Bishop and Simril win Cohutta 100

The Kenda National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series race #2 rolled out Saturday from the Ocoee whitewater center near Ducktown, Tennessee, host of the 1996 Olympic whitewater competition. The sold-out Cohutta 100 attracted 500 competitors with a race course boasting more than 14,000 feet of vertical elevation within the Cherokee National Forest, including much of the Tanasi trail system, recently rated best in the state of Tennessee by

Several racers reported encountering black bears during the race, which is not surprising given that the Cherokee Forest is home of one of the largest black bear preserves. Racers Tony Mellot and Alex Butler were among several racers who encountered bears.

"We were coming up around mile 35 on this screaming downhill and I looked up from a distance at what looked like a large black husky, but as I got closer, I realized it was not a dog and obviously a large black bear," said Butler. "I swerved out of the way a little bit, and kept cruisin’ down."

Mellot said, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, "All I saw was a wall of black fur, but I looked over, winked at it, and went right on by."


2012 NUE Champion Jeremiah Bishop (Team Sho-Air) demonstrated that he is in top form at his first NUE race this season, finishing 7:26:02, nearly a half hour ahead of his nearest competitor!

"The early morning fog was thick. Five hundred racers fought for the first singletrack. I used my cross country skills to slot in second wheel and stay out of trouble," said Bishop. "My training had been very hard in the mid-week leading up to the race, with a five-hour blaster just two days previous when I emptied my tank. To succeed over 100 miles, I knew my nutrition strategy and hydration would be essential, so I held with the lead group that was eight-man strong at the time."

Bishop got going around mile 45 and started driving the pace on his way to victory. "It was a great feeling to start my 2014 endurance season with such a good day in the saddle. I enjoyed a post-race swim with friends, celebrated the win and a return to epic racing."

Rob Spreng (Rare Disease Cycling) finished second at 7:53:34. In 2013, Spreng finished third overall in the NUE Series, including a second place finish at the Mohican 100.

Christopher Michaels (Mark's Bike Shop) took third, finishing 8:14:25. "This was my first race of the year other than a fun race back in January, a fun target to shoot at for sure."

Tom Burke (New Holland Brewing) finished fourth in 8:18:07. Andy Rhodes (North Mountain) finished fifth at 8:20:23.


Brenda Simril (Motor Mile Racing) finished third overall last year in the NUE Series, including her first ever win at the Pierre’s Hole 100. Building on her experience and training, 47-year-old Simril is off to her best start ever as she captured her first win of the season at Cohutta, finishing 9:34:15. Her finish time was just less than two minutes short of the winning time set last year by NUE defending champion, Cheryl Sornson (Team Rare Diseases), who went on to win her third NUE Series title last season.

"Cohutta is one of my favorite races because, being from Chattanooga, it's my hometown NUE race and because of the beautiful and brutal mountains we ride over. I really had no race plan other than to just get to the start, ride my own pace, and finish. This was my 40th NUE race, so after doing so many I know full well when I wake up in the morning that I'm due for a long day of pain and suffering."

Seven minutes behind Simril, Paige Witherington (Peachtree Bikes) finished second in 9:41:54. "Yesterday I finished the Cohutta 100. It was my first ride over 73 miles and my first 100 miler so I had no idea what to expect. It turns out that what people write about is true - pacing is everything and having fun is paramount."

Less than two minutes behind Witherington, Jennifer Moos (Rose Bandits Cycling) captured third place in 9:43:42. Five minutes later, Carla Williams (Joe’s Bike Shop) finished fourth 9:48:51. Anne Pike (Blue Ridge Cycling) rounded out the podium at fifth in 10:07:54.


Gordon Wadsworth, 28, was the only SS to go sub-eight hours on the day. In fact, he was one of just three racers to go sub-eight on the day, as he won the SS in 7:48:35.

"Gerry and I sat at the back of the lead group filing into the singletrack," said Wadsworth. "Gerry passed as needed to stay tight on the leaders through the flat sections of singletrack and, as soon as the trail tilted up, we kept our momentum into fourth and fifth positions. Much to the entertainment of the leaders, Gerry hit the gas a few times and I answered, putting us into the first two positions early on."

