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Sunday, July 24, 2005 -- Lost Creek, WV
The White Oak Challenge - WVMBA Fall#2 (iPO Event Id#: 6770) --- Story and photos by Jason Chastain

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
Coverage: [2004]

Photo by Jason Chastain
The joy of racing...
The event was a perfect way for riders, family and friends to spend the afternoon. When I arrived at the park, one group of onlookers already had their grill going, having a good time. The organizers were all very helpful and courteous and you could tell they had put a lot of time and effort into the planning and layout of the race. They even had a tent with plumbing installed so that it "rained" on riders as they went under it.

Watters Smith State Park is a perfect setting for a WVMBA race. It's easy to find, has good spectator viewing areas, regular trail maintenance, and a pool/shower house to take advantage of afterwards.

The weather was a bit on the humid side, but the air temperature didn't get too hot. The trails were very well maintained and on this day, dry. The race started up a wide grassy hill so that the riders wouldn't be bunched up during the singletrack that came later in the race.

I made my way just to the other side of 'hike-a-bike hill'... so named because it would be more than a little difficult to actually ride your bike up such a steep and unforgiving hill. As the riders made their way down the other side of hike-a-bike, many looked as though the hill had put a pretty good whoopin' on them. Still, none of them surrendered to it, but instead carried on with the race.

Photo by Jason Chastain
Ready for race today?
The Day's Top Racers
Back from Germany and ready for some WVMBA action, Nick Waite, finished as the top Expert/Pro Mens rider with a time of 1:54:11. Part of the U23 National Team, Waite and crew wrapped up their week of racing in Germany with 11th overall in the Thuringen-Rundfahrt Team Classification. Nick Waite (Davis, WV) was the top rider for the team in the individual GC, finishing in 42nd place. Nick Waite is a resident athlete of the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and races for the U23 National Mountain Bike Team.

Women's Expert/Pro rider Betsy Shauer, rises to the top of this Spring Series race with a time of 2:27:09. Also a cyclocross rider, Shauer has a Mid-Atlantic Series Cross title. First in the Men's Vet Expert, Gunnar Shogren (2:04:54), also an avid cyclocross rider, is a bit of a riding legend. Everybody seems to know Gunnar, and like a fine wine, he seems to better with age.

The top Men's Masters Expert was Alan Doss (2:26:34). Pathfinder's Cale DeVall, Men's Jr./Expert champ for this race, finished with a time of 2:47:35. In the Men's Sport class, Nate Arnold, 1:30:53, took top honors.

Photo by Jason Chastain
Tackling the singletrack
Top Women's Sport finisher, Amy Dunkin (2:06:01), rode well in the heat, as did top Women's Vet Sport Robin Boyd (2:13:40). First Men's Masters Sport was Bruce Williams (1:35:45), top Men's Vet Sport was Rob St. Jean (1:40:19), and Tony Bowie (1:56:05), was the first Clydesdale to cross the line.

Derick Wolfe (1:35:33), proved the fastest of 8 in the Men's High School class, and Corey Chambers (53:00), tore the course as the first Men's Jr. Sport finisher. Men's Beginner, Frederick Carter (1:05:29), kept it close, but took first in his class.

The riders, though competing against one another, showed great sportsmanship. On more than one occasion I witnessed riders sharing their water bottle with other competitors. Now that was impressive!