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NW Cup #3 Race Report

NW Cup #3 Race Report

Here is a great recap of last weekends race by the talented photographer Eric Ashley as posted on Pinkbike
NW Cup Round Three, Mt. Hood Skibowl, OR - Race Report
Jun 1, 2016
 
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Austin Lancaster starts in on the top of the Cat 1/Pro course during Saturday's practice (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ). Mt. Hood Skibowl perfectly pairs challenging terrain and impressive views to deliver a unique venue.

Round three of the NW Cup brought racers to Skibowl, where the little resort at the footstep of Mt. Hood was just getting operations up and running for the season. Winter’s hold had nearly finished evaporating, but reports of a little snow on Friday’s practice and a cold start to Sunday’s race made it clear that early season riding was the name of the game.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
 
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Top: Luke Strobel was on point all weekend, seeding second and then taking first on Sunday (Pro Men).

The added moisture in the dirt made for a pleasant change for Skibowl, as it's customarily a full-on dust bowl by the time the NW Cup rolls through. Riders were quick to note that the dirt over the weekend was the fastest experienced at Hood in years.

It no doubt helped that Skibowl’s trail crew had been hard at work leading up to the race, and shaping and tuning were evident across the mountain. Even the more technical Ridge Trail and Arrow Trail underwent some upkeep since 2015 — making the trails still faster after piles of scree were cleared and rock faces were cemented together to combat erosion.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
 
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Elaine Bothe sampling Skibowl's new trail (Cat 2 Women Open). Both placed second for the weekend.

The trail work didn’t stop there, and the biggest change this year was the addition of a new section of single track on the Cat 3 course. A course that has earned a bad rep in previous years for the miles of dirt road racers pedaled down. With this latest addition, Cat 3 racers spent only half a mile pedaling the road and the rest of the time riding sweet, sweet, trail.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Gavin Stanton's run on Sunday placed him in first for his second podium finish of the season (Cat 3 Men 0-10).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Torsenn Brown putting in fast laps on Saturday (Cat 2 Men 19-29).

A number of the regular NW Cup faces were absent for round three, instead choosing to test their racing mettle at round two of the Pro GRT at Mountain Creek, NJ. Despite the overlap, the turnout at Skibowl was robust and racers were excited as new battles for the top emerged.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Scott Tucker and the NW Cup crew heading down the Cat 3 course along the remaining road portion.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Todd Huhman linked together a clean run on Sunday to take third - his first podium finish (Cat 2 Men 30-39).

A little start-of-the-season adversity did surface on Saturday when the lower lift ceased operation for about an hour. Riders were cleared from the chairs quickly, but the delay fell in the middle of the Cat 1/Pro practice times. When that evening's seedings were cancelled due to an equipment fault, the mob of Juniors and Pros arranged a large train down the mountain - there was some rumor of crashes, but nothing was substantiated. With the system returned to peak performance, the seedings rescheduled to Sunday morning.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
 
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Brandon Porter (Cat 2 Men 19-29).

Heavy clouds greeted Pros and Juniors as they made their way to the summit. The brisk weather left racers eager to hit the course and riders proceeded to charge the course in swift succession. Joe Rager was gunning for his first Juniors win, and his seeding time of 03:45.24 put him as the favorite to claim the top step. A little ways back was Austin Lancaster, who was closely followed by Delcan Ervin. All three were clearly hungry for the finish line.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Brad Delzer getting an early start to Saturday's practice (Cat 1 Men 40+).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
 

Leading into seedings, Jaime Rees' practices were plagued with mishaps that left her off her game going into Sunday. But her seeding run brought everything back inline. She was once again attacking the course and bounding past the competition. Seeding second for Pro Women was Kerstin Holster who put in a solid run, passing Christy Graves. Kjersti Christensen seeded third following a crash on Cannonball. An aggressive seeding run from Kent Billingsley showed he was planning to add his third NW Cup win to his career accomplishments. Billingsley's time of 3:32.02 lead Luke Strobel's by .71 second. Matt Orlando brought in third followed by Dale Russell and Brandan Bohl.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  This signature rock-slab on the Ridge Trail saw plenty of changes for 2016 - some substantial maintenance left things running smoother and faster. Mitchell Bryan (Cat 1 Men 19-29).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Jake Grob and Matt Orlando (Pro Men).

