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Sunday, July 1, 2001 -- Princeton, WV - Hurricane Ridge MTB Challenge (iPO Event Id#: 2644)
Story and photos by Dave McKain

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

[2000 Coverage]

Race Pic
Klimas takes the win
The promoters of the 2001 Hurricane Ridge MTB Challenge put together a great course and pulled off a great race while mother nature cooperated by not bringing on a threatened deluge. The winding trails and multiple short climbs and downhilles of the course didn't give many opportunities for rest.

From the race start, a four man group including Jason Laxton, Benjie Klimas, Todd Reighley and Jeremy Rowand moved to the front, working their way through the first lap, starting to put a gap between themselves and the rest of the pack. The group didn't stay together long after the first lap with Klimas turning it up a notch, forcing the others to chase. Try as he might, Laxton couldn't catch the speedy Benjie over the next two laps and Klimas earned the win followed by Laxton, Reighley and Rowand. Mandi Riddle took the win in the womens expert class running unopposed for the day while Bob Bonham came up from North Carolina to take the Vet Expert win over Steve Thaxton. In the Jr. Expert class, Matt McDonald cruised to victory, finishing 20 minutes ahead of second place finisher Jared Cakebread.

Race Pic
This was no rail-trail ride
In the Mens Sport class, Brian Hutchinson took the win over second place finisher Joe Stone while Rick Bowman rounded out the top three. While Melissa Cohen took the win in the womens sport class.

While the start of the race witnessed threatening skies, at the end, the sun came shining down on the racers as they headed to the finish line. Several competitors from Georgia, racing in West Virginia for the first time, commented that "This isn't what it's like at home" as they tackled the course and its climbs. With the traffic of the race, the clay started to firm up with each passing rider, allowing for easier going.