Nobody has more wins. Nobody has more podium finishes. And nobody had a more impressive run during Saturday's Red Bull Joyride than Whistler's own Brandon Semenuk.
Semenuk won a record third title - and his second in a row - in the signature slopestyle event of Crankworx Whistler, getting things done on his first of two runs with a near-flawless trip down the course that garnered a score of 96.8 from judges.
"I'm so pumped," said the 23-year-old. "It's insane just to win this event, never mind do it back-to-back. It's so stressful, but a huge relief now.
It was an all-Canadian podium on Saturday night, as Brett Rheeder (94.2) finished second and Anthony Messere (84.0) placed third.
Rheeder put the pressure on the field early with an amazing first run of his own, but Semenuk quickly responded, getting a huge roar from the crowd when he dropped in with a backflip and when he ended his run with a corked 720 off the course-ending whale-tail feature.
"Honestly, I really didn't want to do it," Semenuk said with a smirk when asked about the 720. "It's a big trick and basically that's what I needed to get ahead of Rheeder without having to go too crazy on the first half of the course.
"He went pretty hard and I had to figure out what my best bet was, and that was the run I came up with that I thought was my best chance."
Semenuk and Rheeder remained in the top two positions by the time every other rider had taken their second runs. With his last chance to bump Semenuk from the No. 1 spot, Rheeder fell early on his second run, meaning Semenuk got to take a victory lap before being handed the $25,000 grand prize cheque at the bottom of the course.
"It's nice to be in the pole position and watch everything go down," he said. "Obviously if Rheeder was ahead of me, I would have dropped in and done a crazier run again."
Semenuk becomes the first rider to win back-to-back Crankworx Whistler slopestyle competitions since Paul Basagoitia won the first two ever held in 2004 and 2005. Semenuk's six podium finishes in the event is also two more than any other rider in history.
Messere sat third after the first run, but found himself pushed off the podium when Logan Peat (83.80) surpassed him during the second round. Messere came back with an impressive second attempt of his own to flip-flop with Peat once more, earning his second podium finish at Red Bull Joyride, adding to the one he earned with his breakout performance in Whistler three years ago.
Full results and replays will be posted to www.crankworx.com when available. See Pique next week for a complete wrap of the event.
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