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Sunday, May 21, 2000 -- Douthat State Park, VA
Middle Mountain Momma III
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8]
[1999 Coverage]

Middle Mtn Momma
Getting ready to roll
In a world where mountain bike races are slowly starting to mimic the "short track", criterium style lap races of road racing, just riding a race course with unduplicated trails is a breath of fresh air. Sure, it makes it eaiser for the spectators (and photographers) to view a race when everyone comes flying by a multiple number of times, but if you are racing, there's nothing better than seeing the trail just one time in a race.

In Douthat State Park, just north of Clifton Forge, Virginia, nearly 200 riders came from everywhere to enjoy the beautiful, green mountains at the Middle Mountain Momma MTB Race on Sunday, May 21st. This race has more than one unique quality to brag about; not the least of which is the demonstration of a growing alliance between the 2000 East Coasters Virginia State Championship Series and the WVMBA racing series. Points were up for grabs in both series, making it easy to justify skipping the border for all those WVMBA racers in the hunt for valuable points.

Middle Mtn Momma
George Willetts and Jason Laxton do battle
The Virginia racers get their chance to come west in August in the second joint-series race of the season, the Fat Tire Festival.

Oh, have you heard about the trail conditions? This isn't some dirt road, double track, wanna-be mountain bike race, this is the real deal. The single track is so tight the blooming mountain laurel reach out and touch you on both sides as you race by. The start of the race takes place on 1/4 mile of gravel road, then that's it... it's time to climb.

Moderately technical trails lead to the top of Middle Mountain, some 6 miles and 3000 vertical feet later, then it's payback time with an incredible view and some super fast downhill single track, with a few hairpin switch backs thrown in, all the way to the bottom of the mountain.

Middle Mtn Momma
Ray Clark on his second lap
Cross the valley you started in and it's back up hill again. Although this second major climb may be a little shorter than the first, it makes up for length with gradient (2000 vertical feet), and many a racer were questioning their motivations at this point. After being treated to another amazing view, it was time to hold on for another all single track descent down through Brush Hollow, and then back to the finish.

All of this fun amounted to 21 miles of cranking, unless you felt like racing the XXC, which means two laps, and 42 miles of pleasure/pain. Beginners and Junior Sports cut their lap a little short and raced through an 11 mile course.

The fastest rider on the course this day was Greg Marini(1:51:11), who also set a new course record along the way. Marini stayed on the rear wheel of Joel Maynard(1:52:50) through the second major climb, but pulled away to take the win by over 1 1/2 minutes. Maynard would finish second, with Jeremy Wimpey(1:58:37) finishing third.

Middle Mtn Momma
Joey Riddle enroute to a win
In the XXC race, after a 10:00 am start and many miles of spinning, Dave Fleming(4:11:56) grabbed a solid lead and managed to hold on to it until the end. Fleming, who finished second overall in the Dragon's Back XXC, seemed no worse for wear after riding this classic loop twice. Ray Clark(4:17:46) finished second, with Jonathan Martin(4:30:22) holding onto third.

The battle for the fastest female on the day went to Cristi Mantz(2:33:57), who just barely held off second place finisher Amy Crawford(2:34:15) by a scant 18 seconds. Mandi Williams(2:47:10) finished third for the Women Pro/Experts.

Middle Mtn Momma
Solitary spinning in Douthat State Park
In the Men's Vet Expert class, the always speedy Edward Dickenson(2:04:25) got the win, with Mike Caprano(2:06:47) finishing second, and Matt Ross(2:12:40) finishing third.

Other class winners include Billy Armstrong(2:09:39) for the Junior Experts, Joey Riddle(2:23:14) for the Men's Sports, and Susan Musante(2:52:59) for the Women's Sports.

Bruce Wohleber(2:35:56) took the checkered flag for the Men's Masters, while Than White(2:43:37) took first for the Clydesdales. Sue Painter(3:01:30) won the Women's Vet Sport class, and Chris Betz(2:31:26) finished first for the Men's Vet Sports. Brandon Tate(1:10:37) finished first for the Men's Junior Sports.

Many thanks go out to race director Kyle Inman, and all his volunteers for making a great race like this happen.