Day 1 Race Report: Trans-Cascadia 2021

Sep 24, 2021
by Trans Cascadia  
2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

bigquotesI've done Trans BC, Andes Pacifico, the BC Bike Race, and this is my favorite trail that I've ever been on.Chris Karwisch

Day 1 of Trans Cascadia started with a bang, deep in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This land is traditional indigenous territory of the Wenatchi and Syilx people.

After an unfortunate but necessary break in 2020, the race is back with rider safety first and foremost. A blind enduro, racers are given each day's map the night before, with no chance to explore the trail prior. This makes for quite an interesting event, leveling the playing field for all riders.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

Race Director Nick Gibson was excited to get started. "I'm stoked to get people on course after a year's delay. We're excited to show people this area, this is the first ever bike race on these trails."

With a full volunteer staff, spending countless hours in preparation, racers shuttled into Foggy Dew Campsite, their home for the next 5 days. A remote backcountry experience with all the amenities save cell service, racers are treated to a camp that feels more like a living village. After Covid testing and orientation, participants devoured a stunning southern inspired meal prepared by Hannah Carlos of The Bayou Catfish under the stars.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

"Riding blind trails is something special...you have to be super comfortable on your bike and just react to the trail," says Geoff Kabush, a two-time winner and one of only three five-time finishers of Trans Cascadia.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

Race Producer Alex Gardner gave a preview of what was to come. “We've got a lot in store for you guys. We've been learning a lot over the years and Nick's put together an amazing course."

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1
2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

Santa Cruz Bicycles sent Walker Shaw and Tobin Ortenblad to the event, both feeling fresh and excited to race the trails blind. “This is a different style of racing than we've been doing, but I'm pretty excited for it,” said Shaw. Aside from a minor beef between veteran Kabush and Ortenblad, the entire day was spent deep in the forest with riders enjoying the transfer stages as much as the racing.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

Dillon Osleger of Specialized Soil Searching even stopped for a short spell of fly fishing as he inched his way close to the podium. "The granite and all that glaciation just felt like home. It's just like what I grew up riding."

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

The larches were in full bloom, as riders traversed the early hours of the first day of racing. Stage one began after a multi hour technical climb, leading racers up Angel’s Staircase, a rocky exposed uphill slog, switchback after switchback. Stage two took racers on a fresh and flowy 1.5 mile descent before dropping back to camp. Times were tight, smiles were all time, many riders said stage two was the best trail of their life.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

"I've done Trans BC, Andes Pacifico, the BC Bike Race, and this is my favorite trail that I've ever been on,” raved Chris Karwisch after finishing the stage.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1
2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

Back at camp, the community vibe was flowing and Pearl Izumi, Shimano, and Santa Cruz helped bring the party. Hard. Hot dinner and conversations around the blazing fire eventually lulled the camp to sleep. After only two stages, the times were tight with Kabush in the lead, followed closely by Myles Morgan and Myles Trainer. For the pro women Jill Kintner took the top step. "I've always wanted to do this race...It was a tight turnaround, I was in Italy a day and half ago...They feed you, you have a tent, everything is set up so you just ride your bike!"

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

Travel restrictions cut the international field drastically, making the event feel a bit more homegrown, reminiscent of year one. With stacked fields in all categories and a sold out race, the weekend is sure to excite. With no leader's jersey to present after a year away, race organizers treated all participants and staff to custom jerseys presented by Pearl Izumi.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1
2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1
2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

The evening was spent around a roaring bonfire, with a full bar, hot showers and all the amenities that make the event special. Energy was at an all time high as many racers had not seen each other in over a year, community and connection were present in spades, and everyone might have stayed up a bit too late.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1

Trans Cascadia is more than just a race. Hundreds of hours went into clearing the course.These trails remain open to the public for all to ride and enjoy. The Trans Cascadia staff and volunteers have clocked nearly 20,000 hours in the woods to date, with over 500 miles of trail maintained, and 100+ miles reclaimed. The race is merely a catalyst for open access to our public lands. Stay tuned for more daily reportage as the racing heats up.

Day 1 Results

Pro Men
1) Geoff Kabush
2) Myles Morgan
3) Myles Trainer
4) Aaron Bradford
5) Tobin Ortenblad

Pro Women
1) Jill Kintner
2) Corinne Prevot
3) Alexandra Pavon
4) Alicia Leggett
5) Michelle Parker

Day 1 Results - Formatted

This event is under a special use permit of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.


