Sunday, September 17, 2000 -- Flat Top, WV
Free Wheeling Mountain Bike Race
Story and photos by Dave McKain
The course, which wound through the resort grounds, consisted of steep, off camber climbs, rolling fire roads, several winding singletrack stretches, and some heinous drop offs. Racing was definitely going to be intense as this was the last chance to get points before the final race of the WVMBA championship series.
The expert classes headed out first with the sport and beginner
classes following at two minute intervals. Getting the hole shot and
leading into the first climb was Morgantown's Benji
Klimas(1:48:48) who quickly surrendered the lead to Mongoose rider
Ryan O'Connor(1:41:55). Joining O'Connor at the front was
K2/Sun rider Jeremiah Bishop(1:37:05) followed closely by
Junior Expert Nick Waite(1:42:11). Bishop shortly took the
charge and, over the first lap, built almost a minute lead on the now
chasing group of O'Connor and Waite. Behind the Pro/Expert riders,
Allen Moore(1:58:45) worked his way to a lead in the very
competitive Expert Vet class followed in close order by Brocc
Kaylor(1:56:43), Steve Thaxton(1:58:53), Matt Ross(2:02:19)
and Matt Marcus(1:58:20).
Within two miles of the finish, Bishop had built almost a 5 minute lead
while O'Connor and Waite continued to fight. While it looked like the
Granny Gear rider may be able to pull an upset, O'Connor opened the
throttle and put 15 seconds on the up and coming Waite by the time they
got to the finish line.
In the other classes, Treks Sue Haywood(1:51:21) cruised to a first place win in the Pro/Expert Women class taking 6th place overall. Aron Yevuta(1:56:36) edged out Clay Evans(1:56:42) to take 1st in the Mens Sport Class while the Men's Sport Vet class was handily won by Rick Elkins(2:02:35). Laurie Johnston(1:49:08) took the win in the Women Sport class and Patty Hobbs(2:49:49) finished first in the Womens Master class.