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Saturday, May 19, 2001 - Sunday, May 20, 2001 -- Hopedale, OH
Mickey's Mountain Bike Challenge #2 (iPO Event Id#: 2756)
Story by Don Parks with photos by Don Parks and Dave McKain

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Downhill] [Dual Slalom] [XC Overall] [XC by Class] [Trials]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13]
DH Set 1-2, DS Set 3-5, Beg XC Set 5-8, Exp/Sport XC Set 8-12, Kids & Trials Set 13

Downhill Pic
Downhill Mickey's style!

The rain stayed away (as it usually does on Mickey's Mountain ) for a great weekend of two-wheeled racing. It all began on Saturday with the return of the Kamikaze Downhill race, a full load of excitement all packed into a little over a quarter-mile of screaming singletrack.

No stranger to Mickey's Mountain races, the venerable Pete Weir was dominating in the Men's Expert class. His first run time of 49.682 had him out in front of Josh Clark (51.287) and Jason Beckley (52.438). He then proceeded to back that up with an incredible 45.533 on his second run and nobody could touch him. Clark did hold on for second with Beckley taking third.

Making things a little more exciting where the Sport Men as Mike Stusek did a number on his hand in practice. By Sunday his hand was swollen up nice, but he was doing his best to feel no pain on Saturday. His first run 60.848 had him over three seconds behind Henry Prantl (57.173). With Prantl keeping consistent on his second run (56.292), Stusek found the right lines and ripped through at (52.292). That was just enough for him to take the win over Prantl by a mere 0.325 seconds. Sam Dischner's second run 50.438, the best single run time of all the Sport riders, was enough to earn him a third place finish.

A final downhill shout-out goes to the two Women competitors. Dana Janicjevic beat out Sue Brayman for the Women's title, but they both deserve credit for getting out there. You go girls!

Dual Slalom Pic
Hitting the Dual Slalom banked turns

Moving over to the other side of the mountain, next up was the Saturday afternoon Dual Slalom. Battling through four rounds of racing to get to the finals, it was apparent that again it would be Pete Weir and Jason Beckley battling for the title. This time Weir found himself trailing by 0.336 seconds after the first run in the finals. But with a 22.930 second run, the fastest single run clocked for the entire day, Weir's 46.273 total gave him the win over Beckley (46.282) by less than 1/100th of a second! Jerod Reflik consistently chased the leaders and came home with third place honors.

In the Men's Sport class, Trevyn Newpher consistently rode the fastest times winning all three rounds. His final round 48.300, his slowest combined run time for the day, would have been good enough to get him in the Expert finals. The winner in the Beginner class was Bradley Fred (55.982) while Chris Garrity (74.216) won the Beginner Junior class.

Beg. XC Pic
A 5+ mile loop of sometimes tricky singletrack

On Sunday came the cross-country racing with the Beginner and Novice classess getting the early start.

In the beginner ranks, racing two laps, 15-year-old Nathan Smith of St Clarisville, OH, was out of the blocks strong. He led the first half lap until 42-year-old Rick Ramsey took control. This resident of Salem, Oregon, who was in the area on business, had Smith on his wheel the rest of the lap. But on the second lap Ramsey (1:08:55) took care of business and rode alone to the finish and the first place Beginner Vet title.

Meanwhile, Scott Bednar was putting the heat on Smith at the close of the second lap. Smith used the steep climbs just before the finish to shake Bednar for a second overall finish and Beginner Junior title at 1:09:47. Bednar followed at 1:09:57 for the Beginner Senior class win.

The Beginner Masters top finisher was Mickey's regular in Randy Stauffer (1:15:46). The Women's Beginner first place prize went to Jessica Koscho (1:44:03), a youngster that is showing some great potential.

The field of one lap racers consisted entirely of the Women's Novice division. "I came out to race against myself," said eventual winner Lara Ginsburg. The 33-year-old from Millersburg, OH, said she took it easy at the start and had "three good crashes" on her first time out with clipless pedals. Regardless, she reeled in the competition and took the win in a time of 48:55. She credited her success to the great folks at Ernie's Bikeshop.

XC Pic
A little log can't slow the Experts

The Expert and Sport riders took to a course that was slightly modified from the earlier races. Thrown in the mix was a little of the downhill course including a somewhat treacherous (but what fun for the spectators) wooden bridge that looked to be right out of the North Shore.

Busting out to the front of the pack where expert's TJ Platt, Rob Dolby and Jonathan Cord doing four full laps. Through the first three laps the trio often traded places at it appeared that a final sprint finish was eminent. Then, as luck (or bad luck) would have it, both Cord and Dolby flatted on the final lap. This gave Platt, a 21-year-old Gary Fisher/Dirty Harry's rider from Pittsburgh, clear sailing to the finish and the Expert Senior win at 1:45:40. Dolby still held on for second at 1:47:40 with Cord taking third at 1:49:14.

This was Platt's first race at Mickey's, "This race course is so hard, there's no place to take a break... just go, go, go the whole time." So what exactly does that mean? "A lot of fun!", says Platt.

Alex Strouhal won the Expert Veteran class at 2:05:29 while the Expert Junior class was a battle between Michael Raney (2:05:45) and David Milne (2:12:10). At first it was Milne way out in front. "He was puttin' a hurtin' on me for the frist few laps," said Raney. But the patience of the 17-year-old Dirty Harry's rider from Pittsburgh paid off as he finally overtook Milne on the last big climb.

In the three lap Sport class races, it was Eric Kriberney off the front racing in the Senior class. Chasing him for most of the afternoon was Chris Nelson, a 29-year-old Mountain Magic rider out of Wilmington, OH. "I tried to catch him, but he seriously out climbed me out there," said Nelson. Kriberney took first at 1:28:15 followed by Nelson (1:30:29) and David Methven 1:31:57.

The strong Sport Veteran class had Clayton Lopez (1:36:15) and Dan Richard (1:36:55) battling for the first place prize. Lopez was patient at first as Richard held the lead through most of the race. But Lopez, a 38-year-old and another Pittsburgh native, finally tracked down and passed Richard late in the last lap for the Vet win.

OT Pic
The Mickey's trials playground

While all this XC racing was going on, the Trials riders where duking it out on the eloborate set of Mickey's trials obstacles. Eventually getting the wins where Toby Ratliff in the Expert class, Dan Smith finally knocking off Kevin Smith in a ride-off tiebreaker for the Sport class, and Mike Houston with an easy win the Beginner class.

Also getting their chance to play was Devin Davis, Kayleigh Gregory and Chris Stowell. The trio rode two laps of a short XC course and took home all the Kids Race prizes.

All the weekend's good times come courtesy of a lot of hard work done by Calvin Mickey and his entourage of helpful volunteers. Even the therapeutic touch of licensed massage therapist Cynthia Kemp was waiting to give a helping hand. And don't forget that it wouldn't happen without the help of sponsors like Sun Ringle,, ZOIC, Wendy's, Marin, Shimano, and Whiteside Auto.

Everyone will be back at it for more Mickey's racing on June 16th and 17th. So while your between the 24 Hours of Snowshoe (June 9-10th) and the NORBA National at Snowshoe (June 23-24th), come over to Mickey's Mountain and keep those legs spinning.