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The 10th Anniversary Founders Lumberjack 100

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |July 29, 2014 12:35 AM
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The 10thAnniversary Founders Lumberjack 100 -  Manistee, Michigan

KENDA NUE Race Series #5


Submitted by Scott TenCate and Ryan O’Dell

The Founders Lumberjack 100 is in the cycling history archives and the excitement of the 10th anniversary created added buzz for the sold out 2014 event.

Even veteran Lumberjack 100 racers were feeling like first timers as Race Director, Rick Plite, changed it up for 2014 with the race running backwards from the traditional counter clockwise direction.  A number of racers showed up early in the week to get a feel for the new direction and to see if the 9,000 feet of climbing would feel any better in the new direction. No such luck!

Rain on Wednesday and Thursday created perfect course conditions as it firmed up the trail and the traditional sandy spots throughout the 33-mile loop. Local riders said the trail conditions were perfect and anticipated a record breaking race time. Saturday morning, racers and their support crews were welcomed to a cool fifty eight degrees and cloud cover as they streamed into the Big M/Manistee National Forest parking lot.  

As daylight lit up the sky, racers lined up on the road for the rollout start behind the FJ Cruiser.  The traditional slow rolling, parade style roll out to the single-track was a thing of the past as racers sprinted off the start line to get in position to win the first climb up Bullwhacker hill for a $200 cash prime.

Women’s Open

Musto describes win as "A Dream Come True”

The Women's Open division saw Michigan native, Danielle Musto of Grand Rapids, Bike shop/Salsa/Twin Six, on a mission right off the line. She paced the women for the entire first lap crossing the mat at 2:35:58 before going on for the win in 8:02:35. "I couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions for my 10th Lumberjack. Temps were nice and cool in the morning and recent rain made the course conditions the best I had ever seen them. We had a pretty fast paved start and I hit the singletrack right behind Karen Potter.

I've raced Karen many times and know that she's a super strong endurance racer so I figured that it was a good place to be. We were still together at the first sandy doubletrack road but I took the lead heading into the next singletrack section and eventually pulled away. From that point on I just focused on keeping a steady pace and staying hydrated.  Honestly the course is so much fun that the race flew by.

This was by far the best I've ever felt at the Lumberjack and I think it as a combination of riding the perfect bike (Salsa Spearfish), having my nutrition dialed with CarboRocket, and having some really good weeks of training and racing leading up to the race. Crossing the finish line meant that I had pedaled 1,000 miles in the Manistee National Forest over the last 10 years of racing the Lumberjack and taking the win was a "dream come true”!”

Karen Potter,, from Shrewsbury, MA, was not far off the pace, just five minutes back to finish 8:07:55. "After taking a year off from the 100s and dealing with injuries last year, I decided to do a couple of them this year, including the Lumberjack.  Life had been a bit hectic coming into the race so I wasn't sure where my fitness was at for racing a 100 but I was banking on my experience to get me through. 

The mass start of mountain bikers bombing down the road is always intimidating to me but this year it went fairly smoothly getting onto the initial singletrack.  Danielle Musto was right with me but I didn't quite feel good enough at that point to try to put in any sort of effort to see what she had, so I figured I would just wait it out for a while.  I know she's a solid and consistent racer and that, since she was right there, she was already going to be a challenge for the day.  Sure enough, half way through the first lap, she had gapped me.  I was feeling kind of flat the first lap and started to feel twinges of some inner thigh cramps, which was disconcerting, so I didn't want to risk full on cramps and just kind of hung in with the pace I had at the time. 

Coming into the lap transition, I sped up the rebound on my rear suspension as I felt like it was a bit sluggish. That seemed to help how I felt overall on the bike and I was able to push more. My second lap felt much better and I opened up more. The third lap started out decent but the last stretch, where the hills come in again, got a bit painful.  I was hoping I might reel Danielle in but just couldn't close the gap. All in all, not bad for the first one back as it was my second fastest time for the course.  I liked the course in reverse.  It rode very smooth. "

Shannon Ancel, Cycles De Oro, rounded out the woman's top three finishing with a first lap time of 2:47:59 before finishing in 8:38:02 in her first 100 mile race. Another local first time 100 mile racer, Jill Martindale, Grand Rapids Bicycle Co., took fourth, finishing 8:40:10.

