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CDC Round 3: Rainier Enduro

Aug 18, 2014
by Trey Wilson  
CDC Round 3 Rainier Enduro

The Rainier Enduro venue has been on the bucket list for the CDC organizers since the series inception. The Highway 410 corridor trails, just outside Mt. Rainier National Park, are known for their big climbs and ripping descents all in a lush, old growth forest environment topping out at 5400' from the valley below. The trails in the area are rooted deep in the history of mountain biking in Washington state and considered hallowed ground for many people who have been riding them since the times of fully rigid steel frames armed with cantilever brakes. The CDC, in collaboration with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, worked diligently with the National Forest Service for over a year to to bring this enduro to fruition. James Whitesides, race director, stated "it has been a long road but worth every ounce of energy to get to this point."

Many people didn't know the race was almost cancelled when a nearby forest fire from a lightning strike threatened the area and closed down all the trails earlier in the week leading up to the race. Luckily, a summer rain storm moved in midweek and helped contain the blaze and after two days of constant rain the loose, dusty trails turned into grade-A hero dirt.

There was lots of nervous excitement as riders checked in with 5700ft of climbing/descending over 25 miles in front of them.

CDC Round 3 Rainier Enduro
Transition 1 up the Ranger Creek trail was brutal.

The Pro Men race was incredibly tight. So tight in fact, Adam Craig (pictured) and Lars Sternberg were tied going into stage 3. Each had dropped a second to each other on the first two stages. Miraculously, they threw down the same exact time for stage 3 resulting in a cumulative time tie. The CDC rules state the tiebreaker goes to the racer who had the fastest last stage. If the last stage is a tie i'ts the fastest in the preceding stage. Adam edged out Lars by a second on stage 2 and took the victory.

CDC Round 3 Rainier Enduro
Lars Sternberg leading out the Pro field on stage 1.

Nicholas Franzen on his way to 5th in Expert Senior.

Jason Konieczka of Epic Racing through the moss covered trees.

It was nice to see the Veteran (50+) category stacked. Rick Ceccanti pushing hard.

Just one of the 30+ volunteers that helped pull off a great day.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Rainier Enduro
Emmye Cahn on her way to 2nd in Sport Female.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Rainier Enduro
The trails on Stage 1 and 2 had some very tight tree sections. Blake Rollins squeezing through.

A tame section of the Palisades Trail, which made up stages 1 and 2.

Cascadia Dirt Cup 2015 Schedule Release
XC Pro Russell Stevenson finished a respectable 10th with his first foray in the enduro format.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Rainier Enduro
Rosara Joseph put the hammer down in the Pro Women field and took the win by almost 2 minutes.

Amy Josefczyk 2nd in Female Sport Masters.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Rainier Enduro
Lee Peterson using a grooved horse trough on stage 3 as a berm. Lee is also the "voice of the CDC" and handles all the MC duties.

Laura Ogden cruising through stage 3 and into 2nd place in the Pro Women field.

Scott Funston, 2nd in Junior, lines up his entry into one of the many tight switchbacks on stage 3.

Brian Flynn coming in hot to another switchback.

13 year old Gideon Bender keeps showing up in the "keep" pile of pics.

Cascadia Dirt Cup Rainier Enduro
Mathieu Denuelle of GL6 Racing; 3rd in Sport Masters.

Cam Sloan powering through the stream crossing on stage 3.

Cascdia Dirt Cup Rainier Enduro
Pro Mens Podium: 1st-Adam Craig; 2nd-LarsSternberg; 3rd-Neal Strobel; 4th-Alex McGuinness; 5th-Charlie Sponsel.

Cascdia Dirt Cup Rainier Enduro
Pro Womens Podium: 1st-Rosara Joseph; 2nd-Laura Ogden; 3rd-Dawn Fidler; 4th-Abby Hippley.

Cascdia Dirt Cup Rainier Enduro
Junior Podium: 1st-Jimmy Schwend-Cloherty; 2nd-Scott Funston; 3rd-Jason Eiswald; 4th-Logan Roy; 5th-Mathew Seemann.

