Race Report: 2018 North American Enduro Cup

Jul 1, 2018
by North-American-Enduro-Cup  


With a brutal day of practice under their belts, racers took to the course Saturday for the first day of racing the 2018 North American Enduro Cup. Braving six technical and intimidating stages, nearly 6000’ of climbing made sure competitors were never complacent. The heavens broke in the evening, letting loose a short, but needed, deluge upon the trails. Sunday’s trails will have some added firmness and confidence.

Racers started their day by navigating the blisteringly off-camber side cuts of “Soup Kitchen” and “Mom Jeans,” two trails cut in just for this event, and only opened the day prior. Stage one continued, spitting out on the to the jagged, exposed ledges of Silver Mountain Bike Parks’ famed “Snaggletooth.” From there, racers crossed down the rest the longest stage of the day, landing back at the lodge for a gondola ride back to the peak of Silver Mountain.

If Stage 1 punished, Stage 2 rubbed salt into the wound. Racers were thrown down the historic downhill course “Franken Beans.” In addition to the sing, they were challenged to test their zest in a steeze off, sponsored by Iron Horse Brewery, to see who could get the raddest off of the iconic Baby Swiss drop. In the end, it was the monstrous (and always classy) bar hump from Hudson Jacobs that wound up taking the day. You can’t beat a classic.

The next two stages were a breath of fresh air for racers, trading tech for flow, and giving racers an opportunity to rest their forearms while mach chickening through sculpted berms, whoops, and dumping elevation like J-Lo dumped Ben Affleck. Truly, a refreshing moment after the hell that was of Snake Pit.

Stage Five was unique to this race: Pro only, and a fresh cut track used for the first time at the NW Cup only a week earlier. The NW Cup tested riders on their DH sleds. This weekend, riders pedaled to the top and charged the stage with nothing but single crown forks to be seen, Stage six did not make things easier for anyone. Starting down Spooky Woods, riders had to challenge themselves to the edge of physical capability as they kept pushing down some of the classic Silver Mountain trails.

The stoke was high at the start of Day one here at NAEC. Did Kent Billingsley earn his number Time will tell
The stoke was high at the start of Day one here at NAEC. Did Kent Billingsley earn his number? Time will tell!

The aroma of breakfast circulated the parking lots in the early hours of Day 1 at NAEC
The aroma of breakfast circulated the parking lots in the early hours of Day 1 at NAEC

Smiles for miles with the incredible neutral support from the crews at Shimano and FSA.
Smiles for miles with the incredible neutral support from the crews at Shimano and FSA.

FSA snuck out some fancy new carbon wheels.
FSA snuck out some fancy new carbon wheels.

Patrik Zuest was the savior of many folks.
Patrik Zuest was the savior of many folks.

All thriller no filler. Luke Strobel bombing his way down Stage 2. Strobel stands strong going into Day 2 in second place 7 seconds behind Carson Eiswald.
All thriller, no filler. Luke Strobel bombing his way down Stage 2. Strobel stands strong going into Day 2 in second place, 7 seconds behind Carson Eiswald.

Mind the gap Parley Ford sending it off Baby Swiss making it look easy.
Mind the gap! Parley Ford sending it off Baby Swiss, making it look easy

Who said old white men can t jump Lars Sternberg getting sideways on Baby Swiss.
Who said old white men can't jump? Lars Sternberg getting sideways on Baby Swiss.

Kelly Wood showing the young guys that hard tails can still handle.
Kelly Wood, showing the you that hardtails can still handle.

Mark Allison showing off his proto 29er Kona.
Mark Allison showing off his proto 29er Kona

Conditions couldn t be more perfect
Conditions couldn't be more perfect

Surface of the moon or Secret Squirrel?

Taken out by a crash on Stage 3 during practice Branham Snyder still couldn t miss out on the fun. Branham took the opportunity to spread encouragement and advice when not heckling.
Taken out by a crash on Stage 3 during practice, Branham Snyder still couldn't miss out on the fun. Branham took the opportunity to spread encouragement and advice, when not heckling.

