Michael Weiss (Team SRM Profiles) and Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) won the men's and women's categories at the Breck 100, the latest round in the Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Great weather and a warmer start to round five at the Breckenridge 100 this year was no guarantee of a finish. For racers not acclimated or accustomed to high altitude, mostly above 10,000 feet, Breckenridge presented its own unique challenge in addition to a race course that features near impossible climbs and technical descents that have made it one of the greatest challenges on the NUE circuit.
This race is also a stop on the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series, bringing together riders from all over Colorado and with NUE racers from all over the US.
Women: Carey makes it four in a row
Defending NUE Series Champion, Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) posted her fourth straight win on Sunday in a time of 10:19:00. It puts her in an enviable position in this best four of 12 series. All ties are broken at the final race but strategy often includes winning additional races to try to prevent ties from occurring.
Carey had not done the Breck 100 since 2008. "As we all know, the best endurance racers have very short memories. Otherwise we'd never do this to ourselves again and again! I forgot how punishing this race is. I finished totally crushed."
She started at a conservative pace, going easy on the climb up Wheeler Pass, especially in light of the altitude.
"I knew I had a very experienced and strong competitor in Jari Kirkland, so I wanted to save some energy for the final and very difficult last loop if it came down to a neck and neck battle. But honestly, all the loops are hard. That entire course is hard. There is no way to rest on the long climbs due to the lack of oxygen and how stupid-granny gear steep a lot of it is, and you cannot rest at all on the singletrack or descents because it's very easy to flat, clock a tree or go flying off into a ravine!"
In the final 30 minutes, Carey got rained on, then hailed on. She shifted into survival mode. "I could barely feel my hands which made it interesting and it took me a very long time to warm back up once I hit the road out of Como. That slowed me down for sure."
She had wanted a sub-10 hour time, but was happy with her finish given the conditions.
Two-time winner Jari Kirkland (Alpine Orthopaedics) of Crested Butte placed second in 10:52:02 and Kathy Eckert (Body Sync) of Denver finished third in 11:35:09.
Tracy Thelen (Ascent Cycling) placed fourth 12:04:41, just one minute ahead of Laureen Coffelt (Los Locos) in 12:05:58.
Thelen said, "Two alpine passes, thousands of feet of climbing and 100 miles. Sounds like a perfect way to spend a Sunday in July! I had no clue what to expect when I signed up. I just knew I wanted a new challenge and this seemed like a great place for my first 100-mile mountain bike race." Her goal was to finish.
For awhile, Thelen was in fourth place, then Cathy Ekhart passed her near the end of the second loop. Having previously not raced farther than 66 miles, Thelen said, "I have never hurt so much at the end of a race or had to dig so deep, mentally, during a race. And I loved every minute of it!"
Men: Weiss takes controversial win
Michael Weiss (Team SRM PROfiles) who hails from Austria and lives in Colorado Springs, won the men's open division in 8:14:46 despite suffering from several flats, including one at the end of the race that forced him to ride the last four miles on just a rim.
Weiss, who is currently under suspension from NADA for two years, readily agreed to forfeit his NUE Series points to race runner-up Josh Tostado. NUE policy forbids racers from competing in the NUE Series for points while under suspension.
Weiss was up front about his suspension from the beginning and notified the Breckenridge race director about it before registering for the race. Although the race director approved his entry into the race, he failed to notify the NUE Series of his decision, resulting in a post-race decision by the NUE Series to award first place points to Tostado. According to NUE Series policy, Weiss will become eligible to compete in the NUE Series after his suspension expires.
Weiss is an Ironman Triathlon winner, XTERRA World Champion, and former Olympic mountain biker. His ban stems from accusations made by Bernhard Kohl, a former professional road cyclist who said Weiss visited a blood plasma lab in 2005. Weiss was a pro mountain biker at the time. Kohl admitted to visiting the same lab and received a two-year ban from cycling. Kohl has since retired. The case against Weiss was thrown out in 2010, but that decision was overruled, which means that Weiss is forbidden from competing in triathlons as well as other sanctioned events until December 2013. The Austrian has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings and promised to come back to sanctioned triathlon racing after his ban expires.
About the Breck 100, he said, "Yesterday was a very tough day. It's a brutal course, with lots of long steep climbs, rocky trails combined with extreme altitude. Wheeler Pass, which is on 12,500ft elevation, is the limit and there are hardly any other sports or events which go up that high."
