Sunday, July 2, 2000 -- Princeton, WV
Hurricane Ridge MTB Challenge
Story and photos by Marty Lamp
The folks in southern West Virginia know how to put on a great mountain biking event, and they take a lot of pride in the courses they build. This was the first ever Hurricane Ridge Mountain Bike Challenge, and with all the amenities that were available for the racers both before and after the race, you had better beleive it will be a very popular race in the future.
This WVMBA sanctioned race kicked
off the festivities on Saturday night with barbecued chicken and
burgers, covered dishes, and plenty of drinks for FREE! All this while
listening to and watching the Carpenter Ants perform atop Hurricane Ridge .
The course was a single track lover's dream. After starting with a 1/2 mile uphill, gravel road start, everyone snaked through a small barn as they started the prologue loop. The draining 1/3 mile prologue consisted of twisting single track that was seemingly either going straight up, or straight down.
The prologue was surely a sign of things to come. After coming back to
the initial gravel road for a little while, it was back into the
trees, and their shade, for a lot of tight, twisting single track. The
big rings weren't used too much through the woods, but bike handling
skills were used to the max.
The 3 lap race proved to be a battle early, but the ever powerful
Ryan O'Connor(2:53:59) stayed strong and consistent to finish
almost 7 minutes ahead of his closest competitor. By the end of the
prologue on lap 1, it was Benjie Klimas(3:01:14) leading with
O'Connor and Jason Laxton(3:07:13) right on his wheel. By the
end of the first lap, O'Connor had grabbed the lead and nearly 2
minutes on his closest threat, a fast spinning Jason Laxton. Scott
Stillwagon(3:00:01) was right behind, with Klimas chasing hard.
The Women Experts had to fight through 3 laps, too, and it was a
testament to the drive inside both Amy Crawford(4:11:49) and
Mandi Williams(4:29:59) just to pedal to the finish. Crawford
finished in front, with a second place Williams and Men's Junior Ex
winner Eric McCumbers(4:29:59) crossing the line side-by-side.
Than White(2:51:29) cruised to another Clydesdale win, while finishing 7th for the two lappers, and Jenette Williams(3:03:26) took top honors for the Women Sport class, and finished 14th overall.
In the 1 lap race, Andy Morris(1:16:39) took the checkered flag for the men's Beginners, Eric Serdoz(1:28:33) led all Junior Sports, and the inspiring Patty Hobbs(2:42:23) finished first for the Women Masters.
Thanks go out to Scott Greene, and all his friends and volunteers who made this event happen. This was a great time, especially for a first time event, and with any luck, next year should prove to be even better.