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Wild Wild Country - 2018 U.S. Open Downhill Action 9

Naturally demanding, the downhill course at Killington, Vermont, for the 2018 U.S. Open keeps racers on their toes.

Wild Wild Country - 2018 U.S. Open Downhill Action

Waking up to cloudy skies can be a disappointing start to any day, especially when it's the first day of riding bikes at a race. Unfortunately, that was the case for Day 2 here at the US Open, but spirits were still high and riders were keen to get on track. Getting a handle on the rapidly degrading, freshly cut trail with increasingly greasy rocks made for a day of proper puzzling and tricky riding. The unusual conditions are tough for everyone, but the overall takeaway was positive, as challenging and fresh tracks are rare these days. With more weather on the way (apparently), many racers opted to ride conservatively and simply learn the lines and dial in the various options in an effort to better approach what could be a very unpredictable track as the week continues ahead. Scroll on and listen to how the day went for those between the tape!

The morning briefly had some sun shining, but it was short lived. Thankfully, Ryan Burney and his enthusiam seems unwaivering.

Ryan Burney in Audio

The morning assessment is always a good way to get the brain on board with the day ahead. Kiran MacKinnon is thorough and was ready to ride before most.
It's no World Cup, but that doesn't mean John Hall was left with idle hands.

John Hall in Audio

Black tea for Gavin Black as he prepped Gaetan Vige's freshly painted race machine.

Scott Mechanic, Gavin in Audio

The new Scott bike is looking more and more complete, Gaetan Vige's is still using the idler - something that might stay?
DMR clipess pedals in the wild!

Riders on track! Connor Fearon and Anthony Paulson were the first two on track.

Ryan, dropping in and unphased after not walking the track - straight into the gnar!

Looking comfortable and stoked, Gaetan Vige was putting in serious work all day.

This shot looks pretty casual, but Neko Mulally was flying on the high line here where many were stuggling to stay on line at all.

Neko Mulally in Audio

Prince in waiting or just another toad?

Marshal Nick watches rider Nik Nesteroff through the first woods in the morning.
Digging in and letting the wheels eat, Max Morgan flying through the fresh ski hill.
Alex McAndrew and Ella Skalwold were out shredding together and enjoying every minute of it.
Even a unit like Alex McAndrew has to work for this long and low gap out onto the ski slope.

Alex McAndrew in Audio

Bikes laying around was a common sight all day as riders puzzled over the many slick lines.

Look up hill before crossing!

Party Train! Isak leading the way, with Seth, Sean, and Frida in tow.

Shane Leslie hot off a win and trucking through the berms.
Ross Soriano pre-slip and slide.

Shane Leslie in Audio

Ross Soriano in Audio

Finally, the wicked view as promised.

Connor Fearon setting the trend for tire taps.
Bernard Kerr raising the bar with a stylish nose press.

Local shredder and track design adviser Jordan Newth boosting the triple off the fireroad.

Warren in the M-Kniss-it...? Strong effort on the triple up top!

Warren Kniss in Audio

Spooky vibes all day.
Many people were losing their footing out on the hill today, but this is a little extreme.

Jumping where others are scrubbing, Connor floating the rough.

The Rock Garden of Confusion continued to deliver today. Luca Cometti opting for the tighter and smoother line instead of smashing down the middle.

Luca Cometti in Audio

The long track and tough conditions left long gaps between riders.
The track went from wet to slick to goop. It is a tricky affair.

Big man on a big bike, Dillon Lemarr was enjoying the unfamiliar conditions.

Dillon Lemarr in Audio

Ant is the man.

Ant in Audio

Jordan Newth could probably ride most of this track with his eyes closed. This is a Locals Only line in a dicey rock section.

He may spend most of his time at a desk now, but Ryan certainly still remembers how to ride a bike!

It was a tough morning for Sam Soriano who had some bobbles and then a big over-jump on this same jump. She figured it out though and was back up to speed before the end of practice.

Samantha Soriano in Audio

Dak was training by himself for most of the day, so when he pulled the trigger on the bigger left lip he really let it fly...incoming!

Dakotah Norton in Audio

Demetri Triantafillou has a dialed scrub, likely due to his use of his tounge for counter balance!
People forget that Bas Van Steenbergen is more than just a steez machine, he is damn fast too!
The autofocus didn't do its job on the first whip, and Bernard wasn't as stoked with his second whip seen here, but I still think it ain't bad!

Demetri Triantafillou in Audio

Bas Van Steenbergen in Audio

Bernard Kerr in Audio

Does Seth have a dope Nac or what?!

Analytical and precise, Jason Schroeder was putting in the work on track today.

Jason Schroeder in Audio

Kiran said the big wheels help with trundling through the roots, rocks, and rough, but the slick conditions made things a bit harder on a whole.

Kiran MacKinnon in Audio

Back between the tape and on a brand new bike, Tyler McCaul had a lot to contend with in practice.

Tyler McCaul in Audio

Like seeing Big Foot, there is a Squid among the racers! Ian Collins is here racing in the Am Open class, doing it for the rest of us laying in the dirt this weekend!

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