Jack Isle (Pro Men) charging during practice. The Norco Factory Racing rider finished 45th on Sunday.
The 2015 Underworld Cup Pro GRT # 1 NW Cup # 1. Anyway you slice this weekend of DH racing, it was a huge launch for both series. Just a few minutes from downtown Port Angeles the Dry Hill trail network was host to over 600 riders. All of whom were ready to put their energy and love of mountain biking to good use, including Connor Fearon whose fierce time on Sunday set a new course record.
Jacob Coles (Cat 2 Men 30-39) practicing on White Knuckle.
This is the first year the Pro GRT has received UCI points for elite riders. New prestige that brought changes to formatting, course marshaling, and qualifying. Changes, along with the influx of participants, which were handled in stride — a good omen for the rest of the NW Cup series which is back up to a full seven stops this year.
Rolling clouds on Saturday kept the lighting alternating from overcast to unsurpassed. August Nesloitt (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ).
Surprisingly this precipitation-heavy early-season venue greeted riders with unnaturally fair weather on practice Saturday (though Friday was a little more traditional). Even race day held up well, with only the briefest of rain drops during the awards. Despite favorable conditions, crashes were a common sight throughout the weekend.
Bailey Starr (Cat 2 Women Open).
Brendan Boyer (Cat 2 Men 19-29).
West Coast Racing's Mitch Schmidt at the top of the course (Cat 2 Men 40-49).
Ryan McGarrity (Cat 2 Men 0-14).
Headed into the clear cut on the Cat 3 course.
Michael Buckling getting serious during practice (Cat 3 Men 15-18 ).
Scenic vistas were in full swing.
Joseph Tweiten (Cat 2 Men 19-29).
Damon Iwanaga (Cat 1 Men 19-29).
Keara Clark (Cat 1 Women Open) and Tyler Bates (Cat 1 Men 30-39). Clark took home the win on Sunday.
Austin Larson keeping things low and fast off of the step-down (Cat 1 Men 30-39).
Kevin Littlefield (Pro Men).
Andrew Frink (Cat 3 Men 30-39).
Magnus Manson followed by Finn Iles (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ). Both riders would earn spots on the podium Sunday. Manson claimed a ProGRT second once again, while Iles saw his first ProGRT podium after taking third.
Emilie Siegenthaler (Pro Women).
Jill Kintner (Pro Women) railing through the woods.
Isale Leivsson and Matt Orlando (Pro Men).
Shane Leslie (Pro Men).
Ben Furbee (Pro Men).
Michelle Weekly (Pro Women).
Charlie Harrison (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ) was riding in fine form all weekend, earning him a space at the top of the podium — though an early flight meant he wouldn't be present for the ceremonies.
Tacky conditions during practice didn't always keep riders on course Saturday. Gabe Stark and Austin Hackett-Klaube (Pro Men).
2014 NW Cup Overall Champion Jaime Rees (Pro Women). Rees finished 8th over the weekend.
Brakes on! This loose turn continued to deteriorate through the weekend. Mark Wallace and Logan Binggeli (Pro Men).
Harry Armstrong (Pro Men) came in 84th during qualifiers, just missing the cut to race Sunday.
Nikolas Nestoroff (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ) receiving pointed directions during qualifiers.
This unassuming turn directly after the Waterfall section generated its share of carnage. Damon Sedivy and Collin McBride (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ) were two of three consecutive riders to go down at the berm.
Steven Walton (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
Lauren Heitzman seconds away from finishing her qualifying run (Pro Women).
Claire Buchar celebrated her birthday on Sunday with a third place finish (Pro Women).
Vaea Verbeeck (Pro Women).
Local icon Luke Strobel sending it big on the step-down (Pro Men). The 2014 NW Cup Overall Champion held third for both qualifiers and race day.
The customary fleet of three Uhaul's were replaced this year in favor of six of the smaller wagons.
Anthony Barlow (Cat 2 Men 40-49) practicing before the races start.
Halvor Norris (Cat 2 Men 19-29).
Lisa Muggli (Cat 2 Women Open) practicing one of the harder sections of the Cat 2 course.
All Out Racing's Kody Clark (Cat 1 Men 19-29) was the first rider to race on Sunday. Clark finished third, sharing the podium with teammate Alex Wynakos.
Jake Anstett (Cat 1 Men 19-29) headed toward first.
Steven Simpson (Cat 1 Men 19-29).
Nathan Cheyne (Cat 1 Men 19-29).
Charlie Shivel (Cat 1 Men 30-39).
Ryan Rodriguez exiting the clear cut in style (Cat 1 Men 30-39). Rodriguez placed second.
Tony Del Grippo (Cat 1 Men 40+).
Matt Patterson (Cat 1 Men 40+) all in on his way to first.
Heather Baroody (Cat 1 Women Open).
Kristi Pruitt (Cat 1 Women Open).
Bryan Campbell (Cat 2 Men 30-39) starting into Cakewalk.
Dustin Rogers (Cat 2 Men 30-39).
Spectating can be hard work.
Vote Schools, or at least to reuse and recycle. Jackson Morris (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ).
Misha Linehan (Cat 2 Men 15-18 ).
Andrew Semanskee (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
Cruising through a forest wonderland.
Zach McCracken (Cat 2 Men 0-14) spotting turns and pinning it.
McKenna Merten (Cat 2 Women 0-18 ).
Jackson Goldstone closing in on Zach Cohen (Cat 3 Men 15-18 ).
Gavin Stanton (Cat 3 Men 0-14) throwing down for the camera.
Peter Gould (Cat 3 Men 40-49).
Tidy riding from Bailey Goldstone en route to first (Cat 3 Women 0-18 ).
Austin Lancaster taking advantage of the mid-day practice (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
Kristen Courtney (Pro Women) and Roberto Bonometti (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
Ready ye hecklers. With pro and junior x practice over, it's time to get serious.
"Go back to Fontana," and "Take the Canadians with you;" sentiments from the hecklers. Daniel Shaw (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
Ian Robinson (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
The most discerning of hecklers prefer air-guitar and carbon. Eli Murphy (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
Joshua Rogers (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
Kristen Courtney (Pro Women).
Amber Price (Pro Women).
Amanda Cordell (Pro Women) receiving encouragement from an unlikely group.
Britney White (Pro Women).
is well pleased.
Vaea Verbeeck and Jill Kintner (Pro Women). Kintner's run just edged out Miranda Miller to take first.
Kole Wetherell (Pro Men) throwing down across the Waterfall.
Honorary ginger Matt Patterson announcing the order of riders.
Spencer Graf (Pro Men).
Tim White (Pro Men).
Matt Moore and Demetri Triantafillou (Pro Men).
Jake Grob (Pro Men)
Chris Kovarik drifting a little sideways (Pro Men).
Remi Gauvin (Pro Men).
Connor Fearon's run of 02:19.34 smashed the previous course record set by Steve Smith (Pro Men).
Gathering at the bottom.
Charlie Harrison - not pictured, Magnus Manson, Finn Iles, Warren Kniss, and Nikolas Nestoroff (Cat 1 Men 0-18 ).
Claire Buchar accepting birthday wishes from the crowd.
Jill Kintner, Miranda Miller, Claire Buchar, Vaea Verbeeck, and Emilie Siegenthaler (Pro Women).
Connor Fearon, Mark Wallace, Luke Strobel, Bryn Atkinson, and Remi Gauvin (Pro Men).Full Results Here