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Tuesday, July 4, 2000 -- Philippi, WV
Barbour DeTour
Cat 1-3 race story by Rob Acciavatti with photos by Don Parks, Dave McKain & Sean McCabe

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Cat 4-5 Race
The Cat 4-5 race gets rolling
Morning fog and threatening clouds greeted riders as they took the start of this year's Barbour DeTour. However, wet roads soon became dry as the Cat 1-3 field wound it's way around the classic triangular-shaped, 26 mile loop that, despite a one-year hiatus, has comprised this race since the mid-1980s.

Facing two laps of the circuit, the early pace was understandably slow. But as riders' legs began to warm up, the tempo increased. Several unsuccessful attacks were launched before Team Go-Mart's Kevin Chapman and Team Guinness' Jay Downs were able to slip the field and establish a tenuous 30 second lead as they approached the 7 mile mark. Another Go-Mart rider, Jacob Fetty, soon bridged the gap to the leaders, and by the 10 mile mark the two Go-Mart teammates had managed to dispose of Downs.

In the pack behind, Peter Baker, this year's Collegiate Road Race National Champion, animated the action by launching several attacks in hopes of joining the two leaders. However, with Go-Mart riders marking any moves each of Baker's efforts proved futile. Back up the road, Fetty dropped Chapman, and by the 20 mile mark the field had reeled in Chapman leaving only Fetty alone ahead.

Country roads
Country roads in Barbour County
The moves that would eventually decide the race came as the pack rolled up and over the undulating route into Belington. Countering yet another attack by the aggressive Baker, I was able to escape the pack only to be joined a few miles later by my Go-Mart teammate Ryan O'Connor. We quickly established a rhythm and set off in pursuit of the leader.

At the end of one lap, Fetty still pounded out front alone followed closely by O'Connor and myself. Baker had finally managed to power off the front and formed a three-man chase group along with Team Guinness' Gunnar Shogren and the ever-present Chapman.

Just before the Rt. 250/Rt. 38 intersection, Fetty sat up to wait for his teammates and the race quickly became a contest of three versus three. However, in the group behind the leaders Chapman refused to contribute to the chase with his Go-Mart teammates up the road. In frustration Baker upped the tempo which proved to be a vital mistake. Shogren was popped off of the group, effectively leaving Baker with the monumental task of bridging the gap alone with Chapman still refusing to work.

Race Winners
O'Connor sets up on Acciavatti's wheel for the final spirnt
Up ahead the Go-Mart train rolled along to establish a sizable lead. With one mile to go we began the cat-and-mouse games that would decide this year's winner. With 600 meters to go, O'Connor jumped hard. After a difficult chase, I was able to catch on and immediately counter-attacked with 400 meters to the line. Even as O'Connor closed in, I continued my attack in hopes that the uphill finish would crack him. However, O'Connor proved the faster rider, and with 50 meters to go he came off my wheel and then powered by to take the win. I crossed the line in second and Jacob a close third. Minutes later, Chapman out muscled Baker for fourth, followed a short time later by Gunnar in sixth.
The Cat 4-5 race consisted of a single 26 mile loop and included the field of women's and men's masters riders. The racing began at a furious pace as expert mountain bike racer Benjie Klimas, new to road racing, immediately attacked.

The fans enjoyed the show
The rest of the field was determined not to let Klimas get away as they continually pulled back onto his wheel. His repeated attacks and pulls at the front took their toll as the large lead pack hit the final climb to the finish.

In the field sprint to the line it was Andrew Wulfkuhle (1:06:32) taking the win ahead of Ted Armbrecht and Joseph Ruggery. Gettting the win in the masters class and finishing in the lead group was Eric Wilkins. Just back of the lead group, Jen Shogren (1:06:45) captured the women's race title.