Sunday, March 28, 1999 -- Pipestem Resort State Park, Pipestem
Pipestem Spring Challenge
[Pic Set 1]
[Pic Set 2
Charles Stanley finding the rhythm on the 1st lap
The 1st Annual Pipestem Spring Challenge kicked off the mountain bike
racing season in West Virginia during a beautiful spring day at the
always scenic Pipestem Resort State Park. The 12k course snaked
through the park with lots of rolling hills and reasonably dry
conditions on the single track, but parts of the course followed horse
trails, filled with bone-jarring hoof prints from muddier times, and
one steep technical section that quickly persuaded even the experts to
dismount and carry. The course catered to racers of all abilities with
beginners biking one lap, sport riders riding two, and experts
pounding out three laps.
There is nothing like a little pre-race sprint
From the very beginning the competition was tight due to a Le Mans
start with a twist; the entire field of racers had to funnel through a
shoulder-wide fence before the sprint for the bikes. As if this might
not spread the pack out, a quick uphill before entering the wooded
single track helped everyone get settled into position.
At the end of the first two laps, Charles Stanley(1:45:45) was
slightly behind Chad Davis(1:47:46), but both riders were working a
good pace, and with a slew of riders only minutes behind, it was
anybody's guess who would finish in front. After nipping at the heels
of Davis for two laps, Stanley finished first to win the Mens Expert
division and and take the overall top spot.
Randy Gibbs keeping a tight spin on the flats
In the Women's division, it was the always strong and forever-young
Mora Kistler(1:33:28) finishing first, with Molly Whalen(1:39:33)
pumping hard and placing a very respectable 2nd. Worthy of mention is
also Vonda Underwood(1:43:06), who was the only Women's Beginner Class
In what consistently proves to be one of the most competitive classes,
Jason Laxton(1:17:17) won the Mens Sport Class, with Cam Lewis(1:18:10)
right behind, and the nearest sport class rider nearly 10 minutes back.
The folks at Pipestem Resort did a great job hosting a safe and
enjoyable race, and the food buffet they provided was top-notch. Make
sure to stop by whenever you are in southern West Virginia for some
great mountain biking and gorgeous scenery.