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Saturday, September 29, 2001 -- Butler, PA
Alameda Assault MTB Race (iPO Event Id#: 4631)
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] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10] [Set 11]

Race Pic
Carvin' the trails of Butler
Alameda Park in Butler, PA played host to a bunch of fun-loving MTB racers. Participants battled it out over a variety of terrain ranging from hard pack singletrack to mud to grassy fields. From the weather that was seen during the week things could have been miserable but the sun blazed furiously through blue skies to keep conditions nice and, with riders negotiating a maze of taped routes through open fields near the start, spectators could bask in the suns rays while cheering on their favorites.

In the Mens Expert field, things got off to a bang with Brad Kriley of the Speedgoat team grabbing and early lead. While the course was pretty smooth, that didn't keep Mike Walewski from taking a spill in the first few minutes which quickly put him at the back of the pack. Chasing Kriley were teamate Eric Kribeney, veteran racer Gunnar Shogren and junior Mike Raney. Walewski, who stood a good chance of keeping up with the front, eventually bridged up to Shogren only to have misfortune strike. Apparently, the wreck suffered early on had done some damage to his bottom bracket which only got worse as the race went on, forcing him to retire early (cranks hitting chain stays is not good).

Race Pic
Brad Kriley showed no fear
After the first lap, Kriley had built almost a one minute lead which he continued to improve upon as the race progressed. Kribeney shouted encouragement to his teamate when in earshot as he worked to fend off a chasing Shogren who himself was tailed by Raney. After seven punishing laps (24.5 miles), Kriley crosssed the finish line for the win, leading his teamate and second place finisher Kribney by almost 3 minutes. Taking third overall was Shogren followed by Raney in fourth and Gary Snodgrass in fifth. Snodgrass, partial to punishment, had decided to race upon his trusty cross bike rather than a mountain bike. Not unusual when you consider that he finished the Shenendoah 100 miler on the same bike.

In the sport class overall, Chris McCormick (1:53:14) ran away from the field, winning by over 8 minutes. Taking second was Ben Bernell (2:01:16) while Eric Wyland (2:07:27) took third (first place in the 30-39 age bracket). In the 15-19 age bracket, Curt Gumbert (2:12:39) placed first chased by Henry Dimmick (2:14:20) on his way to a win in the 40-49 age bracket. For the women, Betsy Schauer (2:51:28) won top honors followed by Anna Noller (3:03:16). For the Beginners, it was Gary Hite Jr. (10.5 miles - 1:17:20) edging out Steven Harding (1:18:09) for the win while Christina Buerkle (1:32:15) took the Womens Beginner title.


Race Pic
Chris Mayhew gets ready to enjoy a piece of cake
Racers crossing the finish line were greeted by cheering fans in addition to not one but two king size birthday cakes to feast upon. Nothing like cake with plenty of sugary frosting to top the ole' fuel tank back up. Many thanks to the park, all of the volunteers and Gary Hite for taking their Saturday (plus months of preparation) to put on a great race and a great time.