Pflug attacked a few time and Wadsworth answered each one. "I made a couple of my own to match as the geared pair of Spreng and Bishop kept the group pace smooth to the bottom of potato patch. Everybody was waiting to see when Jeremiah would motor on and sure as rain he opened a gap shortly onto the first pitches of the eight-mile climb."

Wadsworth took a calculated risk and gave it his best to stay away.

Daniel Rapp (Toasted Head Racing) placed second behind Wadsworth at 8:30:22 then James Thompson, (Red Eye Velo) rolled in a minute later to take third in 8:31:49.

After making a wrong turn at mile 97, five-time defending NUE Series Champion and last year's race winner, Gerry Pflug (Rare Disease Cycling) rolled in four minutes behind Thompson to finish fourth at 8:35:11.

"Not very far from this tent, at the 93-mile marker, there was a 'T' intersection in the trail with no arrows, only a piece of course marking tape lying on the ground across the trail on my left side. I hesitated for a minute at this intersection, but decided to go right because the tape seemed to be blocking the trail to the left. I descended for a while and then climbed even further before coming to a gate blocking a gravel road with no course markings in sight."

"I guess finishing fourth in my class is not too bad considering the circumstances; it's just a bit disappointing and hard to swallow after riding so well for the first 93 miles of the race. But, there will be good days and bad days. And, overall, I've had a pretty good and long lasting string of luck to help me win many races over my many years of racing."

Forty-seven seconds behind Pflug, Trevor Rockwell, Team Noah Foundation, took the fifth spot on the podium at 8:35:58.


50-year-old Alex Hawkins got his first win at Cohutta, finishing 8:31:17. "My goal for Cohutta was to pace myself and race my own race. At True Grit last month, I went out too fast and suffered mightily for over two hours during the middle of the race. At one point I was cramping so badly that I could not walk through the cattle gates without stumbling and getting tangled up in the barbed wire."

Hawkins caught leader Roger Masse with 14 miles to go. "Roger was running a rigid fork for Cohutta which made me think that as long as I remained with him until the singletrack began I should be able to pull away on the descent. He seemed to be thinking the same thing and so put in one final attack on the last gravel road climb. I was able to fight that off and enter the singletrack ahead of him. Despite the rigid fork, he managed to finish less than two minutes behind."

Rare Disease Cycling's Masse, 53, finished second, just two minutes behind the leader at 8:33:27, "With an abbreviated season in 2013 due to Lyme Disease, I came into this race not really knowing who the fast Masters riders were. I'm really happy with my day. I had a great start and really felt pretty good most of the day."

