NW Cup Finals: Stevens Pass, WA - Race Report

Sep 14, 2016 at 1:02
by Eric Ashley  
NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Luke Strobel getting a feel for the newly opened Berserker trail (Pro Men).

When comparing seasons, summer is the easy crowd favorite for most riders. The endless sunshine, racing, and park-laps-till-you-drop all spell mountain biking. And you’ll get no argument that summertime checks the boxes. But at the limits of each riding season comes a peak window when all-time conditions seem to happen more often than’s entirely reasonable.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Andre Strom enjoying the ridiculously good conditions Saturday (Cat 2 Men 0-14).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Top: Liam Kain (Cat 1 Men 19-29). Bottom: heading to the right seemed like the thing to do.

Fall riding in the Pacific Northwest can be short lived before the drizzle and gray roll in. But in the face of the onslaught, the dirt is good and the riding fast. And if it rains today, the promise of warm skies are just around the corner. The NW Cup hosted the finals at Stevens Pass Bike Park for the second year in a row, and nearly 330 racers came to send off the season. Despite a fluctuating weather forecast earlier in the week, things settled down for some ripping good racing.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Colin Walla going big on the last sender (Cat 3 Men 11-14).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Stevens Pass' other new trail Piranha Bird was in good shape.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  In addition to running a killer race series, Scott Tucker finds time to moonlight as a resort guide.

In the past, Stevens Pass has uniquely seen Pros/Cat 1 racers running the same course as Cat 2. But not this round. The park's trail crew have been hard at work and opened up a new flowing blue trail for Cat 3, before punching in a steep ridge line track with some advanced chops for the Pros/Cat 1. Piranha Bird and Berserker are the latest additions to the small park that's heavy on granite and excitement.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Lewi Vassuer (Cat 1 Men 19-29).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Dialing in the new hip. Trevor Lewis (Cat 1 Men 19-29) and Steven Simpson (Pro Men).

Excellent conditions Friday and Saturday allowed racers to focus on learning lines on new tracks. This was especially important on Berserker where the fresh cut trail left duffy mounds that seemed more at home in a garden than as part of a downhill race. Despite this, or maybe because of it, the course was well received as new lines were cut in almost hourly. Crashes quickly became a contender and we foresee this trail maturing into a rough ride in the years to come.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Britney White was on pace throughout the weekend and took home the win on Sunday (Pro Women).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  For some reason this mulchy berm kept shrinking.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Josh Gibb (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

In most cases the leads in the overalls were pretty well established. After skipping the last race Luke Strobel and Jaime Rees each only had to finish the race for Pro Men and Pro Women to secure the overalls. Austin Lancaster maintained a similar lead in Juniors.

Strong directional light set the scene for Saturday evening's seedings. But Berserker spends less time in the woods than Slingshot Wookie, so deep shadows aren't as much of a factor as in the past.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Weston Potter (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  The soft conditions translated into a constantly evolving track on Berserker. Hit this rut, and you were in as deep as the cranks.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Damon Sedivy (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

Dylan Brown topped the time for Juniors at 2:33.67 — a time that would have seeded him in fifth for Pro Men. Following him was Kendall Mclean, Josh Gibb, Damon Sedivy, and Benjamin Van Veen. Uncharacteristically, Jaime Rees took her seeding run easy and came at the back behind Britney White, Kjersti Christensen, Kerstin Holster, and Linnea Rooke. Rees reports that she and husband Jeff Rees are expecting a little shredder probably had something to with her seeding pace. The new course clearly agreed with Luke Strobel who seeded six seconds ahead of the field. Luke Stevens had the second quickest time followed by Kevin Littlefield, Kent Billingsley, and Weston Potter.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kendall Mclean seeded just a few seconds behind Dylan Brown to take second (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Sylas Linnemann and Austin Lancaster (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Josh Gibb kept his seeding run tidy to come in third (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

Sunday morning's hour of practice was a busy rush that helped riders locate the best and newest inside lines. The cool mist that hung over the parking lot at the start of the day soon rose into the granite ridges as the sun peeked out of the clouds before the race kicked off. To say conditions were perfect wouldn't be true, but they were darn good. Even the bout of light rain while the Cat 2 racers were wrapping up made for great racing. However, the day did take its toll in the form of a few DNFs. Jason Eiswald took a notably hard hit during his run that took him out of contention for the Juniors.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kerstin Holster (Pro Women).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Jaime Rees put in an unusually casual seeding run to come at the bottom of the pack, at least for Saturday (Pro Women).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  This new step-up was a hit with crowds and photographers alike. Luke Stevens (Pro Men).

