83 fast-paced miles. Hit the gas at the start. Don’t let up. That’s what Dylan Johnson of Cameron Mountain Bike Racing did this past weekend. Here’s his recap:
The Cohutta 100 is often one of the more tactical of the National Ultra Endurance Race Series (NUE) races with over 65 miles of gravel between the opening and closing singletrack sections. In 2016 there was a peloton-sized lead group until about mile 75.
This year would be different though, in part because the race was shortened to 83 miles. Most would assume this would make the race easier, but I knew that it would only make the pace higher. My suspicions were proven correct. After an hour of racing Brian Schworm, Christian Tanguy, and I found ourselves out front.
We worked together nicely, trading pulls but trying to keep something in reserve for the inevitable attacks that were to come in the last 20 miles. At mile 60 Christian started to drop off but Brian seemed unshakable. At one point I had maybe 30 seconds on Brian but he reeled me in and we entered the final single track together.
I felt good, so I surged passed Brian and put my head down to try to create some distance. The final 10 miles is mostly downhill and the RKT 9 RDO was eating it up. The late race fatigue, however, was creeping up on me at this point so my riding wasn’t perfect, but the bike allowed me to make small mistakes and keep momentum. The RKT 9 RDO is the best descending cross country bike I’ve ever ridden and I was happy to have it at that point in the race. With a couple miles to go I felt cramps coming on but at that point I had a gap on Brian and was able to keep him at bay and maintain my lead for the win.
I’m thrilled to have been able to defend my Cohutta 100 win this year and I hope to maintain this fitness for the NUE races still to come this season. The RKT 9 RDO has proven to be the tool for the job in these long races. Beyond being efficient and having a great suspension platform for climbing, it’s just plain fun. I’ve been riding the RKT 9 RDO in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina and have been loving it!
Finally, I want to thank Niner for a great sponsorship and supporting the sport, the organizers of the Cohutta 100, who had to make a lot of last minute adjustments to make the race happen, and all the other racers who did the Cohutta 100 and the Big Frog 65 (and their families) for helping to create a wonderful atmosphere and great time in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains!
Cameron Mountain Bike Racing is a mid-Atlantic mountain bike team focused on endurance mountain bike racing. The goal of this team is to promote our sport by performing at the highest level at local and national mountain bike races. The team accomplishes their goals by training and racing nationally across the United States.
Race recap by Dylan Johnson, Cameron Mountain Bike Racing