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Saturday, April 21, 2001 - Sunday, April 22, 2001 -- Hopedale, OH
Mickey's MTB Challenge #1 (iPO Event Id#: 2755)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [XC Overall] [XC by Class] [Dual Slalom] [Trials]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12]
(DS: Set 1-6; XC Nov/Beg: Set 7-9; XC Exp/Sport: Set 9-11; Kids,Etc: Set 12)

Dual Slalom
The 2001 Mickey's DS season gets underway
The rain came in downpours Saturday and Sunday morning and for a frightful start to the 2001 Mickey's Mountain race season. Fearing nothing, a great crowd of racers took to the many challenges. While there was no getting rid of the mud, the sun came out both afternoons, and took the place of the rain, for some great racing. The fun began with Saturday's dual slalom complete with the return of the maniacs from SOS bysickles.

SATURDAY'S DUAL SLALOM

Seeming to weathering the storm best was none other than expert rider Pete Weir. Weir recorded the fastest combined times in all four preliminary rounds leading up to the final four showdown with Jason Beckley, Mathew Vise and Brian Price. That's when Weir's good fortune in the mud finally wore out. Problems on the red course cost him big and landed him with just a third place finish. Beckley took full advantage to take first place with Vise slipping into second.

Dual Slalom
Fast times include clearing the last double
A similar story-line played out in the sport class as Trevyn Newpher was dominating the competition through the first two rounds. His disaster struck on the blue course in the finals and he also had to settle for third. Henry Prantl had no sympathy as he recorded his two best runs of the day to take first with a consistent Randy Dischner getting second.

Two rounds of racing settled the beginner class with Dave Cattarin taking first, Dan Nonno second and Thomas Wagner third.

SUNDAY'S EXPERT/SPORT XC

In the Expert Senior ranks, Brad Kriley (Speedgoat.com) and Ben Ortt (Tri-Tech / Kenda) picked up where they left off last year. The pair finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the Sport class for the 2000 Mickey's Points Series and moved up to Expert for 2001.

Expert XC Start
And the sun comes our for the experts
Kriley Took off on the first two laps of the four lap race before the "chainsuck and mud" began to take its toll. Ortt, a 22-year-old from Kimbolton, reeled him in on the third lap and Kriley couldn't keep him off his back. "I finally had to let him go," said Kriley, "He put on a nice surge when he went around me. I think he knew he had me and I had to let him." Ortt simply said, "I guess I had the endurance that was needed on a day like today."

In the only other Expert clas, Veteran, Alex Stouhal (2:47:15) passed David Bredenbeck (2:52:21) on the second lap to take the win.

In the Sport Senior class, doing three laps, 29-year-old Robbie Dolby (Colorado Cyclist/Schwinn) from Coloroda Springs was entered in the mix. The Cat 1 road rider had come back east to visit his mother in Canfield and decided to get in a little racing. Not being familiar with the level of competition, he entered as a sport rider. "I usually get trashed in the sport class in Colorado," said Dolby. Even though he mentioned that the "thick air was tough", he seemed to have little trouble trashing the competition. He recorded the overall fastest lap times of the day to finish his three in just 1:45:10. The next time he makes a trip to Mickey's you can be sure he'll be giving the Expert Class a run for their money.

XC Race
A log doesn't have to slow you down
The Sport Women saw Pittsburgh's Jullian Maffio (3:06:35), a 27-year-old racer from Argentina who came to the U.S. just six years ago, take the win. She was closely pursued through the first lap by her twenty 28-year-old rival and fellow Argentine Sofia Chough. Bad leg cramps on the second lap slowed Chough considerably, "I had to stop several times and I almost quit." This allowed Rose Petrick (3:20:20) to sneak in for second place as Chough settled for third at 3:23:00.

Some of the day's best racing took place in the Sport Veteran class as John Wagner and Don Richard went to battle. It was pretty much a dead heat after lap one, but then Richard used a long climb in the middle of lap two to gain a nice lead. Wagner, who said "I just road hard, just kept peddling," caught and passed Richard back up on the same climb during lap three. Wagner's lead held for the win in 2:16:38 while Richard took second at 2:19:42.

In the Sport Clydesdale the stocky 5'10", 200 lb., Jeff DeBucci (Trail Blazers) took the win in 2:30:26. It took until the finall lap for him to drop his competition, Steve Fahey (Dirty Harry's), who finished second at 2:38:44.

XC Race
A little mud and lot of smiles
The Sport Junior title went to Jason McCoy with a time of 2:34:43, while the Sport Masters title went to David Ames. Ames' finishing time was in the 4-hour plus range, but never did he consider quitting. While everyone was collecting awards, Ames was still out giving his best, a DNF was simply not an option.

SUNDAY'S BEGINNER/NOVICE XC

Getting a bit of a break was the early Beginner and Novice riders who raced before the Expert and Sport classes. While a serious downpour drenched riders and the course during the middle of the race, they at least knew they'd only be out for two-laps, at most.

The Beginner Senior's were led to the finish by Scott Bednar (1:25:44) with Doug Foos (1:33:13) taking second place honors.

In the Beginner Women, 12-year-old Jessica Koscho (2:11:01) from Washington PA made the move up from racing novice in 2000. She continued her impressive ways as she took the two-lap win over second place finisher Liz Hopper.

XC Race
Two laps and I'm outta here!
In the Beginner Veteran group, John Kubichar (1:38:17), a 40-year-old from Washington PA, pulled away from second place finisher Steve Little (1:43:50) on the second lap to take the win. "I won it for my lovely wife," said a smiling Kubichar after the race.

The Beginner Masters class saw a familiar Mickey's racer, 45-year-old Randy Stauffer (Wheelcraft), take the win in 1:36:37. The Martinsferry OH native said there was "a lot of mud", but went on to add that it made it "a lot of fun." We suppose that winning the class might have added to the fun.

In the Beginner Junior class, Nathan Smith and Tyler Rippel returned to Mickey's after battling much of the 2000 season. However, the first race of 2001 was all Smith as he rode away from all the competition with a finishing time of 1:18:47, tops of all the two-lap riders. "I rode the trainer a lot this winter," said the 15-year-old from St. Clairsville, "I'll move up to the Sport class if I win like this again."

Kids Race
The fun at Mickey's comes in all sizes
Rippel was left to duel with Andrew Marburger who moved up from the novice ranks this year. The two were never far apart the whole race, but at the finish it was Rippel in second at 1:32:28 and Marburger third at 1:32:32.

Among the heavyweights, it was a true "big man" in Marietta Ohio's Jesse Reed (1:47:07) taking the win in the Begineer Clydesdale class. The 16-year-old, who says he's happy riding bikes and isn't real interested in football or basketball, already stands 6'6" and weighs in at 217 lbs.

Finally there were the Novice Women, the only class that could take pleasure in only having to do a single lap. Jessica Nelson took the win with Joyce Gragg finding the finish for second.

Oh, not so fast, we can't forget about the stars of the future in the Kid's Race. A big cheer goes out to Morgan Hoxworth, Thomas Chough, Mateo Chough, and Steve Koscho. There's simply fun for everyone at Mickey's Mountain!

Now don't forget to thank all the wonderful race sponsors, including Trail Blazers Bike Shop, and we'll see you there again on May 19-20th for Mickey's MTB Challenge #2.