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Sunday, November 5, 2000 -- Champion, PA
Month of Mud MTB/Cyclocross #4
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Series Standings]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

Race Start
Ready to rock at the top of Seven Springs Resort
On top of the mountain at Seven Springs Resort, over 100 cyclists prepared to take on race #4 in the 2000 Month of Mud series. However, the mud was minimal. What was in abundance was wind and chilly temperatures that struggled to get into the forties. Adding to this mix was a technical 4-mile course that snaked around the mountain top and sent the riders across numerous rock gardens. Keeping the rubber side down while trying to ride the most technical sections would quickly be heating up all the competition.

Racers were grouped into two waves at the start. The expert, veteran, single speed and masters classes would get the starting signal at 10am for three laps of racing. Following ten minutes later were the sport, women, beginner and junior clases doing their two lap version.

Rocks
Try as you might, you can't dodge all the rocks
The early racing had a pack of riders at the front of the expert class, but by the end of the first lap it was down to a two-man race. Benjie Klimas (Cannondale) and Justin Pokrivka (Dirty Harry's) duked it out over the next two laps. Klimas kept gaining an advantage through the wooded single-track and rock gardens only to have Pokrivka charge back on the dirt roads.

Pokrivka's break came late in the final lap as the leaders began working their way through lapped traffic. Klimas, leading through the technical rock gardens, got tangled with a fallen rider and could only watch as his hold on first vanished. By the time Klimas could get back into his rhythm he had lost too much time to catch Pokrivka who went on to win with a time of 1:05:38. Klimas kept it close to finish just four seconds back at 1:05:42. Taking third overall was Dan Fry (Speedgoat) finishing at 1:07:17.

Mtn Top
Cold but beautiful on top of the mountain
In the other three lap classes, T.J. Pratt (Gary Fisher/East Coast) made it four-for-four with another win in the single speed class at 1:08:49. In the highly competitive veteran (35+) class, Steve Hutter (PCC), 1:10:03, beat out Chris Huffman (Rocket Apparel), 1:10:21, and Brian Mershimer (Grove City Bikes), 1:11:01. All three now sit on top of the verteran class series standings with just four points separating them. The masters class winner was Darrell Huber (Seven Springs MTB Center) with a time of 1:14:54.

Putting the hammer down on the two-lap field was sport rider Charlie Chulack (PCC) who recorded a first overall time of 45:32. Also winning handily was the women's champion, Beth Baker (Grove City Bikes), finishing at 57:42. Winning the junior class was Danny Wilson (Dirty Harry's), 55:53, and topping the beginner class was Daryl Vettori, 51:18.

Everyone was thankful after the great racing that the hard work of Chris Huffman, Ty Musser and Gary Bywaters had everything running smoothly. With awards promptly handed out, everyone was happy to get the results and get off the mountain. Scenic, it was; warm, it was not!