Cascadia Dirt Cup 3 Rainier Enduro
Sport Masters Podium: 1st-Todd Kooy; 2nd-Steven Cloherty; 3rd-Matthieu Denuelle; 4th-Cary Clemonsen; 5th-Jason Sikes.

Big thanks to Big Horn BBQ and Iron Horse Brewery for the post race food and brews.

Results are posted HERE

Please check out and support our generous sponsors:
CDC Round 3 Rainier Enduro

Photo Credits:
Brandon Corneliusen
Bob Heimbuch
Chris McFarland
Nikhil Narkhede


39 Comments

  • + 9
 Was the course Sponsel approved?
  • + 5
 Absolutely.
  • + 9
 That's gotta be the most legit enduro course in the PNW.
  • + 6
 The crazy thing is that the valley is deep and long, the highest trails are just below 6000 feet, the course only hit about 15% of the trail in the valley. Which still made for a big ass day there. Next year two days, or three?
  • + 5
 I would be willing to do trail work of we get a two day out there. It'd be epic!
  • + 7
 Neal strobel - wins 2/3 stages second race in pro‚Ķ..
  • + 4
 8:02 in stage 3 is unbelievable. I have no idea how you can go that fast. I wish I could see a POV clip of it.
  • + 2
 where's the mention of neal beating lars and craig on 2/3 stages???? thats huge! Come on CDC, your races are so rad! step it up with the write ups!
  • + 3
 Ha! I'm trying jfskibikesail! Writing is definitely not my forte.... Took me 8 hours to put this recap together! Major props to Neal. He had an amazing day and jumped into the lead in the series overall.
  • + 7
 That was the funnest race I've been to in a long time. Great trails, great turnout, great beer, great food, great camping, great location. Trey, you're nailing the parts of race promotion that matter to me. Don't sweat the write-up too much. But maybe next time put photos of me in the write-up next time please, because I want to be famous.
  • + 1
 @teamrobo You're just as hilarious here as you were riding up ranger creek when I creepily eavesdropped on your confusing but intriguing conversation.
  • + 1
 way cool trey and the CDC. thanks for turning the dream into a reality! i was missing out on this one, but there is no way in hell i would climb ranger creek trail. would rather climb corral pass road and go down ranger creek
  • + 1
 Nice write-up Trey! Looks like an amazing day of enduroing! I flew out from Hawaii for the Dry Hills race, but thinking next summer it's gonna be RAINIER! CDC is putting together such good races, I'm telling all my riding friends about it, maybe we'll get a whole Hawaii group out next summer! And yeah, I noticed that Lars' bike looks cool and didn't look like a Covert...so that's a 2015 Covert...wow! I like that photo of rider Jason Konieczka ripping through the moss covered trees on the Santa Cruz Yolo!
  • + 1
 Excellent ride, beautiful climbs and really cool stages. My only complaint was the 1.5 hour wait to ride at the top of stage 1, poor organization on the start made for a really long day. Seems like it would have been pretty easy to avoid that but all in all a great day.
  • + 4
 I didn't anticipate the long wait times at the start of stage 1; figured the climb up Ranger would spread folks out a bit... I was wrong. At Tiger the start to transition 1 will be more structured to help curb some of the waiting. -Trey
  • + 2
 Stoked to race at Tiger, thanks for the response Trey - you guys do an amazing job, your a credit to the sport.
  • + 4
 Looks amazing! Check out the dirt!
  • + 3
 The Cascades have some of the best dirt! . . . . And snow too!
  • + 4
 What a great day thank you CDC, so pumped for Tiger!!!!!
  • + 3
 Missed it because of an injury this year, but the pics have me looking forward to next year. Awesome.
  • + 0
 I personally have put tons of hours working on the 410 trails, and observed the increased degradation due to high speed down hill shredding.( I'm Gonz in MTBR). It would take an army of trail workers to restore the damage. The USFS does practically nothing. Evergreen god bless their souls and the souls of their grandchildren puts on a few work parties per year, which I have participated, and the work done is good but barely scratches the surface. What ever money CDC turns over does not substitute for the back breaking, dirt moving, rock hauling, tree sawing, drainage routing, manual labor required to fix trails.
  • + 2
 My first race, had a great time, the course was great, and that BBQ after was really great. can't wait for Tiger.
  • + 3
 Nice write up Trey!
  • - 3
 "The trails in the area are rooted deep in the history of mountain biking in Washington state and considered hallowed ground for many people who have been riding them since the times of fully rigid steel frames armed with cantilever brakes."

