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Friday, September 2, 2005 - Sunday, September 4, 2005 -- Oak Hill, WV
ACE New River Bike Fest - WVMBA Fall#5 (iPO Event Id#: 6608) Story and photos by Jason Black

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]
Event Coverage: [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004]

Photo by Jason Black
Welcome to the jungle at ACE
A whole weekend of beautiful weather greated the Labor Day holiday racers who headed out to ACE Adventure Center for the New River Bike Fest. The main event was held Sunday (okay, the free Kids Race is always a big hit, too) with the spectacular scenery ready and waiting for those taking up the challenge at the Minden Mudfest XC Race. The only thing missing was the mud, and no one seemed to mind at all.

The word is spreading, it doesn't matter what kind of event is held at Ace Adventure Center, the trails within the New River Gorge always offer up a unique challenge, and surrounded you with beauty.

The closest race of the day was in the men expert/pro division, with WVMBA point series leader TJ Platt (2:02:38) edging out Adam Weiford (2:03:13) and third place finisher Steve Hill (2:03:46) by less than a minuet to capture the division crown. Adam and Steve were able to gain some ground on their leader by posting some blazing fast second laps. In the women's expert/pro division, WVMBA point series current third place holder Betsy Schauer rode a gutsy unchallenged ride with a time of (2:32:20).

Photo by Jason Black
Cranking away in the woods
In the largest division of the day, the men's sport class, Scott Cardwell (1:09:53) had a dominating 13mile ride, beating his closest competitor Cliffton Gibson (1:15:50) by a full five minuets. Not far behind Cliffton rolled Jason McDaniel (1:17:04) for the third place crown. From the women's sport class Susan Wren (1:25:52) posted the fastest 13 mile time of all the women in the race, with women's veteran Laurie Johnston (1:33:11) taking away the second best time.

Some of the other first place finishers in their division, were Andy Forron (2:22:23) captured the single speed title. In the men's expert junior division JJ Ford ( 2:48:01), and in the men's expert veteran Gunnar Shrogren (2:03:32) each captured their titles. Gunnar's time was the third fastest time of the day for the 26 mile course.

Photo by Jason Black
Laurie Johnston, women's vet
The men's sport masters and men's sport veterans saw Doug Wayne (1:15:10) and Fritz Kessler (1:23:23) each capture their titles. For the big boys on the course Pete Iscaro (1:26:19) took the Clydesdale division. Chris Finch (1:12:02) was the first in the High school division. For the 8 mile section of the day, junior division Cory Chambers (1:01:08) held the fastest time, with Beginner Josh Cook (1:06:53) winning his own crown.

I have been lucky enough this year to get to quite a few of the courses in WVMBA series. Each course has something special about it, West Virginia is almost heaven for the mountain bikers of the state. But few can compare to the overall wonder of The New River Gorge. For all of you guys who will attend next years event, come early go see the river, walk the hills and enjoy the surroundings of this place.