Saturday, August 19, 2000 -- Smoke Hole - Franklin, WV
Gnarly North Fork
Story and photos by Marty Lamp
Coming off a week layoff from the WVMBA
Points Series and with only three points series races left, the
competition was sure to be fierce. For the first time this season, the
biggest class in the race was the Men's Pro/Ex.
Once riders left the pavement, it was either cranking up steep hills,
or descending the backside with some serious speed. Racers got a taste
of every kind of terrain along the way, from fields and pastures, to
very hazardous downhills and rocky dirt roads past some unlikely, and
perhaps unsuspecting, spectators.
The word from the majority of the racers was that the second lap was
much nicer after the first lap traffic cut in a solid and
distiguishable path. The finish line lay at the bottom of the long
paved descent, just inside Thorn Springs Park.
However, flat tires were all the rage this day, and at the very top of the last uphill, Bishop realized his back tire was losing air, and was hoping to gingerly descend the last downhill, and make it to the finish without a stop. But after hearing, and feeling, the sharp knock of rocks on his back rim, he lost sight of Eatough, and was forced to fix the flat. Eatough would cruise to the finish first, with Bishop coming in less than 5 minutes back, and Duffy over 12 minutes back of the lead
Mike Capraro(2:39:08) had very little trouble continuing his
recent domination of the Men's Vet Ex class, finishing a strong 4th
place overall, while holding off Nick Waite by less than 30 seconds,
who finished first for the Men's Junior Ex's, and 5th overall.
Other class winners include Joey Riddle(3:16:34) for the Men's Sports, Bill Lane(3:25:47) for the Men's Masters, and Rick Elkins(3:01:42) for the Men's Vet Sports. Dannie Hillery(3:46:32) continued to lead the way for the Clydesdales, and Matt McDonald(3:38:51) took first place honors for the highly competitive Men's Junior Sports.
This classic race was just what one should expect from Glen Hofecker and his crew; a tough, surprising course that treats racers to a cross section of Appalachia, then rewards them with some outstanding food and cash/prizes afterwards. There was absolutely no reason for anyone to leave this race without a full belly and a big smile on their face.