Kenda NUE Series #11: Hampshire 100

KENDA NUE Series #11
Presented by Hammer Nutrition
Hampshire 100 Race Report
August 18, 2013

Hampshire-100-Race-Start-Photo

In 1809, General John Stark, a Revolutionary War Soldier from New Hampshire, declined an invitation to a Battle of Bennington reunion because he was ill. Since he could not make the event, he sent a letter with the quote “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.” that was to be read for the toast. New Hampshire later used part of this toast for their State motto: Live Free or Die. The Hampshire 100, located in Greenfield, NH, decided to use a portion of this motto on their race logo “Live Free & Bike!”

The seventh annual Hampshire 100 was once again blessed with ideal weather conditions and temperatures hovering in the mid to upper seventies plus plenty of cloud-cover for most of the day. The race featured 100 mile and 100k options for cyclists plus the addition of the first ever Hampshire 50-mile run won by Tristian Williams in 8:23:27 and the women’s winner, Kristina Welts who ran in with her husband Ryan minutes later. All three finishers were awarded passes to the 25th Annual Mohican Trail 50 in Ohio. www.mohican.net

Coming off an impressive finish at the Leadville 100 in Colorado, Hampshire 100k finisher and wounded military veteran, Matt DeWitt, captured the attention and admiration of everyone as he crossed the finish line on Saturday. Although Matt is not a pro, he does ride a custom made bike, complete with features like no other bike around. He is a middle of the pack type rider, but one on an extremely special mission.

Matt served our country in the Iraqi war, and suffered significant injuries, including the loss of two hands. He now rides on the Ride2Recovery Team, with his custom bike designed and built by top engineers supporting the Ride2Recovery mission. It is well worth a visit to the Ride2Recovery website.  The Hampshire 100 race director and the NUE Series Director ask that you follow your heart to the donation page, in recognition of Matt’s back to back 100 mile/kilometer finishes.

All proceeds from the Hampshire 100 benefit the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center, a charitable organization employing more than nine hundred people, offering a lifelong alliance to people with disabilities. One mother from New York City last year stated that the center was one of only three in the US of its kind.

“Crotched has been a Godsend for me and my young daughter who became disabled as a result of a medical procedure at a hospital when she was just three months old.” If you would like to learn more or would like to make a donation, visit crotchedmountain.org.

 WOMENS OPEN

Vicki-Barclay-wins-Hampshire-Women's-100-mileBarclay scores her second NUE Series win this year!

Following up on her recent win at the Wilderness 101, Vicki Barclay, Stan’s NoTubes Elite Women’s Team, led the way earning her second NUE win this season on Sunday finishing in 9:17:20.

“I did the race last year, and knew how important it was to position myself near the front at the start of the race, so that I could get a draft from the men along the rail-to-trail sections. Things were going really well until about 25 miles in, when I went to shift and my rear cassette and was stuck in the hardest gear. I stopped a few times to try and fix it, but it turned out the cable had snapped.

The camaraderie of NUE races meant that people were willing to stop and try and help me when they saw me pushing my bike up some of the steeper climbs. Two guys helped move the gearing up a couple in the rear, and tie off the loose cable but, unfortunately, that only lasted a few miles before it slipped back to the hardest gear again. I stopped at the aid station at mile 48, and the volunteers tried to help there too. The gearing slipped a little again, but I was able to power up most of the climbs. In the end it was actually a challenge which I enjoyed, maybe more with hindsight!”

Elizabeth Allen, Danielson Adventure Sports, of Willimantic, CT stayed within twelve minutes of Barclay through 62 miles, holding on for second place in 9:48:58 and improving on her fourth place finish last year.

Just ten minutes separated the three other podium finishers with Linda Shin, Crankskins/Blacksmith Cycles, taking third place in 10:38:54, moving her into fourth place overall in the NUE Series following an impressive win in the Masters Category at the Canadian National Championships. After the race, Shinn reported being extremely tired following an unexpected delay on the way to the race.

“After a gas stop in Syracuse, we noticed an odd smell that we attributed to the industrial area, yet, after a couple miles, the smell still lingered so I looked out the window and noticed that my car was smoking! We pulled over immediately and opened the hood to find coolant spewed everywhere! Craig poured water on the radiator to cool things down and, once it cooled, he tried to turn the engine over to see if we could get the car to the closest mechanic but it was fried.