It was Weiss's first 100-mile mountain bike race although he comes from a pro mountain bike background, prior to switching to triathlons. "Since I raced triathlon the last four years, I said before the race, 'It's going to be like an Ironman on the mountain bike.' For that reason, nutrition and staying hydrated plays a crucial role on those ultra-distances."
He took the lead after the first two neutral miles and stayed in the lead despite three flat tires, mostly cut sidewalls.
"The last flat on the rear wheel happened on the final downhill. Because I did not know how big my lead was over Josh Tostado, I gambled and rode the last four miles on the rim. It was pretty sketchy, but I still have those cross country racing skills. The organizers of RME (Rocky Mountain Endurance) are doing a great job and putting up great events for real mountain bikers in a friendly atmosphere."
Six-time winner of the Breckenridge 100 and local favorite, Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz) placed second in 8:23:21, just minutes behind Weiss, but he will be awarded the first place series points. All other racers in the men's open division will also move up one spot in the point series.
Tostado placed fifth at the Lumberjack 100 and remains a top contender for the NUE Series title. He will be competing next at the High Cascades 100 this coming Saturday.
Ben Swanepoel (Squirt Lube) finished third in 8:36:12. A contender for the NUE Series title, Swanepoel placed 13th in his first race at the Lumberjack 100 in Michigan shortly upon his arrival to the US from South Africa.
Fourth place went to Cameron Brenneman (Bike n Sport Racing), who finished in 8:45:50 and three minutes later, Nick Truitt (Yeti/Pactimo) of Breckenridge rolled in 8:48:49 followed just 30 seconds later by Ezekiel Hersh (Honey Stinger/ Bontrager) from nearby Frisco 8:49:18. Sam Sweetser (Cole Sport Racing) rounded out the top six all finishing in sub-10 hours.
Singlespeed: Chambers kills it, Pflug style!
With the defending NUE Series Champion, Gerry Pflug (Salsa Cycles/NoTubes/Top Gear) sitting it out this year following his impressive win last year, former 24-hour National Champion Cameron Chambers (Carmichael Training) picked up the slack, putting an hour on the entire singlespeed field and finishing third overall among all contenders at 8:31:47.
It was back in 2003 when Chambers became the 24-hour under 25 mountain bike world champion and in 2005, he earned the honor of becoming the 24-hour elite US mountain bike national champion.
Second place went to AJ Linnell (Fitzgerald's Bicycle), the only other singlespeed racer to crack the sub-10 hour mark at 9:38:22. The third podium spot went to Rob Lockey (OES/Bike Source) of Indian Hills in 10:15:34, followed closely by Jody Elovitz of Parker just three minutes later at 10:18:40. The final racer to keep it under 11 hours was Anthony Mannina (RockyMounts/Izze) of Boulder 10:40:02.
Masters 50+ men: Defending Champ Andrews scores his first NUE victory of the year
NUE Masters Champion Doug Andrews (GeoLadders.com) made it two straight at the Breck 100 with yet another impressive finish as the only master to go sub-10 hours at 9:34:27. Last season, Andrews won every race he entered, but tied the defending Masters Champion, Robert Herriman (Trek 29Er Crew/Wsc/Acfstores.Com), who had won four other races in the NUE Series. It all came down to the final race, each with four wins a piece, before Andrews gave it the little extra he required in the final showdown to become the NUE Series Masters Champion. Absent from the first few races of the season, Andrews appears to have extinguished any doubt about whether he has the ability to repeat this year.
According to Andrews, "This is my third time doing the Breck 100 and each finish has been within about five minutes of each other, so I guess I'm consistent (laughing). It was the best conditions ever today. It rained last night so the course was just a little bit tacky and perfect. Going over the top of Wheeler Pass, which is the first climb then onto the descent, I always have a problem with that. I dropped a lot of places because I'm a little too cautious so then I was chasing the rest of the day to get spots back but I had a really good race and felt really good." Andrews was happy to not cramp during the race - for the first time.
Marland Whaley took second in 10:08:35. Whaley is also a finisher of the Butte 100 in Montana and is planning to attend other NUE Series races this season. "This is my first NUE race and first time at Breckenridge. The course is absolutely unbelievable. Probably the biggest issue is that the course is so technical and the views so fantastic that you don't dare take your eyes off the trail. Your peripheral vision sees these monstrous treeless mountains that you want to look at, but there are so many rocks and roots that you don’t dare take your eye off for a second. My first question after the first lap was how far away was Doug? (laughing). Second lap, How far away is Doug? I was very aware of his capability."
