CDC #2: Port Angeles

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The 5:30 AM ferry load makes its way over.

The 5:30 AM ferry load makes its way over.

Locked and loaded for the shuttle to stage 1.

Locked and loaded for the shuttle to stage 1.

Port Angeles is well known for its downhill, and at this point has earned almost an international mystique. What most don’t know, is that it

Younger forest means tight start to stage 2.

Younger forest means tight start to stage 2.

hosts a heck of an enduro race too.  This past weekend enduro racers converged on Port Angeles to test their luck on some downhill trails and a couple secret gems.  early July is a hard time to put on bike race. With an enduro World Cup in Colorado, and a smattering of events all over the country, many racers were out of town. However a hardy group of enduro riders still showed up to Port Angeles, and as usual the CDC folks put on a heck of a race. It has to be noted, never once at a CDC race does a racer feel any disorganization or turmoil, these guys always throw down.

The course they put together for us this time was a treat. Stage one went down the backside of the hill and featured a mix of moto trails and endless root gardens. Staying up right on this one was the trick, combined with carrying speed through a variety of tricky corners. Due to the stages location, many racers had never seen the trail before. after stage 1 along transfer took you up the hill and back to where you started, and to the start of stage 2. Stage 2 started with some tight tricky trails, before joining up with the downhill course, muffin top, then a quick climb and down the classic one liner. This was definitely the longest stage, and had the potential for slide outs as well as requiring massive amounts of fitness. With a long flat section and two tricky climbs this stage made some of the largest differences of the weekend.

Following stage 2, riders had a chance to regroup at the base area. After filling up on some water, it was time for the first of two climbs to the top of the downhill courses. Stage 3 consisted of a combination of the classic pro downhill course, King Diamond, and finished on the newer, double bypass. This one was tough, not a ton of pedaling but lots of challenging sections and opportunities for arm pump. after stage 3 there was only one pedal to the top left. Once there, racers went down a brand new trail into the woods, to access the just finished Wayne’s World. This trail is more of a wide, jumpy flow trail than most of the other trails on dry hill. However, due to the fresh nature of the trail, and the distinct lack of rain in Port Angeles lately, many racers commented that this stage was like skiing.  the trickiest part of this stage, with keeping it up right in the dust, and remembering that you still needed the pedal everywhere.

Not an ugly climb.

Not an ugly climb.

As usual following the race, the CDC had a killer selection of beer and food. A big shout out goes to the Stroble brothers, with Luke taking first and Neal taking third in his first pro race. Filling out the podium were Charlie Sponsel in 2nd, Keland Hawks in 4th, and Nick Tuttle in 5th.

A rider coming down through stage 2.

A rider coming down through stage 2.

Race Diary:

After the disappointment of the last race, I was pretty eager to get some redemption. With this race being described as the most downhill of

Power into the finish.

Power into the finish.

the series, it seems like a good place to start. Stage one went alright however by its very nature it was hard to tell how it went, & I had a couple of awkward long corners before pedals that didn’t feel too good. Stage 2 with much better, and I was really happy with my performance through one liner. Stage 3 being all downhill was a blast and I felt like I put down a good run. Stage 4 was hard to tell, and I struggled with giving a hundred and everywhere. Overall I was pretty happy with my results, jumping up to 12 out of 19 and putting myself in the midst of a super tight race for the podium. My 20 minutes 35 seconds tied with the place in front of me; was 7 seconds out of 8th, and only 29 seconds off the podium. Additionally, my time on the super pedally stage 2 was good enough for 6th, and my time on the all downhill stage 3 was good enough for 8th.  big areas for improvement from this race would be mental prep on pedalling everywhere, and again more standing sprint fitness. Highlights from this race are that when my performance is good, I’m right in the mix of things. Can’t wait for the next one at Mount Rainier in August! Huge thanks go out to Hi-5 bikeshop, Banshee bikes, Fox Racing Shox, 100%, industry nine, and the CDC folks.

The overall top riders.

The overall top riders.

 

Pro Men

Pro Men



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