It seemed like just a couple of weeks ago we were all catching a ferry and making the beautiful drive out to Port Angeles. Probably because it was only two weeks ago… With over 540 people attending this race, it wasn’t just the average Northwest Cup, it was Round One of the Pro GRT. Riders from all over the United States flew/drove into Port Angeles for the biggest race of the season. For many, it was also the first race of the season.
Day 1: Practice
Not all the C4 Riders were able to make it out for Friday practice due to school or work, but the ones who did were quickly up to speed on the course. The first priority in the morning was to hit all the gaps/huck-to-flats that were breaking the flow. After that was achieved, finding where to push to knock those precious seconds off the clock was next on the list. Four hours of practice was more than enough time to get the amount of runs that the riders wanted, and with the lines for the shuttle being still relatively short, it was quite easy to be able to get in 6-8 runs with breaks for food and water.
National pride really shined as a lot of riders were seen with the #LongLiveChainsaw on signs, bikes, race plates, and even the back of their jerseys. There was a moment of silence in the middle of the Pro race runs remembering Steve Smith. A truly special moment for an incredible life that was taken far too soon. We ride for you Stevie!
Day 2: Practice and Qualifying
Day 2 of practice started early for Cat 2 and Cat 1 19-29 riders. The course was starting to get a little blown out already with it not raining since the last NW Cup. Thankfully, the awesome organizers and volunteers go through the courses, sweeping the loose rocks off of the main lines and fixing the damage that they can to ensure the best course possible for race day.
After practice in the morning, the Cat 1 0-18 and Pros got a go at the course and things were even more blown out than the previous day. Only two hours of practice was given to prepare for qualifying/seeding.
About an hour before qualifying, it started to rain so most of the riders didn’t get to practice on the course when it was wet. Knowing that a lot of the other people were from Southern California was a relief though. They had no clue what to do when things to slippery. C4 does.
Day 3, Race Day
After a slippery qualifying, it was a relief to see that no more rain had fallen and the course was actually quite perfect. Cat 2 and 1 19-29 practice started at 7:30, so it was an early morning for a few of the C4 Crew. Cat 1 0-18 and Pro practice started at 1:30 and they were able to get two to three practice runs in before racing began. The rain threatened to return, but nothing fell and the remainder of the riders were pumped to be riding a track in near perfect conditions.
Categories were huge and the times were tight in this race with the top 8 being within one second of each other in the Pro category. Congratulations to all of the C4 Riders who raced, we all learned about our bikes, our equipment, and ourselves at this one!
C4 Race Results:
Adam Woodhouse 1st/50 (First ever race win) Cat 1 19-29
Stephanie Denroche 2nd/13 Cat 1 Women Open
Adrian Lee 7th/36 Cat 2 15-18
Blake Bunting 7th/53 Cat 1 0-18
Caleb Harapnuik 15th/53 Cat 1 0-18
Michele Bianchi 17th/ 53Cat 1 0-18
Jacob Stefiuk 19th/53 Cat 1 0-18
Alex Auger 44rd/53 Cat 1 0-18
Levi Harapnuik 46th/60 Pro Men
Photos by Dwayne Harapnuik
Photos and words by Levi Harapnuik