NW Cup, Round 1: Port Angeles

The first race of the season is already here and gone! Training has flown by and the riders are ready for a summer full of riding and racing. Only five C4 riders were attending this race, but everybody will be out in full swing for the Pro GRT in a few weeks at the same location!

Port Angeles is an early season race favorite, with conditions similar to what the riders have been training on in Squamish and the North Shore.

Day 1: Practice

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Mostly all of the track was in the trees, which was a good shield against the light rain that fell in the evenings.

The race weekend started on Friday with all Cat 1 Practice in the morning. Three and a half hours was more than enough to get a good feel for the track and test out the lines. The course wasn’t that technical or steep compared to many BC Cups, but the riders still enjoyed riding in near perfect conditions on Friday. Once practice finished at 1:30, it was time to make some adjustments to the bikes, and go for a track walk to discuss and look at developing lines.

Sliding down the course on a track walk after Friday practice in the rain. Nobody had ridden it in the wet yet, so the riders were anxious to see what it would be like the next day.

Sliding down the course on a track walk after Friday practice in the rain. Nobody had ridden it in the wet yet, so the riders were anxious to see what it would be like the next day.

Light rain started to fall after practice on Friday and the clay made the track very slippery and everybody was wondering what the weather would hold for the rest of the weekend.

Day 2: Practice and Seeding

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With the on and off drizzle all night, the track was a little slippery in the morning during the Cat 1 19-29 Practice, but by the afternoon practice for Cat 1 0-18 and Pros, the course was almost as it was during day 1. With the course getting busier and the practice times being two hours, riders had to finalize everything before seeding runs in the evening.

Scrubbing the last jump before the finish line.

Scrubbing the last jump before the finish line.

There was a straight nside line on this corner, but it was much faster to pump the berm to gain some speed before the final jump.

There was a straight nside line on this corner, but it was much faster to pump the berm to gain some speed before the final jump.

The rain began to fall again right as seeding runs were happening, causing two out of four riders to crash in their seeding runs, meaning they would drop in earlier on the next day. With everybody walking away without any injury, it was time for some more much work on the bikes in preparation for race day.

Day 3, Race Day

Race day started at 8:00 AM with Cat 1 19-29 practice as well as all Cat 2 and 3 Practice with racing immediately after. The course was still a bit wet from the rain the previous day, but it didn’t hinder times all too much. Adam Woodhouse put together a good run in the Cat 1 19-29 Category and ended up 2nd, only .96 off of first place. What a great way to start the season!

Blake Bunting, Caleb and Levi Harapnuik, and Jacob Stefiuk started practice at 1:30, so the course was drying out considerably and was not all that different from practice the previous day, once again. Two quick practice runs and it was time to get to the top to start warming up for race runs!

Jake had an unfortunate mechanical on his last practice run and had to ride chainless due to the short amount of time he had before having to be at the top of the hill, but that didn’t stop him from giving it his all…

The Cat 1 0-18 riders started racing, followed by the Pros, and the sun decided to grace everybody with its presents and it was a great day for racing!

C4 Rider results:

Adam Woodhouse, 2nd Cat 1 19-29

Blake Bunting, 3rd Cat 1 0-18

Jacob Stefiuk, 11th Cat 1 0-18

Caleb Harapnuik, 12th Cat 1 0-18

Levi Harapnuik, 22nd Pro Men

A very good start to the season for all the riders who participated in this race! Everybody will be training harder than ever for the next one and already can’t wait to hear those start beeps…

Adam Woodhouse in 2nd.

Adam Woodhouse in 2nd.

Blake Bunting in 3rd.

Blake Bunting in 3rd.

Photos by Dwayne Harapnuik

Words by Levi Harapnuik

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