Held on a wet day in the middle of a Pacific Northwest summer, the fourth Fluidride Cup Series had a small attendance but still provided world class racing for those that did attend...with Fat Tire Farm contributing cash for the Men's purse and Fluidride covered the Women's purse it ended up being a 'Helen Keller Memorial' as several racers complained of bad vision. It was a knock down, drag out gun fight of a race.
Check out the results, photo's by Carl Warren and Aaron Gotthardt with a great video by Andy Tran after the jump!
First look, first light on race morning- Get your wet gear out and tear offs!
Maxxis Pro Cameron Cole of New Zealand
A racer attacking the Upper Bowl Rock Garden
The 4th FR Cup race returned to Mt Hood Ski Bowl
located just a short one hour east of Portland OR at the very base of the famous Mt Hood. If you have ever watched the movie 'The Shining' then you have seen Mt Hood's Timberline Lodge. But fear can come in the form of a DH track that is one mile long and serviced by 'old school' double chairlifts. Mt Hood Ski Bowl is a rustic, step back into time with a touch of nostalgia type place. And they know how to host the best bike races.
First Chair, Lower Bowl in the dreary Sunday Morning Fog
A racer going into the final stretch of the mile long course.
The secret is Petr Kakes and the Hurricane Racing Staff, they have 18+ years of ski and bike racing event skills, they provide large boards with plate #'s and start times, they record your finish time, they do the math and present your race time for everyone to see- they hide nothing, so if there is a mistake, they address it on the spot. I have been to a few DH races in my recent years and no race can compare, they run a tight, proper ship. Although, we did announce the wrong Women's Pro winner (it turned out Sara Johnson was the winner) but Chelsy Stevens quickly contacted us and alerted us of the mistake and everything has been repaired. Being flexible and attentive to detail is what makes this race series special to all those that attend.
Legend Speed Skiing Champion and NW MTB Bike Pioneer, Visionary Petr Kakes of Mt Hood Ski Bowl.
Wheelsport East's Kieth 'Mountain Man' Thompson putting a run to the clocks.
Pro Men headed up first for a seeding run to determine a fast running order and to give the (few) spectators something to anticipate. Clouds were coming and going making vision tough as the real 'Mtn Dew' would just collect like fog on your goggles within the first minute of your race run. With new lines up top and very challenging choices to make it became a real man's race. Maxxis/Rocky Mountain/Rockstar's Luke Stroble edged everyone posting the fast qualifier with a 4:04 to be the last man down, Transition/Dakine/Fox Racing rider Lars Sternberg was 8 seconds back...but 24 other pro's were going to throw in their own factors.
Speedy Beaver's Dawn Lambert entering the 'Cannonball' portion of the Mt Hood Ski Bowl DH Course.
Pro Women, all 5 of them, came down shortly after in one minute intervals. Velobella's Sara Johnson grabbed the lead over Amy Laird and set the stage for finals.
Jr Experts descended the mile long track and seventeen total racers gave it their all, but one young man had the run of the season, Evan Gilsdorf of Downhill Zone Racing with a 7 second win takes the first Oregon State Champion title. Jr Expert Results
1. Evan Gilsdorf Downhill Zone Racing/Canfield 4:38.74
2. Caleb Doane Spin Cycles 4:45.34
3. Brian Guse Dirt Corps/Transition 4:48.60
4. Justin Wyche Division26 4:50.34
5. Conner Mishalonie Team Mukai/TLD/Fox Racing Shox 4:51.55
Jr Expert Podium
The Expert-Cat 1 class then came down, class by class. Men 19-29 followed Jr Experts and low and behold the Gilsdorf Family gets another win, brother Tyler Gilsdorf has a miraculous run and destroys the field by 12 seconds taking two Oregon State DH titles back to the Puget Sound.Cat 1/Expert Men 19-29 Results
1. Tyler Gilsdorf Downhill Zone Racing/Canfield 4:28.66
2. Colin Tobin Plunder/Fanatik Bike Company 4:40.43
3. Chris Ginzton Team Psycho 4:41.04
4. Aaron Nactrab Team Robot 4:41.66
5. Casey Smith Downhill Coalition.org/Lifecycles 4:41.70
Cat 1/Expert Men 30-39 Results
Cat 1/Expert Men Podium
1. Jim Straatman Logo Bible Software 4:48.54
2. John Pitton Logos Research Systems 4:49.80
3. Jeff Rees Wheelsport East 4:50.86
4. Troy Hoff 4:53.89
5. Matt Patterson Dirt Corps/Transition/Nema 4:59.61
Cat 1/Expert Men 40+
Max Miller working hard to get back on the podium.
