NW Cup - Round 3, Mt. Hood

Jun 24, 2015 at 19:39
by Eric Ashley  
Do you like great racing, fast technical riding, nights spent camping in a parking lot, and a bike park with unparalleled views? Then you would have been right at home with the nearly 200 racers who descended on Skibowl to sample the basalt and soak in the views during round three of the NW Cup. The warm temperatures and unseasonably early wildflowers were just a bonus.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kole Wetherell launching along the Ridge Trail during seeding runs (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Dry and dusty conditions were the norm for the weekend. Nate Cheyne (Cat 1 Men 19-29).

Skibowl has a reputation for steep descents and unforgiving craggy basalt. Nowhere is this more true than the pinball machine that is the rock garden on Arrow Trail — an intermittently open trail that blithely sends riders crashing about. While this gnarly exercise is reserved for the Pro/Cat 1 course, the Cat 2 crowd shares the wild ride down Cannonball.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Top, the Cannonball trail is a no holds barred, screaming fast, doubletrack drop from the park's summit. Damon Sedivy (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ). Left, cloud cover along the base of Mt. Hood on Friday. Right, Bunchberry or Cornus Canadensis - which completes today's botany lesson.

Starting near the summit, Cannonball plunges down the face of the mountain for a screaming fast descent. As the turns wore down through the weekend, runs required an increasingly bold commitment to tire traction. With the highest speed section done, the Pro/Cat 1 Course headed for the Arrow Trail while the Cat 2 course split off to briefly join the Cat 3 course on Gnar-Gnar before reconnecting with the pro course on the Wood Trail.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Riding to the top via the first of two lift rides

The Wood Trail dishes up steep grades on dry soil that has a habit of forming ruts and nicely exposing roots. Unlike most of the mountain, the Wood Trail is typically shrouded in darkness broken only by the occasional spot of blinding sunlight. Lucky for racers, a large chunk of race day was overcast resulting in even and legible conditions.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Ethan Lieb scored his second first-place win of the season on Sunday (Cat 2 Men 0-14).

In deference to the advanced terrain, the Cat 3 course is predominantly a fireroad descent. Because of this Gnar-Gnar's flowy turns at the bottom of the mountain are the real crowd pleaser on this course. Skibowl has recently added two short new sections of singletrack to reduce the time spent on the road, but Cat 3 riders should still be comfortable bombing down dirt and gravel.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Ben Denison (Cat 2 Men 30-39).

Hopefully at this point you're planning a trip to Hood to test your mettle and enjoy the rowdy trails. Fortunately, the NW Cup is headed back to Skibowl in a few weeks for round four of the NW Cup, July 10-12.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Cole Townsend takes a break from practicing to trim the shrubbery back (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ). Crashes were common over the weekend leading to a number of DNS/DNF in the ranks.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  The level exit of Cannonball didn't keep riders from carrying loads of speed into the last turn.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Bob Stenson and Kyle Thomas (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Carson Eiswald (Cat 2 Men 19-29). Eiswald finished his race run with a generous lead of 10 seconds.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Zach Sedivy (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Declan Ervin (Cat 2 Men 0-14) styling his final practice run on Friday.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Morning practice run on Saturday. David Head (Cat 3 Men 40-49).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Sebastian Belkin (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Gavin Stanton (Cat 3 Men 0-14) ripping down Gnar-Gnar.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Chris Shalbot (Cat 2 Men 30-39).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood


NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Declan Ervin goes down during practice after stuffing his front wheel (Cat 2 Men 0-14).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Carson Eiswald (Cat 2 Men 19-29).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  David Overman (Cat 2 Men 40-49) and Brendan Boyer (Cat 2 Men 19-29) making the turn onto the Wood Trial.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Allison Oliver (Cat 1 Women Open).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Jason Eiswald (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ), Cameron Porteous, and Kasper Dean (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Adriano Digiacinto (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kyle Thomas riding fast on Saturday's practice (Pro Men). This was Thomas' first NW Cup for the season.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Matt Orlando and Anthony Evans (Pro Men). Orlando had his best result yet with a second place finish on Sunday.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Steve Tauscheck (Cat 1 Men 19-29) crossing over for an uncommon line on Arrow Trail.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Luke Strobel taking the high-line option leading into the wedge drop (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Light like liquid pools of gold.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Brad Watt (Cat 1 Men 40+) bombing and kicking up dust on Cannonball.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Top, Jack Ryan waits at the summit for his practice run on race day (Cat 2 Men 0-14).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Final practice run before seeding runs begin.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kjersti Christensen during seeding runs (Pro Women). Christensen's race run placed her at the top of the pro podium for the first time.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Bryan Crum wrapping up the Ridge Trail (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Bob Stenson (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Damon Sedivy straight lining a jagged section along the Ridge Trail (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Luke Carroll (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Most racers opted to take the jump to the outside on this steep exit from the Ridge Trail. Weston Potter (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Dale Russell (Pro Men) starts the plunge into Cannonball.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kasper Dean (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Corey Craig (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Fastest rider of the day, Kirk McDowall charging during seeding runs (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Luke Strobel coming out of the large embankment on Cannonball (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Jake Grob (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  James Roberts (Cat 1 Men 19-29).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Nate Cheyne skipping the sender on Cannonball. Cheyene finished the day with another first place for the season (Cat 1 Men 19-29).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kris Christensen and David French (Cat 1 Men 19-29).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  At Skibowl everyone rides the road, at least a little. Nicholas Dumas (Cat 1 Men 30-39).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Brad Delzer (Cat 1 Men 40+).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Brad Watt cleanly riding a section of Arrow Trail that saw a lot of crashes over the weekend (Cat 1 Men 40+). Watt took third in his category.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Matt Macartney (Cat 1 Men 40+).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kaytlin Melvin (Cat 1 Women Open).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Eyes up, camera on. Phil Lewis (Cat 2 Men 30-39).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Jesse Murdock (Cat 2 Men 30-39) headed to first place.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Joel Mattecheck (Cat 2 Men 19-29).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  A clean merge onto the pro course. This corner where the Cat 2 course joined the Pro/Cat I course ended up becoming a duffy pocket.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Brett Carels (Cat 2 Men 40-49).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Peter Gould and Joe Prisel putting in fast lines on the bottom of the Wood Trail (Cat 2 Men 40-49). Gould and Prisel took first and fourth.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Mitch Schmidt (Cat 2 Men 40-49).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Interesting fact about the trees in the Mt. Hood area - they are lousy for climbing

