By Steve Medcroft
The first race in the new National MTB Ultra-Endurance season was held at the Mohican 100 in Michigan last weekend. After some confusion caused by the sabotage of a handful of course markings, Harlan Price (Independent Fabrication, open class), Tricia Stevenson (women) and Dan Jansen (singlespeed) became the first leaders of the series.
After they rode together most of the day, Price finished a slim four minutes ahead of Brad Cole. Still recovering from an injury he suffered on a training ride just ten days before the race, Jansen finished thirty minutes on second place in the singlespeed class and with a good enough time to place third overall. Stevenson managed to escape from Independent Fabrications endurance specialist Tiffany Mann to win by twenty-three minutes.
Since scoring for the series overall is based on the amount of time a racer finishes behind the winner in a race in which they compete, these first three results have set the bar for competitors in the next series race; the Lumberjack 100 in Michigan on June 17th.
Sabotage and mud play
Before Saturday, promoters weren't sure if the Mohican 100 would even go off. The local storm warning team, the ICA radio club based in a small room in the back of Best Bike in Mansfield, warned of two storm fronts moving quickly through the Mohican area on Thursday June 1st. Promoter Ryan O'Dell says his team gathered nervously around the club's weather monitors as they watched funnel clouds after funnel cloud develop.
But all they could was watch as torrential rains and up to 70mph winds whipped through the five counties that collectively make up "Mohican Country."
The weather wreaked havoc with the course. The Mohican/Malabar Bike Club, who design and maintain new trails in the forest, cleared downed trees and worked trouble areas, including constructing a new bridge and 30-foot boardwalk across a wetland, up until just days until the race.
Luckily, the non-stop, soaking rains that began on Thursday and continued into Friday morning stopped on Friday afternoon and by Saturday morning, the course had drained enough to provide a slick but rideable hundred miles. 168 of the 175 registered racers showed up on race day.
Read the full Mohican 100 race report, results and see pictures here.