Whaley finished closer than anyone ever has to Andrews at Breck and was in the hunt until mechanical difficulty struck in the first lap. "Between peaks 8 and 9 my chain got jammed. I pulled it out and put it back on the chainring thinking I had it fixed but it wouldn't pedal. I tried it a second time, same result, then looked down and the chain was actually twisted ninety degrees."
His brand new bike was on its maiden voyage, and he used a chain tool to fix it. Whaley is registered for the High Cascades 100, Pierre’s Hole 100 and Park City P2P.
Third place went to the Slovakian racer Miroslav Novak (Alabama Master Cycling). Novak completed the course in 10:32:15 following his second place finish at the Cohutta 100 and third place finish at Syllamo's Revenge earlier this year.
Andy Leifer (Team Evergreen Racing) placed fourth in 10:36:14 and Mark Hershberger (Hoback Sports) placed fifth in 10:50:48, rounding out the masters who finished sub eleven hours.
The next race is the High Cascades 100 in Bend, Oregon this Saturday.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Michael Weiss (Team Srm Profiles)||8:14:46|
|2||Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz)||0:08:35|
|3||Ben Swanepoel (Squirt Lube)||0:21:26|
|4||Cameron Brenneman (Bike N Sport Racing)||0:31:04|
|5||Nick Truitt (Yeti/Pactimo)||0:34:03|
|6||Ezekiel Hersh (Honey Stinger/Bontrager)||0:34:32|
|7||Sam Sweetser (Cole Sport Racing)||0:38:36|
|9||Jonathan Davis (Trek Bike Store)||1:07:32|
|10||Scott Leonard (Mountain Flyer Magazine)||1:09:50|
|11||Zach Guy (Alpine Orthopaedics)||1:14:11|
|12||Daniel Matheny (Honeystinger/Bontrager)||1:14:11|
|13||John Mallow (Ruby Canyon Cycles)||1:17:01|
|14||Matt woodruff Woodruff (Kuhl)||1:26:28|
|15||Mike Schilling (Wilderness Sports)||1:32:16|
|16||curt wilhelm (Trek Bicycle Store)||1:33:47|
|18||Stewart Gross (Alpine Orthopedics)||1:37:50|
|19||Ernesto Marenchin (Pivot Cycles)||1:42:06|
|20||Ben Parsons (Sportsman Ski Haus)||1:44:49|
|21||Chad Edwards (Rocky Mountain Racing)||1:49:39|
|22||Jeff Hall (Groove Subaru)||1:51:58|
|23||Chad Harris (Carborocket)||1:56:45|
|24||Andy Wenberg (Smith Optics)||1:57:12|
|25||Carlos Vulgamott (Optimize Endurance)||2:08:36|
|26||Patrick Coady (Pikes Peak Velo)||2:12:21|
|28||Sean Fey (Team Adrenalin Cycle)||2:23:11|
|29||Brian Sells (Epic Endurance Cycling)||2:26:32|
|30||Nickolas Starkey (Ascent Cycling)||2:30:33|
|31||Mike Keffeler (Boulder Cycle Sport)||2:36:29|
|32||Ernie Johnson (Oes/Bike Source)||2:36:33|
|34||Jeff Dickey (Scott Pro Mountain)||2:38:01|
|35||Daniel Munoz (Socal Endurance)||2:44:51|
|36||Tim Lutz (Trek Bicycle Store)||2:51:31|
|38||Robert Umland (The Phoenix Cyclery)||3:02:15|
|41||Mike Moreland (Oes/Bikesource)||3:09:48|
|43||Neil Benton (Fat Fish Racing)||3:17:33|
|44||Martin Kovacs (787 Racing)||3:17:36|
|45||Thomas Jacius (Createx-Benidorm)||3:18:47|
|46||Boomer Leopold (Los Locos)||3:20:04|
|47||Matt Javernick (Haley)||3:20:53|
|48||Paul Tanguay (E2 Cycling)||3:30:13|
|49||Justin Hankins (Wild Hares Racing)||3:32:42|
|50||Simon Demby-Myers (Steamboat Velo)||3:33:53|
|52||Scott Shirey (Ski Loveland)||3:37:38|
