Oregon Enduro Series Recap - Hood River, OR

Jun 23, 2015
by Colin Meagher  
 
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Cradled on the banks of the Columbia River lies the town of Hood River, OR. Steady winds channel up the Columbia River gorge all summer long making this a wind surfer and kite boarder's paradise. But it also supports a healthy network of fantastic trails no more than ten minutes or so pedaling time from downtown. Add in industry powerhouse Dakine, a few breweries, several bike shops, a community that supports all things mountain biking, and you have a recipe for phenomenal trails.

Absent at this race was the timing issues that plagued the series opener in Bend, OR. Race Director Devon Lyons was quick to point out that they had replaced some older hardware to try and avoid any additional failures there, as well as the OES opted to ditch their buggy software system in favor of using Excel. "By making these upgrades, we should be able to eliminate all the issues we had at the first race, in Bend, OR."

In fact, timing did run like clockwork, with accuracy down to the 1/1000 of a second. Which made for some tight racing amongst all the fields. Of particular note was junior racer Duncan Nason; keep an eye on this kid: his overall time would have been good enough to place him 25th in the pro men's field.

Overall, the racing ran smooth, and riders had a great time with good, solid racing.

The longest day of the year came far too early for anyone who went deep at the BLT party. 5 12 am is early for a anyone particularly on a Sunday.
  Hood River, OR is a gem seated on the edge of the Columbia River and watched over by the towering Mt Hood.

Allan Cooke of Santa Cruz Bikes is far too giddy for this to be the typical OES race registration...must have been the scent of beer brewing as he pulled into yet another cornerstone of craft brewing for Oregon Hood River.
  Allan Cooke of Santa Cruz Bikes was far too giddy for this to be the typical OES race registration; it must have been the scent of beer brewing as he pulled into yet another cornerstone of craft brewing for Oregon: Hood River.

Race Day prep for the Hood River Enduro means many things to many people. For Jacob the race tech it meant a lot of spinning wrenches. For Joe Lawill Shimano s MTB marketing honch it meant forgetting about the day job and pinning on a number. For Mitchell Buck of Dirty Finger Bikes it means all his friends have come to town to share a beer with him.
  Race Day prep for the Hood River Enduro means many things to many people. For Jacob Youscha, the Shimano race tech, it meant a lot of spinning wrenches. For Joe Lawill, Shimano's MTB marketing honch, it meant forgetting about the day job and pinning on a number. For Mitchell Buck of Dirty Finger Bikes it means all his friends have come to town to share a beer with him.

The great equalizer the shuttle rig. Hidden amongst all the whips was one special number plate.
  The great equalizer: the shuttle rig. Hidden amongst all the whips was one special number plate.

Alex McGuinness owner of the number one plate absolutely pinning it on stage one s Dirt Surfer trail.
  Alex McGuinness, owner of the number one plate, absolutely pinning it on stage one's "Dirt Surfer" trail.

The Hood River track had it all when it came to trail conditions rocks. Blued in clay. More rocks hidden in the dust and lots and lots of dust. It s dry in Hood River right now and the loose conditions saw nearly everyone slap at some point.
  The Hood River track had it all when it came to trail conditions: rocks. Blued in clay. More rocks hidden in the dust, and lots and lots of dust. It's dry in Hood River right now, and the loose conditions saw nearly everyone slap at some point.

Marco Osborne was unable to hit the Bend OR race due to the Tweed Valley EWS race but he was more than willing to throw down in the dust on Dirt Surfer.
  Marco Osborne was unable to hit the Bend, OR race, but he was more than willing to throw down in the dust on Dirt Surfer.

Cody Kelly entering the rock garden in Post Canyon aka Hidden . It s remarkably cleaned up this year compared to years past but it s still formidable. In essence it s a twenty-five second pinball rally through a rock infested bit of nastiness. Hidden was featured on both days and while it may only be some twenty-five seconds long the consequences of going off-line here were very real and had the potential to alter the podium. More than one racer either cracked a wheel bent a derailleur or flatted in this section.
  Cody Kelly entering "the" rock garden in Post Canyon, a trail called "Hidden". It's remarkably cleaned up this year compared to years past, but it's still formidable. In essence, it's a twenty-five second pinball rally through a rock infested bit of nastiness. Hidden was featured both on stage two and on stage four, and while it may only be some twenty-five seconds long, the consequences of going off-line here were very real, and had the potential to alter the podium. More than one racer either cracked a wheel, bent a derailleur, or flatted in this section.