Ellie Stern, Racing Greyhounds, finished fifth on the podium in 8:49:57. Stern’s team mate, Tracy McNeilly, a 20 year breast cancer survivor, checked the Lumberjack off her bucket list, finishing in just over 13 hours. McNeilly received a Velocity USA 29er wheelset for her heroics!

Coming off an injury over the winter, Ohio Mountain Bike Championship (  Champion, Heidi Coulter, Lady Knar Shredders, made the trip up to Michigan, finishing 11th at 9:28:04. This follows her impressive third place division finish at the UCI sanctioned LaRuta de los Conquistadores stage race ( last November.

"Lumberjack 100, at times, felt like a dream to me. After breaking my arm this winter, this is the first race I have done where I actually felt good! With each mile, I could feel my mountain biking mojo finally coming back to me. By the second lap, the thought popped into my head that I was having entirely too much fun for a 100 mile race.  How could I not be happy flowing between trails lined with giant ferns, tall pines, and hardwood forests? I had some deep lows but bounced back and raced my heart out the last 17 miles! I am seriously considering doing Wilderness 101 next!”


Men’s Open

Tanguy gets his second straight NUE Win!

NUE defending champion, Christian Tanguy, Rare Disease Cycling, made it two in a row following his big win at the Mohican MTB100 three weeks ago finishing 6:37:06, just off the record time. "This year was the 10th anniversary of the race. However, for me, it was just the 8th time in a row that I put my bike at the start line. I hoped I would reach the finish line just like I did each time before. The start did not seem any more stressful than the previous editions. Even the prospect of winning the $200 dollars prime for the first person to reach the top of the hill did not cause any erratic behaviors. Jorden Wakeley started to sprint for the prime, I followed him closely just to make sure his sprint would not transform into a solo breakaway only two miles into the trails.

With the acceleration, Jorden and I had a gap, and that gap became larger as we made our way down the hill. Shortly after, Jorden pulled over to the side and let me lead. I did not give it too much thought at the time. After all, I just rode at the lead for over 99 miles three weeks earlier during the Mohican 100. Of course, I noticed that the ground was very soft due to the rain the day before but also because of the lead motorcycles, checking the course, loosening up the ground even more with their very knobby tires, so it was really like riding on snow.

With fresh legs, it was no problem and Jorden let me do all the pacing. The start of the second lap was much more fun because the 400 bikes that went thru the trail during the 1st lap steamed rolled the trail and now my Specialized Epic was the best bike to have on those trail conditions. But, like most things in life, you need to enjoy them immediately because they don’t last forever. With about three quarters of the lap of the second loop completed, I ran out of energy. Jorden was riding away from me without even having to attack.

Fortunately, I have a done quite a few 100 miles races and I have been there before. However, that does not mean I liked what lay ahead for me, Pain! Maybe, subconsciously, I knew this condition would happen because I left one extra bottle of CarboRocket to drink at the aid station but not for carrying with me on the bike. This additional bottle along with some gels provided by my friend was enough to slowly rev-up the engine.

As fate would have it, I started to spot Jorden at about the same location where he rode away from me. So here we were, about eight miles from the finish. Just like before, Jorden tucked himself neatly behind me. From experience, I know it is much easier (faster) to follow wheels than it is to ride on your own (read my race report from 2012 Fool’s Gold 100 here). On one hand, I just had to be patient and wait for a suitable location to attack. On the other hand, I had to hurry up or I would run out miles… somewhat ironic when you race for 100 miles!

With just five miles to go, I saw a stretch of trail I liked and gave it a nice push. I glanced once behind to confirm that there was a gap. It was now a time trial to the finish. It is strange how, with 20 miles before the finish, I was afraid my legs would cramp and now, with five miles to go at full speed, I knew my legs would not seize up. Mind over the body! I crossed the finish in first place and immediately searched for a bench to rest!”

