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Sunday, July 13, 2008 -- Parkersburg, WV / North Bend State Park
North Bend Challenge - WVMBA #10 (iPO Event Id#: 10566)

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

Success at North Bend

Story by J.R. Petsko with photos by Drew Smithberger and Danny Morrel

Photo by Drew Smithberger
The Klimas Family
I am going to start this recap a lot different than most. Seeing that I was the race director I don't think you'll mind.

Yes, it was the North Bend Challenge, but more importantly, the race was a benefit for Sammy Klimas.

To start off I want to thank everyone who helped out with everything.

Thanks to Blackwater Bikes, High Mountain Sport, Pathfinder, Fat Tire Cycle, Athens Bicycles, Parkersburg Bicycles, Cannondale, Endura Cycling Apparel, Kenda Tire, Gary Morefield, and Gunnar Shorgen with all the help making a great prize table.

Also thanks to Bill Bailey Insurance and Adventure Pursuit for financial support. Oh, of course, how could I forget Greg Moore for setting up the course and Kim Broughton. Thank you both for all of your help. Because of all your help we were able to give the Klimas family over $2,500.00. Thank you.

So now, how about a race recap you say? To start, the race had 70 riders who raced to show their support of the Klimas family. At the start it was Benji Klimas, Gunnar Shogren, Morgan Miller, and Chris McGill working their way to the front.

Photo by Drew Smithberger
Some riders enjoy the climbs
Little did the leader know that just a few riders back Chris Baker took a hard fall and broke his shoulder in the process. Get well soon Chris.

In the sport class it was once again, a super fast field. Tim Bishop, Ryan Hobbs, Chet-Mun Liew, Donald Powers, and Nathan Whitacre were all going to do their best to take the top spot on the day.

Well I couldn't resist and I strapped on the cycling shoes to take part in the race. The North Bend course was all up hill, I was sure of it. Okay, maybe it wasn't ALL uphill, but it felt like it. Even though I was suffering in the back of the pack, the leaders were a lot better off.

Up front from the get go was both Gunnar Shorgen and Benji Klimas. Chris McGill and Jeremy and Stephen Rowand were not too far behind just waiting for a mistake from the leader so they could move up.

First to the finish do to the shorter laps were the sport riders. Tim Bishop put in a great ride to take his first win of the year in a time of 1:30:46.

Photo by Danny Morrel
J.R. Petsko, on the other side of the camera
Here's where things got interesting. Second through fifth was decided by less than 38 seconds. Chet-Mun "Larry" Liew held second in 1:32:04 over Ryan Hobbs in third with a time 1:32:15. Fourth went to Nathan Whitacre in 1:32:23 and fifth to Donald Powers in 1:32:42.

For the sport women it was Kelley Shaw taking the win in 2:06:16. Shaw was followed by Courtney Bloomer in second with a time of 2:10:51. Third went to Klara Hitchcock crossing the line in 2:26:40. (Special note: I caught up to Klara out on the course after she had a crash. Klara and I then road the rest of the race together. Thanks Klara for pulling me in.)

For the overall win of the day it was as close as it can get. Gunnar Shogren just edged out Benji Klimas by half a wheel. Shogren's time of 1:58:12 gave him the win in his Expert men class. He was followed by Stephen Rowand in second who finished in 1:59:52. Third went to Jeremy Rowand crossing the line in 1:59:56. Josh Chapman took fourth in the class with a time of 2:15:12. Morgan Miller rounded out the top five in the expert class finishing in 2:20:52. In the Expert Women class in was Betsy Shogren taking the win in 2:37:55.

Benji Klimas's second overall finish of 1:58:13 it gave him the win in the Single Speed class. Klimas was followed by Chris McGill (who finished third overall) in second in the class finishing in 1:59:24. Third went to WV State Single Speed Champion Robbie Loehr in a time of 2:01:57.

The racing was great, it didn't rain for a change, and we helped out a friend. What more can we ask for? Thanks one more time for everyone who raced or helped with the event. See you all at Valley Falls.