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Sunday, July 27, 2008 -- Beaver, WV / Little Beaver State Park
Little Beaver Chainring Challenge - WVMBA #12 (iPO Event Id#: 10568)

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Still Going Strong at the Beaver

Story by J.R. Petsko

Ten years ago it all started with the first Little Beaver mountain bike race. A lot has changed in that amount of time, like 29-inch wheels, full suspension frames, and 27 gears.

Some things, like an awesome course and believe it or not some of the same people, haven't changed from that first race. Racers like Mike Boyes who finished 3rd overall at the first showed up again ten years later.

The same could be said for Ryan Hobbs and Ron Cantley. As always, Gary Morefield pulled out all the stops for the WVMBA racers and made every effort to put on the first class event. The only question this year like at almost every race this summer was, would it rain?

The early morning clouds put a little worry on everyone's mind, but they soon passed and the warm summer sun made its way over the Little Beaver State Park.

At 10 minutes to one all the races headed to the start line. On today's menu would be three 7.3 mile laps for the experts, two for the sport classes, and one for the beginners.

GO! From the beginning it was the two WV Cannondale 29ers riders of Jason Cyr and Robbie Loehr making the pace out front followed by the Team Rowand brothers of Jeremy and Stephen right behind them. Local expert rider Adam Stephens (Marathon Bicycles) also was in the early mix up front.

By lap two Cyr and Loehr had pulled away and had a comfortable lead over the field and turn on the auto pilot to lead the other fight it out behind them.

Mean while in the men's sport class it was once again a fight between the points leaders. During these last few weeks, not one of them wanted to miss an event and let the other rider get a leg up them.

Ian Beckner came away with yet another win. Aaron Shelmire, who took last weeks win, was only 7 seconds behind Beckner. Third place went to Donald Powers, who at this point holding down the third spot in the series standings. Fourth was Ryan Hobbs in 1:41:44. Fifth went to local rider Chris Finch in 1:41:44.

Now back to the front of the race. On the last lap Jason Cyr got fast and gave way to Loehr.

Robbie took the overall and Single Speed class win in 2:11:17. Great ride Robbie! Cyr was able to regroup just enough to hold onto second overall and win the Expert class in 2:13:18. Jeremy Rowand all most caught up with Cyr finishing in 2:14:56 for third overall and second in the class. Third in the class went to Stephen Rowand in 2:24:44.

One of the tightest races of the day was in the Men's Expert Master class where Matt Marcus was pushed by Mike Boyes.

Marcus road so hard that he finished fourth overall for the entire race. His time was 2:17:44. Boyes finished just behind him in 2:18:12.

Greg "I got one more lap?" Moore took the Men Expert Vet win in a time of 2:34:49.

Klara Hitckcock was able to take the win over Courtney Blommer in the Women Sport class. These two ladies have a tight point series race going on. Hitchcock hold a one point lead over Bloomer in the series total. That should be a good one to watch.

All around nice guys Alex Marra, Doug Wayne, Steve Thorne and Dwayne Walters battled in the Men Sport Master class.

Thorne took the early exit with a DNF leaving the other three to the racing. Marra went on to win the class in 1:50:59 followed by Wayne in second with a time of 1:55:03. Walters took third in 2:03:13. Thanks guys, you all are a great asset to are sport.

Sarah Fletcher was flying out on the course and took the Women's Vet win in a time of 1:51:07. That time would have gave her 9th in the super fast Men sport class. Not bad Sarah!

JD Barnette won the men 14 & under class in 1:09:01 over Zachary Morrell who finished in 1:24:53.

Big shout out to Gary and all the folks down in the Beckley, WV area. You all put on one heck of the race and I will be back for sure in 2009!

This coming weekend is a double dipper for the WVMBA.

Saturday, August 2nd, enjoy the WVMBA Fun Ride in Davis, WV. Meet up with us in front of the Blackwater Bikes Shop at 11:00 am for a day filled with riding fun.

On Sunday, August 3rd, head to Ohio for the Race to the Hills - WVMBA #13/OMBC #7 at Lake Hope State Park. This event lets you earn points for the Ohio Mountain Bike Championship Series and/or the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association Points Series! There also will be a kid's race and fun ride.