After bookending the 2016 series finale and the 2017 series opener with two wet and wild races at Tiger Mountain, the Full Speed Ahead
Cascadia Dirt Cup presented by Shimano
headed south to soak in the characteristically fine weather of the mountain town on the water, Hood River. Situated on the Columbia just south of the border (Washington that is) Hood River offers a departure from the gray and green of the “traditional” Northwest and throws riders into a world of red dirt, dry duff, and generous heaps of breathtaking alpine expanse that is Post Canyon.
The CDC hosted a two-day race at Post Canyon last year and there was no question the CDC was destined for a return. This time though, it would be for a one-day “Clash on the Columbia” in near perfect conditions as racers were awarded hero dirt and "the best Post Canyon course to date" per Matthew Slaven.
Race day starts early. James Whitesides and Trey Wilson briefing volunteers and racers.
In most enduro races there is usually one stage that everyone hones in on as the most pivotal. It's the stage that can ruin your day or launch you onto the podium. Stage three was that stage for the Post Canyon Enduro. Consisting of trails Super D, Hidden and Borderline, it was the longest of the day and the most technical with baby heads galore and a steep rock garden waiting to buck you off your line like a rodeo bull.
Nate Furbee was building momentum after the stages one and two, but stage three proved pivotal.
Stage 4 was the short but oh-so-sweet Bladerunner trail.
Pro and Expert racers got an extra stage called Blue Car DH (stage five). While this trail has been used in races before it has been a while and it was mostly forgotten by locals and not thought of as a must ride trail. However, with its fast pace and sweeping switchbacks it may have earned itself a permanent stage in the years to come.
The race wrapped up on Mitchell's Ridge which is like a slingshot down a flowy bobsled ride with root sections to keep you on your toes. It's fast and fun but if you're careless you can go from hero to zero in the blink of an eye.
Post race priorities.
After a full day of racing Matthew Slaven edged out Neal Strobel for the victory in Pro Men and Kim Hardin cemented her status as the one to beat in Pro Women. Full results can be found here.