The trails of Mt Hood and nearby Sandy Ridge were the host of the 2014 Oregon Enduro / North American Enduro Tour (NAET) Finals. A lot was at stake as riders were competing for the weekend's race along with OR Enduro series overall and NAET overall standings.
Kyle Warner summed up the stages for us this way; "The first day we raced out at Sandy Ridge. There are 3 stages out there. The first one is super awkward but real fun. The top is pretty hard but there's some good flow to the bottom. Stage #2 is more like a jump trail, it's super sick and then stage #3 was about 11 minutes long, real physical but it is fun for sure and has some good jumps here and there."
"For Sunday we are out at Mt Hood. The first trail is over at Timberline, probably about 8 minutes up super sick switchbacks everywhere and then you're on the Glade for like 4 minutes just wide open and its' real sketchy, people were getting broke off but it was real fun. Then we climbed up over to Skibowl and got to do a top to bottom run on the Downhill course, that was pretty wild so I think that was a fitting and to the season." - KW
The race morning ritual of the riders meeting was held Saturday at Sandy Ridge.
Awards are ready and waiting.
After the meeting riders started off on the first transition stage.
Professional whitewater paddler Kim Becker
Neal Strobel took the Expert win. Will he turn pro for 2015? Everyone in his class hopes so.
Incycle rider Kevin Smallman.
Just 2 months ago I walked Tim Thuren and his bike out of the last stage of the Cold Creek race because he had just separated his shoulder.
Marco Osborne suffered a flat on the upper part of stage #3 and there was still plenty of trail to go from here to the finish of the stage.
Tristan Jones crossing it up.
The big NAET battle for points was a race mostly between Nate Hills (pictured) and Kyle Warner.
Kyle Warner knew he had Nate Hills at his heels all weekend but he held it together.
The Oregon Enduro brings out some big names in cycling.
Peter Ostroski finished 4th in the NAET standings.
Kathy Pruitt continued her strong results racing in the Northwest.
Incycle rider Jon Buckell hits the light just right on the opening stage of the weekend.
Rebekah Rottenberg on the paver s-turn section of stage #3.
Kelend Hawks testing out the new Bell Enduro helmet
David Carr, stage #3.
Maybe it's the air, but I swear there's a bear smiling at me.
Alex McGuinnis testing for Transition and getting 2nd.
Kyle Warner flying down stage #1.
Conrad Murdoch on the last few rollers before the finish of day #1.
Neal Strobel on stage #3.
Eric Meza gets bonus points for making something out of nothing.
Mason Bond finished 3rd for the weekend.
Nathan Riddle was noticeably bummed out when he suffered a flat tire 2 stages after this shot was taken but he had a positive attitude going into Sunday's stages.
Noah Van der Watt near the finish of stage #3.
Laura Odgen recently turned pro and placed 4th overall.
Matt Erbentraut Marin Bikes/ SR Suntour / WTB.
New Santa Cruz Bicycles employee, Sam Markling.
Chris King fed everyone lunch on Saturday. It was tasty, just like their products.
Bell was handing out cold ones at the finish of Saturday's race.
There was some time after Saturday's race to get some bikes dialed in for the rough and rocky stages #4 and #5.
After practice Saturday afternoon a thick, low layer of clouds moved into the valley making for an errie ride down.
Krunk was excited to share a prototype Transition frame using a 4-bar linkage.
Rebekah Rottenberg, Kim Russell and Sarah Rawley stop for a pose before the start of stage #4 Sunday Morning.
Kathy Pruitt wasted little time at the top of each stage often leaving first and finishing fastest.
Michael Smeiser pedals in front of Mt Hood on the scenic stage #4.
Sam Markling on the first skills test of stage #4. This sandy off-camber corner is easy to blow through.
Jason Boeckmann placed 2nd, just 16 seconds behind Strobel.
The Incycle team has been a great supporter of the Oregon Enduro Series.
Heather Irmiger, winner of the women's NAET title for 2014.
Miguel Pacheco 3rd Expert Men.
Cedar Kyes, Marin rep, bike racer.
Neal Strobel enters the lower rock garden of the final stage.
Kyle Fitzgerald through the double-diamond zone, normally reserved for DH racing.
This rock garden was just used for expert and pro racers and required picking a good line and keeping off of the front brake.
Joe Weede in the pro/expert section.
Miguel Pacheco 3rd Expert Men
John Frey near the top of Skibowl's DH race course.
Kneecaps are best left in one piece.
Austin Davis busted out a killer brake-check to line him up for this rock section.
Nathan Riddle heads down Skibowl's DH course
Nate Hills had a little too much time to make up on Kyle Warner for the NAET top award but he wasn't holding back.
Trevor Pratt from Ashland, OR.
Charlie Sponsel was tearing up the trails this weekend and came away with the Pro Men victory.
Brian Merritt finishing in style.
Peter Ostroski with an impressive ride for the weekend and overall series.
Marco Osborne made the best of the weekend after losing a lot of time with a front flat on stage #3.
Margaret Gregory, 2nd place: Women's NAET title for 2014.
Tyler Horton lines up for the more favorable righthand line of this rock section.
Craig Harvey from Big Bear country was looking comfortable on the upper section of stage #5.
Alex McGuinnis rocking his prototype Transition frame on the trails of Skibowl.
Kyle Warner sits atop of stage #4 on Skibowl, knowing that the NAET overall victory is his if he doesn't make any big mistakes.
Kyle Warner in the zone.
and just a few more minutes until victory.
With the anxiousness of racing finally behind him, new NAET champion Kyle Warner can soon relax a little. First he must do his media duties for the new 'Rise of Enduro' movie coming out this Winter.
NAET Pro Men Podium.
NAET Women Podium.
OR Enduro Weekend Pro Women Podium.
OR Enduro Weekend Pro Men Podium.
Overall OR Enduro Final Pro Men Podium - Krunk & Riddle.