After an hour, the tow arrived and we got hauled to Goodyear in Syracuse. We hoped for the best that it was only a water pump or radiator that needed to be replaced but they diagnosed a head gasket and may need a new engine. I was glad to have come and raced but it was mentally and physically the toughest race of the year!

Anne Pike, Brands Super Awesome Racing Team, finished fourth in 10:48:24. “My second 100 mile mountain bike race yesterday at the New Hampshire 100 and I can happily say it was a really fun day out in the saddle. The course was a nice mix of some good fast flat sections broken up with plenty of fun trails with fun descents and challenging short sharp climbs to keep it interesting.” Robyn Duke, Lapdogs Cycling Club, of Toronto, Canada took the final podium spot at fifth in 10:58:13.

Leading the NUE Series with six wins, so far, this season, two-time (2008/2012) NUE defending Women’s Champion, Cheryl Sornson, Team CF, still holds the reigns with three races remaining. However, the battle for second and third place overall is far from over.

Brenda Simril, Motor Mile Racing, currently holds second place in the point standings following two second place finishes this year, plus her first NUE win at Pierre’s Hole 100. However, with two wins plus a second place finish at the Wildcat, Barclay may decide to challenge Simril for the two spot.

MENS OPEN

Bishop gets his first NUE Series win this season!

NUE defending champion, Jeremiah Bishop, Sho-Air/Cannondale, redeemed his loss last year to the 2011 NUE Series Champion and current NUE Series leader, Christian Tanguy, Team CF, finishing under the Kenda Arch in 7:14:40.

Afterward, Bishop commented, “This race was a blast of real techi New England single track with moss-covered boulders dark spruce forest and steep pitches up and down that made it a testing course on the legs.

“Late in the first loop, I used the technical sections to stretch Christian out and noticed that if I hit sharp XC style accelerations, he had a hard time matching it. I hatched the plan to attack and hold a pace neither of us could manage for 50 more miles. After getting away, I put in 15 minutes of attack speed then settled into endurance mode to maintain. I was solo and unsure whether I could go the distance with my legs tiring under the immense strain of Mt Washington and five hours of hard racing a day earlier. But my legs came alive and I was, not only able to ride the last quarter of the race strong, but actually attacking the course, hoping to put as much time down on the guys behind me as I could and crush the race that crushed me last year.”

The NUE Champion’s next big goal is the NUE Shenandoah 100 where he is hoping to beat back the pro tour road racers rumored to be attending..

Displaying the #1 plate following his impressive win over Bishop last year, Tanguy stayed within minutes of the leader through 62 miles this year to finish second in 7:32:00.

“The start was just right to warm up the legs and a fairly large group stayed together for the first 20 miles. Once we hit the first major climb, the tempo picked up and a group of five was spawned. I was glad I was among that group. Once we reached the power line climb, which gets steeper as it goes, Jeremiah was riding at the front and made it to the top without pushing the bike. I was a little further back but also made it to the top riding. That gave me enough momentum to reach back to Jeremiah and, in short while,0 both of us were off at the front.

The first 40 miles was just a blur. I had fun and was still feeling energized although Jeremiah did an excellent job of making me work harder. Each time I would bobble on some tricky sections, I did a mini sprint to latch back to his wheel. However, by mile 55 or so, I paid the price for all those additional efforts. I was barely past the halfway point and I was hurting.” Tanguy leads the NUE series with two wins and two second place finishes this year.

Fifteen minutes later, Dereck Treadwell, Dr. Naylor’s Racing, from Topsham, ME finished third at 7:47:27. Five minutes behind Treadwell, Rob Spreng, Team CF, from Butler, PA rolled into fourth in 7:52:13 “A big group rolled together until we got to the first steep climb then things started breaking apart from there. Once we got to the power line, it really broke apart, and this is where I lost touch with the lead group. The New Hampshire single track is awesome and even the double track is technical enough to keep things interesting.”

Will Letendre, Mason Racing, of Etna, NH, finished one minute back to get the final podium spot in 7:53:20.

