NW Cup 2015: Round 3, Mt Hood, Oregon
The trip down to Round 3 of NW Cup 2015 at Mt. Hood began Wednesday, as we began loading up around 11am and leaving around noon. Kody, Peter and Alex were the only riders that were going to be attending the 3rd stop of the series. With Tyler still being hurt from Round 1, the 3 healthy All Out Racing riders came into round 3 with a certain confident calmness about them. Neither rider seemed too nervous or anxious about Sunday’s event. Once we got there around 5:30pm we only had a couple hours of sunlight so instead of bothering unloading the site, we unloaded the bikes and went out and hit the Jump lines.
Thursday morning was a public park day, the 3 riders bought regular day passes to get the edge up on the competition. Just working on the small areas on their selected trails in areas where time could be easily lost and gained. That was pretty much the entire day from 11-5. After riding Thursday we met up with some local friends and they took us to a rock climbing place. Needless to say thank god we are Downhill racers, because all 3 of us were insanely out of place.
Friday morning was the first official day of NW CUP Round 3. And the first day the mountain was closed to public use. The 3 riders woke up early and signed up expecting the mountain to open at 11am. Turns out the mountain didn’t open until 2pm, after 3 hours of sitting around and watching Facebook videos, and Kody over riding on the jump line. The mountain finally opened to all the racers of the NW CUP series. The 3 All Out Racing riders after already getting practice on the lower half on the course the day prior focused in on working on the top half. Which was a very high speed trail called cannonball. The riders on this trail can easily reach speeds of 30-50 mph and not to mention there are jumps and big huge motocross style berms.
The Mt Hood area hadn't had rain in about a month - this trail was so dusty that no rider could follow another and the breaking bumps going into the corners had got so bad that everyone began using the high walled banks of the mountain side to find smooth ground. Which made rocks fall down into the course causing a whole number of wrecks and injuries though out the weekend. Friday luckily all the All Out Racing riders stayed up right and no one crashed or got hurt. Unfortunately for Kody his DVO Jade shock blew up on his first practice run. Luckily he had brought his spare bike he uses for freeriding, the problem being for DH is the free ride bike is a size too small which definitely changes ones riding style and can easily unsettle balance.
Saturday morning started with an egg breakfast, and a nice little walk around the little village area getting the passes for the day. Since we had been working on the bottom half Thursday and the top half on Friday. We used Saturday to do full top to bottom practice runs. At approximately 3:45, we had our first rider injury of the weekend. Pushing his speed into the rock garden on his free ride bike, Kody had lost his balance and lade his ribs down on a flat rock boulder. Breaking his rib directly above his heart, the pain for him didn’t set in until he had already began taking the ski lift back up the top of the mountain. Once Kody got to the top of the mountain he began going down the trail. He had to stop twice to regain his breath and once he did make it to the bottom he had to be driven to the hospital. Where ex-rays had shown the broken rib, other than Kody’s crash the other 2 riders had a great practice day, followed by a spaghetti dinner.
Sunday Race Day
Sunday morning was quiet, with Kody’s return from the ER the night before and against doctor’s orders he chose to compete in Sunday’s race.
“The first question I asked the doctor when she came into my room after my Ex-Ray was. Can I race tomorrow? Without hesitation she looked at me and said NO! the next question I asked was if my rib was broken. Which she replied no, but it is cracked and even a simple crash can break it fully. I looked and her and said. That is great news doc, I'm glad to hear it isn’t broken. Now if you will excuse me I have a race tomorrow and I must get home. Then I went and check myself out of the hospital and left.”
- Kody Clark, All Out Racing
Now as you just read Kody was not supposed to race Sunday, but he did anyways. As fate would have it, his class was the first or the day and his bad luck got way worse. About 300ft into his race run, his front tire was lodged into a rock, causing a freak over the bars accident which as you guessed, landing on his ribs on a rock. Not being able to breath he slowly made his way down the mountain with a front flat tire and walked straight to the medic office where they strapped him up with oxygen and rushed back to the ER where EX-Rays showed 2-3 more cracked ribs. The one rib that was already cracked the day prior had now became a full break and the 2 below the now broken rib were now cracked. Also possible bruising his lung, ON POSITIVE NEWS the other Cat 1 19-29 rider Alex Wynakos had a successfully clean run and placed 3rd which got him a podium. Which was a good comeback from the previous round where he knocked himself out on a tree. Peter’s race was about an hour later and even with a crash he placed 5th.
NW Cup 2015: Round 3, Mt Hood, Oregon
Over all the weekend a success - everyone had an amazing time, we learned a lot and grew even more as a professional race team. Though out the 3 rounds of NWCUP we have had 4 podium finishes and 6 top 5 finishes. Although we have yet to get a rider on the top step of the box, we are right there. We have been very consistent this year, all we can do is keep pushing forward race by race. At the end of the day we are racing for the overall result and not each day. Although we have yet to win the battle we are in a good position to win the war. Even with Kody getting hurt he is planning on racing the opening round of the Silver MTN Series in Idaho this coming weekend.
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