Another great race report from Bob Moss!
Shenandoah 100 mile backcountry mountain bike race in Virginia’s George Washington National forest, my new NEU favorite course, I finished 2nd Single Speed at a total time of 8:11; 11 minutes behind Don Powers. Awesome race, great course, 6 mountains using paved roads, dirt roads, double track and single track with rugged long gnarly descents.
This race seemed to pull away from me much faster than most of the other NUE’s this year. Usually I can hang with the front pack up to about 20 miles, and then I fade back a few spots maintaining a pace that allows me to sometimes outlast the competition. After about 10 miles into the race I was solo, dropped from the first 2 packs, with Gordon, Don, and another SS’er ahead of me. At the first hike a bike the 3rd pack of about 20 caught me, this section of trail did not have enough room to pass and it was pretty step, so if you were walking, as I was, you had to step aside and let riders pass. This is the section that I ran into Gordon not feeling well at all, he had jungle bug from Costa Rico.
Big relief for me, to get past Gordon; in previous NUE races I have been able to real back in the rest of the SS field later in the race. Going into this race Gordon had 4 SS wins, due to him transitioning back and forth between geared and single speed throughout the series, and for me I had 2 SS wins and 1 second. So if I could win this one, It would have been my only shot at the series win, then I would have to win the final at Fools Gold. I was chasing with all I had, no issues just enjoying the day, thinking everything would just fall into place.
I caught 2nd place somewhere around 50 miles, and continued to chase Don, but I never even got within sight of him. When I crossed the finish line Chris Scott announced I was the 1st SS, I was very excited for about 10 seconds until Don came over and let me know I was not. Great race Don and congratulations on the win.
Really looking forward to Fools Gold, even though the best I can do for the series is second that is not a bad place to be. Big thanks to all of my sponsors Farnsworth Bicycles, Industry Nine, Endless Bike Company, Paragon Machine Works, Torrenti Cycles, Reynolds, Crank Arm Brewing, Rouler Sportswear for sticking with me through a sketchy year of recovering from last year’s injuries.