Sunday, April 26, 2009

100 Miler #1... Cohutta

I was a little worried when I read the forecast for Ducktown TN this past weekend for the Cohutta 100. Sunny and a high of 85! Sounds like really nice weather, but the problem is I've been riding in 40 degree temps for the past 6 weeks. This race was to be the big focus for the spring. Bike setup below. She sits at 21 lbs even. It's a fast bike!

The race drew over 300 racers willing to take on the brutal 100 mile MTB course with roughly 12,000ft of climbing. Needless to say it was going to be a tough day in the saddle.
The start sends you up a 3 mile long paved climb which strings things out nicely. I was the first one into the trail head, but by the time we got to the singletrack, I was sitting 6th wheel tucked in right behind Jeremiah Bishop. The pace was fast through the first 18 miles of singletrack. The front group slowly started to whittle itself down.

Once we got onto the mountain roads, the pace seemed to let up... right until we got to aid station 2 at mile 36. This is where Jeff Schalk rolled thru and put the hammer down. Jeremiah Bishop went after him, then Sam Koerber. Chris Beck, Chris Peariso, and I were content to set tempo and work together. I took a few hard digs on the long climb up to mile 55 where Chris Peariso ended up losing contact due to some mechanical trouble. Chris Beck and I ended up catching and passing Sam, and we were working together all the way up to aid 4 where Chris Eatough eventually bridged up. The three of us worked together for about 15 miles until Chris Beck attacked on the last fire rd climb. It was too much for me and I had to let him go. Soon after Chris Eatough passed and dropped me. I was spent, but I was content with rolling in for 5th spot.

Overall, I'm really satisfied with my performance. I accomplished a big goal of mine, which was to finish an NUE race in under 7 hrs (6:45!) The bike worked awesome in which I had zero mechanicals. I think I've finally got my nutrition dialed in too. Next on the calendar is Mohican 100. A little closer to home this time... I'll keep ya posted!
1. Jeff Schalk
2. Jeremiah Bishop
3. Chris Beck
4. Chris Eatough
5. Mike Simonson
6. Josh Tostado
7. Sam Koerber

Monday, April 20, 2009

Paris to Ancaster Report

So the Brewchamp, my wife Michelle, and I all piled into the NEW Brewchamp pontoon machaine (AKA Dodge minivan) this past Saturday morning and headed over to Canadia for the first early season test of strength. The Paris Ancaster spring classic has grown every year since my first run down the course in 2006. Over 1800 people lined up with pro's like Canadian National CX champ Michael Garrigan and top USA CX star Jeremy Powers. We stayed in downtown Hamilton and had a nice relaxing Saturday evening to prepare us for the fight to ensue in the morning.

Right from the gun, Powers took the wholeshot and I went straight onto his wheel. From there we hit a long section of uneventful rail trail. As soon as I could see the arrows pointing us off the rail trail, I came to the front and was the first one onto the loose dirt rd climb. I attacked hard! My effort pulled out Michael Garrigan and Jeremy Powers. Soon after, Powers came to the front and I was seeing stars trying to hang onto his wheel. The three of us were off the front for a little while, but I just couldn't seem to recover. I was gased... BIG TIME! So I decided to return to the much larger chase group in an attempt to recover. We eventually caught Powers and Garrigan. From there on out the group would swell and string out over and over again as the attacks would go into the BRUTAL headwinds and crosswinds, which I probably sucked too much of yo-yo'ing on and off the back. The pace surges proved to be too much for me to handle and I eventually fell off the back of the group. I chased hard though and didn't give up.
To my surprise I was able to gather up a few straglers and form a good group. We continued to pick off straglers one by one until we made it to the deadly mud slides. I was first going to each of them and both times I was able to get a gap... which didn't really stick. I came into the final punch to the line with one guy left from the group. I took a good hard dig and made the push to line for 6th.

Not too bad considering the competition this year. It was a fun weekend. Tim Farrar did an excellent job as always. I would highly recomend this race to everyone. Powers is no doubt incredibly strong as he won the day, and it was good for me to get out there and stretch myself against such strong riders to prepare myself for this weekends first NUE show down... COHUTTA!

Full results are posted HERE

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bike Parts For Sale

See something you like? Shoot me an email. mikesimonson at hotmail dot com.

Trek 69er. Full XT/Bontrager XXX-Lite W/XTR Pedals and Carbon XXX-Lite stem. Rock Shox REBA fork. $2000 or best offer.

SOLD: 2009 Bontrager X-Lite TLR 29er wheels. 160mm discs included. Tires not included. $450 or best offer.

SOLD: Alpha Q Carbon CX Fork. Brand new in box. $400 or best offer.

Brand new tires. 26" Kenda Nevegel 2.1" DTC and 26" Bontrager Dry X TLR 2.1" $20 each tire.