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Sunday, January 31, 1999 -- Sissonville
WV Cyclocross Race #5

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [More Pics] [Results]

A well marked course with plenty of obstacles, that's WV cyclocross
Steve Thaxton and the fine people of Worldwide Chiropractic put on their 5th cyclocross race of the season January 31st. The course was lengthened from the previous few races with additional climbing in the prologue, an added run next to the cemetery, and the inclusion of a new, steep downhill section. With little precipitation in the prior days, mud was limited to a couple marshy areas and track conditions were considered fast compared to previous races. For the number of races which have been held on the course this season, its surface seems to have amazing recuperative abilities, especially for the winter months. The race enjoyed a great turnout with 27 competitors (6 expert, 12 sport, 2 masters, and 7 beginners) putting the muscle to the metal.

Pablo Martinez raced to an early Sport class lead, but others were chasing
Mike Bowen, returning for his first race since the 2nd in the series, took the lead in the expert class and never looked back finishing 4 laps (+ prologue) in 50:26. In a battle for second place, Randy Gibbs and Dave Flemming shot it out over the first 3 laps, trading places several times before a flat slowed Flemming and allowed Gibbs to cruise in for second place. The first lap proved to be a tight one for the expert class with just over 1 minute separating the first 5 racers. Steve Thaxton, who finished the race in 5th place, was exited to still be within striking distance at the close of the first lap but was not able to maintain the blistering pace for the remainder of the race. Drew Smithberger's 6th place finish may have been the result of a winter slowdown but you can expect the 1998 WVMBA Sport Class champion to turn the heat up as the 1999 WVMBA season gets closer. Jacob Fetty, who has been racing the last few events with knee braces on, finished a little over 2 minutes out of 3rd.

Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith eventually left the Sport class behind
In the sport class, Pablo Martinez paced the first lap with a time of 15:43, 15 seconds ahead of the chase group of Jeff Smith, Bryan Butts and Anthony Schwartz but, by the end of the second lap, Smith took the lead and held off Pablo's challenges to take the win. First to fade after the first lap was Anthony Schwartz who dropped back 45 seconds from the lead group. While Smith maintained his lead, Pablo was pressured by Bryan Butts but was able to hold him off at the finish, taking second place by only 5 seconds over Butts. Craig Prather took the last money spot with a 5th place finish, just over 1 minute out of fourth place.

Dave McKain
Dave Mckain's fun ended with a broken rear dropout
Mark Johnson cruised to his second consecutive Beginner class victory. Joel Rodgers, who trailed Johnson by over 2 minutes after the first lap, tried to turn the heat up in the second lap but fell short, finishing in second place 1:25 off the lead. While Rodgers was trying to catch up with Johnson, Tod Schumate and Doug Wayne were duking it out for 3rd place. Schumate was able to hold off the challenge, taking 3rd place, 14 seconds ahead of Wayne.

In the Masters class, Jeff Fetty took first, keeping up with some of the youngsters through 2 laps while R.L. Martin finished second in the class.

As usual, Steve Thaxton, the generous race sponsors, and his venerable group of volunteers provided a great race with plenty of post race fuel (pizza).