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Sunday, September 3, 2000 -- Holly River State Park - Hacker Valley, WV
Holly River Revenge
Story and photos by Mike Monroe

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
[1999 Coverage]

Holly River Revenge
Benjie Klimas gets the win
When I got assigned the Holly River Revenge race, I was excited, because I have never covered a mountain bike race before. I had no idea what to expect, so I went a day early to camp and that way I could walk the course early that morning before the race, so I set up camp with Jason Laxton.

To our surprise we found out at 11 o'clock we were in a no camping area. The superintendent of the park came and told us nicely that we had to go. We packed all our stuff up and headed down the road, all we needed was a place to lay our heads to get a good night's rest before the race. We found a place down the road a few miles right off to the side of the road. We set up camp in a hurry so we could go to sleep for the big day. The sun peeked through the tarp that I had slept under all night and told me it was time to get up and get ready.

I hopped out of my truck bed and got ready, and went to the registration area to get the low down on the course. When I was talking to Gene Wells, owner of Fat Tire Cycle and coordinator of the race, he told me "As race sponsors we could not have ask for a better bunch of people to work with The Holly River State Park Foundation were there all the way, with a new course it takes more to get thing ready. We figure it took somewhere Around 80 hours of trail research, and 56 volunteer man-hours, for trail maintenance and marking the trail."

Holly River Revenge
It was no easy going
"We have no way of figuring the countless hours that the park super and his staff put into helping us keep the trail ready. They went through and cleaned all the trails of large obstacles that need a chain saw to do. Not bad when you consider that Holly River is a state park, and for the time being, have only one designated trail for mountain biking." He also said "We had 34 volunteers helping with the race on race day. It took 25 pounds of ground beef and 10 pounds of Mozzarella cheese to make the lasagna for dinner, and all the racers got a fruit sorbet soon as they crossed the finish line. I want to thank all the volunteers, caterer Mrs. Schoolcraft and all the racers for helping benefit the Holly River Foundation."

After I walked a little bit of the course I figured this was going to be an interesting day. The track was greasy in spots, rocky, some wicked down hills, and 6,000 feet of vertical climb. This was sure not a race for the weak at heart.

Holly River Revenge
Scott Frame in Hacker Valley
"It was technical, well laid out, well thought out, and better than Winter Park MTB race in Colorado," said Alex Uspenski(2:49:25), from Boulder, Colorado. Alex flew in for the weekend to race and visit his girlfriend, but the bike didn't make it. The nice guys at Fat Tire set him up with a bike since he had made it this far.

As they began to line up you could see the excitement and anticipation blazing in their eyes. When the flag dropped they were off as if being chased by wild animals. Benjie Klimas(2:03:37, 20 mile lap), Jason Laxton(2:10:13, 20 mile lap), and Kevin Leyh(2:12:40, 20 mile lap) all in the Pro Expert Men Class were the three that set the pace. They raced tire to tire the whole race.

Cai Clothier(2:59:50, 13 mile lap) won the Junior Men's division (14 and under class) he is 8 years old and he has been racing for two years. I couldn't believe it when he came through one of the creek crossings on that bike that looked bigger than him. He said his goal is to beat his brother Espe Clothier(1:55:44, 13 mile lap) one day.

The racers raced through the last creek crossing with all they had so they could be finished, get a tasty sorbet and get some of that great lasagna! There weren't any serious injuries, just scratches, bumps and scrapes. The race was a success and I hope to see everyone out there again next year.