Finals Photo Epic: Downhill Southeast - Windrock 2020

Jun 8, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  

After Saturday's practice, many eager and anxious racers gathered at Windrock for the first Downhill Southeast race of the year on Sunday. A hot and humid qualifying day would leave many racers planning ahead and packing the shuttle line for practice well before the scheduled 9 o’clock race start in hopes of beating the heat. While making their way through packet pickup and into the shuttle line, a mishap with one of the shuttle busses occurred resulting in the truck finding its way into a ditch with trailer in tow. Although it was an unforeseen bump in the road, no one was injured and many jumped in to resolve the situation and free the truck from its temporary dwelling.

Then, the real excitement got underway with a record-breaking 230 racers taking to the course promptly at 9 am. Many had made the comment that the course was quite slick compared to qualifying, and after witnessing many racers wash the front in corners, it was easy to believe them. With a delay due to the shuttle conundrum, many racers were only able to complete one practice run and chose to use that as more of a track walk as opposed to a practice run. Seasonably challenging conditions were to be had due to the greenery that has engulfed Windrock creating shadows leading many racers to find themselves in unseen holes. Despite the tricky and challenging conditions, racers were simply happy to be back between the tape.

After the conclusion of practice, the first slew of racers was up the mountain for their race runs. First up was the Single Crown class, racing on the fast but longer Cat 2/3 course. Jubal Davis on his Yeti would be fastest down the mountain in the category, with Ty Teasdale and Seamus Powell rounding out the podium. Meanwhile on the shorter more rugged Pro / Cat 1 course, the Cat 1 Men 19-39 class was lead by TJ Henson who took top honors, followed by Corey Ross and Jesse Borror. Cat 1 Junior Men was won by Keegan Rowley with Matthew Spong edging out Jack Brown by less than a second in a tight race.

The last racers down the jagged course at Windrock were of course the Pro women and men. Picking up where she left off on Saturday, Frida Roenning would continue her success on Sunday with a time that put her ahead of Kailey Skelton by nearly 3 seconds. Rachel Pageau would take the final spot on the podium.

A full class of 17 racers in the Pro Men's class meant that everyone would have to be on their A-game to be competitive for the win. Dakotah Norton was not pleased with his second-place qualifying time on Saturday, and made up for it, shaving a whole 12 seconds off his run (2:44.03) on Sunday en route to the class win in the much anticipated first race back. Santa Cruz Syndicate rider Luca Shaw would keep Dakotah honest as he also would also improve his time from Saturday by 7 seconds on the way to a second-place finish (2:47.57). Norwegian Isak Leivsson would complete the podium in third place.

Dak making his way up for pratice.
Load 'em up!

 Check this out
Watching helmet cam footage to ponder line selection.

If know DJ Trill, you know he'll lead you to a mountain with no snow, big rocks, and tight turns while providing tip-top announcing at whatever race he's at.

Not the best way to start the morning, but all's well that ends well.
Shuttle bus had enough shuttling.
Shuttle bus had enough shuttling.

Apparently this to be placed on the shuttle bus..
You can't stop the DH machine once it starts...or the shuttle truck when it gets a mind of its own.

Which way to the rocks? Turns out it's every way.

Chips awaiting their racers.
Chips awaiting their racers.

Dakotah Norton in the start box.

Patiently waiting her turn
Patiently waiting her turn

10 riders at a time on the shuttle.

The shuttle road offered some pretty sencic views
The shuttle road offered some pretty scenic views

Apparently he didnt read the sign..
Apparently he didn't read the sign..

Privateer things.
And more things...

The mountain shows no mercy.

One of the many jagged edges that litter the track here at Windrock.
One of the many jagged edges that litter the track here at Windrock.

The perfect pre race fuel
The perfect pre-race fuel?

Dialing it in.

Neko Mulally plays a huge role in organizing the DHSE series and promoting DH racing in America.

Jack Bound on his way down the mountain.

Angelo Wash taking a rest after a run down in the heat.

Chris Grice is a name to watch over the next few years. He had a DNF on Sunday but the results didn't sway his positive attitude and he is almost always stoked.

Chasing shadows
Chasing shadows

The sun is no joke in the summertime.

Everyone wants your picture when you're the National Champ.

Into the woods.

Steven Gray on the way to win the Cat 2/3 40+ category.

The whoops section provides a nice hammering towards the end of the race track

Times went up immediately after classes had finished and podiums were also conducted to cut down on social interactions
Times went up immediately after classes had finished and podiums were also conducted to cut down on social interactions

Rachel Pageau with a third place for the day.

Kailey Skelton was in second.

Frida Rønning takes the top spot in Pro Women's.

What a socially distanced Junior's podium looks like.

Isak Levisson wound up third on his homemade DH bike.

Luca Shaw takes second place, trimming time off of his Saturday seeding run.

Dakotah Norton for the win at Windrock.

Social distanced bumps
Social distanced...
fist bumps, not hugs.

And that's a wrap!

Photography and words by Mack Faint


  • 54 0
 Came here for pics of Isak Levissons bike. The people want to see homebrewed winning bikes!
  • 3 0
 Me too! Action shots of that thing please!
  • 3 0
 Came here for that too. And not from the bike check but from an action shot!
  • 6 0
 Made his own bike and raced it to solid result ahead of some full factory support riders. Amazing! What a cool story that I'd like to hear more about.
  • 2 0
 Best thing I’ve experienced in 2020 was following this link! Took my mind off this crazy year for about 10 mins. Thanks!
  • 17 2
 Red Bull needs an emergency sponsorship of the Downhill Southeast series and get Rob Warner and Claudio there ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 ^^ This!
  • 9 0
 I wonder how the shuttle truck ended up crashing?
  • 14 0
 "SEND IT!" might have been yelled prior.
  • 3 0
 Looks like it might have rolled back in neutral?
  • 2 0
 Someone forget a parking brake?
  • 3 0
 "Ayy bro check out this sick drift"
  • 3 0
 @scotttherider: So FORD is not found on the road dead, its found off the road dead
  • 2 0
 @lake-st: I’d say so by that picture! That’s probably the second best jack-knifed truck I’ve seen to this one!
  • 1 0
 Idk but that trailer is crazy! Would like to see that bad boy loaded up.
  • 2 0
 @yoimaninja: come on down to TN and check it out in person. Knoxville has a lot of great trails
  • 9 0
 Word on the street is that Neko shaved ten minutes before the interview.
  • 4 0
 DJ Trill is the best race MC/DJ there is! Wish I was back east with good's just not the same stoke out here in AZ.
  • 1 0
 We miss you.
  • 4 0
 Sick! When’s the next race ?
  • 4 0
 July 12th, Beech Mountain
  • 4 0
 The Commencal Supreme seems to be a popular pick!
  • 6 4
 Good to see USA Cycling get their heads out of their asses and start allowing races to happen again.
  • 2 0
 awesome to see race coverage again. congrats Dak!
  • 3 2
 At least you got one West Coast personal in there.
  • 1 0
 Whaaaaaaaat PROBUILDS RACING on pinkbike !!!!!
  • 1 0
 Commencal seems to be quite popular with Privateers
  • 1 0
 Such a nice photo flying down on my YT! Thanks guys
  • 1 0
 Is Steven Gray staring directly at the camera?
  • 1 0
 Looks warm
  • 4 4
 Looks like masks were optional!
  • 9 3
 Full face is technically a mask
  • 1 0
 Masks aren't mandatory anywhere outdoors in America. Buy a vowel.
  • 2 5
 what about Title MTB Pinkbike? Why is there no article about them.
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