Loris Vergier & Emily Slaco Win the 2018 Trans-Cascadia

Oct 2, 2018
by Nick Gibson  
Views: 10,935    Faves: 41    Comments: 6


bigquotesBest trails, best conditions, best times, best feeling I've ever had on a bike - ever.Loris Vergier


"We started coming out here 13 years ago riding our dirt bikes in this forest and we fell in love with it," Alex Gardner, Race Producer told the racers. "Being on those ridgelines and seeing those mountains, from certain aspects you can see all four on a clear day, we started wondering how mountain bikes would work on these tracks. We weren't quite sure and didn't have the skills yet to host here, but we spent our time in Oregon and we figured out how to do it. And now we are back, so it's a pleasure to have you guys out here enjoying these tracks. I think we've put together some of the best - for mountain bikes at least." The rain held off for the last day of racing, allowing riders to experience the incredible mountain views and fall colours that first inspired the Trans-Cascadia crew to come to this area.




The night before, punctuated by the sound of firecrackers, Nick Gibson, Event Director, told the racers what to expect for their final day. "So, the last two days were rest days, right? Active recovery? Maybe? Probably not? I say that jokingly because I think these are great days, they definitely hurt stacked up, but they are also really great days on the bike. Tomorrow we've got five stages, one neutral, and your elevation profile is about 6,000 feet of climbing and about 9,000 feet of descending. The total ride time for Day 4 will be about 6-8 hours - if you keep moving." An exhausted voice from the crowd hollered out "I can't believe he said that with a straight face."



Racers hopped the shuttle from camp in the morning and accessed the highest point on East Canyon Ridge possible. From there they climbed further up the ridge, with views of Mount Adams behind them, and continued along it to the start of Stage 10. The first stage of the day dumped riders down 1,300 feet over 1.9 miles. This stage ended at a road that took racers across and down to Stage 11; a fun and flowy downhill. After this second stage of the day, racer rode out to the meeting point for lunch. Here they loaded onto the shuttle and were driven 3 miles to the start of their next liaison.

Mostly a nice gradual climb, the mix of road and singletrack wound up the valley for 2.5-hours, 'at a nice social pace.' At the top riders were rewarded with Sunrise Peak and a 360-degree view from the rocky ridgeline. Stage 12 was 1,000 feet of descending in a half a mile. The fast and steep track offered gnarly rock sections and rooty drops with multiple line options. "It's a spicy descent. We'll just leave it at that," Nick had offered at the racer meeting the night before. The descent dropped racers into a little trough that they had to work out of with roughly a 30-minute climb to the top of the next two stages.




Stages 13 and 14 totaled about 6,000 feet of descending. Stage 13 offered a spectacular view from the start before riders dropped into the essentially a downhill pumptrack with endless whoops and bumps to pump and jump complete with fast, ripping corners that allowed them to really open it up. At the bottom, riders had a ten-minute climb to the final stage of the event that Nick had described simply as "a beautiful way to finish off the day." This stage had two distinct sections of riding; the first was a continuation of the whoops and fast corners from the previous stage and after the neutral zone the course got faster with steeps, rocky corners, bench cut, natural gaps, and moto whoops. At the bottom the Transition crew as waiting next to the shuttle with nachos and beers to treat everyone.


"It was a big effort. I've never ridden anything like it," says Greg Minnaar. "We were just having a laugh because going up that climb, we were thinking 'this sucks' but right at the bottom, Loris, Elliot and I decided that we have to come back next year and do it again. And that's how it is when you're riding such good stuff you really do want to come back. I just couldn't believe that we've gone through five stages today and not one of them was crap. Every stage is really nice and well thought out. You'd expect a crap stage here or there but for four days we haven't ridden anything that was crap. You could try to say that one trail is better than the other, but it's still far better than anything I've ever ridden."





