Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three: Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Jul 26, 2016
by Eric Ashley  



Round three of the Evil Cascadia Dirt Cup presented by Shimano gathered this weekend in the remote hills of the Yacolt Burn State Forest. You’ll be forgiven if you can't point to the area on a map, or if you haven’t heard about the collection of trails nestled less than an hour northeast of Portland. Historically, the area hasn’t been big on the mountain biking radar, but the region’s beautiful forests, lively trails, and dedicated trail builders are starting to change that. For the CDC, the Yacolt Burn has played a major role over the last few years and despite its remote location, it’s been one of the most frequented stops in the series.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  When you're climbing well over 4,000 feet in a day, a cool morning is very welcome.

2015's stop here brought unforeseen challenges when the weather decided a forecast for light morning showers really meant an all day deluge that left riders soggy and beaten. Fortunately in 2016, the weather was cooperating and conditions were dialed with a cool misty morning that faded to bluebird skies under a warm sun. As a result, the ranks of racers were packed for a full day of climbing and descending. Nothing is perfect though, and many south bound riders lost out on practice time Friday when the route from Seattle was slowed for hours after a back-to-back fire and trailer/overpass collision along the route.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Kristian Duft was surprisingly chipper after only a few hours of sleep (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

The 4,500 feet of climbing planned for Saturday would be the price of admission to four stages of fast and rowdy riding that featured sections of Grouse Vista, the Cold Creek Trail, and part of Thrillium — a course change Friday afternoon actually added the top half of Thrillium for an even grander race.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  It takes a lot of generous volunteers to put on a successful race.

Stage One served up mist shrouded trees, a dollop of slop, and an alpine meadow before racers finished charging down the fast straight aways on this never before raced section of trail. A short but rocky hike-a-bike brought riders back to the top before finishing Transition Two across the shale fields of the Cold Creek Trail. Stage Two opened with a techy descent into an optional log drop before this old-school section of trail continued snaking back and forth with sharp corners and a few unruly rock gardens that gave way to smooth berms into a clear cut.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Right: Josh Gibb demonstrates the merits of his electronic dropper post (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Stage Three started directly afterwards and took racers down a fast open descent that transitioned to a creek-side pedal with short punchy climbs and a notable rock garden at the end. From there it was a pedal to the top of Thrillium, the area's best know trail. This 2.6 mile descent sports plenty of downhill flavor, a large section of table tops, and some high speed rock gardens at the end.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Tune in for the freshest of dirt reports from James Whitesides.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Each year the CDC is made up of five stops, so round three is always an interesting time to start tallying points and looking ahead to the overalls. To mix things up in 2016, the debut North American Enduro Cup in June served as a bonus race — with racer's best 5 out of 6 races counting towards the overalls.

With that optional boost from the NAEC, Layton Meyers had a strong lead ahead of Gideon Bender and Alex Walker (Junior 17 & Under). Kim Hardin's claim to the top was undisputed with three wins in a row followed by Nikki Hollatz and Andi Zolton (Pro Women). And for Pro Men, a recent win at the NAEC put Logan Wetzel a respectable distance ahead of Craig Harvey and Nick Hardin. Last year's series overall winner Luke Strobel had yet to put in an appearance.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Once again, Nick Hardin slammed out the climbs on transition one to be first to the drop-in (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  A misty summit and a little slop was just the ticket to get racers going. Nate Hoch (Pro Men).

WIth so many rough stages, flat tires were a real risk and more than one podium-promising run was derailed by the dreaded walk or sad roll to the finish line — both Logan Wetzel and Matthew Slaven were taken out of the contending and Jimmy Cloherty endured a 50 minute walk down stage four. For those lucky enough to dodge any mechanicals, the favorable dirt conditions were ready to return fast course times.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Following a win at the bonus NAEC race in Idaho, Logan Wetzel started the weekend with a lead in series points (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Craig Harvey maintained a good pace throughout the day, losing a step on the podium by only a few seconds (Pro Men).

Layton Meyers once again put his fast and loose style to good use and claimed his fourth consecutive win of the season ahead of Gideon Bender, Brayden Buchanan, Daven Kuder, and Dylan Brown. Kim Hardin was off her game and ended the day 24 seconds behind Adele Mery. Janea Perry, Andi Zolton and Bekah Rottenberg brought up the rest of the Pro Women's podium. Tyler Littlefield and Erik Nilson took fourth and fifth for Pro Men, each earning their first Pro podium. First time CDC racer Nate Furbee finished third behind Nick Hardin and Luke Strobel lost no time heading back to the top for his first race of the season. Full results here.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Nate Furbee and Luke Strobel (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Alex Grediagin (Pro Men).

