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Sunday, May 27, 2007 -- Charleston, WV / Little Creek Park, Trace Fork Canyon
Race the Trace - WVMBA #5 (iPO Event Id#: 10026)

2007: [Photos] [Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results]
Past Coverage: [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005] [2006]

Story and photos by George Gannon

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Race the Trace photo by George Gannon
You can't talk about Race For the Trace without mentioning a short section of trail known only as The Rocks. Most of the Rock Ridge Trail at Little Creek Park in South Charleston is steep, narrow or a nice combination of both. But the Rocks, named because of the twisted, winding patch marked by several large boulders, is the perfect mix of super fast downhill and technical single-track. While some handled the section with ease, other's were forced to put their bikes on their shoulder and walk down the hill.

One of those who braved the section was winner Jeff Schalk (1:37:20). Jeff, who was in front for each of the four laps, won by more than a minute in the male pro/expert division. The 33-year-old Washington D.C. resident took home top honors in his first time on the course.

"I liked the course," he said. "The whole thing flowed really well."

Schalk said the rolling, 5.5 mile loop was fast enough to let riders build up a lot of speed, but had enough up and down to make it a challenge. Schalk's strategy for the race was pretty simple - get out fast and hang on. He went to the front of the pack directly after the coarse moved from the road to single track and never looked back.

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Race the Trace photo by George Gannon
Steve Hill (1:38:48) came in second and Andrew Wiedrich (1:39:38) came in third.

For the women, Betsy Shogren (1:59:08) came down from Dayton, Ohio and showed all the Mountain State folks that Buckeyes actually do know how to drive fast. She tore through the course in just under two hours.

Like Schalk, Sunday's race was her first time on the course.

"I love this course. It was really fast," she said. "This was one of my best days on a mountain bike."

Also like Schalk , Shogren said her goal was to get our front early and they hang on.

Amanda Sproat (2:13:34) finished second.