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Sunday, June 30, 2002 -- Butler, PA
Alameda Assault MTB Series Race #1 (iPO Event Id#: 5122)
Story and photos by Dave Huffman

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]

Race Pic
Chasing each other thru the 'maze'
The Alameda Assault MTB Series officially kicked off with the first of five series races taking place at beautiful Alameda Park in Butler, Pennsylvania this past Sunday. Race sponsor and coordinator Gary Hite started preparing the course long ago by spending a lot of time this last winter cutting and adding new trails to existing ones. Little did he know though, that mother nature also wanted a part in the design by way of a tornado that ripped through the park in early May.

The result was a new two mile section of single track with some great descents, a killer climb towards the end, and about a dozen or so log and tree crossings (thanks to mother nature). A miniature version of last year's popular 'maze' was added right at the end of the loop course, which Gary plans to make very intricate for the fifth and final race of the Assault series.

Race Pic
Fat tires in Alameda Park
The racers took off shortly after 10:30 a.m. with the expert and sport classes leading the way and looking forward to 8 and 6 laps respectively. Next was the Clydesdale and beginner classes doing 5 and 4 laps, and the youth 13 and under clocking in three laps each. Even with the race missing an estimated 60 local riders due to some showcase races in surrounding areas, competition was still very stiff.

After some hard racing, it was 28 year old Michael Brown of the Buffalo Riders/Hite team taking first place in the expert class. "I biked like a scared rabbit at a dog race!" said a smiling and very modest Michael - hey, whatever works! He's currently training for an upcoming 24 hour event but hopes to make it for the rest of the remaining series races to defend his first win.

More vocal and challenging was beginner class winner Stephen Harding who had these bold words to his competitors, "I can not be defeated!" Stephen has now won the last three races he's biked in and is predicting a clean sweep of all five Alameda Assault races - man, if that isn't a challenge I don't know what is! We'll see what happens when he moves up to the more advanced classes.

Race Pic
And now for the tricky part
After some serious biking, everyone got to help themselves to free pizza and Dunkin' Donuts - pure recovery food. All of the racers can look forward to easily registering for upcoming races thanks to a new computer program that Gary used on this first race. He plans for each race to be bigger and better than the preceding one.

Racers will be accumulating points throughout the entire series to determine an overall Assault champion crowned after the grand finale fifth race. The next race is highly anticipated because it's going to be the only "night race" of the series (yes, you'll need some lights come July 27th). In Gary's own words, "If you've never done a night race, you gotta do this one!"