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Saturday, September 8, 2001 - Sunday, September 9, 2001 -- Hopedale, OH
Mickey's Mountain Bike Challenge #6 (iPO Event Id#: 2760)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [Downhill] [Dual Slalom] [XC O/A] [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] [Set 14]

DH Pic
Taking the plunge in the DH
Hot and dry weather made for some fast and treacherous downhill and dual slalom racing on Saturday at Mickey's. That also means a lot of fun for the racers and the spectators. But showing up everyone on the first day at Mickey's had to be Al Baltes (redchair13@aol.com), a man on a mission.

Baltes, a 33-year-old from Austintown, Ohio came ready to race with his homegrown four-wheel downhill bike (See pic). His custom rig sports 7-inches of travel in the front and a full 12-inches in the rear. It set him back a few dollars, but it sure looks like a lot of fun!

Injured twelve years ago in a nasty motocross accident, he now must take on life's challenges without the use of his legs. But Al isn't slowing down, he's just looking for more speed as an avid kayaker, mono-skier, downhill mountain biker, and road bike racer (and he'd love to get his paws on a handcycle!) He gives a lot of credit to Austintown Glenwood Cycle (AGcycle.com) for they help they provide, but certainly most all the credit goes to Al.

DS Pic
Doin' the Dual at Mickey's
In the two-wheeled downhill, Jason Beckley (102.857) enjoyed his return to Mickey's with a commanding win in the expert ranks for downhill #5. After three third place finishes in the first three downhills, Beckley earned his way to the top.

In the sport class it was Moniruvwe Orite (97.498) squeaking out a win over Nick Fabini (97.790). Mike Kaus (98.708) was a close third, but they all may have benefitted from a difficult first run for Mike Lenartowicz. His second run time of 48.052 was the fastest of the day.

The beginner class wins went to Stacy Osburn (136.110) for the women and Toan Ngo (168.663) for the men.

The second half of Saturday's double header was the dual slalom, and yes, Al and his four-wheeler were at it again. But the advantage was still with the two-wheelers where Sean Methven battled with Beckley for the expert title. His bid for the double was looking good with a 48.217 fastest combined time in the semi final. But Methven smoked the final with a 47.704 and Beckley could only grab second.

XC Pic
Putting in the miles at XC
For the sport riders it was Fabini rebounding from his second place downhill effort to take the top podium spot. Lenartowicz recorded the fastest time in the first round with Fabini close behind, but that was the only time they'd finish in that order. The final four rounds all had Fabini first and Lenartowicz second. Fabini even saved his best for last by recording a 49.642 in the final.

The beginner class was won by Nick Plaks with a two-run time of 60.272.

Sunday brought the XC crowd out to Mickey's for some hot and fast racing. Again going with the Le-Mans style start, the racers gave high marks to this month's course layout. It seemed deceptively fast, but average lap times where consistently several minutes longer than in August. The word was that the course was a little longer, but no one seemed to be complaining.

Among the experts it was Brad Kriley (1:56:47) returning for his second win at Mickey's this year. He was chased to the finish by Gary Snodgrass (1:58:18) who took second overall and second in the Senior class. Third overall and the Vet win went to David Bredenbeck (2:05:22) with David Milne (2:22:00) taking the Junior win. Also taking a four-lap win was expert Woman Tiffany Kenny (2:18:27).

XC Pic
Brad Kriley flew to a first place expert finish
The three-lap sport class racing started out in familiar fashion as Eric Kriberney and Chris Nelson battled off the front. But, near the end of the last lap a mechanical doomed Nelson. He ended up fifth overall and third in the Senior division at 1:34:33. Kriberney took the win at 1:24:20 and is in great position to take the series championship.

Junior rider Andy Wiedrich was mighty impressive as he finished second among all the sport riders at 1:28:08. John Wagner took the Vet class win at 1:36:33, while Don Waterhouse continued his mastery of the Clydesdale class at 1:44:27. For the Masters class, it was Ken Frankenberry (1:45:49) taking home the gold.

The early racing two-lap beginners watched Scott Bednar (1:08:07) clock the fastest time at 1:08:07 in a Senior class win. Second overall and the Junior win went to Nathan Smith (1:09:49), with third overall being secured by the Vet class winner, Craig Troyer (1:10:27). Other division winners included Charles Patterson (1:17:52), Masters, and Brian Weiser (1:20:05), Clydesdale.

Trials pic
Trials, now that's a ride
The single-lap novice class had Derek Salvadori (38:58) off the front for the Men. Among the ladies it was Jessica Nelson (51:21) fending off the tenacious Brenda Hart (51:38) for a victory.

In the don't dab world of Trials riding, they were in full throttle once again while the XC racing went on around them. The Expert class had Nate Frost recording another Stock win with 35 points while Toby Ratcliff was impressive with 26 points, and the win, in the Modified class. In the Sport ranks, it was Ian Poor with 39 in the Modified division and Dan Curtin with 45 in the Stock division. Making every point count for Curtin was Kevin Smith and Ed Rosser who tied for second with 48, with Smith getting the edge based on his number of clean runs. Oh, and kudos to Rick Lupa for his 60 points and a Beginner win.

They'll all be back for more on October 20th and 21st as it will be time for Mickey's Ohio State Championship & Series Finals! We hope to see you there...