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Sunday, June 8, 2003 -- Grantsville, WV
Appalachian Classic - WVMBA Pts. #10 (iPO Event Id#: 5325) Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
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]
Past Classic Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002]

Race Pic
And the sun came out!
Can you imagine that, a 2003 WVMBA points series race and no rain!?. The Appalachian Classic is an awesome mountain bike venue, and while conditions may not have been perfect, the weather was certainly a welcome change.

The mud that remained on the course made sections of the course treacherous. While the notorious "Power Slide!!" section was just it's usual nasty downhill gauntlet (and is the optional detour really any easier?), the "Wet 'n' Wild" section was simply soaked and nasty. Never-the-less, the playground that is Calhoun County Park dished out plenty of smiles, as it always does.

Having more fun than anyone else could handle was Nick Waite. Tearing through the course at a pace no one could match, he was finished after just 1:54:11, the only rider to complete three laps in less than two hours. This was Waite's second win in the WVMBA Series and he is starting rack up some serious points.

Race Pic
Let the good times roll!
The battle for second raged behind Waite as Jonathan Martin eventually came through to grab second at 2:02:44, with Junior Expert Bryan Fawley a little over a minute back at 2:04:04. Martin can certainly use the 19 series points he earned as he battles for a series podium spot. He's currently second in the point standings. For Fawley, he records his seventh Jr/Exp win and is all but a lock for the title, barring disaster at the series finals.

Going toe-to-toe for third place points in Pro/Expert were current points leader T.J. Platt and Joey Riddle. Riddle has put together some impressive mid-season racing as he currently sits third in the standings.

Race Pic
What goes up...
As they came around for the final climb to the finish, it was Riddle who had a little more left in his tank. He grabbed a needed 18 points with a time of 2:06:15. Platt's fourth place finish at 2:06:41 did little to help his bid for the series crown. The 17 points are only equal to the lowest of his top 7 previous finishes.

For the women experts, Mandi Riddle took full advantage of the fact that her main rival, Cassie Smith, was absent. Riddle took the win, and 20 points, at 2:44:31. These two are now tied atop the standings, each having accumulated 137 points.

In what could come down to an interesting battle for the third series spot for the expert women, Sara Fletcher (2:49:12) took second and Amy Dunkin (3:54:33) took third. Both earned their best series point total so far this season.

Race Pic
...must go down!
Checking in on the seasoned racers of the expert caliber, Expert Veteran Gerry Pflug (2:14:45) earned some nice points for his first place finish. This class is too close to call as points leader Mike Boyes was absent, and second place Steve Thaxton finished the day with a DNF. Taking advantage, and moving into a tie for second with his third place points was Allen Moore (2:30:54). However, second place went to Scott Root (2:23:45) who is quickly moving up the standings.

After ten of 16 events, things are going to start getting real interesting when the series starts up again next month. It is time for a few weeks rest (or maybe not) before taking it to the State Capital for the Black Bear 40K on July 20th.