July 27, 50 bikers meet at the top of the Bearcub Quad waiting to race the clock, and each other down the mountain. This will be the first round of three in the Alyeska Cup, a downhill mountain biking race series that will span the course of the summer. Riders receive points for their finishes and those points carry over to the end of the season when a champion is crowned. The first round will require two runs given the position on the mountain. BCQ is a beginner lift in the winter but is anything but in the summer with bikers facing tight, steep tree lines with jumps, berms and other obstacles. After all 50 riders run the course the first lap it’s very obvious a competition is underway. riders are pushing themselves on the second lap to shave off time and move up the standings in their respective classes which included juniors, men’s, women’s and masters. Lap one was running off Roll Over trail while the second lap had riders going through Big Spruce.
The second round had riders facing terrain based off of Ted’s Express. With just one change to face the course, riders were going all out to get the fastest time of the day and take the top place points. The course for round two had riders facing Don’s Crossing to Gear Jammer, down Bermuda, carrying through Sourdough and finishing on Chips ‘n Salsa. This considerably longer course made for some great racing but the heavy rain made for treacherous conditions. The steep pitched of Sourdough claimed most of the field with lots of whip outs costing time and energy.
The final round went down September 28 with riders facing the entire mountain with a tram lap for the record books! Riders started at Trapline following the trail to Fridays and continuing through Creek Crossing and down Tanaka Grass Lands. The sunny yet brisk day made for the perfect conditions for racing and the field knew it was now or never to make up time and gain every last point to climb the rankings. After the group of 50 ran the course an overall victor would be named at the Sitzmark and custom artwork would be handed out as trophies.
After all was said and done riders had a great racing experience and new rivalries were formed which will surely be carrying over to next seasons Alyeska Cup!