Ropelato, Kintner take pump track titles 

Men's runner-up Loron scores overall win

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - Adrien Loron (left) and Mitch Ropelato take off during the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge finals on Thursday night.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • Adrien Loron (left) and Mitch Ropelato take off during the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge finals on Thursday night.

Mitch Ropelato is back.

The winner of three consecutive Ultimate Pump Track Challenge events from 2010 to 2012 added a fourth to his mantle on Thursday night.

The Utah resident overcame France's Adrien Loron in the final after winning four matchups just to get there. Meanwhile, Tomas Lemoine knocked off Tomas Slavik in the men's small final.

"There were a lot fast people and a lot of easy spots to make mistakes. I just kept it clean and got to the finish line faster," he said. "When I first rode the track, I knew it was going good and I was putting down fast laps. Right after qualifying, I was like 'Let's just put some clean runs down and we can get this done.'"

This year's course was an A-to-B straight shot with berms in the middle after last year was a cloverleaf that sent riders curving around and around. As well, the site moved to Base 2 on Blackcomb Mountain after its normal spot in Whistler Village.

Loron and Lemoine entered the day in a three-way tie with fellow French rider Chaney Guennet for the overall lead, so Loron ended up defending his crown that he earned last year.

"I'm pretty happy to take the title in the end. I would take this one, too, but Mitch was better than me. He didn't make any mistakes, so congrats to him," Loron said.

On the women's side, Bellingham's Jill Kintner also snagged her fourth victory in the event, all of the coming consecutively. The Crankworx star has been unbeatable in the event, as she had the overall title already wrapped up by virtue of having won the first two races of the year in Rotorua, New Zealand and Les Gets, France.

The win capped a packed day for Kintner, as she trained for slalom, placed fifth in the Official Whip-Off World Championships and needed to do well in the time trials just to make the pump track final eight. It'll all be worth it if she clinches the Queen of Crankworx title and the $25,000 that goes with it.

"This overall (title) is all anyone ever talks about so I have to gather as many points as I can get," she said. "(After the day), I'm mostly sunburned and hot. It's all the hiking up the hill that no one sees that's the hard part."

Great Britain's Manon Carpenter knocked off Danielle Beecroft for the women's bronze.

Action continues Friday with the Giant Dual Slalom in Whistler Village with the pro finals kicking off at 5 p.m.



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