Sunday, July 30, 2000 -- Charles Fork Lake - Spencer, WV
All Sport Tour de Lake
Story by Marty Lamp and photos by Dave McKain
year's Tour de Lake was about as hot as anyone cared to endure,
and this year was no picnic. Although the temps were in the 80's, the
humidity was even higher than that, and the previous day's rain made
riding the course like snaking through some sordid, lush green sauna.
Two races were offered, a 15K and a 30K. All Expert classes, as well as
Men's Sport, raced the two lap, 30K course. The start is not for the
weak-hearted, as everyone climbs up a paved road to the top of the
dam, and that was just the beginning. From here it was more climbing
on a tacky mud road before making a sharp left through the prologue,
which dropped everyone back down to the lake, only to climb right back
up the hill they just came down, this time on leg-draining field grass.
Even though this was a lap race, the second lap retraced very little of the first lap, and amidst the midday heat, it all seemed like fresh territory.
In the 30K race, Ryan O'Connor(1:44:51) finished with more than
a minute lead over old man Gunnar Shogren(1:46:08), and
he was working for it. After Benjie Klimas(1:49:35) led
everyone up and down the prologue, O'Connor and Shogren edged by
Klimas through the first bit of singletrack, while Klimas, Jason
Laxton(1:47:44), and Kevin Leyh(1:51:24) kept the front two
in sight unitl the first major push climb.
In the Women's Expert class, Mandi Williams(2:19:56) and Sarah Crandall(2:28:20) were with one another the entire first lap, but on the second lap, Williams stepped it up a notch and slowly ebbed away from Crandall, getting the win. Williams and Crandall finished 37th and 45th overall, respectively.
In the Men's Junior Ex race, Chris Puehler(1:53:56) dropped in
from his home state of Michigan to take the win, with Eric
McCumbers(1:59:12) and Ryan Hobbs(2:03:18) finishing second
and third in the class. Puehler finished 8th overall, while McCumbers
and Hobbs finished13th and 16th overall, respectively.
Brocc Kaylor(1:56:12) took the win in the Men's Vet Ex class by more than three minutes, while finishing 9th overall. Allen Moore(1:59:56) and Mike Boyes(2:06:03) grabbed 2nd and 3rd in the class.
Some class winners for the 15K include Laurie Johnston(1:28:44)
for the Women's Sport class, Rick Elkins(1:09:34) for the Men
Sport Vets, Charlie Brand(1:20:28) for the Men's Junior Sports
under 18, and Tyson Price(1:25:21) for the Men's Junior Sports
After the race, there was no end to the cold drinks, and the free 6 inch sub was a real nice treat. The one thing that makes this race such a success is the countless volunteers working the registration desk, the results boards, and patrolling the course. Great awards were handed out within minutes of the last person finishing, and Benjie Klimas won a set of Rolf wheels in the free raffle.
Thanks go out to Mark Bossert for putting on such a quality event, and to Lisa Denbigh Taylor for promptly getting us thorough results.