Restocked on food and beverages, a happy crowd of racers turned their attention toward podiums and some well deserved recognition to the Cold Creek Mountain Bikers for building and maintaining such high caliber trails — rumor has it that some of their volunteers spent the previous week weed whacking late into the night, using head lamps to make sure corridors were clear and safe.

This type of dedication is just one of the many reasons the CDC continues to be a successful series with a constantly growing tally of grins and cheers along miles of Cascadia's finest trails. If you haven't ridden at Yacolt Burn yet, it's time to add it to your bucket list. Up next the CDC heads to Bellingham to savor the trails at Chuckanut for Round Four on August 27.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Tobin Foulke pedals through a slightly soggy alpine meadow (Expert Master Men 30-39).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Dylan Wright (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Focus ahead, mud flying behind. Parley Ford puts in a determined stage one (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Like riding on dinner plates. Joy Ride Bicycles team members Erik Dukes, Cameron Sloan, and Tyler Littlefield make their way across the shale at the bottom of transition two.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Nick Hardin navigates the optional log drop on stage two. At the end of the day the Hood River rider took second (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  This rocky berm made a chunky chaser to the drop. Right: Nate Furbee (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Logan Wetzel carrying good speed at the top of stage two (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Erik Nilson linked together good runs across all four stages to nab his first pro podium.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Switching gears from downhilling, Matt Orlando carried an eighth place finish at his first CDC race (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  A slower start to the day didn't keep Tyler Littlefield from taking fourth and his first pro podium.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Tight racing in the Expert Veteran Men 40-49 class saw Jess Palacios take first less than a second ahead of Chad Gurney.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Matt Seemann likes his turns cooked extra well (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Alex Walker and Brayden Buchanan. Buchanan finished third (Junior Expert 17 & Under).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Layton Meyers put in the fastest junior times on all but stage one, ending him with a lead of over 20 seconds (Junior Expert 17 & Under).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Doug HIll (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Brian Piper delivered his third second place finish or the season on Saturday (Expert Master Men 30-39).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Anthony Palandri (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  A narrowly missed spill on this corner didn't keep Brandy Willie from finishing the day in third (Expert Veteran Men 40-49).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  The bottom of stage two transitions into a series of smooth linked berms as riders enter the clear cut. Jason Ding (Expert Master Men 30-39).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Josh Gibb followed up his win during the NAEC with a fifth place spot on Saturday's podium (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Nick Hardin and Logan Wetzel making the second major ascent of the day (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Nate Hoch possibly got a bit more air off of the Godzilla step-down than he'd intended (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Nick Hardin (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Scott Kemp enjoying the hang time (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Cheer long and cheer loud.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Luke Strobel heading to claim his spot back on the top of the podium (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Nate Furbee delivered his best time on stage four, we'd wager the downhill flavor of Thrillium played a part (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Ben Furbee (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Jacob Flinn clearing tables on his way to first (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  The tables section on Thrillium delivers hits one after the other in quick succession. More than one racer found themselves coming to terms with their trajectory. Anthony Palandri (Expert Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Recent Bend, OR transplant Alex Walker (Junior Expert 17 & Under) pulls over to let Jason Gainey (Expert Verteran Men 40-49) pass. Walker's flat on Thrillium snatched away what would have been a podium finish.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Erik Dukes (Expert Master Men 30-39).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  A good first CDC race from Chad Gurney landed him in second (Expert Veteran Men 40-49).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Janea Perry making quick work of the middle of Thrillium. Perry took third (Pro Women).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Plagued by flats. Both Matthew Slaven and Jimmy Cloherty didn't find the race they were looking for at Yacolt Burn (Pro Men).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Delia Massey (Expert Women).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Scrapes and bruises aside, Travis Holman had a solid day of racing and headed home with a second place finish (Sport Master Men 30-39).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Bekah Rottenberg and Adele Mery. Mery swept the board by putting in the fastest time on each stage (Pro Women).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Felling a bit off her game, series leader Kim Hardin still put together a second place finish (Pro Women).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Poster child for riding-and-smiling, Nick Lerma delivered his third second place win of the season (Sport Senior Men 18-29).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Erin Roe (Expert Women).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Agnes Sauvage (Sport Women) moves in for the pass behind David Bennett (Sport Super Veteran 50+) on upper Thrillium.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Out of the canopy cover in the woods, the sun shown down merrily by the end of the day.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Denied the spot at the top. Jessica Hatch came a close second to Agnes Sauvage, ending the day 1.85 seconds back (Sport Women).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Daniel Rodriguez (Sport Master Men 30-39).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Some extra curricular climbing on the final transition saw Kerstin Holster and Karen O'Connell making a late exit (Pro Women).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Alicia Wilder (Sport Women).

