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Sunday, September 6, 1998 -- Coopers Rock State Forest, Morgantown
Henry Clay 30K
Story and photos by Dave McKain.

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [Results] [Pics Set 1] [Pics Set 2]

Ryan Hobbs, like many others,
found tubes to be a hot commodity
While many in Morgantown took the morning of Sunday to recover from Saturdays football game and the associated festivities, a few hundred hardy souls decided to brave the rocky terrain of Coopers Rock state park for the Henry Clay 30K MTB race. For those who decided to pull double duty by both tailgating the day before and racing, it wasn't long before the 3 mile road climb from the Henry Clay Furnace parking lot would accentuate any lingering effects from imbibing the day before. The road climb served to spread out the pack from the mass start before sending them down the fast and dry Scotts Run for some single track fun. As has been said before in MTB riding/racing in West Virginia, what goes down must come up, which means that for every fast downhill there must be a grueling uphill somewhere close. This was definitely the truth at the Henry Clay 30K. The fast singletrack downhills were almost always coupled with uphills strewn with loose rocks and hidden roots. The word for the day was "@#*$&" as many riders were heard to say as they realized that they no longer had pressure in one of their tires. While no snakes were spotted during the race (a few rattler spottings were reported by those riding Coopers in the weeks prior to the race) they were definitely hiding amongst the rocks and crevasses of the course and seemed to snack on many a passing tire. As any Boy Scout will tell you, it is best to Be Prepared. Although it may not have helped preserve a win, having a patch kit and pump (or more than two CO2 cartridges) would have definitely saved some a walk back to the finish. The rough terrain also contributed to the catastrophic failure of a few chains which, while OK on the downhills, were no fun on the uphill sections.

Sue Haywood breaks out the full suspension for Cooper's rocks
Missy Showman won in the Womens Expert class over Sue Haywood (Blackwater Bikes). While the race was close (about 30 seconds) at about the halfway point, Sue experienced biomechanical problems and fell far behind Missy for the finish. Kyle Dixon held off Gunnar Shogren (DBR) and Ryan O'Connor (Mongoose) to win in the Mens Expert class with a time of 1:32:13, more than 2 minutes ahead of Gunnar (1:34:56) and 9 minutes ahead of Ryan (1:41:40). Bill Lane (1:09:34) continued his dominance in the Masters class with a 1.5 minute win over Michael Offut (1:10:09).

Drew Smithberger (1:50:08) continued on pace to win the WVMBA points series with a win in the Mens Sport class followed by Scott Young (1:55:40) and Randy Gibbs (1:58:17). In the Heavyweight Division (Clydesdales), Shawn Kennedy (1:05:14) took home a set of Michelin kevlar bead Wildgripper tires for his efforts followed by Adam Klimas (1:11:24) and Ron Stanevich (1:13:24). E.J. Sigety won the Expert Vet class with a time of 1:43:51 over Bryan Sterns (1:47:02) and Allen Moore (1:50:55). In the Junior Expert class, Jonathan Martin (1:48:43) put a hurtin' on the rest of the field by almost 10 minutes. Behind Jonathan were Drew Morse (1:58:01) followed closely by Pete Knepper (1:58:11).

Morgan Wickline is all smiles on his way to winning the Jr. Sport class
Winners in other classes were Morgan Wickline (Sport Junior - 1:06:25), Sharon Neeld (Sport Women - 1:14:02), Rick Michael (Sport Vet - 1:12:25), Kevin Leyh (Beg. Men - 1:00:09), and Crista Ross (Beg. Women - 1:26:43).

From the mood on the course and after the race it seemed that everyone had a fun time. No serious injuries were heard of and, with the exception of the aforementioned mechanicals and flats, no serious mechanical failures were seen. With only 2 races in the WVMBA series remaining, individual class competition is starting to become a bit more interesting with close competition in all but a few classes.

Grunting it out to the finish
in the big ring? (NOT!)
Notes (i.e. more ramblings from Dave):

The current WVMBA points series results (official) received by WVOutside show totals counted from all races. While the unofficial results from WVOutside have been being calculated from the best 5 races in the past (we apologize for any confusion) our current standings are calculated as the best of 7 races. The official word from WVMBA is currently "Five (5) races to qualify and best seven (7) scores counted, including double points for the final (Big Bear) for a possible 80 points (6 first places - 60 pts + first in final race - 20 pts). With double points for the final race, no one has a lock on first place and 30 points are up for grabs over the next two weeks. If you would like, WVOutside can put your sponsor(s) names (within reason) next to your name but, we cannot read your mind so you need to send e-mail to us (mckain). WVOutside will be travelling to Tucker County the weekend of Sept. 12 to cover the Tour of Canaan, the 11th race in the WVMBA series so look us up and say hi.