358 cyclists didn’t have your ordinary Father’s Day as they competed in the second annual Wilmington/Whiteface 100K (WW100) mountain bike race on Sunday. A race that featured many biking obstacles for riders. Justin Lindine of New Salem, Mass. overcame those obstacles as he finished first in the large field. The 69-mile mountain bike race was held at Whiteface Mountain, in Wilmington, N.Y.
Lindine completed the course in four hours, 19 minutes, 15.97 seconds. The win earned Lindine a spot in the Leadville 100 MTB (LT100), where he placed 28th overall last year. “This was an awesome race and competing here has been a goal of mine all season long,” Lindine said following the race. “I wanted to go back to Leadville, so winning here was a sure way of doing that.”
Last year’s inaugural WW100 race measured 57 miles, but an additional 12 miles was added to this year, which includes a combination of single track, dirt and paved roads, jeeping trails and back country roads.
Rebecca Rusch of Ketchum, Idaho finished 21st overall and was the women’s first place finisher with a time of 5:02:28.29. Rusch saw similarities with this years Wilmington/Whiteface course and Leadville, where she has won three times. “The race and the distance felt a lot like Leadville,” Rusch said. “All the way through it’s a super tough course, especially when you get to the ski resort, all the ups and downs are challenging.”
The out and back course took the field of 358 cyclists through the northern New York towns of Wilmington, Jay, Keene, Lewis and Elizabethtown before returning to the Olympic mountain for a final climb of 2,500 feet. The cyclists also tackled two additional mountain climbs, Jay Mountain and Saddleback Mountain, not once, but twice and both of these climbs were more than 750 meters apiece.
Dereck Treadwell of Laurens, N.Y. finished second overall with a time of 4:22:22.56. The course played to Treadwell’s advantage because of his history as a runner and triathlete. “Fortunately for me this is my type of course,” Treadwell said. “I do pretty well on the climbs and I seemed to handle the uphills here pretty well, I think it’s because of my running and triathlon background.”
Philip Wong of Gloucester, N.J. rounded out the top-three finishers, when he crossed the finish line at 4:25:11.26. Crystal Anthony of Beverly, Mass. and Carmen Sweet of Oshawa, Ontario placed second and third respectively for the women. Anthony crossed the finish line in 5:21:59.64, while Sweet was clocked in at 5:32:59.83.
In only his third-ever mountain bike race, 2010 Olympic Nordic Combined champion Bill Demong of Vermontville, N.Y. finished fifth overall. “Coming down Whiteface, I was saying I’m going to be happy when this is over. I’m super psyched that I finished fifth,” Demong said. “I was under the impression that this was a 62-mile long race and I learned only this morning that the race was actually closer to 70-miles that was a little shocking.”
Seventy of Sunday’s athletes qualified to race in the Aug. 11 Leadville 100 MTB. Thirty-five of the spots were awarded based on performance in each division for men and women, and the other 35 were distributed randomly from a pool of all racers, who finished under the maximum cutoff time of eight hours. Since the LT100 lottery had already taken place, this was one of only six nationwide Leadville Series Races in which cyclists could still qualify and compete in the LT100.