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Mohican 100 2018

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

On June 2 Warren Gerow and I raced the Mohican 100 in Loudonville, OH. This was my second run at the Mohican and the course was identical to last year only quite slick from rain the day before so things slowed down a bit this year. Weather was overcast and around 65 F so perfect for this guy. The race started at 7am sharp in downtown Loudonville and runs about 6 miles of pavement and the dirt road before dumping to singletrack. The start this year was a rolling neutral due to some construction – a sight to see with 600+ riders behind the lead car. Once we cleared the construction it was game on - straight up a headwall of pavement out of town into rolling Ohio hills surrounded by farms. In the first 6 miles we climbed 600 feet so a good warm up and a good thinning out of the herd. Contrary to popular belief – Ohio can be very hilly; no long climbs but lots of steeps. Mohican has about 6,600 feet of climbing.

From last year’s race I learned the importance of getting a good hole shot into the ST so I burned a few matches getting to the ST to try and avoid a repeat of last year where I got stuck behind some apparently fit road riders who couldn’t ride ST to save their lives. It paid off this year and I was with a great group of fast riders for the next 20 miles of ST. Unfortunately I saw Warren by the side of the trail right in the beginning with a flat. I never did see him again but he managed to get things in order and back on track.

I wore a 72 oz Camelback for the first 34 miles of the race to aid station 2 where I swapped out for two pre-mixed bottles for the rest of the race; this strategy worked perfectly. Because the majority of the ST is in the front half, the pack made sense. The aid stations are very well run at the Mohican with advance trail volunteers radioing in your number so station folks have your drop ready when you pass through. BTW if you don’t use Tailwind nutrition for your endurance rides, check them out – great stuff! Overall my fueling went really well and I never bonked.

I had some early twitch cramps start up but a mixture of Hammer Endurolytes, Sportlegs and Hyland’s Anti-cramp kept things at bay. Again I employed the strategy of standing on the pedals everywhere it remotely made sense; giving my adductors and sartorius muscles a rest. Overall though this was one of my least painful races, cramp-wise, ever.

About 25 miles in I realized Jeff Clayton, my primary competition was behind me. We chatted and rode together for some time. He slipped by me at the mile 34 aid stop and I did not see him again. In the end he was only 4 minutes ahead. I picked off a lot of folks along the way, guys blowing up, single speeders yo-yoing back and forth and then ultimately spending some good alone time on the trail for the last 1/3 of the race.

Eight miles to the finish the course goes back into ST. I stopped for some fresh water quickly at the last aid. Heading up a long climb I crashed on a slimy bridge but escaped with only some abrasions and a lot of mud. Probably lost a couple minutes right there but I got my act together and rode the bike home. The ST was fun there and made the last bit enjoyable; it helped knowing the course this year and how close I was to the finish.

I finished at 5:23, 14 minutes longer than last year but still in second place for Masters and 20th OA. Mohican is a great course and very well run race. Ryan Odell and his team have it dialed in for this race and do it right. The Kona Hei Hei Race Supreme delivered once again; it is such an amazingly versatile XC racer. Next stop Carrabassett!

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