Sunday, May 16, 1999 -- Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Canaan Valley
24 Miles of Canaan
Story and Photos by Marty Lamp
[Results By Class]
Ben Klimas rollin' through the Valley
There is always a little extra gleam in a mountain biker's eye anytime
they hear the word Canaan. Maybe it's the endless amount of trails
where playful deer are always a wary spectator. Maybe it's the fact
that the Canaan Valley embodies so much of the rugged beauty that makes
West Virginia special, and makes the mountain biking so rewarding.
No matter the individual reason, about 150 riders gathered at the
Canaan Valley Resort State Park for the 5th WVMBA point
series race of the year, only to be greeted by an abundance of
sunshine and a fantastic new race course.
Mandy Williams motors through the meadows
The start of the course took the racers down a paved road for less
than a mile, then left for a ride into the plush meadows. After some
gradual climbing, the riders were faced with some classic "Canaan"
technical riding; lots of roots randomly spread on the uphills and
downhills, and some great log crossings. Once out of the wooded
section it was into meadows again, and out of the shade, for about
two miles of rolling hills to finish out the 8 mile loop.
All beginner classes and Women Masters were required to ride the
course once, with all sport classes, Mens Masters, and Clydesdales
facing two laps, and all expert classes riding a challenging three
Ryan Hobbs finishing strong
In the Mens Expert Class, Ben Klimas
(1:53:33) took the lead
within the first 2 miles and never looked back. He didn't have to
because Jason Laxton
(1:54:18) was easily heard (a broken spoke
twisted around another spoke served as an audible speedometer), and
never more than 20 seconds behind the lead until the final
mile. Klimas was solid and took the checkered flag for the overall
win, with Laxton finishing a very fast second overall. Chris
(1:55:39) kept within striking distance of Laxton the
majority of the race, and crossed the finish line third overall.
In the Mens Junior Expert, Ryan Hobbs(2:02:07) stayed in
control and fought off the always formidable Jonathan
Martin(2:04:33) to take the win. Hobbs and Martin finished an
impressive 9th and 10th overall, respectively.
John Majors was all concentration
Undoubtedly one of the closest battles of the day was in the Mens Vet
Expert Class. Matt Ross
(2:01:51) and Steve
(2:01:59) battled hard the entire course, finishing
nearly 9 minutes ahead of third place, and 7th and 8th overall, respectively.
In the Womens Sport Class, Molly Whalen(1:45:32) continued her
dominance, but Elizabeth Morton(1:47:43) and Mandy
Williams(1:49:28) gave her no time to relax. Whalen, Morton, and
Williams finished as the fastest three females on the track this day,
Ben Deprospero climbing out of his saddle
(1:21:17) won the Mens Sport Class, edging out
(1:21:50), and Danny Camden
first place honors in the Mens Sport Vet Class. Idress
(1:17:52) proved unbeatable in the Womens Masters Class, and
(1:28:23) won the Mens Masters Class by just
under 8 minutes!
Many thanks to Matt Marcus and John Northheimer for
putting together a great race that was superbly organized, and easily
enjoyed. The course was laid out by team Nantuckett
Nectars. Not one incidence of getting lost was reported, which
points to a properly marked course, and although the course was very
challenging in areas, it never lost it's fun. It was Canaan at it's
best, and if you missed it, there's a little thing called the Toyota
24 Hours of Canaan coming up...