Schalk, Carey win Fool's Gold 100

Horrible conditions force shortened race

It was ironic that fool's gold would have such an impact on racers at the Kenda NUE Series round on Saturday. The home of the Fool's Gold 100, the first major US gold rush took place around the Dahlonega, (pronounced Duh-lon-uhga) Georgia area in 1828, nearly 20 years before the better known California Gold Rush.

In addition to the coveted metal, there is the less valuable metal known as "fool's gold". It is shiny, like real gold, however, unlike real gold, fool's gold (pyrites or mica) is known for its crystalline structure, which makes it usually glittery. Mountain bike racers often notice the shiny mica on their bodies after a race, but at round seven of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series, they experienced just how abrasive these little metal flakes can be.

After wet and muddy conditions earlier this season at the Cohutta 100 and then again at the Mohican 100, no doubt, racers were praying that the Fool's Gold would be dry and warm as usual. However, beginning just after midnight, the foul weather started.

A powerful line of thunderstorms moved through the Camp Wahsega start/finish, unleashing seemingly nonstop lightning strikes followed by booming thunder and heavy rains. The local news issued flood warnings on race morning, the result of stationary storms that were dumping as much as one inch of rain per hour on some areas. Although the electrical storms moved through well before the start of the race, steady rains remained to take their place. Thus began the 2010 Fool's Gold saga.

In what was a one-lap race instead of a two-lap race, Jeff Schalk (Trek Mountain Coop) defeated Christian Tanguy (Team CF) and Michael Simonson (Gary Fisher / SRAM / Notubes).

In the women's race, Amanda Carey (Kenda / Felt) took top honors ahead of retired pro Sue Haywood and Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing). Series leader Cheryl Sornson (Team CF) DNF'ed after she went the wrong way and decided that continuing on in the dangerous conditions wasn't worth it.

Harlan Price (Team CF) won the singlespeed race while Robert Herriman (Trek 29er crew/WSC/ topped the master's field.


Early in the men's open race, last year's Fool's Gold winner Christian Tanguy (Team CF) and NUE reigning champion Jeff Schalk (Trek Mountain CoOp) led the way up the first large gravel road climb with Schalk edging out Tanguy to take the King of the Mountain award that included a growler from Yazoo beer.

Schalk described conditions as "the worst conditions of the year. I lost my rear brake completely at mile 30". This was true of most racers as the mica, better known as fool's gold, ground brake pads down in as little as 20 to 30 miles in the soaked, red, Georgia clay.

At the end of lap one, Schalk logged what would be a winning time of 4:15:26, edging out last year's winner by just two minutes before both pleaded with race director, Eddie O'Dea, to call the race.

"Both racers told me they were willing to continue on and had spare brake pads, however, even a spare set of brake pads might only last for 30 miles," said O'Dea, who called the race largely for safety concerns. "Witnessing the fear in the eyes of the pros who came in first sealed the decision to cut the second loop."

"I won by two minutes because he (Tanguy) had mechanicals," said Schalk. "A dry battle might have been different. Today was more about survival."

More than a half hour later, Michael Simonson (Gary Fisher/SRAM/NoTubes), Robert Marion (American Classic/Kenda/Tomac), and Ernesto Marenchin ( rounded out the next three spots. They all came in within minutes of each other.


In the women's race, Fool's Gold was a pivotal race for contenders Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) and NUE Series leader Cheryl Sornson (Team CF). Carey, needing a win, set the pace from the start, taking the Queen of the Mountain award.

At 5:02:20, Carey's impressive finish was 13th overall among the men and women combined. For Carey, this is her third win in the Kenda NUE Series, which sets up a showdown at the final event, The Shenandoah 100, just two weeks away. The winner will likely claim the title of 2010 NUE Champion.

"For me, I had a rotten day," said Sornson. "I was sent in the wrong direction and then corrected my mistake, but as conditions worsened and I lost brakes, I felt it best to stay safe and pulled out before the last eight miles of trail. I was mentally done and mechanically hampered, and it was a good decision for me. Bummed, but the season has been so great that this one race does not sour it for me."

