Anytime a racer returns to defend a title, there is an added bit of pressure resting on his or her back. That pressure increases exponentially when your winning streak stretches for four years. That was Josh 'Toast' Tostado's (Bach Builders / Santa Cruz) cross to bear as he entered his fifth Breckenridge 100 this past weekend and faced new competition on home turf. Last year's winner and the current leader of the NUE series Jeff Schalk (Trek Racing Co-Op) had not yet been to the high altitude climates of Breckenridge, but had chosen 2009 as his year to test the dominance of Tostado.
For Tostado, living at 10,000 feet elevation gives him a distinct advantage over the competition in a race that repeatedly crests the 12,500ft mark, but the shear perseverance and accomplishment of defending a title over five years has to be commended. Tostado managed to stay focused and confident in the face of the powerhouse that is Schalk, who has brought a new level of riding to the NUE series since he dominated in his first year on the scene in 2008. From the gun, Tostado and Schalk distanced themselves from the pack and spent the rest of the day together.
The Breck 100 has the longest finishing times of any of the NUE series races and Toast was ready to use his 24-hour racing abilities to his advantage. "I figured that he (Schalk) was usually finished after the seven-hour mark, and I figured I might have an advantage as the race stretched into the last hour and half." His prediction held true as he was able to drop a fading Schalk at the 80-mile mark in a more technical section of woods.
Yuki Saito (Topeak/Ergon) followed in third place. He has has had a jam-packed few weeks. On July fourth, he raced the Firecracker 50, then followed that up the next day by racing the inaugural Breck Epic for six days.
New faces in the women's class
Ester Horyani arrived Sunday on the scene as an unknown to the normal circle of women endurance riders, but came out leaving an impression on many of the top men in the field for her finishing time of just over 10 hours. That time put her in the top 12 overall of one of the most technically challenging 100 milers on the schedule. Unable to match her power were fellow Boulder resident Sonya Looney (Topeak/Ergon) and third place finisher and Breckenridge local Erika Tiezen (Bach Builders).
The question to ask is weather or not we'll see Horyani or Looney again, or are they satisfied with their 100 miler experiences?
Singlespeeders tackle big climbs
13,000 feet of climbing in a 100-mile race is a big day for anyone, but take away the advantage of gears and you've set yourself up for a possible suicide mission. A key ingredient to success at the Breck 100 this year was the winner's choice of a relatively easy gear of 32-22, while the second place rider chose not only a debilitating 32-20, but also tires that were virtually impossible to remove and reinstall when changing a flat.
Singlespeed winner Mark Thompson (Wilderness Sports) also conveniently chose to settle in Breckenridge. Unfortunately the NUE series singlespeed leader Gerald Pflug (Speedgoat/SPK) ruined his chances to take the top spot after flatting on the initial downhill of the race, and then spending a half hour with a complicated flat change.
Despite the problems for Pflug, he managed to hold off the third place finisher Joseph Gratcofsky (Twin Six) by four and a half minutes.
The National Ultra Endurance Series heads next to Pennsylvania's Wilderness 101 on August 1. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for coverage.