With the races over, Kendal Mclean had pushed Dylan Brown back to second. Damon Sedivy and Josh Gibb swapped places, ending third and fourth. And Benjamin Van Veen placed fifth. Britney White topped the Pro Women's podium in a nice repeat of last year's finals. Jaime Rees' slow-roll race run was smooth enough to place her in second ahead of Kjersti Christensen, Kerstin Holster, and Linnea Rooke.

Luke Strobel lost a little pace off of his seeding, but still ended two seconds up on Weston Potter. John Keep came another three seconds back to beat Luke Stevens by .24 seconds. Corey Craig claimed spot number five — his second Pro Podium. Full results here.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  John Keep (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  A little telltale dirt on the jersey were indications of a rough run that put Kasper Dean at the end of finishers (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kevin Littlefield seeded third (Pro Men).

With the last race of the series complete, the crowds gathered for a double helping of podiums and sweet raffles and giveaways. With the overall tallies in, Austin Lancaster, Dylan Brown, and Josh Gibb stood on the Juniors Podium. A champagne covered podium greeted Jamie Rees, Kerstin Holster, and Kjersti Christensen. And Luke Strobel's five wins clearly put him at the top for overalls followed by Kent Billingsley, and Matt Orlando.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Chris Canfield keeping things low and in control (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kent Billingsley and Jake Grob (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Fastest man down with a lead of six seconds. Luke Strobel (Pro Men).

That's a wrap for the 2016 NW Cup season! Make sure to get out there and enjoy the fall riding before it disappears. Not ready to say goodbye to racing just yet? You have one more chance to get your PNW downhill race fix in during the Cascadia MTB Championships on September 30 – October 2nd in Port Angeles, WA. This is a stand alone event presented by the NW Cup and Cadcadia Dirt Cup that will feature an enduro Saturday and a downhill race on Sunday. See you there!

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Jake Grob and Rhys Ewing (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Luke Strobel (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Overall standings are best calculated with deft hands, a mind for numbers, and a skosh of beer.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  The morning rush.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Randy Barton starting the morning out right on Berserker (Cat 1 Men 40+).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Luke Stevens (Pro Men) and Damon Sedivy (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kent Billingsley (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Matt Orlando (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Bob Stenson (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Berserker has more than just steeps, roots, and loam. Dylan Brown sending the big drop during practice on Sunday (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kjersti Christensen (Pro Women).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Brando Ross took first during his first downhill race (Cat 3 Men 19-29).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Lower Piranha Bird stays fairly wide, but there's still a feeling of exposure to keep you on your toes.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Gabby Keen (Cat 3 Women Open).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Peyton Pitts securing his third podium finish of the season (Cat 3 Men 11-14).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  After a season spent on the podium plus three consecutive wins, we wouldn't be surprised to see Austin Cantwell making some waves in Cat 2 (Cat 3 Men 11-14).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Braden Delzer punching in one more win for the season (Cat 3 Men 0-10).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Christian Hagel-Sorensen (Cat 2 Men 40-49).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Tim Healy (Cat 2 Men 30-39).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Being the mascot for Epic Racing comes with its perks.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Nicholas Omta dominated the unofficial boldest racing pants contest for the weekend (Cat 2 Men 19-29).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Russell Lancaster earning his third win of the season with an almost 10 second lead (Cat 2 Men 50+).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Troy Bassett's run was more than enough to claim his first win (Cat 2 Men 40-49).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Recent maintenance and a course to themselves meant Cat 2 racers had a much smoother time on Slingshot Wookie. Adrain Lee (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Gideon Bender and Ezra Northern (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ). Bender delivered his second win of the season.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Jake Coon wasn't at all put off by the wet wall ride and delivered his best finish of the season (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Susan Walsh (Cat 2 Women Open).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Elizabeth Finkelstein (Cat 2 Women Open).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Alison Agione (Cat 2 Women Open).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  A trio of aspiring hecklers making good use of ski season leftovers.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Matt Mangano (Cat 2 Men 0-14).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Samantha Seufert (Cat 2 Women 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Caleb Ely squeezing in a quick run between category changes (Cat 3 Men 11-14)

