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Saturday, May 20, 2006 - Sunday, May 21, 2006 -- Charles Fork Lake - Spencer, WV
Tour de Lake - WVMBA #5 (iPO Event Id#: 7325)

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

Event Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

Story and photos by Julie Black

Photo by Julie Black
Downhill action near the finish
Mostly single-track, the Aquafina Tour de Lake course appealed to the racers who enjoy the long haul, not the short-track. With most riders doing two 9.5-mile laps rather than the usual, three shorter laps, many found the trek a challenge. The chosen race trails were rewarding and tough. Riders were happy to find out that many exposed spots were drier than expected, leading to faster overall times.

Faster defines this year's Tour, when compared to last year's times. Take Dirty Harry's rider, TJ Platt, who finished 1st in the 2005 Tour de Lake in 1:40:21. This year Platt crossed in 2nd in 1:30:44, improving his performance by 10minutes. Riding his spokes in the 1st lap was Nick Waite of team Kelly Benefit Strategies. Drafting, waiting to pass, and then separating himself by 2 plus minutes, Waite took the 1st overall Pro-Expert time of 1:28:37. Shawn Altizer of Bear Naked/Cannondale was 3rd in 1.33.12.

Photo by Julie Black
Dizzy singletrack trails
Seven deep, the Pro-Expert Women's class was lead by triathlete, biker, trainer, Kristi Lanier-Mantz. of Team Dirtbean who finished in 1.52.45. Cassie Smith (1.59.45) returned to the WVMBA scene to claim 2nd, as Betsy Shogren/Custom Contracting (2.01.10), rode her way to 3rd. Honorable mention goes to Abigail Platt of Ditry Harry's. "She just had a baby and now she's faster than ever!" exclaimed Platt's husband TJ as she headed for the finish.

Expert Jr., Roland Sink, finished top in his class in 1.50.34. Expert Vet's top man was Peter Kotses (1.40.17) who edged out Steve Thaxton by little more than a minute. Gunnar Shogren of team Custom Contracting has dominated the Single Speed class this year. He finished his 2 laps 1st in 1.45.36, with Craig Watson only 6 seconds behind.

Photo by Julie Black
Greg Moore's at it again
The Sport Men class was topped by Eric DeGray who finished his two laps in 1.53.24. He also gets iPlayOutside's "Best Expression Award." Chris Flick (2nd-1.53.52), stayed in the top as he has in his last few WVMBA races. Bruce Miller rounded out the tops spots, racing 1 hour per lap for 3rd. Susan Wren of Team FTC Cancer Awareness claimed 1st in 2.23.51. Meredith Pavlick (2.27.10), followed for 2nd with Cortney Bloomer (2.31.58), in 3rd.

The Sport Vet Men's Class was 15 deep, and Henry Spreng Jr. ruled in 1st with a time of 1.55.04. Doug Wayne (2.05.37), was the 1st Sport Master male. Sport Vet's top woman was Audry Kennedy (2.12.45). Sport Junior, Henry Spring III, cranked his one lap win in 1.12.22.

Photo by Julie Black
Great trails at the Lake
Top Clydesdale was Michael Miller (2.28.22 ), and top male beginner was Stephen Cantley who completed his lap in 1.26.03. Leah Bryson was the first beginner gal to cross. Beginner Jessica Mayle gets kudos for helping kids on the course. "Are you in the 14 and under class?" Jessica was asked as she helped a boy on the course. Young looks and all, she stepped up and set her race aside for someone else.
For the Record: Charles Fork Lake in Spencer, WV is a great place to ride. It's off of winding Route 119, so there's no real quick way to get there unless you live in the southern part of WV, but the drive is worth it. If you can stay the weekend, camp and ride, you won't be disappointed. There's something for every skill of rider there.