Retired racer and former national champion, Sue Haywood, rolled in 28 minutes behind the leader with Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing) less than a minute back. Simril has improved her scores all season, moving up the ranks on this year's circuit.


According to NUE Singlespeed reigning Champion, Gerry Pflug (Salsa/SPK/Pro Bikes), "I had a great start going up the first long climb, riding with men's open leaders, Schalk and Tanguy. I soon discovered that their pace was too much and I settled into my pace. Harlan Price (Team CF) and Mike Simonson then caught me a mile or so before the top of the climb."

Price did not feel his best that day. "It was raining, I was late dealing with a lost dog I picked up on the freeway and knew that I had to beat Pflug or at least get second. I had just put my bike together Thursday and realized that the bottom bracket was loose, so I attacked two miles before Aid Station One. I also realized that in my haste that morning, I had forgotten my multi-tool so I was hoping they would have one there."

"At checkpoint one, Matt Ferrari (Hubcap/Freeze Thaw cycles) caught Price and I as we were searching for our stuff there," said Pflug. "I left the checkpoint first, but was soon caught by Price and Ferrari in the super muddy singletrack. Price and I then put a little time on Ferrari, but I had to drop off Price's pace on the descents because I could tell my brakes were starting to go. By aid station 2, Ferrari had caught me again. We rode together for a short while, but soon my brakes were completely fried and I had no choice but to walk the downhills leading down to aid station 3. With no way to repair my brakes out on the trail, I had to abandon the race. I guess now the singlespeed series title will come down to the outcome of the race between me and Harlan at Shenandoah."

Price went on to win the race but a paid a price as well. "Just Before Aid Station 4, I caught Tanguy who was having cassette issues. I had no rear brakes from about mile 20 forward and resigned myself to modulating the front brake.
After aid station four, there was a straight, nasty, steep descent. I was fully into it before realizing that I had NO BRAKES. I decided to try to ride it out, reaching speeds up to 30-40mph, scard sh**less, and jus' holdin' on! It was then that I realized I wouldn't make the upcoming turns and had to dump it. The bike was in the trees and I slid 30 feet downhill suffering bruised ribs and requiring eight stitches.

Tanguy asked if I was ok and then went on. In the process, I lost the bead on my tire but quickly made the repair and moved on. After crossing the finish line, I pretty much broke down upon learning about the 50-mile cut. I was gonna do it, but it wouldn't have been good."

Men's open racer, Theo Procopos (Engin Cycles) confessed that he had bailed on the same descent, gashing his elbow in the process. Keith Dyarmett (Team Bear Legs) who completed the 50-mile race, said, "I thought I'd only have to push on 'Bear Hair' trail, about 20 miles into the race, but I've been pedalin' for nine hours! At one point, I thought to myself, I hope they are serving breakfast tomorrow morning because I'm probably not going to get in before then!" Little wonder than many racer's crossed the line doin' the cramp dance.

Peter Rajcani, of Dallas, Texas, who walked away with the last place award at 9:56:32, a case of Terrapin Hopsolution, said, "I heard about the race being called at Aid Station 4 and thought to myself, now I can just ride and enjoy the rest of the race." Rajcani enjoyed the rest of the race and finished, an achievement in itself given that out of a record 300 starters, 120 did not finish.

"O'Dea's decision to call the race likely prevented more injuries and fortunately, there were no life threatening injuries that day. All racers who registered for the 100 and completed the first 50-mile loop will receive series credit and points," said NUE Series Director Ryan O'Dell

Masters 50+

Finishing 19 minutes ahead of his nearest challenger in a time of 5:42:40, Robert Herriman (Trek 29er Crew/WSC/, from Royal Oak Michigan returned late in the season to dominate the field, capturing his first NUE Master's Series Championship in the red mud of Fool's Gold.

Herriman, with wins at Cohutta, Mohican, and Lumberjack earlier this year has a lock on the series with four wins and will take the podium at Shenandoah to receive cash and prizes.

