Charlie Harrison says 'Pura Vida' after winning Costa Rica Open of Downhill
Charlie Harrison took the new high pivot Session to Costa Rica and proved its mettle against the mud this past weekend, winning the Costa Rican Open of Downhill against some of the best riders in downhill racing.
The traditionally fast and dusty track was sopping wet for Harrison’s seeding run Saturday and race run Sunday, but the Californian handled the conditions with aplomb, posting the best times in both sessions.
“I was really happy with how wet the weather was,” Harrison said after the race. “Obviously being from Southern California, I don’t get to ride in the rain often. With most of the World Cup races having some sort of the precipitation throughout the weekend, I was happy to get some reps in riding in saturated conditions.”
The weekend began with nail-biting qualifiers. Harrison eked out the top seed with a time of 3:09.937, just six-hundredths of a second ahead of Dakotah Norton. Then on race day, after a morning of sunny skies and tacky conditions during practice runs, the rain returned as the elite riders were entering the start gates.
With large crowd waiting at the bottom of the course, Harrison asserted his dominance, posting a time of 3:03.968, nearly five seconds ahead of Norton, who took second, and 20 seconds ahead of local racer Pablo Omodeo, who took third.
The weekend was good prep for World Cup racing, which starts April 24 in Maribor.
“The track at La Lucha was insane,” Harrison said. “It was real similar to a World Cup with how many iterations the track goes through in a race weekend. The changing weather and the amount of riders on the track resulted a different version of the track after every day.”
Harrison now has two wins in two races this year. In March, he broke in the new Session at Tennessee National in Windrock, where he beat Norton by eight-hundredths of a second.
“I enjoyed getting to ride the new Session in new conditions to see how it performed,” Harrison said. “Overall, it was a great week of growth and I just enjoyed being in the race mindset again. Getting the win was an awesome way to end a productive week. The fans were insane, and I’m grateful that I was able to make it work.”