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"Unbeatable" singlespeeder pulls the Pflug in the Mohican

  • By Ryan O'Dell
  • Published Jun. 5, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM EDT
Justin Pokrivka's ride lacked gears, but not soul. Photo: Butch Phillips

With Gerry Pflug (Salsa Cycles/NoTubes/Top Gear) dropping out at aid three, Justin Pokrivka (Top Gear/Cohen & Associates) led the way to Mohican singlespeed victory. Pokrivka led the tight field by just over five minutes finishing 7:17:06. Ron Harding (Trestle Bridge Racing) came in 7:22:48, followed closely by Matt Ferrari (Hubcap-Freeze Thaw) who edged out Dwayne Goscinski by just two seconds to take third finishing 7:31:24. Not far behind, James Mayuric rounded out the podium in fifth place with Jason Suppan (Soup Can Racing) in 7:43:38.

Afterward, Gerry Pflug posted the following to his blog “Pfun with Pflug” “To say I had a bad race at the Mohican 100 yesterday would be an understatement.

“The funny thing is that a few days before the race my body, mind and bike seemed completely prepared for the challenge… I had won every NUE SS race after the Breckenridge 100 last July until yesterday, 7 consecutive wins.

“My prepared feeling started to change Friday evening before bed. I noticed my throat was feeling a little raw and that the glands on my neck were a little swollen. I thought for a second I might be getting sick, but did my best to ignore the thought. I sucked on a cough drop before bed and hoped that would make things feel better by morning. I didn’t sleep too well the night before the race, but didn’t think too much about it because I usually never do. Anyway, come morning my throat was still scratchy and I had a throbbing headache also. I sucked on another cough drop while driving to the race and believed I would be fine by starting time.

“At NUE #2, the Syllamo 125, my legs felt great on the first climb. My legs usually do feel great on most climbs and I feel like this is what gives me the ability to create the gaps needed to win races. My legs did NOT feel great going up the first steep road climb at Mohican. Actually, they felt like someone poured concrete into them. Regardless of how my legs were feeling, I was still mixed in with the lead group of SS racers at the start. It was one of the biggest trains of SS riders I have ever seen stuck together for so long at the beginning of a NUE race.

“On the steep road climb after the technical water bar descent, I was having trouble riding with the other singlespeeders up the hill and knew then something was very wrong. At that time, I looked down at my seatpost and noticed the electric tape I use to mark my post position had sunken all the way into the frame. I thought maybe this was the issue that was holding me back from riding at my potential and figured this was why I couldn’t get enough power out of my pedal stroke. I stopped, raised my post and retightened my clamp.

“I rode a short distance with my readjusted post, but almost immediately could tell the position was too high, so I had to stop again and readjust everything. Valuable time was ticking and my gap behind the leaders of the race was increasing, I was now stuck alone and knew my day was going to be a long one.

“…I stopped at the checkpoint to get my bottles and remove a base layer under my jersey. I then started the long climb out of the checkpoint and was having trouble riding the climb that I have cleared with ease in previous years. The thing that made this even more irritating is that I was using a slightly easier gear on my bike than during previous attempts at this race.
“I felt like I was going backwards faster than I was moving forward. With my finishing position not looking too good and my body feeling like crap, I made the hard decision to pull the plug at the top of the climb and to ride back down to the checkpoint.

“The road heading back was completely flat, but my legs could barely muster the energy for me to keep pedaling. I knew then my decision to quit the race was a wise one. I don’t like quitting or having a DNF next to my name on the results, but I do know it’s important to listen to what my body is saying and it wasn’t telling me anything good at the Mohican.

“Congratulations to my TOP Gear Bike Shop teammate Justin Pokrivka for riding a strong race and getting the SS win. Nice ride, man!”

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