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Sunday, May 24, 1998, Webster Springs
Woodchopper Classic

Webster Springs holds the Southeastern U.S. World Woodchopping Championship on Memorial Day weekend. But they don't stop there, they make it into a wonderful weeklong festival. On Sunday this year, they included the Woodchopper Classic Road Race. The course followed Rt. 15 East out of Webster Springs which takes them right up a 2.5 mile climb to Bergoo Rd. From there it's down hill and out Bergoo Rd. for several miles to a turn around point about 9 miles from the start. Following the same route back makes for a quick 18 mile race.

This year's competitors quickly broke up into two groups of riders during the initial climb to Bergoo Rd. The lead pack of 5 riders stayed ahead of Dan Connelly who rode solo most of the race. Dan was chased most of the race by a group of 4 riders that never did close the gap. No riders were able to make a break on the fast climb back up Bergoo Rd. to Route 15 and the groups were each left to battle it out with sprints to the finish.

During the sprint finish for the lead riders, Nathan Samples riding for GoMart was able to out spin Chris White, Steve Dailey, Shawn Modar, and Nathan Ferguson to the finish in 46:01. Dan Connelly finished alone in 6th at 48:11 with the second group spinting across the line at 49:00. The second group was led to the finish by David Hyde with Joshua Bunting, Mike Smith and Keith Lilly close behind.

The remainder of the riders each crossed the line with the final rider Bruce Gregory getting chased across the finish line by the sag wagon. But WVOutside would like to thank Bruce for showing everyone that road bike racing is not all about 15 pound bikes, tight colorful clothes, or mad sprints to the finish. Wouldn't it be great to see more riders like Bruce out there who just enjoy spending a nice Sunday morning riding a bike through the beautiful hills of West "By God" Virginia.

[Complete Results]

Doug
Let's ask Doug Shafer: "Are we having fun yet?"

Woodchopper
A competitor in the spring board competition chops away

Climbing
The riders start right out with a long climb

Lead Riders
Nathan Samples directs the racers back toward Webster Springs

Front Group
Nathan Ferguson vies for position in front of the camera

Front Group
First or last, a great day for a bike ride