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Saturday, September 5, 1998 -- Jacksons Mill
Jacksons Mill Fall Classic

The paceline rolls through the Lewis County countryside
[More Pictures] [Results]

Just outside of the hustle and bustle at the Stonewall Jackson Heritage Jubilee, which took place over Labor Day weekend in Jacksons Mill, the small community of Valley Chapel played host to the Jacksons Mill Fall Classic. The race, which started and finished at the Valley Chapel United Methodist Church, sent the cyclists out on country roads through North central Lewis County. It was a beautiful day and the roads, with names like Meathouse Fork, Churchville Road, and the Left Fork of Freemans Creek, made an excellent setting for road bike racing. The days course for the Cat 1-4 riders was 22 miles out and back, with two moderate climbs, for a total of 44 miles of scenic late summer riding.

The early breaks, like this on by Mike Hudimak, were short lived
When the riders left Valley Chapel, it didn't take long for them to get down to business. Within several miles of the start, two riders made an early break. That break was short lived as a slightly missed turn was enough to eliminate the early lead. Immediately following this, Mike Hudimak went on the attack and held a break for several miles. However, by the 10 mile point, all the riders were back together. The first major climb again allowed strong riders the opportunity for a break. While Greg Cook and Dave Cerny topped the climb first, and the pack seemed to have been broken up following the descent, most of the riders bridged back to the lead group by mile 14 or 15.

Late in the race, Greg Cook made a break that no one could catch
With another climb and more hard riding taking the riders to the turnaround, they finally seemed to be splintering. The first major climb on the return trip managed to trim the lead group to less than 10 riders. This lead group may have included a few more riders if it weren't for a nasty crash on the fast and winding descent following the climb. The reports were that Jeff Timinski went down on some gravel on the outside of a corner which sent him sliding off the side of the road. His bike proceeded to tumble its way back out into the road where it took out Dan Latt and sent him on a terrible slide across the pavement. Jeff managed to escape with several patches of lost skin and scrapes, but Dan wasn't so lucky. Dan was immediately taken to the local hospital to have a very serious case of roadrash examined. He should recover, but it won't be pretty.

On the flats and rolling hills that took the riders to the day's final climb, the racing continued. A break by two riders was again canceled by another missed turn. Following this, GoMart rider Greg Cook made a solo break with no pursuers able to maintain his pace. Greg took the lead to the final climb where he only continued to distance himself from the rest of the crowd. Greg finished the race alone in about 1 hour 55 minutes.

Alan Fell finishes a beauty day in front of Valley Chapel United Methodist Church
The remainder of the leaders watched brothers, and GoMart teammates, Tom and Nathan Samples pull away on the final climb. The brothers worked together to keep their lead heading to the finish. Nathan pulled around his brother in the final stretch to the line. Tom characterized his brothers final move by saying, "He jumped me like a buck in Spring." Need we remind you that we are racing in West Virginia?

The day's other riders (Citizens, Cat 5, Juniors and Masters classes) a similar, but shorter route. They turned around earlier to make it just a 20 mile adventure. The racing got serious for this crowd when Scott Clegg and Ryan Hobbs broke together on the climb that took them to their turnaround. They raced together until the final climb before the finish. Here, Scott was able to make a break that Ryan could not reel back in. Scott took his lead to the finish for a win in the 20 mile group at just over an hour, with Ryan taking second.