st-Kyle Trudeau, 2nd-Bryan Lewis, 3rd-Nic Beechan

Getting his first NUE win of 2018, Kyle Trudeau, CZ Racing takes the win with a time of 4:35:32.  

Bryan Lewis finished about a minute behind Trudeau taking second place with a time of 4:36:59.  In a battle for the overall NUE series title, it came down to this race for Lewis and Johnson.  With this win, Lewis secures the 2018 NUE Epic series title and Johnson, who finished 6th at Big Bear, takes second in the overall standings.

Claiming third was, Nic Beechan, Trek Test Team finishing in 4:41:25.

Open Women

Connors secures the NUE Epic series with her FIFTH win

Women’s Open Podium: 1st-Larissa Connors, 2nd-Hanna Muegee, 3rd: Marjie Bemis

Taking the win in the 100k was Larissa Connors, Sho-Air Cycling Group, coming in at 5:27:29.  With this win she takes the overall NUE Epic series with 5 straight wins.  

Taking second place was Hanna Muegee crossing the line in 6:26:35.

“I know little to nothing about racing mountain bikes, but after a busy pro road season racing for DNA Pro Cycling Team, I signed up for the Grizzly 100 to throw myself into my next challenge–learning how to mountain bike. Thanks to the encouragement from my boyfriend Chris Cain and my entire family, the steady support from my colleagues at the Monterey Bay Air Resources District, the steady race prep check-ins from team director/team co-owner Lee Whaley, the trust from my friend Steve Jones for letting me borrow his badass bike, and for soaking up some last minute racing tips from cycling legend Micah at Peninsula Bike Works; I hit the road running at the fun yet grueling 100k race at Big Bear, CA. I loved every moment of the race, and quickly realized how much I was out of my elements. But this is how you learn. Racing very conservatively on every technical section of the course, and trying to make up time on every uphill section, I made it across the finishline in 2nd place! There is still a lot to learn for me especially when it comes to proper nutrition for these ultra-endurance races, as well as learning how to handle a mountain bike. My Thule hydration pack filled with Asend Nutrition  electrolyte mix were a lifesaver, though I did run out of fluids and food in the critical last 6 miles and bonked terribly hard. Congrats to Larissa Connors on the win and for showing us all how it’s done! Coming into the race without any expectations, a podium finish was definitely a great reward to a wonderful solo roadtrip to Big Bear. I’d like to give a huge shout-out to all the racers and volunteers for showing me what mountain bike racing is all about and a big thank you to Derek Hermon and the Big Bear community for making this one of the most memorable races I have ever done. I will be back!”

Taking the third spot on the podium was, Marjie Bemis, Socal Devo/CCMTB in 6:31:45.

Master’s 50+

Niedringhaus gets the top step

Master’s Podium: 1st- Paul Niedringhaus, 2nd-Jiri Kozesnik, 3rd-Tom Stritzingert

In the Master’s division it was, Paul Niedringhaus of Hammer Nutrition taking the win with a time of 6:04:47.  Just about four minutes back was Jiri Kozesnik taking second place with a time of 6:08:17.  Tom Stritzinger took third place crossing the line at 6:14:30 and ends up 4th in the 2018 overall standings

Singlespeed

Wadsworth gets 4th NUE Win claiming NUE series

Singlespeed Podium: 1st-Gordon Wadsworth, 2nd-Marc Engelhardt, 3rd-Chad Davies

Crushing the competition and taking his 4th NUE win for 2018 was Gordon Wadsworth, Blue Ridge Cyclery/Pivot Cycles with a time of 5:00:25. With this win Wadsworth takes the 2018 NUE Epic Singlespeed series with a perfect score of 4.  

About forty-eight minutes back was, Marc Engelhardt, Tasco-MTB, taking the second step at 5:48:17.  Rounding out the podium claiming third place was Chad Davies at 6:16:22.

Full results CLICK HERE

What’s NEXT?!

Click here for the 2019 NUE schedule

Follow the Pearl Izumi/Pivot Cycles team adventures as we travel and report on cycling around the globe.