On Stage 11, Francois Bailly-Maitre broke his rim and Greg swapped wheels with him. "It was fine, the rim was strong enough and it held all tension, but sometimes the carbon could splinter off and cut the tire and it would be a bit shitty for the leader of the event to go out because of that. It was kind of a mixed thing because you have Loris is second, but you know two Santa Cruz's were in the lead and they've got to have a fair battle."


"I can't thank Greg enough," says Francois. "I felt way more confident with his wheel on my bike than trying to push with a broken wheel - you never know. I had a really good day, the trails were amazing once again, more features and a lot of good things to worry about like rocks and roots. I had a lot of fun and some crazy moments. I'm pretty stoked that Greg finished the race with the wheel intact, I'm glad his race didn't end because of me."


Emily Slaco took the overall win in the Pro Women's category with Kim Hardin in Second. Ingrid LaRouche came from behind on the final day to take the third step overall. "Last year at Trans-Cascadia was my first time ever doing a multi-day race," explained Ingrid, "it was all a learning experience. I was racing a lot more this year, so I was a little more familiar with this. There were a lot more girls this year than last year, so the competition was pretty stiff. The event is so cool and [women] should come and participate more."


In the Pro Men's category, Loris Vergier took the top step with Francois Bailly-Maitre in second and Luca Shaw in third. "I knew that yesterday I had lost some time, but I gave it my all, so I did the same today and had fun," said Loris. "I tried to stay on the bike - and I did. It paid off. Best trails, best conditions, best times, best feeling I've ever had on a bike - ever. It's just good to be here and fun."


"It was an awesome day," according to Luca. "The weather held out, for our five awesome stages and I ended up catching a few people and ended up on the podium. Either way, I would have been super stoked because it's been really, really fun week and the result was just a bonus. I had fun and enjoyed myself and that's what I came for. I was just having so much fun all week, these trails are another level, it's almost like another sport out here."

Following the final podiums, the Race Producer; Alex Gardner, Race Director; Nick Gibson, and Logistics Director; Tommy Magrath stood in front of the cheering and clapping crowd. "This is an impossible thing that we attempt to do each year and somehow it all comes together," said Alex. "I think that the thing that makes that happen is the community that we talked about at the start of this event, the minds up here, volunteers, the people who give endlessly to see this thing happen. It's got a mind of its own, it's got momentum and it's a pleasure to be out here with all of you. Thanks for coming out!"

"Without racers, we don't have a race," added Tommy, "without trail builders, we don't have trails, and without volunteers, we don't have any of this."

Nick wrapped up the official part of the evening, "On that note, we've got beer left, we've got liquor left. . . let's go have a good night!"



Full results can be found here.


98 Comments

  • + 148
 I can't even explain how sick this event was. Stage 2 Day 2 was the best trail I have ever ridden by far. I was laughing that they took a bunch of stuff I usually don't like and made it into one of the best weeks I've ever had. Some of the best views and scenery I've experienced and everyone was really cool. Does wonders when everyone WANTS to be somewhere. It was so impressive how well organized everything was. I think we're all still buzzing about it two days later haha. Just. So. Good.
  • + 12
 @EliotJackson so rad to have you there! Thanks for all the good times and great interviews - and for attracting that tray of deserts out of the dark!
  • + 1
 Strawberry Mountain?
  • - 28
flag FUbob (Oct 2, 2018 at 18:27) (Below Threshold)
 @EliotJackson I don't doubt you had a great time, looks super fun. Honest question: did you pay the full entry fee? Thanks for your feedback!
  • + 5
 major props to all the organizers and volunteers! Take a bow and give yourselves a massive pat on the back. Stoked to learn about all the rad people this year's event attracted and hear their reactions. Gotta get me that golden ticket for the next one.... YEW!
  • + 1
 @EliotJackson what did you ride Eliot?
  • + 2
 @Ktron: Trance 29
  • - 4
flag DONKEY-FELTCHER (Oct 3, 2018 at 12:12) (Below Threshold)
 Did you get a free entry?
  • - 5
flag DONKEY-FELTCHER (Oct 3, 2018 at 12:12) (Below Threshold)
 Are you Elliot’s pr person?@bforwil:
  • + 50
 HOLD THE PHONE. I was told you couldn't fit an X2 or baguettes on the new Bronson, but Loris' bike seems to have both?!
  • + 11
 But seriously, how do I get an X2 on the new Bronson?
  • + 4
 Man, it looks like such tight fit.
  • + 2
 @tgent: Dremel tool?
  • + 1
 I was told the same !!! Think Santa Cruz need to explain this !!!
  • + 24
 Step 1: ride for the syndicate

