Round two of the Shimano Cascadia Dirt Cup presented by Cannonade
descended on Port Angeles for the inaugural Cascadia National Enduro Championship. This two day event massed 180 riders to the Dry Hill trail network for some mighty fine racing. The recipe for the course called for a dollop of downhill trails, stirred with classic singeltrack, and flavored with a hearty handful of road climb transitions. All served hot and dusty. With seven stages over two days, racers received a rigorous sampler of the awesome trails at this Cascadian gem — as well as an up close view of each patch of shade on the transitions.
The Cascadia Dirt Cup (CDC) has quickly earned a reputation for fun days of riding, impressive courses, and a habitually smooth operation. The idea for the Cascadia National Enduro Championship began, like many dreams of adventure do, around a fire surrounded by friends drinking beer. With so many great trails, bikes, riders —and yes beer— the illustrious land of Cascadia
was in need of its own enduro championship to match, explains Series Director Trey Wilson. Which brings us to last weekend on trails that are more often associated to double-crown rigs and the rumble of hecklers during the NW Cup.
Day one of racing arrived bright and warm and as the hours progressed the heat dialed up. With Pro Men leaving the staging area at 11:00 a.m., the sun had plenty of time to get into full swing before the racing started. As the bigger day of racing, Saturday's course involved four stages and a lot of climbing (somewhere in the range of 3,500-4,000 ft). Pros and Experts ran the course in consecutive stages, while Juniors and Sport completed the order in 3, 4, 1, 2. Racers were in for a grueling day with fast rough trails, road climbs, and heat that only slightly dissipated in the shade. The libations and burgers offered a welcome respite at the end of the day, and riders were perking up in time for the raffles.
Day two was fortunately more forgiving with reasonable temperatures, less climbing (2,000+ feet) and only three stages. Mother nature decided to be a little manic and the latter half of the day was darkly overcast punctuated by a few rain drops. The conditions were certainly more forgiving but stages later in the day got pretty dim in the trees. All categories completed stages 5, 6, and 7 in consecutive order. As an added bonus, an impromptu huck-to-flat competition sprung up between stages.
With the miles earned and the verticals conquered the podiums were calling. The mood was teeming with camaraderie and congratulations, and with a large turnout of both Pro Men and Pro Women racers, the purses for the top three pro riders were looking good. Throw in Lars Sternberg's bid as the official bird of Cascadia and everyone is a winner. The next stop of the CDC is heading to Yacolt to wrangle the trails at Cold Creek on July 25. Until then, check out the Cascadia National Enduro Championship results here
was a high speed bomb down Hot & Steamy to Money Shots. A thick carpet of roots and chunk gave way to a rutted toboggan run. Pre-riding was a wise decision as this stage had several 'gotcha' turns that either hooked uphill or made shallow detours at the end of straightaways — sending riders blowing off course.Stage Two
took off from the summit along Upper Scott's Mom, Brazilian, Muffin Top and ended on One Liner. Dishing up tight challenging singletrack paired with open stretches through the clear cut. Lighting ranged from dark forest to brilliant full sun.Stage Three
was a blessedly downhill charge on the newly opened Queen Diamond with a finish on Double Bypass. The top was loose and steep while the bottom was steep and chunky.Stage Four
delivered another downhill route, this time on the steep turns of Wayne's World and ending on the high speed rough chunder on lower Braeburn. Stage Five
closely resembled stage two. Sunday it featured Upper Scott's Mom, Brazilian, White Knuckle and One Liner. Many riders saw faster times on this pass whether to the difference in course or to more hospitable weather.Stage Six
lead from King Diamond to Upper Pro. Another high speed, high chuck course. This was the only stage where Luke Strobel didn't finish fastest — due to a crash and broken rear brake. It was also about this time in the day when things got really dark.Stage Seven
shared the same start as stage four, but took an unexpected turn and climb up Braeburn to a fern engulfed connector trail that ended on Lower Pro. This last run, and added climb, began to show on racers.