The Enduro World Series graced Whistler last weekend, and as soon as they upped sticks, the biggest event for insane mountainbikers to get together and go crazy touched down. Crankworx Whistler is famous for… well, let’s just leave it at famous really – there’s too much to mention.
The famous 7 kilometre long downhill race is a staple of Crankworx. It takes in the roughest of what Whistler has to offer over its 3400ft drop in altitude – and if you thought World Cup rounds looked tiring, this looks like the type of event that could finish someone off. Pushing the limits in every respect, it’s always insanely tight, despite the length of the course, with every rider pushing right to the edge on the hunt for glory.
SRAM/ RockShox had reason to gloat when the results came in yesterday, with a full podium sweep of their products. It may have taken twelve and a half minutes, but Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas took the win on Garbo (for the second time), followed by Nick Beer and Mark Wallace. On the women’s side of things, Claire Buchar took the win, with Casey Brown and Lorraine Truong following up.
Whistler rained a surprise down on the racers (literally – wet stuff from the sky turned up to make what was already a hard old race even harder). So the racers turned up to the top of A-Line, the track famous for floaty jumps (39 of them) all the way down, with an extra challenge to face, if one were needed. Mick Hannah took the win – a good result for him, as he’s still recovering from a shoulder injury from Fort William, and Jill Kitner brought it home in the women’s.
Aside from the winners though, it was Fabien Cousinie who stole the limelight – racing in a shirt and bow tie, and proposing to his girlfriend at the bottom in front of the crowd. Most notable for absence was Stevie Smith, whose time from last year went unbeaten even by Hannah – he’s been out with an ankle injury, which will mean he’ll also miss the Open DH, a race he’s won several times over. Travis Pastrana and the Nitro Circus crew even turned up to pull some backflips – some more successful than others.
Pro Women’s Results:
1. Jill Kintner
2. Anneke Beerten
3. Tracey Hannah
Pro Men’s Results:
1. Mick Hannah
2. Chris Kovarik
3. Danny Hart
GoPro Dirt Diaries
Obviously, especially for the media, styled tricks are nothing without someone to document them, and the sphere of MTB photography and videography is just as competitive as a result. Teams of riders and snappers got together to compete for the Dirt Diaries prize, and some amazing footage came out. Here’s what Crankworx had to say:
“Last night the GoPro Dirt Diaries happened at Whistler Olympic Plaza in front of a crowd of over 4000 people as a part of Crankworx Whistler. A total of six videos put together by invited athletes and their selected filmmakers and teams screened in front of fans and a judging panel of five of the mountain bike industry’s most influential film professionals. The level of videos was stepped up again for 2014 and fans were wowed by some of the best riding and stories told to date. The invited teams were Claire Buchar with the Summer Of Summit filming crew, Kirt Voreis with filmer Gunner Oliphant, rider Wade Simmons with Connor Macleod, Ross Measures with filmmaker Matt Dennison, rider Andrew Taylor with Long Nguyen and slope style rider Yannick Granieri with Jules Langeard.
At the end of the night, the top three finishers who took home $10,000 in total prize money were:
1. Ross Measures and Matt Dennison – $5000
2. Kirt Voreis and Gunner Oliphant – $3000
3. Claire Buchar and the Summer Of Summit Crew – $2000”
Dual Speed & Style
Probably one of the most confusing events to race. The tactics that go into downhill racing are intense, so what about trying to judge whether to race over a jump staying low, or boost and trick it? Either lose the race or fail on points? Count me out. But luckily for us, there are people mad/ good enough to do this, and it’s amazingly entertaining. MTB legend Kyle Strait won this one, with two more Americans, Greg Watts and Ryan Howard, completing the podium. Slopestyle at its finest. Well maybe not its purest – but Joyride is yet to come!
Yet To Come…
Today – Whip-Off Worlds & Pump Track Challenge
Tomorrow – Dual Slalom
16th – Joyride
17th – Canadian Open DH
And just in case you aren’t already excited, here’s Bearclaw riding the Joyride course with a GoPro.
And here’s our DirtTV coverage from last year:
– Air DH