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Saturday, September 15, 2007 -- Elkins, WV / Dailey, WV
Cheat Mountain 100 - WVVUS #4 (iPO Event Id#: 10094)

2007: [Photos] [Details] [Coverage] [Photos] [Overall Results] [2006 Results]

Cold Weather on Cheat Mountain

Morgan Miller photo by JR Petsko
Morgan Miller photo by JR Petsko
Story and photos by JR Petsko

Cheat Mountain, just south of Elkins, West Virginia, provided a challenging route for round four of the West Virginia/Virginia Ultra Series (WVVUS) sponsored by Cannondale. A hard rain the day before wet the course and slicked things up for racers. Temperatures peaked around 45 degrees by race time elevating the level of difficulty from high to mega. It was going to be a tough day for all.

The course left from the valley and headed straight uphill for 12-miles to the top of the mountain.

Leading the way up the climb was 17-year old Morgan Miller. He used all of his climbing ability to open a gap between himself and the rest of the field. Before the rest of the pack ventured into the dense forest of Cheat Mountain, Miller had distanced himself considerably.

Miller was followed into the single track by series point leaders Benji Klimas, Andy Weidrich, Juan Martinelli, Aron Yvetta, and Craig Watson.

Cheat MTN 100 photo by JR Petsko
Cheat MTN 100 photo by JR Petsko
At the second check point Miller continued to pull away from the rest of the field. He's riden great all season, winning the junior expert title in the WVMBA series. Klimas continued to chase Miller, but could not seem to catch the flying youngster. Andy Weidrich was riding strong until a series of wrong turns put him well behind the leader. As the riders disappeared into the forest once again, I made my way to the finish area to see if Miller could hold off the riders behind him.

While waiting at the finish the cold temperatures began to affect everyone waiting for the riders. Hence, a fire was built to keep everyone warm. Warming my feet by the fire, I wondered how it was affecting the racers out on the course.

The first rider came in to view. It was Miller. He took the overall victory in 4-hours and 6-minutes. Miller rode out in front the whole day and earned a well deserved spot next to the fire.

Klimas crossed the line 12-minutes later in second (4-hrs. 18-min.). Juan Martinelli took third (4-hrs, 33-mins.). Aron Yvetta and Craig Watson rounded out 4th and 5th.

In the team category Drew "I can do a wheelie" Smithberger and Anne Grey finished in 8-hours and 16-minutes. Drew will kill me for writing this, but if you are wondering about the "I can do a wheelie" part, Drew was doing a wheelie at check point two when his brakes failed to work.

Let's just say he hit the ground hard.