Want to know why the event sold out of tires on day one Now you know
Want to know why the event sold out of tires on day one? Now you know!

Chris Trask keeping eyes on the prize on stage six.
Chris Trask keeping eyes on the prize on stage six.

Hell yea brother
Hell yeah brother!

Hannah Bergemann racing steady to a second place seeding going in to day two. With just 007 separating her form Porsha Murdock.
Hannah Bergemann racing steadily to a second place seeding going into day two. With just: .007 separating her form Porsha Murdock.

Leading the day Porsha Murdock didn t let something as finicky as Ground hold her back stay rubber in the air as often as she could.
Leading the day, Porsha Murdock didn't let something as finicky as "Ground" hold her back, stay rubber in the air as often as she could.

Kristan Duft the blind hero dives towards the stage 5 finish.
Kristan Duft, the blind hero, dives towards the stage 5 finish.

Rachel Throop proving that over is better than on floating her way through Wide Open on Stage 6.
Rachel Throop proving that over is better than on, floating her way through Wide Open on Stage 6.

A brief shower felt nice.
A brief shower felt nice.







If Saturday was the “slow and steady” day (it wasn’t), then Sunday was do or die day. With a day of racing already under their belts, and the bruises to show for it, racers were feeling the day before they even rolled out of their beds (Vans?). A $12,000 pro purse on the line helped get them moving - the sooner they went off, the closer they'd be to the finish line and finding out their fate.

Starting out with a hellish 3000’ climb that took them off of the Silver Mountain Property and on to private timber land where they were granted the opportunity to tear it up on what has historically been a locals only Moto trail. “Monday Tuesday” exposed riders to the highest straight away speeds of the weekend, and possibly the rowdiest rock garden as well.

Stage 8 kept racers on Moto trail, but rather then the bootleg power line straightaway nature of stage 7, racers were exposed to the hane of “sticks and stones”, a Moto trail that encompasses some of the rowdier parts of the Hard Moto Enduro that takes place just two weeks before the NAEC. It’s always a safe rule of thumb that if it’s burly on a moto, its extra zesty on a bike, and “sticks and stones” payed back in spades.

If that wasn’t enough, the final stage 10 was a full top to bottom, running competitors down the Bike park jump line “Hammer” and into one of the only stages that we’ve raced for all three years of the NAEC “Mutton Conductor”. Racers were subjected to nearly sixteen minutes of arm pump hell before being spit out on the rail and pealing back to venue.

At the end of the day, we saw podiums stay consistent, with Carson Eiswald just edging out Luke Stroble for the win, with Aaron Bradford slipping into third. and privateer Damon Sidevy took fourth, and Lars Sternberg took fifth in true party in the woods style.

On the Ladies end, Porsha Murdock held her lead over Hannah Bergermann, with Amy Morrison taking third, Chelsea Kimball hammering down fourth and Alicia Leggett rounding off the podium.

Adam Price takes on the off camber of "Mutton Conductor" on stage 10

Hell yea brother
Hell yea brother! Rider: Dakota Chapman

The unknown rider gets intimate with the earth. Praise the holy mother Gaia.
The unknown rider gets intimate with the earth. Bless the earth mother Gaia

Wood Skinner pedaled his DH bike over 10 000 these past two days. Is there anything more to say
Wood Skinner pedaled near 10,000' over the past two days... on his DH bike. Enough said

Nick Quinn drives that front end in the stage 8 moto hane

Aaron Bradford of Shimano neutral support set down the tools at the 11th hour and hammered himself into a solid third place finish.
Aaron Bradford, Shimano neutral support dropped the tools at the 11th hour to ride his way into 4th place

Jimmy Smith spent the weekend racing to get back to the water park at the resort. With only six people racing faster then he did we think he did a pretty good job of it.
While he may not have made podium this year, Jimmy Smith won the race to the water park.. both days.

The weekend was rife with part trains. This one was led by Hudson Jacobs.
Hudson Jacobs leads the party train down stage 7

 Partytrain
Party train was the name of the game this weekend, much to the dismay of timers, but the delight of.... everyone else.

