Its been an amazing Crankworx for the team with another 2 podiums for us. Crankworx is huge…there are so many people here so it is great exposure for the team.
Chris came second in the Air downhill event which is a tough race down the famous A-line trail. The course runs the length of A-Line, finishing at the base of the Bike Park with the legendary show-off zone, the GLC Drops. Widely recognized as the most celebrated DH course in mountain biking, with nearly 100 jumps. It is probably the most used trail here in Whistler. The track is so much fun to ride, as you are in the air as much as you are on the ground. It is a great track to build your confidence up with jumping.
However for the race these jumps become pretty tough as the riders are sprinting at everything and the big jumps become quite short as you have to try and keep it low and not over jump everything. It is such a physical race as the track does not descent much in vertical hirght – so it is sprinting, jumping and cornering for 4 1/2 minutes. Longer that most world cup races!
Chris posted an amazing time of 4:23.48 a second in front of 3rd place rider Andrew Neethling. Chris rode flat pedals and his full on DH bike. 4 times winner Brian Lopes took the win using his great BMX skills and a shorter travel bike being able to squash the jumps better and sprint faster. He is definitely the man to beat on A-line and knows what set up works!
RESULTS – AIR DOWNHILL
1. 4 Brian Lopes USA Ibis, Oakley, Marzocchi, Kenda, Bell 4:20.45 +0.00
2. 10 Chris Kovarik AUS Chain Reaction Cycles, Intense 4:23.48 +3.03
3. 8 Andrew Neethling RSA Trek World Racing 4:24.42 +3.97
4. 51 Jared Rando AUS Giant Bicycle 4:25.01 +4.56
5. 9 Marc Beaumont GBR GT Bicycles 4:27.28 +6.83
6. 11 Steve Smith CAN MS Evil RACING, Red Bull 4:27.93 +7.48
7. 54 Fabien Cousinie FRA KENDA MOREWOOD 4:28.15 +7.70
8. 5 Justin Leov NZL Trek World Racing 4:28.57 +8.12
9. 6 Brendan Fairclough GBR Monster Energy, Specialized, Mad Catz 4:29.50 +9.05
10. 37 Kirt Voreis USA 4:29.91 +9.46
24. 57 Ruaridh Cunningham GBR Chain Reaction Cycles, Intense 4:35.54 +15.09
Photography by ‘Stikman’
Claire competed and won the Womensworx.
As you can see some of the jumps she did where massive. As she dropped in on the first kicker at the top of the boneyard my heart was in my mouth, but she handled it no problem. It was the biggest jump I have ever seen a woman do!
Claire has wrote a great report for us:
Wmenzworx is something that has been a part of Crankworx for a few years now to involve, support and encourage girls who ride mountain bikes. It consists of 2 fun and social events designed by girls for girls because, as you know, we aren’t made of the same stuff as guys.
Fellow rippers, Katrina Strand and Lisa Lefroy, are the girls behind the idea and they work closely with Andrea Kraft of Sombrio and the Whistler Bike Park to make it all happen.
The first event is a judged technical descent and a judged jump/trick section. Points are tallied from both sections and go towards an overall ranking and the prize money is generous!
Riders first had to pick creative lines through the rootiest, muddiest and most difficult section of the Whistler Bike Park on a trail called In Deep. We were judged on style, flow, speed and line choice. The judges were 2 World Cup racers, Duncan Riffle and Brad Benedict. I picked a cool line through the roots and mud and although I didn’t think I rode it my best, I scored the highest in that part of the competition!
We then moved on to Dirt Merchant, a trail full of table-tops, step-ups and drops. The judges here were pro slopestylers, Kyle Ebbet and Dave Smutok. We were judged again on style, flow, line choice but with the added element of jumps and tricks. I was able to pull off a solid run through with some whips, x-ups and a couple good no handers.
There was a decent turn out in both Pro and Amateur classes, with riders like Kathy Pruitt, Steph Nychka, Lorraine Blanchard and Leigh Donovan! The points were tallied but before they would tell us the results, the second event called The Gala had to take place.
The Gala is an invitational girls slopestyle event held in Whistler’s legendary Boneyard Slopesyle course. There were 5 of us invited and the course was open from the first huge drop to the Kona Wallride so we are talking about 6 features: big drop, step-up, Kokanee Wallride, step-down into a bowl to step-down out, gap jump and the Kona Wallride. I kept it smooth and styley and just focused on hitting my lines and having fun with it. It was pretty nerve-racking hitting stuff for the first time in front of all those people but once we got that out of the way, it was fun. We got only an hour or so of practice and the final was a half hour jam session where the competitors (us) judge each other. At the end of the session, each rider votes for another and the one who gets the most votes takes all: $1000!!!
Unfortunately, by the time the final jam session came around, there were only 2 of us left due to some injuries. It was gnarly out there! So Steph Nychka and I jammed it up for the crowd and the big screens and split the cash.
The media exposure was awesome. TV, photographers, filmers and webcasting and it was fun to do an event that is not just racing, but something in which you can express some all-round skills.
And how stoked was I when they called me up to the podium as the winner of the Womenzworx event and co-winner of The Gala! Not a bad day.
The next event on my agenda is the Canadian Open which takes place Sunday. The track looks sick. Wish me luck!
Photography by Yorick Carroux
source: Nigel Page Team Manager – ChainReactionCycles/Intense