The Kokanee Crankworx mountain bike festival kicked off on August 7 in Whistler, Canada, with a packed schedule of racing, slopestyle and trials action.
Early highlighs included a record-breaking win by CRC-Intense’s Chris Kovarik in the Monster Energy Garbanzo DH, billed as the world’s longest downhill race, and a storming performance by Gee Atherton (Commencal) in the dual slalom. Here’s the lowdown on the first six days.
Dual Slalom: Gee Atherton captures the win
With big-time contender Brian Lopes (Ibis-Oakley) crashing out in the first heat of the Pro Men dual slalom semi-finals, Britain’s Gee Atherton (Commencal) managed to fend off young guns Troy Brosnan (Monster Energy-Specialized) and Mitch Ropelato to secure the win on a course that included rhythm sections, a mogul field, tight berms, jumps and drops.
American Ropelato, 18, looked like he might have victory in the bag after winning the holeshot in the first of the two final runs but he crashed, letting Atherton gain the advantage going into the second run. Mick Hannah took third, and fellow Australian Troy Brosnan fourth. “I was playing calm, cool and collected,” said Atherton “It’s quite unexpected, but I’m feeling really stoked. You have to stay calm and have fun. I really enjoyed that.”
Gee Atherton showed the skills that made him downhill world champion to take the win
|1/4 final||Michal Prokop|
|1/4 final||Bryn Atkinson|
|1/4 final||Brian Lopes|
|1/4 final||Steve Smith|
|1/8 final||Tyler McCaul|
|1/8 final||Daniel Mazuti|
|1/8 final||Kirt Voreis|
|1/8 final||Fabien Cousini|
|1/8 final||Brendon Fairclough|
|1/8 final||Brad Oien|
|1/8 final||Samuel Blenkinsop|
|1/8 final||Blake Carney|
In the Pro Women race, there was a home winner in the shape of Micayla Gatto from Vancouver’s North Shore but a disappointing turnout of just four riders. In each of the two final runs, France’s Emmeline Ragot (Suspension Centre) got the holeshot but Gatto was able to regain the advantage with power and quick turns. Jill Kintner (USA|Transition) finished third and Melissa Buhl (USA) fourth.