Last weekend (May 25-26) marked the opening round of the Oregon Enduro Series in Hood River, OR. It also marked the debut race for Coalition Racing Development. Between the weather, sold out race entries, and ever-changing course conditions, there was no shortage of excitement.
Stormy skies greeted us during Thursday practice
It had been raining most of the week leading up to the race. Thursday was the first day the weather seemed to let up a little. We ran a few shuttles to assess the conditions.
Top of the course always seemed to have different weather conditions than just a few feet below.
Living up here in the PWN you get used to you bike looking like this after every ride. The Nukeproof Mega TRs got a proper test in the mud.
Thanks to Cory from VitalMTB.com for adding us to the “pro Bikes of the Oregon Enduro Series” feature.
On Friday we spent most of the day getting the pits set up and cleaning the mud off our bikes from the day before.
We had a bit of a scare when we found out that the race had been sold out for a few days. Graz hadn’t registered because he had separated his shoulder 2 weeks before the race. However, after pre running the course he felt he was strong enough to go for it. Mike was supposed to be on a list for free entry for designing the maps for the series but after we got to registration their chances of being in the show were looking bleak. Luckily, Kerri, the most “on top of it” race volunteer in the world, found a couple of extra number plates for the guys.
Saturday turned out to be a much nicer day with course conditions approaching perfect hero dirt.
Unfortunately, the series had some issues with timing and we still aren’t sure how we did, but Mike suffered a broken chain on stage 5 which put him back 5 minutes.
Even with his bad wing Graz finished the day in the top ten.
I had an off course excursion that saw me finish the first stage in 44th place. I was going to have to keep it clean if I wanted to improve my ranking.
I put in a good effort on Sunday and managed to break into the top 15. Still not sure of how Mike did but we think he managed to get some good point on individual stages to count towards to series title.
Topping off the weekend on a high note was Graz moving up through the field to pull off a 3rd place over all. Not bad considering this was his first enduro/gravity even and he was ridding with a separated shoulder. Nice work Graz!!! That’s all for now. We’ll have coverage of the next round in Bend, OR.