|53||Taff Dirks (Angry Bovine)||3:41:31|
|54||Robert Carrera (Pinnacle Iii)||3:45:55|
|55||Andy McDonald (Team Epic)||3:52:57|
|56||Sean Raborn (Powerquip)||3:59:48|
|57||Matt Langley (Schneider Electric)||4:01:41|
|58||Timothy Lagerborg (Glxy)||4:09:34|
|60||Dan Schrad (None)||4:16:14|
|61||Tim Kenkel (Tokyo Joe's)||4:17:12|
|62||Chris Memelink (Groove Subaru )||4:18:10|
|63||Angelo Forero (Peloton Team)||4:19:11|
|66||Don Dawson (Team Cotton)||4:26:10|
|68||Greg Koeka (Epic Endurance Cycling)||4:30:13|
|72||Todd Eyberg (Greenstreet Velo)||4:48:20|
|73||Jacob Richardson (University Cyclery)||4:49:18|
|74||Eric Coomer (Golden Wheelmen)||4:50:11|
|76||Landon Longenecker (Avalanche Sports)||4:51:54|
|78||Lance Graham (Pedal Forward)||4:56:12|
|80||Ray Adams (Trans-Sylvania Epic )||4:58:03|
|82||Thori Wolfe (Juggernaut)||5:11:42|
|83||Eddie Rogers (Steamboat Velo)||5:19:16|
|84||Tim Krantz (Thegreenbeef.Com)||5:20:20|
|87||Jeff Johnston (The Bikeway)||5:23:22|
|89||Kevin Krizek (Kdog)||5:42:07|
|DNF||Brent Barrett (Los Locos)|
|DNF||Adam Bauer (Groove Subaru Alpha )|
|DNF||Cory Bultman (Team Epic)|
|DNF||Brett Donelson (Ells Angels)|
|DNF||Brett Ebben (Rocky Mountain Racin)|
|DNF||Ryan Feagan (Midwest Cycling/Trek)|
|DNF||David Krenz (Determinators)|
|DNF||Mike Pace (Pace's Cog Farm/Reve)|
|DNF||Phil Panipinto (Two Wheel Jones)|
|DNF||Ryan Randles (Privateer)|
|DNF||Ryan Sarka (Betweenthepeaks.Com)|
|DNF||Derek Scott (Optimize Endurance)|
|DNF||lee simril (Motor Mile Racing)|
|DNF||Aron Wheeler (Team Epic)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt)||10:09:01|
|2||Jari Kirkland (Alpine Orthopaedics)||0:43:02|
|3||Kathy Eckert (Body Sync)||1:26:08|
|4||Tracy Thelen (Ascent Cycling)||1:55:40|
|5||Laureen Coffelt (Los Locos)||1:56:58|
|6||Natalie Ryan (Yeti Beti)||2:05:34|
|8||Karen Rishel (Notubes Endurance)||3:43:19|
|DNF||Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Cameron Chambers (Carmichael Training )||8:31:48|
|2||AJ Linnell (Fitzgerald's Bicycle)||1:06:34|
|3||Rob Lockey (Oes/Bike Source)||1:43:46|
|5||Anthony Mannina (Rockymounts/Izze)||2:08:15|
|6||Jason Glebe (Boulder Cycle Sport)||2:30:15|
|8||Stevan Gyetvai (Oes/Bike Source)||3:05:30|
|9||Daniel Boromisa (Team Pedal Forward)||3:08:41|
|10||Brad Grohusky (Wilderness Sports)||3:34:43|
|12||Yann Ropars (Extanz Marketing)||4:37:23|
|13||Simon Zmyslinski (Green Choice Solar)||4:37:55|
|DNF||Kep Heinitz (Kep's Balls)|
|DNF||Dean Cahow (Oes/Bikesource)|
|DNF||Mark Elsasser (Igleheart Custom)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Doug Andrews (Geoladders.Com)||9:34:27|
|3||Miroslav Novak (Alabama Master Cycling)||0:57:48|
|4||Andy Leifer (Team Evergreen Racing)||1:01:48|
|5||Mark Hershberger (Hoback Sports)||1:16:22|
|6||Peter Riley (Willa's Wheels)||1:29:35|
|7||Jay Lewandowski (Chain Reaction)||1:56:24|
|8||Paul Raemer (Funk Cycles)||1:59:08|
|9||David Grauer (Orthopro)||2:01:21|
|10||Alan Rishel (Notubes Endurance Racing)||2:27:02|
|11||Tom Liebl (Hammer Nutrition)||2:58:32|
|12||Emil Gercke (Fat Fish Racing)||3:04:55|
|13||Carl Gable (Teamsantafe.Org)||4:12:19|
|DNF||Robert Woolf (Louisville Cyclery)|
|DNF||jim james (Occam's Racer)|