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Brian Davison and Wood Skinner. Davison finished with another win for the season a few seconds ahead of Skinner who took third (Cat 1 Men 19-29).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Mike Brawley (Cat 1 30-39).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kaytlin Melvin wrapping up a strong season with win number three (Cat 1 Women Open).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kat Sweet (Cat 1 Women Open).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Benjamin Van Veen held his spot for fifth on both seedings and race runs (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Damon Sedivy and Zach McCracken. Sedivy knocked off a couple seconds to climb to third (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Dylan Brown was just a few seconds off his seeding time landing in second behind Kendall Mclean (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Josh Gibb also lost a little time and came fourth (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Hot off some wins at the BC Cup, Kendall Mclean took the top step at Stevens too (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Jason Eiswald went full body-check during his run (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Although Eiswald did get up pretty quickly, finishing the run wasn't in the cards.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  In a repeat of last year's finals, Britney White carried the win (Pro Women).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Kjersti Christensen, Kerstin Holster, and Linnea Rooke (Pro Women).

Jaime Rees Pro Women .
  Despite an unassailable lead in the overalls, Jaime Rees still put down a fast run to take second (Pro Women).

Cameron Piercy.
  Are you not entertained? Cameron Piercy rings in the heckling cheer after injuries took him out earlier this season.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Steven Simpson and Evan Gilsdorf (Pro Men).

Kent Billingsley Pro Men .
  Kent Billingsley pushing things hard despite an injury from Saturday (Pro Men).

Weston Potter Pro Men .
  Weston Potter placed second to turn in a solid, post surgery season (Pro Men).

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Corey Craig nabbed his second Pro Podium and John Keep finished third (Pro Men).

Luke Stevens Pro Men .
  Luke Stevens (Pro Men).

Luke Strobel Pro Men .
  Luke Strobel doing what he does best for win number five of the season (Pro Men).

Kendal Mclean Dylan Brown Damon Sedivy Josh Gibb and Benjamin Van Veen Cat 1 Men 0-18 .
  Juniors Podium: Kendal Mclean, Dylan Brown, Damon Sedivy, Josh Gibb, and Benjamin Van Veen.

Britney White Jaime Rees Kjersti Christensen Kerstin Holster and Linnea Rooke Pro Women .
  Pro Women Podium: Britney White, Jaime Rees, Kjersti Christensen, Kerstin Holster, and Linnea Rooke.

Luke Strobel Weston Potter John Keep Luke Stevens and Corey Craig Pro Men .
  Pro Men Podium: Luke Strobel, Weston Potter, John Keep, Luke Stevens, and Corey Craig.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  West Coast Racing doesn't mess around when it comes to podiums.

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report

Luke Strobel Pro Men .

NW Cup Finals Stevens Pass WA - Race Report
  Juniors, Pro Women, and Pro Men overall podiums.

NW Cup 2016
  The fine folks who make the NW Cup possible.



15 Comments

  • + 5
 Huge thanks to the folks at NW Cup and all of the riders I've met this season for making these events something to always look forward to. @ericashley, thanks for kicking ass all season with your incredible recaps and photos. We're lucky to have you.
  • + 5
 NW Cup is a great series and a great time. Thanks for all the work the behind the scenes folks put into it. And thanks for the great photos and write ups!
  • + 2
 Excellent as always Eric! Thanks to Scott and everyone else involved in the series too! Each event is always well run and a ton of fun.
  • + 1
 Wow look at that ladies podium, 1 hand up, 1 down=perfect podium steezeez fa shieezy! Some of the boys are doing supermans...dont do this, it looks weird.
  • + 2
 Another great recap @ericashley. Are you going to be in PA at the end of the month?
  • + 2
 MTB Championships? I'll be there.
  • + 1
 @ericashley: That's great news for everyone. See ya in a few weeks!
  • + 2
 Rad recap! So sick that a lot of riders got fresh boards for the winter ahead, too.
  • + 2
 Thanks @Brule! Lib Tech made some pretty sweet trophies and the winner for Juniors, Pro Women, and Pro Men got a board too.
  • + 1
 Great recap! Way to go Lewi Vasseur getting some photo credit for GHY
  • + 0
 Snowboard trophies?
  • + 2
 Libtech is one of the sponsors and a PNW original.
  • - 2
 @bstill30: kind of a weird sponsor for a mtb race series
  • + 1
 @wiscobiker: No more weird than some of the sponsors plastered all over a NASCAR. And besides, Libtech is sponsoring a local series occurring minutes from it's doorstep and a lot of us board as well.
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