Defending Champion Andrews scores his first NUE Series victory of the year
NUE Masters Champion, Doug Andrews (GeoLadders.com) of Mission Viejo, CA made it two straight at the Breck 100 with yet another impressive finish as the only master to go sub ten hours in 9:34:27. Last season, Andrews won every race he entered, but tied the defending Masters Champion, Robert Herriman (Trek 29er Crew/Wsc/Acfstores.Com) who had won four other races in the NUE Series.
It all came down to the final race, each with four wins apiece, before Andrews gave it the little extra he required in the final showdown to become the NUE Series Masters Champion. Absent from the first few races of the season, Andrews appears to have extinguished any doubt about whether he has the ability to repeat this year.
According to Andrews, “This is my third time doing the Breck 100 and each finish has been within about five minutes of each other so I guess I’m consistent,” he said, laughing. It was the best conditions ever today. It rained last night so the course was just a little bit tacky and perfect. Going over the top of Wheeler Pass, which is the first climb then onto the descent, I always have a problem with that. I dropped a lot of places because I’m a little too cautious so then I was chasing the rest of the day to get spots back but I had a really good race and felt really good.
It was the first time that I never cramped at all for the entire race.”
Andrews credited that with what he was eating and perhaps some subtle improvement to his pedal stroke, “I think a combination of endurolytes and not killing it so hard at the start of the race, backing it off a bit and not stressing my legs so much that I just felt fresh the entire race. I added a Bonk bar to Hammer gels along with Hammer Sustained Energy. I liked having some solid food a little bit, it was a good mixture. I only used Hammer Gels on the third lap and was just running on a good breakfast before the race and that seems to work.”
Taking second was Marland Whaley of Hamilton, MT, finishing in 10:08:35. Whaley is also a finisher of the Butte 100 in Montana and is planning to attend other NUE Series races this season.
“This is my first NUE race and first time in Breckenridge,” he said. “The course is absolutely unbelievable. Probably the biggest issue is that the course is so technical and the views so fantastic that you don’t dare take your eyes off the trail. Your peripheral vision see these monstrous treeless mountains that you want to look at but there are so many rocks and roots that you don’t dare take your eye off for a second. My first question after the first lap was how far away was Doug?! (laughing). Second lap, How far away is Doug?”
Whaley finished closer than anyone ever has to Andrews at Breck and was in the hunt until mechanical difficulty struck in the first lap, “Between peaks 8 and 9 my chain got jammed. I pulled it out and put it back on the chainring thinking I had it fixed but it wouldn’t pedal. I tried it a second time, same result, then looked down and the chain was actually twisted ninety degrees.
“It was the maiden voyage of a brand new bike and fortunately I had a chain tool with me and was able to clamp down on it tight enough, not pushing the pin through but down to the pin, and hang onto it near the jockey wheel to straighten it. I overcorrected the first time then brought it back a little bit and it didn’t give me anymore problems other than shifting a little funky on the climbs. I was dreading flats and it was my first time running tubeless but no flats and the Stan’s held up in the new tires. I wanted a Kenda Small Block Eight but they don’t make a UST tire for a 29er yet.”
Asked about his nutrition during the race, Whaley responded, “I’m a Hammer guy. Perpetuem and Fizz, love the endurolytes fizz. They taste so good it makes me want to drink more. I don’t eat anything, ever, when I am racing. Solid food upsets my stomach. I had two gels on my last lap but otherwise just Perpetuem and Fizz. That’s all I use. For me, it’s a Godsend. I got onto it about two years ago after bonking and bonking.” Whaley is registered for the High Cascades 100, Pierre’s Hole 100 and Park City P2P.
Third place went to the Slovakian racer, Miroslav Novak (Alabama Master Cycling) who resides in Huntsville, AL. Novak completed the course in 10:32:15 following his second place finish at the Cohutta 100 and third place finish at Syllamo’s Revenge earlier this year.
Andy Leifer (Team Evergreen Racing) placed fourth 10:36:14 and Mark Hershberger (Hoback Sports) of Jacksonhole, WY placed fifth 10:50:48 rounding out the masters who finished sub eleven hours.