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Sunday, April 3, 2005 -- Pipestem Resort State Park - Pipestem, WV
Pipestem Challenge - WVMBA Spring#1 (iPO Event Id#: 6744)
Story and photo sets 1-3 by Julie Black with photo sets 4-5 by Jason Black

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

Past Coverage: [1999] [2000] [2001] [2003] [2004]

Setting up for singletrack
New to the WV Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA) this year is it's Spring Points Series, but not so new, is waking up to snow at Pipestem State Park in April on race morning.

Since it's first WVMBA race in March 1999 when the course was filled with bone-jarring hoof prints from muddier times, and a steep technical section that quickly persuaded even the experts to dismount and carry, Pipestem Resort State Park has long since improved it's biking trails. The park sits just north of Princeton, WV, down near the southern tip of our great mountain state.

The women get serious
Pipestem may be south, but don't let the location fool you. Early April in these parts many times means a spring snow shower or two. As 50 mph winds swept across the Bluestone Gorge to pound the state park late Saturday night, many a biker took refuge in one of the two lodges, or their van. By day break Sunday morning the sun emerged over the powder kissed hilltops, as racers suited up for a day of muddy fun.

The course is an enjoyable one, which loops around the grounds giving way to scenery of all kinds. Starting on pavement downhill, the course juts into the woods for some rolling fun with some single-track, round the lake to the open fields where bikers usually get a little wind-whipped. Then over the road back down into the woods for some excellent rock hopping downhill action to a wide uphill trail and then the loop is repeated.

Crankin' on the dries
Despite the scary weather forecast, a slew of racers showed for registration and racing fun. The first Men's Expert to finish was Shawn Altizer with a time of 2:04:06. Altizer took 2nd overall in the 2004 Holly River Revenge.

No stranger to the racing world is professional mountain bike racer and XTERRA competitior, Kristy Mantz of Team Snowhoe/ who finished first for the Expert Women with a time of 2:42:03.

We invite you to send in your race report! e-mail us and we'll post your story.