Share |

Sunday, October 3, 1999 -- Flat Top
Free Wheeling Mountain Bike Race
Story & photos by Julie Bertsch

[Coverage] [Results]   Pics: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3]

Free Wheeling MTB Race
Cam Lewis tops the 1st hill on the mountain in lap one
What a beauty of a day it was for the Winterplace Resort 1999 Free Wheeling MTB Race! The 7 mile race course consisted of some wild, high grass switch-backs and steep, dusty up-hills on the way to the top. The riders then found themselves rolling downhill into the woods to kick some dirt up on the single track which took them to some quick, open forest roads, headed for more of the same after that. Beginners were required to do one lap, Sport classes did two, and Pro/Experts had to complete the course three times to finish the race. The mass start began at 12:00 noon, as bikers rode uphill with a cool breeze in their faces, and the hot sun on their backs.

Free Wheeling MTB Race
Randy Gibbs proves that he's as good at running as he is at riding
There were no flat tires 100 yards before the finish line for Ryan O'Connor (1:41:08), this weekend as he stayed seconds ahead of Mike Bowen (1:41:21), to finish 1st in the Pro/Expert class. "I have a good time out there," said Bowen, "I still hate to lose, but Ryan's my buddy and there's more to life than winning mountain bike races." Not only does Mike Bowen have a great racing record, but he has a great attitude towards the sport as well.

Pro/Expert rider Randy Gibbs (2:03:11), found his way to the finish with his chain jammed in his wheel. Gibbs sprinted downhill to the finish line carrying his bike, and still finishing 6 minutes ahead to capture the 3rd place spot! The crowd jumped to their feet and roared.

Other Expert class winners were Pro/Expert woman rider Amy Crawford (1:52:55), who had no problem taking 1st in her class, and Expert/Vet Men's rider Mike Boyes (2:06:32).

Free Wheeling MTB Race
Riding the single track with "caution"
Bill Collie (2:06:52), pedaled hard to the finish to take 1st in the Sport Men's class with Cam Lewis (2:11:38), riding away with 2nd. Jason Huel took 3rd with a time of 2:24:07.

Ron Cantely (2:49:00), stayed well ahead of David Witt (3:00:40), to take home the 1st place Sport Vet Men prize.

Making good time in the Sport Jr. Men's class was Bryan Reece (1:25:12), who stayed almost 20 minutes ahead of Brady Campbell (1:40:52), to take 1st. Grant Smith finished 3rd with a time of 2 hours and 8 minutes.

Free Wheeling MTB Race
Maggie O'Dell ducks under a tree in the woods
Sally Swiatek (1:03:14), stayed 10 seconds of Maggie O'Dell (1:13:33) to take the 1st place prize for the Beginner Women. Regina Carrico (1:39:42), finished 3rd for that class.

The Beginner Men were riding fast, as Sean Collins lead the pack to finish with a great time of 49:18. Darrin Hazuka took 2nd with a 55:19 and Bryan O'Dell (55:40), finished 3rd respectively, and in the beginner Men's II class, Joe Swiatek (1:53:19) took 1st.

There was a lot of competition in the Beginner Jr. Men's class as young Ryan Hovis (50:26), rode his way to victory seven minutes ahead of Phillip Jereza (57:26). Eric Serado took 3rd with a time of 1 hour and 10 seconds. Beginner Vet Male rider Micheal O'Dell (1:04:48), got the 1st prize in his class.

The prize table for this race had everything, with items totaling a worth of $3,000, and Race Directors Dennis and Kasey Kinsella dishing it out! There are rumors that this race may be a part of WVMBA's point series next year, so expect this race to be even