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Saturday, July 21, 2001 - Sunday, July 22, 2001 -- Hopedale, OH
Mickey's Mountain Bike Challenge #4 (iPO Event Id#: 2758)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Downhill] [Dual Slalom] [XC O/A] [XC by Class] [Trials & Kids]
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] [Set 14] [Set 15]
(Set 1-2 DH; 2-6 DS; 7-11 Beg/Nov XC; 11-14 Exp/Spt XC; 15 Kids)

Dual Slalom
Ahead by half a wheel in the dual slalom
Sunshine and warm weather made the July Mickey's downhill and dual slalom fast and furious. Add in a new rock garden for the expert downhillers and a new double on the dual slalom course and you had a full suspension party on your hands. And that was just Saturday! The heat was still on for Sunday's XC, trials, and kid's races on a day when a nice cool swimming pool would have been a welcome addition on the mountain.

Saturday's downhill saw the usual expert class dominator, Pete Weir, absent as he was doing battle out west at the NCS downhill in Mammoth. So, maybe this would be the month for perennial third place finisher Jason Beckley. However, back in the ranks was Josh Clark along with Sam Dischner. Dischner moved up to expert after beating up the sport class in June's event.

Letting gravity do the work in the downhill
Beckley put together two strong runs to record a 107.120 total, but doing a little less than half of a second better was Clark at 106.661. Add to this an impressive performance by Dischner, who proved he was up to the expert challenge, and Beckley found himself in third for the third month in a row. Dischner was off the pace a bit on his second run but a great first run gave him the win with a 106.257 total.

In the sport downhill it was Christopher Brayman well ahead of the field with a 104.285. For second place it came down to 2/1000ths of a second as Mark Laurie (107.067) edged Michael Kaus (107.069). The first place beginner was Phillip Braun with a time of 113.200.

Next up was the dual slalom with the dry course making for some loose traction on the many banks and turns. Add to this a new small double just before a sharp left bank turn and there was plenty of dust, bikes, and body armor sprawling all over the hillside.

Dual Slalom
Doing the double on the new dual slalom course
In the expert class Beckley (48.591) finally did find the top of the podium with a close win (.018 seconds to be exact) over Eugene Gazdik (48.609). Dischner's good fortune came to an early end as trouble on his very first run kept him out of the finals.

In the sport class it was all Mark Wentz (53.283) taking the win ahead of Ken Musgrave (54.019). The beginner junior win went to Nick Placks (61.369) with Dan Nonno (59.498) bringing home the beginner senior win.

Sunday's crosscountry racing was held on a hazy, hot and humid day when hydration was key. Also making things interesting was a clockwise race direction on a course that is usually run counter-clockwise.

XC Racing
Finding a rare wet spot on a dry XC course
The reverse direction didn't seem to cause Brad Kriley any problems as he came back from last month's second place finish to take first overall and the expert senior win at 1:52:32. Ben Ortt took second at 1:56:01 while Rena Campbell (2:25:40) was first for the expert women.

In the sport classes it was Chris Nelson launching to an early lead with an expert-worthy first lap effort of 27:18. Some chain trouble slowed Nelson down and allowed Eric Kriberney some room to catch back up. But, not enough room, as Nelson went on to take the overall and senior class win at 1:34:16. Kriberney moved through the ranks after a slow start to take second at 1:35:03.

Rena Campbell
Rena Campbell displays girl power on the climbs
Third overall and the junior sport win went to Mark Ames (1:35:41) with Clayton Lopez (1:36:57) fourth overall and in his usual vet sport first position. Other three lap class winners included Don Waterhouse (1:40:13) for the clydesdales, Ken Frankenbery (1:42:38) for the masters, and Kelly Shaw (2:09:20) for the women.

For the beginner and novice riders, doing two laps and one lap respectively, they had a slight break from the afternoon heat and humidity with a 10am start. Jumping all over the rest of the beginners was Scott Bednar (1:04:58) who finished his two laps a full two and a half minutes ahead of everyone else. This earned him the senior class win.

Kids Race
At Mickey's the kids play, too!
Rounding out the top three beginners were the veteran class winner, Craig Troyer (1:07:36), and the junior class winner, Curt Gumberi (1:09:17). Other two lap champions included the ever present Randy Stauffer (1:14:52) for the masters, Paula Stewart (1:26:57) for the women, and Patrick Mitchel (1:37:05) for the big boys in the clydesdale class.

For those who beat the heat with a single lap in the novice class it was Jordan Chumney (43:48) finishing first and earning the men's first place award. For the women it was Sarah Smith (50:04) leading Jessica Nelson (52:42) to the finish.

Everyone will be back at it again for August racing on the 18th and 19th. Will the weather bring another sweltering weekend of racing? Nobody knows for sure. But you can certainly count on Calvin and his crew to once again put on some pretty cool racing! We'll see you there...