WEEKEND — Final downhill bike racing weekend starts

PORT ANGELES — The final weekend of the Dry Hill downhill bike racing starts today.

The races this weekend at Dry Hill will be the third this season at the site and will be the finals for the 2011 Northwest Cup.

The series also had two races at Mount Hood Skibowl in Oregon.

The event, west of Port Angeles and free to spectators, will feature riders in four categories, including pro and expert, intermediate and beginning.

There are three different course tracts for different skill levels.

There will be 350 riders for the three days of practice and competition.

The event goes today through Sunday.

Most of those downhill riders will be from out of town and at least 500 visitors are expected for the event.

Practice starts at 1 p.m. today and continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The final races of the year take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The championship race will be the final event of the day, close to 3 p.m.

As usual, the courses will be different from the first two Dry Hill races.

“We change them for each event,” Scott Tucker, event promoter, said.

“They are never the same.”

Tucker explained that trees along the top third of the track are being logged on the state Department of National Resources (DNA) land.

The state agency is allowing Olympic Dirt Society to use the land for downhill racing.

“DNR is very good to let us use the property,” Tucker said. “They are logging on our schedule. They will not be logging this weekend during our event.”

The logging operation has downed the trees on the left side at the top third of the course.

“Now you have a very good view of the Strait from there,” Tucker said.

Tucker invites spectators to come to the races.

He suggests that drivers park tight because there isn’t a lot of room to park.

For directions to Dry Hill, go to www.nwcup.com.

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