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Saturday, July 14, 2001 -- Terra Alta, WV
Battle on Briery Mountain (iPO Event Id#: 2899)
Story by Don Parks with photos by Heather Bury

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [2000 Event Coverage]

Chas Mick
Climbing the mountain called Briery
Frankie Ross was back in 2001 to defend his title as the 2000 champion of Briery Mountain. But this year, with an over 3-fold increase in participation, some serious competition was waiting for him at the starting line.

The course was another mix of grueling climbs and screaming singletrack all packed into a 5-mile loop. With great weather and two waters stops provided along the course, it was going to be a true test of each rider's XC endurance. And, for the young one's who weren't quite ready for battle, the main event was preceded by a fun race for all the kids.

For this year's 20-mile expert XC race it was all Benji Klimas as he quickly grabbed a gap on the rest of the field and never looked back. Klimas won with a finishing time of 1:25:00 while Ross finished his four laps at 1:29:06. That was good enough for second place in the Pro/Expert Men's field, but just fourth overall.

Kids Race
What's a race without a little fun for the kids?
Sneaking in between was the Veteran Expert and Junior Expert class winners. Rob Gaus finished second overall and took the honors in Vet Expert with a finishing time of 1:27:17. Crossing the line just behind Gaus was the Junior Expert winner Kevin Peters who finished at 1:27:30.

On the Women's Pro/Expert side it was Cassie Smith successfully defending her title from 2000. Smith finished at 1:47:59 and was once again unchallenged for the women's Battle on Briery Mountain crown.

All the non-expert race classes hammered through three circuits with the Men's Sport class dominating the field. It was a close fought battle for first as Eric Delaney finished at 1:13:12 with Ben Kuhlman close behind at 1:13:52. Third overall and third in Men's Sport went to Collin Fridley at 1:15:48.

Race Pic
Ross and Peters do their best to chase down Klimas
The next three lap finisher was the Junior Sport winner, Matt MacDonald (1:21:00), followed by the Clydesdale winner, Dannie Joe Hillary (1:24:00). Next to find the line was the Veteran Sport winner in Fritz Kessler (1:29:00) just 21 seconds ahead of second in his class, David Hubbard (1:29:21).

Other winners included Michael Eddy (1:33:44) Beginner, Bill Wolfe (1:34:00), Masters, Cale Devall (2:00:26) Junior, Nancy Larocque (2:05:47) Women's Beginner, and Dawn Young (2:11:47) Women's Sport.

Plenty of awards and refreshments where waiting at the finish and everyone enjoyed a great afternoon of riding. As Daniel Lenox and his crew continue working hard to make more improvements to their mountain bike playground called Briery (by-the-way, they did of fantastic job of clearing the trail of any nasty sticker bushes!), you can be sure the battle will be raging even harder next year. We'll see you there!