Brosnan, Hannah top Canadian Open 

Aussies dominate, taking four podium spots

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - IN THE WOODLANDS Great Britain's Laurie Greenland traverses a rock during the Canadian Open DH on Aug. 20.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • IN THE WOODLANDS Great Britain's Laurie Greenland traverses a rock during the Canadian Open DH on Aug. 20.

To some, Whistler is considered to be as Australian as it is Canadian.

So for the Canadian Open DH to feel more like the Australian Open DH shouldn't be much of a surprise.

In the pro men's division, Aussies swept the podium with Troy Brosnan winning the event for a second year in a row, knocking off countrymen Jack Moir and Mick Hannah.

Brosnan explained there were some extra distractions around him, but he shook them off and crossed the line 3.64 seconds ahead of Moir.

"I'm feeling really good now and up there, it was nice," Brosnan said. "There was a helicopter following me the whole way down and I was trying not to zone into that too much. My run was really good, everyone was cheering super loud and I had a big smile on my face the whole way down.

"Winning it last year always makes you know you can do it again. I was feeling really good this year and throughout Crankworx, I was trying to train and rest up and be as fresh as I could and I guess it paid off."

Brosnan felt the 2015 win was a bit more special, as it helped bump him up into the upper echelon of riders. The 23-year-old has carried that momentum forward this year currently sitting second in the UCI World Cup rankings.

He also spent the summer of 2015 living in Whistler and got used to the surroundings.

"This course, being so dry and dusty and hard-packed like it is, it's exactly like being in Australia. It's friggin' awesome having all three Aussies on the podium here in Whistler and Whistler's got that many Aussies in it already, so it's not much of a change," Brosnan chuckled.

Moir, meanwhile, came to the festival in 2014 but missed last year with an injury.

"It's real dusty and kind of short, just like the track back home. I suppose the atmosphere around Whistler is just like back home, so we all feel comfortable here," he said.

With Moir sitting on the hot seat with only Brosnan left to drop, he acknowledged there were a few dreams of victory in his mind, but had a feeling his countryman was still the favourite until proven otherwise.

"There's always a bit of hope. You never know what can happen, but when Troy is there, he's very consistent, doesn't crash much. You pretty much knew he was going to take it," Moir said.

As for the women, Tracey Hannah led a more diverse contingent of medallists, besting Manon Carpenter of Great Britain by 10.81 seconds and Canadian Vaea Verbeeck by 14.29 seconds.

Hannah said she had a plan to tackle the course and executed it well.

"The track is pretty loose and you've got to let the bike go, otherwise you go real slow. I just had to commit to the track and see how we go when we get to the bottom, and it was all good," she said. "I really love the dry, dusty, fast tracks and I think it suits me more than if it was wet.

"Either way, it's a hard track to race and it was fun to get down with the win."

Hannah said even with the huge gap between her and the field, the course still wasn't as easy as she made it look.

"There's a few pretty challenging jumps at the bottom and you never really know what the wind's doing until you get there, so I found them pretty hard but I got down there in the end," she said.



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