Local boy done good Tyler Horton punching through the bottom of Hidden .
  Local boy done good, Tyler Horton punching through the bottom of "Hidden".Tyler was able to place seventh amongst the big dogs.

Outta nowhere. XC Eliminator racer Andreane Lanthier Nadeau of Rocky Mountain Bikes traveled down from BC and stole the show with a resounding win 57 on KellI Emmett. I m thinking we will see more of her racing Enduro in the future.
  Outta nowhere. World Cup XC Eliminator racer Andreane Lanthier Nadeau of Rocky Mountain Bikes traveled down from BC and stole the show with a resounding win: +:57 on KellI Emmett. I'm thinking we will see more of her racing Enduro in the future.

Pushing hard on the loose dirt of Post Canyon had consequences.
  Pushing hard on the loose dirt of Post Canyon had consequences.

Porsha Stockton took the win for the Expert Women for the second race in a row. The Bend OR rider is proving to be a force on the OES.
  Porsha Stockton took the win for the Expert Women for the second race in a row. The Bend, OR rider is proving to be a force on the OES.

Rex Shepard going soenduro with the goggles on stage 4. Laugh all you want about riding a half lid with goggles but given all the dust on the track goggles were a must if you were closing down on your minute man or riding in a group on some of the transfers.
  Rex Shepard going #soenduro with the goggles on stage two. Laugh all you want about riding a half lid with goggles, but given all the dust on the track, goggles were a must if you were closing down on your "minute" man or riding in a group on some of the transfers.

it wasn t the long day of the Bend OR OES race nor was it anywhere near as hot but the dust saw riders hitting the aid stations pretty hard.
  It wasn't the long day of the Bend, OR OES race, nor was it anywhere near as hot, but the dusty conditions saw riders hitting the aid stations pretty hard.

Old guys that still kinda go fast Tracy West from Spokane WA adding a bit of foot out flat out on stage 3.
  Old guys that still kinda go fast: Tracy West from Spokane, WA adding a bit of foot out, flat out on stage 3.

One thing that the EWS does exceedingly well is ferret out some damn fine food for the racers. Food lines may be long--they re always going to be when 200 racers wrap it up for the day but no one can say that Shane from Four and Twenty Blackbirds didn t put out some amazing food for the competitors.
  One thing that the OES does exceedingly well is ferret out some damn fine food for the racers. Food lines may be long--they're always going to be when 200 racers wrap it up for the day; but no one can say that Shane from Four and Twenty Blackbirds didn't put out some amazing food for the competitors.

Day one racing ended by noon allowing riders time to get up for one last recon run of the day two stages. It s one thing to recon a trail you ve already ridden but it s another thing entirely to hit them at speed only to discover that 150 or so racers have loosened things up considerably in some of the corners. Joe Lawill getting all of that loose stuff on Borderline Trail the lower portion of stage four.
  Day one racing ended by noon for the pros, and by mid afternoon, allowing riders time to get up for one last recon run of the day two stages. It's one thing to recon a trail you've already ridden, but it's another thing entirely to hit them at speed only to discover that 150 or so racers have loosened things up considerably in some of the corners. Joe Lawill getting every bit of that loose stuff on Borderline Trail, the lower portion of stage four.

While the racers are out doing there thing the mechanics are pretty much trapped in the pits. That s salt in an open wound for guys like Peter James Lucas one of the two Shimano techs on hand. As soon as the action in the pits quieted down he snagged a shuttle to work in some frequent flier miles.
  While the racers are out doing their thing, the mechanics are pretty much trapped in the pits. That's salt in an open wound for guys like Peter James Lucas, one of the two Shimano techs on hand. He thrives best on a healthy daily dose of spinning two wheels. It was no wild guess that as soon as the action in the pits quieted down he'd be snagging a shuttle to work in some frequent flier miles

It s not a race without a party going on somewhere. In this case it was the BLT party at Dirty FInger Bike shop. As in Black tie Leather or Toga . Tunes were cranking and beer was consumed until well after the sun went down--early morning racing days be damned.
  It's not a race without a party going on somewhere. In this case, it was the "BLT" party at Dirty FInger Bike shop. As in "Black tie, Leather, or Toga". Tunes were cranking and beer was consumed until well after the sun went down--early morning racing days be damned.

 It s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll. -AC DC.
  "It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll." -AC/DC.

