Smith on a roll with Air Downhill win at Crankworx in Whistler 

French rider Emmeline Ragot takes the women’s event

click to enlarge BY BLAKE JORGENSON - TAKING THE WIN: Rider Steve Smith takes the win in Wednesday's Air Downhill at Crankworx in Whistler.
  • By Blake Jorgenson
  • TAKING THE WIN: Rider Steve Smith takes the win in Wednesday's Air Downhill at Crankworx in Whistler.

Nanaimo's Steve Smith is now $5,000 richer, first winning the top prize at the Garbanzo DH on Sunday, then adding another $2,500 to his stack with a win in Wednesday's Air Downhill. That's only the beginning, however - Smith's goal is to win the Jeep Canadian Open DH on Sunday (Aug. 19), which offers the biggest cash prize of any downhill in North America this year with $10,000 for the top male. He'll be up against some of the top riders in the world, but based on his performance in the Garbanzo DH and Air DH, he's riding well.

In the Air DH, Smith finished in 4:07.78, almost four seconds ahead of American Brian Lopes, who won this event five years in a row before he was unseated by Andrew Neethling in 2011. Lopes finished in 4:11.54, followed by Australian Mick Hannah in 4:12.80, Neethling (from South Africa) in 4:13.37 and Mitch Ropelato of the U.S. in 4:14.46. The fastest local rider in the group was Ian Morrison in 4:15.83.

"It's fast and dusty, but I prefer it that way," said Smith. "It's pretty exciting to win both the Garbanzo Downhill and Air Downhill as I haven't won either of these events before."

It's not that the other riders were slow, either. Technically Lopes would have set a new course record for A-Line with his second place time, while Smith himself shattered the previous record by over five seconds.

In the women's event, French rider Emmeline Ragot took the win in 4:35.25, with a couple of fast Canadians giving chase. The North Shore's Micayla Gatto was second in 4:36.11, while reigning champion Claire Buchar placed third in 4:36.25. Casey Brown of Revelstoke and Whistler's Sarah Leishman rounded out the top five with times of 4:36.39 and 4:43.23 respectively.

First place in the women's race was worth $1,500.

Results (Top 3 Only)

Junior Women 13 to 18

1. Hayley Wallins (USA) - 5:20.42

2. Camila Nogueira (ARG) - 5:25.12

3. Danielle Kennedy (CAN) - 5:30.28

Boys 13 to 16

1. Jack Iles (Whistler) - 4:26.44

2. Adison MacDonald (Whistler) - 4:35.48

3. Luciano De Neufville (ECU) - 4:35.90

Junior Men 16 to 18

1. Xander Geddes (Whistler) - 4:22.23

2. Lee Jackson (Squamish) - 4:22.42

3. Cody Kelley (USA) - 4:28.31

Amateur Women 19-Plus

1. Maria Darquier (ARG) - 4:57.60

2. Jocasta Franquesa (ESP) - 4:59.75

3. Veronika Voracek (CAN) - 5:00.13

Senior Amateur Men 19 to 29

1. Pablo Seewald (ARG) - 4:29.97

2. Sean Faulds (GBR) - 4:30.11

3. Jeremias Maio (ARG) - 4:30.78


1. Stacy Kohut - 5:51.14

Master Amateur Men 30-Plus

1. Andrew Gunn (CAN) - 4:30.16

2. Steve Storey (CAN) - 4:33.77

3. Karl Peel (AUS) - 4:35.23

Pro Women

1. Emmeline Ragot (FRA) - 4:35.25

2. Micayla Gatto (CAN) - 4:36.11

3. Claire Buchar (Whistler) - 4:36.25

Pro Men

1. Steve Smith (CAN) - 4:07.79

2. Brian Lopes (USA) - 4:11.54

3. Mick Hannah (AUS) - 4:12.80

Crankworx continues today (Thursday) with the Teva Best Trick Showdown and the Ultimate Pump Track Challenge. Visit for details.


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