Monday, August 17, 2009
Crankworx Final Report
So the Wednesday saw the running of the A Line downhill race, which probably in my mind was one of the worst tracks possible to have to race on it just isn't fun to pedal in between jumps that are too small for the speed you have, saying that the practice session was some of the best fun throwing whips and scrub's off every jump and hardly ever even needing to put in a pedal stroke. If i compete in this event next year then it will definitely be chain-less. Anyway the race was won by Brian Lopes, who is going to be making a surprising appearance at the World Champs in Canberra in 2 weeks time, 2nd place went to power house Chris Kovarik and Andrew Neethling took the 3rd spot. I don't remember where i finished i think it was around 29th certainly nothing to write home about..at least practice was fun though!!
Thursday I awoke to a lot of rain and slept in for a while as there was no race, I went out in the afternoon and had some of the most fun I have had in a while in the wet, the tracks were a little bit slick which made for good times. I was supposed to race in the giant slalom but after seeing the track I thought it wouldn't suit me so well so decided I might as well get some good training done for the pedaling at Canberra and I entered in the Enduro Downhill, I had to hunt around for a bike as after a test run on my Tomaso DHP it was just too much for this course, Its one of the best bikes to go downhill but not uphill!! Luckily enough for me Kieran Bennett stepped in to help and lent me his Intense Tracer which was the perfect bike for this type of event. After a coupe of practice runs I go the course sorted and was ready to go. The race started on saturday morning and was a mass start one of the first mass start Downhill race's i had done, I had to start from the 2nd row which made it a bit more hard to get up to the front before we hit the technical DH sections some of which were scary to ride on these shorter travel bikes. I got out of the start pretty well which for some was chaos as there were a few riders that went down, Set in to a comfortable pace and was sitting around the top 5 when we hit the only hard and sharp climb on the course, everyone went to sprint as Brian Lopes was setting a crazy pace out the front, I tried to stay in the bunch of riders but eventually ran out of gas and had to stop at the top of the hill cause my googles had fogged up, so i set off again only to slide out on a wooden bridge section and go down. I managed to catch back up a fair bit and crossed the line in 4th in my first enduro DH event I was also first rider on flats as most were using clips. Not a bad result but I would have loved to have gone one place better as 3rd place took home 700 dollars prize money,maybe next year... Lopes smashed everyone and showed us really how fit he is, 2nd went to local Matt Ryan and 3rd went to Wellingtonian Chris Johnson an Xc racer turned gravity junkie nice work mate!
Saturday night saw the slopestyle boys come out and show us their stuff, I think there was around 25,000 people in the crowd which was awesome to see the sport getting so much public attention. Nelson boy Kelly McGarry threw down some awesome runs and netted himself 9th place which was rad to watch. Andreu Lacondeguy got a little unlucky with crashes in both runs but still won best trick with a 360 flatspin seatgrab indian air, he is probably one of the best there is always throwing sick style, another that has sick style is Brandon Semenuk a Whistler local who put together enough for 2nd place behind winner Greg Watt's who went huge and landed everything perfectly and took home the biggest check! Was great to watch this event as its the first time I have seen a world class slopestyle competition.
Anyways so after the Enduro there was no time for rest i had to go home for lunch and swap bikes then head out to try get the Canadian Open Downhill course sorted as the race was the next day, I was so tired from the enduro race that all i could manage was a slow run stopping and checking out all the lines. The course was really one of World Cup standard and had a mix of rocky, fast, steep, tight, and a few jumps thrown in as well for good measure, I was loving the track although was a little too tired to be as focussed as I would usually be for a race. Sunday I really got stuck in, in the practice session and managed to get 5 runs in the 3 hours which was good to learn the track as I hadn't had time to ride with all the other events I was doing. My race run wasn't till around 5 30pm and by this time i was starting to really feel the effects of doing 5 races in one week, I didn't have the energy left to really push as i usually would a race but I still got down the hill all the same the crowd was so sick! Drunk Aussie's make an awesome crowd where ever it may be in the world. I finished in 19th which wasn't the best result but I was happy with that as I knew I didn't have any energy left to give it anymore than that. Sam Hill absolutely destroyed it taking the win by 8 seconds over Brendon Fairclough with Canadian Steve Smith in 3rd, Aussie Josh Button showed he can run with the big boys in 4th good job mate!
So thats my 2009 Whistler Crankworx experience over, It was one of the best weeks of riding and racing I have had in a long time, and was certainly good training for the upcoming World Champs in 2 weeks time, I cant wait for this event the crowd will be one of the best you will get world wide! I now have a few more days in Whistler before i fly out to Australia where I will spend a week training before World Champs kicks off.
Finally thanks to all those who made this happen for me my sponsors, Ancillotti Cycles, UFO Plast, Doganaccia 2000, San Marco seats, CampaBros, NZRIDE, Maxxis Tires, Landini Auto.
More updates soon