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Sunday, September 15, 2002 -- Canaan Valley Resort State Park - Canaan Valley, WV
Revenge of the Rattlesnake WVMBA Pts.#14 VA Pts.#5 (iPO Event Id#: 4800)
Photos and story by Dana Harshberger

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
Past Race Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001]

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Chris Phillips takes on the Rattlesnake
During drought-like conditions, it's hard to grumble about rain, but waking up to drizzle on the day of a race, makes you want to stay in bed. Despite the dreariness of this past Sunday, brave and hearty racers came out to battle for the shared points in the WVMBA Series as well as the VA Series.

With the remnants of tropical storm Hannah blowing through, the trails developed some greasy roots, but hardly any of the typical bike eating muck of years past. Many riders commented on the rideability of the course due to the previous month's dry weather. The routes that started at Blackwater Falls State Park had riders make they way, point-to-point style, to the finish at Canaan Valley State Park. Depending on the category, the length of the course was anywhere from 26km, to 41km, to 50km to up to 73km for the XXC'ers.

In the XXC category, Shawn Altizer took the top of the podium.

Race Pic
Josh Feazell single-speeds it through the valley
In the Men's Pro/Expert cross-country, it was no surprise that local boy Nick Waite captured an early lead, which he continued to increase upon throughout the race. Cheered on by throngs of spectators including Mom and Dad, and Uncle Jon visiting from France, young Mr. Waite crossed the finish line at 3:07:47, a good 8 minutes ahead of 2nd place finisher, Daniel Evans. Jonathan Martin took third.

Also of note, in the under 14 division, another Waite off-spring, Karl, took first, also coming in an astonishing 23 minutes ahead of his closest competition. Must be something in the water, or the gene pool!

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Mandi Riddle fights the rhododendrons with a smile
Nicole Habey had a great race as well, garnering the win in the pro/expert women's category. Usual XXC girl, Mandi Riddle crossed the line 2nd at 4:13:30 and was followed by Sarah Crandall-Fletcher only seconds behind. Overheard from one female racer as she emerged from the woods, "The rhododendrons are attacking me!" With the lushness of the greenery and the way it seemed to reach out, made one wonder, "These are drought-like conditions?"

At the finish line, large tents had been set up, more than likely to protect the post race crowd from the sun; but getting out of the rain was also appreciated! Many enjoyed lounging around the picnic tables, digging in to the post race meal of spaghetti, exchanging race stories and otherwise resting up for the drive home.

A big hand should go out to Matt Marcus, who was seen tooling about the course on his mountain bike, checking things out, and generally over seeing that things went smoothly. Thanks also to John Northheimer who consistently puts on a great race

Be sure to show up next weekend for the series finale, the