24 year old Jorden Wakeley, 616 Fabrication, a local favorite from Grayling, Michigan, was the second racer to hit the single track early in the race before making an aggressive pass to be the first to the top of the one mile Bullwhacker climb.  He crested the hill and kept the hammer down on his Borealis with three inch wide tires, leading the entire first lap and first through the support area, crossing the mat at 2:10:21. Jon Roubal, Velorution, of Sault St. Marie Ontario was in third place five minutes after the leaders.

In the end, Wakeley finished just a minute behind the defending champ at 6:38:02. It came down to a sprint finish for third and fourth  between Jon Roubal and Gerry Pflug, Rare Disease Cycling, as Roubal edged out the five time NUE Singlespeed Champion, now on a geared bike. Roubal finished third in 6:46:02 with Pflug just split seconds off to finish fourth.

Gerry Pflug, "My legs felt good at the start so I attacked at the beginning of the race just before entering the single track.  It was at this point I thought there was a chance I could win the $200 first hill climb preem, so I continued riding hard.  Jorden Wakeley was on my wheel and I made the mistake of thinking he would not be able to ride the hill faster than me on the fat bike he was riding. When Jorden eventually came around me, I could not match his speed.  I had to slow my pace a bit on the remaining portion of the climb because I needed to recover from my early attack and preem effort.  Jorden and Christian were able to get away at this time.

Meanwhile, a chase group formed containing about seven other riders and me. About five miles into the race, I clipped a hidden tree stump with my pedal while riding at nearly 20 mph and the impact sent me airborne. Luckily, I was not severely injured, but the crash caused me to lose contact with the chase group because I had to readjust my saddle and handlebars. I laid out another hard effort and eventually caught the chase group a few miles later.  

The group was riding well together and having some good company seemed to make time fly. As the miles kept ticking by, the chase group eventually dwindled down to just three riders: Jan Roubal, Gordon Wadsworth and me.  Gordon threw an attack in the final miles to get away from our group, which left me alone with Jan for the finishing mile or so. I was able to get a small gap on the last climb, but Jan closed the gap on the final descent, which forced me to lead out the final sprint. Unfortunately, I did not have the power to take my bike across the line before Jan gave his final effort to come around me at the end. It was an incredible race, a ton of fun to do, and the fastest conditions the LJ100 has ever seen. I was really happy about setting a new personal 100 mile record time of 6:47 at the race. Next up for me is the Tatanka 100!”

First time Lumberjack 100 racer, Matt Acker, Team Redline/freewheeler Bike Shop, finished 6:49:47 to take fifth, rounding out the Men's Open top five.



"Spin to Win” Strategy pays off for Wadsworth

Gordon Wadsworth, Blue Ridge Cyclery Racing, lived up to his nickname "Quadsworth” as he crushed the field at the Lumberjack to finish 6:45:34. With this win and his early season win at Cohutta, Wadsworth has won two out of the last four NUE Races, making him an early favorite to win the SS division. "The SS race was pretty straight forward. We all lined up pretty straight and even in the front two rows waiting to spin our faces off in the two mile road lead out. A little chit chat revealed we were pretty widely geared across the group. As low as 32x18 and as high as 38x18 but I felt pretty confident in my "spin to win” strategy. Following my pre ride the day before, my 34x19 revealed flow for days amidst a couple of decent punches on the 33 mile circuit.

The gun fired and we all shot to the front fifteen or so slots. As the SS field stayed pretty tight into each other, we all felt the pressure pushing in from all sides to get out of the way and let the gears roll in. Rockwell, Goscinski, Ernesto and I all kind of huddled in and kept our position without falling too many places behind the leading wheels. As we started to see the parked cars and banner signaling the turn into the park I surged as much as I could and shot through a gap on the left created by riders leaving their line. My left line put me in a much better position going into the gravel drive and ultimately into the dirt. I was maybe 10-15 riders deep, which was much better than I anticipated, knowing the size and nature of the start. 

I made some moves to try and contest the preem up the Bullwacker climb but wasn't able to get close enough to make any sort of difference. Besides Jordan Wakeley clearly wanted it and I wasn't sure what the after effects of getting in his way would be! Wakeley and Tanguy escaped farther up the trail than I was interested in chasing and I knew, for the time being, I had my gap on whichever strong singlespeeder (and there were many!) made it through the melee next. A group quickly formed around Gerry Pflug and, when we popped onto the first fire road, we found a few more that had been shelled from the Wakely/Tanguy tango. I was surprised to see that the baggy clad rider who power slid onto the start line had made a strong start and would be joining our group! Jan proved to be a very strong rider, especially on the faster descents where many chose a hard tail for efficiency. He and another rider soft pedaled to the back and hammered into the line that was quickly forming. 

