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Saturday, August 26, 2000 - Sunday, August 27, 2000 -- Massanutten, VA
Hoo Ha Downhill & Cross Country
Photos by Marty Lamp

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [DH Overall] [DH by Class] [XC Overall] [XC by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7]

Massanutten Hoo Ha
Andrew Rodriguez stylin the rough section
The Downhill...
Story by Marty Lamp

Kicking off the popular Hoo Ha mountain biking weekend at beautiful Massanutten Resort was the crowd pleasing downhill race on Saturday, August 26th. The World Cup downhill course on Massanutten's eastern slopes is no secret to many people in the know. It's fast, very rocky in spots, and rewards those with enough gumption to pedal their way down.

The day boasted incredible weather conditions, with plenty of sunshine and temps struggling to stay in the eighties. The demanding course offered great riding conditions, with a trail as dry as roasted sand in most places, and just plain rocky everywhere else.

Massanutten Hoo Ha
Who needs a back tire?
The starting gate was at the top of Massanutten Mountain, and 1 1/2 miles later, it ended amidst a legion of spectators just above the Ski Lodge. Like all great courses, this tricky trail offered spectators a great view of the final 300 yards, which included an impending rocky section that lay right above an 8 foot drop off. After clearing the drop, it was an all out sprint to the finish on grass in front of cheering on-lookers.

When the dust settled, and over 80 racers made their way to the bottom of the hill, Vet Expert racer Homeboy Beaty(3:41.75) of Knoxville, TN was the fastest person down the mountain. "I just love this course" said the wiley veteran downhiller."I have raced all over the country, and this is definitely one of the top three courses I have raced on, and that final rocky section might be my favorite downhill section anywhere!"

Massanutten Hoo Ha
Homeboy Beaty gets the win
Beaty admitted to the fact that this was a "pedalers' course", and this definitely helped him out, plus he thought he might have found a few quality lines that others may have missed.

Just a little over a second behind was Pro/Ex winner Charles von Isenburg(3:42.98), with Todd Burnett(3:45.62) finishing third overall.

Coming in with the 12th fastest time while riding in the hardtail class was Aaron Johnson(3:52.25), and local racer George Willetts(4:15.76) finished second on the hardtails and 24th overall, despite slamming hard on the final drop off, and quickly remounting and sprinting to the finish.

Massanutten Hoo Ha
Aileen Nippins is full of concentration
David Smith(3:53.88) grabbed the win for the Men's Senior Sports while finishing a fast 13th overall, and Junior Ex rider Michael Valach(3:56.40) led the way for his class, and finished 14th overall.

In the Women's Sport class, Lorraine Woo(4:56.33) edged out Aileen Nippins(5:03.33) for the win, and in the Men's Beginner class, first time racer Kelly Koonce(4:12.66) earned the win.

Thanks go out to Kyle Inman for providing his unique commentary during the event, and for his huge part in making sure everything runs smooth.

The Cross Country...
Story by Dana Harshberger

Massanutten Hoo Ha
The fast guys hit the trail
Under hazy skies that were constantly threatening rain, thus began day two of the 12th Annual Massanutten Hoo Ha. An added feature to this year's cross country race was the addition of an incredible XXC course. With the amazing number of over 240 riders, the Hoo Ha proved that indeed this could be VA's biggest mountain bike race.

The XXC category, beginning promptly at 9:30, boasted 19 riders, an amazing two of whom were women. After a quick prologue, the pack had managed to space itself out. In the front of the group were Chris Eatough, Chris Scott, and Benji Klimas. In a departure from his usual cross country racing, Eatough had decided the night before to enter the XXC category, thinking it would be a good warm up for next week's Shenandoah Mountain 100.

Massanutten Hoo Ha
Ryan Hobbs on the prologue
After completing part of the regular course, the XXC veered off on it's own loop east. This 7-mile loop, which was completed twice, is it's own monster. An entirely different biome, this rolling technical trail boasts it's own sort of soil and rock formations vastly different from the west side of the mountain. Once finishing the loop twice, the XXC course returned to join the regular course to the finish, for a 40 total miles.

