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Saturday, June 16, 2001 - Sunday, June 17, 2001 -- Grantsville, WV
Appalachian Classic - WVMBA Point Series #6 (iPO Event Id#: 2628)
Story and photos by Dave McKain

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
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]

Race Pic
Hot XC racin' action
SATURDAY I don't know where it originated from but it's definitely a crowd pleaser and, on a hot day, a great way to cool off. What I'm talking about is the infamous Pond Jump at the Appalachian Classic. This is no rinky dink operation either. A sturdy and long ramp is located on the side of the pond at the bottom of a long downhill run and there are bike recovery personnel in the water at all times. Heck, there is even a rescue squad on hand. Luckily, the rescue squad got to hang out and spectate and were not called into action.

There are two objects to the competition: entertain the crowd and get wet. For those not brave enough to jump their own bike, the promoters generously provide a clunker bike for all to use, replete with a "straight from the can" orange paint job. Firstly, you need to push the old clunker to the top of the hill. Once you get there and the all clear signal is given, its time to head down the hill and work up some speed before hitting the ramp. After that - anything goes. For some, it was a question of getting distance from the ramp (and seperation from the bike) but, for others, it was time for some acrobatic aerial maneuvers. Scoring was done by three judges on a 10 point basis. Tyler Ritche took top honors on his final jump, performing a double flip.

Sunday morning brought with it plenty of sunshine for the XC racers including those participating in the kids race. As noon approached and the racers lined up for the start, strains of Arron Copeland rang across the park. For those not familiar with the tradition, this meant that the start of the race was quickly approaching and, as the music stopped, the black powder ignited to start the race. Taking the hole shot for the experts was Dave Flemming with thirty other expert racers on his tail. The sport and olympic classes started folowing the experts in one minute intervals.

Race Pic
The twists and turns of Calhoun County
From the start it was a battle between Ryan O'Connor and Kyle DixonClay Evans rounding out the top three with a time of 1:56:32. In the womens expert class, Cassie Smith (2:34:24) continued her dominance of the class with a win while Mandi Riddle turned in a solid second place at 2:39:31 while Laurie Johnston (3:15:26) took third.

In the Vet Expert class, Rob Gauss took the win with a time of 2:09:45 followed by Steve Thaxon (2:14:17) in second and Mike Boyes, a week after taking third at the 24 Hours of Snowshoe, taking third (2:19:11). In the Jr. Expert class, Kevin Peters took the win (2:14:22) while Eric Durst (2:20:56) edged David Laymen (2:21:04) to take second.