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Sunday, April 25, 1999 -- Elkins
Mountain Bike Rampage
Story and photos by Marty Lamp.

[Coverage] [Results]
Pics: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

Ryan O'Connor spinning his way to victory

Have you ever tried eating raw field onions while on your bike in the middle of a race? Well if you have, it's probably a safe bet that it happened in Elkins at the Mountain Bike Rampage. Where do the onions, more affectionately known as "ramps", come into play? Well, there was a little thing called the International Ramp Festival going on in Elkins the same weekend. With the weather absolutely beautiful on race day, everyone was in a festive mood, whether they were just hanging out at the water crossings watching the race, or munching down all the ramps that they, and the person nearest them, could stand.

The race course was located behind the Davis and Elkins Campus, with plenty of space to roam around and enjoy the sunshine, kick some hacky sack, or just kick back and watch the fun.

Sue Haywood dominated the womens class, again...
Riders were racing around a 5K loop that offered plenty of chances to cool off in the knee-high streams, or to rinse the mud from their bikes and their bodies. The uphills were few, but they were straight to the point by making up what they might lose in distance with a reasonably steep gradient. The same could be said of the downhills, but the highlight of the course for many was a water crossing that some decided to jump instead of plowing into.

Time to cool off!
One guy that liked dismounting and running his bike through the water was Ryan O'Connor(1:28:41), and, oh, by the way, he was the fastest rider on the course this day! O'Connor and his fellow Pro-Expert Class riders had 6 laps to do on the winding course, but once O'Connor took the lead on the first lap, he would never lose it. Pete Sednov(1:29:02) wasn't letting O'Conner ride easy though, and from the first lap, Sednod never seemed to lose any ground on O'Connor, but O'Connor never let Sednod get within passing distance. Third place overall went to Pro-Expert Class rider Mike Bowen(1:29:33).

In the Women's Pro-Expert Class, the seemingly unbeatable Sue Haywood(1:39:51) cruised to a solid first place finish, ahead of Melissa Showman(1:50:47), and Rena Campbell(1:59:29). E.J. Sigety(1:34:52) once again took first place honors in a Mens Expert Vet class that posted times comparable to the Pro Expert Class. In the Mens Junior Expert, Brett Hixson(1:36:57) and Jonathon Martin(1:38:25) were battling hard, but Hixson held on to take the win.

Mark Tracy hands out the local fare
The always abundant Sport Class had only 4 laps to do, but the competition was fierce. Drew Morse(1:08:15) took the win over second place Nathan Ferguson(1:09:04) in the Mens Sport Class. Molly Whalen(1:30:14) won convincingly in the Womens Sport Class, with Mandie Wiliams(1:36:28) taking second in their 4 lap race. Greg McWilliams(1:15:07) took top honors in Mens Masters, and Julie Schooley(1:54:41) won the Womens Sport Vet Class. Joe Wharton(1:10:28) once again finished first in the Mens Sport Vet Class.

After the race, there was plenty of pizza for those who didn't get their fill of ramps, and no one seemed in much of a hurry to leave. Kudos to Karen Carper who put on a top notch mountain bike race. We will see you there next year!