Gambling on the Weather - U.S. Open Seeding Day Action

Rolling the dice in variable conditions meant seeding day at the 2017 U.S. Open was a challenge for any racer who dared put their tires on course.

Gambling on the Weather - U.S. Open Seeding Day Action

Any day the sun is out as you get to hill is going to be a day of high morale. A light breeze was keeping the bugs at bay, squids properly cooled, and the track dry at the 2017 U.S. Open in Mountain Creek, New Jersey. The speeds were immediately a notch above where they left off a day before, and the riding looked the part. When riders stopped track-side, they were regaling tales which involved a lot more upbeat phrasing and exciting line choices, clearly hyped on the improved conditions and track. The already deep ruts started to firm up and the grass corners were burned out, treaded strips of brown hinted at the fast lines, but a few riders stuck out a foot and cozied up to the tape for that extra advantage. -by Zach Faulkner

Qualifying was modified to Seeding as the number of riders in all categories are deep, but didn’t warrant cutting people out – better to run a slightly bigger race than leave out people during the return of this prestigious event. The vibe on the hill and in the pits has been top notch, and coupled together with the sun being out, there was a much-needed improvement in rider's spirits after a gloomy Friday practice day. As the lines became more and more beat up, the riders rose to the occasion and really started to up the ante. The timed afternoon runs saw some serious attempts at mock race runs during Seeding, which gave a little sneak peek into what is in store for Finals in both Open Women and Men. There's going to be some heavy racing, and the money on the line is going to be won through smart and tenacious riding.

Seeing the actual number of riders in attendance today during Seeding was wholly encouraging, showing that the US DH race scene is on the upswing once again. Big numbers in the AMs, a solid showing the Women’s categories, and more groms on 26’s than a YouTube comment section proves that people want to race - they are into the competition, it’s just about making it worth their while. Fun runs after the timed events, food and drinks at the finish, and a Red Bull DJ truck are surefire ways to make sure families and friends will also show up to watch the action. After all, spectators are half the fun of a race!

This guy is a Mountain Creek legend. Hit play on the audio to meet the star spangled hucker.

HUCK MACHINE

Behold, the ultimate Huck Machine. Older than half the groms, this beast is still holding strong!

Putting practice in the past, Max Morgan wasted no time finding his groove again. 5th place in Seeding!

MAX MORGAN

The sun joined in the fun today, and Jill Kintner was noteably pumped about it. 1st in Seeding by 11 seconds!

JILL KINTNER

The wear and tear of the riders was really showing through on track, which also created some tricky riding.

Admittedly taking things slow early in the season, Dylan Conte still put down some heat for 21st in Seeding today.
The young sender, Josh Rogers, is turning up the speed this weekend, going 13th in Seeding.
Random Hero steezing it out in the morning sunshine.

Focused and precise, Kiran MacKinnon is riding with a refined determination. 3rd in Seeding.

KIRAN MACKINNON

Putting in the pedals where ever possible found Sam Kingshill in 5th in Seeding.
No stranger to this mountain, Phil Kmetz is back in between the tape this weekend on a fresh bike. 28th in Seeding.
Whip-Offs just wasn't enough, so Mikey Haderer kept the show going.  39th in Seeding.

Ryan Burney is on the P.T.O. work retreat program for GT this weekend - not a bad way to be technically punching in for the day. 26th in Seeding for the young engineer!

RYAN BURNEY

He says he doesn't know how to corner on grassy turns, but I think Magnus Manson really just likes foot out, flat out! 12th in Seeding.

A couple riders were wearing similar kits, but Tanner Stephens riding style is hard to miss.  14th in Seeding and looking prepared for Finals.
T-Mac with the classic Finger Gun, giving the camera a solid Fonz impression.  Ayyyye!  36th in Seeding.

TANNER STEPHENS

VT native and all around shredder, Isaac Allaire is getting after it in a big way this weekend. 18th in Seeding.

Get to know Chelsea Kimball, she's on the East Coast this summer and will be at the rest of the National rounds. 4th in Seeding!

CHELSEA KIMBALL

He may throw sick whips, but Dak Norton isn't messing about here - 4th place in Seeding.

Remember: Fun Is Fast. Bruce Klein with a hint of a smirk, charging. 6th in Seeding!

BRUCE KLEIN

Anthony Bielefeld of WulfPack Racing is on the hunt, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.  49th in Seeding.
He may have destroyed this corner, but Jordan Newth actually builds bike trails during the week.  33rd for the industrious Vermonter.
With racing hertage in the family, Sean Bell has been smashing rutted corners his whole life.  He put those 10,000 hours to good use today, 25th in Seeding.

Sneaky lines and precise riding hace Rafael Gutierrez riding with notable focus. 7th in Seeding.

RAFA GUTIERREZ

Just lean over and let the rut do the work!

Quietly maching on track, Walker Shaw is always a darkhorse contender. 10th in Seeding.

WALKER SHAW

It was always a gamble rolling into certain sections of track. CJ Selig always bets on black and sent it though. 11th in Seeding.

CJ SELIG

"I disappointed my family" - Trail Crüe member and ever hilarious George Ryan didn't have a dream run, but his real goal is to manual the woops in full.

GEORGE RYAN

Rocking a Windrock Bike Park tshirt (he's one of the proprietors), Sean Leader was smashing laps on laps all day. 27th in Seeding.

SEAN LEADER

Michael Maldenado, son of Nelson Maldenado (owner of Defiant Racing), is an absolute shredder with a bright racing future ahead!

RYEN MELTON

Riding with great confidence and control, Caroline Washam put down a heater for 2nd in Seeding.

Taking the inside inside line, Neko Mulally put on a clinc about line choice with this corner. 2nd in Seeding, by .1 sec!

Jay Memmelaar raising it up through the woops into 11th in Seeding!

30th for the #30!  Chris Higgerson hammer the whoops!
Last man down the hill today, Steve Walton had to dodge some mid-course boulders which seemed to appear at the end of the day.  24th in Seeding, despite feeling like Indiana Jones.
Can you spot Jarod Hanson?  28th in Seeding.

STEVE W

He didn't win Whip Off as planned (#unclipconspiracy), so Wiley Kaupas is now chasing Gwin for the win, and with similar line choice...well, we will see tomorrow. 17th, for now...

WILEY KAUPAS

Ivanna Estrada has been getting some coaching from her dad Mauricio Estrada. 3rd in AM Women Seeding, she's an on-the-rise pinner to watch!

IVANNA ESTRADA

There aren't many riders who know this hill as well as Mauricio Estrada, and his speed shows it. 9th place in Seeding.

MAURICIO ESTRADA

He's not landing, he's loading up for a huck! Luca Cometti sending it into 15th in Seeding.

LUCA COMETTI

The 2011 winner of the last USO, Aaron Gwin is serious about keeping that title - 1st in Seeding. Please note the very wired up computer bike...there is some really cool stuff happening on there (but it's all quite "under wraps"!)

Enjoy more U.S. Open Coverage!

Rock-smashing DH! Vital RAW

Seeding Results

Ruts and Rocks at the U.S. Open

#USDH

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