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Sunday, September 12, 1999 -- Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Canaan Valley
Tour of Canaan
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

[Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Tour of Canaan
The Expert class takes off
The third of three Canaan Valley Series races took place in Canaan Valley on Sunday. Sunshine and clear blue skies had everyone smiling, whether they were on a mountain bike, or just strolling around the course. Over fifty racers took to the scenic course that started next to the Canaan Valley Nature Center.

The track consisted of an 8-mile loop that started on pavement, but quickly took riders to a gravel road, and a fairly painful uphill. Once the top was gained, it was time for some technical, downhill singletrack filled with logs and rocks taking everyone through a small road section.

Tour of Canaan
Sue Haywood enjoying the sunshine
From here, riders faced another moderate uphill before coming to the rolling fields. The fields, although beautiful to look at, provided about 2 miles of some muscle-draining pedaling before returning back to the start.

All Expert Classes pedaled three laps for 24 miles, sports raced two laps, while beginners had to crank through one lap.

In the Men's Pro/Expert class, Gunnar Shogren(1:48:20) jumped out in front from the very beginning, and never had a moments rest from there because Benjie Klimas(1:48:44) was determined to catch him. At one point on the second lap, Shogren held over a minute lead, but Klimas was relentless.

"I kept hearing his (Klimas) brakes squeaking, and I knew he was right behind me", said Shogren. "I just couldn't lose him." Shogren finished first overall, with Klimas 24 seconds behind for second, and the always entertaining David Fleming(1:57:10) finished third in the class.

Tour of Canaan
Nick Waite approaching the finish line
Just because Sue Haywood(1:53:58) was the only Expert female racing this day, don't think that she was loafing. Haywood seemed to get stronger through the race, and passed three other expert riders on the last lap to finish 3rd overall, and just over 5 minutes behind the winning time.

For the Junior Experts, Kevin Leyh(1:54:54) and Nick Waite(2:00:32) battled each other hard for over 2/3 of the race before Leyh finally pulled away. Leyh finished first in the class and 4th overall, with Waite finishing second, and Collin Fridley(2:11:33) finishing third.

Other class winners included Steve Thaxton(2:01:58) for the vet Experts, Joe Wharton(1:25:33) for the Vet Sports, and Nathan Annon(1:26:40) for the Men's Sports. Eric Durst(1:38:21) won the Junior Sport class, and Bruce Wohleber(1:37:09) finished first for the Masters.

Matt Barbour(43:56) was the first Beginner to finish, while Jeanne Sutton(55:39) won the Women's Beginner class, and Jeremy Bartholow(47:45) got the win for the Junior Beginners.

Much thanks and appreciation go out to Matt Marcus and John Northeimer for putting together a great race, and for handling the results. Also, thanks go out to Jack Downs and Diann Clothier for helping out with pictures. Mountain biking and Canaan Valley... it's always a good thing.