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Sunday, April 24, 2005 -- Big Bear Lake - Bruceton Mills, WV
Big Bear Lake MTB - WVMBA Spring#3 (iPO Event Id#: 6746) Story and photos by Heather Bury

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
Event Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004]

Race Pic
Battling the elements at Big Bear
If you ask around in Preston County, most people will tell you to buy a good set of snow tires and don't plan on planting your garden until Memorial Day. This being said, the thought of snow in late April isn't that far fetched.

A few inches of snow and continuous wind and snowfall didn't keep the masses away from Big Bear Lake for the annual mountain bike race. Big Bear Manager Mark Schooley suggested to race director Bob Vernon that they change the name of the race to the Big Bear Iditarod due to the down right wintry conditions.

Braving the spring snow storm, Gerry Pflug not only won the Men's Expert, but also won Men's Vet Expert with a time of 1:14:06. Pflug is also leading the WVMBA points standings in both categories. T.J. Platt took second 43 seconds back at 1:14:49, with Brian Matter (1:15:12) out sprinting Eric Kriberney (1:15:15) in the battle for third.

Race Start
Heading into turn #1
Cassie Smith (1:44:23) was the only woman to show up to the start in the Women's Expert class, earning valuable points and showing that winter training in Preston County prepared her for a day just like this one. This win secures her top spot in the WVMBA series, for now.

The ever popular single speed class had a good showing with Brad Kriley (1:22:30) winning by four minutes over Rob Rohel (1:26:41). Jason Cyr (1:27:19) placed third, but is leading the WVMBA points standings with Kriley in second.

Charlene Vrabel (1:13:21) posted her second win of the season, with Lisa Stover (1:14:15) in second to keep her number one spot in the WVMBA points standings.

Race Pic
Sites set on the finish
Kevin Dolinar (0:59:21) led the 23 riders in Men's Sport with Jamie Welch (1:01:56) in second and Keith Lehman (1:02:25) in third. Rick Swartz (4th - 1:02:39), Nate Arnold (7th - 1:05:51) and Jon McClung (6th - 1:04:09) are currently 1-2-3 in the WVMBA standings.

The lone Women's Beginner, Meghan Durst (1:28:28), discussed racing at Big Bear on local radio WVAQ prior to race day. So when she woke in the morning and saw the snow, she had no choice but to suck it up and race her first ever mountain bike race in the cruel conditions. Hopefully she'll be back for more with some better weather for racing.

After braving the elements, the racers warmed up under heaters and ate some tasty spaghetti and meatballs in the Big Bear dining lodge.

You can trust that the conditions will be much better at the 1st annual 24 hours of Big Bear on June 18th!

Race pic
Better conditions are certainly ahead
Race Report from Diann Clothier

Sunday, April 24th dawned cold, windy, and snowy, so all right thinking mountain bikers headed for Big Bear Lake to race the 3rd round of the WV Mountain Bike Association Spring Point Series! Bob Vernon, Race Director, did bow to nature, though, by shortening the race - Expert classes rode only 14 miles, the Sport and Beginner classes rode an 8 mile trail, and the finish line was moved to the inside of the Community Building - getting 108 very wet, slushy, muddy, and cold riders out of the weather with all possible speed.

Expert rider Gerry Pflug was the "Man of the Day", racing in 2 classes - Vet Expert 35+ and Pro/Expert Open - finishing 1st in both classes in 1 hour and 14 minutes.