Brandon Semenuk fell short in his bid for a third-straight Crankworx Les 2 Alpes Slopestyle victory, but the title remained in the hands of a B.C. rider nonetheless.
Vancouver's Anthony Messere put together a tremendous run on the Yannick Granieri-designed course to finish on top at the third annual edition of Crankworx in France.
"The feeling is just insane. It feels like I'm in a dream," said the 19 year old, who earned his first FMB World Tour Diamond Series triumph.
"Everybody absolutely slayed it, and to be on top with all these other dudes' runs? Just, wow."
Messere pulled off a front flip tuck no-hander to close out his winning run on Saturday, July 5, garnering a score of 90.50 from judges, plus the grand prize of 8,500 Euros ($12,350 CAD). Belgium's Thomas Genon (86.50) occupied the second step of the podium, while U.K. rider Sam Reynolds (80.25) took third.
Messere won the event with his second run, dropping in fourth in the 16-man final and stomping a run that set the bar high for the remaining 12 riders.
"Everything I did was exactly what I planned out... as soon as I landed this last jump I was so excited I couldn't even see where I was going," said Messere. "It was just stars and black and white."
Whistler's Semenuk looked like he might factor into the podium discussion with his second trip down the course, which included a massive cork 720, but he fell late in his run and settled for sixth place.
The next FMB World Tour Diamond Series event is Red Bull Joyride, taking place during Crankworx Whistler.
Some other familiar faces went home winners from Les 2 Alpes, including Cam Zink, who beat out Greg Watts in the final to win the GT Dual Speed and Style on July 4.
B.C.'s Micayla Gatto was the women's champ in the Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox, while the U.K.'s Brendan Fairclough took the men's title on Saturday for his first of two podium finishes on the weekend.
Fairclough would also place third in the Polygon Air DH held Sunday, July 6, won by fellow Brit Gee Atherton. France's Guillaume Cauvin finished second. Darren Berrecloth, in 64th place, was the top Canadian. French rider Myriam Nicole won the elite women's race, and was joined on the podium by Australia's Tracey Hannah and U.K. rider Tahnee Seagrave. B.C.'s Casey Brown finished fifth, while Gatto was eighth.
The four-day festival kicked off July 3 with the Spank Official European Whip-Off Championships, won by Britain's Neil Stewart.
Crankworx Whistler returns to the resort Aug. 8 to 17. See www.crankworx.com for full recaps of Les 2 Alpes, and learn more about next month's Whistler festival.
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