Crankworx Whistler’s Garbanzo Downhill course is infamous for being one of the longest and most challenging descents in the world of bike racing. Columbian Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas proved his strength and speed today on the grueling 7km track which drops over 3,400 vertical feet into the Whistler Valley. Gutierrez Villegas claimed the win on the men’s side with a personal best time of 12:28.24. The second fastest man was Sam Blenkinsop (+7.43), and in third was Remi Gauvin (+20.47). There were some pretty big names further down the field too.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for the last three years of racing the Garbanzo Downhill” says winner Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas who shaved an entire ten seconds off of his time from last year. “I had a great training run and have been training hard and learning everyday – it all came together and I am very happy!”
The women did not disappoint either showing they have the strength necessary to take on this super challenging track. Taking first place was Emmeline Ragot with a time of 14:19.83, coming right off her win in Mont St. Anne. Emmeline’s time was a record breaker for the women’s race, shaving nine seconds off of the previous record. In second place was Claire Buchar (+19.84) and in third was Holly Feniak (+29.49).
This race is the ultimate stamina test for the World Cup racers since they usually train for maximum speed for the duration of 3-4 minutes. The Garbanzo track has them descending three times as long as that, meaning many refer to it as a downhill enduro race. The most successful riders have to find the fastest pace they can sustain for a long period of time and just hang on through some of Whistler Mountain Bike Park’s most aggressive terrain. Fast and dry conditions from the hot Whistler summer added to the already challenging course and required riders to bring out all their technical skills, and stamina.
Here are the full results…