Second place went to Erik Lenzing (Freeze Thaw Cycles), who finished in 6:01:50, 19 minutes ahead of David Grauer (Orthopro) and James Wilson (Team CF) who finished 6:40:27 and 6:49:17 respectively.

Among the buzz around the finish line after the harrowing race, Clay Combs shared his experience about taking some time to cool off in a nearby creek. "That sit in the creek did wonders for me. It rejuvenated me."

Laughing about his experience over a cold draft sweetwater 420 Pale Ale, Charles Nahas (GATR) said, "I'm gonna have nightmares about that ride!"; however, most, including Nahas, admitted they would likely be back next year too.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeff Schalk (Trek Mountain Coop)4:15:26 
2Christian Tanguy (Team CF)0:02:06 
3Michael Simonson (Gary Fisher / SRAM / Notubes)0:25:20 
4Robert Marion (American Classic/Kenda/Tomac)0:29:25 
5Ernesto Marenchin ( 
6Andy Applegate0:40:47 
7Charlie Storm (Inland Construction)0:43:20 
8Harry Precourt (Twin Six)  
9Bradley Cobb (motor mile racing/scv)0:43:43 
10David Wood (Trek 29er Crew)0:52:47 
11Jason Murrell (Larry Hill Ford/Scott's Bikes)1:09:16 
12Drew Scharns (Boone Bike)1:13:09 
13Tim Winters (SORBA - GATR)1:21:34 
14Theo Procopos (Engin Cycles)1:25:27 
15Sean Crichton ( 
16Doug Milliken (ABRT / Bike Doctor - Frederick)1:31:31 
17Lee Simril (Motor Mile Racing)1:31:33 
18Anthony Hergert (Nouveau Velo Cycling)1:33:22 
19Ray Smith (Humana/Cycler's Cafe)1:38:13 
20Anthony Janik (Twin Six/Bicycles ETC/ 
21Bill Holden2:01:01 
22Andrew Sorey (R2W Cycling Team)2:12:04 
23Andrew Christman (Caffeine Racing)2:27:39 
24Anthony Ippolito (Southern Brazil Adventures)2:43:02 
25Jeff Minnerick (Rawanus)3:32:07 
26Stanley Lewis3:56:19 
27Shawn Winsor4:00:59 
28Josh Butler (Team Andrew)5:18:14 
29Christopher Stanley5:23:08 
30Peter Rajcani5:41:06 
DNFHarvey Minton (Independent Fabrication)  
DNFShane Schreihart (  
DNFDan Kotwicki ( / SRAM XX)  
DNFAndy Gorski  
DNFBen Bonney (Bike Shop 1919)  
DNFIan Spivack (DCMTB/Studio Organics)  
DNFKelsey Oliver (Team Metro Reprographics)  
DNFKevin Conerly (Boardtown Bikes (Starkville, MS))  
DNFMark Donaghy  
DNFPaul Brannon (Relentless)  
DNFRobert Toledano  
DNFScott Pavao (Bicycles Etc/Pavao Construction)  
DNFStephen Hyde (trulyspokin/subaru cyclones)  
DNFZack Morrey (Ice House Bikes)  
DNFMike Hopton  
DNSJamie Ingalls (Hub - Endurance)  
DNSSteven Myers (Team MOAB)  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt)5:02:20 
2Sue Haywood0:27:51 
3Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing)0:28:48 
4Laureen Coffelt (Velosoul / The Natural Way)1:48:16 
DNFCheryl Sornson (Team CF)  
DNFNamrita O'Dea (Topeak-Ergon)  
DNSLaura Gleason (Giordana Clif Bar)  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Harlan Price (Team CF)4:28:12 
