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Saturday, August 7, 1999 - Sunday, August 8, 1999 -- Snowshoe
SUBARU Mountain Bike Challenge
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

Trials/Dual Slalom Pics: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4]
Cross Country Pics: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4]
[Coverage] [XC Results]

Jeremiah Bishop after winning the Subaru MTB Challenge
There wasn't any snow to be seen, and no matter how hard you looked, you couldn't find any skis or snowboards strapped to the top of the countless vehicles. The weekend of August 7th and 8th at Snowshoe Mountain Resort belonged to the cyclists, and they took full advantage of the festivities at the 3rd Annual Subaru Mountain Bike Challenge.

Saturday was full of excitement with the downhill race, an observed trials course, and a dual slalom race, while Sunday showcased the cross country races. Although the weather was sunny and beautiful on Saturday, Mother Nature let everyone know who's boss on Sunday as temperatures dropped dramatically and some much needed rain fell from the sky.

Jay DeJesus raising some dust at the dual slalom
Mountain bike riders of all ages and abilities were entertained, as well as doing the entertaining. The downhill course handed out a solid dose of some prime West Virginia elevation loss, while the trials riders brought their balancing act to Silver Creek Lodge and pedaled, jumped, and spinned their way up and over all kinds of obstacles.

The dual slalom race made for some great head-to-head excitement, and the fans lined up and down the course screaming and clapping with support. The lights came on as the sun went down for the dual slalom, as Sunday was set aside for the cross country racers to strut their stuff.

The Women Pro-Experts take to the slopes
The cross country course started directly behind Silver Creek Lodge. All racers were immediately handed a grueling uphill that got steeper at the top, and put even the strongest legs into the granny gear. A quick right through some technical singletrack and riders were given a brief view from the mountain top, but this was short-lived because another technical, winding singletrack section took riders down the mountain. Wet roots and slick rocks kept it interesting until racers made a left onto a rough gravel road. This proved to be very rocky and fast, and the race to the bottom ended quickly with a final uphill crank to the finish line.

All expert classes rode 4 laps on the 6 mile course, with Sports, Masters, and Vets riding three, and beginners only facing two loops.

Mark Meyer flying high and fast at Snowshoe's Dual Slalom
In the Men's Pro-Elite class, Jeremiah Bishop(1:55:45) battled Chris Eatough(1:55:59) up the final hill for the first place finish. Bishop and Eatough followed Kyle Dixon(1:56:50) towards the end of the race as both experienced some mechanical trouble. Bishop flatted on the first lap, and Eatough had to fix a broken chain on the last lap. With Eatough on the heels of Bishop, the duo pushed one another hard until Dixon came back into view at the bottom of the last uphill.

"I saw Dixon already starting the climb as I was coming into it, and I knew what I had to do", said a jubilant Bishop afterwards. Eatough was right behind Bishop, but couldn't pass him on the final climb, and had to settle for an impressive second place finish. Dixon rounded out the top three Pro finishers.

Jeremiah Bishop making up time after his flat
In the Men's Expert Class, Dave Walker(2:02:32) got the win in arguably the most competitive class on the mountain. After a great day on the downhill slopes, George Willetts(2:05:40) was fast enough to finish second, while Mike Bowen(2:06:27) was less than a minute behind to round out the top three.

Melissa Showman had no problem getting the win in the Women's Pro-Elite Class, while Shelly Wilson(1:54:16) finished first in the Women's Expert Class.

In the Men's Junior Expert division, James Van Toever(2:02:38) got the victory by finishing nearly 5 minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Edwin Hernandez(2:07:19). Charlie Pendry(2:16:22) finished third.

Other class winners include Shane Lawson(1:39:26) for the Men's Sport Class, Katie Poster(1:24:10) for the Women Sports, Joe Wharton(1:09:17) for the Men's Sport Vets, and Robin Volliner(1:34:18) for the Women's Sport Vet Class. Steve Androit(1:21:39) finished first for the Clydesdales.

Thanks go out to Subaru and Snowshoe Mountain Resort for putting on a fun filled mountain biking event, and to Joe Stevens and Mark Rotellini for handling the results as best they could.