Conditions were far from ideal for the Wilmington Whiteface 100K mountain bike race (WW100) on Sunday, part of the annual Wilmington-Whiteface Bike Fest. The WW100 is considered the most difficult of the seven Leadville 100 MTB qualifying races.
Just minutes before the start of the 7 am, 69-mile race, a light rain began to fall, but as soon as the starting gun fired off its round, signaling the mass start for the 467 riders, a steady downpour started and didn’t stop.
Mathieu Belanger-Barrett became the WW100’s first-ever men’s repeat winner in a time of four hours, 12 minutes: 01 seconds.
Belanger-Barrett broke away from both David Wiens (Gunnison, Colo.) and Kevin Bouchard-Hall (Westport, NY) and held Wiens, a six-time Leadville 100K MTB champion and 2014 WW100 champion, off for a seven second win.
Bouchard-Hall crossed the finish line only 26 second off the pace, in 4:15:21.
Crystal Anthony (Berkley, Mass.) won the womens title with a time of 5:03.31, well ahead of the race’s second place finisher Regina Legge (Salem, NH), who crossed the finish line at the base of Whiteface in 5:40.45.
Elizabeth O’Donnell (Concord, Mass.) claimed bronze in 5:45.02.
A pair of local riders came away with victories from the t50K event. Patrick Carey (Keene, NY) won the men’s race in 1:48.39, while Rose Van Dorn (Lake Placid, NY) topped the women’s field. She completed the race in 2:11.02.
Beginning and ending at Whiteface Mountain Sunday’s race took the field through some of the region’s most challenging cycling terrain that included twisting jeep and gravel roads, back country trails and demanding hill climbs that measure more than 750 meters each.
From the bridge at the Olympic mountain, the out and back race took the cyclists to Route 86, the Fox Farm Road, Springfield Road, Hardy Road, Bartlett Road, Lacy Road and Limkiln Road before reaching Route 9N.
From 9N, the race’s most demanding and technical terrain and climbs awaited the field, as they peddle through Styles Brook Road and the Jay Mountain Road ahead of Carlott Road and Blood Hill Road. From there, the field made its way to Roscoe Road, Bronson Lane, Blueberry Hill and out to Lord Road before returning to the Flume Trails and Whiteface Mountain.
Seventy-five of Sunday’s athletes are now making plans to race in the Aug. 13 LT100. Twenty-five of the LT100 qualifying spots were awarded based on performance in each division for men and women, and the other 50 were distributed randomly from a pool of all racers, who finished under the maximum cutoff time, which was eight hours.
For more information about the Wilmington Whiteface 100K, click here.
Photos courtesy ORDA/ Whiteface Lake Placid.