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Sunday, May 28, 2006 -- South Charleston, WV
Race the Trace - WVMBA #6 (iPO Event Id#: 7326)

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]
Past Coverage: [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

Story and photos by George Gannon

Photo by George Gannon
No rest for the weary
The 2006 edition of the Race the Trace could have been called the Race for a Trace of Shade. It was hot on Sunday. Real hot. So hot the bike wash turned into a human cool-down station at the end of race. And while the Ninety-plus degree heat was sweltering, it was the riders were hot on the trails of the finish line at South Charleston's Little Creek Park.

Trace Fork Canyon is an island of wilderness in an urban setting. The trail starts at "The Rock" and quickly descends the wooded slope. This course may not be the most brutal course on the WVMBA Circuit, but it has a great mix of uphill, downhill and single-track and water crossings. In South Charleston, West Virginia, this island of trees and trails sits in the middle of an urban setting.

The five-mile loop around the park was fairly dry, but the sections that were muddy made up for the rest of the track. At one point, eventual winner Steve Waite got so bogged down, he thought he might have busted a tire.

Photo by George Gannon
Southern WV racing
"Fast and slick," is how Waite described the course. That could also describe Waite racing style. Fresh off a road race in Baltimore, Waite got out fast, and a few twist and turns aside, he lead the Pro/Expert class the majority of the race.

Waite said the course was fairly rider-friendly, but the last major climb of the track was difficult, especially on the last lap.

"I don't know if it was the course, or just the fact that it was the last lap," Waite said.

For the women, Cassie Smith took top honors.