Instagram: @pearlizumi_pivotmtb_team, @JenToops, @HanksJen, @shannonboffeli @graciedaze, 

Coach’s Column – Secrets to XC Racing

As mountain bike racing becomes more diversified it has become increasingly more difficult to excel at multiple disciplines throughout the course of a season. So we asked elite Carmichael Training Systems coach Andy Applegate to break down four of our favorite MTB racing disciplines – XC, Enduro, Ultra-Endurance, and Stage Racing – and give us the secrets to breaking through in each.

In this 4-part series Andy starts with XC racing.

Question: “What is the most important ability to work on for cross country racing?  What is the focus during training and why?”

Answer: The standard answer for this question as a coach is: it depends on where you are in the training season and how long you have until your goal races. These questions would be followed by a few statements like: You need to follow a periodized training plan, and work on different aspects of fitness at different times. You need to build from less specific to more specific training.. etc, etc. While this is all true, let’s strip that away for a moment and answer the question: what is the single ability to work on that will get you the best results in a cross country race?

To answer this, let’s look at the physical demands of a race. We know that most xc races are between 1.5 and 2 hours long. We know that the start is extremely important and explosive. We know that you will have to make repeated anaerobic efforts with minimal recovery. We know that you will need to be able to handle obstacles and maintain speed around the entire course.

Before the days of power meters, we primarily used heart rate to look at training and racing intensity. A heart rate data file from an xc race usually looks like a flat line about 5 bpm above lactate threshold heart rate. Sure, there are some undulations in heart rate throughout the race, but for the most part HR is very steady for the entire duration of the event. When we looked at these files, most coaches and athletes thought: “ok, so if this is what the race HR looks like, I should gear my training to that and do long steady efforts at or just above lactate threshold.” While this is an effective way to build general fitness, and raise power output at lactate threshold, it does not address the demands of cross country racing as specifically as we thought.

Enter the power meter. I remember the first time I saw a power file from a mountain bike race. I was blown away by the immense variability of power output throughout the event. Huge power spikes way above threshold power for very brief (seconds) to moderately long (several minute) durations with short periods of recovery. These facts let us answer the original question. Working on anaerobic, VO2max type intervals of durations between 1 minute and 3 or 4 minutes would be a prime area to focus on for xc racing. This type of interval work is quite specific to the demands of the event, training your body to be able to handle the repeated anaerobic work bouts with very little recovery between efforts.

I think that covers the the “what and why”, so let’s get to the “how” part. Here are some workout ideas.Start with doing 3×3 minutes of near-all-out intervals with 3 minute recoveries between efforts. Make sure you warm up well so you can hit that first effort hard.

For most intervals of this type a 1:1 work to rest ratio works well. The efforts should be done between 110-120% of threshold power or about 9 to 9.5 on a 1-10 perceived exertion scale. Heart rate is generally not a great way to gauge intensity for these efforts as it will not elevate above threshold until the interval is nearly complete.

Remember, the interval starts as soon as you put the power to the pedals. Do one or two 3×3 min workouts with at least a day of easier riding between, then start adding another 3 min effort as you feel like you are able to handle the workload. Eventually build up to a total of 6 or possibly 7 intervals per workout. Remember: these are very-near-all-out efforts, so if you feel like you could do more than 6 or 7 of these, you probably are not going hard enough!

Do 2 or 3 of these interval sessions per week and you will see some real improvements after a 3 week training block. I like to prescribe these workouts with one recovery day between interval days, however some coaches feel that doing 2 days in a row of efforts is worthwhile also. Try it, but if you feel like you are not able to hit the same intensity the 2nd day in a row, go back to putting an easier day between.

While the 3 minute efforts are very effective, it is also good to vary the effort durations (keeping a 1:1 work to rest ratio). Try doing a session of 7×2 min (2 min recoveries) or a 3-4 x 4 min session (4 min recoveries).

Another aspect to vary is how you are attacking each effort. One approach would be to nail it all out from the start and hang on as long as you can (called “peak and fade” ). Another way would be to try to hold a very steady effort throughout each interval. Both approaches are very effective at building fitness.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is not a good idea to hit these types of workouts all year. Generally doing a 3 week block of VO2max, followed by recovery, then a block of focusing on a different aspect of fitness is best. I like to put VO2max work in between blocks of threshold work and again about 8 weeks before the beginning of the important part of the race season.

