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Wednesday, August 11, 1999 - Sunday, August 15, 1999 -- Martinsburg
Tour of West Virginia
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

Martinsburg: [Coverage] [Pics] [Results]
Wheeling: [Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Results]
Huntington: [Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Results]
Charleston: [Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Results]

Tour of WV
Taking it to the streets of Martinsburg
The first of four stops on the Tour Of West Virginia blasted through Martinsburg Wednesday evening. Over 80 racers took to the streets in this criterium road biking event, and the sidewalks were lined with hundreds of screaming fans. The course was a figure-8 that stayed mostly on King and Queen Streets in downtown Martinsburg. Pro/Cat 1-3 class riders rode 35 miles, while Citizens/Cat 5 riders raced through 10 miles.

The racing action started off with a bang as Trent Klasna of Team Navigators and Chad Gerlach of Team Merlin broke away from the pack on lap 3, and held as much as a 20 second lead for a while. However, by lap 6, Gerlach dropped back into the pack, while Klasna stayed out in front until lap 11, before he too decided to catch his wind within the confines of the 80+ riders.

Tour of WV
The pack hits Burke Street
The lead was traded back and forth as one huge pack roared through the streets until lap 22 when 4 Team Shaklee riders took to the front in an attempt to set their sprinter up for the final burst. With 1 lap to go, 3 Team Shaklee racers were in front, with Todd Littlehales of Team Navigators right behind.

"The final 5 laps were really fast, it was really just a 5 lap sprint", said Portland Oregon native Littlehales afterwards. Coming across the finish line with a frenzy of racers on his tail, Littlehales got the win, and his share of the $25,000 purse for the overall tour. Coming in right behind for second place was last year's Tour winner Roberto Gaggioli. Gerlach finished third, "I just broke out a little early", he said afterwards.

In the 10 lap citizens race, Steve Emmons finished first followed by Jeff Pinyan, and Andrew Burnette, respectively