For NW Cup #4, the series stopped at the famous and challenging Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. This downhill race is know for challenging riders through rocks, high speed sections, and dry dusty soil. The few weeks coming into the race were dry and sunny, making for an extremely dry and loose course.
In my opinion, Mt. Hood is the best track in the series. Each race here I find new lines and become more comfortable with the loose terrain. This allows me to feel the progression of my speed throughout practice, and was a boost of confidence for the finals. Also, coming from Southern Oregon where dry trails aren’t uncommon, made me feel right at home on the loose terrain.
On race day I was feeling a little bit worn out from practice, but ready to give it my all in seeding and finals. The seeding run started out steady and smooth, but unfortunately half way down, the run came to an end with a flat tire. This put me in order to start first out of the Junior X category. After fixing the flat and doing another course inspection, I headed up for finals.
The run started off smooth and consistent, piloting my Operator through the loose and rocky ridge-line. Then it was onto cannonball, an old fire road with large berms and gaps. Trying to stay off the brakes and tucking, I carried good speed and exited with confidence. Then into the rock garden where line choice and speed are key. All went well, and into the woods section I went. Encountering roots and loose berms, I decided to back off slightly to avoid making any mistakes. After the woods, is a long pedal into the finish. Pedaling as hard as I could, I crossed the finish and went into the hot seat.
The few minutes in the hot seat seemed like hours. Watching rider after rider come in below my time was very rewarding and nerve racking. 10 out of the 12 riders crossed the line and my time was still untouched. Unfortunately the last two riders were able to bump me out, putting me into third place. I was still very stoked with this result, and exited two gain more points for the overall.
The points from this race moved me from 7th overall, to 2nd overall, with 64 riders total.