Gotta say it.. Racers just stay off these trails! You and your "Me First", need for speed, damned the trail attitude, needs to stay in a fricken lift line at a ski resort. Those trails are amazing and having an ARMY of racers shred them, and draggin rear their tires like they are coming down a slope covered with snow makes me want to vomit.

Yes, Evergreen is amazing and I'm a member. But, how much time did the racers spend reinforcing the trail or fixing blownout switchbacks? Did the money made by the race go to fix the trail afterwards? I'll stay open to the idea that a race could generate money for the fixing and maintaining the trail, possibly making it better... But, if I get out there and it's a god'dam mess, like Whister after Crankworks. All bets are off, and it's letters to the forest service I'll be writing.

These trails is NOT a place for racing, this IS "HALLOWED GROUND"!! Stay away racers!, and shuttlers for that matter! I'd rather see them permanently closed and have to poach them, than to see them throughly destroyed be the "Me first" crowd.
  • + 3
 A simple google search about the race organization might have brought your blood pressure down, soul shred guy.

www.cascadiadirtcup.org/#!about/cjg9

I've been to a few of the races and every time I've seen multi thousand dollar checks presented directly to the organizations responsible for maintaing the trails that are being raced. Cold Creek, Dry Hill, etc. all got money. Cascadia Dirt cup is a non-profit organization that exists to give back to the trails and trail builders through racing.

Get off my wave bro.
  • + 2
 Where did that guy come from? Is the Sierra Club on Pinkbike now?
  • + 1
 Fair enough... It must have been...

"Luckily, a summer rain storm moved in midweek and helped contain the blaze and after two days of constant rain the loose, dusty trails turned into grade-A hero dirt."

...which got my blood boiling. I've seen Evergreen issue emails to not ride trail at all, after substantial periods of no precipitation followed by "days of heavy rain". But a race event can't really do that can they? As far as thousands of dollars given to NP organizations, that is fantastic in theory, of course. But at the end of the day the proof will stand. What kind of shape are the trails in now? And more importantly what will the hikers (Serria Clubers) think in the future?

And I don't see any work parties scheduled for this area on the calendar.

evergreenmtb.org/recreation/calendar.php?event_type=W&view=all

As far as "Get off my wave".. That's absolutely NOT what I'm about. I'm sorta ok with sharing my trails. Wink But, I have mountain biked all over the US and have seen first hand the damage done to "Gold Class" public trails by "Disrespectful" racers. I just some times wonder if racing isn't fundamentally at odd's with proper stewardship of natural treasures like these trails and shouldn't be kept at the ski hill.

I can not stress enough that these specific trails are in a "class of their own", and need to be tread on very lightly. If you can not grasp this concept, this then you don't really understand why I'm angry.

Soul Shredder out
  • + 2
 But you understand that there is a difference between tacky, moist dirt and mud, right?

I bet you the trails look like they've been raced right now, and I bet you that they will be "fixed" soon enough. Any damage done to a trail through racing is not irreversible. People are so polarized on this, they throw basic common sense out the window and go straight to raw emotion. A trail can be raced, "torn up" and then repaired. It's the same a putting basic maintenance into any trail system. Over time all trails will degrade if they're left unmaintained, raced or not. If they're maintained, they last indefinitely.

The 410 trail system is special, just like all trails are special and in a class of their own. They all benefit from maintenance and they all should be enjoyed, maybe even raced every once in a while. It's not like we're talking about monthly DH races down Palisades.

