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Saturday, June 15, 2002 - Sunday, June 16, 2002 -- Grantsville, WV
Appalachian Classic - WVMBA Pts. #7 (iPO Event Id#: 4791)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Overall] [By Class] [Kids Race] [HS & Pond Jump Coverage]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14]
Past Classic Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001]

Kids Award Winner
Bringing home the goods from the Appalachian Classic
The rumor was that all the WVMBA Points Series "big dogs" would be heading to Wisconsin for the weekend. Maybe a few did, but the crowds and plenty of competition still came to the annual party at Calhoun County Park.

Dianne Clothier has provided us with some nice coverage of the Saturday events.

And once again we're hearing from Mike "The Diesel" Boyes with his latest installment of...


THE DIESEL REPORT

The Appalachian Classic (www.appalachianclassic.com) the seventh race in the WVMBA Points Series, truly lives up to its name. What makes the Classic, classic? Use two definitions from Webster's Dictionary; 1.of recognized value: serving as a standard of excellence 2. a work of enduring excellence.

Race Start
A memorial for Sgt. Vance provides the race start background
Starting as a small race in 1997, The Classic has grown to serve as a standard of excellence for other races to be measured. A two day community festival that centers on the race, mountain bikers are made to feel at home with true West Virginia hospitality. Just outside of Grantsville in Calhoun County, this race offers the opportunity to venture off the beaten trail of four lane roads and offers a taste of some true West Virginia heritage. Crafts, camping, full range of local music, as well as the infamous pond jump all proceed the day before Sunday's race.

The sixth running of the race was proudly dedicated to Sgt. Gene Vance. Prior to the start, all the racers united to show their respects to the West Virginia National Guardsman who died on active duty in Afghanistan on May 19th. The Appalachian Classic was a timely and appropriate venue for the tribute, for the race was the first date for Gene and wife, Lisa. Sgt. Vance paid the ultimate price for all of us, the freedom to participate in the things that we choose to do.

Race Pic
Gettin' it in Calhoun County Park
Pro/Expert class winners Daniel Clay Evans and Sarah Crandall-Fletcher took home the honors along with a beautiful hand crafted bowls by Rob Clothier. The champion bowls are prized trophies that have become a tradition, being donated every year by the local artisan. I believe everyone had the opportunity to make the trip onto huge Megazound stage, to visit the prize table for awards in the class richest race in the WVMBA Series.

The 7.2 mile lap course has a near even variety of challenges, from tight single-track to some smooth flat track on the park's walking trail. The ultra steep and treacherous descent of the aptly named Power Slide was followed by a lengthy road climb. An early morning rain was absorbed well by the track in some spots, though the effect of the shower down in Wet and Wild was just wet and wild. Spectators where kept informed of the racers progress and standings by the proficient commentary of the truly classic, Jack Downs.

Race Pic
Are we having fun yet?
The growth of this race, not only in the number of racers, but in organization and amenities at the park is right on track. Promoter Don Price with his knowledgeable and experienced crew should be commended for a job well done.

Diane Clothier has set the bench mark for the most efficient registration process to date. Available pre-registration, and on-site registration with pre-printed entry forms for every WVMBA member, one can say that membership does have its privileges.

A race shirt and post race meal goes without saying, being included every year since the very first race. Hard work and a genuine interest from all that help is what makes the Appalachian Classic, a work of enduring excellence.