This group would stretch and grow as riders were dropped and other riders motored up to us. Heading into the pits after the first lap we were about eight or so strong and I began to count positions. Knowing Wakeley and Tanguy were one and two, I counted back to myself with frequency. After my second overall at Cohutta and the debacle of getting off course at Mohican, I thought it'd be nice to bring home something special so the overall position was on my radar.

Through the pits, positions changed up and we went back into the woods a couple of riders poorer. There wasn't a whole lot of pace lining going on and, several times, Pflug went to the front to dictate a strong but consistent speed. Gerry did a great job of regulating our speed and ensuring the group didn't get ruined by some tactical games. On this second lap, we started to see who had staying power. There were a lot of strong riders who had joined our group and, unfortunately, only a few remained after the lap. However, we definitely established a few leaders in Gerry Pflug, Jan Roubal, and Matt Acker. I was fortunate that my position was good enough that I was able to work with this group and see how far they could take me. The course is a very fun SS course but, because it's so flat and pacey, I thought it would be fairly hard for a singlespeed racer to break away. It favored a more metered approach.

As I pedaled on, what had been ten riders, at one point, turned to just four, with a small duel going on between Acker and Roubal as they changed positions frequently. Acker, Roubal, Pflug and I spent most of lap two in this fashion the, going out into lap three, the pace rose a little. We stayed steady thoughout. Lumberjack is a great first 100 miler or even better PR course because you can be very consistent with your effort. Each of my laps was within 45 seconds of my first lap with my third being the strongest. Coming into the aid station half way through lap 3, Matt was out of fluid and had to stop. I could feel the pace lift a hair but not so much as to do any damage to the three of us. 

With Acker in the rear view, we sensed it was time to make something happen. Gerry and I could see Jan was the strongest on the descents, since Gerry had a hard tail and I was running rigid, so we chatted briefly about how his only weakness might be the climbs towards the end of the lap. A couple of miles into the lap, I realized how good my legs felt and, coming through a corner into one of the gradual up hills, I carried my momentum right past the two of them and pushed hard on the pedals to get out of sight quick! 

With just one or two more pitches ahead, I began to hear the cowbells of the finish line. I knew the finishing mile pretty well from my pre ride the day before and was able to hang on to my gap and perhaps even build into it a little into the last mile or so. While it wasn't an overall win like Barry Wicks had last year, I felt really good about a third place finish and great about adding another win to my NUE scorecard this year. Lumberjack was, by far, worth the drive for me and was, without question, one of the most scenic low country races I've ever done. The atmosphere was awesome and the racing even better!” 

Ernesto Marenchin, Pivot Cycles and Twin 6, from Ohio finished second at 7:06:19. With this finish, Marenchin is also holding second place overall in the NUE Race Series Standings behind NUE Race Series leader, Trevor Rockwell, Team Noah Foundation/Decorah Bicycles, who finished fifth on the day.

Third place went to Dwayne Goscinski, Team Noah Foundation/Dogfish/trek Store, at 7:24:00. Just over a minute later, Mike Bernhard, Twin Six Metal, from Michigan finished fourth in 7:25:31.


Masters 50+

Masse gets his second straight NUE Race Series win

53 year old Roger Masse, Rare Disease Cycling, from Virginia is off to his best NUE Race Series start following up his second place finish at Cohutta with wins at both the Mohican 100 and the Lumberjack 100. Masse edged out two strong Ohio contenders for the win in 7:30:05.

Finishing second, 57 year old Rudy Sroka, Team Lake Effect, from North Royalton Ohio completed the three lap race course to finish in 7:37:42. "The Lumberjack 100 was my first ultra- endurance event. I have enjoyed the Mohican 100K over the years and everyone said the Lumberjack was a good 100 miler for the novice. Wow, I thought it was pretty hard. It's a series of curves over small hills requiring concentration nearly the entire time.