Then again, aren't you the dude that suggested we make uphill "DH" trails for E-bikes? I'll look forward to seeing you roosting a corner uphill at me going 20mph in the future!
  • + 1
 I personally have put tons of hours working on the 410 trails, and observed the increased degradation due to high speed down hill shredding.( I'm Gonz in MTBR). It would take an army of trail workers to restore the damage. The USFS does practically nothing. Evergreen god bless their souls and the souls of their grandchildren puts on a few work parties per year, which I have also participated, and the work done is good but barely scratches the surface. What ever money CDC turns over does not substitute for the back breaking, dirt moving, rock hauling, tree sawing, drainage routing, manual labor required to fix trails.
  • + 0
 I personally have put tons of hours working on the 410 trails, and observed the increased degradation due to high speed down hill shredding.( I'm Gonz in MTBR). It would take an army of trail workers to restore the damage. The USFS does practically nothing. Evergreen god bless their souls and the souls of their grandchildren puts on a few work parties per year, which I have also participated, and the work done is good but barely scratches the surface. What ever money CDC turns over does not substitute for the back breaking, dirt moving, rock hauling, tree sawing, drainage routing, manual labor required to fix trails.
  • + 3
 I was there, and rode all the trails towards the end of Saturday as one of the last racers down. Palisades had a couple pre-existing ruts that were burned in a little deeper, and a few switchbacks with more evidence of braking into them. So there was *some* evidence of wear on Palisades.

Friday morning we did a pedal up Suntop, and it was absolutely HAMMERED from horse use. Suntop looks 1000% better on Saturday afternoon after two day of racing than it did before.

Also, where do you get off calling these trails "natural treasures?" There is nothing natural about them. The trees and creeks and moss are natural, but the trails? Humans built them. More specifically, humans built them for fun. And if the trails were built for human fun, I assume they can used for human fun without violating the intent of the builders, and perhaps even be maintained for years of ongoing human fun. Pretending like mother earth put those trails there and that any disturbance violates the natural order is a common and useful logical construct for keeping people off your special favorite local trail/area/wave.
  • + 2
 Seawild you are entitled to your opinion. Mount Baker National Forest is 2,561,454 acres. God forbid there is a mountain bike race on 2 trails in this public recreation area.

Holding events like this gets poeple involved and the momentum rolling in our favor. The momentum results in more trail access, more trail work volunteers, and even new trails on public lands.

BTW CDC donated $3500 to Evergreen at this event.

I hope some day people like you can see the light. You talk about us racers with a "Me First" attitude. How about taking a good look in the mirror?
  • + 4
 @TimZim - "monthly DH races down Palisades".. I think I just vomited in my mouth a little...
As far as me shredding up hill on an ebike.. That was purely satirical remark to an admittedly trollish article, I swear.

@Team-Robot - Thanks for the trail report. Good to know I'm over reacting. Also very interesting to know that a MTB race would smooth out horse demolition. And I meant "National Treasure" not "Natural" sorry misspelling.

My point, rather poorly put, is that these 410 trails are FUNDAMENTALLY different kind of animal, than say Tiger Mountain. Tiger Mt. is an armored, reinforced, hand and machine crafted work of modern trail building genius. Thank you Evergreen. 410 is a one-of-a-kind pristine piece of epic narrow gauge single track history. Thank you Grandpa. Big difference in the context of Enduro Racing, DH shuttling and Horses. But, we all know horses generally enjoy murdering trail.

@Nine6Teen - Yes, thank you for giving me clarity in the face of reactionary anger. It's the DH truck shuttler's, horses and over all profound lack of attention these trails receive from the National Forest Service, which are the primary source of my anxiety. Not a non-profit race of a handful of goggled enduro-nerds who actually earn their turns and generate income for Evergreen.

@TOOTRIKK Yes, Baker NF is huge. AND why then are we only allowed to ride a few trails here? There should be more, so much more!! Plus, Crystal Ski Area is right down the street for gods sake. Why not have more trail and more Enduro there? So much potential. I completely concur on all your other points, they are completely valid. Except for me looking in the mirror. Looking in the mirror makes me just as nauseous as the thought of you coming down the mountain dragging your rear break the entire way. Wink
  • + 1
 Why's Lars hoisting a Norco?
  • + 2
 Or is it a 2015 Transition? Yep.
  • + 1
 hmmmm
  • + 1
 I see what you did here.
  • + 1
 Well...I'll be damned, he was right. That new bike looks really good.

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