Nine minutes behind Masse, 58-year-old Greg Turner (Velo Voodoo) finished third in 8:42:07. NUE defending champion, Marland Whaley, Hammer Nutrition, finished fourth on the day at 8:56:17 following his first win of the season at NUE #1 True Grit Epic. Four minutes behind Whaley, Jim Mathews, Toasted Head Racing, took the five spot in 9:00:38.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jeremiah Bishop (Sho-Air)7:26:02
2Rob Spreng (Rare Disease)0:27:32
3Christopher Michaels (Mark's Bike)0:48:23
4Tom Burke (New Holland)0:52:05
5Andy Rhodes (north mountain)0:54:21
6Garth Prosser (Specialized)0:59:12
7Andrew Dunlap (Rare Disease)1:06:18
8Brian Toone (Friends)1:07:07
9German Bermudez (Bike Tech Miami)1:07:44
10Ben Richardson (Humana)1:08:04
11Brian Mountjoy (Toyota)1:10:17
12Kip J. Biese (KJBikeCoaching)1:10:42
13Nathaniel Cornelius (Toyota)1:14:57
14Jesse Kelly (Rare Disease)1:15:12
15Barnabas Froystad (Bear Creek Bike)1:20:43
16A. Zane Wenzel (Horst Engineering)1:23:32
17James Wiant (Peachtree Bikes)1:25:09
18Paul Tarter (Adventures)1:27:36
19Jeff Mandell (Finkraft Cycling)1:28:16
20Scott Morman (Stark Velo)1:31:59
21Joe Johnston (Black Bear)1:33:59
22David Pike (Blue Ridge)1:42:30
23Ryan Heerschap (Cycle Craft)1:44:04
24Dan Kotwicki (RBS Cycling)1:45:00
25Alexander Kurland (Bike Factory)1:45:38
26Tomas Delgado (Bike Superstar)1:51:12
27Jay Click (Cycletherapy)1:56:30
28John Adams (Saddleblock)2:00:35
29Grant Matthews (Toasted Head)2:02:37
30Bruce Stauffer (Cycle Works)2:06:12
31Justin Sotdorus (Nuts About)2:07:45
32Cole Jacobsen (Titletown Flyer)2:09:45
33Chris Lane (Joe's Bike Shop)2:10:37
34Alejandro Collins (Wheel)2:16:57
35Rowan Jones (Breck's Bicycle)2:19:22
36David Cornett (Pro-Mountain)2:19:42
37Ross Anderson (SCOTT PRO)2:22:18
38Craig Brimer (East Ridge)2:30:21
39Raymond Willard (Empire Brewing)2:30:44
40Lee Simril (Motor Mile)2:38:14
41Peter Bauer (
42Justin Dansby (Peachtree Bikes)2:47:52
43Ryan Miracle (Marietta)2:51:02
44Jeff Brown (Joe's Bike Shop)2:55:31
45Sam Beall2:56:28
46Alejandro Vila (Adrenalina Race)2:56:52
47Dustin Burkeen (Wood N Wave)2:57:09
48Brad Jacobs (Team)2:58:40
49David Wagoner2:59:10
50Greg Maness3:02:17
51Steven Boggs (RACING GREYHOUNd)3:04:53
52Tom Haines (Design Physics)3:07:31
53Greg Rittler (Joe's Bike Shop)3:11:25
54Brad Hawk (Twin Six)3:11:48
55John Tenwalde (Paradise Garage)3:12:13
56Dan Marshall (Eager Beaver 10)3:14:05
57Eric Ivey (Outspokin)3:16:58
58Wilfredo Rafael Ospina Uribe3:19:49
59Michael Bonsby (Team Mt Airy)3:20:59
60Diego Tosoni (self)3:23:01
61Frank Webber (Orbea-Tuff Shed)3:26:43
62David Marshall (Commonwealth)3:29:44
63Matthew Kesecker (CAMBO)3:31:29
64Jeff Hartz3:34:07
65Keith Duncan (Team Ed/The)3:34:23
66Carter Chappell (901 Racing)3:37:29
67Matt Fremstad3:37:30
68Rodney Reed3:37:44
69Steve Huter3:40:49
70Will Seidel (RTO National)3:46:53
71Terrence Gleason (TotalCyclist)3:51:21
72Brad Verstegen (BCOC)3:52:10
73Steve Baptiste (Big chief racing)3:53:14
74Victor Gasior (Stanky Creek)3:54:01
75Chad Wamack3:58:22
76Jared Trinkaus (The Bike Shak)4:04:20
77John Van Alsburg (Team rJr)4:05:50
78Jason Sparks (RACING GREYHOUND)4:05:54
79Obie Ingram (Southern Cresce)4:18:59
80Jason D'arcy (SCC)4:19:01
81Eric Mierzejewski (Achieve)4:19:28
82Alexander Lonsdale4:19:42
83Sergio Alejandr Paez (Synergy)4:20:57
84Chris Bryce (Wolfpak Racing)4:21:09
85Aaron Oswald (Trek Store)4:26:01
86Rob Mitzel (Team rJr/)4:27:31
87Bill Mickey (Frankford Bikes)4:36:29