Coming across the line first, in a scorching 3:36:18 was Trek East Coast Factory team member, Chris Eatough. Following at 4:02:01 was Keezletown local Dylan Johnson, fresh from a summer-long cycling jaunt across the US, with a finish of 4:02:01. Johnson just managed to get around Benjie Klimas near the end, who tried valiantly to hold onto a bold pace while finishing less than a minute behind at 4:02:53.

Massanutten Hoo Ha
This XXC stuff is cool
On to the long cross country, which had its staggered start at 11am. Wave upon wave of categories set out on their own journey through the amazing diversity of terrain. Not only was there the usual rocky, log and root infested technical trails, but smooth fast downhills, seemingly unending uphills, pine-needle-softened single track, and the popular cow and horse pasture trails, complete with those ever popular landmines known as cow pies. Many riders commented on the vast variety of terrain: this race seems to have something for everyone, including the shorter of stature among us. A kids race took place while those with less sense battled the 22 mile course. Winner in this tiny category was Matthew Keiper, at 2:59.

Massanutten Hoo Ha
Sue Haywood wins again
In the Pro/Ex category, there was recently relocated to Harrisonburg, K2/NuSun rider, Jeremiah Bishop, crossing the line at 1:40:46, for a possible course record. Debating over bike selection, his choice of a dual suspension paid off for this course, allowing a smoother ride. Riding a few minutes back, was Jeremiah's new roommate, John MacInnis of Sobe-Headshock (1:46:48). And on his back wheel, was Trek's Joel Maynard (1:48:24).

On the women's end of things, as always, there was the dominating force of another Trek rider, Sue Haywood. Finishing a good 19 minutes ahead of her nearest female competitor, and 22nd overall, Sue's high point of the race was the friendly battle to the finish with boyfriend Matt Marcus. Coming in second was Sue George (2:26:21) and not far from her, Kristy Mantz (2:27:36)

Massanutten Hoo Ha
Having fun on Kaylor Knob
In other categories, was Todd Hanscomb (2:11:54) for the Men's Sport class. In the Women's Sport, Tricia Davis took the lead (3:00:56). Ed Dickenson garnered the Vet Ex Men's class (2:05:43) and Sandra Metzger(3:02:02) for the Women's Vet Ex.

For the Clydesdale division, Bill Davis brought it home at 2:54:46. Junior Expert Nicholas Atkins captured the finish with 2:21:50. Rounding it out were Richard Watts(2:38:08) for the Mens Masters, and Frank Jaworski(2:30:47) with the Mens Vet Sport.

Massanutten Hoo Ha
It was agreat day for riding
With the short cross country as well, there were plenty of riders in each category. Another Keezletown local, Sam Yoder, who only had to roll out of bed and cross the road to get to the race, took the Beginner 2 Men class, (1:08:15) as well as the overall first for the short course. Other standouts in the short course were Chris Dobroth(1:11:41) in Beginner 1 Men, Melissa Newton(1:37:43), in Beginner 2 Women, Parker Byrd(1:09:22) for the Jr Sport Men, and lovely Alli Nataro(1:52:58) kicked in it for the Jr Sport Womens Category. Another long-time local, Kay Harrison, pulled in at 1:45:43 to get the Vet Sport Women class.

With the smell of simmering rice and beans at the finish, killer medals to hang around necks, not to mention the payout of cash and swag, a great day was had by all. Even spectators got to experience the thrill of swag with overabundance of mini boxes of organic cereal that were tossed to the crowd!

As always the folks at Massanutten had made sure that no detail was overlooked from abundant course markings, (no chance of getting lost today!), marshals at every turn, water stops complete with handy recycling bins to catch the empties, and quick and pleasant registration. A big hand to everyone who helped make the weekend a success!