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Sunday, April 14, 2002 -- Oak Hill, WV
Minden Mud Fest - WVMBA Pts. #2 (iPO Event Id#: 4784)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10] [Set 11] [2000 Coverage] [2001 Coverage]
See also full coverage from Saturday's Anguish at Arbuckle Downhill

Race Pic
Alan Moore crushes the rocks in Minden
A little rain and temperatures near 70 were pleasant conditions compared to the nightmare at the 2001 Minden Mud Fest. The ten mile loop course had its share of mud, roots, and rocks, but also plenty of fast, hard-pack, single and double track. As usual, the folks at the ACE Adventure Center did everything possible to make it a great venue. Even Oak Hill's Jeffrey Booth from local WOAY-TV4 was out to catch the action and interview some of the racers.

In the second WVMBA point series event for 2002, it was a battle at the front between Benji Klimas, Daniel Clay Evans, and T.J. Platt for the Men's Expert/Pro title. For the women, it was Missy Showman, Mandi Riddle and Sarah Crandall-Fletcher off the front.

Race Pic
The competition is heating up
For the men, the first lap and a half of the three lap main event had Klimas, Evans and Platt going toe-to-toe. But that's about all that Platt's back could handle as he was forced to drop off the pace. The Dirty Harry's/OST2 rider is anxiously awaiting a new ride as he grimaced at the finish, in third place at 2:46:51, and explained "the geometry of this bike just kills my back, I can't wait for the new one."

With Platt out of the picture for the final lap it was a duel between Klimas (Specialized/iPlayOutside.com) & Evans (Ridge Rider/World Wide Chiropractic) for the win. Evans seemed content to ride Klimas's wheel for much of the race until making his move on the final climb. His move stuck as he went on to win in a time of 2:41:07. Klimas took second with a time of 2:43:21.

As Klimas relaxed in a hot tub next to the finish line, we checked in with him about the race. On Platt, who finished ahead of both Klimas and Evans at the first WVMBA series event, "I had a score to settle with him from last week." What about Evans, who also finished ahead of Klimas at Mountwood? "Yea, he drafted off me today the whole way." Well, it looks like these guys will be going at it quite a few more times this season.

Race Pic
Ron "A True Clydesdale" Stanevich shows off his early season form
For the women the battle raged for second place honors as Missy Showman ran away with a big win finishing her three laps at 3:29:51. Meanwhile, after losing use of her front derailleur midway through the race, Sarah Crandall-Fletcher was spinning in her granny gear keeping pace with Mandi Riddle. "It was still all I could do to stay with her," said Riddle after the race.

In the end Riddle took advantage to get a little of her own pay-back from Mountwood and took off in the last mile of the race to claim second. The Fat Tire Cycle rider finished at 3:38:03 while third place Crandall-Fletcher reached the line at 3:39:24.

Plenty more competitive racing is already heating up the early WVMBA series competition for 2002. They'll all be back at it again on Sunday, April 21st, at the Valley Falls Challenge. And if you're looking for another good time at ACE Adventure Center, don't miss the Concho Classic 12 Hour Mountain Bike Relay on August 31st, where it's free to camp and it's free to spectate.