The Giant Slalom competition kicked off the weekend’s action at the Crankworx freeride festival in Whistler on Friday. The crowds were treated to big crashes, big finishes and high speeds in this two-at-a-time race.
Each rider had two runs through the Boneyard Slopestyle course, their combined times counting towards qualifying and seeding. South African Greg Minnaar took the win in the men’s race ahead of Brian Lopes, who crashed out in his final race, and Gee Atherton came in third.
Minnaar said, “The race was close in the first round. It’s a tiring race and we were both giving it our all, its good to win.”
In the Pro women’s category, Dutch rider Anneke Beerten took the top podium place ahead of New Zealand rider Sheryl McLeod and Austrian Helene Fruhwirth. Beerten said after the race, “It was a good race and a good course, I’ve been training all winter on the BMX track and it really paid off this year.”
Every year the Slopestyle competition draws the biggest crowd, and this year was no exception. On a course designed by riding legend John Cowan the most skilled riders in the world gunned for $30,000 of prize money, throwing down tricks thick and fast.
Andreu Lacondeguy of Spain won the top prize of $15,000 with a list of impressive tricks including a double back flip off the first table, back flip X-up, flat spin 360, topside nac-nac, can-can step-down, superman and a back flip to finish. British rider Lance McDermott took second place and Whistler native Brandon Semenuk came third.
Lancondeguy said, “I just kept trying the double back flip, it was that trick that did the job, it was gnarly you know.”
See below for a video of the best trick in the competition:
Canadian Open Downhill
More than 260 riders entered the Canadian Open Downhill, a one run race on a course made up of a number of trails including Joyride, Fitzsimmons Express, Old Olly Road and Monkey Hands.
In the men’s race Australian Sam Hill was fastest down the course with a time of 3:09.6, ahead of UK rider Gee Atherton (3:11.2) and Chris Kovarik with a time of 3:17.4. Sam said: “It took a while to get comfortable with the course. I tried not to stall in corners and hang it out where I could to get the win.”
Rachel Atherton continued a successful year of riding with a win in the pro women’s category ahead of fellow British rider Tracy Moseley and Whistler local Katie Holden.