The fifth edition of Darren Berrecloth’s Bearclaw Invitational Slopestyle takes place August 2-4 at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
The Bearclaw Invitational is the last Gold level stop on the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour. The event presents an ideal opportunity for riders to distance themselves ahead of the rest of the field before heading into the final two Diamond level events of the season.
“This year’s course will be very similar to last season’s with a few tweaks included to spice things up,” says rider/organizer Darren Berrecloth. “We have the big line setup for the boys to throwdown and a new line for an amateur comp we’re hosting on the Friday before the main event on Saturday.”
The Bearclaw Invitational’s trademark is the quality of course design. Challenging and innovative, the course has morphed over the last few years into what Berrecloth describes as “a perfect site in the trees where riders, photographers, filmers and fans can all get stoked.”
Organic and burly, the event site last season was compared to an “Ewok village for freeride mountain biking” by riders and fans alike. Utilizing the same course with the same look and feel of 2011 was high on Berrecloth’s list of priorities.
And true to his word, a savings in course construction cost has generated a substantial prize purse. The 2012 cash haul has been set at $30,000, a $10,000 increase from the 2011 event.
Vying for the prize include a who’s who of the FMB World Tour. This year’s rider list includes: 2011 tour champion Brandon Semenuk, Cam Zink, Sam Pilgrim, Martin Soderstrom, Anthony Messere, Mike Montgomery, Sam Reynolds, Thomas Genon, Cameron McCaul, Yannick Granieri, Greg Watts, Kurt Sorge, Berrecloth, Geoff Gullevich, Amir Kabbani, Mitch Chubey, Antoine Bizet, Symon Godziek, Niki Leitner, Tyler McCaul, Peter Henkhe, Brett Rheeder, Andrew Taylor, Zedje Thomas, Casey Groves, Lance McDermott, Jakub Vencl, Graham Agassiz, Andreu Lacondeguy, Kyle Strait and Ryan Howard.
An amateur slopestyle event on Fri., Aug. 3 will provide the chance of a lifetime for many riders. The event will be limited to 60 competitors with the top two finishers moving on to ride at the pro level in the Bearclaw Invitational’s main event on Sat., Aug. 4.
“I want to give the local shredders a chance to compete,” says Berrecloth. “The course will feature a medium-sized drop to a big four pack with a quarter pipe to finish and on top of that, there will be some sweet prizing for the competitors.”
For more information and the full event schedule for the Bearclaw Invitational go to bearclawinvitational.com
The Bearclaw Invitational is supported by Red Bull, Specialized, Go Pro, Shimano, Spank, Lucky Lager, McKays Home Theatres and Mount Washington Alpine Resort.