NUE Series points forfeited during winner's suspension at Breck 100
Weiss, who is currently under suspension from NADA for two years, readily agreed to forfeit his NUE Series points
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Great weather and a warmer start to the Kenda NUE Series five at the Breckenridge 100 this year was no guarantee of a finish. For racers not acclimated or accustomed to high altitude, mostly above ten thousand 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 along 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, all over the US.
Weiss takes the win but Tostado receives first place NUE Series points
Michael Weiss (Team SRM PROfiles) who hails from Austria, currently living in Colorado Springs, won the men’s open division 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 his rim.
Weiss, who is currently under suspension from NADA for two years, readily agreed to forfeit his NUE Series points to Josh Tostado, who placed second. NUE policy forbids racers from competing in the NUE Series for points while under suspension. To his credit, Weiss was upfront about his suspension from the beginning and notified the Breckenridge race director of his suspension 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 Josh 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. The official ruling 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 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 recently overruled which means Weiss is now forbidden from competing in triathlon as well as other sanctioned events until December 2013.
Weiss released the following statement on his website at the time: “I was disheartened to learn that despite NADA Austria closing my case in September 2010, followed by the Vienna State attorney also ruling in my favor, the Independent Arbitration Commission of NADA still chose to issue a two year suspension effective immediately. The decision contradicts NADA’s Legal Commission and the judgment of Vienna’s state prosecutor and is founded solely on one individual’s verbal accusation with no factual evidence which dates back to 2005.
“I maintain my innocence and have been given the opportunity to appeal the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). After consideration of the time and expense to pursue of an appeal, I have chosen to dedicate my time and resources to my family and training and will focus on my future comeback to triathlon, a sport I have grown to love and respect.”
Weiss had this to say about the race. “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 my first hundred-mile mountain bike race, although my roots and background as an athlete is in mountain biking. 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.
“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 XC-racing skills.”
Six-time winner of the Breckenridge 100 and local favorite, Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz) placed second 8:23:21, just minutes behind Weiss, but will be awarded first-place 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 in Bend, OR this coming Saturday.
Finishing third was Ben Swanepoel (Squirt Lube) of Knysna from the Republic of South Africa 8:36:12. A contender for the NUE Series title, Swanepoel placed thirteenth 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) of Sante Fe, NM who finished 8:45:50 and three minutes later, Nick Truitt (Yeti/Pactimo) of Breckenridge rolled in 8:48:49 followed just thirty seconds later by Ezekiel Hersh (Honey Stinger/ Bontrager) from nearby Frisco 8:49:18. Park City native Sam Sweetser (Cole Sport Racing) rounded out the top six all finishing in sub ten hours.
Carey makes it four in a row
Defending NUE Series Champion, Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt) posted her fourth straight win on Sunday, coming in at 10:19:00, putting her in an enviable position to be able to step back and evaluate the competition as the series rolls on to the final showdown at the Fool’s Gold 100 in Georgia. All ties are broken at the final race but strategy often includes winning additional races to try to prevent ties from occurring.
According to Carey, “It had been years (2008) since I had done the Breck 100. 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.
“My plan was to ride a conservative and solid pace all day. I took it very easy on the opening climb up and over Wheeler Pass, knowing that racing at altitude is a total game changer. 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.
“My greatest challenge turned out to be the weather. About thirty minutes into the last loop (climbing up to Boreas Pass the first time) it started to pour rain. Then, when I popped up onto the road it started to hail. Unfortunately for me, it was pouring rain on me during the very technical descent into Como. Don’t get me wrong, I love riding in bad conditions and am very comfortable riding in the rain and mud, but I really had to dial it down and shift from race mode to survival mode until I made it to Como. 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.
“I really wanted to get a sub ten hour time, but given the conditions, and my game plan, I’m very happy with how my day unfolded. I rode my Felt Edict 29 and think that having a dual suspension made a big difference. I also ran Kenda Kosmik Lite II tires in the SCT and had no problems all day.”
