Qualifying Photo Report: US Open 2019

Sep 15, 2019
by Andy Vathis  


The US Open is back for 2019 and finds itself in sunny California. It's a rider favourite on the calendar and after the official announcement that there would be an equal prize purse of $10,000 to be had, it made the trek to the south-west a little easier. The classic US Open format is all the same as previous years. Anyone can try at that prize money if they don't mind a few celebrity guests in their way fighting for the same goal. Of course, the amateur classes are also available and include their own set of awesome prizes. Fun will be had - guaranteed.

Much like last year's venue in Killington, there's a chairlift that runs to the top and well, that's it. Everything about the terrain and weather is pretty foreign to a lot of racers that don't live and ride in California or similar. It's extremely dry and there's no sign of a cloud or precipitation anytime soon. To further complicate the situation, the high altitude doesn't help much with breathing, especially once the dust gets flying. Regardless of all that, however, Snow Summit ski resort definitely put in their time to make sure the US Open staff were happy with the track and how it was taped off. The course is not particularly steep nor long but does feature open grass corners, loose rock gardens, some high-speed open sections, and dusty twisty descents. The trail crew linked up older bits of the track with fresh cut and rearranged terrain that equates to a course that has an old school feel to it. It's technical enough so keeping your speed through the chunder will be an asset to posting a good time. It's going to be wild come Sunday.


It s so unbelievably dry out. It would take a flood for the soil be tacky.
It's so unbelievably dry out. It would take a flood for the soil to be tacky.

Which ever spider owns this web is going to need a big vacuum.
Which ever spider owns this web is going to need a big vacuum.

Dakotah Norton was cruising until a proper fall had him riding with his hazards on. He ll be hurting but is buzzing for finals.
Dakotah Norton was cruising until a proper fall had him riding with his hazards on. He'll be hurting but is buzzing for finals.

Anneke Beerten is a top 10 qualifier after going on and winning the enduro race earlier in the day.
Anneke Beerten is a top 10 qualifier after going on and winning the enduro race earlier in the day.

The deep sand ruts will bite if you re not careful.
The deep sand ruts will bite if you're not careful.

Greg Minnaar trying to find his pace in the California loam. He should speed things right up for tomorrow s final.
Greg Minnaar trying to find his pace in the California loam. He should speed things right up for tomorrow's final.

The upper rock garden is slippery with an awkward entrance. Course marshals worked at replacing the tree pad with a narrower one that should catch less bar ends. Still the carnage continued.
The upper rock garden is slippery with an awkward entrance. Course marshals worked at replacing the tree pad with a narrower one that should catch less bar ends. Still, the carnage continued.

George Ryan is one of many legends that have traveled west for the US Open.
George Ryan is one of many legends that have traveled west for the US Open.

No rainbow stripes for Loic Bruni this weekend. This is a different series and set of challenges for the worlds fastest Frenchie.
No rainbow stripes for Loic Bruni this weekend. This is a different series and set of challenges for the world's fastest Frenchie.

Kailey Skelton put in lap after lap trying to figure out the dust bowl. She d qualify seventh ahead of the big final.
Kailey Skelton put in lap after lap trying to figure out the dust bowl. She'd qualify seventh ahead of the big final.

Bas van Steenbergen has got the pants but does he have the speed to compete against the pros
Bas van Steenbergen has got the pants but does he have the speed to compete against the pros?

The dusty conditions got to Vaea Verbeeck in her early practice runs but she seems to be shaking it off. Finals tomorrow will be the real test.
The dusty conditions got to Vaea Verbeeck in her early practice runs but she seems to be shaking it off. Finals tomorrow will be the real test.

Aaron Gwin is a hungry man. A win here could very well bring confidence into the off season as 2020 rolls in.
Aaron Gwin is a hungry man. A win here could very well bring confidence into the offseason as 2020 rolls in.

Bouncing around the rocks is Camila Nogueira.
Bouncing around the rocks is Camila Nogueira.

Upwards facing rocks are keeping the bike shop and pits busy repairing flats and wheels.
Upwards facing rocks are keeping the bike shop and pits busy repairing flats and wheels.

Chris Kovarik loves a good loose track. He closed out the top 10 in qualies.
Chris Kovarik loves a good loose track. He closed out the top 10 in qualies.

Claire Hamilton is easily one of the smoothest riders out on course and smooth is fast. P1 in qualies.
Claire Hamilton is easily one of the smoothest riders out on course and smooth is fast. P1 in qualies.

Kialani Hines getting her turns in. The ruts get deeper with every practice session. By the time she drops in tomorrow the course will have changed a few times.
Kialani Hines getting her turns in. The ruts get deeper with every practice session. By the time she drops in tomorrow, the course will have changed a few times.

Austin Bubba Warren showed us that he can keep up with the world cup guys.
Austin 'Bubba' Warren showed us that he can keep up with the world cup guys.

Tahnnee Seagrave came back form injury and right back onto the UCI podiums. She s out here this weekend continuing that progression collecting momentum for next season.
Tahnnee Seagrave came back from injury and right back onto the UCI podiums. She's out here this weekend continuing that progression, collecting momentum for next season.

Cole Picchiottino is no slouch. He won qualies and don t forget the list of pros out here on the same track.
Cole Picchiottino is no slouch. He won qualies and don't forget the list of pros out here on the same track.

