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Race Report: NW Cup Round 8, Stevens Pass Bike Park

Get the full rundown on the final stop of the Northwest Cup. Results, festivities, and race photos galore. See what makes this gravity race series a thriving beacon of US downhill racing.

Race Report: NW Cup Round 8, Stevens Pass Bike Park

Over 1000 riders, eight rounds, seven months, six venues, four states, two national events. One series.

Another season of the Northwest Cup has come to an end. For the final round, racers and families returned to Stevens Pass Bike Park. With thunderstorms in the forecast, the chance of lifts shutting down and the race being stalled was in the back of everyone's minds. However, typical Washington meant that the weather predictions were essentially a big question mark. On Friday and Saturday, the dust was out of control. The tracks were dry and blown out. By the evening, the thick fog rolled in, the lightning and thunder began lighting up the sky, and the heavy showers began. With rain throughout the night, the trails on Sunday morning had perfect dirt and slippery roots. Nearly a riders dream...that is until the showers continued off and on throughout the day, making the trail a different affair for the Pro category by race time. Nonetheless, the epic racing continued and the Northwest Cup rounded out its season in the best possible way.

After seeding third, Louie Blair struggled to maintain his time in his race run and finished with a 02:33.50. (Cat 1 Men 0-18.)

Gabe Henderson raced his first Northwest Cup and found himself in the top half of racers with a time of 03:37.21. (Cat 2 Men 0-14)

After not finishing his race run at the Silver Mountain race, Johnny Pownall put down a 03:23.60 and found himself in the top half of the largest category in the race. (Cat 2 Men 15-18.)

Showing off the dry, dusty course, Cullen Paille put down a 03:24.10 and found himself on top of the podium. This win was his second time of the podium this season and secured his win in the overalls. (Cat 2 Men 19-29)


Kiddos run through the grass while waiting for the races to begin.

Facing an unfortunate crash in his race run, Miles Lind finished with a 03:44.73. (Cat 1 Men 19‐29)

Jackson Wicklund put down a 03:25.82 in his race run, placing him in fifth place for the second race in a row. (Cat 2 Men 0-14)

Ella Erickson finished off a nearly perfect season with first-place finishes at five out of 8 races and a podium at each one. Her time was 02:42.91 which would have put her in second place in Pro Women and was only 0.7 seconds off of her time at the last Stevens Pass race. (Cat 1 Women 0-18.)

The leaves began to change and signs of fall began to show.

In his seventh year of racing, Jim Denison was able to hold it together for his race run. His time was 03:57.83. (Cat 2 Men 50+)

In his first season of racing, Travis Bear found himself on the podium seven out of eight rounds. Unfortunately, he just missed the podium with a time of 04:59.96. (Cat 3 Men 40-59)

Another first-time racer, Shon Petrey put down a 03:34.73, just making the top ten in his category. (Cat 2 Men 30-39)


With a 02:39.30, Brad Delzer got his first podium of the season. This was Delzer's 24th podium in the Northwest Cup. (Cat 1 Men 40+)

The youngest female racer in the series, Emilie Siemur finished her third race with a 08:48.15. The category 3 women 0-10 category began with only 2 racers and by this weekend, there were 14 racers. (Cat 3 Women 0-10)

Chayce Williams secured his second podium of the season with a time of 02:28.39. (Cat 1 Men 0-18.)

James Gardner had a close call during his race run in one of the final corners. His time was 02:37.90, just 0.2 seconds faster than the rider behind him. (Cat 1 Men 30-39)

With Jeffrey Catton's time of 03:34.66, he secured sixth place in the race and fourth place in the overall. (Cat 2 Men 19-29)

Even the smallest of rippers send the jumps at the end of PBR on the Cat 2 trail.

With over 90 new racers at round 8 alone, it is easy to believe that the sport is still alive and well. One of those new riders, Jace Skinner put down a time of 05:37.85 in his first race ever. (Cat 3 Men 19-39)

Pro Men, Dylan Brown and Nikolas Clarke took practice laps all weekend. Brown seeded fourth and finished his race with a 02:29.01 while Clarke crashed in his seeding run and raced a 02:27.89. There were two riders with a 2:29 and three with a 2:27 so it was safe to say that the Pro Men class was tight! (Pro Men)

New to the racing scene, Bridger Newhall took on his first season riding for Sweetlines Junior Racing. Newhall put down a time of 06:11.77. (Cat 3 Men 11-14)

Chris Kovarick and  Clair Buchar just doing what they do.

Unfortunately missing a podium spot by 1.4 seconds, Sierra Semsak put down a 03:52.43, and found herself in fourth place. (Cat 2 Women 0-18.)

Taking his first win of the season and guaranteeing the top spot in the overalls, Blake Rausch finished with a 02:25.18. This time would have put him in 4th in Pro Men. (Cat 1 Men 0-18.)

