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Saturday, April 22, 2006 - Sunday, April 23, 2006 -- Parkersburg - Volcano, WV
Challenge at Mountwood - WVMBA #1 (iPO Event Id#: 7320)
Mountwood Coverage: [1999] [2000] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

[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]

Story and photos by Julie Black

Photo by Julie Black
Mountwood Park's name changed to Dismount Park
Mountwood Park has over 2600 acres of rolling woodlands, and 25 miles of tight, technical single-track. The mud left over from an early morning storm proved to be a challenge for most racers. The downhills remained mostly dry amazingly enough. The venue was fitting for the start of what appears to be one of the best WV Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA) points series yet.

A sea of bikers flooded the parking lot on race day, and the weather was perfect. Not too hot, rather cool actually. Volunteers were set with walkie- talkies at every point possible, and the new course kept racers off the road for the most part.

Photo by Julie Black
Joey Riddle, Team Vicious Cycles/Fat Tire Cycle
A new section of trail called "Shoot the Moon" separated some racers, and brought others closer together. The rocky dip before the road crossing harbored a hidden hazard for some, and for others, the slick bottom mud pit became increasingly deeper with each cranking stud tire. Traction became a problem, forcing a few riders to unclip and one leg it through the muck to avoid a spill. Steve Rowand (in the photo above) took the biggest spill on that section, but recovered with a smile.

Eric Kriberney of Team Specialized/Pittsburgh Pro Bikes lead the Pro Expert class, but was passed by Dan Evans (1:55:48) who widened his lead on the pack to 2 minutes on a section of trail called "Dark Side of the Moon." Expert rider, Joey Riddle of Team Vicious Cycles/ Fat Tire Cycle kept Kriberney in his sights. Looking like Braveheart after a bloody battle scene, Riddle's face was splattered with so much mud he was hard to recognize. Though Kriberney breezed through a steep, technical downhill with ease, Riddle caught up and both riders tied with a time 1:57:49. Evans claimed the overall Pro/Expert spot.

Photo by Julie Black
David Flemming rides back in the saddle
Cassie Smith (2:34:28) took top honors in the Women's Pro/Expert class. Team Custom Contracting rider, Betsy Shogren (formerly Schauer), was second in 2:38:37, and Mandi Riddle, Team Vicious Cycles/Fat Tire Cycle, was third.

Jr. Expert champ of the day was Roland Sink (2:19:05). Top Expert Veteran, Peter Kotses (2:13:09), kept Steve Thaxton a minute away. First Expert Master was Charles Patterson (2:33:54).

Amanda Love (2:06:32) was first in Women's Sport, and top Men's Sport 19-34 (biggest class of the day) was fast Chris Flick (1:43:51). Donny Johansen (1:53:55) was top Men's Sport 35+, and Sport Masters 45+ top honors went to Pete Arner (1:51:44).

Kim Broughton, Team Athens Bicycle, was surprised to hear that she finished first in her class, Women's Vet 35+. "I had no idea." she said with a weary smile. Broughton, recovering from a substantial injury, is apparently fully healed and the weeks of rehabilitation paid off.

Photo by Julie Black
Cortney Bloomer gets a break on the flats before hitting the hills
The first High School racer to hit the flats was Jacob Malcomb (1:51:51), who beat his competition by more than 4 minutes. Junior 14 and under, Travis Mandeville (1:20:21), beat his competition by more than 20 minutes! This is the future of WVMBA folks, get ready.

With a time of 2:07:57, Aaron Reed finished as the first of eight Clydesdales. Craig Watson (2:08:28) took home top Single Speed honors. Corey Brown (1:43:37) was the first out of a pack of 13 male beginners, and though Emily Chaney (1:45:13), was the first and only women's beginner she technically finished as the third beginner overall.

Thanks to all the WVMBA folks, the Mountwood Park staff, the many volunteers, the JROTC kids from Parkersburg High School, and RVMBA for taking great care of the trails. It's a great race and a great start to the season. Special thanks to all the bikers out there who ham it for the Canon, you rock!