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Sunday, September 16, 2007 -- Rio Grande, OH / Bob Evans Farm
Bob Evans Farm Fall Festival Cross Country (iPO Event Id#: 10161)

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

Results: [2004] [2005] [2006]

Bob Evans... down on the farm, mountain bike style!?

Bob Evans Farm MTB photo by JR Petsko
Bob Evans MTB photo by JR Petsko
Story and photos by JR Petsko

Sunday marked my first trip to the original Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio for the annual Bob Evans Farm Fall Festival Cross Country Mountain Bike Race. Unsure about what to expect as I rolled up to the event area, it was exciting to see such a wonderful venue. The course was unimaginable, loaded with killer single track, steep climbs, and super fast down hills. The great weather topped it off. Temperatures were in the mid-seventies and the day beamed with more sunshine than you could shake a stick.

The event kicked off with a 2-lap Kid's Race around a beautiful pond located near the registration area. Little ones huffed and puffed their way around the course with huge smiles on their faces. Could they be future mountain bike stars? I'd bet on it.

When the tikes finished it was time for the main event. Experts would ride 3-laps of blazing fast single track before crossing the finish line. Sport riders would take the same route as the experts, but only complete 2-laps on their way to the line.

Bob Evans Farm MTB photo by JR Petsko
Bob Evans MTB photo by JR Petsko
Riders took off from the line and newly crowned 2007 WVMBA Pro/Expert Series Champion, Steve Hill, cranked to the front. Hill was followed by three Athens, OH riders. Pete Kotses, A.W. Matters, and Robert West were gunning for Hill, a Charleston, WV rider. After the first lap it was clear that Hill had a lot left in his tank after finishing a long WVMBA Series season. He packed time on all riders behind him, continuing to pull away with every rotation of his pedals. The pack behind him became to a tight race for the top spots between the Athens' riders.

Standings didn't change much in the order of riders after the second lap. With just one lap left to go it was Hill's race to lose, and that's something he has done little of this whole season. Crossing the line first Steve Hill took the overall victory.

When asked how he felt about the race and Hill said, "After an unbelievable season for me it feels great to comeback to a race I won four years ago to finish off the season. They do such a great job putting on this event. I hope I can make it back here in 2008!"

Bob Evans Farm MTB photo by JR Petsko
Bob Evans MTB photo by JR Petsko
Kotses was able to hold off his Athens Bike Shop teammates to take second overall. A.W. Matter would take third in the Pro/Expert class followed by Robert West.

The Junior Class saw another WVMBA Series Champion take the win. Matt Schumaker was able to hold off Evon Jenks for the win in his class.

Clydesdale racer, Joe Finch, took first followed by Rick Pauley in second and Stephen Warden in third. Steve Schumaker son won his class and so did his son. He (Dad) took the win over Alan Szaerauski in second with Buddy Langdon in third. Randy Stemple took home fourth.

James Schulz ruled the Master's Class crossing the line first followed by Russell Clarke, and David Blommer. Ellen Gerl took home the women's sport victory and Derek Spurlock finished first in a large beginners class.

After the race everyone was in for a treat. Being that this was Bob Evan's Farm, sausage was on the menu, and boy was it good. Everyone at the BEF volunteer team did such a great job of putting on a first class event.

I hope to see you all again next year down on the farm.