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Saturday, May 20, 2006 -- St. Albans, WV
St. Albans Grand Prix (iPO Event Id#: 7538)
Photos by Amy Dunkin, Tom Michels, Dr. Lynn Frye, DVM with Story by Amy Dunkin

See this pdf RESULTS file for top 10 and 5 awarded.

[Details] [Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Race Pic
Racing the streets of St. Albans
The 1st Annual Grassrootsriding.com St. Albans Grand Prix has now come and gone. This was my first attempt as a local race coordinator / organizer. I must say after all is said and done it was absolutely worth it. Right away I would like to thank all of the St. Albans, West Virginia police officers who volunteered to help, my friends and teammates who came out to support me and volunteer also. I could not have done this without you. Thanks.

St. Albans is typically, a quiet modern small town with not much unusual excitement. That's why we wanted to do the race here. To bring people to our town and expose them to a modern small town atmosphere that was capable of putting on a quality event. By all the praises we have been receiving from everyone that was there it looks as though we accomplished our goal.

I must start off by saying this was the busiest day I have ever seen in St. Albans and I have lived here for 35 years. Saturday started out with a parade for the baseball team at 9am, then unfortunately and very unexpectedly the mayor passed away this week and his funeral was at 11am, then there was the Quilt and Crafts show at 10am, a wedding at another local church at 2pm, and then another church scheduled a concert for 5pm. Our race was scheduled to start at 2pm. All of this created more traffic then what is typical for St. Albans. But for the most part the people were understanding and all went well.

Race Pic
Amy Dunkin, race director, racer, web master and more
Due to an unexpected but understandable delay in the staging area of the race because of the mayor's funeral procession we were rushing a lot in the beginning. The race promoter TeamColumbus decided to combine the Junior and Masters classes and begin the event at 2:40pm. That worked out fine.

We had planned for two Junior classes and one Masters class receiving merchandise going 5 deep. Due to a lower turnout for these classes we ended up giving everyone a prize. Now we are on schedule and rolling along fine. The Cat.5 men take off around 3:20pm. Nate Orders took home the gold for this race.

After much debating and my nerves calming down and the encouragement of all my volunteers and co-conspirators in the event I ran two blocks home, changed clothes, got my bike, and came back just in time to get my number pinned on and jump on the start line to take off with the Cat.4 women at 4pm. With no warm up I held on to third all the way to the last 2 laps and then 1st and 2nd place girls lapped me. Honestly I did not mind that considering I was running on pure adrenaline, little sleep, and little food and fluid. So they awarded me 3rd place and I donated al my winnings back to the JDRF. Staci Aulicks fought it out with Flavia Lepene to capture 1st place.

Race Pic
Crusing the raod of St. Albans
4;45pm - Now the Cat.3-4 classes took off. This was our biggest class. Those guys were blazing. With lots of teams and the WVU cycling team in hand it was so exciting. Primes were being offered for this class and those fellows were chasing that carrot for sure. Steve Bird held off the pack to take 1st place.

It is 5:25pm and time for the Kids races. Kids racing for kids. Children ages 4 to12 made a $5 donation to the JDRF charity and donned their helmets and shiny bikes and trikes to race for medals, award certificates, and a frosty treat from Wendy's. The 10-12 year olds raced ¼ of the course, the flat section of 6th Ave. Wow, did these kids go. What is funny is that the winner, Wyatt Bennet, had borrowed my full suspension Santa Cruz. He was in the back of the pack then he shot ahead and passed the field on the left side. Wyatt told me later he was in a tough gear when he started and once he realized how to shift it he got moving.

With a ½ block shorter course the 7-9 year olds took off. Once again lots of cheering and excitement. The parents were in full force with cameras in tow. Now the 4-6 year olds. They did only one block. Well my boyfriends granddaughter, Abby, is 5 and she was very nervous so she asked me to stay with her and not let her fall. So that is why you see me in pictures running alongside. We had six in this class. Two on two wheels, three on training wheels, and then J.C. Casto rolling in on his big wheel. What a blast this was. Two wheeler Ashley McClung took the gold.

Race Pic
The kids race too
So after the kids races the top three children in each age group stepped atop the podiums to receive their medals, gold, silver, and bronze. Once again parents were taking pictures like the Olympics. It was so cool. All children who participated received a Certificate of Participation with their name and age group, and a free frosty from Wendy's.

6pm and now the Elite Women Cat.1-2-3 classes are ready to begin. We had a good turnout for this class too. With Sara Caravello from the national TEAm Lipton hammering from the start. Jeannete Williams of team HPC/List lead the pack to chase her down. I believe about half way through they bridged the gap but then near the end Sara Caravello from Pennsylvannia was able to take the win. AWESOME!

7pm and here we go with the Elite Men Cat.1-2-3. Let me tell you a few names you may know of that were racing in this event. Former US National Road Champion Paul Martin, now of Texas Roadhouse/Roark team, Mr. Jacob Fetty former European pro cyclists now with NERAC/Outdoor Lights US pro team, Mr. Nick Waite and other former U23 national champion, and three fellows, Chad Thompson, Jeremy Grimm, and from the newly formed Abercrombie and Fitch team. For you WV mountain bikers Mr. Gunnar Shogren was rocking hard and hanging tough with all these guys.

I want to personally say these guys are of the utmost class. They were shaking hands with the kids and signing their bikes, thanks for your kindness fellows. This was such an exciting event. It was back and forth between Jeremy Grimm of A&F / Inferno, Jacob Fetty of NERAC, and Paul Martin of Texas Roadhouse. Who was going to take this win? In the final laps Jacob made an attack laying down the rubber fast and furious but just did not have the juice to finish it off. It came down to a sprint between Paul and Jeremy. Finally Jeremy Grimm of Akron, Ohio and team A&F /Inferno Racing took the win. WOW!!!

I tell you the last few weeks I have been a little stressed and worried on pulling everything together for this event. The weather had been nasty all week, but Saturday the temps were 70 and the sun was shinny and all was good in the 1st Annual St. Albans Grand Prix event supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We are still tallying our money raised but it is looking like it is going to be $2,000plus raised for the JDRF charity. Not bad for a first event.

Funds were raised for the charity from:

  • 10% of all Event Sponsorship funds to JDRF
  • 10% of Entry fees to JDRF
  • 100% Kids Race entry fees JDRF
  • 100% of all Raffles to JDRF
  • 100% of food sales from JDRF food booth
  • 100% of vendor rental space to JDRF
  • Also some racers donated their winnings or part of their winnings back to JDRF.
We have extra event t-shirts and we are selling those for $10 with all proceeds being donated to JDRF. Contact amy@grassrootsriding.com.

The winner of the Seigler Road Frame and Fork raffle was Kevin Fletcher of Elkview, WV. Congrats to Kevin. Thank you to all that made the trek down to St. Albans, WV. We had people here from Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvannia, and Georgia and I am sure some other states I can't think of right now.

Thanks again and I hope you will come again next year. --- Amy Dunkin