After a crazy initial 7 days of Crankworx, we were coming into the final weekend and the weather looked to be a pearler. The smoke had cleared, the sun was out, and riders were shredding the dry dirt. We are now into the last 3 days, with big shows and huge races to the likes of Dual Slalom, Redbull Joyride, and the Canadian Open Downhill. Words and Photos by Nick Waygood.
We kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon with Dual Slalom; a race where riders are head-to-head on a twisty course in the style of a Pumptrack, but with several small gaps thrown in to help carry speed. Traditionally, a slack 100mm dual-suspension bike it used to win the race, and was used by most of the categories. This traditionality was broken however, when Danni Beecroft smashed the competition to take the win in Pro Womens – on her Pivot downhill bike. In the final round, it was between Beecroft and Jill Kintner, who was hungry for her 6th Dual Slalom win in a row and Whistler Crankworx. It came right down to the line, and after switching courses, it was Danni who took first place by 0.54 seconds.
Legend of Crankworx Kyle Strait took out the mens field against long-term mate Austin Warren, with Tomas Slavik in third.
With the sun setting into the weekend, after-parties were underway for the final events of Crankworx Whistler.
Saturday saw the smoke return to the valley, partially blocking out the sunlight for the big show; the Redbull Joyride. Nothing could damper the crowd excitement for the event though, with thousands flocking to the bottom slope of Whistler Bike Park to see the best slopestyle riders in the world go head-to-head in hopes of winning big money.
Spectators had sneak-peeks through the week of what was to come, with practice sessions kicking off several days prior. We’d seen crazy tricks thrown from the likes of Brett Rheeder, Nicholi Rogatkin, and Thomas Genon, but nothing could prepare the crowds for what was to come. In the final show, Brett Rheeder threw down with incredible style and trick-combinations for a final score of 94.50. It was until Nicholai Rogatkin’s last run, that Rheeder would be knocked out of the hotseat and Rogatkin would take the win, and be handed for the first time ever, the Crankworx Triple Crown – an incredible feat where Rogatkin took three of four wins at Crankworx slopestyle events this year.
Eric Fedko rounded out the year with a third place podium on the day, and third overall to Rogatkin, with Rheeder taking first place overall.
The day didn’t stop there, with the biggest after-party of the week kicking off in spectacular fashion.
Riders and competitors awoke on Sunday, hungover, and ready for the big race. The Canadian Open Downhill. Following the big show, the trail descends down the steeps of Whistler Bike Park, through thick forests and near-vertical rock slabs into the finishing arena. Only a sub-three minute course, it would be Troy Brosnan who would defend his repeated wins with another, making it his fourth in a row.
It would be another crazy close race with fellow (R)Adelaide riding mate Connor Fearon coming in a close second, only 0.51 seconds back from Brosnan. Magnus Manson in third, only 0.91 seconds back. In the womens, Tracey Hannah would accompany Brosnan on the top step, making half the podium Aussies. Casey Brown in a close second, with Vaea Verbeeck in third.
10 days, 12 events, and thousands in cash cheques later, Crankworx would officially come to an end. This year.