2Matthew Ferrari (Hubcap-Freeze Thaw Cycles)0:21:36 
3Ron Sanborn (Mclain Cycle & Fitness)0:31:35 
4John Karrasch (Wagon Wheels Racing)1:49:24 
DNFMichael Watson (Dahlonega WheelWorks)  
DNFJon Dalman  
DNFGerry Pflug (Salsa)  
DNFJason Morgan (Industry Nine)  
DNFRussel Henderson (nccx)  
DNFHeath Hillman  
DNFRobin Oscar (Motor Mile Racing)  
DNFClay Chiles (Freeze Thaw Cycles)  
DNFDoug Smith (Gator Cycle)  
DNFJoseph Queen (Moots/Swiftwick/Yazoo)  
Master 50+
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robert Herriman (Trek 29er crew/WSC/ 
2Erik Lenzing (Freeze Thaw Cycles)0:19:10 
3David Grauer (orthopro)0:57:47 
4James Wilson (Team CF)1:06:37 
5Robert McDonald2:54:25 
6Ed McCalley (team ed racing)  
7Kerry Pike (CYCLE HAUS)  
Masters 50+ 50-miler
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Chapman (Arcadian Shop)6:40:23 
2Ricky Wiles0:10:13 
3Casey Fannin (Cahaba Cycles)0:31:57 
4Dan Fortunas0:39:36 
5John Davis (Higher Ground)0:42:14 
6Gary Robertson0:57:19 
7Bob Seitz (GATR)1:18:33 
8Dennis O'Neil1:47:19 
9David Wright1:49:49 
DNFBill Bravato (Wells Fargo Advisors)  
DNFCarl Zart  
DNFDavid Sclater  
DNFJesse Gould  
DNFJohn Burch (BMW-NARC)  
DNFMike Miller  
DNFPatrick Cooper  
DNFTim Cotton  
DNSVick Dyer (Bike Zoo)  
Men 50-miler
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Will Black (Inland / BTD)4:49:48 
2David Hall (Cafe:ine/Niner)0:23:53 
3Jeremy Edge0:28:40 
4Robert Giannini (Locos Cycling Team)0:38:19 
5Justin Mace (Motor mile racing)0:41:18 
6Adam Ray (Chain Heart)0:43:50 
7Jeff Clayton (Walthall Oil)0:44:05 
8Anthony Patterson1:10:56 
9Jon Stang (Mountain Hound Racing)1:18:46 
10Kurt Rampton1:19:01 
11Eddie Thomas (SP)1:19:50 
12Mike Brown (SORBA/OMBA)1:28:10 
13Fred Smith1:30:37 
14Ryan O'Connor1:30:49 
15Monte Hewett1:31:58 
16Sean Wallace (Team Bike Works Orlando)1:41:11 
17Alex Hagianu (The Hub Bikes/Terrapin Brewery)1:41:37 
18Jack Easter (Team Sfatto)1:44:48 
19Tim Stout (US Air Force)1:53:57 
20Matthew Schneider (Hub Bikes/Terrapin Brewing)1:55:32 
21Asa Marshall (Bike Tech Macon, GA)1:56:15 
22Christopher Grund (BUMP)1:59:29 
23Matt Smith2:01:38 
24Brian Schultz (ABRC)2:01:39 
25Howard Rhyne (Inland Construction/Back To Dirt)2:04:54 
26Trent Paulk (BBC)2:05:23 
27Van Mixon  
28James Ganey2:07:01 
29Michael Henry2:08:04 
30Craig Vedova (Coach Velikonja)2:08:53 
31Eric Burke (Faster Mustache)2:14:13 
32Mario French (Hillbilly Racing)2:16:39 
33Juan Gomez (InLowGear)2:17:55 
34Joe Czerwonka (Bob's Red Mill)2:20:37 
35Daniel Topley (58 inches of fury)2:30:12 
36Eric Latiimer (Power House Cycling)2:31:11 
37Keith Kudlac ( 
38Mike Berube (Strata Worldwide)2:33:48 
39Mark Duffus (addictive cycles/bike store warner robins)2:38:08 
40Juan Pelaez (InLowGear)2:40:12 
41Stuart Rackley2:41:19 
42Selby Holler (cow town cycling)2:43:36 
