Photo Epic: Port Angeles Downhill - Practice and Qualification

Apr 26, 2015 at 12:03
by Jens Staudt  


NORTHWEST CUP

PORT ANGELES


~ To some it might not make sense to jump in the car after Sea Otter and drive all the way up from warm California to less-than-warm Port Angeles for the first round of the NW Downhill Cup, but we did anyway. In the cold woods of the Northwest coast there was a pretty fast track waiting for us. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Port Angeles is a quiet place - until all the bikers come. Above it all, the mountains remain serene, still partially covered in snow. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ The hills are pretty much all rainforest with huge ferns and a lot of greenery - you can barely see the ground with all the strong vegetation. A rainbow welcomed us to the top of the track. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ The barista was waiting for customers and delivered one of a kind cappuccino. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ The fireplace in the finish area was a welcome sight in the chilly morning air, and riders got creative in an effort to keep their hands warm. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Getting ready to drop in with the first shuttle runs. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ It's such a contrast coming from bone dry Sea Otter to moist and tacky hero dirt. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Luke Strobel rocking the #1 plate. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ The forest is dark and moody - there really is no better place to wear a flannel than in these woods. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Within the tape you can find some sneaky lines. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Do you believe? ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ After a gnarly crash in practice Emilie Siegenthaler put it back together to finish 5th place in qualies. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Miranda Miller got down a little faster for 4th place. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Coming from a very successful Sea Otter Jill was hungry but had to give the qualification to Buchar. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Claire Buchar who impressed with extremely fast but calculated and clean riding, here she is enjoying the track on her way to #1 qualifier. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ On the track there are a couple of key sections that were not very forgiving and took their toll, but it was mostly the bikes that took the beatings. Magnus got ejected after coming up short on the road gap. Fortunately he was ok after taking a spectacular tumble. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Rae Gandolf (left) testing her compression settings. It wasn't the best day for Amanda Batty, her collarbone didn't like this close examination of the ground. Get well soon Ambatt! ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Bernard Kerr getting the shot and then clearing the road gap. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles
Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Mitch Ropelato going all Enduro with GPS and a water bottle while Luke Strobel chased seconds in the Pacific jungle. ~

Pacific North West Pro GRT - Port Angeles

~ Connor Fearon was killing it on the grippy dirt to secure the #1 qualifier. ~


MENTIONS @grinsekater @ambatt


Must Read This Week

30 Comments

  • + 51
 Really nice photos...great job
  • - 7
flag Gilmarques (Apr 26, 2015 at 14:45) (Below Threshold)
 It´s right in the tittle : Epic
  • + 17
 I kinda want Ropo to win....
  • + 6
 I second that
  • + 3
 Yeah, it will give us confidence, that our rigs are perfectly capable and we are left with no more excuses.
  • + 2
 He crashed:*(
  • + 3
 He went down hard. Luckily he got back up after a bit and didn't need medics. He was saying he was scared he might have really messed up his knee but after all the riders went he got down on his bike.
  • + 12
 I haven't been there to know what's appropriate, but I think it's cool to see Ropelato challenging the status quo with the single crown. We have some incredibly capable machines.
  • + 2
 It's got a bit of variety as far as wipe-open sections into tight, awkward ones but no crazy rock gardens. More roots and rocks to keep you honest when it comes to riding at mach-chicken. It's not beyond a single-crown fork's capabilities to ride or even race at a Cat 2-3 level there. Racing on a single crown in the pro class is a whole different beast. Granted, Ropelato is smooth as glass so I could see a rider of his capabilities managing.
  • + 3
 I think racing a single crown at PA is a tall order. You can ride it, sure. But going full gas, I think most people would be happier on a bigger fork.
  • + 8
 i believe
  • + 6
 Thanks for the healing thoughts and amazing photos, Jens! You knocked it out of the park this weekend!
  • + 7
 Flat pedals ftw
  • + 3
 Awesome shots. ....And Bigfoot, don't lament. I still believe.
  • + 2
 Hey @RynoRodrigosouraus your truck made the first pic of a story!
  • + 2
 Wow...excellent photo essay! I missed out this weekend for sure...D'OH!
  • + 2
 YEAH! Since everyone has got a wide screen then let's make full use of it!
  • + 2
 love the pics,thanks for sharing
  • + 3
 Awesome photos!
  • + 1
 If Mitch had kneepads on, he might not of hurt his knee so bad?
  • + 2
 Wicked shots!!
  • + 1
 Magnus just watching what time is it...
  • + 1
 Fett Jens, fett!
  • + 1
 High Speed Compression?
  • + 2
 What's so confusing ?
  • + 1
 Im thinking that the HSC setting has to do with, how fast the damper is cycling (meaning many bumps in a row) weather you are moving fast or slow. One big hit, would be Slow speed Compression. Right?
  • + 1
 Oh, never mind, thought it said testing "HSC" really says "testing her compression settings" MY BAD.
  • + 2
 HSC refers to shaft speed, but actual riding speed and all other settings certainly have an impact
  • + 1
 *Whether, oops
  • + 0
 Where are the reviews? I haven't seen one in a few weeks

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