One last note. I mentioned that we were able to learn a lot about the demands of racing from power meters. However, while they are great tools, they are certainly not required for effective training or racing. Almost all types of workouts can be done very effectively using perceived exertion and/ or heart rate feedback.

Hard anaerobic efforts like VO2max intervals are very tough and painful, but the payoff from building them into your training is huge… and very specific to the needs of the cross country MTB racer.

Andy Applegate is a Pro level coach with Carmichael Training Systems. He has over 20 years of racing experience and has been coaching cyclists full time since 2001. His passion is endurance mountain bike racing. You can find out more about Andy and his training programs at www.trainright.com

Hixon Forest Epic – WORS

Dendel and Guerra Steal The Wins At The Hixon Forest Epic

By Hanna Mork

LaCrosse WI-

Last weekend the Wisconsin Off Road Series(WORS) made a stop in the western part of the state for the Hixon Forest Epic. The 10th race of the WORS season took place on a beautiful day in the bluffs of LaCrosse, drawing in over 400 finishers. The course was like no other, with a lead out to a long gravel road downhill, with racers reaching top speeds. Once competitors reached the bottom of the bluff, they began the approximately 15 minute switchback climb back to the top where it was a half mile road time trial to the singletrack. Once racers reached  the singletrack it was tight, fast, rocky and rooty as racers maneuvered their way through the woods.

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The Belgioioso Pro and Elite men’s field was stacked with many of our top riders, making it an interesting and nail-bitter type of race, all the way down to the final sprint. It started out with the field making their way down the gravel decent without any crashes. Once they got into the groove of the climb, Corey Stelljes (Motorless Motion/Cannondale) had a strategy of attacking early on the first lap, which he did causing a gap to open up early. Nathan Guerra (Vision Cycling) wasn’t going to let him go early, so he surged to catch Stelljes’s wheel. Once the two were back together, they both took another stab at attacking, Guerra in the single and Stelljes on the climb, but neither would be able to shake one another. 

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Once they entered the singletrack on the last lap, Guerra was able to put a little gap on Stelljes but crashed which gave Stelljes an opportunity. After coming out of  the singletrack it was a long, slight increase to the finish line. Stelljes was pushing the pace early, but when it came down to the line, Guerra took the win. Meanwhile, behind 1 and 2, there was a battle for the 3 remaining spots in the top 5. Brian Matter (KS / Energy Mosh), Tristan Schouten (Rolf Prima / Attitude Sports), and Cole House (Unattached) spent majority of their race riding in a pack together. No one decided to attack early, but left it for an intense finish. Cole house peeled off shortly before the line, leaving the sprint for 3 and 4 down to Schouten and Matter. Schouten came out on top by a tenth of a second with Matter finishing 4th and House respectively rounding out the top 5.

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In the BelGioioso Pro and Elite women’s race there was a clear favorite: Cooper Dendel (Quick Stop Bike Shop). With the long gravel downhill and the fast singletrack, it was straight up her alley. Once Don said go, Lindsay Guerra(Vision Cycling) and Dendel checked out together setting a fast pace off the start to the gravel road. Dendel’s enduro skills set in as she was more comfortable descending down than Guerra where she lost her.

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After that, it was mainly a solo effort to the finish for both Dendel and Guerra occasionally grabbing an Elite men’s wheel for a pull where Dendel eventually grabbed the top spot and Guerra finishing 2nd. Behind 1 and 2, were competitors Rachael Jensen(Team Wisconsin / KS Energy / Mosh), her first elite season, Sarah Agena(Hidden Bay/Cider Boys) and Heather Stelljes(Vander Kitten) battling it out for 3, 4, and 5. Jensen rode with the two Junior Elites for a half a lap until she slipped off, racing at her own pace, trying to stay in front of Stelljes. Stelljes was on the hunt but would not catch Jensen who secured 3rd place about 30 seconds ahead of Stelljes who finished 4th. Behind them finished Agena with a respective 5th place finish.

