Sunday, May 7, 2006 -- Coopers Rock State Forest - Morgantown, WV
Henry Clay 30K - WVMBA #3 (iPO Event Id#: 7322)
Story and photos by Julie Black
Third race in the WVMBA point series, the course provided a mix of tear-producing rocky uphills, short downhill sections, a scenic pond loop, and bridge crossings. The race is known for it's rolling, rocky hills, and the trails are famous for giving any level of rider a flat tire, deflated ego, and sometimes... both.
Less road and more trail was the main feature for the course start. After pedaling 2 1/2 or miles of rolling road, racers veered right down a short incline, on to some more downhills and on out for the first lap. Experts did 3 grueling 7-mile laps that presented ample challenges, with seemingly never ending, gradual, rocky climbs.
Despite my aging eyes, my sight is one thing that's still 100 percent. Nick Waite was leading the pack, wearing new duds.
Former member of USA Cycling's (USAC) U23 National Mountain Bike and Road Teams, Nick Waite has signed on with Kelly Benefit Strategies. This 23-year old native of Davis, West Virginia has been racing since 1999. Waite began 2006 as one of the top 10 Americans on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) ranking list. Riding for USAC, Nick competed in the 2005 U23 World Championships in Livigno, Italy and placed 28th. Waite adds another win to his list, finishing first overall in the Pro-Expert category in 1:56:25, finishing nearly 46 minutes ahead of his competitors.
Recently married road and mountain biker, Betsy Shogren, (formerly Schauer), has improved her performance this year. Starting off the season with two 2nd place finishes, and now a first place finish with a time of 2:43:54 in the Clay 30K, Shogren just seems to get better and better. Shogren rides for Team Custom Contracting. Mandi Riddle is no stranger to the podium either. Coming to the Pro-Expert circuit in 2004, Riddle of Team Vicious Cycles, has had her share of top finishes, most recent is her 3rd place finish in the Norba National Fitness Concepts Greenbrier Challenge and most notable, a 1st place finish at Mount Snow in the 2003 National Championship Series. Riddle claimed 2nd at Clay in 2:53:27. Melissa Showman finished 3rd in 3:03:55.
Susan Wren (2:07:30) of Team FTC - Breast Cancer Awareness took 1st for the Women's Sport Class. Age 19-34 Sport Men's top finisher Robert Preng (1:39:00) edged out Chris Flick by a minute for 1st. Steve Svoboda (1:43:36) was 1st for Men's Sport Vet out of a class of 19, and Pete Arner (1:46:25) took home top prize in the Sport Masters class. Audrey Kennedy (1:57:27), top Women's Vet rider, and Corey Chambers (1:56:58) went home as the 1st high school rider.
Single Speed pain lover, Gunnar Shogren, proved he's still got it with a 2:17:13, and Jeff Simcoe crossed as the top Clydesdale in 2:10:52.
Thanks to Wamsley Cycles of Morgantown, WV for all their support. Thanks to race director Rob Voorhees for marking the trail time and time again, even after hoodlums had tried to ruin it. The next race my Canon and I will be at is WVMBA #5, The Tour de Lake, so I'll see you there. Don't worry, there'll be a photographer at the Hancock 100 too. Look for him, he can't wait to get on his bike and shoot on the trail.