Part 5 of Welsh duo Jason and daughter Manon’s Whistler Crankworx adventure-the Giant Slalom.
We were up bright and breezy this morning as it stopped raining at 3pm the previous afternoon and didn’t start again. I was keen to see what the giant slalom track would be like in the dry.
It was awesome!! Dry, fast and soooo pedally. Out of the gate under the slopestyle start, pedal to the metal to a step up (the ones you saw Manon casing yesterday). Well that was yesterday in the wet, today you had to be careful not to overshoot or it was an elevator drop to flat as that landing was stteeeep. LH lane had to wiggle to the right to get round the Kokanee wall ride, RH lane was flat out into a 90 LH berm, pump bump down to another 90 LH berm. The RH lane was more like one big 180 berm with a bump in it. The LH lane felt sketchy as there wasn’t much to it at the start but when you had hit it a few times it was cool, I had more than a few drifty moments in it. Out of the left hander and you were into a step up step down thing, the bowl you jumped into was like a big soup bowl as it doubled up as a line on the slopestyle course (the slopestyle boys were riding through it 90 degrees to us). In the LH line it was hard to jump unless your name was Lopes (got a mint pic of Kyle Strait and Shaun Palmer jumping out), we were manualing in and out. The RH side was easier to jump, but the first time I jumped out was in qualifying and I overshot the landing to flat by a couple of metres, not funny. Then you hit a 180 lh berm that was tight on the RH lane and wide open in the LH lane, got a good pic of Manon and Emmeline both railing this berm.
Manon Carpenter and Emmiline Ragot.
Next was a funny step down table to a bit of flat to another table, if you got the berm right you could jump them both, mostly I jumped as far as I could on the first pedalled the flat then jumped or pedal wheelied the second. Then you droped into another pair of LH berms, two flat out downhill tables with a berm beteween them. Then you hit the big jump, but it wasn’t simple because they put a fat roller in front of the berms leading into the jump. you had to scrub a bit of speed (unless your name is Lopes) then suck up the roller pump the backside, rail a LH berm, pedal (unless you were pinned) and Booom you were over it. It was a cool jump because the two lanes split on the landing that was hipped left and right. the left hand lane only had a small berm so it felt sketchy, but the jump was smaller to make up, the rh berm was a monster with more room to pedal too so the jump was bigger, fun too. The left hand lane went under the take off of the Sram thingy and the rh lane went under the landing. There
were two small concrete block tables in front of the ‘tunnels of love’ (the commentators called them that not me) that made you think you were going to bang your head, no one did though. Lopes and Strait did cool manual pick ups to the top to stop getting too much air (why didn’t I think of that?)
More suprises, under the tunnel of love there were two mirrored berms that spat both lines back together – where they met was the Hayes spine ramp thingy. Instead of spine-ing it, they forced the riders to use it like a wall ride, the berms fired you onto it travelling along it, then you boosted off the end of it over a ditch into a pair of rh berms. Sorry if I haven’t explained it very well, but it was cool and you had to ride it opposite in the different lanes. Nail the rh berms then brake check a bit for a short steep table that was no fun to overshoot as it landed straight into a pair of tight lh berms. Then two rh berms to a longer fast tabletop with a pedally landing into a pair of tight lh berms, hipped ditch jump to rh berms to pedal to step down to finish phew.
In all the hill is a masterpiece, they’ve been building it since May and it all fits together beautifully. If you check out the videos you’ll see. The Giant slalom course winds it’s way right through the slopestyle course, with the finish of the Canadian Open (still to come) fitting in as well.
Manon beats Melissa Buhl.
To the racing, amateurs were first. I made the cut (always a worry, even if there were only 9 of us) and qualified 3rd. This is important too as if you are slowest you get put against the fastest and might get knocked out first round. any way I made the semis, then my man was struggling with his chain and I was through to the final. The other guy had me, 1.5s in the first run. I nearly had him in the second run, but he totally killed the last few berms and took the win. I didn’t care, I knew I was in for some metalwork and Silver is much classier than gold anyway (pic). No idea about the other results sorry I was busy, but a Brit got on the podium in senior I think.
More manon-carpenter Mountain Biking >>
Then it was the pros. I think Lopes won the Mens. The first big upset was Shaun ‘Napalm’ Palmer making the semi finals in a stacked pro field. The second big upset was Manon Carpenter making the semis at the expense of current UCI 4X world champion Melissa Buhl. To be fair Melissa took 1.5s out of Manon first run, but a crash is a crash and a win is a win. Next round Manon faced Emmeline Ragot and was knocked out. Manon had her B final against Leigh Donovan making a return to racing. Leigh was fast fast fast, she’d already taken care of Ffion in the previous round. Jill Kintner took the final by a seriously fast country mile, Emmeline second.
Full results here.
Phew, prize giving to pick up my cheque then back to Ticket2Ride for a bonza barbeque on the balcony. Considerate folk had delayed it for us and even saved some pasta and burgers.
Random Scandinavian Slopestyle dude.
Helped Tobias Pantling put his tyre on back wards ready for the Canadian Open Enduro tomorrow, then helped him put it on forwards. We’ve pulled out of the enduro as we are knackered and want to concentrate on the downhill track on Sunday because it’s mad. Christian Fairclough spent all day up there and was too scared to get his wheels off the ground. You should have seen his face when I told him I followed Al Bond off one of the big jumps while we were doing a chainless run. He also looked a bit bothered when Manon said she had ridden the steep bit. Only kidding Christian, love you really.
I might go out for a beer now to cerebralate my Silver medal.
Manon and Jason
Cranky:Manon And Jason Carpenter Cranworx Adventure part 5 2009