Last weekend was stop number five of the Northwest Cup DH Series Presented by Gravity Components at Steven's Pass, Washington. Saturday was the largest crowd Steven's Pass has ever had in their bike park on any given day. With over 580 scanned riders, most of them were Northwest Cup racers, but some local Seattleite's got a first hand look into Down Hill racing...Northwest Cup Style. It was an excellent Washington weekend to be riding bikes in the sun. Steven's Pass has a few new trails for this season including the new PBR jump trail that saw tons of laps on Saturday as riders trained down the line in-between their Slingshot Wookie practice laps.
Steven's Pass Resort, a piece of paradise snuggled in the North Cascades.
The heckler's in the Northwest bring their own wild-style behind the tape. Not many people would hike a mounted Goat's head up a mountain in hopes of psyching out bicycle racers, but this guy did. "DON'T LOOK AT THE GOAT!"
Seattle's Golden Boy and Northwest Cup Points Leader Luke Strobel pulled out some signature gaps that got the crowd riled up as he passed. Luke was the heavy favorite of the weekend, but had his work cut out for him against Gravity's Kyle Thomas and Charlie Sponsel. Luke finished in third with a 3:03.97.
Kyle Thomas showed the Heckler's his Steven's Pass Local Ripper Card. Kyle had another stellar performance on the weekend with a 3:03.15 for second place. Team Robot
's Charlie Sponsel was on hand to claim victory in the Pro Category with a smoking 3:01.07 down the Stevens Pass downhill track. When asked about the win, Sponsel responded "I wanted to win the race this weekend, and I didn't want anything less, but I also didn't really expect it to happen. There were a lot of fast guys from the US, from Canada, and even visitors all the way over from the UK. It's a pretty physical track, so I just focused on putting 100% effort into pumping every little bump for speed and pedaling 'til I felt like dying. When Luke told me I won I thought he was kidding. I'm over the moon right now and excited for the season ender in Port Angeles."
Abby Hippley took home the win for the Pro Women's Category with a final time of 3:30.99, just 0.34 seconds ahead of Spokane's Jaime Reese. Fresh off her trip to Crankworx, this Santa Cruz local was fully dialed in on the rugged Pacific Northwest terrain.
Luke Strobel took third place behind Kyle Thomas and Charlie Sponsel in the Pro Men's field. Charlie was too fast to catch a sunburn on the race track, so he busted out his signature sombrero to keep the harmful rays off his neck while standing atop yet another podium in 2014. Thanks again guys!
Anytime you come to race or spectate at a Northwest Cup your chances of walking away with a raffle prize are always good. A big thanks goes out to all the sponsors that come together to make these events a reality.
These two Olympic Peninsula residents create and maintain one of the best DH tracks in the state at Dry Hill in Port Angeles, and come together to host one of the greatest race series Washington has ever had. A huge Thank You goes out to Scott Tucker and Casey Northern for their massive contribution to Downhill riding in the Pacific Northwest. These guys are some of the greatest ambassadors we have in our neck of the woods and they deserve about 580 High Fives from the weekend.Full Results Here.
www.ridegravity.comSteven's Pass Bike ParkTrailforks.com
Charlie and Kyle are ready for NW Cup Finals at Port Angeles...Are you?