Securing her seventh win of the season, Claire Buchar won by nearly 16 seconds. Her time was a 02:33.62 and it would have put her in 14th in Pro Men. (Pro Women)

Killing time before seeding starts.

Nico MacArthur finished his race run with a 03:55.64. Unfortunately, with 44 racers in the category, the competition is very steep. (Cat 2 Men 15-18.)


Going one for one in seeding and his race run, Rhys Ewing. His seeding time was a 02:21:93 and his race time was a 02:22.07. He won by 0.60 seconds. (Pro Men)

Just missing the podium, Alden Pate finished with a 03:17.40. His time was only 0.38 seconds slower than the rider in front of him. (Cat 2 Men 15-18.)

Raelynn Darsow secured third place with a time of 05:35.63, nearly 11 seconds faster than the rider behind her. (Cat 3 Women 19-39)


Struggling to put down a clean run, Garret Allison finished near the bottom of the pack with a time of 03:52.97. (Cat 2 Men 30-39)

Courtesy of Marc Garoutte, "Epic Racing, in conjunction with our charity, held our 3rd annual CKC challenge mountain bike raffle during the 2019 NW Cup Series. Center Cycle in Renton WA along with a private donor provided the 2019 Specialized Stumpjumper PRO (MSRP $6,300) that was awarded to the lucky winner Ray Dotterer (AKA “The Nunn Guy”). A total of 1,530 tickets were purchased during the 8 race series and every one of the 7,650 dollars raised went to Seattle Children’s Hospital to fund pediatric cancer treatment trials, specifically for 2019 the T-Cell Immunotherapy for Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors (BrainChild-01)."

Winner, Ray Dotterer showing off his new bike!

As another year passes, the memory of Declan Ervin continues and it is stronger than ever. Laughs and a few tears were shared as stories were told about his life and incredible racing career. One of the most memorable in the NW Cup series was when Declan, at only 16, seeded first in the Junior Ex class and his time was only one second back from the fastest pro at the time. He still holds one of the fastest Junior times at Stevens Pass. It was moments like this and so many more that made Declan as special as he was. Declan was spirited, dedicated, strong, inspirational, and incredibly fast. In celebration of his life, the Declan Ervin Memorial Race began with a train of riders down Rock Crusher on Saturday evening, was followed by a Potluck with riders, families, and friends, and finished with the announcement of the 2019 winner of the Hard Charger Award. 

The train was led by the Junior-Ex Men and followed by nearly 400 riders.

After an incredible season of racing came to an end due to injury, Ethan Lieb refused to quit and crossed the start line this weekend with an injured wrist. For this reason, and many more, Lieb was awarded the Declan Ervin Hard Charger Award. This award is given to the Junior Ex rider that shows the greatest effort and perseverance throughout the season. It is based on the standout, hard-charging nature of the rider.

Continuing the festivities, the NW Cup family came together for a potluck in celebration of Declan's life. The food laughs, and stories were endless.

Photographers Duane Robinson (Mountain Sports Photography), Olivia Smith (OSMITHRACING), and Matt Roebke (Roebke Photo) were treated to a big thanks from the NW Cup family for their work throughout the season.

Quick Facts:

  • September 6-7, 2019
  • Stevens Pass Bike Park, Skykomish, Washington
  • 384 riders this weekend
  • 1,083 riders this season
  • Cat 3 rode Rock Crusher to Piranha Bird to the finish
  • Cat 2 rode Slingshot Wookie to PBR to the finish
  • Cat 1/Pro rode Berserker to the finish

The final lucky winner of the new Fox Head Pro Frame Helmet.

Junior Ex Women: (Left to Right) Taylor Ostgaard, Ella Erickson, Sydney Haberman.
Junior Ex Men Podium: (Left to Right) Riley Plummer, Chayce Williams, Blake Rausch, Matt Mangano, Tyler Bommarito. The winner, Blake Rausch, was gifted a special jersey in honor of the Declan Ervin Memorial race.

This weekend was not only the final round and the memorial race, but it was also the overalls. This meant that Sunday was the determining factor for the overall point rankings, One win could change it all for some riders so every second counted. 

Mixing things up this year, the overall trophies were created out of ODI plates and custom decals for the first, second, and third highest point holder of each category. The trophies can also double as plates during the race season if the riders choose.

Junior Ex Women Overall Podiums: (Left to Right): Taylor Ostgaard, Ella Erickson, Sydney Haberman.
Junior Ex Men Overall Podiums: (Left to Right) Matt Mangano, Blake Rausch, Ethan Lieb

Pro Women Overall Podium: (Left to Right) Kerstin Holster, Claire Buchar, Autumn Parham
Pro Men Overall Podium: (Left to Right) Rhys Ewing, Chris Kovarik, Weston Potter.

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