43Christopher Campbell2:46:10 
44Andy Johnson (Trace Bikes/Guinness for Breakfast)2:52:12 
45Andres Rojas (In Low Gear)2:55:09 
46Brandon Thornton2:55:30 
47Farzad Nahai2:56:02 
48David O'Rear2:58:23 
49Joshua Valentine (Florida State Cycling)2:59:40 
50Will Seidel3:00:38 
51Charlie Putnal3:00:54 
52Adam Fancher (@ the hub)3:03:56 
53Kelly Jones3:04:52 
54Steve Solomon3:06:13 
55Jeff Ford3:11:12 
56Trey Schwalb3:16:50 
57Alejandro Urraza (In low gear)3:19:37 
58Greg Elrod3:20:44 
59Greg Palmer (Coach Velikonja)3:20:54 
60Patrick Hensel3:22:07 
61Chris Brown (Team Animali)3:23:03 
62Brian Boatman3:25:50 
63Eric Sherline3:28:10 
64Steve Abrass (Beaches Velo Sport)  
65Jeremy Smith (Scenic City Velo)3:30:00 
66Chip Whitley3:34:04 
67Chad Smith3:34:39 
68Robert Hester3:34:54 
69Marc Bolick3:40:56 
70Matthew Kahrs  
71Jerry McClung3:41:04 
72Mark Hanna3:44:06 
73Brian Segal (Rogue Racing Project)3:46:37 
74David Chorazak (Cycle Haus)3:47:23 
75Shane Wallace (LRCO)3:50:00 
76Wayne DellaMaestra (Back To Dirt/Inland Construction)3:52:10 
77Jeff Kaplan3:52:19 
78Randy Moody3:58:21 
79Joseph Dennis (SP)4:00:06 
80Sam Spetalnick (Ridin' Dirty)4:04:44 
81Chris Hines4:07:28 
82Tracy Honeycutt (FFCC/Toyota Forklift of Atlanta)4:16:08 
83Timothy Davenport4:16:59 
84Woody Wheeler (Toyota Forklifts of Atlanta)4:17:42 
85Jason Ottinger ( 
86Kirk Allgood4:27:57 
87Keith Dyarmett4:33:02 
88Kevin Tumlin (Outdoor Store)4:34:28 
89Long Island Iced Tea (Green Machine)4:36:53 
90Adrian Hruszkewycz4:42:49 
91Andy Goodson (Trace Bikes Race Team)4:44:06 
92Jacob Corwine (OMBA)4:47:37 
93Kevin Bartenfield4:49:07 
94Robert Sherfy (VT Cycling)4:49:34 
95Leo Anderson4:50:52 
96Clay Combs (GATR)4:56:42 
97David Pressley (Inland Construction/Back to Dirt)4:59:44 
98Charles Nahas5:03:04 
99Vaughn Locke (cow town cycling)5:05:02 
100Ronnie Acuna (VeloBrew Racing)5:08:31 
101Jose Centeno5:16:25 
102Robert Meade5:16:30 
103Will Irvin5:18:16 
104Charles Bagwell5:21:04 
105Timothy Fiquett5:33:24 
106Brent Sparkman (Epic Ride)5:56:27 
107Scott Wells (The People Network, Inc.)6:06:56 
108Paul Arsenault (TEAM ICCULUS)6:49:25 
109Dean Thornton (GeorgiaMTB)6:50:38 
DNFJeff Mrachek (DNS)  
DNFBrian Moran (BUMP)  
DNFChadd Biehler  
DNFChris Guy  
DNFChristopher Rampton (Faster Mustache)  
DNFCorey Hubbard  
DNFCraig Evans (team bikers choice)  
DNFDaniel Owen  
DNFDavid Conway (SORBA Athens)  
DNFDrew Newell  
DNFDustin Gaddis  
DNFEric Christophersen (Metro Repographics)  
DNFEric McDuffie  
DNFGlen Potter  
DNFGreg Fredrickson  
DNFHarold Sotillo (Rueda Loca)  
DNFKenneth Wood (Team Sfatto)  
DNFJason Betz ((W)reck.less Racing)  
DNFJohn Beckett  
DNFJoseph Fairclough  
DNFKevin Gibbs  
DNFMark Johnson (Addictive Cycles)  
DNFMark Muro (BUMP)  
DNFMark Rudder (Team Bikers Choice)  
DNFMatt Rinella (Team Metro)  
