Trek-VW is once again dominating the NUE 100 mile race series so far this year. Powerhouse regional teams rider Jeff Schalk is turning his focus to these events, and the rest of the endurance community is now turned on its collective head. Jeff rides with the East Coast region, managed by Steven Hoover, and after struggling to find his focus on the NMBS series of XC races, he's found a happy home on the NUE circuit.
Of course, Trek-VW already had Chris Eatough plugged in to the 100 mile endurance format, so now we have a lethal dose of pure, American-built Top Fuel race bikes punishing these courses into submission. And with record numbers of racers coming out for these all-day epics, we are certainly happy with the marketing exposure.
At the start of the season, there was a lot of talk about Floyd Landis making a return to mountain bike racing on the NUE series. Some had called for a boycott of the series, in a punitive gesture to the series for accepting his entries despite his questionable past. However, on the Trek-VW program, we decided that the only way to keep a positive (pun intended!) spin on things was to simply show up with our best game, and keep winning the series. That's exactly what we have done.
Any worries of intra-team rivalry? I asked Chris about that yesterday, and while he admitted that Jeff has become very savvy about racing to his strenths and putting Chris in trouble on certain portions of the course, he also said, "that's racing, and if Jeff is better than he deserves to win." Both Chris and Jeff are class riders and would never compromise each others race ... but both are competitive and you can see it in the Mohican 100 results! Jeff in 1st, Chris in 2nd by less than 2 minutes ... and next rider down is 11 minutes off the pace!