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Sunday, May 18, 2008 -- Spencer, WV / Charles Fork Lake
Tour de Lake - WVMBA #5 (iPO Event Id#: 10561)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results]

Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005] [2006] [2007]

Nice day for a ride
Finally a 2008 WVMBA race with some nice weather
Rain, Rain Go Away!

Story and photos by JR Petsko

On Sunday WVMBA rolled into Spencer, WV for round #5 of the West Virginia Point Series. This past weekend also marked the 15th year a point series race was held at Charles Fork Lake Park. The morning started out just like the past four WVMBA events this year. Rain, rain and some more rain.

At registration it was clear by the poor turnout that the weather kept some people from making the trip to Spencer. But believe it or not, they missed out. About one hour before the start the clouds parted and the sun began to shine. Even I had to say thank goodness. The race was pushed back about an hour to let things dry up a little. At the start it was obvious by the looks on the riders' faces that they were excited to race in sun shine for the first time this year.

At 10 minutes until one the racers headed out on the course. Due to the fact that the course goes out and around the lake there was no way for me to keep an eye on the action until the racers came around to start their second lap.

Gunnar Shogren
Gunnar displays his good form once again
Gunnar Shogren (Sobe-Cannondale) and Jason Cyr (WV Cannondale 29ers) were the first two out of the woods and across the dam. Cyr was all over Shogren's rear wheel and was waiting for the racing veteran to make a mistake so he could take over the lead position. The gap from first and second to third was over four minutes.

The two leaders were pushing each other with everything they had. Third out of the woods was Joey Riddle (Your Name Here) followed closely by Andy Gorski (Speedgoat/Salsa). Jeremy and Stephen Rowand (Wamsley Cycles) were battling each other for fifth and sixth overall in the Men's Pro Expert Class.

As it has been all year so far, the single speed class has been one to watch. Chris Phillips (Custom Contractors/Bianchi), Marc Glass (Marc Glass, lol), Aron Yevuta (Victory Velo), Jonathan Martin (WVU Cycling) and Chris McGill (WV Cannondale 29ers) are all involved in a tight series point race.

Those five riders were once again hard at it. McGill was first out of the woods on lap one with Martin and Yevuta both trying to bridge a five minute gap.

The nice weather brought out the smiles, but...
For the Women's Pro/Expert class it was Betsy Shogren (Sobe-Cannondale) up front holding a lead over Mandi Riddle (Your Name Here) after lap one. The gaps between riders really started to grow do to the wet and muddy trails (see photos). After the rest of the pack completed its first lap I had to wait once again for the finish to see how things would shake out.

Even though the woods were a little too dark to take photos I thought I would try anyways (didn't work). While I was standing on the hill across from the finish Shogren and Cyr hammered though the switch backs. Shogren still had the advantage but Cyr was breathing down his neck just one or two seconds back.

Knowing both these riders well and the bikes they were riding I was sure Cyr would overtake Shogren on the long flat sprint to the finish. Shogren was riding a 1 X 9 and Cyr a 2 X 9. Convinced that Cyr would have a bigger gear to push to the finish for the win I was shock to peak though the trees to see Shogren hold of Cyr for the victory. Shogren crossed the line in 1:48:39 with Cyr finishing in 1:48:41. Riddle held onto third overall finishing in 1:53:47.

For the Women's Experts it was Betsy Shogren taking the win in 2:20:47 and Mandi Riddle took second in 2:36:55. In the highly completive single speed class McGill took another first finishing in 1:57:07 followed by Martin in 2:01:19 and Yevuta in 2:09:08.

Chris Phillips
...there was still plenty of mud out on the course
The Junior Expert class saw Cai Clothier (Cannondale/Mom) take his first ever class win in a time of 3:05:45 over Corey Chambers (Athens Bicycles) who finished in 3:25:46.

Jon McClung took the Men Expert Vet win in 2:13:29 over Kevin Flethcher in 2:29:30. Matt Marcus (WV Cannondale 29ers) once again took the win the Men's Expert Master Class in 2:13:10 over Dowain Ford in 2:27:50.

In the Women's Sport Class Klara Hitchcock (Athens Bicycles) took the win. Klara was not even going to race due to the weather, but I talked her into it. Klara you owe me!

Donald Power won the Men's sport class over Thad Kelley (Sports-N-Spokes) and Jason Brumfield. Scott Jones put on a great performance in the Junior 14 and under class finishing in 1:47:25 over Zachary Morrell in 2:12:21 and JD Barnette in 3:14:35.

It was nice to see the sun come out at Tour De Lake and lets hope it continues for the upcoming White Oak Challenge and Appalachian Classic. See you this weekend!