1. Brad Watt Evil Bicycles 4:33.52
2. Jason Moon Boone Dog Bikes 4:35.58
3. Jim Karn 4:49.50
4. Darrel Jamieson Project 529 4:57.57
5. Tom Cleveland 5.23.42
The Expert Women followed the men and all 5 women gave it their best. Wheelsport East/POW Gloves rider Chelsy Stevens ripped a time of 5:45.76 only a quarter of a second slower than Velobella Pro Sara Johnson, and Chelsy is moving up next year to race the pro women and will play a factor in upcoming races. Cat 1 Expert Women Results
1. Chelsy Stevens Wheelsport East/POW Gloves 5:45.76
2. Jaime Rees Wheelsport East 6:36.72
3. Cassandra Stamm Dirt Corps 6:37.09
4. Jennifer Jones 7:23.88
5. Shelby Reilly Shiloh Cyclery 7:46.94
Father and Daughter, Ed and Shelby Reilly of Shiloh Cyclery
Following the Cat 1 Expert Class is the Cat 2 Sport class. This class is the 'recreational' class and it's a good time to race without added pressure. I enjoy this class as it's for racers who just enjoy being at a bike race. I decided to list the champions of Cat 2 Sport in order to speed up the 'read factor' of this post.
Cat 2 Sport Champions by Age ClassSport Men 15-18 Champion
Dylan Justus of Oneal/Scott/SixSixOneSport Men 19-29 Champion
Cole Pruitt POW GlovesSport Men 30-39 Champion
Nick HansenSport 40+ Champion
Mike 'northwestdhdad' Estes Pinkbike.com/Cove/Dakine/Arrow
Sport 50+ Champion
Your MC and FR Cup Host, Racer and Pinkbike.com Editorial Contributor
Bill Kieffer Team PyschoSport 0-14 Champion
Kevin LittlefieldSport Women Open Champion
Hailey Southkoth Shilo Cyclery
And Hardtail Open Champion is Bryce Timm of SMX Optics/ODI Grips!
Beginner Class Champions Beginner Men 19-39 Champion
Steve WestenhiserBeginner Men 15-18 Champion
Mitch Davis Team TAI/Black Diamond RacingBeginner Men 0-14 Champion (and future World Champion)
Chase Jamieson Project 529 Beginner Women Open Champion
Ann Davis Team TAI/Black Diamond RacingBeginner Jr Women Champion
Adrianna Moroz Beginner Men 40+ Champion
Kim Floyd Team Pink
Mutoli Racing's Joy Mutoli injured her shoulder in training and opted to sit out a race. Get Well Soon!
Pro Women fought it out in a more lady-like style, absence from racing was Joy Mutoli of Mutoli Racing, she did some damage to her shoulder and had to become a cheerleader for her husband Ethan. One by one the women hit the line and here are the results:
1. Sara Johnson Velabella 5:45.38
2. Amy Laird 5:45.56
3. Dawn Lambert Speedy Beaver Racing 6:26.74
4. Britney White Race Face/26 Products 6:28.53
EDIT *Photo of Kyle Thomas Removed! (I used this photo without permission and the owner of the photograph wasn't very pleasant, so I removed it to prove a point that his sarcasm results in a negative return)Apologies to Kikopkau for using 'his' image and not providing a 'photo credit' Now no one gets to see Kyle Thomas pinned in the woods.
Women's Pro Podium
Now the final bout of the day is about to get underway- and in true fashion, Mother Nature stepped up the drizzle to legit rain. It was raining just hard enough to make roots and rocks slick, but not enough to penetrate the track, so the surface dirt stayed decently dry. One by one the Pro Men's field came down the mile long, lung burning, leg frying, arm pump from hell track. There were a few surprises and the results are amazing to review. Some of the NW legends have had a tough season and wanted to drive home with a serious accomplishment created personal pressure. Ezlon's Casey Northern was a regular visitor to last years podiums but has yet to get back up there...I know 2nd place qualifier Lars Sternberg did not plan to finish 15th, but that's racing. New Zealand's Cameron Cole has huge accomplishments on his bike and loves the race scene in the Pac-NW, his heart was in to win but poor visibility proved to be a factor.
Let it be known though, Intense Factory Rider Bryn Atkinson had the right stuff to win, he posted an amazing time of 4:08.45 to win the pro purse of $1000 USD (stimulus) bucks. First place qualifier Luke Strobel slides into second place with a 4:12.41 to nab the 'first loser' spot. All eyes are on 3rd place young gun Mikey Sylvestri of Santa Cruz/All Ride Academy as he laid down a smoking time of 4:14.67 that was 16+ seconds on 4th place and the rest of the men's pro field.
Bryn Atkinson (Intense/Crankbrothers) Pro Mens Oregon State DH Champion
Pro Men Results And Video by Andy Tran of Syndrome Racing.
Transition's Kyle Thomas just inches away from taking Bryn Atkinson's Gold Medal
1. Bryn Atkinson Intense/Crankbrothers 4:08.45
2. Luke Strobel Maxxis/Rocky Mountain/Rockstar 4:12.41
3. Mikey Sylvestri Santa Cruz/Allride Academy 4:14.67
4. Bart McDaniel Rvil/Fluidride 4:30.48
5. Eric Loney Project 529/SRAM 4:30.54
6. Boe McGee Go-ride.com 4:34.59
7. Kyle Thomas Transition/Team Ruth 4:35.39
8. Jon Wilson Northstar/Giant 4:35.55
9. Philip Weiring Fluidride/Evil 4:35.66
10. Nick Tuttle GoHuckYourself.com 4:35.91Fluidride Race Video: