NW Cup Finals - Recap!

Aug 9, 2011
by Mike Estes  
Kyle Thomas, Chelsey Stevens-Henry, Matt Patterson and Mark Wallace Claim NW Cup Overall Titles For 2011

2011 NWCUP 5 - photo by Greg Tubbs Grubworks Media. More NWCUP photos at http grubworks.smugmug.com
Transition Racing's Charlie Sponsel may have been the last to sign up, but he is fast on track winning seeding and the race!

It's officially over for the 2011 NW Cup DH Series and with a real exciting points race unfolding on race day, I will do my best to break it down for you all. Seeding runs held some points for most classes. Before it even started only one class was decided, Women's Pro was won by Chelsey Stevens-Henry before she even got near the track...so I crowned her early in the morning and she sure seemed to smile a lot for the rest of the day. Junior Expert class had a pre-race shakeup with serious contender Kevin Littlefield (Big Tree Bikes) suffering a broken fibula in practice and opening the door for a chance for some hungry young men to earn a step. Canada's Mark Wallace has had a great racing season for Transition/Experience Cycling while he nabbed the fastest seeding time and securing the points needed to earn the 2nd NW Cup Overall Title for 2011. Vet Pro class is new again, small class of very fast 35+ pro caliber men, Dirt Corps Matt Patterson has earned the most NW Cup Overall titles since we started the series dominating the Cat 1 classes and has continued dominating for points earning his 4th overall title. Lastly the pro men's #1 points man was DropNZones Bryan Mullen (2010 Jr Expert Champion) in the morning before seeding started. After the first round of runs was finally posted, late to register Charlie Sponsel ended up with the fastest time for Transition Racing edging into Diamondback's Kyle Thomas much needed points. Project529's Eric Loney was on the hunt for as many points possible as he wants to dethrone Mr Thomas...in the end Bryan Mullen seeded 7th gave up some points and going into the final run Diamondback's Kyle Thomas would be the new virtual points leader.

Big Tree Bike's Kevin Littlefield has been trying to win the JR Expert title for the last 2 years, this year was his year. Instead he suffers the racer nightmare and suffers a broken fibula in practice. He confessed to me that next year, he is turning pro! Not bad for a 16 year old.

As the day progressed and races were either won or lost, it was obvious that the race community was embracing another great event. Sadly a report came to us that one bike was stolen, then another and another...my sincere sympathy to Gillian Funk, Dan Overman and Shawn Sinskie for your loss. It just makes me so angry and frustrated that someone would even do such an act. I hope the person is caught and the product returned.

FiveTen footwear stepped up and offered one racer an amazing chance to win a one year product sponsorship, hats, t's, sweatshirts and a couple pairs of shoes to have product support for 2012 race season and I decided to host the 'Rider In Need Award Contest' and lined up anyone wearing Five Tens to see who put the heaviest wear into their shoes. After 10mins of looking over 12 people's shoes, I cut it down to 5 guys. One kid's Sam Hills were duct taped together, another had holes and serious tread wear, lastly I inspect Bike Hub Racings John Henry shoes, huge hole, no tread, they smelled ferocious and his logos had literally fallen off. He is a trail advocate, race announcer for the All Gravity Series and won the FiveTen one year hookup! Congrats John!

Bike Hubs John Henry smells victory in the 'Rider In Need Award Contest' by FiveTen!

And now it's time to announce the race results. Junior Experts came down fast and it was Transition's Mark Wallace taking the race win and title! Vet Pro went even faster with three men. Bellingham's John Pitton announced his retirement to me as he finished 3rd, BrynInvent's Chris Bentley snags 2nd and Dirt Corps Matt Patterson secures the race win and his 4th overall title! Bike Hubs Chelsey Stevens had the pro women's title wrapped up long ago, but improved her race run time by 20+ seconds, not a bad feat when you're racing all by yourself. Lastly, dodging people on the track is not fun, but somehow Transition Racing's Charlie Sponsel bobbed and weaved enough to post the fastest time of the day for pro men's winning the big $500 check for the race! Diamondback's Kyle Thomas posted the second fastest time and DEFENDS his pro title and proves the Diamondback DH bike as legit and worthy of winning! Project529's Eric Loney masterfully earned a 2nd overall and low and behold rookie pro sensation Bryan Mullen climbed back into the game and earned 3rd place overall for his rookie pro season. CONGRATS TO ALL!

Pro Men's 2011 NW Cup Overall Champion Kyle Thomas defends and proves the new Diamondbike is made for championships, Project529's Eric Loney moves up into 2nd and DropNZone's Rookie Pro Bryan Mullen lands in third for the season.
Experience Cycling's Mark Wallace earns his first NW Cup Junior Expert Overall Title while Dirt Corps Nicholas Clarke earns a respectable 2nd and forcing a smile after learning his bike was stolen as Sequim local Blake Bryant for third.
Just like the beloved Fabien Barrel, John Pitton announced this is his last season racing. From all of us at the NW Cup we wish nothing but the best to John and his future endeavors.
After winning the NW Cup overall Kyle Thomas pulled a name out of the jar for a brand new Diamondback, any size, any model of the winner's choice. By the look on the winners face he is hyped. Huge appreciation to Jon and everyone at Diamondback Bicycles for supporting the series and the Evergreen Trail Alliance is getting a nice financial donation for the efforts!
Supporters of the NW Cup
Thank you to our many supporters this season!

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Race Results

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Thanks for reading my words and looking forward to next year's 2012 NW Cup series! (Will we be racing at the new Stevens Pass Bike Park?)

