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Sunday, October 22, 2000 -- Ashland, VA
Agee's Poor Farm Free Fall
Story and photos by Dana Harshberger

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]

Agee's Poor Farm MTB
The top three Pro Men
Over a hundred riders and a pig showed up for the 8th race of the Atlantic Mountain Bike Series. It was a fantastic fall day for humans and swine alike!

Held at the fabulous Poor Farm Park, just outside of Richmond, the Multi-use Park had many other activities happening this day as well. The soccer moms and little league dads existed peacefully with the many cowbell-ringing spectators of the bike race.

Starting at noon, the "B" group of riders started off on the 12 mile loop, that consisted of tight and twisty switchbacks, lots of frequent short climbs, and fun fast downhills and whoop-dees! With the lack of rain, the trail was hard packed and fast.

The Pro Men started out briskly, with Bill McCarrick setting a blistering pace for the pack to follow. He was closely watched by Jeremiah Bishop (K2/NuSun) and Dave Burnell. Bishop, who spent the previous day in Delaware competing in a cyclo-cross event, was a bit tired from the drive and event, and just wanted to keep Bill in sight. At about half way through the first lap, the three-some was about to attack a climb, and Jeremiah heard both Bill and Dave have some gearing issues.

Agee's Poor Farm MTB
And they're off
It was here that Bishop took over the lead position, and got a 30-second gap. Upon entering the second lap, Bishop found his legs, and kicked into full throttle mode. He crossed the line at 2:01:11, followed by Dave Burnell (2:05:58) and Michael Hines for third, with 2:07:22. Also of note is Nantucket Nectar rider, Mike Capraro, who despite having his seat fall off somewhere in the first lap, managed to finish the race, and with the respectable time of 2:36:05!

In the Expert Men category, the race was just as heated. Jeff Haight, with Indy Fab (2:06:12), Glenn Walton, of Nantucket Nectars, (2:06:55) and Rob Sydam (2:08:46) had fun battling it out for most of the race. Glenn, who raced in Avalon, MD the day before (let's hear it for the masochists who race twice in the same weekend), had a pickle along with his breakfast. It seems Glenn has views on the therapeutic qualities of vinegar, and thinks that this is what helped him during the race. He also noted that Jeff had somewhat of a home court advantage, especially since he had helped set up the course! Hmm hmmm...!

Agee's Poor Farm MTB
Mike Capraro brings it home
Jeff does like climbing and despite having an encounter with a tree early on in the race, saw Rob's mechanical and heard Glenn at his wheel, and pulled ahead for the win. Also in the Expert Category were the two City Bike guys, Eric Roman and Colin Maher on their single speeds. Eric's usual choice of 2:1 gearing left him running up the steep parts and his favorite part of the course was the end. You know, because, it's over!

With the Vet Ex Men: Richard Beville(2:11:50), Tom Richeson (2:14:45) and Duke Murphey(2:17:50) got the top spots. And for the Jr Ex Men there was TJ Tichey(2:26:31) and Nick Atkins(2:48:09).

In the huge category of Sport Men (27-34), Gene Rutledge(2:21:58) captured the first place spot, with Brian Oliver (2:24:32) for second and Bassem Maasery (2:26:01) with third. In the younger Sport men (17-26), David Fahnestock(2:23:14) pulled in just ahead of Todd Helmick(2:23:55) and Tim Robinson(2:30:12).

On to the Vet Sport Men, with Jim Scott(2:24:06) for first, Tim Konnard(2:28:33) at second and Russell Paelman (2:31:03) rounding out third.

Agee's Poor Farm MTB
Concentration through the trees
And everyone who won was a winner in the Jr Sport Men, with Greg Buerjec(2:36:21) in the lead, followed Mike Watkins(2:51:14) and Conner Maloney(2:00:26).

Let's hear it for the wise guys, or rather, the Mens Masters. Frank Smith (2:35:02), Larry Dell(2:37:51) and AC Bruce(2:41:05) battled it out for the top three positions. And it is here that we will thank Mr. Bruce for all the work he does on these trails. Keep up the great work!

For the Women: lone Expert Woman rider, Kirsten Plehn(3:07:23) was riding against herself today. Can we ask: where are all the expert women? However in the Sport Women, there was no shortage of competition. It is here that Amy Chiuchiolo(1:27:50) took off at the start, and kept it going to the finish. Riding in second was Sara Rittling(1:31:14) and for third, Brandy Adams(1:35:27).

In the Enduro class: This daunting group started their day at a very chilly 9am. Their goal was to complete as many laps as possible in 6 hours. With an impressive 5 laps, Jeffery Elmore garnered the win in this category. A brave Lina Polvi also entered this race, and even with a hard crash halfway through the day kept it going to finish the race.

All in all, a great day was had by all. Many mentioned that this was Dan's best course yet, especially with the length of the lap, and all of the new sections that were added. A big round of applause goes out to Dan Comber of the Atlantic Mountain Bike Series and to all of the volunteers that help out for this race. Thanks also to Agee's and Trek for their sponsorship of this event. For more information about racing in this neck of the woods, check out bikeracing.com.