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  The Cascadia is strong with celebrity MC Lee Peterson.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Major race-prep contributors from the Cold Creek Mountain Biker's gathered for some well deserved recognition and to receive a check from the CDC.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Round Three Yacolt Burn - Race Report
  Nicholas Franzen collected an impressive amount of medals in the hardtail open category after dominating the field.

Adele Mery Kim Hardin Janea Perry Andi Zolton and Bekah Rottenberg Pro Women .
  Pro Women Podium: Adele Mery, Kim Hardin, Janea Perry, Andi Zolton, and Bekah Rottenberg.

Luke Strobel Nick Hardin Nate Furbee Tyler Littlefield and Erik Nilson Pro Men .
  Pro Men Podium: Luke Strobel, Nick Hardin, Nate Furbee, Tyler Littlefield, and Erik Nilson.


MENTIONS: @ericashley / @shimano



Must Read This Week

24 Comments

  • + 10
 Great coverage! Looking forward to attending a CDC this year.
  • + 7
 Congrats to Tyler Littlefield on the Pro Podium! Hopefully many more to come!
  • + 2
 Fastest oly shredder much props'
  • + 8
 Nice write-up and pictures @ericashley !
  • + 7
 Great event and coverage. Thanks CDC and Eric Ashley
  • + 5
 Terrific variety and quality of shots @ericashley ! Feeling like I missed out on this one... thanks for the FOMO Wink
  • + 5
 Thanks all! I had a great time reading through the comments. Made my day for sure!
  • + 5
 The coverage of these local events rivals that of the EWS and WC DH. Excellent work!
  • + 2
 Rode up to that 'Godzilla' step-down a week earlier. Looked at it. Walked back up the hill, rolled up to it again. Then rolled over the top and thought 'no damn way'. These guys in the photos are boosting it!
  • + 3
 its pretty easy once you send it. If you hit the little squirrel catcher before it with no problem you got it!! It's def a mental thing, took me awhile to hit it but now that section flows so much easier. You can do it!!!
  • + 2
 @Holstermx26: thx - maybe next time. Nice sunset step-down photo BTW!
  • + 1
 @twozerosix: thats on Godzilla! haha thanks Big Grin That trail is so darn fun. Glad to see more people enjoying it.
  • + 5
 That Joy Ride Bicycles Team is becoming a force to Wreckoned with...
  • + 3
 Excellent write -up! Makes me really want to take a trip down to Yacolt Burn
  • + 1
 The bloke riding the sc hightower (Tobin Foulke), where can I get one of those bum bags to hold an extra bottle? preferably as minimal as possible..
  • + 2
 Checkout the source outdoor hipster lack. It has a bladder in t and can hold up to 1.5 l and has some room for any tools or anything as well
  • + 1
 CORRECTION: Matt Salladay was mistakenly identified as "Doug HIll (Expert Senior Men 18-29)."
  • + 2
 What was the hardtail dude riding? --Nicholas Franzen ?
  • + 1
 I believe it's a steel 2002(ish) Rocky Mtn xc style hard tail frame with custom paint and V-brake bosses removed. Fox 34 (straight 1 1/8" steerer) held on by one stem clamp. Nick's normal trail bike suffered a frame crack during the Trans BC race, so he slapped the hardtail together. He's pretty darn fast on a hardtail!
  • + 2
 Nice looking trails! Good job.
  • + 2
 Nice pics and write up! Always a treat when these pop up.
  • + 1
 I believe it's a steel 2002(ish) Rocky Mtn xc style hard tail frame with custom paint and V-brake bosses removed. Fox 34 (straight 1 1/8" steerer) held on by one stem clamp. Nick's normal trail bike suffered a frame crack during the Trans BC race, so he slapped the hardtail together. He's pretty darn fast on a hardtail!
  • + 1
 Wow, excellent coverage of a sweet looking CDC race! Would love to try those trails some day!
  • + 2
 sick neck-turn in the cover photo. owl steeze

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