-Mike 'northwestdhdad' Estes


  • 5 0
 so bummed for kevin, as his neighbor ive seen his riding progress from the early stages of free ride to turning his focus on downhill racing. the kid is fast dedicated and one day will get his dream of turning pro. proud of you buddy. keep up the dedication
  • 2 0
 It was a great season! Thanks to Casey, Scott, Shawn, Petr, Mike, and all the other supporters and organizers for running an awesome event. Our racing community here in the NW is really something else, and if not for this event, then I know it wouldn't be anything like it is. To all the champions of their categories, congratulations, I know it takes more than just riding talent to win titles. You got to work hard, deal with injuries, spend hard earned money and be totally committed. My hats off to you guys. And then lastly, I just want to give a big shout out to my team, The Dirt Corps, our sponsors and the parents of the Jnrs for all the awesome support that flows so unselfishly. You guys rock!
  • 2 0
 sinskie had a bike stolen AGAIN??? and three bikes this season? damn! what has racing in the NW come to? congrats to chelsea, lucas, KT, mattpatt and john henry! they all deserve the wins and the schwag!
  • 2 0
 Time for Shawn to invest in some serious locks - that BLOWS!!!
  • 2 0
 It was my first season racing and thanks to the N-Dub cup I'm totally hooked! Can't wait to get a better bike and race again next year. Thanks to everyone who made the series possible!
  • 2 0
 Thanks Mike for the post race write-up. My brain is still a little scrambled. Had a great time this weekend, thanks to everyone who came out. See you at the Fall Down!
  • 1 0
 Scott, what is the fall down? Have you guys got another race coming up?? Smile
  • 1 0
 Not necessarily a race, but possibly????
The Fall Down is actually just a shuttle day with all the trails open.
  • 2 0
 Fall Down = YES!!!

Basically, it's a full-on shuttle day and IFO can't wait!!!
  • 1 0
 Oh. Duh. I did that last year. Such a fun day.
  • 2 0
 Look for two possibly this year
  • 1 0
 Nothing but love for the ODS!!!
  • 3 0
 I don't understand why they're giving out a snowboard at a bike race
  • 2 0
 let me explain... that there he is holding is a 2012 lib tech T.Rice 157! Lib Tech is based out of Sequim, Wa Shit aint even in stores yet- he should be stoked
  • 2 0
 Lib Tech is a very generous sponsor and I'm sure more than half of the riders switch to snowboards in the winter. Personally I think that is a completely stupid thing to do because bikes are way radder, but whatever. Just kidding BTW Those are sick boards by the way.
  • 1 0
 Lib Tech's are for punters.
  • 1 0
 Solid argument aside, I don't think I've heard Travis Rice described as such.
  • 1 0

yes ODS, DH'ers do slay pow during the winter (agreed)

Bonfire- dont even get me started...Lib Tech has more good woods, king of the hills, baker banked slaloms, OLYMPIC GOLDS, X-Games golds, Icer Air golds than you can even imagine.

Do you even Snowboard?

Please take your criticism elsewhere and return your 5150 to Big 5 Sporting Goods
  • 2 1
 I am a tech at a ski hill, lib techs, I repair libtechs like it is going out of style. Blown sidewalls, cracked cores, softest bases around, and edges, for their dedicated park board they tear out awfully easy. Had one instructor who mainly taught kids on blues and greens, went through 2 boards on warranty, on his 3rd he just sold it and bought something else. I would say Lib-techs were easily 60% of the major snowboard repair work I did last season. Their bases don't hold a decent structure or wax very well at all, just tooo soft.

I don't snowboard, I can snowboard, but I prefer to ski. I had a pair of Lib-Tech skis.

They are easy/fun to snowboard on, but the materials they use are garbage!
  • 1 0
 Hey bonfire, I hesitantly accept your opinion, but it would be sweet to keep this a positive page to go along with the feeling of the people who were actually there. Thanks for sharing, but you've made your point. Thanks
  • 1 0
 Copy that! WOOOOH DH RACING! Good Season, thanks for the pictures. Looked like fun!
  • 1 0
 actually...it was michelle benson who fought back from a pretty nasty crash on the last jump the day before...emily didnt crash
  • 1 0
 Damn!! You all look the same to us sometimes, even the lovely ladies. Sorry.
  • 1 0
 Next Year I'm Racing more for sure! Thanks to all of the great updates and making me feel connected from my desk! Keep up the great work Estes!
  • 1 0
 5.10 needs to hook me up. my shoes are a lot more roached then that guys....his soul is still connected!
  • 4 0
 Well if you were dead at birth, there's probably a reason your soul is disconnected!
  • 1 0
 HAHAHA +1 to you sir!
  • 1 0
 -1 to auto complete.
  • 1 0
 YEAH MARK! good job everyone!
  • 1 0
 so the womens winners are not worth talking about?
  • 1 0
 "Before it even started only one class was decided, Women's Pro was won by Chelsey Stevens-Henry before she even got near the track...so I crowned her early in the morning and she sure seemed to smile a lot for the rest of the day."

Sounds like there was only one racer in women's pro. Not sure how many were in the amateur classes.
  • 1 0
 Yep, only Chelsey for Pro Women and she was well addressed.
In the Cat 1 class, Dirt Corps took 1 & 2 with Karen O'Connell and Kat Sweet followed by Emily Smith in 3rd. Emily fought back from a pretty nasty crash the day before as well.
  • 1 0
 Kyle Thomas? As in the old Moderator?
  • 1 0

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