With seedings finished, the regular schedule resumed with Cat 3 racers taking to the mountain. Their long course demanded considerable pedaling and plainly came down to a competition in endurance — for context, the fastest Cat 3 time came in at 08:00.01. The Cat 2 course struck a balance between tech and length, but here too, a rough pedal section left many riders gasping. The Cat 1/Pro course is definitely Skibowl's gem. The high-speed technical course begins with a craggy transfer along the ridge before racers plummet into Cannonball above the rock gardens on Arrow Trail.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Kent Billingsley had his best Skibowl finish to date, taking second by a thin margin behind Luke Strobel (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Clean sweep - Kialani Hines delivered her third win of the season. (Cat 1 Women Open).

Throughout the day the rough terrain did its part to rain down crashes and mechanicals — many riders passed sporting a dash of dust or complaining that racing without a chain isn't as easy as it looks on TV. This fundamental uncertainty in racing is a hard wild card to deal with when an otherwise pinned run gets derailed into the trees. This was especially true for the Juniors, who saw a number of crashes right in the main heckle zone. Among them was Joe Rager whose fifth place finish fell short of the morning's promise. Claiming the top step was Austin Lancaster who delivered a clean run ahead of Sylas Linnemann and Ethan Lieb of Jr Progression Racing (this was the first Junior podium for either of the team mates). Dawson Ingram filled out the winning circle with a solid run landing him in fourth.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  The Sombrero Czar put in a few appearances over the weekend but was absent from the seeding lineup come Sunday morning. Charlie Sponsel (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
 

Jaime Rees' stoke stuck around for the races, letting the Spokane teacher wrap things up with a 22 second lead. Kjersti Christensen recovered from her crash during seedings and took second ahead of Kerstin Holster and Christy Graves. A little reordering in the Pro Men ranks saw Luke Strobel taking his second win of the season just .39 seconds ahead of Kent Billingsley. Matt Orlando maintained third ahead of Alec Watts, who moved up from ninth. Brandan Bohl also maintained his position in fifth.

Full Results Here.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Not much to see. A delay in the lower lift operations left a large gap in the spectating opportunities as the majority of riders were stuck off the mountain for about an hour.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Randy Barton (Cat 1 Men 40+).

Even with the hiccups, upsets, and crashes to go around, sometimes early season riding is exactly what's needed to shake things up and remind us what we love about riding and racing. If you missed your chance to tackle the steeps, blistering speeds, and basalt tech that Skibowl offers, the NW Cup will return for round five on July 8-10.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Luke Strobel eating up the rock garden (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  The aggressive technical terrain at Skibowl traditionally agrees with Matt Orlando and this weekend was no exception as Orlando charged the course to earn third (Pro Men)
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
 
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  What to do when an equipment malfunction postpones seeding runs? Train down the mountain. Front to Back: Corey Craig, Jake Grob, Bob Stenson, and Adam Ransavage (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Training down Cannonball.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  That's a wrap for Saturday's practice.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Riders lineup for the lift to get their first practice run on the morning in.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Skibowl presented no shortage of work for these good folks as they kept rider's bikes running throughout the weekend.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
 
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Some of the lower trails on the mountain still had plenty of moisture. This patch of goodness was found on the Cat 2 course.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  The top of the mountain was shrouded in heavy clouds as Juniors and Pros made their way to seedings.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  West Coast Racing leaving its mark - Jaime Rees (Pro Women). Sylas Linnemann and Ethan Lieb attempt to stay warm (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  After ending his seeding run nearly nine seconds up, Joe Rager looked to be in good position to stand atop his first Juniors Podium by the end of the day.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Pierce Klinke (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Declan Ervin put in the third fastest seeding time for Juinors (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Jaime Rees battled with practice during the weekend, but her seeding run Sunday morning showed she was back on track at the front (Pro Women).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  An aggressive seeding run from Kjersti Christensen derailed on this wide berm on Cannonball (Pro Women).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Christy Graves (Pro Women).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Flying into the straightaway on Cannonball. Conrad Culleney seeded sixth (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Bob Stenson seeded just .03 seconds behind Culleney (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Jason Bohl (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Jake Grob, Matt Orlando, and Kent Billinsley (Pro men). Grob punched a DNF for seedings after he nearly wrecked in one of the fastest sections of Cannonball.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Luke Strobel put in a fast seeding time, but trailed .71 seconds behind Kent Bellingsley (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
 
