The weekend of July 6-7 marked the 8th
year of the Sugar Showdown, a women’s freeride competition held in beautiful Issaquah, Washington. Organized by Norco ambassador Kat Sweet, the Sugar Showdown is the first Women’s event in the FMB world tour, highlighting the talents of female riders from around North America.
Throughout the weekend, riders from all corners of the continent descended on Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park for clinics, training, and competing on some of the Pacific Northwest’s best-known jump trails.
Kat Sweet: coach, event organizer and legend.
Kat Sweet has long been pushing to get more women involved in the sport, especially in the freeride and dirt jumping scenes. An adrenaline junkie with a love of airtime, Kat was inspired by events like Slope SistAir and the Women’s Crankworx Slopestyle competitions of years past, and sought to keep the spirit of competition and progression alive in the women’s cycling community. Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park provided a central location for PNW riders, as well as a huge number of jump trails for riders to progress and compete on.
“We’ve got a ton of badass riders coming up because of the Sugar Showdown. The sport doesn’t have the same boundaries [for women] that it did. Women can compete and be coached and progress the sport for everyone. It’s an awesome thing to see.”
The Sugar Showdown is the first women's specific event in the Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour.
The Sugar Showdown is unique in the world of MTB competitions for it’s structure. A two day event, the first day consists purely of practice and coaching, where riders can hone their skills and pick up new tricks for the competitions the following day. Day two sees riders of all ages throwing down on the perfectly sculpted dirt of ‘Flying Squirrel’ in pursuit of glory (and a considerable prize purse).
The Sweetlines Junior Race team out in full force, getting some scoping and coaching in on day one.
The next generation is showing a lot of promise.
The competition was held on day two, and the girls came ready to drop hammers.
In the end, Canadian Stephanie Nychka took home the gold in the Pro Category, while Ming Goetz took home best trick with a massive ‘Suicide No-Hander’ on the final jump of Flying Squirrel. For full results, head to sweetlines.com/sugar-showdown-2019
Congratulations to all the athletes who came out to this awesome event. We look forward to sharing the stoke with you next year!
All photos courtesy Cole Gregg.