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NW Cup #3 Race Report

NW Cup #3 Race Report

Race Report: NW Cup #3 Skibowl, Mt. Hood
Jun 24, 2014

by Eric Ashley

Thank you Eric for a great photo roundup!  For more of Eric's pictures go to www.ericashley.com

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Kole Wetherell (Pro Men) skimming over jagged sheets of rock at the top of Skibowl.

Stop number three on the NW Cup brought racers to Skibowl at the base of picturesque Mt. Hood. Skibowl is a familiar stop for the NW Cup bringing dramatic views, fast descents, rooty forests, and rugged boulders. With plenty of sun and parking lot camping available for $5 a night, the days were primed for another great weekend of Northwest mountain bike races.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
A still and peaceful mountain after practice on Friday night.

The majority of the top course consisted of Cannonball, a blisteringly fast double track that sweeps down the side of the Upper Bowl. Pro/Cat 1 racers would take a ridge-line route full of craggy steeps to get here, while Cat 2 racers pinned through a road of gravel and baby heads to the crest. From the junction Cat 3 racers would take a more mellow, albeit very loose, gravel road to the middle of the mountain where all three courses would briefly merge along the High Road. A fast pedal through the gravel would spit Cat 2/Cat 3 riders onto Upper Gnar Gnar for a section of sweeping berms, while the Pro/Cat 1 course headed into Arrow Trail, the granite bouldered heart of the course.

Ski Bowl Mt Hood.
Fun riding whichever direction you head, but the views were certainly unequal.

Arrow Trail is packed full of boulders, tight squeezes, and a substantial rock drop to provoke and impede racers as they power through. While a few crashes and several close calls occurred beneath the gaze of the spectators/hecklers serious injury was avoided.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
The inevitable traffic jam during the morning commute.

Out of the granite and into the close embrace of the aptly named Woods Trail. The Cat 2 course would follow into the forest to take advantage of the roots, ruts, and turns while the Cat 3 course continued through fern covered glades. Concluding with a fast pedal to the bottom and you have the recipe for an awesome weekend of mountain bike racing at the foot of Mt. Hood.

Stop number four of the NW Cup will head to Silver Star during the BC Cup event in July as part of this year's exchange between the two organizers.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Waiting room with a view. Zach Jones (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ) meditates before the seeding runs on Sunday morning.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Sharp rocks slabs and steeps greeted Pro and Cat 1 riders along the Ridge Trail at the start of the course. Spencer Graf (Pro Men).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Jake Grob (Pro Men).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
It's doubtful that any of the racers had time to admire the backdrop of Mt. Hood as they rushed past. Anthony Evans (Pro Men).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Nikolas Clarke (Pro men) charges the steep pitch that separates the Ridge Trail from Cannonball.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Corey Craig (Pro Men).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Cannonball was in top shape with large crisp berms. Luke Carrol (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ) during a practice run Saturday.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Cannonball gets right to business by throwing on the speed right out of turn one. Caleb Doane (Pro Men).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Fast riding all the way on Cannonball.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Joseph Rager II (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Matt Orlando (Pro Men) jumping through an idyllic alpine scene with all the trappings for a postcard.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Jaime Rees (Pro Women) showing why she would be claiming podium number one at the end of the day.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Not everything is singletrack. Trevor Altizer (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ) pedals through the gravel road transition.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Alex Wynakos (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ) immune to the cheering and jeering.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
A view from the spectator boulders. Benjamin Vanveen (Cat 1 Men 0-1Cool .

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Nathan Cheyne (Cat 1 Men 19-29) fights to maintain control on Arrow Trail.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Course boulders seen doing double duty as rider obstacle and spectator barriers. Anthony Leonarduzz (Pro Men).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Nick Anzalon (Cat 1 Men 19-29) feeling the pinch of some good old Oregon granite.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Nic Rodgers (Cat 1 Men 0-1Cool .

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Practicing lines. William Flyod (Cat 1 Men 19-29) getting in a final practice run on Saturday.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Spectators doing their part to speed racers on their way.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Bryan Crum (Pro Men) sports a, hard to see, large grin through Arrow Trail.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Nicholas Dumas (Cat 1 Men 30-39).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
A patch of pristine loamy dirt between the roots and ruts. Andrew Vestl (Cat 1 Men 30-39).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Into the woods, a racer starts in on the bottom half of the course.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Austin Larson (Cat 1 Men 30-39).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Jeff Scherer (Cat 2 Men 30-39) provides some entertainment for the alpine resort crowd.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Taking a spin through Gnar Gnar. Tim Smith (Cat 2 Men 19-29).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Brian Gisle (Cat 2 Men 30-39).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Derek Gener pulls away after taking over John Davis on Gnar Gnar (Cat 2 Men 19-29).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Jared Watson (Cat 2 Men 19-29) goes down after his front tire strayed a little ways from the trail.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Getting air off a small section of jumps on Gnar Gnar.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Matthew Pullen (Cat 3 Men 19-39) demonstrates the dance of his people through the ferns and glades of Mt. Hood.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Michael Buckley (Cat 2 Men 0-14) riding beneath a sun halo that floated over the course most of the day.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Three thing you need for an excellent run: trees, dirt, and sun. Zach Seivy (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ) putting in the practice runs on Saturday.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Catching air and an errant beam of light through the Cat 1/Pro course.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Bill Kieffer (Cat 2 Men 50+) riding for a 2nd place win in his category.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Harry Head (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ) nicely clearing the precarious log drop.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Jason Queen (Cat 1 Men 40+) airing through the Cat 1/Pro course.

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
Pro Men (1st-3rd) Bryn Atkinson, Luke Strobel, Sid Slotegraaf plus (4th-10th).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.
(1st-2nd) Jaime Rees & Adrian Hopkins (Pro Women).

NW Cup 3 2014. Ski Bowl Mt. Hood OR.

(1st-3rd) Nic Rodgers, Louis Mollet, & Zach Sedivy (Cat 1 Men 0-10).

See you next year!

 

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