While lacking any substantial climbs, the course sure wore you out.  I started a bit back with David Jolin and we stayed together for maybe 80 miles. He told me his goal was breaking eight hours and that we accomplished. He would drop me on the fast descents and I would come back on the climbs. We encouraged each other and reconnected after the two aid stations. Everyone was very polite passing and very positive. Excellent flow most of the route, and two short fire road sections gave you a chance to eat and drink. I didn't need the little ring until the third lap (of 33 miles) and then I used it plenty! There was a nice meal with plenty of Founder’s beer afterwards and I would highly recommend this event to anyone. While personally, these long distance races my not be my forte, I am glad I tried this one.”

Leading the NUE Race Series, 55 year old David Jolin, Stark Velo, of Belleville, Ohio finished third less than four minutes behind Sroka at 7:41:22. Eleven minutes later, 52 year old Mike Belanger, Racing Greyhounds, of St. Clair Shores, Michigan took fourth in 7:52:10. 61 year old Jeff Doerr, McLain Race Team, from Ypsilanti, Michigan, finished just over a minute later to hold on for fifth place in 7:53:44.

What’s next?

Five races into a 13 race season held within 13 different states, husband and wife, Lee and Brenda Simril hold the top spots in the Men’s and Women’s Open divisions! On June 28, the NUE Race Series heads to the Black Hills of South Dakota for the Tatanka 100.

The Tatanka race is nestled at the base of the northern Black Hills in extreme western South Dakota in Sturgis. Sturgis is not only home to the world’s largest motorcycle rally but also harbors a growing community of endurance athletes seeking unparalleled scenery and challenge.

Featuring a single grand loop, the Tatanka 100 course provides a mixture of gnarly single track and fast, smooth cruising. The majority of the course covers sections of the three longest official Black Hills trails: the Centennial Trail, the Deerfield Trail, and the Mickelson Trail.

The Tatanka 100 is held in conjunction with the Black Hills 100 Ultra-Marathon, which, in its first two years, has earned a reputation as one of the toughest foot races in the western US. The races share the same course for the first 50 miles, but the mountain bike riders begin earlier, allowing them to get out front and avoid any congestion on the trail. Come discover for yourself why the Black Hills are quickly gaining a reputation as a premier destination for endurance athletes.



Open Men

1, Christian Tanguy Rare Disease Cycling 6:37:06
2, Jorden Wakeley 616 Fabrication 6:38:02
3, Jan Roubal Velorution 6:46:02
4, Gerry Pflug Team Rare Disease 6:46:02
5, Matt Acker Team Redline/freewheeler Bike Shop 6:49:47
6, Scott Hoffner Mavic/pivot/the Fraker Group 6:56:22
7, Cj Brish Lindenwood University/rad Bikes 6:59:33
8, Greg Kuhn Rbs Cycling Team 7:13:17
9, Brian Roggeveen Momentum Racing 7:16:51
10, Matt Silvia Roscoe Village Bikes 7:20:25
11, Rick Mezo Rbikes.Com/diagrind 7:21:47
12, Michael Hemme Roscoe Village Bikes 7:23:59
13, Dan Kotwicki Rbs Cycling Team 7:24:58
14, Michael Tuomi Bk Training Systems 7:24:58
15, Kelly Sugg Rbs Cycling Team 7:26:41
16, Dave Norton Thebonebell 7:27:46
17, John Petrylak Bike Factory Elite Racing/maxxis/mtbcoach.Com 7:29:06
18, Alexander Kurland Bike Factory Racing, Maxxis, First Endurance 7:29:27
19, Scott Morman Stark Velo 7:29:43
20, Jody Jernigan Cycle And Fitness 7:31:39
21, Rick Hatfield Racing Greyhounds 7:34:33
22, Jonathan Modig Ness 7:35:48
23, Ed Serrat Cycletherapy Racing 7:36:06
24, Dave Krenk Team Jtree 7:36:07
25, Joe Thomas Cms Race Team 7:43:40
26, Bradley Majors Johnny Sprockets 7:46:26
27, Chad Mills Village Bike And Fitness 7:47:25
28, Colin Reuter B2c2 7:47:27
29, Charles Moore 7:48:33
30, Tom Stritzinger 7:52:37
31, Jim Bonnell Cycletherapy - Specialized Racing 7:52:59
32, Thomas Novitsky Racing Greyhounds 7:55:02
33, Eric Hune 7:55:18
34, Donald Kamer Clear Image Eyecare 7:56:25
35, Jason Kors R Bikes 7:56:49
36, Jesse Quagliaroli Expowheelmen 7:59:14
37, Greg Prodan Velorution 8:03:12
38, Tim Raymond Freewheeler Racing 8:03:59
39, Greg Giles Racing Greyhounds 8:04:03
40, Jeff Holland 8:06:10

