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Sunday, April 7, 2002 -- Waverly, WV
Challenge at Mountwood-WVMBA Pts. #1 (iPO Event Id#: 4782)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14] [Set 15] [Set 16]

Race Pic
Spring cleaning for the lungs
The 2002 WVMBA Point Series kicked off with a bang at Mountwood Park with over 250 riders coming out to enjoy a beautiful Sunday of racing. After what had been a dreary week for cycling, temps in the low 70's were a welcome change. If this was any indication of the type of season to come, it is surely to be a great one.

Mountain bike race courses in WV share one thing in common - mountains. While they may not be as big in the western part of the state where Mountwood Park is located (some mountaineers would refer to them as hills), what they lack in size they make up for in frequency.

Race Pic
Fast action at Mountwood
The Mountwood course didn't lend itself for recovery on the downhills and, being the first race of the season, put the hurtin' on many of the racers (backs, legs, lungs and hearts). Mostly dry conditions leading up to the race made the clay surface into a fast hardpack. With the exception of a couple of short road sections, racers were forced to keep their senses about them as they negotiated the twisty singletrack and, everyones favorites, plenty of log-jams.

We're not sure if this is the accepted term for these trail obstacles (log-jam is the best we could come up with). If a tree of any sizeable diameter falls on the trail at Mountwood you can count on someone stacking smaller limbs and logs on either side creating a rideable obstacle. Quite the challenge when you've been going all-out for an hour and a half and face a slew of 10 log-jams in a row. The experts (who had to complete two laps) probably faced over 100 during the race.

Race Pic
Logs, logs, and more logs
Everyone was testing their early season legs, and it seems that many also had to test their tire changing form. Pinch-flats were many as the rocks proved stronger than rubber when hit just right. "I saw tubes all over the place," commented Expert/Pro race winner Nick Waite, and the 18-year-old Devo/WV Tourism rider was not immune.

Waite battled with Dave Walker and Mike Walewski early on until he had to take a time out to fix a puncture. After resuming the chase, he caught Walker but Walewski was gone, a victim of flats as well. Waite finished the roughly 50K course in 2:11:31 with Walker taking second at 2:16:31. Taking third, and flatting along the way as well, was T.J. Platt at 2:22:12.

Race pic
Rock 'n Roll WV style
In the women's Pro/Expert field no one could hang with Tiffany Kenny as she cruised to a win at 2:43:39. But behind Kenny the racing for second was fierce. In the end it was a sprint to the finish second place for Missy Showman (3:03:42) with Sarah Crandall-Fletcher (3:03:45) just seconds back in third. Mandi Riddle kept them in sight for much of the race as she finished a close fourth at 3:04:34.

There was plenty more great racing in all the categories as the WVMBA season got a great start. It quickly moves on as just the next week (April 13/14)is race number two at ACE Adventure Center in Oak Hill, WV. It is a full weekend affair with the Anguish at Arbuckle Downhill kicking it off on Saturday with the Minden Mud Fest cross country event on Sunday.