The eighth annual Mohican Mountain Bike 100, round two of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series, will roll into Mohican County, Ohio, on Saturday, June 5. It begins in downtown Loudonville, near Liberty Park.
Jeff Schalk (Team Trek Co-op), winner of the 2008 edition of the race and reigning NUE series champion, is one of the favorites, especially after he won round one of the series in Cohutta in late April. Last year's winner, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale), will be absent; he is currently racing the Trans-Sylvania Epic.
However, Schalk will be challenged by Josh Tostado (Bach Builders / Santa Cruz). Last year, he was 13th at the Mohican and fifth overall. Tostado is also undefeated at the Breckenridge 100, the fourth stop on this year's NUE. He's won the race five times.
Others to watch include Michael Simonson (Gary Fisher/SRAM XX/NoTubes), who was fourth in the series and at the Mohican last year and Greg Kuhn (Team Fraser), seventh overall in the NUE and 12th at the Mohican last year.
After back-to-back wins at the Mohican in 2008 and 2009, Betsy Shogren (Cannondale) will be back to try to make it three in a row. She is also the reigning NUE series champion. This year's Cohutta 100 winner Amanda Carey (Kenda / Felt) will be on hand to defend her lead in this year's series.
Look out also for Cheryl Sornson (Team CF), a former NUE series champion in 2008 and previous third and fourth place finisher at the Mohican. Laureen Coffelt (Velosoul/The Natural Way) and Emily Brock (Bike29.com) are other regulars at the front of the end race who could surprise the favorites.
In the singlespeed race, Harlan Price a former geared men's open NUE Series Champion, will be back in action at the Mohican, which he won in 2006. He'll take on Gerald Pflug (Salsa/SPK/Pro Bikes), who also made the move from the geared to the singlespeed division, but he did so earlier and is therefore the reigning NUE singlespeed series champion. Others to watch are Roger Masse (Gary Fisher 29er Crew), Gunner Shogren (Dynamic Physical Therapy) and Gabe Rainwater, a recordholder in the 24 hours of Mohican.
In the Masters 50+ division, John Williams will race as reigning masters NUE champion and defending Mohican 100 winner. he'll be challenged by Team CF founder, James Wilson. Finally, Chris McGill (Cannondale) should not be underestimated with a 12th place NUE Series finish and an 11th place at Mohican last year.
NUE racers will race a full 100-mile loop with over 11,000 feet of climbing, but others will have a shorter, 100km (62-mile) option. The course spans four counties and including plenty of trails in the Mohican Memorial State Forest. The races connect both private and public lands in a single-loop offering.
The action usually gets off to a speedy start with a $200 prime going to the first racer to reach the city limits on the way out of town after the start.
500 racers are expected this year at the race, which has doubled in size nearly every year since its inception.
For more information, visit www.mohican.net.