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Sunday, September 28, 2003 -- Edinburg, VA
Wolf Gap - VA Pts. #6 (iPO Event Id#: 5718)
Story and photos by Don Parks

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

[Rocco's reports...] [Chris Scott's reports...]

North Mountain
Taking in the view
What a beautiful day, what a beautiful race venue. These are the times when it is a joy to get out and scramble around a mountain taking pictures of racers giving it their best.

But it seems that some folks don't only give their best, they want to give until it hurts. This may be the case for many of the XXC riders who set out at 9:30am for an epic day on North Mountain.

The XXC'ers would entertain a counterclockwise loop, up and then down the mouintain, before crossing the the regular XC start finish. The XC course was a clockwise loop, up and then down the mountain, with a little extra time spent touring the ridge top.

It seems Jeremiah Bishop came to race with an interesting plan, race both the XC and the XXC. Is that possible? The plan would be to race the first half of the XXC course and get to the XC starting line in time for a 11:30am start. Then head out with the XC crowd while continuing the second half of the XXC race. No big deal, unless your plan is to win both races. And that was exactly Bishop's goal.

Bishop completed the first half of the XXC course on schedule and in the lead. But now he had to backtrack down the fire road for the XC start. There he could only sit and wait through another pre-race meeting. Constantly looking at his watch and wondering how many XXC riders were passing ahead of him and heading out onto the XC loop.

Race Pic
Sittin' in with the leaders
Tic-tic-tic... as is common for a pre-race meeting, it extends beyond the scheduled 11:30am start time, Bishop can do nothing but wait. Tic-tic-tic... finally, Bishop gets his second start signal of the day, just wondering how far ahead is his XXC competition.

Early on he patiently climbs the fire road sitting in with the top XC riders. But by the top he has pulled clear and begins reeling in the escaped XXC'ers as he heads back into the singletrack.

Racing around the ridge top, Bishop is able to move back up through the field until only Garth Prosser stands in his way. Heading off the fire road and onto the final rocky singletrack, Prosser still has a big lead. But the final downhill couldn't come soon enough.

Bishop passes into the lead and screams down the final descent to capture the XXC title at 3:58:10 to Prosser's 4:03:24. He takes the XC title at 1:50:10 ahead of Harlan Price at 1:54:57.

Other than the fact that he can, why would Bishop put himself through this ordeal? I ask him after the race and he tells me he has some goals for next season. And to prepare he says, "I have to find new ways to torture myself." Thank you sir, and feel free to have another.

THE SMT RECOVERY REPORT: New Course, Old Friends
Report from John Calgiano

Sue Haywood
Sue Haywood came to play in the rocks, too
A few miles west of Woodstock, VA, and east of Jerome is a furnace called Liberty, this is where the finals were held. Welcome to rock country.

The weather was right on for a race, and arriving with two hours to spare I went for a spin out beyond Jerome to catch some scenery.

The race proper started at 11:30am on a fire road. We paraded for a couple of hundred yards before the pace car pulled off. The first mile and half no one wanted to go off with Bishop sitting and watching on the front. Then Laxton came to the front with Childers and Harlan next. Laxton was pushing it and we still had four uphill miles to go until the top.

Eventually there were about ten of us heading up... then the pace quickened more. I started having flashbacks from Tour DeBurg of that hill climb at Massanutten, so I decided to hang back on the throttle here in order to make it through whole race.

Race Pic
The middle of the pack makes their way
Up the road they go, and I'm in limbo land between two groups. The leaders are moving out of sight, and behind me the pack is sniffing the summit. I kept most of the sniffers at bay until the ridge. But then Jenkins came up on me, then Capraro passed. Then Larry Camp on his singlespeed passes me in the last push up the steep part. Crap, gotta drink some more juice.

Finally on the ridge I was able to shake that climb off. Tempo climbing to start the day is rough, but it allows everyone to start at the same time. Is that a good thing? On the ridge we had a mile or so of rolly fire road before the trail head. I jump back up to Larry, always throwing some friendly chatter my way, Camp and I get moving again.

I never see Jenkins or Capraro again. They are up there somewhere. For most of the race I see and then lose a pair of Bike Doctor guys and another guy. But for the most part I am out here with the trees and the rocks which remind me of a trail from State College. It is insanely rocky but rideable because we were hitting it on the descents. When the trail did go up it usually meant it was time to hike. The final ridge, North Mountain Trail is sick. It has rocky chutes, twisty rock drop offs, waterbars, ...and the skinny trees allow for a nice view.

Race Pic
The downhill brings a smile
The final three miles or so I was on fire road descending. Someone back at the finish was talking about how they were hitting 40mph on this. It was quick.

I got around 12th - that's good for first in singlespeed or first woman. I am neither, so it's good for nothing. Poochigian, who suffered four flats with his dowhhill tires, came in a little bummed. Bishop won everything, then Harlan, Childers, Laxton, and Matt Mathewson next... The post race meal was chili, and prizes were given to all who braved the storm clouds that were rolling in.

MAP: Gap XC Map.htm

ride til ya puke,

Report from Chris Scott, Shenandoah Mountain Touring

Thanks everyone, for playing
The East Coasters Virginia State Championship came to an end this past weekend. The final race was on Sept. 28 - just west of Edinburg, VA. Race 6 of the 6 race series, where only 5 races and a wacky fraction count towards the overall, resulted in North Carolina riding away with the Pro/Ex titles. Ouch - both of them!! Well that is racing.

Huge thanks go out to East Coasters for supporting the series for 2003. Without them it would not of happen. Shenandoah Bicycle Company, Thompson seat posts and stems, Gary Fisher, Trek, and Cane Creek provided a very generous supply of prizes for the awards ceremony at every race. Massanutten Resort provided ski passes for volunteers.

Results can be found on Don Parks took some great pictures on the ridge they can be view ed at Kyle Inman has some great things planned for 2004 so keep you eye on this fall. It should be exciting!!

Series Champions

XXC Men - Tommi McMillar
XXC Women - Lindsey Keller
XC Pro Ex Men - Jason Laxton
XC Pro Ex Women - Trish Stevenson
Master Men - Lynn Wilkinson
Clydesdale Men - Terry Blakely
Veteran Expert Men - Michael Boyes
Veteran Sport Men - Bobby Benston
Sport Men - Robbie Bruce
Sport Women - Jen Boxer

[Complete Series Final Standings]