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Saturday, August 11, 2001 - Sunday, August 12, 2001 -- Massanutten, VA
Massanutten Hoo Ha! - Downhill & Dual Slalom (iPO Event Id#: 2624)
Story and photos by Dave McKain

[Sunday XC Coverage]
[Details] [Coverage] Results: [Dual Slalom] [DH Overall] [DH by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
[2000 Coverage]

Race Pic
Carving the turns as Massanutten
What started out as a beautiful day at Massanutten quickly turned ugly as the thunderheads moved in over the mountain. Gravity assisted competitors were treated to a challenging course that wound through the woods, over a short road section, and down some technical rock gardens. Before all of the competitors were able to complete their runs, the clouds opened up and lightning and thunder rolled from the skies. In addition to forcing the lift operators to shut down, the weather quickly turned what was a dry and fast course into a slippery mess of muck.

Race Pic
Conditions at the beginning were great - dry dirt
While the weather was good, participants made quite a go at it. In the Mens Pro/Expert class, Christopher Herndon (3:17.67) edged John Gabor (3:17.96) by less than 1/2 second to take the win while Cecil Linder (3:21:81) took the third spot. In the Jr. Expert class, Derek Phillips (3:28:77) took the win. Phillips time was also good enough to put him in 8th overall for the day. Finishing in second in the Jr. Expert class was Mike Valash (3:36:48) followed by third place finisher Cody Blevins (3:38:01). In the Sport class, Ben Shaner (3:40.12) took the win over Paul Chase (2nd - 3:49:40) and Chris McGibbon (3rd - 3:57:67). For the Womens Pro/Expert, Shauna Rickerby took top honors with a time of 4:44.22 while Aileen Nippens took first in the Womens Sport class, getting to the bottom of the hill in 4:56:91.


Race Pic
Slalom racers battle each other and the mud
Besides shutting down the DH race, the rain made for tough conditions for the dual slalom race later that day. What had been a fast and dry course now demanded big knobbies to maintain traction. Making it a double for the day, Chris Herndon beat out Juan Ashworth for first in the Mens Pro/Expert class. In the womens division, Holly Kuhn took the win over Ginny Oyhenart. For the Junior Sport/Experts, Derek Phillips followed in the footsteps of Herndon by taking the win and sweeping the class for the day. Cody Belvins took the second spot on the podium for the Juniors.

Even with the rain, the event was quite the success with riders offered challenging courses and great competition. George Willetts, Kenny Hess and the rest of the volunteer crew did a great job of putting together and pulling of both races.