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Jack Frischkorn clearing the step-down gap under the supervision of the Rasta-Bananna (Cat 2 Men 0-14).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Gavin Stanton (Cat 3 Men 0-14).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Dawson Young headed to the finish for his second first-place win of the season (Cat 3 Men 0-14).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Cherish Tauscheck also placed first for the second time this season (Cat 3 Women Open).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Susan Walsh (Cat 3 Women Open).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Nicholas Omta (Cat 3 Men 19-29).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  While not a traditional rainbow, an iridescent cloud hung over the Cat 3 course to add some extra color.

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Some runs are all flowers and rainbows... some runs aren't. Ryan Nolan (Cat 3 Men 15-18 ) and Kara Richman (Cat 3 Women 0-18 ).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Dylan Brown (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Bailey Villalovos (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Ian Robinson rushing into the steeps (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Shelby Reilly (Pro Women).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kyle Thomas celebrated his first Father's Day with a sixth place finish (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood

Adam Ransavage Pro Men .

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Adam Ransavage gently laying his bike over (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Luke Carroll recovers, narrowly missing a tree (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Basalt makes for good obstacles and good grandstands too. Kurtis Walton (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Ken Faubert (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Luke Strobel nearing the end of the rock garden on Arrow Trail. Strobel was edged out of third by a fraction of a second (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Jake Grob taking the middle line on the wedge drop (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Spencer Graf and Kirk McDowall (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Sky Dunn-Sarvis, Jason Eiswald, and Austin Lancaster (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Shelby Reilly celebrating with the Rasta-Bannana (Pro Women).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kjersti Christensen and Shelby Reilly (Pro Women).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  Kirk McDowall, Matt Orlando, Spencer Graf, Luke Strobel, and Weston Potter (Pro Men).

NW Cup - Round 3 Mt. Hood
  "Please come again." The NW Cup is returning to Skibowl in a few weeks, July 10-12.


Full Results Here


MENTIONS: @olympicdirtsociety , @ericashley

Must Read This Week

26 Comments

  • + 12
 I was hoping for a report/recap from Skibowl! Thanks for delivering! Amazing photos too, as always.
  • + 5
 Cannonball in particular helped me discover every bolt that needed fresh loctite, and gave me two flats on Sunday - one each during practice and the race run. What a blast to just let 'er rip though!
  • + 1
 Cannonball was so loose caused my crash In my race run
  • + 2
 I had to do a chainless run Sunday for cat 2 due to snapping a derailleur hanger after taking a nice lil dirt nap during practice. And me being the dumbass I am didn't have a spare
  • + 2
 Had so much fun! Last weekend was my first race and now I think I am hooked. Thanks to all nw cup and skibowl folks for putting on a great event.
  • + 3
 Nicely done as always Eric. I hope you aren't having to shovel out dust from your camera after that race.
  • + 2
 I made the mistake of cleaning the back of one of my lenses — and I've got plenty of dust on my sensor. Still less dust than finals last year.
  • + 2
 Always a pleasure to see these post race, good to chat with you while you were working in the locker room. Cheers.
  • + 1
 I'd say you should be out there putting in race laps EA, but it would be a waste of such a damn fine photographer... killer article, as always!
  • + 3
 wow! these photos are beautiful!! cheers @ericashley
  • + 3
 New rear wheel, cranks and pedals needed after race run. Ski bowl...
  • + 3
 This place gave me and a buddy fits. We learned how expensive racing can get. Between the two of us we went thru 2 new magic marys (blew holes down the center tread), derailer pulley flew out, broken shift cable, new rear wheel dinged up, and daily servicing of the bikes. Another buddy @dropitbig tore his derailer hanger in half trying to come up short on a cannonball jump.
  • + 1
 i wish i wouldve got that crash on video @Bennyd4u
  • + 2
 I always dread having to do a lens change on the trail with those conditions.
  • + 3
 Thanks Eric, your recap and photos are the best.
  • + 2
 Thanks for the recap Eric. As always, amazing pics and a great read. See you next month! Cheers!
  • + 2
 high fives @ericashley ! your geology has improved Smile awesome report.
  • + 2
 Thanks. I remembered from last year.
  • + 2
 It looks like gavin stanton is on a future of the sport style run!!
  • + 1
 The size of those checks hurt.
  • + 1
 Phenomenal photos! Some of the best I've seen!
  • + 1
 Another killer race recap Eric!
  • + 1
 Couldn't make it this year but next year... I will be there!
  • + 1
 Rasta Banana!
  • - 2
 Video or it didn't happen!!!

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