23 Comments

  • 37 1
 So stoked for this event! These are my “backyard” alpine trails and I’m super excited to see them on display! With trans cascadia and along with dozens of other motivated volunteers, I helped clear miles of overgrown but primo backcountry trails in the area this summer! The groundwork these guys do is freakin incredible! It blows the doors off of our federal government’s efforts to maintain access for recreation. In the states, our biking community depends on organizations like this to maintain our presence and do the hard work because no one else is doing it.
  • 35 1
 I would like to edit my comment and say that the moto guys have kept these trails and tons of other backcountry trail open for years. Without their effort, all would’ve been lost years ago.
  • 19 0
 The description of a “minor beef” is cryptic. What does that mean?
  • 7 0
 We’ll see if punches are thrown during the awards ceremony at the end.

www.pinkbike.com/news/lopes-punching-kabush-after-the-race-heres-what-thats-all-about.html
  • 2 1
 what causes beef during an event like this? I guess these dudes are hyper-competitive, but can't you just race your race?
  • 6 0
 Apparently Kabush is the common denominator for ‘a beef’
  • 3 0
 @tcmtnbikr: if I remember the issue with Lopes correctly, he only had the clothes he was wearing on the podium to get home in and specifically asked not to be sprayed on the podium. Kabush decided that was not a valid ask and hosed him down.

No idea what this one is about though.
  • 10 0
 Myles and Myles fuck yeah boiz!
  • 2 0
 Big dogs showing up Dick
  • 5 0
 It was great to serendipitously run into you guys today. Looks like a fabulous event, although we took the trails a bit slower than your racers. We really do appreciate the clearing that went on. Foggy dew Trail was a wonderful descent today!!!
  • 3 0
 I guess Chris Karswich likes different trails than I do. I’ve been lucky enough to shred the Trans BC twice (Nelson and Revy). Have also spent a lot of time on motos and mtbs in the Twisp/Winthrop area. Not sure what trail he’s referring to, maybe Foggy Dew? All’s I got to say is the genera level of awesomeness on the Trans BC trails are without question a step above Foggy Dew, and surrounding trails…. imo.
  • 5 0
 You're assuming the trails we rode were on Trail Forks...most were not and only approved for use with special permission by the USFS since the other trails we were going to ride are currently on fire.
  • 6 2
 This Kabush guy sounds like a wanker. First with Lopes and now he's having beef with Ortenblad. I have only read a couple articles saying riders had disagreements or whatever, all of them have Geoff Kabush in them.
  • 4 0
 I assume these are all jokes. I didn’t see any evidence they Kabush had any beef with anyone. He seemed super chill hanging around camp, chatting with people. I even heard him poke fun at himself for the Lopes thing, and about how he was “just an old guy trying to win the masters category.”

Seemed like he got along really well with the other pros.

When a rider went down on Stage 1 and had to be life flighted out (sounds like he’s fine with just some broken bones) Kabush was one of the first people there (maybe the first), stopped his race, helped the medics and even carried the guy’s wheels halfway back up Angel’s Staircase to get them to a moto that could get them out.

I’m not like BFFs with the guy, but after hanging around him for a week, I have a hard time believing there’s any actual bad blood.
  • 1 0
 @atourgates: If what you say is true then I'll gladly take that as an update on his character. Much better he be the Kabush you speak of than the one thats probably being sensationalized by the article.
  • 2 0
 For what it's worth, he was super nice every time I interacted with him the whole race.
  • 3 0
 Angel's Staircase is so gorgeous this time of year, riding along on a carpet of golden larch needles. I know it's a race and all, but surprised no pic of Cooney Lakes. Stunning little area!
  • 3 0
 want to ride this! making those trails look good! enjoy everyone!
  • 2 0
 Anyone exploding things in the fire this year?
  • 1 0
 Trans-Cascadia are real Cascadia !
  • 1 0
 This is so high on my bucket list! One day!!
  • 2 0
 Do it, it's a classic, one of my favorite rides, but except to work for it, there are some tough climbs and a hike.
  • 1 0
 I wonder if they will be able to access the 25 mile area after the fire.

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