So, to say the weekend was perfect was quite an understatement. Warm, sunny weather with good friends and great riding. What more could you ask for? Especially considering Dual Slalom was back to Mt. Hood.It had been somewhere near a decade since a slalom course last graced these hills, and the new course was an absolute blast. For the #5
round of the Fluidride Cup, lots of guys came together to get a course layed out just in time for race day. Unlike the other Fluidride Cup venue in Port Angeles, WA where there is a machine built manicured course of berms and jumps, this course was a little more natural. Flat corners, fast straights and lots of drifting for EVERYBODY.
For most of the day, the slalom course was deserted, since most people were getting their DH practice in, and learning the value of patience in line. Around 3pm, people started trickling over, and soon it looked like it was race time. After a few minor technical difficulties with the timing, it was time for some qualifying. With the slight time crunch then, it was decided for a lenient one run qualifying, with re-runs given for crashes or missed gates. Kind of a bummer if you run the course sloppy and didn't know of the re-run policy. After qualifying, Ethan Mutoli sat on the top spot for Pro Men, so it meant time for racing. First round goes by with tight racing, lots of crashes, lots of cheers and no shortage of cowbell and air horn.
The semi finals end up with Mutoli vs Eric Loney and Charlie Sponsel vs 3 time FR Cup slalom champ Lars Sternberg in Pro Men, and Jeff Jackson vs myself and Jerry Knight vs George Smith in the Open Men. This round meant the competition was getting hot and heavy as the fastest times were getting quicker with each run. With that round of close racing, the finals were set with Lars Sternberg taking on Eric Loney (who had the fastest time on course) for the top spot and Charlie Sponsel facing Ethan Mutoli in the consolation round for Pro Men. The Open Men was set with Jeff Jackson facing Jerry Knight for the top spot and myself vs my dad George Smith in the consolation round. Needless to say, there was quite a bit of trash talking before that run.
After the first runs, the closest race had Eric Loney up by .02 seconds over Lars which meant the second run was going to be close. That last run was really close... til the first corner where Loney washed the front end and it was over from there. Ethan Mutoli put the hurt on Charlie in the final consolation run to put him in for 3rd place. The Open Men ended with Jackson edging out Knight for the win, and I finished 3rd with my dad in 4th. In the Women class, Chelsey Stevens had a solo run for the win, and the Junior men was a close race with future pinner Dan Kruse just getting edged out of the win. In all, the new DS course at Mt. Hood did not disappoint for some awesome racing action. Come out next week to the Fluidride Cup Finals and check it out.