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Sunday, July 25, 1999 -- Charles Fork Lake, Spencer
All Sport Tour de Lake
Story by Marty Lamp, photos by Marty Lamp and Lori Garbesi

[Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pics: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]

Allsport Tour de Lake
Charles Stanley wins the Tour de Lake
Even though the temperature at Charles Fork Lake was the hottest ever in the six year history of the Allsport Tour de Lake, over 200 mountain bike racers took to the trails. Just outside of Spencer, the Tour de Lake put WVMBA points up for grabs for the first time in three weeks, making the competition as tough as ever.

The 9 mile loop, that started with a prologue section on the paved road below the damn, circled beautiful Charles Fork Lake. After a starting sprint that took riders up a super steep 100 yard paved section, they turned right on a dirt road that dished out more uphill. The majority of this dry course was rolling hills, though, without a long grinding climb.

Allsport Tour de Lake
Mandi Williams flying through the single track
This was just fine with most the racers, because the final 2/3 of the loop was some of the most "fun to ride" single track around. The course was superbly marked, making it just a little easier to keep the big gears, and slalom through the trees. The final 100 yards gave opportunity to some great sprint finishes as racers exited the woods and crossed the dam for the finish line on the opposite side.

All Expert classes, plus the Men's Sport Class rode two loops for a total of 30K, while all other classes rode 1 loop.

Getting the win this day was Charles Stanley(1:25:20), from Roanoke, VA. Although Stanley rode behind Mike Bowen(1:27:24) of Huntington, WV the entire first lap, he passed Bowen on an uphill to start the second lap, and slowly edged away. Stanley also broke the old course record set last year by Gunnar Shogren, finishing the course 9 seconds faster amidst the record heat. Bowen maintained his speed to finish second overall, and Dave Fleming(1:27:39) of Vienna,WV finished third overall.

Allsport Tour de Lake
The Expert class tops the first uphill
One of the most impressive performances on the day was turned in by Women's Expert rider Melissa Showman(1:35:30) of Champion, PA. Showman shattered the womens record she set last year by 2 minutes 40 seconds, and finished 14th overall. She also finished more than fifteen minutes ahead of her next class competitor, Sarah Crandell(1:51:51) of Charleston, WV, who finished second.

The Junior Expert class proved as fast as ever, with Brett Hixson(1:30:57) of Greenburg, PA getting the win. Hixson finished an impressive 6th overall. Second place in the class went to Kevin Leyh(1:31:07) of Bridgeport, WV and Jonathan Martin(1:34:07) of Monongah, WV finished third. Leyh and Martin finished 7th and 11th overall, respectively.

Allsport Tour de Lake
Steve Childress chases Joseph Scharf through the woods
Other 30K class winners were Steve Thaxton(1:31:47), who won the Men's Expert Vet Class, John Munhall(1:36:01) for the Men's Sport Class, and Greg McWilliams(1:48:12), who won the Men's masters by more than 5 minutes.

Class winners for the 15K course include Mandi Williams(1:02:25) for the Women's Sports, and Junior Sport standout Rocco Mazzei(55:15). The fastest Sport Vet rider was Joe Wharton(51:56), who not only won the 15K race, but competed in the 30K race as well. Steve Loehr(1:04:40) got the Men's Sport masters win, and Chris Jarvis(55:17) barely edged out John Barnette(55:18) for the win in the Clydesdale Class.

Allsport Tour de Lake
Dave Fleming says "cheese" for the camera
Julie Schooley(1:32:53) won the Women's Sport Vet Class, and Patricia Hobbs(1:47:16) finished first for the Women's Sport Masters.

Special mention goes out to Mark Bossert, Jeff Fetty, and the numerous volunteers that made this race so enjoyable. The organization was superb, the course was marked great, and the abundant awards were given out within minutes of the finish. Cold drinks, compliments of Allsport, were handed out to anyone at the race, which was greatly appreciated in the midday sun. Thanks also to John Denbigh for doing a complete and thorough job of handling the results.