Step 2: finish top 5 overall in DHI 2 years in a row

Step 3: enjoy your custom Bronson frame or linkage to fit your X2
  • + 3
 Thank you!!! I wasn't sure if what I saw there was right or,I was the on.y one who noticed. So yeah, what's the story here?!
  • + 3
 @intensemack10: I think @LOLWTF pretty much made it clear. Wink
  • + 35
 GOAT is full of class, swapping wheels for the team.
  • + 50
 I expect every warranty to be handled by Greg, in person.
  • + 14
 it's been noted that riders are without cell service or wifi, but i bet that this is one of the main reasons why this event turns out as a sort of "life changing experience" for the racers. the organizers must know this and count on it as being part of the draw that brings everyone together for the 5 days in the deep back country. but on another note @TransCascadia i wonder how the media coverage even gets here to us for each day, it must be a tough job, do they drive to Randle, for a signal so they can post to pb each night?
  • + 18
 Yeah, the media team finishes editing at 1am and drives a couple hours to cell service the next morning to post results and content. Hard working crew right there.
  • + 5
 @gabrielamadeus: wow! more excited about this content than world cup dh almost. great job homies!
  • + 14
 I love Adam's Craig expression as he's standing in the back ground and he hear's Loris's glowing review of the trails and event. Believe he had a hand in the trails so it's gotta be a look of pride and stoke on the stoke. haha
  • + 14
 I'm just glad that Party In The Woods was able to recover from Day 3 and make it back onto the trails.
  • + 15
 3:45 pass that shit man!
  • + 5
 Goes great with mountain biking
  • + 3
 Washington aka The Evergreen State
  • - 1
 @mkotowski1: after mountain biking
  • + 8
 Bike checks from events like these would be great!
  • + 8
 Welp, ready for a list of trails.
  • + 8
 The results have the names of the trails. Up to you now..
  • + 5
 @qikss: Thanks!
  • + 8
 Those wooden trophies look pretty sweet
  • + 7
 Vergier, Coming to an EWS near You in 2019!!
  • + 2
 He does a few in France in the off season, but I'm pretty sure he will keep focusing 100% on DH especially now that there is more races and he is a top contender.

Bring on 2019 !!!
  • + 6
 What happened to Peaty? Is he ok?
  • + 1
 He left early. He appeared fine after day 3. I think early departure was planned.
  • + 1
 @erikkellison: thanks. Good, I see pictures of tents and my back starts to spasm
  • + 2
 His dad had health issues and sadly had to depart early. Wholly unplanned.
  • + 4
 But carbon wheels don’t break, blah blah blah, could’ve sworn I just read all the fanboys yesterday.
  • + 1
 No buy they got life time replacement!!!!
  • + 1
 Was there a change in the ratio between climbing and descending this year or were the W.C. downhillers just so fast on the descents that the XC guys couldn’t make up an anvantage on the climbs?
  • + 3
 @TPLRacing: There was enough sketchy terrain the DHer's were able to capitalize. You can see how Kabush dominated the first day but slowly was losing time over the course of the event as it got more technical. Very few pedally sections on course, save for a couple stages....
  • + 3
 Solid result Cory Sullivan!!
  • + 2
 Maybe this has already been pointed out in previous day reports, but it looks like Loris is on a Bronson-esque 29er...
  • + 4
 Looks like the standard 27.5 Bronson to me? what makes you think it is 29?
  • + 0
 @tgent: Look at the picture above his frame frame shot, right before the paragraph that starts with, "Stages 13 and 14 totaled about 6,000 feet of descending." Those look to me like 29 inch wheels.

