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Sunday, September 19, 2004 -- Grantsville, WV
Appalachian Classic - WVMBA Pts. #16 Championship (iPO Event Id#: 6031)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
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] [Set 13] [Set 14]
Past Classic Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003]

Race Start
Ready to race at Calhoun County Park
A beautiful day in the park turned out some incredibly exciting racing for the finals of the 2004 WVMBA Points Series (final standings). You'd expect the course to be a mess after all the recent rain, but the trails at Calhoun County Park were in great shape. There was a little mud here and there, but there always is with trail names like "Wet 'n Wild".

In the men's expert race, point series leader Bryan Fawley jumped out to a huge early lead. He was helped by Gunnar Shogren who crashed just after the start and held up some of Fawley's competition.

Bryan Fawley
Bryan Fawley drops into the Beaver Slyde
During the first two 7.2 mile laps it was T.J. Platt pacing himself nicely as he reeled in the escaped Fawley. The final lap had Platt hanging on Fawley's wheel until he finally was ready to make a move. With just a half-mile of racing to go on the smooth and fast gravel park trail, Platt jumped ahead of Fawley.

Fawley was ready to respond but his bike wouldn't cooperate, "It was a bad time for a little chain suck." By the time he slipped it into the big ring Platt had a nice advantage. Fawley's best sprint up the grass hill to the finish fell short and Platt took the win by just a single second. In consolation, Platt's win wasn't enough to take the series title away from Fawley.

Platt's winning time for the 21+ mile race was 1:51:30 to Fawley's 1:51:31. Platt was plenty happy with the win, and even in defeat Fawley couldn't help but rave about the fun course and his Kenda tires.

Race Pic
Mandi and Cassie battled the whole race
On the women's expert side we again watched as the series leaders went toe-to-toe all day. Mandi Riddle and Cassie Smith went back and forth all day but neither could pull away.

On the final climbs before the finish Riddle was able to get a small lead and then held on for the win in 2:26:24. But once again it wasn't quite enough for the series title as Smith's second place finish (2:26:50) gave her the 2004 title by a single point over Riddle. "She is tough," were Smith's final words on Riddle for the season.

In some of the other expert classes, Dan Wilson (2:04:40) continued his dominance of the under 18 field. He took the win and the series title over Andrew Fetty (2:40:14) who consistently paced second to Wilson throughout the season.

For the expert vets Gunnar Shogren quickly recovered from his spill to chase point series leader Gerry Pflug. Pflug wasn't giving him any breaks and went on to secure the race a series title with a time of 1:58:12. Shogren took second in both the race and series with his finish at 2:00:22.

1x1
Steve Harough single speeds to the finish
The final expert class was the masters at 45 years and older. Scott Root continued his dominance of the field taking the series and race title with an impressive time of 2:09:18. While Matt Marcus (2:22:24) took second in the race, he didn't have enough races to play into the series. That meant a simple fourth place finish by Jonathan Phillips (2:28:12) was all he need to take second in the series.

The final class to go at it for three laps was the single speeders. As usual it was Travis Saeler (2:01:31) smashing the pedals to win by a huge margin and take the series title. With Greg Moore (2:16:07), Mike Boyes (2:19:00), Josh Feazell (2:27:38), and Steve Harouff (2:31:24) finish second through fifth, respectively, is it any surprise that is the same order they finished in the series?

For the sport classes it was only a two lap race. For the women it was Charlene Vrabel (1:59:30) notching another win but a lack of races left her out of the final points race. The series win went to Lori Ware (2:12:08) who out sprinted Michelle Johnson (2:12:09) to grab second place points for the race.

Greg Moore
Executive Director Greg Moore shows off his fat tire
Amy Dunkin (2:20:02) settled for fourth but it was all she needed to keep her second place standings in the series. And a final shout out to Lisa Stover (2:24:28) for her third place finish in the series in just her first year of racing. Let's hope all these women race again in 2005 as it sure looks to be some good competition.

For the men racing two laps there were no surprises in the 19-25 sport class with Tim Andrew (1:29:37) and Chris Flick (1:33:56) taking first and second in the race and the series, respectively. Either Andrew or Flick won every race this year with one exception, the lone race neither of them entered. Looks like these guys are ready for a little expert competition.

For the 26-34 crowd it was another win and the series title for Shandon Hime at 1:37:57. His main rival Michael Haid suffered a disappointing DNF and that opened the door for Travis Miller. Miller only finished fourth at 1:43:17 and did not win a single race all year. But persistence paid off and earned him a second place in the series.

Matt Marcus
WVMBA President Matt Marcus gets in some racing
The very competitive sport vet crew saw Scott Frame (1:41:27) score his second win of the season. But with Doug Wayne (1:42:00) edging out Ron Cantley (1:42:28) for second, Wayne got the points he needed to take the series title by a single point of Frame.

For the 45-plus sport riders it was Charles Patterson (1:42:49) scoring his first win of the season over series leader Bruce Williams (1:46:15). But even with his victory and Williams' third place finish, it wasn't enough to move ahead in the series. Williams one the series by three points of Patterson.

For the 35-plus women it was Laurie Johnston (2:04:54) coasting to victory and the series title. With the absence of Paula Schimizzi, a second place finish for Shelly Ware (2:19:41) locked up a second place in the series, as well.

Race Pic
Ready for a sprint to the finish?
The 15-18 high school men raced for two laps with John Lowe (1:38:34) posting another impressive win and the series title. Michael Cordaro (1:54:42) and J.J. Ford (3:25:18) took second and third in the race and the series, respectively. Kudos to Ford for finishing the race despite a broken chain that was eventually unrepairable.

For the clydesdale big boys it was a familiar face in Dannie Hillery (1:51:04) taking the race and series titles. Richard Price (1:55:07) had a strong race to take second and hold on for second in the series. John Carothers (2:09:46) finished third and had to settle for third in the series, two points behind Price.

Doing a single lap was all that was needed to decide the men's junior under 14 race. Derick Wolfe (53:16) added to his season full of victories and took the series title. Corey Meadows (1:00:56) took second but it wasn't enough points to overtake Cai Clothier (1:04:10) for second in the series. Clothier took third in the race leaving Meadows in third for the series.

Lisa Stover
Lisa Stover, "tongue out helps breathin"
The other single-lap racers were not participating in the series, but were still out for race wins. Local Grantsville rider Frank Masiarczyk (56:24) came out on top for the men's beginners. And then there is the one-armed wonder in Scott McDonald (1:21:42) who was truly racing in a class by himself. As Robert Hughes said, "A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop."

So here's hoping everyone enjoyed another great race and another great season of WVMBA racing. We look forward to another year and encourage you to get involved. Look for meeting announcements posted on WVMBA.com and come on out and help create an even better series for next year.