Kyle Thomas, Chelsey Stevens-Henry, Matt Patterson and Mark Wallace Claim NW Cup Overall Titles For 2011
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!
Thank you to our many supporters this season!
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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