SPORTS: Port Angeles hosting mountain bike races this weekend

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — World-class downhill mountain bike racing returns to the North Olympic Peninsula this weekend with the first of three Northwest Cup races at Dry Hill west of Port Angeles.

Northwest Cup co-director Scott Tucker expects as many as 400 riders from all over the United States and Canada to flock to Port Angeles for the first stop on the national racing circuit.

“They are coming from New Jersey, Connecticut, South Carolina . . . there’s a group coming from Utah,” Tucker said.

“They’re already starting to come into town.”

Of the hundreds of racers, Tucker, who runs the series with Casey Northern, estimates only 10 are from the Peninsula.

Dry Hill is a draw for riders because it offers different experience each time.

“One of the reasons they like coming here is the variety,” Tucker said.

Dry Hill’s vast network of trails means the courses can be set up differently for every race.

The weather helps, too; especially this time of year when most mountain courses are covered with snow.

Tucker said defending champion and two-time Dry Hill winner Steve Smith of Vancouver Island won’t be riding at Dry Hill this weekend due to a broken ankle.

That means the race is even more wide open for other riders, such as Luke Strobel, a World Cup racer from Issaquah.

Spectators can watch the riders throughout the weekend, but the best action starts Saturday night with the professional seeding races at 5 p.m., in which the top riders battle for racing position.

Friday and early Saturday is for practice.

The real races begin Sunday at 10 a.m. There are three levels: beginner, intermediate and professional.

Beginners kick off the Sunday’s races, then intermediate and finally the pros.

The riders race alone, with a new rider starting every 30 seconds, so the action should be nonstop throughout race day.

Unlike last year, there will not be shuttles for spectators.

Because Dry Hill is on Department of National Resources land, a Discovery Pass is needed to drive a vehicle up to watch the races. Discovery Passes can be purchased online at

This will be the first of six Northwest Cup races, and the first of three in Port Angeles.

Other Dry Hill races will be held May 16-18 and September 12-14.

Directions to Dry Hill can be found at

Last modified: April 17. 2014 6:25PM
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