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Join us in Sheboygan Wisconsin for our last WORS race of the season, Deb’s Most Amazing Outdoor Adventure. For more information visit http://wors.org/schedule/sheboygan/

Full Results From The Race Here

 

House and Schneeberger Dominate at Treadfest

House and Schneeberger Dominate at Treadfest
Report by Todd Nutter
Fans and competitors of the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS) gathered once again in Lake Geneva, WI for the 2015 Treadfest race. A staple on the WORS calendar, Treadfest offers racers a rare opportunity to ride some of the best private trails the area has to offer. Hidden deep within the grounds of the Grand Geneva Resort, the course takes advantage of the summertime availability of a downhill ski area. This means riders are sent climbing up through a sea of screaming fans from the start of the race. The course is surrounded by a beautiful golf course for spectators to appreciate, while competitors are more focused on navigating through its rocky and root filled terrain.

Tristan Schouten (Rolf Prima/Attitdue Sports) Doesn’t let the leaders escape

Tristan Schouten (Rolf Prima/Attitdue Sports) Doesn’t let the leaders escape

The Cat 1/Pro men’s race, sponsored by Belgioioso Cheese, brought some of the fastest guys in the midwest out on a hot and humid Sunday. This type of course is usually preferred by known climbers like Nathan Guerra (Vision Cycling) and Cole House (Broken Spoke), but the weather did not make it easy for either racer. There was a sprint preme provided by Loft and Shove (http://www.loftandshove.com) MTB gear for the first racer over the wooden flyover bridge. The prologue lap skipped this feature, so racers needed to shoot for the sprint coming into the 2nd lap. Guerra and House were both fighting for position to grab this purse, with House coming out on top. Once they passed the bridge, both riders allowed former WORS overall winners Tristan Schouten (Rolf Prima/Attitude Sports) and Brian Matter (KS Energy/MOSH) to pass and take a turn at pulling the group along. They were already in position before entering the fans’ next favorite vantage point, the rock garden.

Cole House (Broken Spoke) Leads Matter through the rocks

Cole House (Broken Spoke) Leads Matter through the rocks

For Treadfest, this means a descending path of loose river rocks starting at the top of the ski hill and followed by a luge-style staircase riddled with drops. Needless to say, it is a demanding course that takes a lot of focus to control. One of the most challenging aspects for the riders was staying hydrated. It was 95 degrees and extremely humid causing riders to perspire much more than usual, very few sections being ideal for grabbing a bottle. Shortly behind the 4 lead men was Ben Senkerik (Team Extreme) who was racing mostly alone but trying to catch the leaders. At the start of the final lap, House was leading until he ran into some trouble after a bad water handup and ended up going over the edge of a downhill stretch of single track. His great bike handling skills kept him upright as he rode through the grass, but he did give up two positions to Matter and Schouten. Those spots were later reclaimed before the end of the race giving House the Win just 7 seconds over Matter. Schouten finished 3rd with Guerra following in 4th and Senkerik in 5th.

Leia Schneeberger (Vision Cycling) Shows no fear

Leia Schneeberger (Vision Cycling) Shows no fear

The women’s race was dominated by the ladies of the Vision Cycling team grabbing all 3 of the top spots with Leia Schneeberger in the lead. Schneeberger started her racing career at this very event only a few years back. She worked her way up and is showing the other women that she has no fear in a tough and rocky course like Lake Geneva. Following her was her teammate Lindsay Guerra, wife of Nathan Guerra who is the founder of Vision Cycling. Guerra was one of many who ran into a bit of trouble navigating the rounded stones in the rock garden. As she recounted, she was being followed by another rider who was coming up too fast behind her in the rocks which caused her to ride above her comfort speed in the descent. This lead to an unfortunate trip over the bars for her. She got and rode it off with slightly crooked bars for the remainder of the race. But because she did not stop to fix them, she did give up any time to her other teammate, Jeanne Hornak. Hornak says she does well in hot races and proved it in this event. Although, climbing isn’t her primary strength, Hornak handled the conditions better than most to grab one of her best finishes to date.

Lindsay Guerra (Vision Cycling) Flies over the Loft and Shove Bridge

Lindsay Guerra (Vision Cycling) Flies over the Loft and Shove Bridge

WORS has two more races left on the calendar with the next event being a new one on the roster. The Hinson Forest Epic will take place on September 27th in LaCrosse, WI. For more info visit WORS.org