The Dirty Bird Downhill Race series returns to Hawksnest Resort this Saturday and Sunday, August 21 and 22, for round two of the three-part race series.
For round two, race organizers have constructed two new tracks: one for the pro racers, and another for the amateur categories. The brand new, highly anticipated downhill courses will be unveiled for the first time during this Saturday morning’s practice round and will give registered riders and spectators a chance to see the wide variety of new challenges the recently designed course offers.
According to race organizers Will Washam, Michael Thomas, Andrew Mueller and Steven Trottier, the new tracks that have been under construction since late last year are their best yet. The course designers believe that the new track should prove to be a step up in difficulty from the first track of this year, the original Dirty Bird course—a screaming fast descent through the hardwood forest over boulderfields and across jumps that proved to be full of thrills and excitement for both riders and spectators during last year’s events. The latest design from the Dirty Bird Crew offers a longer, more difficult boulderfield, faster berms,and a variety of different lines to choose from as the riders rip through many of the technical sections of the course.
“It’s a completely new challenge, compared to the original track,” Washam said. “It’s rougher and it’s definitely steeper.”
Another mainstay of the new track at Hawksnest is the ability of the racers to choose a variety of different lines through certain sections of the course, opening up a wider range of different possibilities that, as Washam said, leaves the track up for interpretation by the riders, which, in the end, makes for a more exciting race format.
“When you have a wider course that has multiple line options in every section, it really lets the racers separate themselves from each other, and that makes for good racing because there are certain sections where the riders can find the fastest line for their riding style and it really gives people places to individually separate themselves from the crowd,” Washam explained.
If the excitement that recently released photos and videos of the new course is generating on the internet is any indication, there should be no shortage of riders making a special trip to the High Country to race the new track this weekend.
“I think they’re going to be extremely stoked on the pro course,” Washam said. “It’s really going to allow all of the extremely talented pro racers of the Southeast to open up their skill set on some of the most challenging terrain that has been raced on in years,” Washam continued. “By having these three full downhill runs it has opened up a huge opportunity for downhill mountain biking, and it really solidifies Hawksnest as the premier gravity riding spot in the High Country.”
The event will offer cash prizes to the pro categories and will offer merchandise prizes for the other categories from a variety of different suppliers. Sledgehammer Charlie’s will offer catered food for the riders and spectators while D.J. Trill Will provides fresh music and running commentary on the races. Spectators are encouraged to come out to both the practice rounds and the official races, which will take place this Sunday, August 22.
For more information about the Dirty Bird Downhill Race series, click to www.dirtybirddh.com.
More information on Hawksnest Resort found at Basecamp, http://basecamp.blueridgeoutdoors.com/?p=2583