Share |

Sunday, June 22, 2008 -- Davis, WV
Blackwater Bikes West Virginia Championship - WVMBA #8 (iPO Event Id#: 10565)

[Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Coverage: [2005] [2007]

Photo by J.R. Petsko
Mud, mud, and more mud!
Black Muddy River

Story and photos by JR Petsko

The town of Davis, West Virginia in Canaan Valley was hopping this past weekend as the mountain biking masses descended on the cycling hotspot for round #8 of the WVMBA point series and WV State Championship.

Unlike most races, where we all meet out in a field somewhere, for this race we gathered in front of the Blackwater Bikes (BWB) Shop. It was a nice change of pace, having the registration and pre-race meeting there.

As this racing season is quickly becoming known as the summer of rain and mud, things certainly weren't going to change on Sunday. The 2:00 a.m. rains the night before the race turned an already wet trail system into a wet, muddy bog area that made races like the Blackwater 100 world famous.

To give an example of how muddy the course and the riders were, I want to share a story. I talk to Justin Pokrivka (Dirty Harry's) almost every weekend at the races, but as he pasted me this weekend I called him Henry, thinking he was Henry Spreng, Jr (Dirty Harry's).

At the starting line 127 riders from all over the east coast showed up to test their skills on the demanding course. The line resembled a cycling "who's who" of racing. Sue Haywood, Jeremiah Bishop, and Nick Waite stood race ready with the usual WVMBA series suspects.

Photo by J.R. Petsko
Joey Riddle (we think)
Riders had to do a 7-mile short stint before returning to the start/finish area. When the leaders made their way back before heading out for the long 10-mile loop, no one could tell the difference from one rider to the next thanks to the mud on their faces. It was hard to believe much mud was covering every rider after just one lap.

Lap #1 was lead by Jason Cyr (WV Cannondale 29er's), a Davis Local and last years WV State Champion. Cyr was holding a 20 second lead over Nick Waite (KBS) and Jeremiah Bishop (Trek/VW). After the front pack continued on their way, the rest of the racers made their way by the start/finish for the second lap. Thick mud poured off of their bikes and bodies.

Lap #2 saw three racers in front; Cyr, Waite, and Bishop. They were still all together and it was anyones race at that point, especially with one more lap of 10 miles to go.

As the leaders went off for their third and final lap, the sport and beginner riders were coming into the finish.

First to the line in the Men Sport class was Ian Beckner of Canaan Valley, WV. Beckner finished the seventeen mile course in 1:58:51 and was followed by Danny Welsh (Men Sport Vet) in 2:00:01.

Photo by J.R. Petsko
Big air at the Blackwater
Alex Marra (Men Sport Master) was the third of the two lap riders to finish. Marra crossed the line in 2:00:27, just edging out follow Sport Master rider Steve Thorne who finished in 2:01:10.

Rob Voorhees took time off from helping Cannondale customer all over the east coast to come out and race. Voorhees would be the first Clydesdale a crossed the line and won his class WV title for the fourth year in a row.

Misty Tilson was the first women sport rider across the line in a time of 2:29:13 followed by Klara Hitchcock in second with a time of 2:41:17. Meredith Erlewine won the day in the Women Vet class finishing in 2:36:06.

For the Men's Beginner class it was Chris Bright finishing first in 51:36 just beating out Morgan Chase in second who finished in 51:54. Kate Taylor won the Women Beginner class in 1:01:59.

For the Men 14 & under it was Skyler Terrell winning over JD Barnette. JD's father John just happened to be the one who brought Skyler to the race as well as his son. Maybe next time he will accidentally forget to pick Skyler up on the way to the races (lol).

Now it was time for the big guns to come in for the finish. First to the line was Bishop finishing in a time of 2:28:29. In second was Nick Waite in a time 2:30:47. Jason Cyr took the win in the Expert Vet class finishing in 2:42:40 with Henry Spreng, Jr in third in 2:54:47.

Photo by J.R. Petsko
Washing off some mud, Davis style
Speaking of Henry Spreng, the third took the win in the Jr expert class finishing in 2:49:48. In the always super competitive single speed class it was all around good-guy Robbie Loehr finishing first to defend his state championship from last year. Chris McGill finished second in 2:50:12 followed by Joey Riddle in 2:51:59.

Sue Haywood took the win in the woman's expert win in 2:56:53 over Betsy Shogren who finished in 3:28:39. Mandi Riddle took third in a time of 3:34:32.

Finally the race director Matt Marcus found time to race and once again take the win in the Expert Masters class in a time of 3:04:07 over Bob Vernon who finished in 3:23:09.

This was such an epic, killer race that the experience will linger for months to come. This was a job well done by the BWB crew. You can thank them for putting on such a great event. Give them a call at (304) 259-5286.

Next up is WVVUS #4, the Wayne Ultra in Marietta, Ohio. Hey, $300.00 to Men's XXC winner, so see you there.