SINGLESPEED

Pfluginator Redemption

Last year, Ron Harding, Trestle Bridge Racing, from Coatesville, PA took it to the defending NUE Champion to capture his first NUE Series win at Hampshire. This year, the four time defending NUE Single speed Champion, Gerry Pflug, Team CF, returned to crush the SS field, the only SS racer to go sub eight at 7:59:53, good enough for seventh place overall!

“After getting my fifth NUE Series Race win at the Wilderness 101 at the end of July, I almost thought about not doing the Hampshire 100.  I started to think that there was more to lose than there was to gain by going.  But, then I remembered the fun I had at the race last year and also decided that doing another 100 mile race before the Fool’s Gold NUE Series Championship Race would be good “training.”  As I have said before, there is no way to replicate racing and I knew that I needed to keep racing in order to be fast at Fool’s Gold in September.

I managed to get in the lead group and stick with them for about the first 20 miles. I didn’t see any other singlespeed riders in the group, so I was able to gain valuable time. The Hampshire 100 is not a friendly singlespeeder course, at least at the start.  The race begins on fast dirt/paved roads and rail-to-trails before leading the riders to a few very steep and technical climbs. The course then becomes pretty friendly to singlespeed bike use when it goes into mostly double and single track trails during the second half of the course.

After looking at previous race times, I decided to use a gear that was way too low last year (38/13).  It was okay for the second part of the course, but caused me to lose a ton of time on the fast stuff.  Learning my lesson from last year, I decided to use a much stiffer gear this year and I’ve got to say that I liked the course a lot more with the harder gear.  I also added a suspension fork to my bike this year and I’m sure these two changes are what allowed me to ride a faster time this year.

With the use of a higher gear (38/21), I was able to hang with the lead pack until the first long, steep and technical climb, which was about 20-25 miles into the race.  I even helped take some pulls at the front of this group because I didn’t see any other SS racers in the small pack of about ten riders and I wanted to gain as much time as possible on the others racing in my category.  After I was dropped from the lead group, I was caught by my teammate Jesse Kelly and a couple of other guys.  Unfortunately, this group did not stick together too long and I soon found myself riding alone. My main goal was to beat the 8 hour time mark, so I kept my pace high and was able to achieve my goal.”

Daniel Rapp, Toasted Head Racing, finished second in 8:39:07. Nine minutes later, Paul Simoes, Bikeman.com finished third in 8:48:05. Charlie Beal, Createx-Benidorm, finished 9:06:26 to capture fourth place. Fourteen minutes later, Craig Fleetwood, Blacksmith Cycles, from Bolton, ON too fifth in 9:20:53.

With six wins so far this season, Pflug leads the NUE series and controls his own destiny. His closest rival, AJ Linnell (Fitzgerald’s Bicycles/Misfit Psycles), who would need a win at both the Park City P2P and Fool’s Gold to take the title, may be the only racer standing between Pflug and his fifth straight NUE Series title!

MASTERS 50+

Petro takes it to the Masters!

Masters-winner-Alec-PetroFollowing a big win at Mohican this year and hammering away in the Trans Alps, 51 year old Alec Petro, Corner Cycle Bay Hill Capital Management, from Duxbury, MA took it to the field on Sunday a forty one minute margin of victory, 8:08:39.

“It was a pretty big field overall for 100 milers compared to last year. This is my 7th out of 7 Hampshire 100’s. I think the Hampshire 100 is one of the harder 100 miler’s out there and certainly harder than Leadville, minus the altitude, which I competed in the last couple years.”

53 year old Tyler Munroe, ccb/Volkswagen, from North Andover, MA finished second in 8:49:48, one of just two masters to go sub nine.

50 year old Jukka Jokela, Medilaser-Specialized MTB Team, crossed eleven minutes later to finish third in 9:00:37. Referring to the younger Jokela, Munroe commented, “I was climbing real well today and Jukka was right behind. We left the youngster every climb, but he would catch on the descents.”

Jokela added, “I am visiting the US for 6 months as a visiting scholar at Penn State. I am originally from Finland but live in Switzerland. Over the years I have raced many of the big and small marathon MTB events in Europe, for example, the main swiss race series IXS bike classics and Italian, Austrian and German cup races. All these are alpine mountain bike marathons with race durations that range from 3-7 hours for professionals. I mention all of this to say that I have a reference to the European race scene when I comment on the NUE races.