Charles Frydendal was out stacking laps leading up to qualies. Practice paid off for sixth.
Charles Frydendal was out stacking laps leading up to qualies. Practice-paid off for sixth.

Jill Kintner blasts through the loose single track.
Jill Kintner blasts through the loose singletrack.

Claire Buchar diving into the shoot after the first woods. She qualified sixth today.
Claire Buchar diving into the shoot after the first woods. She qualified sixth today.

Don t count out Missy Giove at the US Open.
Don't count out Missy Giove at the US Open.

No fear enduro bike for Jennifer Mchugh.
No fear enduro bike for Jennifer Mchugh.

Luca Shaw skipping boulders on his way to fifth in qualies.
Luca Shaw skipping boulders on his way to fifth in qualies.

Kyle Strait ahead of Kovarik qualifying P9. He s looking smooth on this rutted course.
Kyle Strait ahead of Kovarik, qualifying P9. He's looking smooth on this rutted course.

Brett Rheeder trying his hand at downhill racing. His biggest adjustment was a bike setup with actual suspension sag.
Brett Rheeder trying his hand at downhill racing. His biggest adjustment was a bike set up with actual suspension sag.

Cody Kelley is probably relieved that this race has only one stage a couple days of practice and chairlift access only.
Cody Kelley is probably relieved that this race has only one stage, a couple of days of practice, and chairlift access only.

What's a mountain bike festival without some whip off action?

Dylan Maples letting it hang out.

Local boy, Ryan Pinkerton was throwing banger right off the bat.

Allan Cooke held his whips for so long it was mind-bending.

R-Dog soaring.

Matt Sterling flat and sideways.

Finley Kirschmeyer was going highest than anyone else.

Cam Mccaul letting go on the setup jump.

Best whip podium - Allan Cooke, Ryan Howard, and Matt Sterling for the Pros. Ryan Pinkerton, Finley Kirschmeyer, and Dylan Maples in for the Groms.

Allan Cooke passing his prize and torch to Ryan Pinkerton king of the Groms after showing everyone how it s done.
Allan Cooke passing his prize and torch to Finley Kirschmeyer after showing everyone how it's done.

Moonrise over the Cali tundra. One more sleep until the going gets hot and dry.
Moonrise over the Cali tundra. One more sleep until the going gets hot and dry.



26 Comments

  • 34 1
 Love the variety of pros here. Minnaar, Gwin, Rheeder, Bubba, kvorik, Kintner, Strait, Seagrave etc etc. Better than a crankworx. Wow. It’s got to be more than the 10k
  • 2 0
 Would love to hear more about the all-raw Demo Loic was riding...
  • 1 0
 @ka-brap: it's his spare bike that he usually runs the data rig on for practice at the WC
  • 1 1
 To be fair...This is the off seasom...Crankworx is right in the middle of the season and often right at the same time as a world cup race so...there’s that
  • 2 0
 most had contractual obligation to be at this one from Fox. that's why so many big names showed up.
  • 6 0
 Report but no results?
  • 1 0
 DH race is today
  • 8 0
 (From Vital)

U.S. Open Men's DH Qualifying Results (top 10)

COLE PICCHIOTTINO - 03:04.399
LOIC BRUNI - 03:05.871
AARON GWIN - 03:06.135
AUSTIN WARREN - 03:07.722
LUCA SHAW - 03:08.790
CHARLES FRYDENDAL - 03:09.879
DAKOTAH NORTON - 03:10.236
GREG MINNAAR - 03:12.325
KYLE STRAIT - 03:13.262
CHRIS KOVARIK - 03:13.646

U.S. Open Women's DH Qualifying Results (top 11 just to include Missy)

CLARE HAMILTON - 03:30.653
JILL KINTNER - 03:32.307
TAHNEE SEAGRAVE - 03:39.150
VAEA VERBEECK - 03:40.402
CAMILA NOGUEIRA - 03:41.604
CLAIRE BUCHAR - 03:43.541
JENNIFER MCHUGH - 03:48.641
KAILEY SKELTON - 03:49.881
ANNEKE BEERTEN - 03:50.142
KIALANI HINES - 03:59.200
MELISSA GIOVE - 03:59.582
  • 7 1
 Missy!
  • 3 0
 Just missed the top10! Crazy! Her racing again makes me smile.
  • 3 0
 Finley is only 12 and was ABSOLUTELY soaring with style. Legitimately one of the best whips out there. The forms look as good as the pros.
  • 1 0
 Yessir! Kids got skills
  • 2 1
 Why wouldn't loic wear his rainbow jersey? It's still a DH race. Should be the same as road where you can wear it in any road race. He shouldn't wear it if he was in an Enduro but since this is DH....he should be rocking the stripes.
  • 3 0
 Is UCI still enforcing the "you can't race outlaw races" or be penalized policy these days ?
  • 1 0
 If it's sanctioned by the national federation, the UCI won't really care. Also, it's up to the national federation to implement the rule and penalize the rider, not the UCI.
  • 3 0
 Clare Hamilton is having a great season!
  • 3 0
 Where the hell is Charlie?
  • 2 0
 how do i get to stream this?
  • 2 0
 So sick andy
  • 1 0
 Hold on.......I'm on my way \m/
  • 3 1
 Da missile!!!!
  • 1 0
 And the results are.......?
  • 1 0
 Any replay video available?
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