The NW Cup is a regional series of DH races in the northwestern states of the U.S. including Idaho, Oregon and Washington. For Matt Sterling, an 18-year-old first-year rider on the Giant Factory Off-Road Team, this was his first opportunity of the year to race his Glory Advanced DH bike.
The U.S. race season is off to a late start due to guidelines and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Sterling was looking forward to his first DH race of the year. The current U.S. Downhill National Champion won his first race as a member of the team last month when he took the top step of the junior men’s podium at the opening round of the California Enduro Series. But downhill is Sterling’s main focus, so he was excited to get back on his Glory Advanced in Idaho.
“This race meant a lot to me because it was my first race back on a downhill bike, my primary discipline,” Sterling said. “My Glory Advanced delivered a smooth, stable ride all weekend. It put me on the top step for qualifying and finals, and I was able to achieve the fastest overall time of the weekend as a junior. The course at Silver Star was dusty, rough and loose, which I’m used to—so things just came naturally. I’m already stoked for the next race!”
In other race news, Giant Factory Off-Road Team XC racer Tristan Uhl won the Summer Sizzler in Smithville, Texas. With social distancing regulations in place, riders started 6 feet apart in the 101-degree heat at Rocky Hill Ranch. Uhl, riding his Anthem Advanced Pro 29 and wearing Giant Charge Pro shoes and Rev Pro helmet, stayed near the front from the start.
“I hung around the top-5 for the first few miles of jeep road and worked my way toward the front as we approached the first section of singletrack,” Uhl said. “I made a little dig to get into the singletrack first. Once we hit the trail I was able to ride my own race and slowly whittle down the group until I was alone at the front on my Anthem Advanced Pro 29. I rode stady the rest of the race careful not to go too deep in the heat, and rolled across the line first with just under a minute gap back to second place.”