DNFMichael Bobroski (Panama City Flyers)  
DNFMichael Ferguson (Yes! Healthy Frozen Yogurt)  
DNFMichael O'Kelley (CMH Architects)  
DNFMitch Moses (BUMP Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers)  
DNFReece Haettich  
DNFRichard Foster (Smyrna Bicycles)  
DNFRichard Mansker  
DNFRodney Reber (Gator Cycle)  
DNFRoss Douglas (Augusta Cross Coalition)  
DNFStephen Hackett (MOAB)  
DNFStephen Russell (MOAB/MTV)  
DNFSteve Goldberg  
DNFSteven Wells (Memphis Ripper Clan)  
DNFStewart Tanner  
DNFTed Stoddard  
DNFTom Spetalnick (Ridin' Dirty)  
DNFTravis Fowler (First victory/probuild/cycle south)  
DNFZachary McCool (Boardtown Bikes)  
DNFRobi Johnston (Addictive Cycles / Cycle Youth)  
DNFZack Rider  
DNFJheremy Zetans (Harpe's Bike Shop)  
DNFAndrew Gates  
DNFJason Kepley  
DNSBrent Scarabin (Wednesday Chaires)  
DNSDave Muse (55nine)  
DNSGrant Castle (Moots/Swiftwick/Yazoo)  
DNFAdam Prescott (Mobile Velo)  
DNFBill Victor (Long Cane Trails. LLC)  
DNFBrian Madden (Sport Factory)  
DNFDanny Powell (Powell Flooring, INC.)  
DNFDavid Blalock (Atlanta Pro Bikes - Industry Nine - Maxxis)  
DNFGerald Craven  
DNFGrant Blankenship  
DNFJeff Scott  
DNFMatt Cauthen (Trace Bikes Race Team)  
DNFMike Saunders (Dahlonega Wheelworks)  
DNFSean Sanders (The Sport Factory)  
DNFTerrence Gleason (El Gato Racing)  
Singlespeed 50-miler
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Reardon5:29:10 
2Zachary Sager (Rogue Racing Project)0:34:09 
3Tab Tollett (Motor Mile Racing)0:56:46 
4David Greenwell (GATR)1:09:39 
5Richie Daigle1:52:58 
6Darryl Clark1:57:54 
7Tommy Vu (Vu's Brother)2:19:02 
8Ryan Nelson (Fueled by Chickens)2:54:23 
DNFSteve Johnston (Bike Town USA)  
DNFTim Jones  
DNFJD Powers (Bull City Cycling)  
DNFJoe Collins (Rogue Racing Project)  
DNFJohn Harris (Rogue Racing Project)  
DNFMichael Seiler (Rogue Racing Project)  
Women 50-miler
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lisa Randall6:02:03 
2Jamie Dinkins0:07:47 
3Andrea Wilson (Unattached)0:47:15 
4Amy Mace (Grace law trek)1:26:57 
5Courtney Akin (Sorella Cycling)1:30:03 
6Shanna Powell (Endless Bike Co)1:30:04 
7Gwyneth Lodge (Sorella Cycling pb BVM Engineerig)2:08:15 
8Margo Carroll2:44:58 
9Stacey Davis  
10Krista Combs (GATR)3:30:54 
11Carroll Hageseth (Crazee Carroll)4:20:09 
12Sunny Sandidge (Sorella Cycling p/b BVM Engineering)  
13Jennifer Rau4:50:42 
14Lisa Weis5:28:42 
15Jane Powell (Team Icculus)5:37:13 
DNFAlison Rhyne (Inland Construction/Back To Dirt)  
DNFAnna Kelso (Gripped Racing)  
DNFChristine Davis  
DNFMary Fowler (first victory/probuild/cycle south)  
DNFRenee Corwine  
DNSAnne Ledbetter (Sorella Cycling presented by BVM engineering)  
DNSRuthie Myers (29er Crew)  
DNFLinda Demma (Sorella p/b BVM engineering)  


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