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Sunday, May 22, 2005 -- Charles Fork Lake - Spencer, WV
Tour de Lake - WVMBA Spring#6 (iPO Event Id#: 6749)
Story and photos by Heather Rau

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

Event Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004]

Photo by Heather Rau
Racers enjoyed the weather
Sunday, May 22 provided terrific conditions for the 12th Annual Aquafina Tour de Lake mountain bike race. Sunny skies, mild temperatures, a light breeze and a load of Mountain Bikers greeted me at my first Tour de Lake.

The beginning 200 yards took racers up a steep, narrow road to the lake. It was impressive to witness the skill and strength demonstrated, and luckily, there were no collisions. The start was over in a flash, then it was off to the lake for some racing fun. The race continued from the top of the hill, through the parking lot, then into the woods and onto the real racing.

Photo by Heather Rau
A Spencer traffic jam
While waiting for the first loop to finish up, my time was spent mingling with the spectators. It was discovered that this year, improvements were made to access the trails from the lake.

The local fire and rescue company worked with race organizers to clear trails from the course to the lake for easy access in case of emergency. Manned with two-way radios, the rescue team in a motor boat on the lake was prepared to assist anyone if needed. Additional safety team members were also placed throughout the course to better facilitate rescues. It's obvious that safety is top priority to the organizers of this race.

Photo by Heather Rau
Serious competition for WVMBA 2005 Spring Series
My crash-course in race safety was interrupted by T.J. Platt, Pro-Expert Men who took the lead and the win to finish with a time of 1.40.21. Steve Hill held his own to finish a strong second in 1.45.11. Joey Riddle took the third place spot at 1.47.30 to round out the top three Pro-Expert Men spots.

Cassie Smith placed first in the Expert-Women group with a time of 2.06.47. A little more than 8 minutes behind Smith was Mandi Riddle. Riddle took second in 2.14.30, and Christina Burkle finished third in 2.25.27 in the Expert-Women class.

Coming up... Don't miss the Volvo for Life Race the Trace (WVMBA #7) in Charleston, WV on Sunday May 29. Then WVMBA #8 rolls into June on the 12th with the Captn's Revenge Mountain Bike Race at New River Gorge, Fayetteville, WV. We'll see you there.