NUE men’s open:
In the men’s open division it was a US Olympic hopeful taking the spotlight with an impressive win over the reigning NUE men’s open champion, Christian Tanguy, TeamCF.org, who lives in Rochester, Michigan.
According to 36-year-old Jeremiah Bishop, Cannondale, of Harrisonburg, VA who blistered the newly designed course in 7:01:07, “That was an awesome, awesome race! I had a breakthrough ride, making a break on a huge climb about a mile before aid station five.”
Bishop, Tanguy and Michael Simonson (Trek/RBS), known by his friends and some competitors as the SiMonster, were together until just before aid five when Bishop put the hammer down. Bishop claimed he would like to do more of the NUE races this year, however he is maintaining his focus while awaiting a decision by the Olympic Selection Committee about who will be the two US Olympic representatives.
Tanguy finished second, just over four minutes behind Bishop, with Kevin Carter (Gripped Racing) from College Park, MD placing third. According to Carter, “These guys are bulletproof. You can’t make any mistakes! I got a flat on one of the river crossings early in the race and had to stop and air it up a few times. Then I got to spend an hour and a half chasing the lead pack.
“Jeremiah was just drilling the pace, punishing them mercilessly, and killing me in the process because I was trying to get back with them. Simonson blew up first and I passed him.
“Later on, I railed a rock on that last creek crossing and the hole was so big, my tire plug wouldn’t fill it. It was such a big hole that when I first tagged it and spun the wheel around to try to get the Stan’s to fill it, it just pooped out all the Stan’s onto the ground in a giant white puddle” (laughing).
“So I filled it up with the CA Glue and that didn’t hold it either, and then the tube clogged, so I just ripped the top off and poured probably a half ounce of CA all over my tire and hub, smacked a patch on the whole thing, and got it all over my gloves (laughing). It would only hold like eight psi. I was terrified I was going to get caught from behind but it was very frustrating so I stopped a couple times to pump it up and it finally held.”
Michael Simonson, Trek/RBS, of Oxford, MI finished fourth 7:30:36.70. An accomplished racer from the east coast, Justin Lindine, Redline, of New Salem, MA captured fifth 7:35:13.88, Cary Smith, team CF, of Jackson, WY sixth 7:38:59.33 and Alexander Sanchez, La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, of San Jose, UNK seventh 7:51:49.94.
At age 17, the youngest rider was Dylan Johnson, Scott RC Mountain, from McLean, VA who finished 21st 8:16:48.36 returning to Cohutta following a brutal crash last year that earned him a trip to the ER.