Open Women

1, Danielle Musto Grand Rapids Bicycle Company/salsa/twin Six 8:02:35
2, Karen Potter Mtbracenews.Com 8:07:55
3, Shannon Ancel Cycles De Oro 8:38:02
4, Jill Martindale Grand Rapids Bicycle Co. 8:40:10
5, Ellie Sterne Racing Greyhounds 8:49:57
6, Vickie Monahan Rare Vos Racing 8:52:23
7, Simona Vincenciova Hammer Nutrition 8:59:20
8, Sarah Temby Rbs Rochester Bike Shop 9:00:39
9, Marilyn Kamp 9:06:22
10, Miki Kedo Clemmons Bicycle 9:07:42
11, Heidi Coulter Lady Gnar Shedders 9:28:04
12, Summer Olmstead Freewheeler Racing 9:33:59
13, Megan Doerr McLain Racing Team 9:34:42
14, Elizabeth Collins Einstein Racing 9:35:40
15, Melissa Colflesh Racing Greyhounds 9:41:14
16, Kathy Roche-Wallace WSI/Team Active Racing 9:48:20
17, Melanie Splitgerber Team Pull My Finger 9:48:40
18, Amanda Hatfield Racing Greyhounds 9:55:20
19, Emily Savickis 9:58:32
20, Sophie Shinsky University Of Michigan 10:03:53
21, Stacy Smith Einstein Racing 10:12:40
22, Julie Whalen Freewheeler Racing 10:38:03
23, Mary Bales 11:08:19
24, Kathy Kurland Bike Factory Racing 11:36:04
25, Kristi Heuvers Big Ring Coffee 12:45:06
26, Tracy McNeilly Racing Greyhounds 13:07:09


1, Gordon Wadsworth Blue Ridge Cyclery Racing 6:45:34
2, Ernesto Marenchin Pivot Cycles And Twin 6 7:06:19
3, Dwayne Goscinski Team Noah Foundation / Dogfish/trek Store 7:24:00
4, Mike Bernhard Twin Six Metal 7:25:31
5, Trevor Rockwell Team Noah Foundation/decorah Bicycles 7:26:49
6, Jason Pruitt Peoples Brewing, Hodson Bay, Chicken Ranch Crew 7:27:49
7, Ken Blakey-Shell Quiring Cycles 7:28:23
8, Todd Ace Racing Greyhounds 7:30:36
9, Jeff Bushong Chicken Ranch Crew 7:35:57
10, Brad Lako Klm / Cold Stone 7:35:57
11, Jon Dub-Nine Twin Six 7:42:35
12, James Gomez Crosscounrtycycle/quiring 7:55:32
13, Peat Henry Team Noah Foundation 8:03:00
14, Eric Wolting Freewheeler Racing 8:05:01
15, Gavin Clark Racing Greyhounds 8:08:33
16, Brad Keyes Carborocket 8:27:59
17, Joseph Seidl Klm/coldstone 8:30:26
18, Matt Aumiller Camelstache 8:30:43
19, John Osgood Team Sandbag/macomb Bike 8:31:42
20, Jason Zoll Team Seagal 8:42:28
21, Erik Garland Trails Edge Cyclery 9:10:38
22, Brian Gillies Aberdeen Bike & Outdoors 9:21:01
23, Brian Bratney Racing Greyhounds 9:30:41
24, Tom Crimp Aux Racing 9:50:50
25, Matt Kamps Alger Bikes 10:27:10


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