By Sue George
Chris Eatough (Trek / VW) made it two for two in the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series when he won the second event, the Mohican 100 in Ohio Saturday in sultry, 90 degree (Fahrenheit) conditions. Behind him, Harlan Price (Independent Fabrication) and Shawn Adams (October Lake Effect) rounded out the podium. Carey Lowery (Outdoor Store) won the women's race ahead of round one Cohutta 100 winner Dannielle Musto (Slingshot).
For 2007, the Mohican 100 got a new and improved course, including starting with about 25 miles of technical singletrack almost from the gun. Winner Eatough commented on the challenging beginning. "The first half was pretty tough. There was 25 mile singletrack section from mile four to 29. It was pretty hilly and quite technical. Everyone had fresh legs, so some people were riding really fast. It made the second half tough even though the course was not as tough as the first half. The second half was more about gravel road and farmland."
Eatough credited Price and Michael Simonson (Bell's Beer) for driving the pace early in the race. "I was kind of following along. Michael and Harlan were pushing the pace at the beginning. I went to the front a couple of times. I thought they were going pretty fast." Tinker Juarez (Cannondale) was also with the lead crowd before he later dropped off the pace. Simonson put the hammer down and gapped Eatough and Price on a hike-a-bike, but Price and Eatough were taking a more measured approach, biding their time.
"I wasn't too worried, it wasn't a big gap," said Eatough. "I was able to bridge across to him at halfway point. I dropped him soon after. I rode last 35 miles alone." Price lost Eatough at aid station 3. Both would catch Simonson, who later took a wrong turn and lost one more place to finish fourth.
The women's race would shape up to be a two-woman battle. Musto took off hard in the early singletrack, but wasn't able to hold off the technically talented Lowery, who passed her and would lead solo until the end.
"Carrie is an amazing singletrack rider. And she passed me and that was it," said Musto, who rode the rest of the race by herself in no-woman's land. Her only company would be a thunderstorm, which lasted for about 15 minutes. "I was happy to get wet because it was so hot."
Round three of the NUE will be the Lumberjack 100 on June 16. For complete coverage of the Mohican 100, click here.