Checkers or wreckers. With a 12 000 pro purse on the line there is no point in not pinning it.
Checkers or wreckers baby! With $12,000 at stake it was brakes off and all gas. You win some, you loose some, But hell, no one can say you didn't go for it.

Delia Massey eyeing the rock garden on stage one

Hannah Bergermann off brakes and flying down the stage 7 tree luge to a respectable second place.
Hannah Bergemann keeps it pinned on her way to 2nd place Pro Women, and a healthy $1,500 check

Dayum gurl that dirt.
Some things just don't need captions

 Endurobro
#enduro

Porsha Murdock Hannah Bergermann Amy Morrison Chelsea Kimball Alica Leggett.
Porsha Murdock, Hannah Bergemann, Amy Morrison, Chelsea Kimball , AlicIa Leggett.

When on the podium.....
When on the podium.....

Carson Eiswald Luke Strobel Aaron Bradford Damon Sedivy Lars Sternberg
Carson Eiswald, Luke Strobel, Aaron Bradford, Damon Sedivy, Lars Sternberg

Thats how it s done
Thats how it's done!

Check out the overall results here: 2018 NAEC Results


23 Comments

  • + 20
 Always nice to see the men's and women's checks the same.
  • + 1
 Amen!
  • + 2
 Right. Keep it up and in 20 odd years we’ll have equal numbers men and women competing.
  • + 5
 You're darn right I pedaled my dh bike all weekend.
  • + 12
 GO HANNAH B!
  • + 5
 Was gonna say.. You had a killer week there. Congrats. Such a sick weekend of ridin round there. Loved the grand finale stage. Love goin to Silver to ride every summer for the last 4 seasons. It’s becoming pilgrimage. Love that little valley and the super chill laid back vibe here and the rippin riding. It’s a gem for sure.
  • + 4
 Thanks Mr Dildo!
  • + 5
 Such a good weekend with friendly folk. I wrote a short blurb focusing more on the social aspect of the race for those considering going next year! cyclingtrivialities.weebly.com

#shamelessselfpromotion
  • + 8
 What’s a guy gotta do to get a little bit of coverage on here?
  • + 4
 Nice work over the last two weekends man! We're stoked to see you take home some cartoon checks.
  • + 5
 @Silvermt: Thanks!! You guys killed it with both events, I was really impressed with all the trails the last few weeks
  • + 6
 @Eiswald267: dude you killed it, your times were absolutely insane ! After riding the same course all weekend blown away by how well you tackled it! And you crushed the dh last weekend ..! ????????????????
  • + 1
 This is my favorite thing about pinkbike - dude wins a race, shows up in the article itself and then razzes people on the comment board. Fun times!
  • + 1
 Photo epic dropping in a couple days. Have no fear homie!
  • + 2
 @North-American-Enduro-Cup: it does say “race report” and no pic of the guy who cleanly won both days and most of the stages. . . . . .
Maybe is should say “industry insider report” !
  • + 8
 @MX298: We'll keep that in mind as a working title for the next report. There's some potential there for sure.
Unfortunately what you're seeing a little mix up between us and the PB editors. The Sunday report was only intended to be whistle wetter, with results and a small smattering of images before we were able to sit dow and give you a full in depth write up. We'll have a photo epic out tomorrow, and @Eiswald267, you can bet your bottom dollar you'll get the attention you deserve. Back to back wins! You knocked it out of the park brother.
  • + 6
 Great captioning! "Bless the earth mother Gaia," had me laughing out loud at work.
  • + 5
 It's a small thing, but it's nice to know where things take place besides the name of the bike park.
  • + 3
 Google is your friend
  • + 8
 @honda50r: It isn't the reader's job to provide the story's context.
  • + 5
 Kellog, Idaho. But I agree
  • + 2
 I agree. Same goes for EWS and even DH World Cup articles. Don't make all the readers Google it.
  • + 7
 Thanks for bringing that up. Kellogg, Idaho and the whole Silver Valley is loaded with stuff to do. We're proud of our bike park, but that really just one aspect of why people are starting to put this on their trip list.

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