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Gerry Pflug is chased by Sedenov and Shogren from the start
Sunday, July 12, 1998 -- Fairmont
Bunner's Ridge Hardrock 40K
Story and photos by Dave McKain.

[Coverage/Recap #2 w/Pics] [More Pics] [Even More Pics] [Results]

...and on the seventh day, He created dirt, and threw it upon the ground saying "My children shall fashion with their hands a vehicle which will allow them to travel over this ground without aid of smooth pavement. And it shall be called Mountain Biking." And so it was... for the 5th annual Bunner's Ridge Hardrock 40K.

Melissa Showman shows her winning downhill form
Mother nature was kind to the riders this weekend sparing them her usual precipitation in favor of beautiful, sunny skies and bearable temperatures. Even without the rain, sufficient moisture remained on the ground to provide a good mix of riding conditions along the 10K loop trail. The race course started with a grueling sprint up a rock strewn, rutted, dirt road. Many participants decided that foot travel was the preferred mode of transportation and carried their bikes through the pack of riders. After cresting the hill, the pack began to thin out only to encounter a significant traffic jam on a rock pass littered with exposed tree roots where many riders were forced to dismount.
Pete Sednov was fast, but only fast enough for second

One of the most challenging sections of the course was a "pick your path" steep downhill aptly dubbed "Voodoo". As it always seems, the shortest and quickest path was also the most difficult while the others offered either a wealth of trees to contend with or a slightly curving path with extremely loose, rocky soil. While most riders opted to take slower, tree strewn path, spectators camped at Voodoo rewarded those who braved the speedy center track with wild applause.

First across the finish line for the Men's Pro/Expert class was Gerry Pflug (2:33:34), followed in quick succession by Pete Sednov (2:34:07), Gunnar Shogren (2:35:08), and Ryan O'Connor (2:37:50). Swapping finishing positions from the Black Bear 40K, Melissa Showman (2:11:21) edged out Sue Haywood (2:12:05) for first place in the Women's Pro/Expert class, with Cassie Smith coming in 3rd at 2:35:25.

Laird Knight gets ready to hug a tree

The competition for the WVMBA Junior Expert class got a lot more interesting. Jonathon Martin moved into a challenging points position with a winning time of 2:08:17 while series leaders Drew Morse and Philip Poff came away with DNF's and Andy Dickson finished 8th. Second place in the Junior Expert class went to Drew Scharns (2:20:32), with Ryan Hobbs coming in third (2:21:09).