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Saturday, November 11, 2000 -- Morgantown, WV
WV Cyclocross Series Race #2
Story and photos by Don Parks

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

Race Start
Lookout! Trouble is brewing in Morgantown's White Park
The second installment of the 2000 WV Cyclocross Series got underway Saturday at Morgantown's White Park. Some fine fall weather brought out some great competition as well as a whole host of folks just looking for some cycling fun. The racing certainly didn't disappoint with a thrilling course and a tremendous variety of riders. It brought out the traditional cyclocross bikes and mountain bikes, the juniors to the masters, both men and women, first timers to seasoned veterans.

Possibly the most entertaining group to roll in were the BMX riders who decided to test their mettle on the twists, turns, barriers, mud, pavement, grassy fields, uphills, downhills, and big air opportunities that made up the race course. Everyone seemed to be getting into the high-flying spirit of this crazy cyclocross racing with plenty of spectators out to watch the action.

Shane Leiggi
BMX-cross, the latest cycling craze???
The competition began with the six-lap races that included the Sport, Women, Masters, Junior and Beginner classes. Special attention this day was focused on the Masters and Sport classes as Gutta's Infinity Jewelers was putting some fine Festina time pieces up for grabs.

While Tim Nelms quickly established himself as the best Masters rider for the day, the battle in the Sport class was fierce. As the early laps began to sort out the field it was Adam DeGardeyn and Jeff Field who emerged as the strongest riders in the class. As the final lap came it was just a matter of seconds that separated the two. However, Field's best efforts to knock off DeGardeyn ended nine seconds short. DeGardeyn's winning time of 50:01 was also tops for all riders in the six lap field.

Chad Cherefko
Chad Cherefko gets serious with his best race face
In the women's field it was no surprise to find Jennifer Shogren (6 Laps @ 50:39) once again coming out on top. However, in a reverse of fortunes from the first race, Mandi Williams (5 Laps @ 50:33) took second over Laurie Johnston (5 Laps @ 54:39). An interesting battle for second in the series seems to be shaping up as the two are now tied with 17 points.

Other early race class winners included another victory for Thomas Krpicak (5 Laps @ 50:32) in the Junior class. Tops in the Beginner class went to Ben Kuhlman (6 Laps @ 55:12) ahead of Mark Rosso (6 Laps @ 57:19) and Ray Worrell (6 Laps @ 58:24).

The late race was slated for eight laps and was made up of the field of expert riders. Getting off to a fast start was Benjie Klimas along with Nick Waite, Gunnar Shogren and Ryan O'Connor. As the four riders battle back and forth through the first laps, Shogren eventually emerged with a solid hold on first while Waite and O'Connor kept it close in a duel for second.

Adam DeGardeyn
Adam DeGardeyn rides away with a new Festina watch
Eventually, O'Connor was able to pull away from Waite as he chased Shogren. With just two laps to go, O'Connor had narrowed the gap to within ten seconds. However, the final lap found O'Connor losing time as the relentless Shogren never let up on his way to the win with 8 laps in 58:41. O'Connor finished second at 59:33, Waite third at 59:57 and Klimas fourth at 1:04:13 all finishing 8 laps. Also stealing a win was Bob Vernon (8 Laps @ 1:05) who raced uncontested in the Veteran class.

With the two races now complete, Shogren has moved into first place in the Expert series standings with 18 points. Waite keeps his hold on second with 17 points and Klimas jumps to third with 14 points.

Not only was the racing fun and exciting, there were cash and merchandise prizes along with plenty of drinks, food and even hot coffee from Whitetail Cycles & Fitness. Many thanks goes to all the hard work put in by Dave McKain, Gunnar Shogren and the WVU Cycling team to put on the event. And don't forget to thank Gutta's Infinity Jewelers, Festina, Wamsley Cycles, BOPARC, Pudgy's Pizza, Fort Frames, and Pepsi for pitching in with their support.