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Saturday, June 14 - Sunday, June 15, 2008 -- Grantsville, WV / Calhoun County Park
Appalachian Classic - WVMBA #7 (iPO Event Id#: 10564)

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

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

More Than Just Another XC Race

Story by Race Director, JR Petsko with photos by Jason and Julie Black

Photo by Jason Black
Air it out on the new course
The Events at the Appalachian Classic kick off the events Saturday at 2pm with the Expert Men's time trial. First out of the starting gate for the TT was Jeremiah Bishop (Trek VW). Bishop's hope of winning the race would vanish just a quarter of a mile into his ride, when a crash and a twenty foot slide on his back cost him time.

That opened the door for Nick Waite (Kelly Benefit) to stomp out a time for the rest of the field to try and beat. Waite finished the 4 mile time trial course in 19 minutes and 28 seconds.

Bishop would recover after his crash to take second with a time of 19 minutes and 48 seconds. Aron Yevuta (Victory Velo) put in a super ride to take the finial podium spot with a time of 20 minutes and 14 seconds.

For the Sport Men's Time Trial race it was Ryan Hobbs mashing the big ring to cover the course in 25 minutes and 48 seconds for the sport class win. Brad Schmalzer produced a 26 minute and 26 second TT time to take second in the sport class. Marco Deshales took third in the sport TT with a time of 26 minutes and 38 seconds.

The men weren't the only ones to test their gear pulling skills. The women were yet to come.

Photo by Julie Black
Bishop is happy with his finish
Betsy Shogren, who just made her start time when her husband was a few minutes late coming in a separate car, was still able to cover the course in 28 minutes and 6 seconds.

That time was fast enough to give her the top spot on the podium over Mandi Riddle in second with a time of 29 minutes and 35 seconds. Third went to Erin Bishop in a time of 30 minutes and 27 seconds.

After the time trial was over it was time to take a break from the heart pounding, laugh burning racing for a little fun with a bike polo tournament. Five teams signed up for the event and I was on one of them.

My team and a few others knew we were in trouble when the boys and girls from Athens, Ohio showed up to play in matching shirts. "Oh boy!" I thought to myself. My team's first game against the Athens Cougar Bats #2 was a 5-0 massacre.

A few other teams fared better than we did against the skilled Cougar Bats, but it was in vain. The polo finials paired Cougar Bats#1 and Cougar Bats #2. It was a great final match to watch! The cougar Bats #1 took the final victory. We will all have to practice for next year.

Photo by Julie Black
Short-Track fun in the sun
By seven, it was time for the short track race. The expert men would go for 30 minutes plus one lap. From the gun it was Jeremiah Bishop out front. Nick Waite and Chris McGill jumped on JB's early move and were able to hang for a few laps but Bishop was determined to make up for his time trial crash. Ten minutes in to the race Bishop started lapping the rest of field and leaving everyone behind. Nick Waite was hold on to second but the battle for third was going to be up for grabs.

Gunnar Shogren, Chris McGill, Joey Riddle and Aron Yevuta all want that last podium spot. As the last laps unfold Shogren and McGill put some space between them and the rest. Shogren put in one last attack and due to McGill's early attempts had nothing left in the tank to keep on Shogren's Wheel. Bishop would end up completing 26 laps, Waite made 24 laps on the course for second and Shogren completed 23.

Just like in the men's expert race with Bishop, Brad Schmalzer who finished second in the time trial went on to win the sport short track race. Schmalzer completed 15 laps ahead of Tim Bishop who also completed 15 laps. Third went to sport TT winner Ryan Hobbs.

Photo by Julie Black
XC downhill action
Since there was only three women racing the short track, it was decided to race the sport men and the women's open class together. Betsy Shogren blew the doors off of all challengers, men or women. Betsy completed 16 laps to take the win over Mandi Riddle who completed 14 laps. Erin Bishop to third finished 8 laps.

After a long day of racing it was time for some R&R with live music from The WeedHawks, fireworks and then some sleep before the next day's main event.

The starting line for Sunday's XC race it was like a who's who of fast expert & pro riders from the east coast. Riders like Jeremiah Bishop, Nick Waite, Ben Ortt, Dave Walker and the WVMBA regular all wanted a shot at the $350.00 first place prize.

Out front at the begin was the rider I mentioned plus Andy Wiedrich, Gunnar Shogren and Chris McGill. First to drop from the pace was Waite with a broke chain. Bishop then started to pull away after learning his biggest rival lost all kinds of kind trying to fix the broken chain.

Photo by Julie Black
Happy campers and many returns
Bishop pulled more and more ahead but Walker and Wiedrich would chase to the end. He took the win on the 21 mile course in 1:56:21. Dave Walker was able to hold off all comers from second with a time of 2:01:15 and Wiedrich took third in 2:03:30. Fourth went to Ben Ortt in 2:05:15. Justin Pokrivka put in a good ride for the last money spot and finished in 2:06:03.

Sue Haywood showed up to ride the Appalachian course one more time before retiring from bike racing later this year. She did it in grand style, winning the women's race in 2:17:59. Betsy Shogren took seconds in 2:27:18 with Amanda Sproat in third crossing the line in 2:35:12.

Mandi riddle captured fourth in 3:00:12 over Erin Bishop in fifth 3:07:31.

All in all, I had a great time putting on the race and hope to make it bigger and better every year. It's time for WV to have an event that brings in people from all over the coast to check out the wonderful state and trials we ride.