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Saturday, August 6, 2005 - Sunday, August 7, 2005 -- Canaan Valley, WV
Timberline Resort XC MTB - WVMBA Fall#4 (iPO Event Id#: 6772)
Story and photos by Julie Black
* Buy professional photos/prints from this event, contact me julzblack@hotmail.com

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8]
Past Coverage: [2002] [2003] [2004]

Photo by Julie Black
Ben Klimas of Custom Con.
Many outdoor enthusiasts talk about the Dolly Sods, but until you've actually been there, no picture can do it justice. Most of the riders I talked to at post-race time had never been through the Dolly Sods, and the new section of the course took racers through a "Lord of the Rings" section of West Virginia that eye-candy junkies won't soon forget.

Timberline Four Season Resort is adjacent to Dolly Sods Wilderness and Scenic Area of the Monongahela National Forest. At the top of their chair lift you can see it all. Spectators could ride to the top to catch a glimpse of the action, and then ride down to the bottom to see the finish and cheer on their biker friends and family.

Photo by Julie Black
I think I can, I think I can...
Christened as the last race in the Canaan Mountain Series, the Timberline Resort XC was formerly known as the TimberCrit. It's grueling one loop course kept riders on their toes with many climbs, knarly downhills, and a surprise climb near the end.

Some groaned, some moaned, some grinned from an odd love of pain, but all ended in smiles as race director, Scott Young, presented more than generous prizes in the form of cash, Canaan Mountain Series Championship Jerseys, and Blackwater Bucks baby, yeah.

Photo by Julie Black
Nick Waite of Davis, WV
It's becoming a well-known fact that Davis, West Virginia grows great mountain bikers. As of July 28 in the U23 ranks, Nick Waite of Davis, WV has been officially selected for the world championships based on top-30 finishes amongst the professional field at world cup events. Waite will be competing in the 2005 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Livigno, Italy, from August 31 to September 5. Oh yeah, did I mention that he dominated his home turf by finishing 15 minutes ahead of the Pro/Expert competition at Timberline with a time of 1:39:49? No doubt, many of Waite's friends were happy to catch up with him at the BBQ afterwards.

More dirt on the Pro/Expert class, Ben Klimas turned on the burn in the very end to beat Jason Cyr by a mere 3 seconds to claim 3rd place honors.

Photo by Julie Black
Gunnar Shogren in the ferns
An Expert Vet who cannot go unmentioned is Gunnar Shogren who finished an astonishing 3rd overall (1:52:32). Mild mannered and mellow Shogren seemed to have surprised himself the most and was more than happy with his array of prizes. Women's Pro/Expert, Cassie Smith, was on the scene to take 1st on this day in 2:19:27.

Leading the Men's Sport Class, Rick Swartz (2:19:59), kept the lead on Nate Arnold (2:26:29), to claim top spot. Honorable mention goes to Rob "Big Man" Stull simply because he's the only rider in the list of results who was "blessed" with a nickname. Now, what's the story behind that? (wink, wink)

Photo by Julie Black
Betsy Schauer, 3rd Woman Pro/Expert Class
Top Women's Sport rider was Kelly Ann Green, and Sport Vet - Laurie Johnston. Top Men's Sport Masters went to Bruce Williams and Men's Sport Vet to Gregory Sampson.

Most hung around for the post-race pasta party complete with DJ, liquids, and good fun. Thanks to Scott Young for carting me around on the back of a 4-wheeler for most of the race, thanks to Blackwater Bikes for being so helpful yet again, and thanks to all the racers for smiling, posing, or whatever it is you do when you see my big, fat lens pointed your way. Riding uphill or flying downhill, remember, the camera loves you.