Ethan Lieb tackles the rock garden on the Fire Hydrant trail. | Photo by Eric Ashley
GOVERNMENT CAMP, OR – Round three of the NW Cup brought nearly 200 racers to the doorstep of Mt. Hood, where they were greeted by favorable weather, unseasonably early flowers, and one of the best backdrops around. The terrain at Skibowl's mountain bike park has a lot to offer. Including steeps, high speed turns, and rowdy rock gardens that were made even more challenging by dry and dusty conditions over the weekend.
Runs at Skibowl come with unparalleled views. | Photo by Eric Ashley
Two lift rides to the top brought racers to the start of the course and spectacular views of Mt. Hood. From there, each category would wind its own way to the bottom. With Pro/Cat 1 sharing Cannonball and the lower Pro Course with Cat 2. And Cat 2 in turn sharing upper Gnar-Gnar with Cat 3. Two short new sections of trail granted Cat 3 riders a bit more reprieve from their fireroad descent.
Nate Cheyne kicking up dust on the pro course during practice. | Photo by Eric Ashley
This weekend's racers were determined to put in fast times. Gumption that did lead to a fair share of spill and crashes, but ultimately a lot more fun. Did you miss out on this weekend and want to tackle the terrain at Skibowl? The NW Cup will be returning in a few weeks for the next round, July 10-12.
Suns out, guns out. | Photo by Eric Ashley
The bottom half of the pro course treats riders to a steep, technical forest descent. | Photo by Eric Ashley
Kyle Thomas making his first appearance at the NW Cup this year. | Photo by Eric Ashley
The drop into Cannonball is steep and loose. | Photo by Eric Ashley
William Floyd cruising over the jagged rocks on the Ridge Trail. | Photo by Eric Ashley
A large and inviting berm on Cannonball. | Photo by Eric Ashley
Kirk McDowall, the fastest man down the mountain. | Photo by Eric Ashley
NW Cup # 3 Pro Results
Pro Men Podium | Photo by Eric Ashley
1st Place: Kirk McDowall | Anmore, BC | 3:35.80
2nd Place: Matt Orlando | Gig Harbor, WA | 3:37.90
3rd Place: Spencer Graf | Kelowna, BC | 3:38.77
4th Place: Luke Strobel | Issaquah, WA | 3:38.96
5th Place: Weston Potter | E. Wenatchee, WA | 3:44.36
Pro Women Podium | Photo by Eric Ashley
1st Place: Kjersti Christensen | Kirkland, WA | 4:45.92
2nd Place: Shelby Reilly | Gresham, OR | 5:17.75
by Eric Ashley, ericashley.com