Also notice that the frame shot conveniently doesn't show any tire/wheel details.

I may be wrong, but I don't think I am.
  • + 7
 @jcc0042: Very hard to say from a single pic, but I also noticed Greg is on the HT LT, don't know why he would be on that if he had a 29 Bronson also available to him as well. It's also the same paint as the stock Bronson, that makes me think its a regular 27.5 frame.
  • - 1
 @tgent: fair enough. The only other thing I noticed is that the tire doesn't seem to line up with the tire rub cutout in the seatstay. The tire looks to come a notable amount further into the frame than it should based on the cutout, but it's tough to tell based on the angle of the frame shot photo.
  • + 0
 @jcc0042: I think the Tallboy will be redone to be similar to a 29er version of the 5010 and the two Hightowers will become just one Hightower that's like a 29er Bronson/Nomad combo. They may be on prototypes? Those seem to be the next bikes for an update.
  • + 3
 Not a stretch to assume that a new hightower is on the way.
  • + 1
 @jcc0042: Also looks like it may have a different upper link? Again, tough to tell due to the angle.
  • + 2
 @Facingtraffic: Dang, it's impressive what people see in cropped, awk photos....I bet we're getting warm.
  • + 1
 check this one:
scontent-frt3-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/42996077_10100466638843855_3932490056425537536_o.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_ht=scontent-frt3-2.xx&oh=7795bacab569ec630debbe2f5e00ba6b&oe=5C3DF4A4s

looks big to me, but cant tell .
if it's not 29er - then it's the answer that a X2 shock fits the bronson...
  • + 4
 Nice one Luca SHaw!
  • + 1
 Scs. You Should open up a co-op mtb hostel/cask brewery/ bahn mi bakery/hash bar in stabler Washington, w discounted demos of course.
  • + 2
 Are the race organizers triplets??
Those trails look sublime.
  • + 2
 Does this mean you’ll also be racing EWS next season, Loris? Wink
  • + 4
 Loris might race in EWS as Cecile Ravanel regularly races in DHWC... sometimes... as long as they can!!!

Anyway I`m pretty proud of my fellow frenchies this year as most of them are giving their best in mountain biking and such... keeping their heads cool, and that`s why I like that story Smile
  • + 1
 @Franzzz: He does a few in France in the off season, but I'm pretty sure he will keep focusing 100% on DH especially now that there is more races and he is a top contender.

Bring on 2019 !!!
  • + 1
 It seems finally pro DH racers have realized they can have way more fun on a bike... Kudos forthe syndicate for being the first pro DH Team to drop their egos... and go full enduro.
  • + 0
 @PauRexs: huh, I'm sure they need a lesson from you to know how to truly have fun a bike!
  • + 1
 @LOLWTF: No they ve done allready what I would suggest but I definitely recommend to more pro DH without help them to take more pressure out... Maes defenetly has demonstratey that the enduro gived you something... Also Loris knows well...
  • + 2
 Does anyone have a link to the route for each stage?
  • + 2
 Looks like Jumbo Peak/Dark Divide zone, out there.
  • + 1
 Do they ride souixon cr Huffman peak?
  • + 2
 The trails from the course are on the results list.
  • + 1
 Do a majority of the pro class riders get comps if they hype the race?
  • + 0
 Funny how both SC riders

said “best trails ever ridden” and the event is sponsored by SC.
  • + 1
 We want all the gps data for the tracks! :p which are they??
  • - 1
 Watching that film grain section was probably harder than competing in the race itself
  • + 1
 Oakridge!
  • + 13
 Not even close dude....
  • + 1
 @RadBartTaylor: lol, no doubt...
  • + 1
 wrong year.
  • + 1
 @RadBartTaylor: Ha true, all trees look the same to me..
  • + 1
 Next year
  • + 1
 420 in the woods!
  • + 1
 good video too !
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.089908
Mobile Version of Website