|2||Sonya Looney (Topeak-Ergon)||1:06:46|
|1||Michael Simonson (Gary Fisher 29er cre)||9:49:05|
|2||Andrew Carney (Big Wheel Racing)||0:44:43|
|3||Daniel Nelson (Racers Cycle Service)||0:58:46|
|4||Stewart Gross (Go Big Sports)||1:10:11|
|5||Nathan Miller (Dales Pale Ale/TFW)||1:15:07|
|7||Gabe Klamer (Fitzeralds Bicycles)||1:39:39|
|9||Lucas Chandler (Lucas Chandler)||2:39:05|
|10||Joe Slonecki (Founders Ales)||2:39:34|
|11||Brady Adams (byrds)||3:07:42|
|DNS||Michael Chavez (michael chavez)|
|DNS||Nathan Wangerin (Derby Bicycle Center)|
|DNF||Brandon Newcomer (Trek Boulder Store)|
|DNF||Greg Parham (Caveman Productions)|
|DNF||Steve Bartzen (Founders Ale Alger)|
|DNF||Brent Gorman (Speedway-Humpy's)|
|DNF||Luke Kuschmeader (Team Kuat)|
|1||Erika Tieszen (Bach Builders/Sitnah)||12:31:44|
|2||Bethany Elson (Jan's)||0:02:14|
|3||Danielle Musto (Kenda/Tomac/Hayes)||0:48:14|
|1||Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz/Bach)||8:33:50|
|2||Jeff Schalk (Trek Racing Co-Op)||0:10:28|
|3||Yuki Saito (Topeak-Ergon)||0:39:21|
|4||Cale Redpath (3D Racing)||1:10:36|
|6||Mike Cubison (Waltworks/Fuentes)||1:23:03|
|7||Doug Johnson (Bandwagon Racing)||1:29:02|
|9||Rob Lockey (Optimize Endurance)||2:00:49|
|10||Ryan Hamilton (CoMotion/Yeti)||2:23:23|
|12||Ian Smith (Waltworks)||2:35:51|
|13||Paul Wells (Melrad racing)||2:37:30|
|19||Dan Larocque (Tiger Cycling)||3:41:41|
|23||Sam Brede (Carvers)||4:19:43|
|24||Ken Kreidl (Spare Tire Racing)||4:34:53|
|27||Brett Hawkins (Kangaroosh)||5:19:31|
|DNS||Andy Cessna (Salty Nuts)|
|DNF||Brad Hunt (The Clammy Shammy)|
|DNF||Lance Loehding (Chipotle/Titus)|
|DNF||Shawn Davison (Founders Brewing)|
|DNF||Travis Underwood (The Alpineer)|
|DNF||Patrick Kline (Bicycle Outfitters)|
|DNF||Daniel Hamann (Hamann)|
|DNF||Beau Moonoyham (Team Kuat)|
|DNF||Miles Venzara (Directory Plus/Trek)|
|DNF||Shawn Meredith (ALL MTN Racing)|
|DNF||Stanislav Vrba (wilderness)|
|DNF||Warner Smith (Salty Nuts)|
|DNF||Lonn Hart (NRC/Kona)|
|1||Kimo Seymour (Landis/Powerbar)||9:26:44|
|2||Ted Macblane (hub of aspen)||0:28:29|
|3||Matt Woodruff (BrokenSpoke Cycling)||1:04:31|
|5||Mark Gouge (Velonews/Titus)||1:35:56|
|6||Peter Piccolo (KHG Brain Tumor Foun)||1:55:07|
|7||Richard Brown (Noreast Cycling)||2:01:26|
|9||Ernie Johnson (OES/Bike Source)||2:20:09|
|12||Chuck Ray (sidetrack'd / Sports)||2:24:28|
|15||Esteban Lipsher (Wilderness Sports)||3:01:46|
|16||Brad Grohusky (Wilderness Sports)||3:07:43|
|20||Mac Johansen (Eyes Only)||4:13:40|
|DNS||Colin Trueman (Truesports)|
|DNF||Edward Spears (VDN)|
|DNF||Daniel King (Adreline Titus)|
|DNF||Peter Dunn (Team Bums)|
|DNF||Don Henson (Higher Power)|
|DNF||Ralph Oppermann (AFD)|
|DNF||David Goldberg (solo)|
|DNF||David Schulhofer (Team Waste Management)|
|DNF||Derek Scott (Scott Energy)|
|DNF||Ryan O'dell (Endura/Kenda)|
|DNF||Jeff Van Blarcom|
|3||Tom Liebl (Hammer Nutrition)||1:44:24|
|4||Andy Forbes (georges boise)||1:55:13|
|6||David Kelnberger (Fisher29er Crew)||2:47:29|
|DNF||David Grauer (orthopro)|
|DNF||Greg Turner (RBM/Velo Voodoo)|
|1||Mark Thompson (Wilderness Sports)||9:51:56|
|2||Gerald Pflug (Speedgoat/SPK)||1:14:53|
|3||Joseph Gratcofsky Boulder (Twin Six)||1:19:25|
|4||Mark Elsasser (Independent Fabricat)||1:52:48|
|DNF||Matt Turgeon (Big Wheel Racing)|
|DNF||Mike Vanderberg (Team Dirt/Twin Six)|
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