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Sunday, July 30, 2006 -- Little Beaver State Park, WV
Little Beaver Chainring Challenge - WVMBA # 8 (iPO Event Id#: 7328)

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

Photos by Jason Black with story by Julie Black

Photo by Jason Black
Battling some brutal heat
The Ride-N-Slide Sports shop in Beckley, West Virginia is becoming a big fish in a small town. Their new web site, and new West Virginia Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA) points race have made this Beckley bike and snow shop into a big time outdoor adventure store. But it's about more than just looks. Ride-N-Slide Sports provides superior service to riders who are just visiting the area, and to long-time locals looking for the latest in new equipment or mechanic services.

Ride-N-Slide Sports teamed with for The Little Beaver Chainring Challenge, part of WVMBA's $100,000 cash and prize series. The race location was at Little Beaver State Park in Raleigh County, featuring excellent tight single-track perfect for exciting racing challenges. Speaking of challenges, extreme heat provided an extra one. Weary riders cut across open fields headed for the shade of the woods during much of the race.

Photo by Jason Black
TJ Platt, Team Dirty Harry's
"The entire lifestyle of being an avid cyclist is appealing to me." says 26-year old pro rider, TJ Platt. Manager and member of Dirty Harry's Race Team, Platt enjoys the variety of trails and people that his home turf, Western Pennsylvania provides. He claimed the 1st men's pro-expert spot in 2.12.27 on Sunday.

Cassie Smith, pro-expert woman rider for Team Specialized, currently stands at the top of WVMBA's points list as the pro-woman rider with the most points. Smith was the top woman rider for the series in 2005, 2004, and 2003. She finished first again at Little Beaver in 2.53.15.

A teammate of TJ Platt and expert vet rider for Dirty Harry's, Gerry Pflug has been racing for 25 years. This PA State Police, State Trooper is cruising in 4th right now in the standings, and 1st at the Little Beaver in 2.32.10.

Photo by Jason Black
Hopping a little beaver obstacle
Matt Marcus is a name you hear often in the West Virginia biking scene. His rider profile on this past July shows just how long he's been involved in the sport, since 84'. A modern day pioneer for mountain biking, he's also been West Virginia's IMBA rep. since 2001, is still a main contact for WVMBA, and currently a manager at Blackwater Bikes in Davis. Oh yeah, and as an expert master he's still riding pretty darn good too. First on Sunday with a time of 2.50.46, Marcus holds the top points spot in his class.

The Single Speed Open is a tight race in WVMBA this year and quite the growing class. Twenty members compete for an overall top spot in 2006 including WVMBA's president Greg Moore. At the Beaver it was Joey Boyle who finished first, staying 9 or so minutes ahead of Craig Watson. Boyle cranked it in at 2.30.42 and stays ahead of Watson in the overall standings by only 3 points.

Expert Junior, Chris Finch of Ride-n-Slide Sports lead the pack in 2.49.50, and tops the overalls by 1-point. Todd Harper kept 1-minute plus ahead of Adam Angelona to capture the win in 1.54.51. Harper is the current overall men's sport leader by 6-points. Lori Ware (2.24.46) took home top honors as the 1st sport woman.

Photo by Jason Black
Sizing up the competition
Top sport vet was Henry Spreng of Team Dirty Harrys, who dominated with a time of 1.43.25 and is current riding points champ so far. Sport vet woman Audrey Kennedy pulled it out in the heat to complete the course first in 2.17.07. Holding steady at 3rd in the series, Kennedy has a chance to move up in the ranks if she can get an overall win at her next points race.

First sport master on Sunday, Doug Wayne of FTC/Cancer Awareness, is vying for the overall top spot in the series trailing Pete Arner. Second overall Clydesdale in 2005, Tony Bowie, also of FTC/Cancer Awareness Team shows improvement in 2006 as he currently rides in top for the series with 116 points. Bowie also clinched a win on Sunday in 2 hours 14 minutes.

A growing group of high-school men challenges the overalls, with Corey Chambers of Athens Bicycle and Carl Hartman in a tie after Little Beaver thanks to Chambers win. Junior men is also a class with over 18 members, over 20 in fact, with Henry Spreng III leading the pack. He holds the top spot in steady fashion with a big Sunday win finishing the course in a blazing sub-60 minute time of 57.43.

Top beginners of the day were Meghan Hardin (1:39) and Stephan Cantley (1.12.13).

The next event is a dual WV and Ohio points race at Lake Hope State Park, Zaleski, Ohio, the Race to the Hills, WVMBA # 9 this Sunday August 6. Join us August 27 in Oak Hill, WV for the ACE New River Bike Fest, WVMBA #10. We'll be at both, so see ya on the trail.