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Geoff Walla heads back into the trees on the Cat 3 course. The large reduction in the road section of the course was a welcome improvement (Cat 3 Men 19-39).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  A first place finish by Caleb Ely indicates the new racer is right at home in the downhill scene (Cat 3 Men 11-14).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Camron Ratkoviak (Cat 3 Men 0-10).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Noah Green (Cat 3 Men 0-10).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Erik Brune pedals through Gnar-Gnar beneath a clouded over Mt. Hood (Cat 2 Men 19-29).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Torsenn Brown maintained a good lead over the pack and finished over 10 seconds up to take first (Cat 2 Men 19-29).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Mike Howe came in hard on this impact, but he was quickly on his way down Gnar-Gnar (Cat 2 Men 19-29).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Pedal! Pedal! Pedal! Shannon Mangano receives some good natured encouragement from the sidelines (Cat 2 Men 40-49).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Mitch Schmidt taking full advantage of the path of least resistance with this sneaker line (Cat 2 Men 40-49).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Todd Olson headed for second and his best finish of the season (Cat 2 Men 50+). Laura Delong headed to her second win of the season (Cat 2 Women Open).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Sarah Olsen missed second place by just .04 seconds (Cat 2 Women Open).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  It's always interesting to watch who has the smoothest lines through this section of tech on Fire Hydrant. Maximus Fray (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Matt Mangano (Cat 2 Men 0-14).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Riley Doyle ended Sunday with his first podium finish of the season (Cat 1 Men 19-29).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  The fresh layer of chicken wire was another sign that Skibowl had put in a lot of work leading up to this weekend. Rye Livingston (Cat 1 Men 19-29).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Mitchell Bryan (Cat 1 Men 19-29).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Mind the roots. While the Cat 1/Pro course is better know for speed and rocks, it also throws some roots into the mix on the lower mountain. Patrick Funk (Cat 1 Men 30-39).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Brad Delzer's extra runs as coach had him geared up to pin. Delzer finished nearly 30 seconds ahead of the group (Cat 1 Men 40+).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Kialani Hines and Kaytlin Melvin (Cat 1 Women Open). Hines rode the Stars and Stripes to victory for the third time straight this season.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Jr Progression Racing team had a good showing over the weekend with Sylas Linnemann beating out teammate Ethan Lieb to take second. This was the first Juniors podium for both. (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  The dust tells the tale. Declan Ervin's pursuit of a podium spot were dashed by crash up course on Sunday. (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Both Joe Rager (right) and Austin Lancaster (left) were battling for their first Juniors win over the weekend. Rager's seeding run indicated the day was his, but a hard crash before this rocky chicane knocked him back. Lancaster's clean run ultimately did the trick and put him to the top.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Kerstin Holster came third for her first Pro Women's podium.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Kjersti Christensen (Pro Women).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Jaime Rees weekend ended on a good note when she took her second win of the season (Pro Women).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Lots of love from the hecklers. Jake Grob (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Kole Wetherell first appearance of the season didn't go as planned after a crash on Saturday left him with little mobility in his knee. Wetherell still managed to place 15th (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Closer than planned. Luke Carroll (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Brandan Bohl (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Kent Billingsley and Matt Orlando (Pro Men). Both Orlando and Billingsley's fast runs all weekend showed that they have a lot in the tank for 2016.
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Fastest man down. Luke Strobel taking the win by .39 seconds (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  This shredder was pretty stoked with his raffle, even if it will take a little time to grow into.
 
Austin Lancaster Sylas Linnemann Ethan Lieb Dawson Ingram and Joe Rager Cat 1 Men 0-18 .
  Austin Lancaster, Sylas Linnemann, Ethan Lieb, Dawson Ingram, and Joe Rager (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  Lots of support from West Coast Racing for Jaime Rees "Teacher" and her win.
 
Jaime Rees Kjersti Christensen a nd Kerstin Holster Pro Women .
  Jaime Rees, Kjersti Christensen,and Kerstin Holster (Pro Women).
 
Luke Strobel Kent Billingsley Matt Orlando Alec Watts and Brandon Bohl Pro Men .
  Luke Strobel, Kent Billingsley, Matt Orlando, Alec Watts, and Brandan Bohl (Pro Men).
 
NW Cup Round Three Mt. Hood Skibowl OR - Race Report
  The NW Cup heads to Idaho next, but it will return to Skibowl July 8-10 for round five.

Click here to see the blog as it appears on Pinkbike!

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