Great weather and a warmer start to the Kenda NUE Series five at the Breckenridge 100 this year was no guarantee of a finish. For racers not acclimated or accustomed to high altitude, mostly above ten thousand feet, Breckenridge presented its own unique challenge in addition to a race course that features near impossible climbs and technical descents that have made it one of the greatest challenges along the NUE circuit. This race is also a stop on the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series bringing together riders from all over Colorado and with NUE, all over the US.
Weiss takes the win but Tostado receives first place NUE Series points
Michael Weiss (Team SRM PROfiles) who hails from Austria, currently living in Colorado Springs, won the men’s open division 8:14:46 despite suffering from several flats including one at the end of the race that forced him to ride the last four miles on just his rim.
Weiss, who is currently under suspension from NADA for two years, readily agreed to forfeit his NUE Series points to Josh Tostado, who placed second. NUE policy forbids racers from competing in the NUE Series for points while under suspension. To his credit, Weiss was upfront about his suspension from the beginning and notified the Breckenridge race director of his suspension before registering for the race.
Although the race director approved his entry into the race, he failed to notify the NUE Series of his decision resulting in a post-race decision by the NUE Series to award first place points to Josh Tostado. According to NUE Series Policy, Weiss will become eligible to compete in the NUE Series after his suspension expires.
Weiss is an Ironman Triathlon winner, XTERRA world champion, and former Olympic mountain biker. The official ruling stems from accusations made by Bernhard Kohl, a former professional road cyclist who said Weiss visited a blood plasma lab in 2005. Weiss was a mountain biker at the time. Kohl admitted to visiting the same lab and received a two year ban from cycling. Kohl has since retired.
The case against Weiss was thrown out in 2010 but recently overruled which means Weiss is now forbidden from competing in triathlon as well as other sanctioned events until December 2013.
Weiss released the following statement on his website at the time: “I was disheartened to learn that despite NADA Austria closing my case in September 2010, followed by the Vienna State attorney also ruling in my favor, the Independent Arbitration Commission of NADA still chose to issue a two year suspension effective immediately. The decision contradicts NADA’s Legal Commission and the judgment of Vienna’s state prosecutor and is founded solely on one individual’s verbal accusation with no factual evidence which dates back to 2005.
“I maintain my innocence and have been given the opportunity to appeal the suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). After consideration of the time and expense to pursue of an appeal, I have chosen to dedicate my time and resources to my family and training and will focus on my future comeback to triathlon, a sport I have grown to love and respect.”
Weiss had this to say about the race. “Yesterday was a very tough day. It’s a brutal course, with lots of long, steep climbs, rocky trails combined with extreme altitude. Wheeler Pass, which is on 12,500ft elevation, is the limit and there are hardly any other sports or events which go up that high.
“It was my first hundred-mile mountain bike race, although my roots and background as an athlete is in mountain biking. Since I raced triathlon the last four years, I said before the race, ‘It’s going to be like an Ironman on the mountain bike.’ For that reason, nutrition and staying hydrated plays a crucial role on those ultra-distances.
“The last flat on the rear wheel happened on the final downhill. Because I did not know how big my lead was over Josh Tostado, I gambled and rode the last four miles on the rim. It was pretty sketchy, but I still have those XC-racing skills.”
Six-time winner of the Breckenridge 100 and local favorite, Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz) placed second 8:23:21, just minutes behind Weiss, but will be awarded first-place points. All other racers in the men’s open division will also move up one spot in the point series. Tostado placed fifth at the Lumberjack 100 and remains a top contender for the NUE Series title. He will be competing next at the High Cascades 100 in Bend, OR this coming Saturday.
Finishing third was Ben Swanepoel (Squirt Lube) of Knysna from the Republic of South Africa 8:36:12. A contender for the NUE Series title, Swanepoel placed thirteenth in his first race at the Lumberjack 100 in Michigan shortly upon his arrival to the US from South Africa.
Fourth place went to Cameron Brenneman (Bike n Sport Racing) of Sante Fe, NM who finished 8:45:50 and three minutes later, Nick Truitt (Yeti/Pactimo) of Breckenridge rolled in 8:48:49 followed just thirty seconds later by Ezekiel Hersh (Honey Stinger/ Bontrager) from nearby Frisco 8:49:18. Park City native Sam Sweetser (Cole Sport Racing) rounded out the top six all finishing in sub ten hours.