Kenda NUE Series #8
Presented by Hammer Nutrition
High Cascades 100
Preview by Ryan O’Dell
Now at the midpoint of the race season, The Kenda NUE Series moves west from the ancient volcano’s that formed the Black Hills of South Dakota at the Tatanka 100 to the volcanos of the fifth annual High Cascades 100 in Bend, Oregon on Saturday, July 20th.
Top level racers are gathering to compete along a single loop that includes some of the best single track Oregon has to offer. Temperatures are expected to reach 91 degrees by late afternoon on Saturday. However, racers will be at altitude, which is about seven degrees cooler according to Race Director, Mike Ripley. Low humidity also contributes to more comfortable conditions, welcoming to riders from the Midwest that are enduring a heat wave this week.
Bend is firmly ensconced at 4000ft above sea level but the race will launch riders to a high point of 6800 feet with one stretch of sixty-five miles of continuous single track that includes a scenic trip around Mt. Bachelor along trails littered with lava rock from mile 55 to mile 80. The event has a maximum cap of 350 riders and has brought in close to $20,000 for the local Trail Group, COTA. Race winners will be competing for a $3000 cash purse for top placing overall men and women with equal cash to the top three.
Wick’s going for two straight!
Seven races into the 2013 season, Kevin Carter, Gripped Racing p/b Dogfish Head Alehouse, leads the Men’s Open but is suffering from complications from a broken collar bone that makes his return this season uncertain.
Two-time US Olympian, Tinker Juarez, was on the HC100 roster but was forced to withdraw due to an abscess tooth. Likewise, Chris Peariso, Adventure212 / Specialized, was forced to withdraw following a tick bite at the Wildcat 100 in New York earlier this year. Peariso currently sits in third place overall behind Dan Kotwicki, Rochester Bike/RBS Cycling Team, of Ann Arbor, MI.
Following a sprint finish win at the Lumberjack 100, local resident Barry Wicks (Kona) is the odds on favorite going for his second straight home town win. Last year, he completed the course in just 7:22:15. Wick’s is also planning to compete in the Cascades Classic, a popular road race in downtown Bend that brings in hundreds of spectators each year on the same weekend.
Wicks will face Carry Smith (Team CF) who is a three time defending champion at the HC100 who took the top spot in 2011 at 8:37:33. So far this year, Smith has two second place finishes from the True Grit Epic and Syllamo’s Revenge.
NUE Series 2011 Champion, Christian Tanguy (Team CF) has an opportunity to move into first place with a win on Saturday after finishing just split seconds behind Wick’s following a four way sprint finish at the Lumberjack.
The Masters Marathon Champion of Britain, Neal Crampton, Torq Performance, from Leeds, UK will be chasing the young bucks in the Men’s Open division on Saturday in what could result in an upset victory. Evan Plews, Ibis Cycles, from nearby Salem will be on home turf following his fourth place finisher at the True Grit Epic.
Other major contenders include Michael Tobin (G-Fit/ Niner) from Boise, ID who finished third in 2011 and seventh last year. Clint Muhlfeld (Sportsman ski haus/Hammer Nutrition) from Whitefish, MT returns following his sixth place finish in 2011, ninth in 2012.
Pennington returns to defend her win last year!
With six straight wins to her credit already, defending NUE Series Champion, Cheryl Sornson, Team CF, remains firmly in the driver’s seat this season toward her second straight championship. Brenda Simril, Motor Mile Racing, is maintaining a close second place in the standings followed by the (OMBC) Ohio Series Women’s Champion, Shannon Tenwalde, Paradise Garage Racing.
Last year’s race winner, Alice Pennington, Team S & M/Kona, of Portland is returning to Bend to defend her win last year in just 8:51:32, just over one minute behind the local pro Serena Gordon (Silverado Jewelry/Sunnyside Sports). Pennington also won the Lumberjack 100 so a win at HC100 would mean she only needs one more victory to challenge the defending champion at the Fool’s Gold 100 where all ties will be broken.
She will face Jana Repulski, Broken Spoke Cycling, from Boise, ID who finished fourth last year and Alice Drobna, Webcyclery, CycleSoles, who finished fifth last year. Drobna, seventh overall in the NUE Standings, already has two second place finishes this year at the True Grit Epic and more recently at the Tatanka 100. Julie Urlaub, Taiga Company, from Golden, CO is also on the guest list. Urlaub is currently tenth overall after completing two races this season.
Linnell returns following a big win over the defending champion at Tatanka!
Defending NUE Series Champion, Gerry Pflug, Team CF, is in control of the singlespeed division with four wins to his credit this season.
Last year’s, AJ Linnell, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles took the HC100 win in just 8:16:12 in a race that saw the NUE defending champion placing third. This year, Linnell finished second to Pflug at the True Grit Epic but proved once again that he could compete with champ following his most recent win at the Tatanka 100. A win on Saturday would build on the momentum he gained at Tatanka and put Linnell on the road to the tie breaker at the Fool’s Gold this year.
Linnell will face the 2011 Masters Champion turned SS, Doug Andrews, Geoladders.com. Andrews placed third at Cohutta and fourth at the Tatanka 100 this year. In 2011 competing in the Masters division, Andrews smashed the entire master’s field by nearly two hours finishing 9:49:04 and setting a course record in the process.
After a long hiatus, former NUE SS contender, DeJay Birtch, Ride for Reading, Maxxis, Stans, Pivot, will mix it up with the leaders for the first time in several years making Birtch an NUE wildcard for the win on Saturday. Richard Long (Cycle-Smart Grassroots Team) from Orono, ME returns following a sub ten hour finish last year when he stood third in the NUE Standings at that time.
Jolin leads the Masters!
Fifty year old David Jolin, Stark Velo, from Bellville, OH currently leads the NUE Master’s division following his third place finish at Tatanka. Charles Buki, Team CF, moves into second place in the standings with Chris Irving, Los Locos, rounding out the top three in the points so far this season.
At the HC100 last year, it was 52 year old Charles Bartels, Roger R. Bartels, D.D.S.,from Healdsburg, CA who set the bar at 8:23:07, 23 minutes ahead of 54 year old Marland Whaley, Red Barn Bicycles, of Hamilton, MT. This year, Whaley returns for another shot at a HC100 victory coming off a big win at the Tatanka 100 but he will need to get past 44 other Masters hopefuls if he wants to make it happen!
Stay tuned right here for complete results, photos and more!