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Sunday, August 4, 2002 -- Canaan Valley, WV
The Timber Crit - WVMBA Pts. #10 (iPO Event Id#: 4795)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[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
Who says a 2-mile climb isn't fun?
When the thermometer on your local bank clock is pushing triple digits, heading to the mountain tops of Canaan Valley seems like a great idea. That was exactly the plan for Timberline Resort's Timber Crit, but getting to the top was another story. While the spectators were treated to a nice chairlift ride to the top, for the racers it was a long 2-mile uphill ride to the 4268' summit.

The festival atmosphere was a treat as vendors served up everything from cool fruit smoothies to spicy barbecued ribs. The Saturday before provided a "just for fun" time trail and an evening party complete with bonfire and live music performed by Washington DC's The Monsoon and Wisconsin's Ed Temple. The good vibes went right through to Sunday's crosscountry as the bands put on a mountain top, trail-side show to the delight of the riders and spectators.

When the racing got series, Clay Evans must have decided it was time to get down to business. Evans was first to the top on expert lap number one and kept the hammer down. TJ Platt, winner of the last two WVMBA series events, soon put himself in second but there was no catching Evans on this afternoon.

Race Pic
Benji Klimas attacks on the way down
Platt had his hands full for the two laps with Benji Klimas who excels on technical courses. You see, whatever goes up must come down, and there was plenty of technical downhill. With an advertised 2000 feet of climbing, Platt surged on the final long climb to distance himself from Klimas. While he had spent most of the day catching Platt on the way down, Klimas would hit the line third after the downhill trip to the finish.

Another rider who excelled on the technical sections was women's expert winner Mandi Riddle. While Riddle was several spots back after the first climb, she was in command by the end of the end of the first lap. Sarah Crandall-Fletcher was leading early, but mechanical problems with her chain only added to her difficulties keeping up. With a little blood on her knee she found the way to the finish for second.

We'll be back with some more details from the race just as soon as we get a hold of the results. Please stay tuned...