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) from Memphis, TN 12:05:58.
“Two alpine passes, thousands of feet of climbing and 100 miles,” said Thelen. “Sounds like a perfect way to spend a Sunday in July. I had no clue what to expect when I signed up for the Breck 100 back in winter. I just knew I wanted a new challenge and this seemed like a great place for my first 100 mile mountain bike race.
“My primary goal was to finish, so once the flag dropped at the base of Peak 9, I settled into a steady tempo. and watched as Amanda Carey and Jari Kirkland rode away into the distance.
“And since it’s not a mountain bike race without some soil sampling, got the one crash of the day out of the way early on the descent down Wheeler.”
Thunder was starting to rumble as I climbed up the Colorado Trail, a hint of what was coming. But I ignored it, focusing instead on the sweet singletrack descent on the Colorado Trail. I had a grin a mile wide coming down that. But the fun was short lived, as the trail turned up another long climb before returning to Carter Park. At that point, I was in fourth overall, as Cathy Ekhart passed me near the end of the second lap.
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) from Colorado Springs picked up the slack putting an hour on the entire SS field and finishing third overall among all contenders in 8:31:47.
It was back in 2003 when Chambers became the under-25 24 hour mountain bike world champion and in 2005 he earned the honor of becoming the elite 24 hour mountain bike national champion. With this big win under his belt, is Chambers planning to make a run at the NUE Series title?
Second place went to AJ Linnell (Fitzgerald’s Bicycle) of Victor, ID, the only other singlespeed racer to crack the sub ten hour mark at 9:38:22. The third podium spot went to Rob Lockey (OES/Bike Source) of Indian Hills 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 eleven was Anthony Mannina (RockyMounts/Izze) of Boulder in 10:40:02.
Defending Champion Andrews scores his first NUE Series victory of the year
NUE Masters Champion, Doug Andrews (GeoLadders.com) of Mission Viejo, CA made it two straight at the Breck 100 with yet another impressive finish as the only master to go sub ten hours in 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 apiece, 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,” he said, 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.
It was the first time that I never cramped at all for the entire race.”
Andrews credited that with what he was eating and perhaps some subtle improvement to his pedal stroke, “I think a combination of endurolytes and not killing it so hard at the start of the race, backing it off a bit and not stressing my legs so much that I just felt fresh the entire race. I added a Bonk bar to Hammer gels along with Hammer Sustained Energy. I liked having some solid food a little bit, it was a good mixture. I only used Hammer Gels on the third lap and was just running on a good breakfast before the race and that seems to work.”
Taking second was Marland Whaley of Hamilton, MT, finishing 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 in Breckenridge,” he said. “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 see 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?”
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.
“It was the maiden voyage of a brand new bike and fortunately I had a chain tool with me and was able to clamp down on it tight enough, not pushing the pin through but down to the pin, and hang onto it near the jockey wheel to straighten it. I overcorrected the first time then brought it back a little bit and it didn’t give me anymore problems other than shifting a little funky on the climbs. I was dreading flats and it was my first time running tubeless but no flats and the Stan’s held up in the new tires. I wanted a Kenda Small Block Eight but they don’t make a UST tire for a 29er yet.”
Asked about his nutrition during the race, Whaley responded, “I’m a Hammer guy. Perpetuem and Fizz, love the endurolytes fizz. They taste so good it makes me want to drink more. I don’t eat anything, ever, when I am racing. Solid food upsets my stomach. I had two gels on my last lap but otherwise just Perpetuem and Fizz. That’s all I use. For me, it’s a Godsend. I got onto it about two years ago after bonking and bonking.” 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) who resides in Huntsville, AL. 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 10:36:14 and Mark Hershberger (Hoback Sports) of Jacksonhole, WY placed fifth 10:50:48 rounding out the masters who finished sub eleven hours.