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Sunday, May 14, 2000 -- Canaan Valley Resort State Park - Canaan Valley, WV
24 Miles of Canaan
Story and Kids Race photos by Sue Haywood, XC photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14] (Pic Set 1: Kids Race, 2-14: XC)

Sue Haywood
Sue Haywood races and reports from Canaan Valley, practically her back yard
Canaan State Park Resort hosted the 3rd points race on the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association's 2000 Schedule under blue skies with cool temps. Many "lowlanders" were overheard saying how cold it was at 3200 ft. on this beautiful spring day. The only truly "hot" thing out there was the performances of two up and coming junior racers. Nick Waite (Granny Gear Productions) not only won his competitive Junior Expert class but got second overall on a brand new Trek STP. Another West Virginia wonder, Rocco Mazzei, (Schwinn) not only won his Junior Sport class, but also won the two lap race as well. Many of us "older" racers were left feeling like turtles compared to these young rabbits, but the future looks bright for mountain bike racing in the Mountain State!!

The 8-mile loop covered the park's very scenic and well-maintained multi-use trails. Even though the previous night's dark skies did unleash some much-needed rain, the course absorbed it and the wind dried it out to an absolutely perfect firmness. Some riders were seen with semi slick tires, but most did still stick with nobbies for confidence on the downhills and for out of the saddle climbing. Many others were praising the benefits of their full suspension rides on the bumpy, grassy terrain.

Logs
A few log crossings add to a variety of obstacles and terrain
Race director Matt Marcus described the course as a "power rider's course, with fast sections and lots of big chainring riding". Some might even call it a tactical course (roadie!) because drafting was important with the heavy headwinds. The Women's sport winner, Lisa Capinpin, succinctly noted, "I did the adopt a wheel program where I get on the wheel of the guy in front of me."

One hundred and sixty plus riders lined up in the grass across the road from the nature center with the highest point in Tucker County, Weiss Knob, as the backdrop. For this start lap, the race moved onto the main park road, with some mild mannered "pack" riding to stay out of the wind. A big sprint happened before the first turn onto the dirt of Back Hollow trail. This is where pro winner Ryan O'Connor (Mongoose) trumped the field by putting in a hard effort to establish the gap and then maintained his lead for the 24 mile race.

The course then turned up part of Club Run to Ridge Top trail for a section of two-way traffic with some unique log hops and then the short steep grunt up to the ridge. Then it got put in big ring, and didn't come out until the root invested climb of Middle (middle ring) Ridge. Men's Sport Vet winner Dowain Ford said this was definitely the best part of the racecourse for him. Then after the blistering fast down hill of Middle Ridge to Lower Club Run, the race funneled out to the rocky fast downhill of Allegheny Trail. After all the grass field riding, Back Hollow road seemed so smooth and I was shocked to realize I was climbing in my big ring. Just a fast, rugged ride across the grass on Back Hollow and back to the start/finish to the cheers of the many smiling spectators. Many spectators were seen wrapped in blankets because of the wind, yet the sunny skies felt like the beach.

BACK HOLLOW 100 (Kids Race)

Kids Race
Samantha Ford is race ready
Saturday's Back Hollow 100 Kids Race was held under threatening skies at 4:30 in the afternoon. The kids sensed the impending thundershower and were itching to go... go fast! The nine youngsters were lined up behind the nature center as race director, Matt Marcus, gave them their instructions. The course snaked through the field around the baseball diamond and past the campground, back to the nature center.

The 6 and under class winner was Samantha Ford (Trek). Evy Shreves won the 7&8-year old girls class. The 7&8 boy's class was the largest with 3 fast young men. The winner was Stephen Amos, 2nd place was Tyler Henninger and Evy's brother Brandon Shreves was third. The fastest 9&10 girl was Tiffany Sapp. The winner of the 11&12 girls was a whippin' fast Megan Ford.

The 11&12 boys got to do two laps and probably could have done two more. Matt Marcus, who was also the pacesetter, got his first taste of kid's racing by barely keeping ahead of these two youngsters. Brandon Elkins, who even had his own cheering section, won the race. David Amos was hot on his wheels being cheered on by his mom and his brother, Bobby. Donna handed out nice water bottles and bandana maps to all the racers as they were certainly all champions.

XC OUTCOMES

Eric McCumbers
Eric McCumbers races for a spot on the Jr. Expert podium
As expected in the men's Pro/Ex, Ryan O'Connor (Mongoose) won and maintained his lead in the series. He was swinging a golf club after the race and I meant to ask him if he plans on supplementing his pro salary with a second job. Second place men's Pro/Ex finisher all the way out of Boone, NC, Jason Laxton (RidgeRider), had what he modestly called a "good day".

Jason was able to easily hold off a late race surge from Benjie Klimas (Cannondale). Benjie moved from 7th to 3rd on the last lap. It was great to see the Virginians George Willetts (Haro) and Chris Powohsky (East Coasters) in 4th and 5th respectively. Bedford, Pennsylvania's Jay Duffy met the Canaan crosswind and finished in sixth.

I, Sue Haywood, (TrekWVTourism) won the women's Pro/Ex class and thought the course would make a great world cup race venue. It would be beautiful! Sue George (Headshock) overcame her loathe of grass riding to finish second in the class. The smiling Cassie Smith (Cannondale) made her second appearance at the Series claiming third place. Young Mandi Williams, and former pro roadie, Tina Sayers, rounded out the top five.

In the largest class of the day with 31 finishers, John Munhall decisively won The Men's Sport. The gap between second and third was only one minute with Don Hosaflook taking second and WVU rider Colin Fridley in 3rd.

Brandon Elkins
If you're not having fun, then why race?
Mike Loranty won the Beginner Men's class, the second largest class with 19 finishers, in a mere 43 minutes. Steve Nigh was second with Dan McKee in hot pursuit.

The big boys class (Clydesdale) saw some great big competition with Chris Jarvis in first, followed by new daddy-0 Rob Voorhees (Cannondale) and Virginian, Than White (East Coasters) in third place.

The Women's Sport class continues to attract good competition with seven finishers. The winner was Lisa Capinpin with a fit Amy Vance (Trek) in second and consistent podium placer, Laurie Johnston, in third.

The Women's Beginner class is another exciting and growing class with Wendy Fischer topping Nicole Grieve, and local haunch, Elizabeth Gillespie in third. Great to see Idress Goodin atop the winner podium in the Women's Masters class.

Congrats to other great performances by Vet. Expert's Matt Ross, Steve Thaxton, and Brocc Kaylor, finishing first through third, respectively. Junior 14 and under class was highly contested with Eric Serdoz crossing the line first, then PA's own Danny Wilson and local favorite Karl Waite in third. Rocco won his Junior Sport class and congrats go to the other winners in that class, Jeremy Bartholow and Charlie Brand. The Junior Expert class saw team dominance by Nick Waite and Brett Hixson (Speedgoat) with Eric McCumbers showing some good form in third. Congrats to all winners and finishers and look for full results on the results pages [see links at the top of this page].

Many of the racers are planning on attending the next points race in Virginia, Middle Mountain Momma in Douthat State Park. The riding is fantastic as well as the race organization.

THANKS

Many thanks go to Canaan Valley State Park Resort, John Northeimer and all their helpful and friendly staff. The park has new rental bikes, great trails and many lodging options. And, of course, the park will be hosting the Series Championship race in September. This year's championship course will be held on the same trails as the now infamous "Revenge of the Rattlesnake".