Justin Serna of the OES doing a final time check to ensure that there wasn t a repeat of the timing issues that plagued the Bend OR race two weeks ago.
  Justin Serna of the OES doing a final time check to ensure that there wasn't a repeat of the timing issues that plagued the Bend, OR race two weeks ago.

The formula for the day Besides loose dusty conditions that translated into ball bearings in the corners riders had to fight through the constant shifting of dark to light and back to dark as the trails snaked through the woods and into the open.There s nothing quite like going full blast into deep woods and having to do bicycle Braille for a couple seconds... it s like Zen riding only with a lot more adrenaline.
  Besides loose, dusty conditions that translated into ball bearings in the corners, riders had to fight through the constant shifting of dark to light and back to dark, as the trails snaked through the woods and into the open.There's nothing quite like going full blast into deep woods and having to do bicycle Braille for a couple seconds... it's like Zen riding only with a lot more adrenaline.

Recent transplant Bekah Rottenburg on stage 4.
  Recent transplant Bekah Rottenburg on stage four.

The comeback trail for Jenny Konway has been an interesting one She sat out all of 2014 due to a blown ACL. Working as a mountain guide has meant almost no saddle time. And the day before the race she had to borrow a completely foreign to her bike. In nobody s book is that a winning recipe. But she was tied for third at the end of day one and ended up taking the fourth step at the end of it all.
  Jenny Konway of the Dirty Harlots sat out all of 2014 due to a blown ACL. The comeback trail for her has been interesting: working as a mountain guide has meant almost no saddle time--she last touched her bike two weeks prior to the event. And the day before the race she had to borrow a bike. But she was tied for third at the end of day one and eventually came home in fourth, behind teammate Kim Russell.

Yeti rider Kim Russell had local knowledge on her side coming home to take third overall.
  Yeti rider Kim Russell had local knowledge on her side, coming home to take third overall.

Kelli Emmett of Julaina racing spent a season riding here under the Giant Racing banner not too many years ago before moving back to Colorado although she had a bit of a rough re-acquaintance with the local dirt before they kissed and made up during training.
  Kelli Emmett of Juliana Racing spent a season riding here under the Giant Factory Racing banner not too many years ago before moving back to Colorado, so she's almost a local. Although she had a bit of a rough re-acquaintance during Friday's training session with her almost local dirt before they kissed and made up on day one.

Get a bit loose on stage five clip a tree and kiss the dirt. Breanne Spiersch taking precious seconds to get sorted before getting back on the bike. It s a good call to take that extra second to make certain everything s ok after getting tossed hard on a steep loose section of track like that.
  Get a bit loose on stage five, clip a tree, and kiss the dirt. Breanne Spiersch taking precious seconds to get sorted before getting back on the bike.

EWS veteran Marco Osborne dropping into the last slot before the diving board drop at the bottom of stage 5.
  EWS veteran Marco Osborne dropping into the last slot before the diving board drop at the bottom of stage five.

Not only were the trails at Post Canyon blown out but the mild winter saw heavy use of some of the trails which also happen to be moto friendly. Translation Deep ruts. The kind that will maybe grab a pedal or catch an unwary rider with a high side into the woods.
  Not only were the trails at Post Canyon blown out and dusty as hell, but the mild winter saw heavy use of some of the trails, which are also moto friendly. Translation? Deep ruts. The kind that will high side an unwary rider into the woods or grab a pedal.

Kyle Warner dropping into a tuck on stage 7 of the race. Warner was on point on this stage but time lost the previous day and during stage 6 saw him relegated to fifth place for Hood River.
   Kyle Warner dropping into a tuck on stage seven of the race. Warner was on point on this stage, but time lost the previous day and during stage six saw him relegated to fifth place for Hood River.

Gun fighter eyes on race winner Mitch Ropelato as he threads the needle on stage five Antoine s Ridge . I didn t really feel that fast said Ropelato. I was kind of not really feeling it on that stage after I blew a couple corners up top. Not feeling it translated into edging out Marco Osborne for the stage win by .002 seconds.
  Gun fighter eyes on race winner Mitch Ropelato as he threads the needle on stage five, Antoine's Ridge. "I didn't really feel that fast," said Ropelato. "I was kind of not really feeling it on that stage after I blew a couple corners up top." Not feeling it translated into edging out Marco Osborne for the stage win by .002 seconds.

Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen s Nick Hardin gunning it down Mitchel s Ridge to come home only four seconds adrift of a podium step. Not too shabby for a local guy who s likely clocking 70 plus hours a week running a restaurant.
  Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen's Nick Hardin gunning it down Mitchel's Ridge to come home only four seconds adrift of a podium step. Not too shabby for a local guy who's likely clocking 70 plus hours a week running a restaurant.

Ninkasi Brewing was within a stone s throw of the finish line with recovery beverages for all. It s kind of amazing how much beer 150 racers can disappear at an event like this.
  Ninkasi Brewing was within a stone's throw of the finish line with recovery beverages for all. It's kind of amazing how much beer 150 racers can disappear at an event like this.

The podiums.
  The podiums. Starting top left and going right, row by row: Sport Women 35+, Sport Women 34 and under, Sport Men 19-39, Sport Men 40+, Expert Women, Expert Men 40+, Expert Men 19-39, Pro Women, Pro Men.

Women s pro podium L-R Jenny Konway 4 Kelli Emmett 2 Andreane Lanthier Nadeau 1 Kim Russell 3 Bekah Rottenberg 5
  Women's pro podium, L-R, Jenny Konway (4), Kelli Emmett (2), Andreane Lanthier Nadeau (1), Kim Russell (3), Bekah Rottenberg (5). Nadeau dribbling a bit of bubbly on Konway for the ambush at the start of the podium presentation.

Champagne shower Men s Pro Podum L-R Kirt Voreis 4 Marco Osborne 2 Mitch Ropelato 1 Kurtis Keene 3 and Kyle Warner 5 .
  Champagne shower for the winner: Men's Pro Podum (L-R): Kirt Voreis (4), Marco Osborne (2), Mitch Ropelato (1), Curtis Keene (3), and Kyle Warner (5).That's a wrap folks. Until Mt Bachelor's OES race in August.

Full results here.

Check out all of the images from the Hood River OES here. See you in August for Round 3.


MENTIONS: @OregonEnduro / @meagerdude

Must Read This Week

33 Comments

  • + 9
 Just when I think OES can't possibly get any worse, they go and do something like this....and totally redeem themselves!
  • + 2
 ahh the good ol days of silly comedy
  • + 1
 mock yeah ing yeah bird yeah yeah yeah
  • + 6
 Great photo essay, great photography.
  • + 5
 Glad to hear this event went smoothly! Dirty Fingers is a genuine supporter of everything rad
  • + 4
 Looks like a good race.
Where's the NW Cup Ski Bowlcrqce report??
  • + 2
 I fell in love with HR during the couple months I lived there. Hope to live there again someday. It felt like home and a magical place at the same time.
  • + 0
 Wait till you try the highroller 2 Wink
  • + 4
 No no no. HR refers to human resources. I love those people. They always have candy on their desks.
  • + 4
 KRRRRRUUUUNK SHOX
  • + 2
 Hood river. I came for the kiting but ended up riding my bike way more. Love that place!
  • + 19
 For a second I thought its said "Hood river. I came for the knitting"
  • + 1
 hahah me too!
  • + 1
 Such a fun race!! If im doing one race next season I will definitely go back to the Hood River race!
  • + 1
 Marco ahead of Keene again. Someone better pick this kid up, he is a rock star!
  • + 2
 My daughters friend won the sport women 34 and under class.
  • + 2
 Wait, freakin Excel was better than what they were using before?
  • + 10
 An abacus would be better than what they were using before...
  • + 3
 Abacus with sundial
  • + 4
 excel is ridiculously powerful. im surprised they werent using it before for spreadsheet / tables..proprietary licensing got in the way?
  • + 3
 Yes, it was proprietary. We just went around the licensing and, lo and behold, it worked!
  • + 2
 look like some sick trails
  • + 1
 PNW Trails. Looks like its going to be FUN.
  • + 3
 The climate in Hood River is vastly different than Portland, which is a mere 45 minutes away. Hoody sits just East of the Cascades so they are a very different type of Northwest trail.
  • + 4
 There is not even a trail that is not at least a mere 45 minutes away from Portland.
  • + 2
 Powell Butte.
  • + 3
 Or Forest Park. Sandy Ridge is hovering around 45 minutes. And hey, if you feel like coming to Vancouver, we have some riding here too.
  • + 2
 Lacamas all day.
  • + 1
 Speechless. nice pictures.
  • + 1
 Nice job Mitch!!!
  • + 1
 way to throw down Kirt.
  • + 1
 Ski Bowl race report*
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