88Adam Elser (Frankford Bikes)Row 87 - Cell 2
89Charles Tucker4:39:27
90Derek Willis4:46:14
91Daniel Cleaver (Dirt Division)4:52:49
92Timothy Davey4:54:00
93Dan McbreenRow 92 - Cell 2
94M.V. Carroll (RACING GREYHOUNd)4:56:54
95Matthew Calhoun5:03:18
96Michael Weisgerber (Rogue Racing)5:08:34
97Dan Searle5:09:31
98Eric Holland5:10:42
99Connor Everett (RedEye Velo Jun)5:16:50
100Christopher Barkow (Cheese Sammich)5:25:34
101Timothy Klausutis5:27:51
102Russell Spaulding (TFM_BC)5:32:27
103Sam Stallings (Team Hrothgar)5:48:12
104Robert Wray6:02:54
105Trey Schwalb6:09:26
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Brenda Simril (Motor Mile)9:34:15
2Paige Witheringotn (Peachtree Bikes)0:07:39
3Jennifer Moos (Rose Bandits)0:09:27
4Carla Williams (Joe's Bike Shop)0:14:36
5Anne Pike (Blue Ridge)0:33:39
6Danielle Musto (Salsa, Twin Six)0:56:35
7Simona Vinvenciova (Vanderkitten)1:00:44
8Emily Korsch (Team Noah Found)1:04:43
9Melissa Mertz (Toasted Head)1:08:57
10Kristen Arnold (Lady Gnar Shred)1:41:11
11Heather Hawke (Rokform/Rock)1:42:23
12Jennifer Talley1:57:39
13Jocelyn Linscott (Toasted Head)1:58:26
14Stephanie Critchfield (SCC)2:22:27
15Kathleen Sheehan (Joe's Bike Shop)2:36:02
16Kelly Paduch (Mark's Bike)2:43:49
17Allison Fontana2:49:24
18Melissa Cooper (Storm Racing)2:51:02
19Maria Esswein (Team Noah Found)3:16:25
20Emily Hairfield (Blue Ridge)3:22:08
21Karen Franzen (Cycling Concept)3:57:35
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Singlespeed men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gordon Wadsworth (Blue Ridge)7:48:35
2Daniel Rapp (Toasted Head)0:41:47
3James Thompson (Red Eye Velo)0:43:14
4Gerry Pflug (Team Rare)0:46:36
5Trevor Rockwell (Team Noah)0:47:23
6Chase Barnhart (Marietta)1:11:15
7Jason Pruitt (Peoples Brewing)1:12:27
8Tom Brockman (Bicycle Sport)1:16:40
9Chris Hays (Toasted Head)1:25:01
10Todd Ace (RACING GREYHOUNd)1:28:16
11Rob Lochner (Pro Bikes)1:41:52
12Jeff Bushong (Chicken Ranch)1:51:06
13Scott Miller (Team)2:03:11
14Taylor Kruse (Paradise Garage)2:05:43
15Kerry Slotter (Saucon Valley)2:13:00
16Doug Smith (Gator Cycle)2:45:33
17Joe Collins (VO2 Multisport)3:02:34
18Adam Clarke (Team Noah Found)3:10:12
19Chris Irving (Los Locos)3:18:36
20Andy Cremeans (Pro Mountain)3:32:48
21Jared Alderson (abs racing)3:35:36
22Joseph Delaney (North Mountain)3:53:28
23Kelly Von Canon4:06:26
24Christopher Holland4:17:57
25Nathan Hodge4:18:57
26John Meek (Privateer)4:32:28
27Tim Jones4:54:53
28Caleb Pusey5:04:39
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Masters 50+ men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alex Hawkins8:31:17
2Roger Masse (Rare Disease)0:02:10
3Greg Turner (Velo Voodoo)0:10:50
4Marland Whaley (Hammer Nutritio)0:25:00
5Jim Matthews (Toasted Head)0:29:21
6Roger Sutton (Brick City)0:33:29
7David Jolin (Stark Velo)0:45:51
8Monte Hewett1:12:48
9Michael Bucking1:18:20
10John Dove1:27:46
11Henry Mccullough (Team Trappe)1:29:02
12Michael Balliet (SmithLock)1:40:39
13Anthony Hergert (Reality Bikes)1:56:08
14Mark Johnson (Art of Stone)1:56:22
15Mark Drogalis (Toasted Head)2:03:05
16Tab Tollett (Moots)2:11:41
17Stuart Rackley (YABA)2:22:49
18David Grauer (orthopro)2:23:43
19Vick Dyer (Team ED/Bike)2:27:37
20Hugh Kelly (Milwaukee)2:57:13
21Michael French3:12:41
22Ed Mccalley (TEAM ED/BIKE)3:48:55
23Gene Hobbs4:32:02
24Jeff Smart (Fit Livin')4:32:03
25Nick Kirby (BIKE LINK RACINg)5:13:16


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