I was having a great race for the first 30 miles, riding in the same group with Tyler who got second in the masters. But I was not drinking enough and started to wear out way too early. At the same time Tyler was pushing pretty hard on the single track, I could hold on pretty well, but knew that, at his pace, I would not make it to the finish unless I got more sugar and fluids in my system.

I took a bit off the gas and tried to rehydrate after the second drop bag station hoping to catch up with Tyler in the second part of the race. Then I made a silly mistake, went over the bars and landed on my head. My Helmet cracked and my goggles went to bits.

Luckily I was able to reassemble the goggles because riding blind was not an option. But after that it took half an hour to get the rhythm back and I knew I had lost a lot of time. I recovered and got back to racing and, for the last 40 miles or so, I was doing really well except that I had to stop to tighten the cleats of my left shoe. I was hoping I would catch Tyler as I really felt very strong in the last 20 miles, but I actually did not see anyone for the last 30 miles.

This is a world-class race course that suits a broader rider profile than a standard European alpine marathon. There were sections that felt like an XC race for miles and that is exceptional. I also like the fast gravel transitions where one can regroup and catch up a bit if the singletrack was not going great. Organization was perfect, feed stations were dense, and everything worked well.”

Nine minutes later, Terry Blanchet, No American Velo/Blue Sky Bicycles, of Castleton, NY took fourth at 9:09:33. With this finish, Blanchet moves into second place in the NUE Standings in the Masters division.

“The lead group remained large over the initial miles and I saw Brad, Jukka and Tyler move ahead which seemed inconsequential at this point.  What I’d forgotten about though was the constricted single-person entry of a bridge only about three miles in, which was ride-able in my previous 100k finish last year. Last year the field was already strung out with plenty of room to ride in single-file, but, with this relaxed start, only the top Open Men contenders arriving at the front of the group got the chance to ride through while the majority of the rest of the bunch got backed up, having to walk through the entrance one at a time. This finally strung out the group and now Alec, Tyler, Jukka and Brad were now well ahead of me upon emerging from the bridge.

I suffered another setback later in that first hour along the sandy old rail grade, with people clustered into short pace lines two abreast.  I was second wheel on the left line as we crept up to one on the right line that had SingleSpeed 3rd place finisher Paul Simoes within it. The leader of our line slowed it up a bit to chat with Paul. Despite it being perfectly straight, flat and featureless, the conversation was apparently too much of a distraction for our line leader, who suddenly started fishtailing then quickly went down right in front of me at speed, with my bike tangling into his as I went sailing over him.  Fortunately my bike remained functional, with the exception of a slightly bent rotor that I’d have to pedal against, listening to squeaking for the next 80 miles, so I pedaled on trying to make up ground.

I’ll occasionally get joking comments at NUE races about having too many (three) water bottles on my bike, but mid-race this provided me an instance of the benefit I hope for.  Rolling up to an aid station, around the 48 mile mark, I saw Brad at the table busily refilling water. But with his back turned to me and one more full bottle still available on my bike, I had the flexibility to skip the stop and slip by Brad unnoticed.  Guessing he might still presume I was behind him, and that he’d instead be keeping an eye out behind, I was motivated to lift my effort and build a gap. I was pleased to finish within 10 minutes of Jukka here, especially given how convincingly he blew out the whole Masters field at the Wilderness101.”

Fifth place went to 55 year old Brad Young, NYCross.com/VoMax, of Porter Corners, NY at 9:14:45.

With just three races remaining, 54 year old Ohio native David Jolin, Stark Velo, from Bellville leads the masters in the NUE Series.

Upcoming NUE

The next two Kenda NUE Series races occur on opposite ends of the country and just one day apart, the Park City Point 2 Point in Utah on Saturday, August 31 and the Shenandoah 100 in Virginia on September 1. www.nuemtb.com

Stay tuned here for the latest NUEz and information.

Recap by Ryan O’Dell
Photo credit: Lowell Von Ruden (top photo) and Ryan O’Dell

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